Today I am going to be going over "Dynamic Snow FX” in Corpses 'N Souls. Some of the topics covered today will include:
- Dynamic level variations
- Interactive snow FX on objects
- Player snow impact interaction
- Player & Mob movement interaction
- Dynamic snow FX
- Enhanced dynamic lighting
With the addition of dynamic snow FX in Corpses ‘N Souls it adds another layer of immersion and depth when you play and revisit an area for back tracking, special or random events, specific or random timelines and re exploring the area. Since the nature of Corpses 'N Souls design is not to proceed from left to right of a area in a linear fashion the use of dynamic level variation was key.
Being a fan of old school 2D fighters like The King Of The Fighters or early Capcom CPS2 fighters where each round of the fight altered the level and loaded a new variations; I decided to adopt these early concepts. As a fan of this none static concept I decided to take it to the next level in the world of a 2D side & vert scrolling ARPG / Metroidvania and see what I coudl come up with in Corpses 'N Souls. This is another important concept/feature that has been added to Corpses ‘N Souls to keep on pushing what is possible in a modern 2D games.
* Please make sure you select : 1440p or 4K for the best quality in YouTube *
* View this video if you have a low powered computer & GPU *
It is recommended to watch the videos in YouTube's expanded [Theater Mode] or in [full screen] mode on a big screen HDTV.
As the title implies the gameplay areas of Corpses 'N Souls are not static and stay the same as you explore the areas. A single area can change dynamically before you eyes and change to a rain storm theme, turn to a sunny day, be engulfed by darkness of a night cycle, and more advanced the area it self can change completely in appearance like seasonal effects like snow or fall.
Here is a 1080p full screen image of the game running while it snows: * [click to expand] *
These dynamic level variations alter an existing area in real-time and do not load a new area/level. The current area dynamically changes the experience or spawns new elements and objects according to the new variation. This produces a new and ever changing experiences while you re visit an area or a special event has been triggered or a random event. The possibilities are numerous and open the doors to some awesome gameplay, ideas, and experiences in Corpses 'N Souls that will be shared down the road.
An animated GIF of the snow FX variation of a small portion of a 1080p render of the game in motion.
Here we see a still shot of the snow variation that is merged into the existing area, all the variation are the same area and are dynamically modified at run time.
A nice contrast of the sunny variation of the same area show how the same area can look totally different with different lighting, FX, and objects. Note the far background objects are randomly generated and are procedural generated that is why they do not match if you look at the buildings in the background closely.
In these two following pictures we see the same water fall has a frozen state apposed to running and in the form of dynamic interactive particles. You can also notice that one of the moons lighting and color has changed in the snow variation and much of the environment has snow covered on top of it and the lighting has changed on the Soul crystals and other sources.
Snow FX : area variation
A night time : area variation
As you walk around the area during a snow variation snow will reaction to your motion as it accumulates on objects. Below we see that the walk ways and paths that that are covered in snow that you adventure on will fling up snow behind you as you walk.
Also many objects that accumulate snow will be knocked off as you brush past or collide with these objects. Bellow we can see that the soul crystal provide a very cool visual effect as you walk by the crystals and snow is knocked off. Keep in mind all objects are accessible by code and such interaction could trigger certain gameplay that can only be found in the snow variation of the levels. Not only does the effects look visually cool it provides many gameplay opportunities.
Blue soul crystal
Red soul crystal
Here we see that the liquid area has been frozen and changed state during the snow variation of the area. The coffins are locked in place and are no longer moving down the river.
Snow has accumulated on all of the environment which provides a new look for the area. Certain inhabitants will only be found living and flourishing in this dynamic area change, be on the look out during these changes in the environment.
Here is a 1080p full screen image of the game running while it snows: * [click to expand] *
Cool dynamic snow effects are unlocked during the snow variation when it has transitioned over a certain region or area. When the player jumps on the ground snow will fall down as its disturbed as it sleeps peacefully on a object or the ground.
Here we have a picture of it snowing and the player is jumping on a treasure chest. Snow is brushed off the chest as the impact of the player hits the top of the chest, its a really cool effect.
Just a still shot of the player by the chest in the picture above while it is snowing.
During a dynamic snow variation when the player or mob moves along the ground or any platform or area that they can walk on that has snow it will react. Below we can see how the snow not only kicks up but also falls off any platform that has snow accumulated on it.
Also not so apparent in this GIF is that the vegetation the that is disturbed behind the player will also shake of snow fragments adding yet more detail to the effect.
In this shot we can see the snow fall off the platform as the player moves along side the object. Enemies aka mobs will of course react to the snow as well if they interact with it during your battles or if they are just wandering around.
Another shot of the snow being disturbed as you walk on a object that is covered in snow.
The dynamic snow effects not only cover the existing environment but they also provide many visual effects when you interact with the environment. Feedback is very important so that the player can see if they have brushed against an object or hit and object.
In the GIF below we see multiple hit/trigger points. First the player is brushing against a green soul crystal, each soul crystal type has a different snow drop effect. Secondly the player is brushing against the platform behind him and on the way down from the jump hits a branch that also drops snow that has accumulated on it.
The effects are quiet immersive and you will want to play with the snow to see the effects over and over again :)
Here we see how the snow effects have covered a yellow soul crystal, vegetation and the trees and branches in the area.
Another shot show the crypt has been covered in snow, if you go on the roof of the crypt snow will fall off as you move or jump(see the video above for this example). The visuals are totally different during the snow variation, at night it is a awesome sight to see.
Here is a 1080p full screen image of the game running while it snows at night : * [click to expand] *
The water has frozen and the corpse chunks are locked in place during the snow cycle. Maybe you can walk on the ice and find a new area?
During the area variations like the dynamic snow effects the lighting of objects, moons, environmental lighting, attacks and other light sources will change dynamically to suit the theme of the variation.
The weapon attacks have been adjusted to fit the snow variation as has all the soul crystal lighting. Since the snow effects are a white based color the lighting reacts completely differently than a dark themed area. In the darker themes lighting has to be intense and different colored based to bring out the color in the objects and the area.
2D lighting is not a simple feature to include in you game and game engine. It can be very challenging at times so it looks good let alone if you have it dynamically change at run time for a completely different look. All the lighting is done at run time and can be dynamically modified at any programmatic event or action the creator sees fit.
This picture shows how the purple light from a sword attack reacts and cast light dynamically on the snow covered environment, it looks really cool.
A still shot of the above animated GIF of the sword attack casting light dynamically on the environment.
As the moon passes over it casts an awesome lighting effect on the snow covered environment. The power of the 2DEvolved engine can create some cool FX and artistic visions and themes.
This concludes the dynamic snow FX article for Corpses 'N Souls. I hope you enjoyed the article and it gave you a first look of the awesome level variations FX and possibilities that can be achieved dynamically within the areas of Corpses'N Souls that you will explore and re visit.
Well this starts off the year of 2016 it will be gameplay articles from here out and be a very big year for Corpses 'N Souls. Remember to stay locked to indieDB and @SideScrollSTUs for the latest info on Corpses 'N Souls.