Greetings from the sunny Finland dear readers! Hope you're all enjoying the spring as much as I am.
Quite a lot has happened to the game after the previous update. Most importantly there has been graphical changes but also some addition of content.
New post processing effects
For a long time I had wanted to add screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO) and several other effects which required a depth map. This wasn't possible because Gekkeiju was built using DirectX9 so the only option would've been to use multiple render targets which was simply too slow.
However, I finally managed to implement the so called INTZ-hack which allows access of the z-buffer as a texture in DirectX9. Basically this gives the depth information for "free". This allowed me to add SSAO as well as outline everything so not just the characters. The effect is slightly similar to that in for example Borderlands.
After some additional headbanging I also managed to add RESZ-hack which allows the use of multisampled antialias even when reading the zbuffer.
Naturally all of these new effects require much more from the computer so there will be a lot more graphical options that players can switch on/off.
Oculus Rift NPC dialogs
The NPC Quest dialogs were implemented for the Oculus Rift-mode. This means that it is now possible to play through most of the quests in virtual reality. However, shop dialogs etc are still missing.
The limited NPC dialog space also means that most texts need to be redesigned. This, however, will also help against the "too long; didn't read"-effect of the NPC dialogs.
Work on the Mage character class started but lots of things are still missing. So far only the first spell is implemented and even that is missing the casting effect.
Most mage spells will get a spell circle opening up during casting. The graphical effect was already implemented but some motion tracking will be required before things can be put together.
City of Kyrt
As all our old player probably already remember, the biggest and busiest hub in the game has always been the Imperial capital, Kyrt. I finally managed to start working on the city even though most of the area between is still missing.
This time Kyrt will be around the same size or bigger than in the previous version but there'll be a lot more buildings with small alleys here and there. The biggest change to the city is going to be addition of a harbor. Kyrt has always been near the sea but never had its own port before this.
Next I'll likely continue building Kyrt as quite many players are likely hoping on exploring it during the next Alpha Test weekend.
Since it's the spring now I should be able to pack away my kotatsu and free some floor space for motion capturing. This means that there's probably going to be some new motion emotes and possibly motion tracked combat animations.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned!