I’ve been neglecting you. I’m sorry.
I know it’s not a good excuse, but I’ve had so much development work to do I haven’t been motivated to write about it.
The main reason for that is that on top of the actual work it is very impractical to update so many blogs (Indiedb, Tumblr, Gamejolt, Jmonkey forums and our Discord).
Even while the contents are pretty much the same the thing is all of these places use a different formatting. Want to bold that text? Have to do it manually for each site. Want to add in image? Every site has their own method to do it.
It’s very frustrating.
On top of that I hate most of those sites for being so unbelievably outdated and not-nice to us. It’s always a struggle to log in and start posting. I don’t like the UI on one site, the appearance on another, the uploading system on third, etc.
So why update so many blogs you ask?
Because of maximum visibility around the interwebs and in the search engines. It wouldn’t be much a problem for big game studios with lots of followers. But as a small studio just starting out - if we ever want anyone to know about us we have to push our feet through all the doors to all the possible places where someone might notice us.
Ideally, though, I suppose I would prefer to run a blog only on one site - on some obscure site that I haven’t discovered yet with nice UI and features, easy to use and with fast posting with the possibility to link images or upload them or whatever.
Work on the animations is going forward. And we've been working on and testing some Physically Based Rendering textures that you can see above.
We've decided to use 8K (8192x8192px) mega textures for terrain. That will span an area of 2 x 2 meters. After that the texture will tile.
We might possibly add variations for the mega textures - up to 4 textures - to make the tiling less obvious. But even by itself 2 x 2 meters is a relatively large area and the terrain should look rather nice.
We are also working on adding proper animation handling and animation blending which will eventually become a part of the game, but right now the priority is to be able to test animation in the game environment and smooth out any quirks that might be left.
I've decided the scrap the book that I've been showing around and start over from scratch.The reason for this is that after thinking about it for a few days I wanted to create the best possible rig for books. The new book and rig will support realistic page turning when it's finished. In other words when you turn the pages and keep turning them one side of the book will get thinner and the other side will get thicker.
In other news the work on networking continues slowly but steadily and should be in usable condition soon enough.
The style of the trees has been locked in and we're doing a connecting blocks design.
This is the 25 cm thick variation with cut (ie. rounded) edges on the logs to give some smoothness to the trees. Three blocks are used for the connections and one block is used for the sloping (upper right corner).
We will probably do some test renders during the coming weeks - combining everything relevant we have in a forest surrounding to give ourselves a better idea how everything fits together and whether we need to make any changes or whether it just works.
Some of the concerns we've discussed internally are possible clashes with the low poly bloxel freestyle hybrid visual appearance we've been working on and texture resolution being either too high or two low.
Color theme has been pretty much decided now. You should be able to see more on that later.