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Santman
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Posted: 20th Jun 2018 03:36
Ok, so I decided to start a thread here to get some feedback and idea's from people as to where to get with this next. This short video shows the little town of Claire Ville that I built to test it out. So far we have:

*landscape shader, full terraformable and controllable for the textures
*grass and path generation
*full object manipulation (place, scale, rangle, move, color etc)
*tree and bush placement using custom shader to create dfferent looking trunks
*controllable light (position, color, strength)

This is sitting at about 1110-140fps in full 4K for me, or around 250fps in HD. What I plan to add next is:

*water
*hardcoded landscape shadows
*dynamic shadows for objects (need to get one that works with my custom light - toying with a day/night cycle)
*clouds and sky (got a natty idea on this)
*more grass, with multiple types and zoning
*better control over trees and leaves (currently only one leaf texture is used for all plants)
*A nice distance based landscape fog shader (about 50% done, fades the landscape to an indistinct color then gradients that out into the sky. Good performance boost and starting to look good)
*some form of billboard system for trees

Open to any suggestions as to what might make this better - all assets are from free to use online sources or built, so some have messed up normals that don't respond to lighting - that's not the fault of the code.

Rick Nasher
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 09:06
Good job. Looks very promising.

Do the FPS drop a lot if you turn on realtime AppGameKit shadowing? If not, what does it look like?
Santman
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 14:33
Can't use AppGameKit shadowing as that only works with the sun, which this doesn't use. Spent last night writing code to do pre rendered landscapes shadow maps, which is now working well, and going to look into blending close up objects with my own shadows next.
Santman
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 17:22
So here's another shot of the pre-baked landscape shadows, now with full interaction with items, trees and paths.

The idea here is that these will allow the landscape to shadow at any distance, with dynamic realtime shadows kicking in for objects up close. I have restrict the rendering of tree shadows depending on how good they look once included. Fnal stage is to get grass shading based on these so that it gives the illusion of shadows as well.

This does mean no day/night cycle, though you can still render the sun from any position.

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Captain Ouais
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 20:52
it's super impressive !!!!!!!!!
it leaves me speechless!
I do what i do !!!
janbo
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 23:17 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2018 23:19
What do you mean by: "Can't use AppGameKit shadowing as that only works with the sun"
Are the shadows baked or say pre rendered... or are they dynamic shadows... did you write your own shadow shader or use AGK's

Make the grass sway dependent to the position so they don't do the same swing at every location(I guess they aren't animated but distorted in the vertex shader)
For this you could actually use gerstner wave calculations, like I did for the Ocean waves.(you can change the settings so it looks like wind is blowing over the terrain/grass)

good project
puzzler2018
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 23:31 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2018 23:39
We are all learners here with us having less than 9 years of experience with AppGameKit,and im sure Santman or anyone with those years of AppGameKit to produce some magical astronimical results.

Good project indeed

PS what games have you developed and is out on the market that your making money on Janbo... Just out of curiosity...
janbo
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Posted: 24th Jun 2018 09:32 Edited at: 24th Jun 2018 09:34
Lets not hijack his thread but...
You can see all my published games in my signature and I recently got a new job as a programmer in a very large hospital.
The games don't make much money (if at all) as I never took care of "PR" really.
Santman
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Posted: 24th Jun 2018 14:04
Janbo,

The shadows here are baked, pre-rendered images that are just applied as a texture - it let's the landscape get decent looking shading at any distance. What I mean about AGK's shader is that you can only use it with the internal "sun" light source, where as I want a point light version. Plus I wanted something better, with smooth shadows, using the same image - the idea being that the shader would stop drawing the shadow map at distance X then swap to realtime, so that tree's etc moved. I looked at some alst night, but I think that's beyond me though.

The grass did at one point move independantly using the vertice X and Z positions to do a sine calculation, but since it scaled up for the landscape it actually stopped working - it's something I'll look at again some time, but for now I have some more fundamental issues. What I planned to do was overlay a texture in the shader with a wave pattern and then offset the vertex positions based around that - will see.

TO be honest, I'm never going to make a 1st person game so debating stopping now - I made a civ game a long time ago in 2D which gained a good bit of interest on Kickstarter and Google, but the 2D let it down. Now I have everythig I need to make it 3D.....good shaded landscapes that can be procedural, a method of group mehes together (for clumps of tree's), shaded water, shadows.....I may swap back to that and see how I get on.
Santman
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Posted: 24th Jun 2018 14:06
Actually on that point, one major block I have to shadows is rendering a depth image never works....at all, I just get an OPEN GL EXTENSION error. Doesn't matter if I use a render image or a quad, I get an error. I wonder if it even works in AppGameKit on my hardware.
puzzler2018
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Posted: 26th Jun 2018 22:21
We, ya all maybe all in the wrong businesses here, our heart and soul must be within game development which is indeed correct.

Time to develop yourselves and make the #1 one app(s).


Follow your dreams
Santman
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Posted: 27th Jun 2018 11:24
Puzzler, my heart and some really is in game development......but its not my job, which is full time and very demanding. Surprisingly i code for relaxation and fun. Lol.

But in terms of this, it's just not a productive use of time. The GG loader is the one stop for 3d in AppGameKit, especially when combined with Janbos sharers, and the incredible demands to produce anything in 3d (Time, resources, optimsation) make anything decent out with the remit of a single person I think, 1st person wise. So like Minecraft, this is learning for me for something else really (though I do like my distance fog shader, quite happy with that lol).

But everything I need to learn to convert my Civ game to 3d is in place......so that's probably where I will go next. Might finish the shadows though, but only cause that's annoying me.
Santman
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Posted: 5th Jul 2018 21:53
Ok, so a little bit of an update after a good days coding - fianlly got around to reworking the grass/fauna system.

So in this short demo we see how the World Builder allows you to create and edit any aspect of grass as you see fit, covering:
*alter density, random scatter, size
*change the image at will - including up to 8 texture atlas images to allow a vast array of grass imagery
*images now linked to the world "chunk" - so every chunk of the world can have totally unique fauna to others to create hugely different worlds
*redone shader to add better movement

On top of these here we see new trees, with a redone shader which includes:
*multi-texture approach - base texture and secondary texture mapped against a mask to create variety
*seperate mask to control moss/artifacts on the tree for greater variety (refined control coming soon)

Also some bug fixes. As always.

So in terms of just the grass/trees, any suggestions for improvements? (Sorry for the audio, the microphone is right next to the PC fan)

Jack
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Posted: 7th Jul 2018 14:26
Good work!
As I see, there are multi-plane objects for the grass/weeds, at least 12 Polygons each.

Do you have some sort of LOD model with a simple Billboard for the Weeds far away?
This can save a lot performance that can be used to add even more weeds to the scene.
Maybe an automatic LOD Billboard rendering pass for each type of weed model?

Do you plan some sort of dynamic chunk media control?
I can imagine, this will work quite well with giant maps.

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Santman
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Posted: 7th Jul 2018 21:26
At the moment the shader controls the render distance, so beyond a user controlled limit the grass doesn't render.....when it's done it will fade in so past that distance just won't draw. For trees and bushes and such I plan to implement a billboard system if I can, drawing the model closer than a certain point and the billboard behind. Time will tell there, it's tier 1 so limited in threading support for that to work effectively.

Yup, that's literally what it does. The default map is 8*8 chunks, but I plan to allow map referencing look ups so you could create as big a world as the machine can handle, using reducing LOD models for distance....so where as now the close up landscape is based on a 256*256 mesh, further away will be half that, then half that again for the max. Hopefully. The distance shader is working really well, with height and distance based for, so it's really shadows that I need to crack, maybe using Janbos base. The built in ones are really slow, and the trees look rubbish with it.

The interface and load save routines are almost done, so hopefully I'll add water objects, and clouds soon. Then lastly what I aim to do is introduce occlusion zones - areas outside of which assigned objects are deleted. So for example, the contents of a house are not loaded until you enter a zone around the house, then deleted when you leave it to allow performance.

Failing that I'll do Skyrim style, and just stop to load a separate area, depends.
Santman
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Posted: 15th Jul 2018 22:30 Edited at: 15th Jul 2018 23:45
Quick update with a few new screens.

*worked a lot on tree's and grass, with new shaders for each (better lighting)
*fixed depth issues by moving transparency out of AppGameKit and into the shader
*full editing is now possible on all attributes for trees now
*diffuse colour added to the shader to allow even greater diversity for trees
*test shader for objects (some still have broken normals/no textures)
*auto generation of mountains now added - build massive, random mountains in a single click

Looking for ideas as to what to include next? Currently all i have left planned is:
*water objects
*shader clouds
*roughen tool for the landscape
*roads
*increasing grass types per chunk from 3 to 8
*landscape normal mapped transparency
*maybe looking at a custom shadow shader

But in terms of a world building tool, what else would you want in it?

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Golelorn
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Posted: 17th Jul 2018 04:08 Edited at: 17th Jul 2018 04:09
I've been trying to mess with this stuff, too, and I think I am going to give up, and wait on this!

It looks insanely awesome. At least, I am hoping you put this up for sale... don't get my hopes up
Santman
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Posted: 18th Jul 2018 16:55
Thanks Golelorn....though I don't think it's quite insanely awesome......yet.

If it gets to the stage where it's good enough and there's demand I will certainly look at releasing it....think the provissional roadmap will be complete in about 2 months or there about. Still some things to add, mainly interface related, but towards the end of the month th I plan to do a live stream showing a simple scene being built from scratch in about 30-40 minutes....quite proud of how easy to use it is so far.

Don't give up though, keep at it.....it's all essential learning that can never be anything other than beneficial. No one is born with knowledge....EVERYONE learned at some point.
Santman
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Posted: 30th Jul 2018 03:23
So more to keep the thread live than anything else, a quick demo of the newest (very early) feature......clouds.

Someone asked for swaying grass, so I focus on that so you can see that's already in, but then the real fun starts....as I look to teh sky and then slowly add clouds. Note, in this video they are hugely sped up for effect - they would normally be much slower, obviously.

So some key features:
*controllable via the shader to set the density (will link to weather and rain/snow later - got a wicked idea on how that might work)
*speed (normally) is controlled by the standard WINDSPEED variable in the engine, so if you make it windier the grass moves faster, the trees sway harder, and the clouds move faster
*look closely and follow them - you'll see them form and disipate in realtime (quite happy with that effect actually)
*negligable frame rate hit (I loose about 4 fps with them, still well above 60fps in 4K)

Thoughts and comments welcome as always.

puzzler2018
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Posted: 31st Jul 2018 23:55
I think you are doing remarkably well - cant fault you on anything. Amazing product
Santman
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Posted: 2nd Aug 2018 09:59
Thanks puzzler. Sure there are many things to fault, but thank you. Lol.

Got distracted with shaders again.....putting back in normal mapping and specular, but the normal mapping is much improved now....next update should show a difference.
Santman
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Posted: 29th Aug 2018 01:51
Just keeping the thread alive.

Been doing a lot of background work lately, but now have a seamless and improved day night cycle, weather effects and a few other things. Proper update coming soon.
GarBenjamin
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Posted: 29th Aug 2018 05:40 Edited at: 29th Aug 2018 05:41
Excellent work. The last video is quite impressive for sure! Not just the clouds but whole scene and the dense grass and so forth.
Santman
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Posted: 29th Aug 2018 09:22
Thanks Gar. Once the tools are all in place I'll spend more time building a world, then it will improve.

Performance is the issue right now. Spent some time working on a multistage render system though, and although it's not perfect it's kind of working.....using normal sync in 4k with normal mapping I get about 34fps......with the new method I get about 110.

Which means without normal mapping in 1080 I get about 260-300.....putting it back into mobile territory. I'm now confident I can hit 50-60 fps on a decent mobile using the new system, if I can remove the glitches.
Santman
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Posted: 9th Dec 2018 23:09
Hi all.

Been away for a few weeks due to certain....ahem......western themed games releasing, as well as some work related issues.

But back now and a little something I whipped up today - implimented tri planner projection mapping to the terrain (well, a cut down test terrain). Performance hit on one texture is almost nothing (510fps drops to 499 fps) and I think the results def are better with that method on. But more than that, it allows base textures to be much easier to handle now.

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Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 10th Dec 2018 12:58
@Santman-wow, just read through this thread, really impressive, well done and all the best with the product.
Professional Programmer, languages: SAS, C++, SQL, PL-SQL, DBPro, Purebasic, JavaScript, others
Rick Nasher
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Posted: 10th Dec 2018 15:38
Well done. Can't wait to see it's next incarnation.
Santman
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Posted: 11th Dec 2018 19:09
Thanks guys. Might be a while before I get this working with an atlas though, it doesn't use AGK's uv system so getting it to look at just part of a texture is difficult.

I also need Janbos shadow code he posted, agks just aren't cutting it.
Santman
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Posted: 17th Dec 2018 22:29
SO inspired by Blink I've been playing with adding a vehicle, and how to add roads to the builder. Adding the tri planer projection shader allows for long stretches of roads to be build quickly.

Rick Nasher
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Posted: 18th Dec 2018 18:59
This is getting more and more complete. Good work.
Already having an idea on how to implement curved slopes and curved corners?
blink0k
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Posted: 18th Dec 2018 19:32
Looks great! What's a tri planer projection shader?
Santman
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Posted: 18th Dec 2018 21:47
Thanks Rik. By Christmas I should hopefully have roads built in, and useable vehicles. Literally no idea for what, but hey....who needs a purpose. Lol.

Tri planar projection is the screen shot attached.... basically it renders the object from three angles, then chooses the best version for any part of an object, or in my example it blends them. Means that simple textures can wrap around complex shapes without distorting or stretching.

For example, last night I was playing with roads and used that shader as it meant different sized segments would have identical textures with zero matching issues.

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blink0k
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Posted: 19th Dec 2018 09:18
Wow! That is sexy!
Santman
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Posted: 27th Dec 2018 00:28
So this is nothing to do with the world builder, but inspired by Blink's kart physics I added some simple vehicle physics myself. Not 100% yet, but this features a fully functional suspension. Here we see some jumps and playing on a built landscape.

NOTE: this is all 100% coded by me, there is no bullet physics commands of any kind....hence the slightly choppy movement. Still need to figure out the rattle, but it's almost there.

Golelorn
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Posted: 27th Dec 2018 01:35
Nice. Your videos always inspire me to up my game.
Santman
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Posted: 27th Dec 2018 10:39
Thanks Golelorn.......though I've still no idea what to make with this. I'm going to add road creation then some new effects to the landscape that will let you paint in realtime onto it, then I'll probably release a test version and let people play with it.

Was thinking I might make a single track racer for an example, or a simple fps. I also debated the multiplayer battle royal style of game as it saves on AI building.
Santman
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2019 23:30 Edited at: 3rd Jan 2019 23:43
Some quick "quality of life" improvements recently, working on making a simple racer. So far:

*took a while, but placed object can now be deleted just by pressing the delete key (hate it when you can't remeber how your own code works!!)
*model loading optimisations - first load creates memblocks so a simple group of objects that took 4.95 seconds now loads in 0.7 seconds (will add background streaming to these later, could potentially expand the world infinitely in any direction using this)
*better, easier placement of objects
*some additional tweaking to the car physics

Next up:
*optimise placement and loading for all objects, inlcuding trees etc
*deleting tree etc
*animated and multimesh .X support for objects
*automatic road creation

Then onward to a simple racer.
Santman
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Posted: 21st Jan 2019 13:20 Edited at: 21st Jan 2019 13:22
So animation is in place, which took an absolute AGE to get working with the editing features due to the way it works....slightly annoying you have to scale evenly in every direction but can live with it.

Multi mesh support has beenput on the back burner as I literally can't get this working - I can export an object with multi meshes but AppGameKit then seems to handle the object number in an odd fashion and gives an error at the next load. Will look at later, but I can live without that.

In the meantime I've decided to scale the demo project back and allow my kids to determine what it should be. They currently live Under Tale so some form of 3d adventure similar to that I think is where it will go.

The goal is by the end of this week to have a character walk around a landscape and be able to interact with vehicles. Hopefully.

This has also realised another issue: collision. The issue being if the player walks over, say, a bridge with holes in it, if they are unlucky they will fall between the gaps. So two possible solutions: create an invisible plane across and turn off collision for the object, or use more than one ray cast to place the player. One longer to add but possibly quicker, the other easier. Hmmmmm.
puzzler2018
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Posted: 21st Jan 2019 18:12 Edited at: 21st Jan 2019 18:19
Im not sure if you been looking about, my i got something with collisions with the help of Fubarpk, works on a large mesh with 6 points around a player / camera

Think it works well



Hope it helps

PS the ground as 1 empty space to fall through to a next level, promise it will be there lol - would make an interesting game...
Santman
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Posted: 21st Jan 2019 18:43
Thanks puzzler.

Adding more raycast isn't the issue.....cars use 6 as is just for the ground.....its more trying to work out if im vetter, performnace wise, to turn of collision for a bridge mesh (for example) with 1500 vertices, and lay a single box along it's outline that has 12. I'm guessing so, but how much performance would that save.

Testing time.
Santman
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2019 10:06
So I've hit a wall.

Placing only about 200 objects in the world has crushes the frame rate....buy oddly only with sync on. If I unlock the frame rate I still get in the region of around 130fps, but when I set it to sync at 60fps it runs at 50-51 fps. It's as if AGK's internal timing isnt right somewhere. I can get around it with manual frame timing, but genuinely thinking that very small number of individual objects AppGameKit seems to be able to cope with will be very prohibitive.
Golelorn
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2019 16:52
Its happening to me, as well. I have to use Vsync(1). This just started happening to me since the last update.
Santman
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Posted: 23rd Jan 2019 09:52
Oddly, it went away after I left the pc a while. It wasn't restarted or anything, and I recall a post asking something around if AppGameKit tidied up properly after closing down.....it's possible that the constant running and closing sometimes clogs the system I guess.

Still, spent a bit of time looking at optimisation of my shaders and got some good boosts, something in the tune to 80%-100% faster now on average, so I an average scene I am back to getting 175-220fps in 4k. This gives me scope to turn normal mapping back on, and that's still before I've optimised the objects or trees etc. Never going to be the next Anthem, but confident I can produce a fully realised 3d world.

Oh.....and I made a see saw too. Lol.
fubarpk
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Posted: 26th Jan 2019 11:29 Edited at: 26th Jan 2019 11:33
Quote: ".it's possible that the constant running and closing sometimes clogs the system I guess."

Ive had strange behaviour like that before too, I checked and deleted AGKs temp directory as well but no luck but I copied the code into a new project
and things were fixed. Its only happened a couple of times and not sure I could deliberately repeat the problem so as it could be reported.


Its as if there is some cache somewhere because you can copy new files into your media directory and it still will load the old ones. nothing in the user
AGK directory. and just copying the media file to a new project with identical code and it will work. Maybe il report that paul might know something
fubar
Santman
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Posted: 28th Jan 2019 09:16
SO decided to come back with a bit of an update as a few things have changed. I intendd to do a stream last night but my headset gave up the ghost after a windows update, so had to make do with a video instead:


In addition I've started keeping a proper change log, so here's what's new (for anyone who cares):

28/01/19
• Fixed bugs in scaling objects during editing – attributes for items were copying to other items when selecting directly between them in editing mode
• Fixed rain – splashes now work correctly again
• water adjusted – performance increased and texture overhead reduced by 50%
• water altered to render variably dependant on distance to lessen artefacts and improve performance further
• adjusted colour scheme for water
• combined water improvements increased performance by roughly 120%
• Landscape shader had LOD added to boost performance – estimated increase of 10%-40% in frame rate
• Add basic player character and collision routine
• Fixed bugs in object deletion routine
• Set road and pavement objects to use automatic tri planar mapping
• Added endless ocean
• Fixed sky box to stop clipping errors on horizon
• Reworked camera work and controls for player character

As always - all comments welcome.
Rick Nasher
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Posted: 4th Feb 2019 12:38
Coming together nicely. Good stuff.
Although the footstep sample is pretty far off.
Santman
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Posted: 4th Feb 2019 14:42
Hahahaha......yeah, the sound effects are just so I could get the hang of playing them in a timer based 3d animation.

Ironically, it's actually my teenage daughter walking on a real heard floor!!!
Rick Nasher
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Posted: 4th Feb 2019 18:51

That's really funny. Explains a lot, doesn't sound like an outdoorish step indeed.

Good fun though. I once used my kids voice for a firebreathing dragon and then manipulated the sound to such an extend that wasn't recognizable anymore.
Golelorn
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Posted: 4th Feb 2019 23:28
The grass and plants look incredible. Are you using AppGameKit default shader? Mine always look pretty bad.
Santman
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Posted: 5th Feb 2019 01:57
Rik,
Yeah, I'm not so good with sound, soon I have is a rubbish free editor, can remove noise and basic pitch changes, speed etc......that's about it. I'll replace them in time though.

Golelorn,
Thank you, I did spend ages on the grass. Nope, custom shaders for both. The trees actually look better with normal mapping, but it's also noticeably slower and I'm moving towards a cartoon style aesthetic for this I think.

The grass though is just a transparent plane, there's nothing so special about that.

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