As promised, here’s the results of my recent implementation of a weather system, and the retooled sky.
I put the old cloud-billboard system out to pasture and replaced it with a retooled sky dome shader. The shader now allows the backdrop clouds to move relative to player movement, so that as the player falls, the clouds respond by appearing to rise upwards (I fake everything, nothing really moves). This new version of the sky also features a higher-resolution texture, and it adds colors together rather than multiply them… well, practically, this means that when clouds overlap each other, they no longer appear to be bright white.
I’ve also written a weather script from scratch. I had purchased a weather system off of the Unity asset store, but will be using it for its art rather than its junk scripting. Really, it said in 4000+ lines of code what I was able to do in 100. Before this whole deal, I was merely transitioning the fog color when the player crossed biomes. Now, it transitions:
- Ambient color and fog color/intensity
- Post-processing fog color/intensity
- Sunlight color/intensity
- Sun shaft intensity
- Atmosphere Color
- Rain and mist intensity/sound
The weather system is mainly used to regulate differences between the six biomes. Each biome has a fixed weather pattern that is associated with it. I’ll post a video when it’s further along.
School’s back and my month-long crunch has ended. The game has progressed steadily feature-wise, but still needs polish. I’m hoping to release an exclusive alpha version of the game to backers. I was originally calling this a beta version, but I do not believe that it is far enough along to warrant that label. For this exclusive alpha release, I will need to get access to a Mac for some lengthy testing sessions. I’ve already installed an Ubuntu partition on an old laptop. The game runs just fine on Linux, save for a graphical glitch that shouldn’t be too hard to handle.
I’ve started my second semester on Monday for the NYU MFA in Game Design. I’m taking a course on minimalist design with Andy Nealan, two courses with Eric Zimmerman, and a course with Katherine Isbister called Human Computer Interaction. I was rather cagey about my school progress last semester, but I’ll attempt to be more open about what’s going on in my life, and how what I learn feeds into Against the Wall. Also, no more staying up all night and sleeping all day.
28-year-old male programmer and independent game designer seeks compatible 3D environment artist. Must love games.
My Analog Life
One of my groups from school has been producing a board game in our spare time. I’ve taken a leadership role on the project in seeing it to a commercial release. It won’t be too much of a burden thanks to the four talented individuals that I am working with. Things move a bit faster in the analog world, but I’ll hold off on a press release until it is further along in production.
I realize that this blog post could have been broken up into sections and released over time, but I actually prefer this info dump. Oh, and I’ve realized why I refrain from using Twitter: it’s a giant Kafkaesque chat room that you can never really log out of. Really, when I’m coding and in the zone, the last thing I’m thinking of is Tweeting or posting a status. Anyway, though I could promise to post more often, that doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Not a natural marketer… that said, I should probably Tweet a bit more.
I spent some time talking to Paul Dean of PCGamesN the other week. He posted an article on the game today, and the crazy process that led me to create this game.
The game was also covered by PCGamer and regarding Greenlight.
Also, it received the prestigious(?) Horace Award For Just Being A Brilliant Idea, among a list of games overlooked for this year’s IGF. (regarding the IGF: maybe I’ll get in next year, when this product is more polished and/or released).
Why not mention the random stuff that I’ve been playing in my vanishing free time?
- I bought Antichamber but have yet to install it. Got the THQ pack from Amazon (no longer available) but haven’t touched that either.
- FTL is like a forest fire, only this particular forest is populated by time instead of trees.
- Also Just Cause 2, for no particular reason.
- I don’t understand Proteus, so it must be art.
- Greenlight is an okay ARG. It features crowd-based gameplay: your progress is determined by strangers voting on your page. Getting other people to participate is the core game mechanic. My score is at a tantalizing 91% of the way to making the top 100 list!
- I will not touch Dragonborn out of fear for my remaining free time, but I wanted to observe: the third expansion for Morrowind takes place on Solstheim and is a miniature Skyrim, and the third expansion for Skyrim takes place on Solstheim and is a miniature Morrowind.
- In analog, I’ve played Lost Cities and Forbidden Island for the first time and envy their designs.
I’ve written quite a bit. I should probably get back to work. Happy Groundhog Day!