A Day Of Lasers, Shaders and Light Maps
My day continues from where it left off on Sunday, trying to get a shader and a light map to co-exist in my real-time light mapping process while editing levels. The afternoon was spent checking and deleting emails and apart from a five minute AGK task, it was all FPSC related :)
On The Subject Of Lasers
I started the ball rolling a few days ago to add lasers to Reloaded, but was convinced by Rick that lasers don't really sit well in the middle of a modern day generic graphics set so today we dropped them, along with laser booby traps and a beefy new laser gun for the player.
Instead we are going with something similar called tracer rounds, which show the person firing the gun where their bullet went. They will provide great additional visuals during a fire fight and allow us to add extra things like sounds when the bullet just misses your head, and showing where the enemies are shooting their guns. The feature will be enabled, like in real life, with the use of 'tracer rounds' which are alternative forms of ammo you can use with your weapons.
The best news is that the system can be easily extended in the future to bring lasers back, but we will probably do that when we do a big futuristic model pack for you.
Shader Plus Light Map Equals Hell
The burning task today is to get these two elements to play nicely. I have got quite a way already, now at 4:30PM, but I am getting random crashes with no easy way to find the cause. I know it has something to do with writes into naught memory so the search continues.
The good news is though that when not crashing, I can now see my lovely rendered shader floor and the real-time light mapping textures blending nicely together and the map editor has jumped up in visual quality. A long way to go though as the shader I chose only really works on floors, and I need a universal shader that ticks all the boxes for whatever object it has to render. I have plenty source material so it should be a fun process (that is, when I can stop it crashing).
I am also taking the opportunity to move the DBP DLL projects over to Visual Studio 2012 as well, as and when it becomes necessary to debug and work on them. My last machine had all three Visual Studio editions on and it was a bit of a mess, so moving to a single development kit should make life simpler. I dare say VS 2012 also has some nice improvements in terms of compiler speed, optimisation of byte code and better production of Windows 8 friendly applications.