Friday, 10 October 2014

The Floating Gun Trick!

Not a lot to report from today's efforts, having spent about six hours out the office and on the road. Did some bits this morning which ticks off one more item, but got an email with five new items based on the latest FPS demo so plenty work ahead of me.  The item in question was a pretty exciting one however, and the new weapon system allows guns that use bone and non-bone meshes in the same model. It basically means I have opened the door wider for new weapons to make it into the product via the Store, and the return of one of the great weapon smiths from FPSC Classic!  Can't wait to see what he comes up with.

In my absence Rick did identify one issue that remains buried in our default characters which is the way they hold their guns. As you can see, the pistol is not really tightly grasped. Now normally these guys are more in the distance and always moving (and shooting you) so this kind of detail can be overlooked, but it's an interesting question as to how much time we dedicate to solving this over other issues such as adding the material system, e.t.c. The good news is that if we choose to tackle it, an artist can do the work in parallel to me so it will not interfere with the coding time line.

After all that driving I am pretty zonked, so have decided on an early night and to slice off some of the weekend to catching up on some coding tasks, and sitting at the top of my list is the re-introduction of dynamic shadows for crates and characters.  Using the new glass terrain geometry, I should be able to retain good performance when adding these shadows, but time will tell. I am pretty determined to avoid the 'blob shadow' fall back as I think such effects should remain in the past :)


  1. Hi Lee

    I'm really looking forward to the next BETA with the new lightmapper and performance improvements. I still have a few concerns on the visual side of things and a few questions:

    1. Will there be quality settings for the lightmapper so we can increase the number of shadow samples and resolution etc? In some of the shots the shadows look unrefined and I would expect Reloaded to have baked shadows at least as sharp as FPSC classic at the higher quality levels.

    2. Is the lightmapper and dynamic shadows still going to support self shadows and casting shadows on static / dynamic entities. I was testing the latest beta recently and shadows were not being cast onto the surrounding objects which looked really bad.

    3. In your screenshot on this post the lighting is completely blown out on 1 of the walls. The default settings should not have these kinds of issues and the lighting should look natural. At the moment there is too much of a contrast between dark and light areas.

    4. I'm guessing this will be looked at later on but we also need a solution for placing static lights in a scene which are included in the baking process and dynamic lights which can cast dynamic shadows. We cannot build indoor environments without this and I strongly recommend no putting Reloaded on Steam until this is sorted out.

    I don't mind having different quality levels with the shaders and everything but the highest quality levels need to look amazing and we should have control over the lightmapping settings so if a scene is nearing completion we can have a 10 hour bake which looks AAA production quality.

    1. Totally agree it is way below standard at the moment.

    2. My main issue with that screenshot is that the wall is far too bright for its surroundings. That is, if it were placed in a bright, sharp desert scene with a very light-blue sky to match, it wouldn't look bad at all.

  2. Also, I'd like to ask about sunlight direction. I mean to add possibility to change a main light (sun in this case) position and thereby to change the shadows position. Do you plan to add this feature to the next beta?