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FXAA, Dynamic Shadows, and Block HP

Posted by riuthamus, 06 August 2012 · 1,822 views

RuinValor SlimDX Game C# Minecraft Voxel
Over the course of the last week we have added some amazing things to the game. We now have FXAA enabled!

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Simple Shadows! ( for low end machines )
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Dynamic Shadows ( for beastly computers )
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And lastly, but certainly not least, we added in the ability for blocks to have HP. This means that each block will take damage and will retain that damage throughout time. If you go and you bash down a wall that wall will remain that way unless you repair it with more materials! We have also added in the ability for blocks to drop resources. Cut down a tree and you will get wood. Break away stone and you will not get a stone block, rather, you will get stone bits that you can then combine to make a stone block. You can also use these stone bits for repairing blocks that are stone based!

With production moving smoothly we are looking at releasing an open alpha on 30SEP12. This is assuming the rest of our code goes as intended. Our biggest hurdles will be terrain generation, water, and character animations ( since we are having to code our own model loader ).

Next week, I plan to show off our crafting system and give you full details on how it works! Stay tuned! Oh, one sidenote, do you think we should setup a forum for discussion about the game? If so post here saying so or pm me and I will make one happen.




Great progress *thumbs up*
Thanks, next is going to be characters and animations. May take some time though since we got do to the loader. I keep meaning to download your project but the site you host from does not allow resume on download. I am on a shitty 25kb connection while deployed so... i cant really download 50mb in one shot. If you need file space i can host your file for you on a few places I own. Let me know.

I keep meaning to download your project but the site you host from does not allow resume on download. I am on a shitty 25kb connection while deployed so...

Ohh..I wasn't aware, that this could be a problem. I will test it with a download manager.

Thanks, next is going to be characters and animations. May take some time though since we got do to the loader.

I've got very good experiences with a file converter, which converts and optimises a given model (collada or fbx) into your own format. This makes model loading in your game much faster and you can use time consuming algorithm in your converter without fear of long loading times.
Would you be willing to share that information? That is our biggest issue... we don't have animations. We have an actual loader but no animations.

Let me know when you get that download fixed so it works on resume. I want to see what you have so far. I was really interested by your forest thread.

Would you be willing to share that information? That is our biggest issue... we don't have animations. We have an actual loader but no animations.

It is a little bit unclear where I could help ? Do you need help to create animations (i.e. with blender), to import them (i.e. with assimp), or to display them in your game ?
This issue is we are using C# ( assimp does not work with C# currently ). Collada was the only loader that was working but it only loads static mesh and does not have any code to load the bones. Thus, we are stuck having to create that loading... unless you or another person knows of a tool that loads bone information as well as an object into C# SlimDX projects!

One of the pitfalls of moving to DX11 system is that they removed the call to load a model. XNA had all of that already in there for us and thus it was simple. This will prove to be a bit more complex

This issue is we are using C# ( assimp does not work with C# currently ). Collada was the only loader that was working but it only loads static mesh and does not have any code to load the bones. Thus, we are stuck having to create that loading... unless you or another person knows of a tool that loads bone information as well as an object into C# SlimDX projects!

Sorry, I'm not aware of C# libs. Maybe there're other options, but why don't you write a convert in C++ and your game in C# ? This way you have access to all the libs you needed and still are able to write your game in C#.
Looking forward to your next entry with the crafting system!!! :D
Looks pretty tight! All Voxels? Great job keep it up!
wow, this is getting really cool, can you post a screenshot with a tree? i'm curious to see what you have made since that post...
We just got the model guy to join the team yesterday. I should have a tree done within the week... the bigger news is we are looking at dropping perlin noise and going with libnoise! If we can recode it to work with our C# project ( which we can ) a server owner would be able to have a slider to control almost every aspect of the map. How deep ore spawns, how much, everything! How high cliffs go, how many, where they are located.... the possibilities are rather endless.

As for the development, our crafting system is 90% complete. Thy only thing left now is to add in the player skill. After that we will be working to add in player stats, bonus's, class information, and racial information. The course of the next two weeks should prove to be a wealth of information.
Nice work! I have two questions though...
1.: Is the performance impact of FXAA really that high? Can you compare it to a driver enabled FXAA like in the GeForce driver? It also looks a bit blurred wich is an issue of FXAA but it seems a bit too much. But its late here and it could be my eyes...
2.: How do the dynamic shadows look with FXAA enabled? Does it deal with the aliasing artifacts or do you consider adding soft shadows later?
1) We went from 200+ fps to about 150, so the hit is rather large... but I have not tested it with gforce driver enabled stuff. I am not sure I see the blurred effect you are speaking of. Maybe bloom? we do have bloom enabled ( which you can disable ).

2) Dynamic shadows do not use the FXAA at this point. There are small aliasing artifacts but we are not really focusing on shadows too much at this point. Right now is content implementation, after that we will work on the finer things and finally optimization.
I think that should be ok cause fps is not a linear measurement. I was just confused about the 46 in the top right corner of the screenshot and forget what I said about the blur. Probably its the bloom in addition to the absence of the aliased edges so its not really an issue.

I was just curious because FXAA is a screen space technique that normally is applied at the end of the effect chain. I thought it maybe has an effect on the shadowedges when the shadows were drawn before. And your right. Keep on focusing on the essential stuff.
I checked after you said that and it really did not seem to have an effect. The shadows have some jagged edges. Sadly I am not really concerned about that at this point. I went into several AAA titles and noticed their shadows were less than.... appealing. While it would be good to have top of the line, it is such a small feature that most people will not even notice it. The best part of the game is? You can create your own shader and add it to the shader folder so that for you... it will be just as you like! :)

Our current goals are:
- Character creation
- Character movement
- Skill production
- Finished crafting
- Particle System

Terrain generation is proving to be annoying but with the libnoise we might actually have a real solution to control those things we desire. We will see.... we are only getting better with the time that passes. We can render an entire 32x32x256 chunk in less than 6ms! Pretty impressive if you ask me.
That's true...The shadows in AAA titles make me cry sometimes...I love the idea with the custom shaders!
The rendertime is really nice but it depends on hardware I think. However your culling and whatever you use to improve the performance seem to work very well. And your ToDo List looks a bit like mine except that I'm not working on a voxel based system.
Interesting, got a link to your project?
Not yet. I don't think its the right time. I have finished the core engine and started working on AI and gameplay parts. Also I want to add more content and some features to the engine before I make it public.
Ah, well good luck and hope you are doing well with it.
Thanks I hope it too but the progress is great so far.

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