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Member Since 30 Jun 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 02:46 PM

Topics I've Started

Space Game PBR shader and metal materials

16 May 2015 - 02:28 PM

Hello.  I'm messing with a spaceship in Unity 5(the new "Standard" shader).  I've messed with both the metallic and the specular workflow, and I'm not getting the results I wanted.  It is my fault though, see, a mostly metal material(regardless of workflow) won't be seen much regardless of lighting, unless it has something to reflect.  For non-metallic things, this isn't a problem, as the albedo color let's it show the diffuse lighting, but in the case of metal, the albedo should be black(or even with the metallic workflow the albedo is no longer only albedo, rather turned into reflective color if something is metal).  This is understandable, as a PBS shader is trying to mimic real life, and in real life(unlike what you see in Star Wars/Star Trek) a fully metal ship in very low lighting would actually black if there isn't much to reflect, or at least that is how I see it.  And since a typical space scene skybox is mostly black/blue with some stars, nebula, etc...  there isn't much to reflect.


Now, Unity let's me use my own choice of cubemap separate from the rendered skybox in order for there to be reflective lighting, so it can render the star skybox in the scene, and use something else to decide what lighting/ambient the scene will have for the PBS materials, which is great.  I've tested with a few things though, and I can't get a very good result.  This includes a basic cloud filter texture, an actual cloudy sky, and even solid color, and frankly it doesn't look very good for this scene.  I'm sure if you were under sky on some planet, then I could get something looking right, but in outer space, what would you guys recommend?  I'm sure I'm not the first one to make a game in space using PBS materials, so what works?  Thanks in advance for your suggestions and help.

Organimetal Graphics

23 March 2015 - 04:08 PM

I'm looking for some opinions on this graphics style.  I've never went for something quite like this, but I'm thinking it is somewhat different.  I'm actually doing this using 3d renders with toon shading to get this look.  The only reason I'm not putting outlines on it is because it is in space and space is mostly black anyway and I don't think another color outline would look right.




What do you guys think?  The game is a top-down space shooter that plays similar to Asteroids, but will have a variety of enemies, weapons, levels, etc...  Would the style fit, assuming everything matches?  I know screenies don't do it justice, but everything will be able to be animated.  The asteroids already do, though it doesn't show yet.  The aliens will have animations that will be easy to make in the same style, as all I'm going to have to do it is move polys around(either with bone animation, vertex shape keys, or both).  And I have all the power of Blender as well, so I can animate things like the colors at will too.


The backgrounds will be similar as to what is on the screen, but with more variety of stars, and different colors too.  I have made a nice base to work with that will let me easily change how many stars, what variety and colors etc...  It isn't a "Star Generator" exactly, rather simply Blender particle settings.


Thanks in advance.  Once I get some actual gameplay going  I'll be glad to post a video to get better feedback, but I'd like to go ahead and get what I can.

Mixing 3d prerenders with traditional tilemaps(or how to make 3d tiles work)

25 October 2014 - 04:16 PM

Hey guys.  Thanks in advance for any help and advice.  I'm in a different situation than many people.  I like 2d graphics, and 3d graphics, depending on the game and situation.  But me personally, I'm not much of an artist, 2d or 3d.  Somehow though, my simplistic 3d models(as rendered low-res for 2d games) end up more acceptable than my wannabe pixel art or other 2d art forms(vectors, simply drawing, whatever).  Now, as far as making tiles for games, I'm not as bad, but when it comes to animating and drawing characters, that is another story.  So, I'd like to find a way to make it work and have a nice cohesive style.


If I prerender graphics using a toon shader and either outline or not, I get one(or one of a group of) style/styles.  But if I draw tiles using 2d(via pixel art methods or vectors or simply drawing in digital form), I get a different style.  Are there any tricks to make these work together somehow?


Or...how possible is it to try creating 3d models for tile creation instead?  I know for isometric projection it would work fine generally, but even then, what methods are possible for example to make two separate models(for different tiles) mesh properly together.  If I were to do it pixel art form, I could create a base tile for grass, create some variations from it, and then combine it with say a sand tile with different corners as needed.  The easy way to do this for me is using Cosmigo Pro Motion since it can easily let you draw seamless tiles by repeating them while drawing, and then allows you to draw via a sort of "tiling engine" in order to blend different tiles/corners/etc...  But if I make tiles this way, it gets the problem I mention in the first paragraph.


If I render "3d tiles" I can't figure out how to make them blend together.  If I use a seamless texture I can get a quad(or even bumpy terrain kind of thing) to be seamless when rendering if I'm careful, but how could I get for example grass to mix with sand?  The only way I can think is to create a separate model of sorts and doctor it up, but that is much less intuitive than doing it with 2d.


The other thing for example, is if I want to create tiles for a side-scroller/platformer.  If I want a grass platform(3d rendered for 2d), I need at minimum a middle and one endpiece(or two so I don't have to mirror).  It is easy enough to create a single model 3x1 tile units in size for a render.  But if I wanted to use it as a tileset, how would I then get the middle part to be seamless with itself?  Maybe I'm wrong, but I would think there is some sort of trick to it.  This also applies for example if I wanted to make a top-down game, shooter, space, whatever.  How would I get for example an alien wall with endpoints and corners to be seamless between middle parts?




If someone wants examples of what I'm talking about, I can whip up some quick 3d renders with marking showing what I mean.

Retro(Sfxr/Bfxr) Sounds In A High Detailed 2d Game

22 May 2013 - 11:07 AM

I'm interested in opinion on this subject.  The graphics I'm referring too would be 3d rendered sprites, which I'm rendering with Blender.  The majority would be at the least 32x32, but most are closer to the 64x64 size, which allows for pretty high detail.  Now, sound effects on the other hand, I'm interested in using bxfr/sfxr for them.  The sound effects therefore would be more "retroish", and therefore wouldn't exactly match the visual style.


My question is, how do you(as potential game players) feel about this combination?  Are there any examples of games like this?  I know that the SNES games generally could be like this, but generally the sprites were lower detailed than this, and/or the sounds weren't quite as "retro" as the ones from sfxr.

Creating "Chains" of objects with smooth motion.

12 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

I'm making a game with Game Maker(Studio), but I understand C/C++ so that won't be a problem.

I'm looking at creating a bit of variety. Simple chains that follow a path are pretty easy, but what about chains that are more "wild." It seems like they are partly IK chain based, but I'm not so sure, considering that I don't think older platforms had enough power to really do IK with this many "links/bones" as these games have. So it seems to me that in general this should not be too difficult to do. I'm pretty sure it wasn't done pre-drawn, also considering the limited space constraints of these old platforms. I have found a few videos so you can see what I'm talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUoAVtYn6GQ at time 1:54. The guy talking is pretty stupid sounding, but it is a good example, which is the scorpion boss from Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past(SNES) You can see the scorpion tail is "wagging" for the most part, but then gets shot out towards link.
http://www.youtube.c...?v=NcXuvqwIztc is the final boss to the SNES game BioMetal( a really difficult Shooter). You can see the "arm" chain thing at the bottom that moves around pretty fluid and random, and doesn't appear to follow a given path, or be constrained to an IK chain type thing either.
There are other examples, including bosses from the Contra series of games.
So, does anyone have any insight how to create this effect. I'm sure the ones where the chain objects simply follow the leader is easy, as you can simply have each one follow the next one in line, but how about the fluid circular motion, etc...?

Thanks in advance for the help.