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EARLY night time screenshots

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I've been through several attempts at implementing the night time mode into the game. It's quite an interesting problem considering the size of the city and the number of street/window/car lights. Also the fact that the time is completely dynamic...I need to be able to seamlessly transition the appearance of the city day into night at a whim.

So I've come up with a way to have 100s of dynamic lights in the scene. The overhead is about the same as rendering the shadow maps. So when the shadow maps turn off for the night...I switch on the dynamic light rendering code. So the game's frame rate stays the same throughout pretty much.

There are a number of things I'm doing to make this work...
1 - 'Window maps' [/ glow maps] for every building in the city. These window maps represent the reflectiveness in day; and the luminosity at night. They're usually a 128x128 or 256x256 texture of the building texture, with white representing window, and black representing everything else.

2 - Support for 100s of lights dynamically. This is pretty much faked using projective texturing and a light-lookup done by each object to determine the most influencing light source. So each entity isn't affected by more than 1 light source...hackish, but it works. Though any part in the city can theoretically be affected by 100s of lights at once. I use projective texturing for the car headlights, streetlights, etc. I'm still working on this area a bit. I'll have more once I finish everything up.

3 - Post process glow. I'm rendering these window maps into a separate texture and doing a blur and output of the result. This produces a washout effect.

I still need to tweak a lot of the window maps, I got better half way through the process of creating them, and so the first ones aren't as good/clean. Got to go back and touch them up.

Streetlights are still buggy, sometimes the projected light textures don't blend right at geometry intersections. I need to fix this. Should be done tonight.

Lots of other work to do as well...these are by no means final...just a work in progress. Let me know what you think...

//Just after sunset looking across the city. I enjoy the look of this screenshot.
//Though it's probably not representative of the final product, I do like the look. The 'window maps' really added a lot to the night time scenes.
//I still need to go through and 'turn off' some of the windows to make it look more realisitc. Right now they're all turned on, for testing.

//1000s of streetlights throughout the city.
//This is a screenshot of the buggy implementation.
//Numerous errors in this screenshot.
//I'll hopefully have this all wrapped up soon.

//Dynamic test light in the front center. It follows the cursor all over the city.

//I like this screenshot. The sky is pink because the sun is going down.
//Though if you're in a big city at night and you look up at the sky...it will have a similar pink glow due to all the lights in the city. That's why I like this screenshot so much.

//Up high. You can see one of the dynamic test lights following the cursor in the middle of the screenshot.
//This is how all streetlights/headlights are implemented.

//Yup...big time work in progress.

//New post process glow, high end ps2.0 version

//New post process glow, high end ps2.0 version

//New post process glow, high end ps2.0 version

//New post process glow, high end ps2.0 version

- Dan
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You wish you could have as good a night effect as we do[wink]

Seriously though, it looks great, and I love the night scenes. When can we expect to be playing this?

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Pretty sweet night effect ya got there [grin] You should do a post process bloom, that would look awesome.

As far as any kind of release date, I'm still at "when it's done" lol. I'm really hoping to be finished soon though.

Coming up with "SOMETHING" for the night time of the game was a priority. I'm still trucking on some unique gameplay as well. I've got some stuff that's never been in a 'gangster' game before, and I'm excited to get it out. I also just wrote up 'design document v2.0' for the game, more in-depth. It helped me iron some issues out.

I'll def. post if there's any news :-D

- Dan

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Looks great! I love the windows of the building at night; although in one the windows seem a bit too high on the top floor (there doesn't appear to be a roof on that building).

Is there still a single player component, or has the game taken a multiplayer focus?

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This is really looking sharp... I've always had a soft sentimental spot for cities at night-time, so major bonus points from me for implementing a daylight system [smile]

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Ah, great stuff! I really like it already. Are there only graphics changes during the night, or have you considered that there will be less citizens walking around at night and that the type of people outside might not be your average office clerk?

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Awesome! But you lack dynamic shadows in the night, don't you? What is the advantage of making the streetlights dynamic and not as pre-calculated lightmap? Can you damage them and turn them off or something?

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'preciate it guys...

roel - Well I had to make a dynamic light system anyways for the headlights, etc. I might look into a system of lightmaps though. Suppose it would be faster...

Gaheris - Yup, I'll thin out the streetside population as night approaches.

Trapper Zoid - Heh...some building textures need a little tweaking I guess, I'm going to make another pass on the buildings and tidy things up.

ApochPiQ - I also enjoy city scenes a lot. There's just something about them...

- Dan

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I tell you, visiting this journal is never a disappointment. You’ve always got something great brewing up. Everything looks great, even with the minor problems that the images present. Keep up the great work and we’re all looking forward to reading more about future progress, as always.


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