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Alpha

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A few days ago we shipped a 3-level demo to various folks for testing and feedback.

So far, the feedback is mostly positive, with some good pointers for improvement. We have already made several changes based on user comments.

Looks like the next step is trying to figure out how to scale up development from a 3-level demo to the full game.

Here is a shot from the experimental dungeon level.


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Very cool. I really like the force field, and the many different ways you can use it to your advantage. Great work.

In the screenshot from the dungeon level it's hard for me to tell which aspects of the lighting are dynamic/static (which is a good thing I suppose [grin]).

It seems like the bottom of the pillars would cast a stronger shadow. Do you flag entities as either 'dynamic shadow casters' or 'static', and then generate light maps for all objects flagged 'static'? How many dynamic lights can effect each triangle?

Assuming that the shadows cast from the fire are dynamic...I was just wondering if you offset the position of the light by a small random amount each frame? This produces a 'flicker' effect. I noticed they do that in 'Oblivion' for torches, etc. I was just curious if you do it...as it would look great in that scene!

Keep up the good work. The game's looking fantastic.

- Dan

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Static parts of the level ( like the brazier ) always cast static shadows ( unless their material is marked as not a shadow caster ).

Dynamic entities ( like the player ) can receive shadows from none, the world or other entities, and cast shadows or not.

I have no moving lights in ancient galaxy, although I do support light colors & brightness changing for free at runtime ( like the orange light representing the brazier flame, which flickers in intensity ).

We may add short-range moving lights for a flare-gun effect, but it won't cast shadows.

There can be any # of lights on a surface, and each light can cast dynamic shadows or not.

Since my shadow maps are per-caster, I have a shadow_factor float value that effects how much shadow resolution to use for each object. This is great for de-emphasizing unimportant objects, but really useful for jacking up some objects with a large projected shadow, like the fan in the previous update, or shadows from a portcullis.

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As alpha tester I can say that your shadowing looks really great.

Something else: I'm quite curious which points you are going to improve/change based on comments of testers, (and specially if that matches my own experiences :) )

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That picture with the statue and fire reminds me of jedi knight outcast and academy. ahhh, i love those games. but it looks really good though, keep up the good work.

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