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KREEP, radioactive.

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Hi everyone!

Long time no see. It is, that time of the year, everyone gets sick, first my fiancee, than me, and shortly after my cat followed sad.png. Still had some time to work on KREEP, but had no energy to prepare and post updates lately, sry. But, HUGE update this time wink.png!

It looks like I can keep the middle of October release. Last two weeks were mostly about extra content, polish and "would love to have it, if time allows" features, upcoming two will be similar as I'm preparing for launch smile.png! Biggest addition this time is a so called "graphics revamp". After I've finalized the menu, I looked over the remaining tasks, plans and parts where I wanted to beef up the atmosphere and looks of the game. I've introduced some new audio-visual effects where I felt it was necessary to have more cues about certain events (e.g.: re-spawn, teleport etc...), and tried to enhance the overall visual looks of the game with a glow and scan-line effect.



I know, that people are divided regarding pixel art + programmed effects, like: glow, scan-lines and shaders, so the effects, as seen in the video, can be fully disabled, but I really like the end result, and I think it fits and enhances the style of the game, so they will be on by default.

Little technical details: I know, adding effects like these to a game is no biggie from a technical standpoint (just a few line of HLSL or GLSL from the net and you are done biggrin.png), but I thought I throw in a fun-fact about my solution. I used the fixed pipeline only, no shaders. No I'm not out of my mind rolleyes.gif, also I know how to apply a simple blur in a shader cool.png. Simply I found it refreshing/interesting to do it this way, and since it was a relatively simple thing (XNA/MonoGame due to it's DX9 roots allows it without any hustle), it wasn't more complicated doing it in an old-fashioned way.

Here is a little technical overview of my rendering steps:
2015_10_03_showcase_effects.png
Little cheat: the actual glow part (steps #1 to steps #5) is repeated multiple times, due to groups of sprites covering each other and hence the "glowing" pixels too, like one for the map and one for the UI elements on top of it...
The core logic is essentially down-sampling than up-sampling using an off-screen buffer and LINEAR clamping (blur) and overlaying the result using ADDITIVE blending (glow).

Added some new sprite effects, for more "readability" of what is happening. They work like a charm!

Teleporter effects:
gallery_228029_978_67884.gif
Re-spawn effects:
gallery_228029_978_2189.gif
Score counter:
gallery_228029_978_7804.gif
Latest addition to the UI was the "KREEPometer", showing the progress of the KREEP occupying the level:
gallery_228029_978_6174.gif

Also, I think the glow and scan-line effects add a great deal of extra life to the UI:
gallery_228029_978_14210.png

Been active adding new maps to the game. Next time I'll post some more screen-shots, but here is a pic about the "Gargantuan":
gallery_228029_978_42798.png
The pest alarm signaled the crew into the engine room of the largest ship in the fleet.

By the end of next week, the game will be in a quasi finished state. I think only minor patching will be needed here and there. I will try to come up with an exact date (probably somewhere around 16th of October) and other details about the release, plus will put together some cohesive writing about the project.
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I like the scanline effect, but the glow effect is too subtle for me to notice it, I don't suppose you have a side-by-side, or a gif of it being toggled on/off?  I watched the video where you turned it off and on, but it backs out to a menu, and I just can't see the difference between the two, even after watching it twice.

 

Either way, game looks great, I dig the animations, the teleporter effect is cool, and I like the KREEP number, subtle UI like that can make a big difference.

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