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Original post by Mike T Guys, there's no need to spam the board. This is a game development site. I'm sure there are plenty of rap sites out there to battle on. The language was entirely inappropriate.. somewhere out there a little baby is crying and it's all your fault.

I'm sorta sitting on the fence right now about a few issues regarding Golem3D.

1) Skeletal Animation base code
I've written a fairly decent implementation of skeletal animation that allows for a component-based character appearance pretty easily, but the system is fairly rudimentary. It does not support the blending of multiple animations, nor does it allow for vertex weighting and assignment to multiple bones. I'm considering switching over to a third party library such as Cal3D. Thoughts? Horror stories?

2) Shadows
Initially, I hadn't planned on doing any sort of complex shadows, and I still question the necessity for such. My first thought was to do a sort of 'generic blurry oval' shadow, drawn in a pass after the terrain is rendered and before the object is drawn. Obviously, this would preclude shadows for elements of level geometry (cliffs, bridges, etc...) since a blurry oval for a tower or a bridge would look strange. Being the utter 3D n00b that I am, I am unfamiliar with the possibilities regarding shadowing algorithms and the kind of performance I can expect, as well as any possible patent traps waiting to happen. (I've heard that some shadowing algorithms are patented, thus presenting a dicey situation in the horrendously unlikely event Golem3D ever becomes a commercial product). Thoughts? Ideas?

3) Water
Complicated water is not my thing, dig? Anytime somebody shows off the latest, greatest water-rippling and reflection/refraction demo, my instinctive reaction is a sort of bored yawn, and a disinterested glance elsewhere. Same with all the highly detailed cloud and atmospheric effects demonstrated by Yann and others. I'm not saying they're not impressive; they're just not impressive to me. However, I would still like to implement water in some form, and I wonder about the best way of doing so (without digging into a whole lot of the aforementioned boringness). Again, thoughts?

4) Wall transparency
In Golem 1 I did a fairly effective wall transparency effect, and doing similar in Golem3D would be trivial. However, given Golem3D's camera (which can be rotated around the vertical axis) I question the necessity of implementing the transparent walls. My evolving vision for Golem3D includes a central theme that is more centered around outdoor levels as opposed to underground or indoor levels where wall transparency is more relevant. I personally am not really happy with most wall-fading algorithms I've experienced, and I look at wall-fading as a sort of necessary evil in most games.

Those are just a few of the issues I'm going to be taking on in the next couple of weeks, starting with the skeletal animation question. Any input would be appreciated.
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