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How does the screenshots look?

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Hello all,


I would just like to thank everyone at this website and on the forums for helping me grow as a graphics programmer. It's been a long time coming, but now I think I want to post a picture and get some feedback regarding the scene.


Some things I will note


     The shadows are a little bit off (Still working on 'em)

     The HUD can use improvement (anybody have ideas ;) )

      The brief case holding flash's items still need some work


Anyhow, I love HONEST opinion's! So any feedback I'll gobble up!




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You could hide the HUD until something relevant happens that changes its content (for example, when user actually changes the item in use, or loses/gains health). Or, at least, keep a minimum set of info on the screen (such as the currently set item and health in some minimalistic way).


As a recent example, see how Metal Gear Solid:GZ does this; they don't show the HUD at all unless there is something meaningful going on (weapon/item change, radio transmission etc.). In addition, health (or more specifically, lack of) is represented as "blobs" and red color that visualize how wounded you are. This adds to the immersion. In some games, some people (including myself) prefer precise zelda-style health indicators, though, because health is something that the player can directly and precisely affect using items.


As for the graphics, a moderately complex next step could be to implement screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO). Said effect would make the visual appearance of things less "floaty", as concave corners would get shadowed slightly. This, in combination with correct shadows from primary light sources, will make the visuals much more comprehensible and realistic without much additional work.


Consider implementing real lighting to the characters, based on nearby light sources. This will make the appearance more consistent. You can highlight the characters by movement, or some detailing (such as clothing that is brighter than the background).


I assume that most of the resources shown in these scenes are developer art; when you do "production art", try to make the textures less repetitive by introducing additional layers of textures at different frequencies (or octaves). This will aid in keeping the visual look interesting.

Edited by Nik02

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Good work sofar.


I would revisit the streetlights first. They have some issues:

1. The light source is outside of the model. As long as you don't have per light-source shadows, putting it inside the model will help a lot to fake some good lighting.

2. Add some emissive light material to the streetlight-glasses to improve it.


More easy to implement imrpovements:

1. some scene fog

2. glow/bloom pass (works with forward and deferred renderer).

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The screens are extremely dark, to the point where you can't easily discern what kind of game it is just by looking at them.
You may want to look at other games and see how they solve the visual problem that is darkness.

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I would:

  • make things less dark
  • do something about the lights. They are placed strangely and the shape makes it very hard to tell what kind of light it is.
  • with the scale of the world, you could do something more advanced with texturinh to reduce the very obvious repeating texture look, like some form of detail mapping.

Otherwise, looks pretty good on a bright monitor.

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I'll repeat some things already said by others, but that just mean that it really is something to focus on first.

So, there are two main things to improve, in my eyes - textures and lighting.


Textures are very repetitive. I don't know how do you generate the world, but it seems to be not built in something like 3ds max/Maya/Blender, but rather made from "blocks" directly in the application code. If you are rendering the walls from separate blocks, each covered with a full texture, you could maybe try to make multiple variations of each kind of texture (bricks, grass...). That would require some clever work with an image editing SW, thought ;) Or try to change the rendering code to be able to use one larger texture spanning more blocks. Or use multitexturing - as Nik02 suggested. There are many ways.


Lighting. It's everyting very blue :) And very dark, even for a night scene. I would make bigger contrast between dark and lit areas.

I see a big problem in the lamps - they produce too little light around them. The top of the lamp is also oddly lit very strongly from one side.

And with a night scene like this, with multiple strong sources of lights, you really should consider making all the lamps cast shadows. It looks very "fake" when a source of light (lamp) casts a very storng shadow from some other source of light (Moon it is, I guess?) which however clearly is weaker. Similarly with the tree on the last image - the tree is close to a lamp, but cast shadow almost towards the lamp instead of away from it - that's not what a human brain would automatically expect.

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Thanks for the feedback!


Yeah, lighting has been the most single aggravating thing I've dealt with yet.

Maybe I can make the directional diffuse light a little bit more bright (not so dark blue)


Or at least as Tom said, make the contrast between the point lights and scene bigger.


I was planning on reworking those stone-hedgy things (Even I don't know what they are)

As of now they are defined directly in code and give off a voxel style graphics (which I'm trying to avoid)

So maybe if I actually pipe them through a modeling software (Like Blender) I can get a more pleasing result


If I go the multi-texturing route I'll have to make the textures seam-less (Make them tileable) and still look good


The point-lights should be within the top part of the lamp, I still have to get to that.


Now, Regarding the HUD. I was thinking of actually using normal mapped geometry for it

(I like the idea of only having it appear when the user interacts with it)


I'm glad everyone recognizes it's night time and the light is from the moon. (That is an improvement!)


I was thinking of maybe placing a camera at the point-light and have it's lookAt, face down (-y) and render that to the depthBuffer, any ideas regarding that would be awesome biggrin.png


Ambient Occulsion, might be my next milestone ;)


So i'll work on lighting (including the point-lights, and texturing first.

Then i'll mess with the HUD

Then maybe ambient occulsion.


Also, how would I go about doing the emission (I've seen other games that have done it, like a sphere of light around the top part of the lamp)

And the bloom?


Also, my monitor is very bright, maybe it's time to break out the CRT!




Edited by markypooch

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