• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cozzie

Shader per mesh instance versus per material

2 posts in this topic

Hi,

I'm currently rebuilding the shader/ effect system in my engine. With this I run into the following:

- before the changes I defined a specific shader/effect for each object (mesh instance)
- if not explicitly defined, the 'base' shader/effect is used
- this base shader/effect contains lighting, texturing, normal mapping etc.
- in practice up till know I didn't have any reason to create a different effect for a specific object
- I now have some overkill on using a large base shader for everything that's rendered

So I partially implemented the following solution:
- switch from shader/effect per object to per material
- that way I can compile different versions of my base ('uber') shader with defines for specular, normal mapping etc.
- then per material I select the correct effect/shader, based on the material properties (normal map yes/no, specular color yes/no etc.)

This all sounds nice and logical I think, but..
To put this change through in my whole engine (including IO, scene management, renderqueue), is quite some work. So I'd like be sort of sure that this is the right approach.

Could you think of reasons why I would want to have a specific shader on a object level instead of material level?
Thinking ahead; things like bloom, specular map, fog, etc. I think would be on material or 'overall' base, not per object. I'm not sure about shadows/ shadow mapping (don't do that yet), maybe I can control that somehow on an object basis and set a flag shadows yes/no, and pass that with the material when I'm choosing the correct shader.

Any input is appreciated.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Per material probably makes more sense in general than per object, but yes, if you can use information from both when selecting the right permutation of an uber-shader, that could be very useful.

e.g. When an object is hit by a spell, maybe it needs to start glowing - that's a per-object decision, not a per-material one.

I also use this to make some decisions from other sources -- e.g. One uber shader might support both forward and deferred rendering - if shader permutation selection can query per-scene/per-pass info, it can choose between forward opaque/translucent or g-buffer programs.

The same goes for shader parameters (uniforms) - many will come from the material, but you'll also have ones sourced from the object, and ones sourced from the scene itself too.
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks. That means I'll build the base around having several compiled verslons of my ubershader (permutations), one being linked to a set of material properties. That way per material I select the right one. With this I'll figure a way out to be prepared for the future and create a "backdoor" to be able to add an effect "define" (to get another permutation) on a object level.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0