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Everything posted by Lithic

  1. Lithic

    Do You Like Time Trial Modes?

    In third person you have a bigger field of view and you can better see where shots are coming from when you're getting shot at from behind. But really the advantage doesn't seem significant and aiming is easier in first person. I think you're right, doing leaderboards only by difficulty level seems to be the way to go.
  2. Currently my game is single-player only. I've experimented with multiplayer, but my focus has been single-player and other modes are unpolished and probably won't make the release. I've been considering adding a time-trial leaderboard to add a competitive aspect to the single-player mode and increase replay value. However, I built both a first-person and third-person mode. Both are excellent and fun, but it seems unfair to have first-person players compete against third-person, so I'd be looking at two separate leaderboards (or 6 leaderboards if I go with 3 difficulty levels). Further, if I separate these modes from a leaderboard standpoint, then I can't allow a player to switch mid-game. I use a checkpoint system for save games and don't currently support multiple save slots, so the only way to play the other mode would be to start over. I'm also a little worried about cheating on the leaderboard, I don't really think that there's anything within reason I could do to prevent it, though I'd be lucky if my game was popular enough to have that problem. Do you think a time trial leaderboard is worth the trouble? Is it enough to just have a single-player game that's just fun to play without a competitive reason to replay? Here's some videos of both modes to add context:
  3. Lithic

    Do You Like Time Trial Modes?

    Interesting thought. While video recording would probably impose too much overhead on the framerate, it would be cheap to record positions, directions, and velocities of game objects and allow for a replay. Interpolating the recorded data and drawing with the game engine isn't much different than interpolating multiplayer data, it's doable but a fair amount of work to allow replay. Everyone's feedback seems to validate that it's worth adding this feature. For initial release I'll probably just enforce with refreshes, but maybe come back later and add replay support.
  4. My game has reached a point where I need voice or text objectives to tell the player what to do next. The HUD provides visual pointers for the next objective, but a verbal or text representation is badly needed and it would give the ability to layer in a storyline and add some depth. I think my favored approach is speaking avatars in the HUD, like in StarCraft, but I'm not sure how to achieve this. I'm open to buying lip-synced 2D sprites if there is such a thing, but it may be difficult to match my visual style with sprites. Another idea that I've considered is trying to record video sequences of actual people (either wholesale or splicing frames/clips). Anybody try to do either of these? Advice? Is it as hard as it seems? Doing a voice-over without avatars has struck me as a more practical alternative, in conjunction with a text representation of objectives (overlay when objectives change or when the game is paused). I fear this approach would be less immersive, but is it good enough for a single-player indie game? Are there examples of this that you think worked well?   Here's a video of the gameplay to give you some context:
  5. Lithic


    From the album: Screenshots

  6. Lithic


    From the Star Fighter game project
  7. Lithic

    Screenshot (62)

    From the album: Screenshots

  8. Looking for some advice on shadow mapping algorithms. Currently working on this game, shadowing is a very important visual effect for the planet-based levels. I recently implemented variance shadow mapping with cascaded shadow maps. To my dismay I'm struggling with some awful visual artifacts: I believe the primary cause of this is that I'm not rendering the terrain into the shadow map. While I've found some ways to mask these effects, I have not found a silver bullet and the shadows are often detracting from the visual fidelity of the planet.   The terrain is generated from a ridiculous fractal noise equation, thus actually drawing the terrain into the shadow maps is impractically expensive. I suspect due to these issues VSM is ill-suited for my game. Are there similar soft shadow mapping approaches that do not require drawing the terrain into the shadow map that might be better choices?
  9. Sorry for the slow response, just got back from my honeymoon!     I switched to ESM and I was able to reduce some artifacts. Even still, the terrain artifact is still there to a lesser degree. Prebaking the terrain is probably a solution, although it introduces a lot of complexity to solve a relatively minor artifact.     Already cleared to max depth. The artifact I'm referring to is caused by blurring between max depth and occluders with much lower depth value. A blur with a very large depth difference produces shadows with sharp edges and reduces the ability of the blur kernel to eliminate discretization artifacts. This produces an artifact where shadows that project onto the far plane are sharp and discrete, but the blur antialiasing works well when the shadow is projected onto a non-terrain surface and the shadow edges there are soft.     Not sure I follow what you're describing, if you could cite a whitepaper perhaps?   Another possibility I was looking at was ESSM, looks like it selects the blur kernel sizes variably, perhaps a solution might lie in a soft-shadowing algorithm like that.
  10.   Not at the moment, although i've considered precalculating areas where the player gets close for other reasons.
  11. Lithic

    Landscape At Dawn

    From the album: Screenshots

    Tweaked lighting in low-light situations, this is at dawn which will be the setting for the second level
  12. Lithic

    Landscape 2.0 Aliased Shadow

    From the album: Screenshots

    Working on redoing my terrain for a more realistic and detailed look. Fighting with some aliasing problems...
  13. Lithic

    Ground Fighting

    From the album: Screenshots

    Back from a nice long vacation! Tweaked the shadows some, scripting up the second campaign level
  14. Lithic

    Added Cascaded Variance Shadow Mapping

    From the album: Screenshots

  15. Lithic

    Early Cockpit

    From the album: Screenshots

    Still needs a lot of work (better textures, interactive in-cockpit HUD), but a cockpit view is coming soon!
  16. Lithic

    New Player Ship

    From the album: Screenshots

    Here's the new player ship. Will soon support a cockpit view as well
  17. Lithic

    More Fitted Shields

    From the album: Screenshots

  18. Lithic

    Fitted Shields Rotating Turrets

    From the album: Screenshots

  19. Lithic


    From the album: Screenshots

    The player fights a large armada before warping to the planet
  20. Lithic


    From the album: Screenshots

  21. Lithic


    From the album: Screenshots

  22. Lithic

    Planet Atmosphere From Space

    From the album: Screenshots

  23. Lithic

    Starfighter Alpha Video Preview

    Mouse, though probably would make for a better video using joystick or controller. Can run on tablet PC as well, though the framerate leaves something to be desired (about 20 FPS).
  24. Here's a video showing a preview of the alpha version of my game in development: Starfighter. There's some cool stuff at the end around :40 (boss and planetary warp effect), so if you get bored it's still worth jumping to that part.   Feedback is appreciated, as always!   http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=18iAJy10f2w&vq=hd1080
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