Coffee Diary 1/6/20


Hey Exanimates,

For some time now we've been wanting to update our GI system to overcome some of its limitations. It can't really deal with large open spaces, or smaller objects, particularly dynamic ones. We've even considered layering SSAO into it, yuck!

Madoc has been thinking about these issues for a long time now, but it wasn't until about a month ago that he had some promising ideas. As he thought about it, more of the pieces were just falling together. Now with the entire shading pipeline being reworked, and the new tools allowing the rendering to be programmed in real time, we decided to put these ideas to the test.

What started as some preliminary tests became an almost complete implementation inside of a week. The results are better than we could have hoped, it looks really good. It solves all our problems and meets our requirements. It's fast, it's fully dynamic, it scales to large environments, it adds detailed indirect lighting, so we don't ever need to consider crappy AO again. It even already outputs everything we need for some good volumetric lighting.

There's a lot of improvements being done to the rendering, but this alone will add a huge amount of depth and realism to the graphics. It will also greatly improve visual effects for the upcoming force thaumaturgy and other things.

Kieran is working on updated assets for humans to solve some problems and restrictions we have, and greatly simplify the process of making apparel and layering it. He's making quite a few quality improvements too. The updated core assets can be developed gradually in parallel, and when they're ready we'll make the switch. Then we'll be able to improve many things and add new types of clothing that we previously couldn't do.

The new arena environments and assets are nearly complete, and work continues on story content too. Hopefully we can wrap up all the graphics systems improvements soon, and then focus on completing the gameplay systems for the overhauled arena and other features.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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