Coffee Diary 15/6/20


Hey Exanimates,

Work on the GI system continues, we started off strong with a completed solution for injecting tilesets and architecture which is very fast and improved quality further. Then however we finally ran into some problems. As we said one of our main goals here was to properly cover much larger scenes, the current system can only cover an area about 50 metres across and 3 vertically around the player. We thought we had a solution, but when it came to actually measuring our worst case view distances we quickly realised it wasn't going to cut it. No matter how fast the GI system is, the workload and data grows exponentially with volume.

Take as an example the Ardent citadel shown in one of our early videos. We have a tower on a castle on a hill overlooking the land below. The volume of space here is huge, and there's no cheating, you can always go there, it could be a village with dozens of light sources and an ongoing thaumaturgic battle. We can't just turn the GI off, it's a crucial component of our lighting and visual effects. It all has to be dynamic, and we don't want to sacrifice performance or support for lower end systems.

This seemed like a big problem, and for a few days it had us quite worried. We got lucky though, we realised that some properties of the GI method and interactions with our existing scene structure and content streaming allowed us a different approach that solved all this, and would make the whole system even faster while supporting massive environments.

This will take a bit more work, there's a fair bit to do, though at this point we're sure we won't run into unexpected issues. Hopefully next week we'll be able to show some of this off with some screenshots or perhaps even a video.

Meanwhile work on content continues, and we're currently looking at finally introducing some proper vegetation into the game. The GI should give that some really nice depth, as well as support various other assets and effects that have been waiting to go into the game.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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