Coffee Diary 26/4/21


Hey Exanimates,

Last week we talked about how our procedural object workflow is allowing us to create more and more weapons as our library of components grows. With relatively little work we are creating millions of unique items. However the process of creating the 3D components is quite complex and tedious. There's a lot of extra technical steps that bog down the creative process, makes it difficult to get into, go back to, change or improve things, it's easy to make mistakes etc. At the end of last week we were trying to think of ways to streamline this process.

Some time ago, when we found ourselves creating many more and more complex assets than anticipated, we invested in creating node based tools for texture authoring and image processing. This was the best decision we've ever made. It's what allows our small team to create high quality assets, it's what made procedural objects at all possible, and what allowed us to remaster 1000s of assets for the new renderer in a very short time. This tool can turn days of work into minutes, and it reproduces and documents every step for anyone on the team to repeat, understand and imitate. We've been integrating more tools with this workflow, and it's really paid off.

It was obvious that the solution to our procedural workflow problem was to expand our node tools to also do mesh processing. If you're worried that we're going to spend more time on our tools now, you're too late, it's already done. We've added a whole new layer of designed automation, we can now create objects and these are mapped, split into components, adjusted for use in factories, deformations, procedural materials and outputted directly to game files, in just a couple of clicks. No more going through many confusing steps, numbers and names for each of the many components.

It only took a few days, but this will really speed up and improve how we make and maintain procedural objects. It also has lots of other applications in our content development pipeline that we'll probably be discovering for some time.

This week we also did quite a bit more work on outdoor rendering. We've made some nice improvements to lighting, we've got some new rain and wetness effects, and we've added fog, not the fancy volumetric thing yet, but it's inexpensive and leverages the GI to look quite nice.

We're still adding the library of procedural weapons, notably we've done all 17 falchion blade types which was quite a tricky one. We're thinking we'd like to add a bunch of weapons at once in the next patch, as releasing them in small batches kind of undermines the whole system. We're also working on the revised arena features, which at this point is the only development focus until the full update drops.

Have a great week!
-the BM team
I love you guys and your dedication to this amazing game. I know for a fact this game will blow up like nothing else when the right components are inevitably added. It's only a matter of time. maybe you all will change a generation.


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