Monday 31 July 2023

Flaming July Raining July


Behold, 693 materials converted to PBR - but the models LOD out quick so you can't see that here - trustMeBro
July has ended as Flaming June started ... flaming wet. The chances of a good strawberry crop in August diminish by the second.

Work wise, every single object in Monsters Loot Swag has been updated to the latest engine version and the fancy-pants visuals of Physical Based Rendering (PBR). All 693 materials have been changed to get rid of the diffuse and specular mapping, and brand spanking PBR compiltable albedo and Occlusion / Roughness / Metallic (ORM) maps have been created. I also settled on a standard 512 pixel size for the vast majority of objects as they are not large enough during gameplay to warrant textures any bigger (except bigger boss monsters and the such which are now 1024 pixel maps). All of this should also help reduce the total memory footprint for texture loading.

This new version of Monsters Loot Swag will be initially available as a beta on Steam, before later becoming the standard game version.

Boris The Spoder-Tank reflecting a rather barren test level in real-time

All of the terrains for the already completed 7 levels (3 more to do) have also been updated to the latest engine build, and are now filled with reflection probes to simulate the area around specific features.

A reflection probe before I realized I had to embiggen the capture radius to get objects to reflect in it

Slowly and methodically porting the game to the new engine has caused a few issues, namely my previous disregard for naming conventions. Many files ended up being called "thing_x_new4_v08_redux_final_final2" and then added to a profile, but the new engine uses an asset system so suddenly naming is important, and the file's name becomes the profile name. This was further confounded by previously having multiple files of the same name in different folders, so a fair bit of renaming has occurred, especially in the 262 audio files which needed to be called the name of their profiles.

So, next up is getting the actual old gameplay logic to work with the new asset system. I am optimistic that this will not be too difficult and that the main issues will revolve around some renaming of server and client connection commands. As ever I prefer to work methodically so that I can actual see where things have changed and understand how the new processes work - which seems infinitely preferable to ham-fistedly ramming the whole game into the "convert to new build button" and then wondering why everything is a mangled arse afterwards.

Hopefully August will also see a return to some decent sunny weather and I can get back to shorts and a t-shirt rather than continue building an Ark in a jumper ... we live, as ever, in hope ...