Graphics current vs final

Discussion in 'Backers Lounge (Read-only)' started by galaxy366, May 4, 2013.

  1. galaxy366

    galaxy366 Member

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    It's me Galaxy366! Happy to return again to the forum :)!

    So I haven't been here since like last year and well a good 2013 still. So I watched the stream yesterday, some may have seen me talking in the chat by the same name.

    What I would love to know is how far are the graphics from ''done''? Will it still improve more or is this like almost final?

    Secondly would PA also get clouds? I haven't seen that of course.

    Love the forum and Uber for making this game! <3
  2. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    From the live stream it they talked about them being far from done.
  3. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    The graphics are far from finished. The general style will stay, the polycount will stay, but lots of fancy effects and improvements will be added.
  4. Nelec

    Nelec Member

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    Well they mentioned that they have not even started to implement post processing, so you can expect a lot better effects in the final game. The only thing that is sorta close to final polycount.

    And with clouds I doubt they will add them, it they would just get in they way and be annoying imo.
  5. galaxy366

    galaxy366 Member

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    Adding clouds are easy.

    Spore did this. The area you are has no clouds but at the edges of the planet you have them, as you move the clouds fade and reappear again. I saw this when you are in the Space stage.
  6. Nelec

    Nelec Member

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    Well I never played Spore, but I see what you mean, and I guess you would still be able to see the tactical icons through them anyway. Hopefully they will make them a graphical option though so people can enable/disable them.
  7. galaxy366

    galaxy366 Member

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    http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/ori ... 19/636681-[​IMG]

    Like this :) The clouds stay more on the edges.
  8. Nelec

    Nelec Member

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    'This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.'

    I think there may be a problem :p
  9. galaxy366

    galaxy366 Member

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  10. AusSkiller

    AusSkiller Member

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    Graphics are rarely anywhere near complete until the last month or two of development, so I wouldn't worry about anything visual until at least the beta. As they said in the live stream they haven't even got the post processes done yet so you can bet that nothing you saw in the stream is even close to how good it could look when it's released.
  11. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Clouds may not be(but they could be) hard to implement but that's not the problem with clouds in the first place. Neutrino said in the May 3rd LS Q&A that there won't be weather, most likely due to the issues of readability and the counter-intuitive nature of weather being visually present, but having zero effects.

    Mike
  12. acey195

    acey195 Member

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    The graphics are already pretty awesome and Uber already has plans to improve them even further. Possibly the ones below are among them :p.

    I just re-watched the stream and I tried to analyze the graphics a bit in their current state. Note that these are just my observations and the opportunities I see.

    the terrain felt a bit "flat" at some points, but I couldn't think of why at first. This is because the texture resolution is really high enough to create enough definition. You can see that for example the little swirls show no actual pixilation. The terrain already has quite some variations. So that is not the problem either.

    some things that may help:

    With post processing effects, we may get some ambient occlusion? that would really help the large terrain features like mountains to stand out better. Alternatively this could be done via virtual texturing (see next point)

    Additionally, the terrain decal system does not really work together with the CSG pipeline yet from what I have seen, when the decal system creates details near the edges of cliffs, I think it will also look a lot better right away. It would create a more connected environment and making the terrain read better by creating a bit more contrast.

    One final thing is that the terrain texture tiling factor is possibly a bit too high, while you cannot really see visible tiling, due to the awesome virtual texture system, some texture detail is lost because it becomes so small with the high tiling. However changing this would also have style implications.
  13. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    You really have to make everything harder than it needs to be right?

    Clouds could simply be styled according to the planet type. No more complex than that. No different from the colour of the atmosphere or the textures on the terrain.
  14. AusSkiller

    AusSkiller Member

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    You've never written code to create and render clouds have you ;).
  15. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Sort of. There's the main approach of using particle systems of which they already have plenty and there's the other approach of using meshes which is imho far superior but also more expensive.

    For the purposes of clouds on the edges of planets only simple billboards could really suffice. And would also be able to be much more artistry involved in painting said billboards and they would probably look the nicest.
  16. smallcpu

    smallcpu Active Member

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    Eh, you could do clouds wherever there is no vision, ie. in fog of war.

    In addition to looking pretty, it would also give you info about where you have vision or not.
  17. fellowplanet

    fellowplanet New Member

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  18. acey195

    acey195 Member

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    under the hood the current engine already supports way prettier terrains :p.
    I have read a lot into how Spore does their terrains for my project (Thanks Ben), as well as actually owning Spore (biggest disappointment ever :(, it could have been so great):

    S: simple hightfield (heightmap for spherical cubes)
    PA: CSG, which allows for way less generic terrain. which supports sharp edges and in theory could also support even caverns I think

    S: a color gradient over the height to color the entire terrain (dependent on global climate) with some noise texture over it.
    PA: virtual texture system, which would allow for a 100% unique texture (no visible tiling at all), can have multiple climates over the planet's surface.

    S: very large, but relatively few plants (gets more when you get closer)
    PA: loads of placed objects, even when far away in the last stream.

    however, true, it does not look actually prettier YET. Due to a lack of art content at this point and the absence of post processing, such as the distance blurring that Spore has. As well as I have not seen real hills in PA yet, as opposed to cliffs, which it obviously already has.
  19. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    I'd say the Current Graphics already outstrip Spore by a fair margin, and it'll only get better.

    Mike
  20. v41gr

    v41gr Member

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    clouds are a nice idea

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