General Category > AI War II - Lore, Vfx, Sfx, Code, & Meta

First art look: Buzzing Bees! Those are icons!?

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They're so cute! I just wanna send thousands of them to glorious death in battle. 

So the ship itself is colored to indicate player, and the subtle halo effect around the edge indicates their current behavior?

Various notes from me:

1. Oops on those imgur links.  I can't see how to fix them, though.

2. Yes, we're able to do waaaaaay more in terms of the sprites now.  This is leaping forward from the equivalent of think PS1 to PS4 in terms of what we can do shaders-wise.  We were using legacy vertex-lit with no actual lighting in the past.  Now we'll most likely use Forward.  There's quite a lot we can do with shaders, although I'm not yet committing to more than DX9 and equivalent (still a ton you can do there).  Shader model 4.0 I'm willing to state as a min req, though.

3. At any rate, blend modes and a whole bunch of other stuff is possible nowadays.  On a case-by-case basis in terms of determining our performance budget.

4. As for the GUI itself, bear in mind that these are far zoom icons and the thing that you'll see most of the time unlike zooming all the way in.  Obviously the two things need to blend together okay, and some of the larger ships may not actually have far zoom icons anymore (instead just continuing to draw the freaking giant 3D model -- we shall see; it might do both, since a giant thing disappearing into a tiny icon can feel so strange, but not having an icon for it can be equally inconsistent).

5. So yes it does need to be complementary to the graphics that are 3D, but that kind of goes both ways.  We want to be serious enough in tone with these that they are attractive and don't seem like they are a different game, but we also don't want them to be super bland in order to be serious enough.  There's some sort of middle ground there, and we're not to that point yet.  I'll be showing off some of what the 3D stuff will likely look like soon, although bear in mind that how those are shaded and lit and colored will still be very much up in the air until we get performance test results from a variety of machines, and as we try to make both that style and this style of the 2D icons move toward one another.

6. Overall I think that the far zoom icons are the harder part, because the density of information they have to convey is just insane, whereas the ships themselves in 3D are mostly "pretty things to look at."  Same as the close-up shots of ships in AI War Classic were.  The tiny icons that have to show owner, ship type, mark level, orders, and health are by far the harder thing, heh.  So she's been starting from that as a baseline goal, along with just generally trying to make these look better than the prior game did.

Yep I am kinda curious how the 3d graphics are going to look, from my work on Star Ruler I can tell you that you will want to have self-shadowing, AO and proper color grading + HDR image space for that color grading... space tends to be very dark, and you really need those contrast ranges ;) Also shadows disabling specular effects and stuff like this ;)

Btw, are you still wondering how to fix weird artifacts with TAA? Shift models 1 pixel left/right alternating between frames apparently (thanks to Doom graphics reconstruction, now we all know......) ;p

These look great, but I don't know how everything on the screen would look if everything is glowing.

Captain Jack:

--- Quote from: Cyborg on September 12, 2016, 08:19:39 pm ---These look great, but I don't know how everything on the screen would look if everything is glowing.

--- End quote ---
Like the Spire but Christmas light colored.  ;D


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