Author Topic: Sneak Peek At 5 Leaders In Stars Beyond Reach (Plus A Couple Of Screenshots)  (Read 8634 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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2. We don't do any 3D in any of our games at all.  In terms of racial portraits, they won't be animated, no -- that would be immensely troublesome to do in 2D in general.  Honestly in Civ that always creeped me out anyway, but that's just me. ;)


If not animating the figures themselves, at least animate the window they appear in. By having background stuff, particles flowing about, or leaves, or water bubbles or what not. And add a slight tone map so we can quickly discern their mood. You don't need 3d to reach Hearthstone levels of animations ;) It just needs a certain amount of "fx fluff" to look pretty.

Ps.: In CIV5 the leaders looked exceptionally good imo... it's just that they didn't really do anything with that...
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Offline x4000

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We'll see!  Our aim is to have a certain amount of time where our artists at the end of the project don't have anything core that they HAVE to be doing, and thus can work on purely-visual-fluff stuff.  That will be really nice to be able to do, and your suggestion here is definitely one that we'll look at.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Well you know me ;) To me visual fluff is important. It's what draws the line between good 2D (Stronghold 1) and bad 3D (Stronghold 2/3 / Crusaders 2 etc.) Fluff being simple graphical extra stuff that serves no gameplay purposes, it's just that there to add more density and life to a scene. ;) That adds variation and dynamic to your art assets that they can't have by themselves. Always with the goal that it does not affect anything gameplay wise.

If there is time to do it this can't hurt ;) 2D doesn't have to mean "static" ;)
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Offline x4000

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Oh yes, very much agreed.  We did some of that in TLF in a few areas (ship flybys in the background of menus, little satellites flying around planets on the main view), but we're trying to make time for more of that here.
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Offline madcow

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I'm a little late to this thread, but it's cool stuff!

Also, even moreso than in the Last Federation, the Acutian leader here really reminds me of the robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000. The face has a strong resemblance!

Offline x4000

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One of the other Acutians is a really pudgy CEO-type robot, it's really funny how different they are in personality while still being the same race. :)
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Offline doctorfrog

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We'll see!  Our aim is to have a certain amount of time where our artists at the end of the project don't have anything core that they HAVE to be doing, and thus can work on purely-visual-fluff stuff.  That will be really nice to be able to do, and your suggestion here is definitely one that we'll look at.
This is going to sound naive, because I'm the furthest thing from a developer, but what about a shader to go over the portrait? Depending on the shader/combination, you could visually communicate:
  • hinted movement in foreground/background
  • anger/happiness/fear toward you (with color/lighting angle/portrait trembling)
  • technology employed by the race (organic distortion versus electro-techy-looking distortion)
  • communications abilities, distance, etc. (via static)
You'd probably want the effect to be pretty subtle, if you decide to employ it at all. Just a thought. I guess I just picture a marketplace where 3rd party dudes have shaders for sale, cheap!  :P

Offline x4000

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The shaders generally are applied to 3D meshes to get the sort of effects you're talking about.  We do use shaders for 2D effects as well, but it applies to the whole image, not to parts of geometry like you are thinking about.

It's the difference between painting colors on a real car, or having parts of a real car sparkle, versus making a picture of a car look different ways.
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Offline Draco18s

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Yeah, if you want to do shaders on a 2D image, you'd actually be applying the shader through a masking layer (yet another texture).  You can do some awesome stuff that way, but it gets CPU/GPU intensive and fast.  Especially since it doesn't like to batch, statically or dynamically.

(The link there is an example applied to a 3D object, but could be applied to a 2D one as well; the orange part animates, swirling over the surface.  That object requires 3 textures to work correctly and a really complicated shader)

Link to that project (development on hold)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 12:04:51 AM by Draco18s »

Offline doctorfrog

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Ah, thanks for explaining that, fellas.

Offline Kingpin23

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Like what iv seen so far.
Looks like a huge project and cant wait to try it out when its finished.


Offline Zebeast46

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Can't wait for the Beta, I really like 4x games but sadly I only have civ 5 because I have not really found any others that I want to play
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Offline x4000

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Things are coming well!  It's going to be a bit of a while, though.  I still feel like we're on target for a full 1.0 in May, but I'm looking at having a much more complete/polished beta in early March rather than a more partial/early one before that.  It's something that is just feeling more appropriate for this game, so that the feedback on the beta is more focused.
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Offline ElOhTeeBee

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I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.

Offline DrFranknfurter

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Glad to hear work is still on track for the target May release. I hope you've all had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I'll be looking forward to the next sneak peek. Good luck with everything.

 

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