Next release likely on Monday — but check this out!

Hey all, Chris here.  As I wrote earlier today, I’ve taken a tangent into some other work.  This was work that was on my todo list anyhow, but it’s stuff that is coming up much earlier than I had expected because Cinth thought of a few things and I then wanted to try those out sooner than later (to avoid later rework).

It’s been a lot of shader-writing today, as well as a lot of experimentation and post-image-processing work in general, and profiling the GPU pipeline, and so on.  The result, so far, is something that I think should be about equal load to the prior version of the game, but which looks far better.

But the tricky bit is that now this is bottlenecking everything else; I have to finish this before I can even check in my current batch of work, and it touches a great many things.  So no release today, but I think I’ll have it fully sorted out for one on Monday.

Here are some screenshots of how things look at the moment in my little testing scene for all the various ships:

The image above shows the forcefield generator transitioned over to using the Standard shader in unity (and thus the PBR — Physically Based Rendering — pipeline).  Previously this was all using custom shaders by me, and using lots of rim lighting and such.

But now it is keeping the painted look from Blue, mixed with the metallic look that is very modern, mixed with the existing emission maps.  The result is something hybrid, as you can see with the forcefield generator, above.  I’m really excited about it.

You can also see one of the new space skyboxes that I’m working on.  These look more modern and are more gradient-based, as well.  More stylized and less perlin-looking noise and gaussian effects in the nebulae.

Oh, also, you can see how the warp gate is looking now.  It’s vastly more metallic in most of its parts, except where it has emissions.  The purply look was rubbing me the wrong way the longer it stayed, and I wanted something simpler while still keeping the emission maps and the LINES that go into the normal maps (bumps on there).  This hits a good middle-ground.

This next one, above, shows a different space skybox scene.  And then it also shows a view of the converted bomber and fighter.  Those are using the PBR shading, as well as the existing paint style from Blue.

With the bomber I actually made a metallic map for it so that the really pretty painted areas of orange on it (barely visible in this one) would stay very matte-feeling.

The fighter will need one of those also, and/or some lighting adjustments in general; but that one already had some texture checkup work scheduled.

In the very far bottom area, you can catch a glimpse of some of Cinth’s derelict alien husk models that got all this started. 😉  They aren’t done, but they’re coming along well.

This last one, above, shows a bottom view of the space dock (why not).  This gives a good view of some of the metallic effects and how that changes it to not look matte, mixed with the existing emission maps and so on.  I think it works out as a really nice hybrid.

And then there’s the background sky, which is yet another of the new ones.

Meanwhile, Blue has been working on the icon rework process with a lot of forumites, and I’m pleased with how that is progressing as well.  Hopefully on Monday this feels like a pretty complete revamp in some ways, although her new icons stuff won’t be in until later next week even if she finishes it this instant, because there’s some coding on my end I need to do to handle the different style of icons.

Anyhow — happy weekend!

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