Development Blog Update - Unknown Worlds Videocast #5

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  • FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment San Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,832Super Administrators, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer admin
    QUOTE(moultano @ Oct 10 2008, 03:55 PM) »
    One question on the lighting model as a mapper. Radiosity looks great, and I think it's what makes the graphics in source still compare favorably with games that do their lighting more dynamically. There's nothing at the moment however that makes real-time radiosity tractable on scenes as complex as a game. Will you be doing anything in the lighting model to simulate indirect lighting, or will mappers have to manually place lights to get that sort of effect?


    Hey moultano,

    Max actually experimented with this and got it working. He generated a bunch of bounced lights in realtime according to the lights you placed, to simulate radiosity. He didn't see that it made much difference. It also removed some control from the hands of the artist/mapper.

    He says he might put it back in though.
    Charlie Cleveland
    Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • DooGieDooGie Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34531Posts: 70Members, Constellation
  • sheena_yanaisheena_yanai Join Date: 2002-12-23 Member: 11426Posts: 4,469Members
    so will the volume lights be affected by players and yourself aswell? will we finaly be able to look down on our body to see our legs getting gnawed on by gorges? ive always felt like seeing my own legs when looking down makes the experience so much more immersive.. uuhm.. yesh.. the lighting is quite awesome, adds so much more atmosphere..cant wait to die in a room which gets suddenly dark because a onos blocks the light from the only door XD
  • supersonicdarkysupersonicdarky Join Date: 2007-08-18 Member: 61926Posts: 12Members, Constellation
    edited October 2008
    Very nice. Finally something besides flat models (although those are good too :>)
    - I'm not really hopeful o this one, but will the engine work with opengl? I would love to play ns2 on linux when it comes out, but if it's not opengl it pretty much makes it impossible with wine
    - are there player shadows? you never showed it so couldn't really tell (looks like this was mentioned while I was typing this)
    - the lighting/shadows on the weapons is very nice wink-fix.gif

    keep up the good work smile-fix.gif
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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    ^_^

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  • haymohaymo Join Date: 2005-01-09 Member: 34040Posts: 219Members, NS1 Playtester
    awesome!
    [PAPT]
    www.AusNS2.org // Australian NS community!
    // OLD LINK www.NSPlayer.net // Australian NS community!
  • PrefixPrefix Éirinn go Brách Join Date: 2006-12-31 Member: 59353Posts: 452Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(supersonicdarky @ Oct 11 2008, 12:36 AM) »
    Very nice. Finally something besides flat models (although those are good too :>)
    - I'm not really hopeful o this one, but will the engine work with opengl? I would love to play ns2 on linux when it comes out, but if it's not opengl it pretty much makes it impossible with wine


    Flayra has said previously that they are intrested in NATIVE Mac and Linux versions of the game.

    See this, and this.
    - Autonomy
  • RuByRuBy Join Date: 2002-12-12 Member: 10732Posts: 1,019Members
    Beautiful! Absolutely love the dynamic lighting. I'd like to see screenshots or better resolution footage of the game, even though you're still using NS1 artwork.
    Rubber*ducky or Rubert in NS, Kaelwe in WoW, and too many other sobriquets...
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  • EmpVEmpV Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34556Posts: 103Members, Constellation
    SICK!!!! I was also sitting here with my mouth gaping wide open the whole time. PLEASE do an open beta test!! I will pay $

    Could you share what computer specs/video card the demo was running on?


    Looking Great Guys!!!
    image EmpV "Emperor Vaul"
  • [G4B2S]Griffun[G4B2S]Griffun Join Date: 2008-10-10 Member: 65163Posts: 2Members
    Fantastic work guys. This game really looks like it is coming along. Can't wait for the beta! tounge.gif
    image
    Guns4Back2School.com
    Administrator
  • MrRadicalEdMrRadicalEd Turrent Master Join Date: 2004-08-13 Member: 30601Posts: 716Members
    Very nice.. elegant if you will.

    Max or Flayra, let's get real for a second though.. without going in to the specifics for obvious reasons, how much of the computer's resources are being utilized at this current build of your engine? This "map on the go" is highly appealing. I look forward to map making for NS2.
    What if we crowdfund the Director's Chair?
  • exoityexoity Join Date: 2003-03-17 Member: 14620Posts: 608Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    The technology is really stunning, I don't think I have seen those atmospheric effects in any game yet. Definitely some very nice work.
    NAPT : Former PT-Lead
    Game Developer.
  • JockoJocko Join Date: 2006-10-31 Member: 58110Posts: 1Members
    Beautiful lighting effects. Even the older models look great !
    Great Job !
    www.Guns4Back2School.com
    Administrator
  • RokiyoRokiyo A.K.A. .::FeX::. Revenge Join Date: 2002-10-10 Member: 1471Posts: 1,564Members, Constellation
    edited October 2008
    Wow, it's looking very good guys! Most impressed, especially with how much better even the old NS1 models look with fresh new lighting.


    QUOTE(Flayra @ Oct 11 2008, 11:18 AM) »
    Hey moultano,

    Max actually experimented with this and got it working. He generated a bunch of bounced lights in realtime according to the lights you placed, to simulate radiosity. He didn't see that it made much difference. It also removed some control from the hands of the artist/mapper.

    He says he might put it back in though.

    Radiosity is one of those weird things where the better it is done, the less noticeable the effect is. I suspect you could probably fake the effect through a combination of blurring the edges of your shadows & ambient lighting, but Max himself can now be quoted as an advocate for doing things the real way. tounge.gif

    Extreme cases:
    http://budda165.files.wordpress.com/2008/0..._comparison.jpg
    http://www.irrlicht3d.org/images/irreditgl...llumination.png

    It's one of those little things that can add an extra layer of polish, and can help customers not notice your lighting (which is a decent goal - it can be argued that if they notice it, it's probably because it doesn't look like they'd expect it to!).

    EDIT: I suppose a good way of seeing the necessity of radiosity is to jump into your mapping tool and create a room with a light on the ceiling, and a table on the floor under the light. In real life and in renders using radiosity, you should be able to see under the desk quite clearly. In renders without radiosity, the area under the desk will be pitch black and you will not be able to see anything in that space.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    QUOTE (Nemesis Zero)
    Oh, on the subject of Gems gender, Revenge, see it this way: Once a person is more than a thousand miles away from you (and your IP ranges indicate just this), genders become optional.
  • MrBlipMrBlip Join Date: 2007-05-25 Member: 61011Posts: 5Members
    The thing that worries me about this are the other games that have used "real time lighting" or whatever. I really hope we won't have to deal with obnoxiously contrast areas (as in, there's a light right there, but 4 feet away it's pitch black around the corner *cough*DOOM/QUAKE*cough*).
  • ViPrViPr Resident naysayer Join Date: 2002-10-17 Member: 1515Posts: 756Members
    the quicktime video looks faded compared to the youtube version.

    i noticed the animations still skip like in NS1. i noticed it on the sensory chamber.

    i was wondering if your engine uses gloss textures as well as specular textures because a lot of people seem to be confused about the difference and i think Doom3 caused the confusion because it is missing gloss textures completely AFAIK.

    btw i still play NS1 more than all other games put together even though the pings seem to be getting unbearably large lately for some reason.
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471Posts: 2,107NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    edited October 2008
    Are the light rays added in by the mapper, or are they created on the fly by the engine? Also using fully dynamic lighting will create some really interesting lighting schemes for mappers to use.

    Oh yeah, and the "Evolution" engine was a good pick. It's nice to see you guys taking input
    from the community even in these early stages of development.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • neonzneonz Join Date: 2004-02-07 Member: 26192Posts: 24Members, Constellation
    Love it guys! Keep heading where even your heading biggrin-fix.gif

    And of cause I want to see more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • WarriorWarrior Join Date: 2003-02-16 Member: 13624Posts: 758Members
    QUOTE(MrBlip @ Oct 10 2008, 06:42 PM) »
    The thing that worries me about this are the other games that have used "real time lighting" or whatever. I really hope we won't have to deal with obnoxiously contrast areas (as in, there's a light right there, but 4 feet away it's pitch black around the corner *cough*DOOM/QUAKE*cough*).


    Yes please make sure the light bounces or whatever correctly.

    So far the lighting looks pretty cool. One question though. Are we going to be able to see our shadow. One thing that annoys me about Source games is that I will be hiding but my shadow will give me away as I have no way to know what direction it is.

    Also, in the scene with the windows looking out with the red glow. I thought it was a little bit to much glow. Im sure theres plenty of tweaking to fix that though.
    [mT]Warrior

  • TheNinthPlayerTheNinthPlayer Join Date: 2002-05-20 Member: 637Posts: 74Members, Constellation
    edited October 2008
    I was disappointed that you guys hadn't posted an update in a few weeks, but this was totally worth the wait! I epically like the fact you are doing video blogs!
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • militaerkidmilitaerkid Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58249Posts: 26Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    QUOTE(TheNinthPlayer @ Oct 11 2008, 03:24 AM) »
    but this was totally worth the wait!


    yeah, nice graphic and nice ingame szene :3 can´t wait for the next update asrifle.gif


    good job guys marine.gif
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 3,838Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, Pistachionauts
    edited October 2008
    QUOTE(Flayra @ Oct 10 2008, 06:18 PM) »
    Hey moultano,

    Max actually experimented with this and got it working. He generated a bunch of bounced lights in realtime according to the lights you placed, to simulate radiosity. He didn't see that it made much difference. It also removed some control from the hands of the artist/mapper.

    He says he might put it back in though.

    I'd be interested to see what it looks like. In the shots there the lights coming through the windows look too bright relative to their effect on the interior, and I'm thinking indirect lighting would help this. In the first scene especially, in real life that room would just bloom as the shutters opened. I imagine that ultimately this may end up being a performance trade-off.

    How do the emissive textures work? I ask because I haven't seen a whole surface emit light dynamically in a game before. It seems like that math could get complicated to do in real-time as the surface gets irregularly shaped.

    Looks great. smile-fix.gif
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ChromeAngelChromeAngel Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 14Posts: 2,677Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor
    Looking rather slick there guys smile-fix.gif

    From the video it looked like only the sunlight was producing a visible volumetric effect with itÅ› shafts of sunlight, but not from the fixed white lights. Is that something that is set on a light by light basis or is there some logic governing it? I am thinking laser sights on the LMG with a volumetric beam would be sweet. Muzzle flash or a flashlight would have been a nice demo if the dynamism of the lighting.

    I hope you guys twitter more often then you blog/podcast otherwise their is not much point having it.
    image - Marines VS Aliens - Public Beta Download
  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Posts: 2,714Members
    edited October 2008
    I really like the look. It nicely manages to avoid bloom overkill and plastique models.

    Btw, did anyone else notice the sprint movement?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • blankthemuffinblankthemuffin Join Date: 2007-10-03 Member: 62528Posts: 9Members
    Wow looking great.

    May I ask what kind of map format / spatial partitioning you're using? BSP? Octree?

    Also pre-calculated Radiosity has nothing on SSAO. biggrin-fix.gif
  • MooMinMooMin Join Date: 2005-01-15 Member: 35727Posts: 19Members, Constellation
    it looks awesome guys even compared to the big names, keep it up!
  • Ryse_SladeRyse_Slade Germany Join Date: 2002-12-22 Member: 11349Posts: 200Members, Constellation
    Looks awesome. I hope NS2 will be as much fun as NS1 was.
    IPB Image
  • mattoXmattoX Join Date: 2007-08-01 Member: 61739Posts: 82Members
    I'm always checking for updates, and i thought to myself, if this update was going to take awhile then it is going to be a pretty good update.
    And to be honest i didn't think it would have been as good as it was, my jaw dropped when you opened the blinds. IT LOOKS FRIGGAN AWSOME! haha... And all the other rooms ofcourse, especially the hive room, i can't wait to see the atmosphere in the hive room with all the flying glowies and infestation, just OMG.

    Its hard to doubt the amount of detail your going to put in this game, and i've always had the sense that you guys are good at adding detail. You can tell by how you arrange your forums, updates and always talking to the community for suggestions. I see alot of games that are good but missing even minor detailed parts of the game, which in alot of cases doesn't make the game as good as it could be. I would put you guys down as the perfectionist category. Indeed perfecting even minor parts of the game as you guys do really shows how much you guys are into doing all of this. GREAT WORK. And i really, really can't wait for the final product!!

    Matt.
    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my potion forever.
  • lunchtimemamalunchtimemama Mistress of lighting design Join Date: 2007-06-08 Member: 61166Posts: 5Members
    Remarkable work, guys. I was skeptical when you first announced your own engine. A small team doing a graphically competitive engine in a short amount of time? Well, I am very impressed. It really is a testament to the incredible talent on your team. You seem to have both the looks and the smarts: an attractive engine which is also easy to work with. Not to dump on Valve, but I do feel this highlights the limitations of their emphasis on pre-compilation, both in terms of game logic and graphics. (Side note: while I know you've settled on Lua, I recommend you have a chat with the Mono guys at the next GDC - they're doing really interesting stuff with embedded virtual machines in games.)

    I agree with the earlier post that radiosity is the crown jewel of Source's lighting, both as it applies to light maps and model lighting. Their "radiosity normal-mapping" technique is really quite clever and it give the impression that models "fit in" to their surroundings. It is a subtle but compelling effect. As mentioned, real-time radiosity calculations are not feasible and dynamically generated "bounce lights" have problems of their own (some of which Flayra mentioned). I'm not enough of a graphics guy to offer another solution, but I urge you to be on the lookout for a good way to approximate radiosity. Another thing you might want to cheat on is ambient occlusion; it really helps models "fit in."

    The God Rays are another effect whose key is subtlety. The whirling columns of light slipping into the Hive chamber from a fan 20 meters away are a little distracting. The rays should fall off based on distance and view angle. They are there to establish atmosphere, not remind everyone how cool your engine is.

    Which brings me to the larger purpose of graphics. As I have said, this tech demo is very impressive. I am confident that you guys will produce a terrific looking game. But lest we loose ourselves in the spectacle of window shutters, it servers everyone to remember the core strengths of Natural Selection; the reasons I return to NS time and again: mood and gameplay. These technical achievements are perfectly poised to enhance both, and I am sure you've kept these goals foremost in your development process, but allow me to explore them from my point of view (feel free to have thought of all of this years ago).

    The Word for NS2 has been "dynamic." Infestation, lighting, environment. All aspire to dynamism. Much has been made of the game's variability, and rightly so. NS2 promises to be one of the most "dynamic" multi-paradigm multiplayer games on the block. But if this promise is to be realized, these individually expressive elements must be successfully combined into a living, breathing, dynamic whole. It must be more than window shutters and light switches (it's a tech demo, I know, and a really cool one). It is not enough to have procedural infestation over here and spinning fans over there. The endgame is a synthesis of all of these dynamic systems into an environment that feels real. That has character. That evokes emotion.

    The two hallmark "dynamic lighting" schemes to date are time-of-day, in which the motions of heavenly objects are simulated "in real time!", and the ever-popular "dynamic lights!" which are like regular lights, only you can turn them off / shoot them out. The former offers no enhancement to gameplay (other than visualizing how much time one has spent in isolation from the real sun), and the latter involves deliberate (and tedious) intervention by the player to either find the light switch or take careful aim. Both are little more than curiosities. We are still waiting for the "dynamic lighting" system that means something.

    And here I think you are blessed with your setting. Future industrial technology is replete with glowies, blinkies, auras, emissions, and indirect light of all sorts. There's "regular" mode, "power fluctuation" mode, "power failure" mode, "emergency lighting" mode, "proximity alert" mode, "red alert" mode, "lethal radiation alert" mode, "violent decompression alert" mode, and "power restored" mode, just to name a few. The procession of infestation through the map is a ripe excuse to fiddle with the interior lighting design. To excerpt a post from another thread,
    QUOTE(EmpV)
    Dynamic infestation is going to change NS gameplay completely and can effectively change a map. This could include things like lights, electical circuits, and Doors. Dynamic Infestation is effectively a "welder" for the alien team. It can block out lights forcing marines to use flashlights or night vision, take over doors allowing only aliens to use them, and interfere with marine technology. A darker area allows aliens to use their unique abilities to gain an advantage in these areas.


    This touches on one of the three roles of lighting: sensory encumberance. The other two are information conveyance and emotional queue. Sensory encumbering light shifts give one team a tactical advantage by impairing the other team's vision. By forcing marines to use flashlights or night vision (or just suffer dim or sporadic illumination), the Kharaa stand a better chance in toe-to-toe encounters. Information conveying light shifts alert players to some change in game state. The approach of enemies, the completion of hives/structures, the progress of time-dependent variables, the occurrence of major events, &c.. Lighting can also convey information as it changes through space as well as through time: areas of the map near infestation may have different lighting characteristics, communicating the direction of the alien territory. Also, lighting effects can be used to provide specific tactical information. If marines are using flashlights, the light beam will signal their approach and position to aliens in ambush. Hive sight might also include any number of additional lighting effects to convey information on friendly and hostile activities. Valve discusses the use of lighting to subtly convey information in the TF2 developer commentaries - from the direction of the sun, the red side of the map is cast in warm light, while the blue base sits in cool shadows, subconsciously orienting players. Lighting is a remarkable high-bandwidth channel and human beings are given to pick up on patterns whether you point them out or not. Finally, lighting can serve as an emotional queue. Putting players on edge, plunging them into panic, bathing them in relief. Lighting also colors the larger emotional pallet of an environment. The "mood" of a place is in its lighting.

    These three are the important functions of light and they are intertwined (e.g., when you impair senses, you elicit emotion). Dynamic lighting is well and good by it self, but its full potential lies in the service of these contexts. Spinning fans and fluttering shutters have their place, but I encourage you to design your lighting around its function rather than its effect. Most of all, leverage these fully dynamic lights to bring your environments to life! Let the lights change with the game. Make them mean something.

    And you've thought of all of that before. Great. Can't wait for the next vidcast.
  • Nima_Nima_ Join Date: 2007-08-30 Member: 62083Posts: 88Members
    Seriously.. I am so impressed with the current progress, it looks amazing. The lighting looks very very nice, and the dynamic shadowing off imported models is quite cool. And looks quite accurate.

    I really hope the map designers + artists take the full advantage of this engine and really create something that looks really great.. I'm sure they will though.

    It would be nice to see what specs you are running that on, just for the sake of knowing.

    Between the possibility of this game looking great (without going overboard) and features such as the procedurally generated alien infestation.. It honestly comes across as a technical masterpiece! You guys are a true inspiration! (I'm currently studying Comp sci and taking majors in graphics programming)

    I'm no nay-sayer, but I really hope you guys deliver this product entirely as you envisage it, and not be pushed around by the investors, I'd love to see an extensive set of tools and modding environment for the community to really contribute.

    Oh, and the follow through from concept to the level is cool (and it's not even finished).

    All up, this is great news! Best of luck with meeting deadlines etc!
  • Nima_Nima_ Join Date: 2007-08-30 Member: 62083Posts: 88Members
    Oh and, one question.. would it be possible for you to upload some higher res versions of the concept art you have, I simply love it all and would love to print off some posters or something, I know that sounds nerdy, but the art is great smile-fix.gif
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