Dummy Models, Improved Meter Bar

 

The ‘@’ symbol was mildly amusing for a while, but I got sick of looking at it, so I made a dummy model for testing purposes. I didn’t bother unwrapping it well or making a proper texture or anything like that, and the mesh isn’t that detailed – the model is really just for development purposes. The actual game assets will be much better, I swear to god.

It came out at ~1000 polys, and I subdivided it to ~6000 just to push the polycount a bit more. With a 2048*2048 diffuse texture I can render about ~100 of them before the framerate starts to dip. I realize that to assume that animated models, with gameplay logic, will run anything near this is dangerously optimistic, but as far as I can judge there’s plenty of performance leeway left. I’m using a GeForce 7900 gtx, a five year old card, which I recon is a relativity accessible standard to tune performance to.

The actual assets will probably for the most part have a much lower polycount than 6000, with a lot of the detail baked into normal maps. I think it’s important visually, because the models will be viewed from far away, that they have strong flowing lines in their topology, that exaggerate and strongly delineate the human shape they’re representing. There’s no point in spending polys on elements that will only ever register as noise.

I plan on making the armor and weapons in the game pretty colorful- I’m bored to death with seeing Grimdark the MurderKing’s bloodstained brown platemail in every roleplaying game I play. I know that most of the screenshots so far have been pretty dark, but the game overall will be more colorful than they would suggest.

The meter bar can now interpolate between two bar colors as the value it’s representing changes. I made this exponential, so as, for example, your health, starts to come close to zero the bar starts changing from gold to red. A gradual, linear shift towards red beginning the moment you start loosing health would lessen the impact of the feedback.

I plan on implementing shadow mapping soon, maybe even just unidirectional at first. You can get the sense from the above screenshot that the models appear to be floating – the eye can’t make an exact judgment about where they are in the scene. Shadows ground the models in the scene very well and give everything a more integrated appearance.

I really don’t want to jump into the graphics programming too much yet though, because it obsesses me and I need to be spending time on other systems at the moment.

 

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One Response to “Dummy Models, Improved Meter Bar”

  1. You seem to be progressing at quite a pace. I’m in the progress of adding some test models to my project but that’s been a two week exercise so far just to learn the new tools.

    Would be interested to hear what your background is; Have you made games before? How long have you been programming? What motivates you to work on this project? How many hours a day do you spend working on it? …

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