Prepare yourself to be a true paranormal investigator, and have your own TV show. Explore the scariest places in the world, and record evidences from all the paranormal phenomena ever known, from ghosts and demons, to aliens and gnomes. Set up cameras, lights and prepare yourself. The world is yours to explore.
We need your help to raise enough funds to get a copy of Unity Pro. Also, we will cover some amazing rendering features using PS 3 and our static Ambient Occlusion implementation.
Posted by IrrSoft on Jan 26th, 2013
Hi again. This is another weekly article, and it will continue with the topic of the previous one. But first, we'd like to ask your help :
Six months have passed since we started with this game, and the development has been full of obstacles and problems. Some were tiny and easily resolved, but others were unavoidable.
As you know, we are using the Free version of the Unity engine, because it is the only engine we can afford at the moment that has full support for the main modeling tool we use (Blender).
The other engines we checked before the development started (UDK, NeoAxis,C4, Shiva, etc) had a broken import pipeline for Blender, and the workarounds were so complicated and time consuming, that it was worthless to make the game with them.
Since then, Unity became our main tool. But sadly, we have not enough money to buy the Pro version, which has some very important features that the game is currently missing, even if they are already developed. They simple cannot be integrated with the Free version.
This limits have made us to redesign some parts of the game, limit some features, and even cancel some of the content we have developed. So far, we had severe limitations regarding :
In short, several features of the game are on hold until we can afford Unity Pro, some others are limited, but most of them are already implemented, just without the real quality we could offer with the proper tools.
And there is where you can help. We are asking to all the gamer community to help us raise funds, the 1500 USD we need for a Unity Pro license. This means we just need at least 150 persons to contribute to our game. All of our funders will receive access to all the betas of the game, and also to the development tests we make. Help us to make the game you deserve, so 3:00am Dead Time can be released as great as it was planned, with all the incredible features that will make it a unique horror experience.
The game will be fully released, this is for sure. We are working faster and better to improve the game in all the ways possible, but you need to be patient, because we are developing all the core of the game, which is the hardest and longest part of any game development.
We are confident that with your help, we can make the best horror game for a PC.
But let's start with the main topic of the article. The last article we talked about Ambient Occlusion, and this article will continue with that topic. Read, and enjoy :
These days, we were testing some advanced rendering features using Pixel Shader 3.0 versions of our old shaders. This new versions let us use some really nice rendering features that improve incredibly the overall quality of the game.
Most of today's gamers have heard about Ambient Occlusion, and relate it with the SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) used in most modern games. However, that effect is just an approximation with some errors, and in many cases, it is very, very subtle. Almost invisible.
We are talking about real ambient occlusion, applied as an static component to the models using a shader. It is static because it is not calculated nor approximated in real-time, and thus, it is not so expensive.
Also, unlike SSAO, our use of static AO can be noticed immediatly, and improves greatly the quality of the game.
It is very useful for most elements in a scene, creating a smooth, life-like light, with correct shadows and shading in the object.
The overall looks of the decorations is now really great, with the extensive use of Pixel Shader 3.0 features we are making. This doesn't represent any performance impact, except for a 15 FPS loss in the highest quality. However, as these features made the shaders too long for a PS 2.0 videocard, they are not compatible with older hardware. Anyway, the older shaders are still in place, so PS 2.0 videocards will (most likely) be enough to run the game , but with low graphics quality.
The Cold Kiss Statue with AO applied :
To finish this long topic about Static Ambient Occlusion, we would like to share with you some examples in 3D, so you can test this amazing feature right in your browser.
You will need to install the Unity Web Plugin (the links above will redirect you to the download page if you don't have the plugin installed) and a videocard with Pixel Shader 3.0 support. Use the mouse to rotate around the objects, and "N" to change the rendering method (with and without Static AO).
But there are more news to share with you :
Our website went trough a lot of changes this week, and it is now a lot better than before. We have our own forum right in our website, where you can post anything related with our game, and receive support in case of any issue. Also, as you saw with this article, we are going to publish the news and development diaries on our website first, and some hours later they will be posted on IndieDB. In our website you can comment without registration, so now sharing your thoughts about the game will be really easy. Just go there and comment, no account needed.
Our galleries are also growing, and soon we will post more 3d interactive demos for all of you, and a few development test, to check on some features. The fund page was also redesigned, to be more attractive, and explain better what you will receive with your funds.
Remember to spread the word about the game, or fund it if you haven't. It will help us a lot with the development obstacles we are facing, and will help to make the game a lot better, and finish it a lot faster.
Thanks for reading and supporting our game, and stay tunned for more updates in the next days!
The Irreverent Software Team.