Celaria is a 3D Styled Parkour game which was heavily inspired by Mirror's Edge and Trackmania. You jump from building to building, performing wallruns and using different abilities like Speed-Boost and extremly high jumps to get over your obstacles. The goal is simple: Run to the goal as fast as you can. There are no enemys and no Story. Just one goal: be as fast as you can.

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Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: Celaria - simple shadows and freeplay mode

3 comments by DARKLEWA on Jul 27th, 2015

Shadows are a very important visual clue for the eyes in order to help determine the depth of the scene and positioning of objects relative to each other. Celaria itself didn't had those. At the beginning due to technical limitations and later (with the introduction of shaders in GM: Studio) due to lack of knowledge.

That's one of the reasons why the map-geometry does have this grid-like texture. It helps to determine the placement (rotation,position,scale) and distance relative to the player.

textures

Without this grid-styled-texture it would be hard to determine

how the individual blocks are placed in the scene.


I also added a fade-effect from the top to the bottom of blocks. This helps to distinquish individual blocks even more. Especially at bigger distances where textures (due to thexture filtering) fade out. Vertex-based lighting (coloring different sides of blocks in different shades depending on the sun-position) is also implemented.

But yeah, having shadows would be very nice. I experimented with shadow-mapping multiple times but after numerous times trying to implement it i realized that it wasn't feasable. Both in terms of visual fidelity and performance.

Shadowmapping is a pixel-based shadowing technique, so the precision depends on the shadowmap resolution. And in addition to that the precisision is also an issue. I wanted shadows to be displayed even at far renderdistances. Especially with the current artstyle, having shadows fade-out at a distance would be very noticeable. (Also the implementation of Shadow-mapping in GM: Studio wasn't really great in terms of performance.)

I then stumbled upon a technique where 3D models are projected onto the floor relative to the sun-position. While this technique doesn't support shadow-casing on map-geometry itself, it is at least better than nothing. It helps to give the maps more visual variety. And the best part is that the performance impact is much smaller compared to Shadow-mapping.

As those vertex-based shadows are pretty much only projected geometry, they also don't loose precision over distance and they also don't have any pixelization-artifacts.

shadow distance

3D geometry projected onto the floor. Looks good even at further distances.

(Floor reflectivity was decreased in order to show this more clearly)



shadows precision

As you can see, the spaces between those tightly placed blocks are also present in the shadow on the floor.

So yeah, it isn't the most advanced technique, but it is very easy to implement, doesn't suffer from artifacts or precision errors and is very performance friendly. In combination with simple vertex-based lighting it does produce really nice results.

Another thing i added is the possibility to play on the maps without a timer which is displayed on the HUD. The game should encourage the player to explore the maps and optimize the paths they take to the goal, but doing that while a timer runs on the bottom of the screen is a bit irritating.

freeplay

Selecting "none" in the menu allows you to run around the map without an active timer.


path


Exploring maps may reveal pathways which weren't obvious before.


I added also hidden "gems" throughout the maps which can be collected. Each map has currently around 5-8 of those. It is mostly for people who like exploring parkour-friendly enviroments and finish a game to 100%. (Getting all of them on a map will also reward you with a gem-symbol.) But i'm thinking about adding hidden maps or hidden content which will be unlocked after you find all of them.

gem

Collect them all!


You can of course watch my Video-update on youtube which shows you the shadowing technique and the freeplaymode (+ the fadout-animation of those hidden items) in motion.

The open-alpha is also on the way. I'm finishing some minor stuff and trying to polish it as good as i can before the release. I can safetly say that it will be released this August.

This was a bit more extensive post. (never really did that before...)

I hope you enjoyed reading this update. I plan on making those posts more extensively and explain more (with more screenshots) alongside to the youtube video.

See you in the next update. :)

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 50)
Shot846
Shot846 Jul 6 2015, 8:24am says:

Nice music

+1 vote     reply to comment
NekoHaxor
NekoHaxor Jul 4 2015, 3:56pm says:

This game looks like it'll be great. Are you working on this just by yourself, or do you have a team working on this title?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DARKLEWA Creator
DARKLEWA Jul 5 2015, 8:19am replied:

Pretty much. I have someone who is doing the soundtrack for this game but besides that i'm on my own.

+1 vote   reply to comment
NekoHaxor
NekoHaxor Jul 5 2015, 9:13am replied:

Have you planned some kind of mod support for user created maps?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DARKLEWA Creator
DARKLEWA Jul 7 2015, 5:46pm replied:

It depends. I would love to add full modding capabilitys to the game. But probably it isn't going to be possible (at least on the client side) to do so due to the way how the engine handles the code.

But what i would love to do (and that would be technically possible) is to allow modding on the game-server side. Creating own gamemodes, different playstyles, heck you could even add AI players. I just have to provide some basic commands/functions which can be used to control what happens in the game (things like respawn all players,send a chat-message to a specific player, etc... Basically a simple api.)

But what i have to figure out is how to allow people to access the server-code without using it to manipulate online highscores (or some other player-data). It's complicated. I'm working on it but i can't make any promises.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Vladiskov
Vladiskov Jun 30 2015, 3:03pm says:

Simpler overgrow?

+2 votes     reply to comment
umbakarna
umbakarna Sep 12 2014, 4:49pm says:

Wow this looks very interesting.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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DARKLEWA Creator
DARKLEWA Apr 27 2014, 10:52am replied:

Nope, this project isn't abandoned.
I'm still working on this game. While i haven't had a lot of time in the last months, i managed to do a bit of work on this game. This includes graphical improvements, performance improvements a lot of bugfixes (yep,...still finding bugs in this game. :/) and so on. The last big thing i was working on was multiplayer support. While it isn't finished yet, the technical basis for multiplayer (like client-server communication) actually exists and works fairly well.
Even bought the rights for the domain "www.celaria.com" and made a Website for this game. (One simple WebGL Demo/Website which is already up, and another website which isn't accessible from the internet at the moment, but will replace the current one further down the line.)

It's just that i'm a one man team (and i'm only working on Celaria in my spare time). Mainly my school is draining a lot of my spare-time which doesn't allow me to work on this game that often (if at all). :/
But nontheless, i'm making progress.

I don't plan to abandon this project anytime soon. I still enjoy working on this game.
But currently, my graduation is my main focus (as i'm on the last school-year). After that, i will work on this game more often.

+4 votes   reply to comment
TaigaIV
TaigaIV Jan 15 2014, 10:00am says:

Hi there! I doubt you still check this page but I sincerely hope you do. I was amazed when I stumbled upon this gem of an engine and was eager to try it out since I adore Parkour / freeroaming games. However, the game engine doesn't work with Studio (as you probably know yourself) and I am having trouble updating your scripts to make them compatible. If you could perhaps upload a Studio version of the demo i'd be very grateful!

+1 vote     reply to comment
DARKLEWA Creator
DARKLEWA Jan 21 2014, 11:52am replied:

Maybe i'll look into that if a have the time to do so.
Normally the engine should work with studio. If there are a few obsolete functions, then you need to replace them with the studio counterparts.

Note that this example/engine is very flawed and not the best approach for this kind of game. (It can be very buggy...) There are far more accurate & faster methods for doing this.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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Celaria
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Windows
Developed By
DARKLEWA
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Latest tweets from @darklewa

Another video update. This time showcasing "simple" 3D shadows and the freeplay mode. #gamedev #indiedev #gamemaker T.co

Jul 16 2015, 10:35pm

Celaria is nearly maxing out my 7-year old GPU at max-settings and 720p resolution... YAY! T.co

Jul 16 2015, 2:12pm

Not the most advanced technique, but at least it is performance-friendly. #Celaria #GameMaker #gamedev #indiedev T.co

Jul 14 2015, 12:10pm

RT @BrickInventions: The new multiplayer map is here! T.co #indiedev #gamedav #indiegames T.co

Jul 14 2015, 12:06pm

Almost lost it after hearing about the death of #SatoruIwata :( He was a very special CEO. Thank you for everything. We will miss you.

Jul 14 2015, 6:00am

A new video about the parkour-platformer "Celaria" :) #gamedev #indiedev #gamemaker T.co

Jun 27 2015, 7:40pm

@RLP091 That's true, although you can't really design the maps like in racing games. There isn't a fixed path. It's more like a platformer.

Jun 21 2015, 7:37am

It's an interesting experience to focus on level-design. :) #gamedev #indiedev #gamemaker T.co

Jun 20 2015, 9:29am

A screenshot of a map which may end up in the public alpha release. ;) #GameMaker #GameDev #IndieDev T.co

Jun 6 2015, 3:26pm

Finally integrating the first gamemode. Also here's a screenshot of the tutorial map! #gamemaker #gamedev #indiedev T.co

May 25 2015, 9:44am

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