Wow, long time no see, right? A lot of people probably thought us dead, but like a dirty cock-a-roach we just refuse to do such a silly thing. No, the real reason we have been away so long is simple… Hosting. “What, AGAIN?” I hear you all scream… Yes… Again. See we at Team Blur Games have this awesome tendency to go with hosts who are, well, shit, to be honest. However we opted for a premium package with a new reliable host this time, and while we have lost the old teamblurgames.com URL, we are now based at team-blur-games.com instead, so click the pic below to shoot over:
Hardly a huge difference but I would appreciate it if you could update your favourites, spread the word, and get everybody back onto the forums. Right, that’s enough of an update about the site, I’ll get down to the juicy bits.
OverDose Is Now OpenGL 3.2
What you thought we wasn’t doing anything in the time away? The entire OverDose game has been modified to use OpenGL 3.2. What does this mean for you? Well, a few things, really. The first and most important issue is that OverDose now “REQUIRES” a GeForce 8 level or equivalent GPU to run (Basically, anything OpenGL 3.2 ready). This is a pretty important thing to take note of. To be perfectly honest if your NOT on a GF8 level card in this day and age then you wont really be running many games anyway, let alone something as high spec as OverDose. On the plus side however, OverDose is now running smoother than ever. Smoother than a freshly shaved babies bottom, in fact… See below…
New Shadow Code
Ever improving, the shadows are now AT LEAST 4x faster than previous builds. Not only that but they are also a hell of a lot better, nicer looking and generally more bad ass than before. The way lights are set up is a little different. Gone are spending hours trying to find the correct resolution, that’s all done for you now. All the user has to do is select the correct sharpness level and bias for his shadow. This allows you to create really nice sharp indoor shadows and really blurred and fuzzy outdoor ones. One of the cooler new features we are working at the moment (But can’t show) is “Percentage Closer Soft Shadows”. These new shadows allow lights to blur more and more the further away from a light source the shadow is, thus simulating the real life penumbra effect. But for now, here’s a sample of our new shadow code (minus PCSS):
Subsurface Scattering + Rim Lighting
Two features we have been looking into for a long time are Subsurface Scattering and Rim Lighting. These two features give an amazing graphical boost, and when used in combination with flesh for example, they really so make the engine shine. In short, Subsurface Scattering tells the engine how much light a surface should let through, for example hold you hand up in front of a bright light source. Notice how the thinner parts of flesh have a certain translucency to them, showing up as a warm red glow under the skin? That’s Subsurface Scattering in real life at work. Rim Lighting is a feature seen in many games these days, mostly in cartoon games, as they give a very nice soft specular highlight to the edges of models when there is a light source behind them. In combination with Subsurface Scattering, this effect makes many surfaces really come to life, and really gives fleshy tones an amazing leap in graphical fidelity.
Parallax Mapping has been something we have toyed with for a long time. The issue was never not being able to do it, just being able to find an acceptable looking implementation that would work well with the engine. We think we have found it… What do you guys think?
As always, the latest news for OverDose can be found on the OverDose Discussion forums at our site, so get over there and register if you haven’t already.