In Lament, you take the role of Michael Anderson, a researcher and archaeologist living in England, 1845.

Report RSS Dev Log #3 - To Paint the Sun

Experimental lighting? Vast landscapes? Really shiny floors!? All this, as well as announcements about post-release plans, in today's development log.

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Heyo,

To start today's Dev Log, I'm happy to announce that it's currently Summer Break (and has been for the past three weeks), which means I have more time to procrastinate! I mean more time to work diligently!

So, ah, *ahem* let's get on with it.


SUNLIGHT!

No gifs this time, but I do have some nice screenshots.


So, first order of business deals with the level in the above screenshot. Or, more specifically, the ridiculous scale of the level in the above screenshot. I'll dial back a bit to explain.

That level, in all it's majesty, is probably the largest thing that's ever been made in HPL2. I'm not saying that to toot my own horn (most of it's just decorative, anyway), I'm just saying there's no reason anyone would have wanted to build something so big that the game can't even render it by default.

Therein lies my dilemma. I want to include this level in the mod. Of course I do, I've spent days upon days on it alone. But doing so would require every single person who downloads it to manually change the game's settings to allow it to render at a further distance (the default limit is 400 meters, I've changed mine to 1200). Fortunately, changing this value doesn't have any effect on the game aside from letting it render farther out, but most people would be understandably hesitant to dig into the game's files and change a setting like that.


Hell is 12 dozen spotlights.

I have seen the true face of Hell. It is twelve dozen spotlights.


The other interesting thing about this level, aside from it's scale, is the way I've had to light it. Since lights start bugging out at radii above a value of 100, I've had to use gobo'd lights to fake the shape of the sunlight coming through the mountains. An interesting experience, to be certain, but an enjoyable one at that. A bit like making a painting.

With twelve dozen spotlights.


Who the hell took the time to polish these floors?

Can you believe this tile predates floor wax? I can't.


This bit is actually about something I figured out a long time ago, but never showed, and have never seen done anywhere else, so I'm showing it now. Reflective surfaces!

World reflection is pretty expensive rendering-wise, so it was important to get the materials to look normal whether the player had the effect turned on or off in their video settings. Fortunately, I ran into very few snags, and the system works very well. Basically, the game thinks it's rendering water, which is the only material that can have dynamic reflections. All I've done is fiddled with the settings so it looks natural, and then layered it on top of another textured plane.

Sadly, it's applications are still limited. Without being able to soften the reflection, it isn't possible to accurately simulate any materials outside of those that reflect light very sharply, like the polished floor in the screenshot above. That means wooden floors are out of the question, as well as most rough wet surfaces and metals. Still, it adds a lot to the scenes it can be applied to, and I'm glad it works as well as it does.


The last thing I want to mention is my current post-release plan for Lament. Mainly, that the short prequel and sequel I had planned (as mentioned a while ago in an article) will no longer be made. This is mostly because of the decline in Amnesia's modding community, but also because I haven't really thought of anything interesting that would make those custom stories worthwhile projects. This probably isn't much of a surprise to those who actually remember when I first made that announcement, but I felt it necessary to mention. Trilogies are overrated, anyway.

I do, however, have other projects to move on to from here. When I'll announce those, I don't know, but rest assured they will come.


That's all for today's Dev Log, I hope you enjoyed reading it, because I spent way too long writing it. Until next time.

I remain,

Craa

Comments
Webber1900
Webber1900

Damn, that looks insanely incredible. Good job! I would really like to know the specifics on how you got that reflection trick because I attempted to find a way to do just that but to no avail. Seriously this is really good stuff. O_O

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StaydMcButtermuffin Author
StaydMcButtermuffin

The main thing that made the effect work was setting a blank white texture to the diffuse channel. Water materials always render as a "Mul" transparency, meaning they only ever darken what's behind them, so a pure white texture effectively made it invisible save for the reflection.
All the wave settings are set to 0, so there isn't any unwanted distortion, though that's probably a given.
I'm still messing around with the Frensel settings, but the 'FrenselPow' doesn't work below 1, so I keep it there to avoid overly bright edges. 'FrenselBias' depends on the kind of surface, but I generally have it at or below 0.2.
It's also possible to lessen the strength of the reflection by setting 'ReflectionFadeStart' to a negative value, which helps a lot in instances where the effect is too bright.

That's about all there is to it. Just make sure the Normal maps of your two materials match, and put the non-reflective plane 0.01 units below the reflective one.
Hope that explains it sufficiently, feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

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Webber1900
Webber1900

Thanks! I'm sure it's fine, I was just curious about it. What I wanted was I was playing OOT3D and found that the Temple Of Time had reflective flooring by having the floor mesh being transparent a tad and have the room mirrored underneath. I wanted to try and replicate that trick in Amnesia.

My problem lied with IIRC not being able to get the floor texture transparent enough where the "reflection" didn't seem too unrealistic. I tried to fix it by adding a fog area but I thought it didn't look right.

Anyways I was just doing test maps and wanted to know if I could attempt at reflective flooring but It didn't look right to me.
For now, keep up the good work and good day!

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Necrolifer
Necrolifer

Congratulations on putting an effort into bringing something fresh to the Amnesia community! Damn,that looks good!
Also,have you thought about making some tutorials?

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StaydMcButtermuffin Author
StaydMcButtermuffin

I have put some thought into it, but it only made me realize that I don't even know where to start. :/
There's a lot of stuff I could cover, though. Lighting, particles, entities, materials, optimizations, etc.
It's definitely something I want to do, but, again, I'm not sure where to start.

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ethics
ethics

I am so hyped to play an Amnesia Mod which completely overhauls the default look of the game.
I mean sure, the game in its normal state already is stunning (take a look at "String" f.e.), but this...
This is something else.

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archaicrune
archaicrune

So sad about Amnesia TDD becoming history. I've only just recently gotten into modding and the game in general, really, so it's really depressing not to have an active community for something you're obsessed with. Seeing a talented modder out here is like meeting someone in the middle of the forest. Hello, fancy seeing you here. All jokes aside, I really hope that you are still content with modding and are doing it because you enjoy it, and not for any other reason.

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alan217
alan217

when is this coming out

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