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Building a world is only half the battle... Destroying it is where the fun is at!

Posted by Gavavva on Mar 27th, 2009

One of the best things about building a world I find is making it look like it could actually exist. You can spend hours alone on just looking for inspirational material that get your creative juices flowing, whether you are creating a house, a road, a building or an entire city. The internet is full of images and inspirational designs that can help you along the way. But with OverDose, we have to go one
step further. Obviously like any other game we need to build the world we want to play in, but OverDose has a small catch... Once you build it, you gotta destroy it. See, in OverDose, the world is left in ruin. Hundreds of years of nuclear war has left the planet scared and down right disgusting. Walls are decaying, metal is rusted, and resources are limited. As you can see in our first shot, we are trying to make the world look lived in, old, damaged. Tin cans and debris line the floor, boxes and junk clutter the halls, walls are broken to the extent of revealing what’s behind them. All of these make the world look decayed:

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Another area that really works well when creating such a theme is working with decals. Decals are strips of texture that are blended over where needed to give extra detail. Notice how around trims, edges and metal we add a small layer of dirt and rust? This helps break up the blandness of a wall so that instead of a door just appearing from nowhere, it actually looks set into the wall:

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Damage isn't confined to the walls. Floors and ceilings are another great area where you can make things look lived in. Would a tile floor survive after years of life? They hardly last a decade these days, so wouldn't they crumble too?

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Finally, a great way to enhance a lived in feel for a level is to add a lot of clutter. Boxes, crates, bottles, cans, pipes etc all work well to make a level look like its part of a world. Every item tells a back story and just enhances the feel of your world even more:

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There are so many things you can do with a world to make it look post apocalyptic, destroy walls leading into other rooms, create blood smeared walls and floors with bullet holes and casings that hint at past battles, burn and scar materials in your world, set fire to things to create dynamic lighting etc Anything is possible these days, and the more you think up, the more believable your world becomes.

I hope this latest sneak peak has given a little more insight into where OverDose is heading and the art direction we are taking. As always, comments are welcome, so please ask any questions you like and the team will try and get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for reading.

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Post comment Comments
MrTambourineMan Mar 27 2009, 7:50pm says:

You guys are doing some really kick *** stuff with Q2 engine!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lez Mar 27 2009, 9:26pm says:

Thats some fine looking detail.
Love the hole in the wall.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bird_of_Prey Mar 27 2009, 11:33pm says:

Great attention to detail. Looks too good to be idt2!

+1 vote     reply to comment
vfn4i83 Mar 28 2009, 1:29am says:

Really looking good.

I guess those wall will be physicalised, for that matter?

+1 vote     reply to comment
SinKing Mar 28 2009, 4:20am says:

I wonder how taxing your engine is on the GPU. What'sthe lowest system specs the engine can run on? Couldn't it be used to develop homebrew for PSP?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gavavva Author
Gavavva Mar 28 2009, 7:03am says:

Homebrew on the PSP...? Hell no. Its much higher detail than the Doom 3 engine. Its using per pixel lighting with shadow maps for a star, thats 6x the requirments per light pass as it is. It would be hard to get running on a 360 or PS3, never mind a PSP.

OverDose is very scalable, with everything have optional quality settings, and only a select few things can not be disabled at all for cheating reasons. But most of it, even the shadows, can be lowered in quality for better performance.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Samuk Mar 28 2009, 12:38pm replied:

Look at the mod am working on (Solitude), thats pushing the PSP (while keeping it at a high framerate). There's no change this would work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
binkbankbonk Apr 4 2009, 11:58pm replied:

you have to be kidding

+1 vote     reply to comment
RogerRamjet Mar 28 2009, 8:11am says:

Excellent work on the mapping, textures and hole in the wall. One of the best I have seen. Holes in the wall that is... lol.. top marks...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gavavva Author
Gavavva Mar 28 2009, 8:18am says:

lol, do I get a "hole in the wall of excellence" badge :p

+1 vote   reply to comment
Daystranger Mar 28 2009, 8:48am replied:

Oh yeah!
But shadows are way too pixelated for me...
Maybe some smoothing techniques?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gavavva Author
Gavavva Mar 28 2009, 8:54am says:

EVERY screenshot so far has shadows with ZERO filtering, because the code isn't 100% perfect yet. I've got a test shader with an 8x PCF filter and it looks spot on. Resolution and smoothness of shadows is fully tweakable by the player, so don't worry about visuals or performance on that, but great question, glad you asked that.

+2 votes   reply to comment
koddak99 Mar 28 2009, 9:48am says:

This is the quake 2 engine?! lol , wow ^^

+1 vote     reply to comment
bwilliam Mar 28 2009, 6:53pm says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
ausbushman Mar 28 2009, 10:22pm says:

Looks really good guys.

One thing that I notice about games that get to this sort of visual detail is that the specular highlights begin to make things look plastic. Depending on the material, the highlight varies a lot however many games seem to slap on a general shader which highlights all their materials the same.

Are the materials your scene using the same specular highlighting algorithm? Will you be changing this in the future?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gavavva Author
Gavavva Mar 29 2009, 6:23am says:

Our materials all use a high quality spec path that includes colour. There is no "set" way to do spec. We have the power to not only control the colour and brightness per pixel of the spec map but also the power (Brightness per stage) and the scale (Size of falloff per stage).

+1 vote   reply to comment
SinKing Mar 31 2009, 2:37pm says:

I thought the engine would require some power, it certainly looks like it. So there's really not much left of Tech2, right? How is the editor, does it use standard editor? How did you cram all the new stuff in ;)?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gavavva Author
Gavavva Mar 31 2009, 2:46pm says:

Theres nothing left of id tech 2 really, its all new clean faster code.

The editing tools can be seen in various images, but the tools are advanced. The Level Editor is more advanced than Q4Rad (But you can use D3/Q4Rad, GTK etc), the tools are really easy to use too.

+1 vote   reply to comment
vfn4i83 Apr 3 2009, 1:25pm says:

But it was based on it? Even so, great work, cant wait to see how level editing and modding will be.

The engine will support particles right?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gavavva Author
Gavavva Apr 3 2009, 1:44pm says:

Erm...? When OD was "born" it was "born" on the Q2 engine, so its a Q2 engine game.

And will is support particles...? It supports scriptable particles like Doom 3 does, only much more expanded. Did you really think we would do all this and not have a particle system? Even our old Quake II Evolved had one ;)

+1 vote   reply to comment
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