This time we discuss the new Post Process Effects editor for OverDose.
Posted by Gavavva on May 21st, 2009
I mentioned a while ago I was going to talk about our Post Process Effects Editor, so I think it’s about time I sat you all down and gave you a little insight into what it actually does. OverDose, like many games these days, allows the mapper/artists full control over the design of the game. One of the area's a mapper has direct control over is Post Process effects. These are the effects rendered on the screen during game play, like screen warping, colour shifts and bloom. Many games have hard locked variables for these effects... They are either on or off, and most of them certainly can't be changed in real time. The guys at Team Blur games see things a little differently. We like you all to have access to all the tools, all the time. This means that if you compile your level and notice that a light in one area isn't quite right, its still perfectly possible to change that light, in real-time, in game. The same can be said about our post process effects. We do this using our Post Process Effects editor, seen below in early beta form.
Now while not everything is there right now for the window, its still fully functional. The way it works is that in your level, the map is split up into area portals. I won't go to much into detail about these, mapper’s should understand what I mean, but area portals are set up by the mapper when they want to split up areas of a level. This may be for effects reasons or, more than likely, performance (For example, so you don't draw things that can't really be seen anyway). OverDose allows the artist to assign each area portal in a level post process settings and they can be pretty much however you want them to be. So if you want the screen to turn red when you walk into one room, then inverted when you walk into another, then black and white when you step outside... You can. Same with bloom, too. You may have noticed some games these days have an insane amount of bloom. This isn't totally the dev’s fault, because most of the time they have a single batch of settings that they can tweak and it has to work the same for EVERY area. OverDose of course does away with this old fashioned way of doing things, and lets you control every area however you want. It works guys, amazingly well.
The great thing about the post process effects is that there isn't a sudden change as you move from area A to area B... It fades in, making the result look more natural. Of course, nothing is perfect; If you make a room totally red, and you walk out of it, the "totally red" room will appear normal from outside. But that’s where the designer comes into play. Nobody will make a room totally red in the first place for no reason... The tools are just there to enhance the mood of each area portal separately.
Pretty soon I will hopefully have a new dev blog for you with information of our new Sound Reverb Editor, and I'll likely include a video with sound for you all to take a butchers at. So until then, thanks for reading, and get those comments going!