An adventurer with a yearning to explore the inaccessible, misty world of magic hears a tale of a door that opens onto that world, located in a lost city. She embarks on a journey through desolate and dangerous places to discover this city and its door, and enter the mist-world.

Post news RSS Aesthetics under Lantern and Sun

In which further changes are made to the aesthetics of the player-light shaders; work is begun on changing the aesthetics of the sunlight shaders; some minor shininess changes are made; and some publisher research is done.

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Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows further (possibly work-in-progress) changes to the game's aesthetics:

Screenshot from 2020 03 04 22 33

I have several such images to show, so I'll scatter them throughout the post!

The week just past was once again almost entirely given to such aesthetic work, with only one or two other things being done:

To start with, the aesthetic changes shown above.

With my to-do list diminished, as described in last week's post, I returned in the week just past to the aesthetics of the player-light shaders. And indeed, I think that I'm onto something with this version!

Screenshot from 2020 03 04 22 29 1

It's very similar to the previous iteration that I showed, but contains a number of tweaks. One is that it handles dark surfaces much better, I feel: the interior of the prologue-pyramid and the dark soil of the barrow-level's "pit" are much more visible now.

Screenshot from 2020 03 04 22 26

Screenshot from 2020 03 04 22 29

Overall, I'm rather happy with the effect, I do believe! ^_^

With that more or less in place (for one, I have yet to apply these changes to the other player-light shaders), I've moved on to reworking the aesthetics of the sunlight shaders.

I've made some progress, I think: dark surfaces now have a lovely bluish tint that I feel works quite well.

Screenshot from 2020 03 08 03 29 1

Screenshot from 2020 03 08 03 33

Still, I also feel that it's not yet there: significantly more stylisation is called for, I feel.

There's also the question of stylistic consistency, or at least harmony.

The current sunlight shaders lack the hard thresholding of the player-light shaders, and overall feel quite different.

Conversely, however, a sunlit scene is quite different to a scene lit primarily by lantern-light, so some degree of difference is to be expected...

It's something that I'm still working on. I have at least one idea in mind; we'll see how that goes, and whether any other possibilities come up!

And within the player-light shaders, there's the issue that some scenes have that first lighting threshold be much softer than others--see for example the comparison between the grey stone of the barrow-level and the orange sandstone of the undercity:

Screenshot from 2020 03 04 22 28

Screenshot from 2020 03 04 22 31

In this, I'm considering just leaving it as-is. I did try blending the colouring a little more in the undercity, but the colours don't mix as nicely as I'd like. Furthermore, with that bright stone I find that I actually prefer the harder edge, while I think that I prefer the softer edging in the softer grey stone.

Of course, if you have feedback or critique on any of this, please do give it!

Screenshot from 2020 03 08 03 29

Concomitant with the changes to the player-light shaders, I undid two previous changes: both the pyramid interior and the soil of the barrow-"pit" are less shiny now.

And finally... I began (or rather resumed) my research into indie publishers in the week just past. This is a process that's still somewhat at it's start: I've put together a list, divided according how likely a fit a given publisher seems to be, as well as other points.

I haven't yet begun reaching out: I might only do that once the aesthetic issue is settled, at the least. I'm also considering first putting out a new version of the demo, which would likely include the aesthetic changes.

(Plus I think that I have at least one publisher that I discovered subsequently, and that I thus have yet to look into.)

That then is all for this week--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^

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