In today's update:
Stuff that was done in summer/autumn 2012 and in Blood Omnicide 0.1 progress at whole.
Chapter I: Retrospective.
Blood Omnicide v0.1 being in development for almost 3 years now. It was started as a map pack and features update to the demo version. With time, we got large response from community: the critics, opinions and requests. Many of them was right and we decided to add new features to the plan for v0.1: raising overall quality, get more blood omen-like gameplay (and restore things that was missed), add real-time physics for destruction and interaction, improve multilanguage support and add new faithful features to extend gameplay. Making all that stuff required us to re-visit the whole project skeleton. There is very little amount of things that was left unchanged since demo was released.One of side effects of that major re-route was growing entropy. You can't significantly change many things without adding chaos to the structure. Big improvements demand new improvements, making rewrite cycle last longer. For example: by increasing lighting quality, we got nice surface shading and it starts to demand high definition textures. Once high definition textures was done, it was clear that sprites, even being upscaled with advanced techniques, start to look blury and misfit with map environments. It requires to upgrade all sprites to models. Models require rag doll animation for nice death scenes... STOP. Improvements without any doubts is nice thing, but thats too much work to do in single update. It is unacceptable that too much features will throw project into remaking hell, holding it away from the release.
Chapter II: The plan.
After all reflections we've decided to dedicate summer and autumn to stabilizing Blood Omnicide development - finishing up stuff that is not done and cutting out some most slow progressing features (such as first person viewport, models for all characters and so on).
The task list was:
- Lock the texture quality level at 8x (8 times higher than original tiles) and make all textures looks same.
- Finish mausoleum retexturing.
- Fix and polish lighting technique.
- Start the spirit forge and blood fountain themes.
- Start with finalizing Wilderness location.
- Temporarily disable code parts which is not required by the current game progress, lowering amount of supported code.
- Fix and lock progress for all new game features until v0.1 will be out.
Chapter III: Result.
Massive texture update, about 300 HD textures were produced (with normalmaps and gloss maps that would be around 800 textures). ~20 new map models, and many existing ones (~70) was updated to use smoothing groups (recent version of Darkplaces .MD3 exporter - a tool created to export map models got support for smoothing groups). Wolf cave and wilderness location got progress, test colored materials for location prototyping was added etc.
On the rendering side, global sun light to simulate sunset/sun dawn was added. Q3map2 (map compiler) got new ambient occlusion technique for lightmap calculations, this new techique produces both highlight and darken effect. World textures (such as town signs) can be translated now. Blood Omnicide Development Wiki was created in order to increase effectivity of team work.As one of results, we would like to present a new gameplay video: