Scribble Scrabble

blender_skyboxtest

Fiddling around making skyboxes in Gimp and Blender. The way to render a sky dome to an environment map in Blender is slightly obscure, especially since the description in their wiki was written for a Blender version from the stone age. It still works in 2.68, although it took me hours of crossreferencing youtube tutorials and reading the fine print. In case anyone tries this, be sure to set both the sky sphere and the cube to “shadeless”, otherwise you’ll get a black envmap…

Next thing I know, I’m stunned by the overblown sky in FTE. I check Bloom, nothing. I check rtlights, nothing. Gamma? Brightness? Nothing. Finally it dawns on me: Contrast. I remember Spike telling me that the default contrast in the engine is set to 1.3 for some reason, probably for Quakeworld. Duh! That fixed it.

So SJ now force-configures both gamma and contrast to 1.0. Lo and behold, everything looks much better – bright parts in textures no longer blow out.

The sky pictured is from cgskies.com, which means before I release the game I will have to pay for it. Their skies are worth it though; I could stare at this one for ages. Really pretty stuff and they have very high resolutions as well. Much better than the old skies.

The funny screens are colour tests for SJ’s many computer screens. They actually flicker, and some of them are animated, which can’t be seen in a screenshot.

Skærmbillede fra 2013-11-20 14:44:38

Constantly drawing more concepts; I switched my GDD to use Open Document format instead of plaintext, so I can now include links, images and so forth. I’m currently populating my faction DD with images of all NPCs.

The problem I encountered with the Order Footsoldier (seen above) at first was that he looked too human. He had an actual face and his entire appearance was straight out of an illustrated historical novel. Sleeping over it for a while gave me the idea that all Order troops should actually look somewhat more spooky – like sci-fi fantasy crusaders. So part of that is that none of them will have a face, and I’ll try to err on the side of fantasy instead of realism.

order_abbot

The Order Abbot. Main faction spellcaster / summoner. The aim for all their garb is to draw from the black-and-white aesthetic of the Inquisition and the German Knights. There are a couple uniques who can wear purple.

Skærmbillede fra 2013-11-20 19:51:17

Finally, I’ve been learning how to do proper screenwriting. I’ve got a list of all the cutscenes in the game which I’m slowly filling in the scripts for – mainly dialogue. I’ll have to write dialogue scripts for a bunch of talking NPCs as well.

So you see, making Scout’s Journey (or any game, really) is a lot more than programming. With that said, I do plan to go back there. Unfortunately I only have one set of arms.

I enjoy doing this stuff tremendously though.

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2 responses to “Scribble Scrabble

  • unbirthday

    Sky looks really good, reminds me of Half Life 2. Coincidentally I was messing with skyboxes just yesterday. Damn right about that blender tutorial. I figured in the end, I just take a normal panorama, make it seamless on the left and right, reverse it, and bang it on a UV sphere. You get ugliness on the poles nomatterwhat. But the up and down can be easily edited in Gimp, as long as you stay about 5-10% away from the edges. Works really nicely. Also, strangely, all the tutorials I read, were wrong about blender’s environment map image ~ I’m guessing they changed it at some point. But for darkplaces I had to swap left and right, as I think the perspective is as if you’re looking at the skybox from the outside, towards the north (+Y) as opposed to looking at it on the inside, which seems more natural. And to also rotate _dn CCW 90, and _up CW 90.

    • kneedeepinthedoomed

      Yeah – that’s something I also noticed. I had to do the same, swap left and right and rotate _up 90 degrees for some reason (didn’t make a ground yet so my _dn is grey.)

      It is possible to bake an environment map in one go – I might make a tutorial about the way I did it. But in game dev, it’s “whatever works”. 🙂

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