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.
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.
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.
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.