Revisiting the Graphics Engine

Arashi standing in tiled water
Arashi standing in tiled water

Several months ago I discussed my issues with the water engine and how I wanted it to look, but failed completely.  I decided this week it was time I came back to it after abandoning the direction I was going and tried an entirely new method – one that I wasn’t sure I even had the ability to program.  This time, I had to learn a bit about alpha masking to create a proper refraction effect, along with proper “render target” settings.  I’m still not quite sure if this is exactly what I want, but it’s closer at the very least.  One thing I am really going for is the fact water isn’t usually blue on its own, it is merely reflecting the sky.  To make a truly great-looking water effect requires many layers of graphics than I realized and my poor ancient computer can barely keep up with the code, but with a bit more of a push this will probably be the best looking effect in the game.  At least in its current state, I’m much happier than where it was before!  I may tint the water a bit more vibrantly, but we’ll see how things go once I add the sun/moonlight layer tonight.

I also had to re-code the particle generator engine earlier this week to accommodate skills.  The variables used in generating particles were a bit too static, and there was no depth sorting or directional motion, all things I needed to gut out of the old design and rebuild.  One of my goals for the upcoming demo/playtest is to have at least the three “Basic” level skills available for players to experiment with by the time they get to the first boss, and with Blade Spark fully coded (including its variations), I’m 1/3 of the way there!  I probably need to paint the back-burst effect a bit more thickly, but otherwise I really like how the shockwave of Blade Spark looks in motion 🙂

Hopefully this weekend I can focus on more animations, and I really need to paint some more map items, I’m still missing a lot of variety in rocks and other loose forest-y items like twigs and small plants.  The more variety in objects to decorate the map with, the more “alive” the maps will look 🙂 Plus, I need to start plotting out the other sections of the Kasumi Forest, so I can really get this demo done, so I’ll need some way to give each submap its own personality.

About Astrael

A long-time independent game developer that was lucky(?) enough to have grown up with the gaming industry. I am a programmer, a game designer, a concept and pixel artist, a music composer, and a novelist. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I am determined to take advantage of every talent I hope I have to make it happen!