More character overhauling.
I decided to test a short hair look and I found that I really like it (and I don't have to animate the pony tail as an added bonus)
I also finished combining the different maps into a single 2048x2048 one (well one for diffuse, specular, gloss and bump) - thank fuck there's something like UVWxform that allows to offset UVWs via numbers instead of having to move the UVWs by hand. I also fixed the eyelashes and moved them into their own texture (as they are the only part that needs alpha).
I'm not sure I mentioned it, but setting up lights (in 3D) is an art form (even with today's "click and done" tools and global illumination). Even more so in "realtime 3D", when you have a very, very specific idea of how things should look.
AgentZero (or AZ for short) isn't different there (did I mention that the prototype finally has a name?).
My original plan was to be able to light each room (as I would do for rendered 3D) to get the light *right*, but of course there is no such a thing as "right" when setting up the lights in Unity. The first bummer was the fact that even with shadows turned on the lights shine "through" the scene, ie. when turning off a light on the first floor the room below it would become darker too.
So I ended up separating rooms with layers and "exclude" lights, so the lobby would be layer "RoomA" with the lights limited to that layer and the first floor would be moved to layer "RoomB", while the second floor would use "RoomA" again (as there was enough distance, so the lights didn't shine through).
This shows the old lights in action, with 3 spots per room there where 12 in there, plus the spots in the elevator and behind the doors (which are turned off when the door is closed).
Due to the nature of the beast there are only so many lights Unity handles well, setting the important ones to "important" helped a bit, but the nail in the coffin was the new "Restroom" room. When opening the door some annoying flicker showed (when the light was turned on behind the door). I may have been able to work my way around that, but I decided to overhaul the light completely and reduce the number of spots a LOT.
The new lights in place, it got a bit brighter and it lost a good deal of depth, but not to a degree where I would have cursed and shouted. Instead of using spots I went for 2 directional lights - one main light and one fill light to light up the edges. On the plus side I still can exclude rooms from that and add individual lights there (think dark passage), I need yet to find out if I can change layers at runtime, but if not I find a way around that.
The lobby with the new lights (not as bad as I feared either).
I'm toying with the idea of adding a light that moves with the player to recreate a bit of atmosphere, but for now the light has to stay the way it is now.
... and with this I'm going to continue coding the handling of the WC stalls.
During the last couple of month the prototype game changed a lot and I entered a state not unlike "full production mode" (just with less time to actually work on the game).
This is what it looked like the last time I posted about the game (because, let's be honest, the last post was fucking ages ago):The most obvious thing changed is the map:
As you can see, it moved away from the platformer style to something room based, the elevators were moved into the back (instead of blocking the path) and there are no goons in there (yet).
It started easy enough with the idea of removing the gun from the player and introducing the "hiding" mechanic, I also started to dislike the way the goons moved around "randomly" (the reason why I wrote a pathfinder based solution
). Also some of my early playtesters mentioned that the mechanics weren't quite working as well together as I thought (something that had dawned on me as well).
Once the old map was gone it wasn't that hard to settle on the room based map and add the mechanics that suited the slower pace, just to realize that I made a full circle with the game idea (and a round trip of about a year). Mechanics wise the game is more or less the same as the one I first started over a year ago, just the visuals changed from top-down/iso to fake-2D:
Right now I'm exporting some new rooms in order to add some more features (cameras, laser gates, etc.) and later get the goons back in, but this time with less freedom to move around (for the most time). Mostly they will be used as guards (patrolling a set area), but some may walk off and explore the map on their own.
Last image in this post is the "Elevator Cam", which ended up in there because I needed a new way to control the elevators from the inside:
And with this I'm going to export a restroom.
ps: There are more frequent updates on this on (my) twitter (@nGFX, link on the right) as it is sometimes easier to just write 5 words and post an image.