TerrainYes we are dealing with terrain again! While we had 8-bit initially, then went to 16-bit but found using texture image editing software support lacking so we decided lets just make 8-bit work.
As we proceeded, I just wasn't happy with the terrain, and as you increase the terrain geometry it would start to "step." The final nail was to see the tracks again also going "jaggey" making things look terrible.
|Terrain quality at varying bit depth|
So whats changed now? Well, we've embraced blender as our terrain editing tool. My bro, the artist on the team has been programming the tools to allow us to use blender in our terrain pipeline. This has freed me, the programmer on the team to do some art!
What have I been doing as the artist you say?
Well, I present to you...
|Texas posing for a beauty shot|
Ain't she a beauty? This is based loosely off of actual GIS elevation data, which we take into blender and smooth out and exaggerate some features to make it playable in a game.
I have found the whole process actually quite relaxing, painting away the grass and sand and rock, while my dear brother is slaving away programming and beating his head against the desk. It really is a nice turn of events.
The hardest part has been trying to balance the map, and this is still much a work in process. I expect going forwards maps will continue to be balanced continously through the development process so I suspect maps will never truly be complete until we just cut it and say - that'lll do!
Video Blog ImprovementsAs you may well know, we have started doing video blogs/developer diary's or what ever you want to call them. Last time it took a whole day to put together this rather rough video with poor quality. It took so long as it was the first attempt I've done at putting something like that together. The next day I went and ordered a few microphones to replace my crappy mic. The new mic's arrived today, so I've not put together a new blog and video just to test it out (and I'll use the cover story that it is really you the avid fan I wish to please and keep apprised of our progress).
To that end I present our latest developer blog to accompany this blog:
Build and upload pipelinesNext up I have rebuilt the build and upload pipeline. I've better automated the procedure of building the games executables, packaging the data into its releases: Linux demo, Linux full version, Windows demo, Windows full version. I've also been investigating the possibility of doing a Mac build but have been unsuccessful so far.
Then I have also automated the next step as best I can which is to upload these packages to Steam and Itch.
Website changesAs we recently acquired bitshift.io we have been having some teething problems getting our new hosting to go along with it. This means from various locations around the world, some people can get to our website, but others cannot. It is strange, so we continue to look for some new web hosting that will be more stable.
Please keep this in mind over the next few days or weeks if you can't get to our website.
That is all,
On behalf of the bitshift team.