Welcome to the 109th Devlog! We’re excited to have been building this awesome product for so long and are also extremely grateful to have the community along for the ride! Things are about to get a lot more interesting as we gear up for HOVR and a whole load of awesome builder features!
You can catch the latest AMA here and get an insight into the views of the founders.
We’ve also completed our required changes for Apple review and are pleased to announce that all issues have been resolved and the builds are approved for deployment. Now we have the green light deploy of the updates for both the app and builder we showcased recently will take place tomorrow — 8th February 2024— exciting stuff!
Now, lets check out what insane progress has been made in the virtual megacity of the Metropolis Crescent Ring:
The Crescent: Second Pass
We are excited to update you on the progress made on the Crescent and would like to dive deeper into the technical aspects that brought us to this stage. Check out this awesome video and then the below detailed technical explanation!
In this second pass, a full ambient occlusion bake has been implemented, enabling the complete removal of direct light sources, eliminating the need real-time shadows to read the 3d geometry and effectively halving the rendering load on your mobile. Furthermore, all AO maps have been baked onto ten 1024x1024px textures, ensuring compact game data that swiftly loads into your mobile’s GPU. Using small textures presents a challenge as individual pixels must cover a comparatively large area of the 3D model, potentially leading to visual artefacts when faces are partially covered, such as the base of a column overshadowing part of the floor texture. So unless you delete the obstructed section of the floor mesh, shadows can blead out onto visible meshes. Although we’ve worked on eliminating most of these instances, a few may persist and will be addressed in the third and final pass.
Given Godot’s limitation of two separate UV maps per material, triplanar mapping has been used to project the base stone texture onto meshes according to their position in the world coordinate system. This strategy allows the use of UV1 for detail AO maps, i.e. on the Corinthian columns, and UV2 for global ambient occlusion across the entire model.
In addition, ornamental details such as ivy plants and swaying fabrics have been introduced using a vertex shader, bringing the realm to life. We’re currently testing underwater shaders that impart a blue tint to all meshes below the water surface. Although a work in progress, this is achieved through a secondary shader on top of all meshes, enhancing swimming and diving visuals without the need for UV maps for each mesh. Lastly, wireframe-style placeholders for custom models on land parcels have been added to get started on populating these spaces.
As we near the completion of 3D development for the Crescent realm and Crescent Ring, the next steps involve linking them and fine-tuning performance. The upcoming app release will feature improved bounce pads, a crucial element before the Crescent can go public since they are interdependent. We are incredibly excited about these developments and anticipate that players, especially landowners, will appreciate the spacious feel of their parcels and the enhanced complexity and opportunity within the Crescent realm itself.
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