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Requesting feedback on graphics

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Oct 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM
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#1
I really have no idea where to put this. I just wanted to get some feedback on graphics and style (ie: lighting, shadows, sound). I've been staring at my own work for so long that I've lost the ability to see the wires sticking out of things. Don't read too deep onto the dialogue section (or just skip over it), there is no context to be had.

EDIT: why is the embed appearing all tiny? I'll just post the raw link I guess

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JWnKSO7y6k

Any suggestions/criticisms are welcome. The jumps/stutters are due to running fraps on a pretty weak laptop.

EDIT: And now It embeds by itself? I'm so confused....
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 5:39 PM
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#3
Three things:
-Muzzle flashes should be brighter, they barely show up.
-What are those rays of light coming from the ceiling? If they're supposed to be sunlight, they should be straight and not spreading. You know, like \\ instead of /\. I'm not a physicist don't make fun of my terminology.
-Perhaps use more/various light sources, unless you want this section to be way too dark and just have hanging torches (and those mysterious beams of light).

That's a very nice lighting engine you've got there, though. I hope you're working on a proper horror version of Cave Story, I don't think the world has one of those.

Also trees underground: why
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 5:48 PM
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#4
The trees actually have a reason for being there. Like I say, the context is confusing. The light beams however, I totally agree with. Those should be different. Never noticed that till now. Thanks.

As for the lighting, that is an issue I've been struggling with. I know it shows up drastically different on many monitors. On my laptop screen, colors are particularly washed out and the contrast is low, so everything shows up sort of brighter and less dramatic than it really should.

For me, the only place that comes through as uncomfortably dark is at the end of the road with the torches in place. I wanted to get more lights in there, but at the same time, I wanted the red light from the soldier's gun to be really vivid, as that's the indicator of "you shall not pass". For me, it seemed to be a trade-off, but I'm no artist, and there probably is a better way to arrange the lights.

EDIT: I also agree with the muzzle flash thing, I think, but in pitch black areas they already appear too bright. I might be able to do some kind of dynamic adjustment based on the surrounding light. Perhaps proper HDR rendering would also be an option.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 5:49 PM
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#5
Yeeah, there probably shouldn't be trees down there

But yeah, other than what Fab already stated, it looks nice. Good work.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 5:51 PM
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#6
Hmm... well, the trees have a purpose due to the geography of the original design, but if they are visually jarring/confusing, I'll consider removing them from this section. There are some open sections of cave that more or less look like an outdoor environment (forests) and they would probably fit better there.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 6:12 PM
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#8
Damn this looks good.
The ceiling lights could use a bit more detail, such as being able to see where the light is coming from instead of it coming out of the dirt above ._.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 6:38 PM
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#9
Fluffball said:
Hmm... well, the trees have a purpose due to the geography of the original design, but if they are visually jarring/confusing, I'll consider removing them from this section. There are some open sections of cave that more or less look like an outdoor environment (forests) and they would probably fit better there.
As long as there's a reason for trees to be growing underground, it won't keep me up at night. You should probably follow through with your idea of moving them to the forest section, though, to make that area more visually distinct from the cave in the video.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 6:42 PM
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#10
I had a hard time discerning what the soldiers were saying at first; thought the Mimigas were talking like that! Is Quote picking up their transmissions? Or are the soldiers overly loud at a distance? (or does sound just carry well?) Could add increasing room ambient sound transformation effects for long distance sound sources/a greater volume adjustment, maybe...?

Did find the loud gun shots a bit jarring initially; at least in contrast to the original CS... But, as I got a feel for the style, I think it works.

The ambient soundtrack and the seemless transition near the end reminds me of Half-Life...

I liked how the soldier's hit caused the blur and ear ringing... Though not sure how much I'd like it in actual gameplay; if you had to fight them.

As for the graphics, it's mostly CS+ graphics right? The trees look new, and soldiers... I didn't have a problem personally with the trees, and they looked great aesthetically. Logically, if you address the tree issue in-game, there's no reason not to have them if you want. It's not like this is Earth... Maybe trees behave differently there, in that cave..? ...Or non-visible light emanating from the rocks, or a strong penetrating source, made safe and useful by the right amount of overhead cave? ... Alternatively, if the trees haven't been down there too long, then perhaps show signs of stress on the trees from lack of sunlight?

Lighting wise, I did find it dark, but with player activated light, it can make things very interesting, having to keep a bearing on what's around or coming up... I always did wonder why underground Cave Story was so bright...

Soldiers looking good, from what I can see.
Remove the lag (it's from recording, so no issue probably) and I'm highly anticipating this! <3

... Do you have any plans to make the engine open to the public for mod creation down the road? Just curious...
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 6:58 PM
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#11
The trees look new, and soldiers...
They are. I have a friend who is a small-time animator and he made those for me. I'm very grateful to him.

reminds me of Half-Life...
Heh, both the voices and that music are from half-life 2.

Or non-visible light emanating from the rocks, or a strong penetrating source, made safe and useful by the right amount of overhead cave?
The light source "from the dirt" does actually have an explanation. I agree with the criticism that they should be a different shape however. The light is actually coming from "outside". In the original design for this game (which is actually unrelated to CS, sorry to say), you progressively find out that the world geometry you seem to be witnessing is physically impossible. At the very beginning, you actually find yourself washed up on a beach shore next to an ocean, which on your map appears to be a small room. It's part of the original story to go through and find out why this world is the way it is.


PS: no it is not a dream


Remove the lag (it's from recording, so no issue probably) and I'm highly anticipating this! <3...
Yup, the lag is %100 on fraps... I'm recording uncompressed video so it grinds on my disk like nothing else. It seems to frequently get ahead of itself.... So far I haven't witnessed any in-game lag.


Do you have any plans to make the engine open to the public for mod creation down the road? Just curious...
Yes, actually. I really don't have the time or resources to create a game by myself, especially one of this planned scale, so it's most likely that nothing is going to really happen with it. However, I do plan to release the engine when I'm able to get the last little bits polished and more documentation written (there is a lot right now but it's outdated).

I might be releasing the binary with customization script (which you can more or less write a whole game in) pretty soon, and someday when I get the time to wrap up the C++ code, I'll distribute that as well.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 7:16 PM
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#12
did you get permission to put HL2 music in there
and
did you get permission to do any of this at all ever
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 7:20 PM
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#13
I gave attribution and I am not distributing this specifically. Do I need permission to use files for personal, education purposes?
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 7:23 PM
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#14
not really but this isn't educational at all
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 7:24 PM
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#15
Fluffball said:
I gave attribution and I am not distributing this specifically. Do I need permission to use files for personal, education purposes?
It would probably be better to create your own sound effect instead of using HL2's, but as long as you give credit for using it, and you aren't selling your game for commercial benefit, you should be fine.
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 7:28 PM
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#16
I happen to disagree with the educational aspect. I've dumped many years into working on this engine, trying to polish and tweak it. If I don't have polished assets to use, I will never know how it looks in a "final product" setting. Should I really just abandon all that and use MS paint sprites?

If I didn't release a youtube video of this, no one would ever even know that I used the files, and I am still distributing no content. So what you are effectively saying is posting a video that happens to feature files is illegal. Is the letsplay community in some serious trouble?
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM
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#17
I guess it's educational for you
so
idfk
 
Oct 4, 2014 at 11:56 PM
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#18
Since he hasn't distributed anything other than the video, it's very, very likely he will be perfectly okay.

However, if he decides to distribute the project in the future, even if it's not for commercial profit, than these type of questions are raised.

If anything, I would eventually replace the HL2 stuff with your own audio at some point, but yeah if the files stay within the computer or with a select few friends, I highly doubt that valve/pixel will get angst.

Anything can happen though.
 
Oct 5, 2014 at 2:08 AM
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#19
Spirit look at the modding community
Now look at the custom engines related to the modding community
Now look at fluff's custom engine

How is this any different from what we do??
 
Oct 5, 2014 at 2:23 AM
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#20
shit you're so right
damn
nothing is different
continue then
 
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