Some New Shots :-)
Over the weekend i had some free time, so i loaded up the island in Sandbox with the intent of taking some new screenshots. But as usual, i got distracted and started working on the island instead.
I actually got a lot of work done and the lighting is now looking very nice indeed. Im constantly surprised that after a little break from working on the island, i can return to it and somehow squeeze a little bit more out if the visuals.
The Starting Beach
First Signs of Life
Please excuse the quality of the pics, they were taken in the editor and the draw distance for some objects is set to low, so they can look pixelated in the distance.
I find it difficult to do it justice with a single screenshot, because it looks so much better in motion, with the vegetation moving and the light and shadows flickering. I think a large percentage of the (photo) realism is the depth of field (which is very subtle in these pics), which although restricts the viewing distance, immediately gives a photographic quality to everything. I cant wait to record a video of a walk through so you can see how its looking.
I think i’ve spent more time working on the lighting than any other part of the island. It has taken a long time to get the textures sorted and to come up with a nice work flow for the vegetation and terrain, but the lighting is something thats constantly been updated and has made the biggest impact on the quality of the visuals.
Im confident that when i start work on the new map, it wont take long to catch up to where i am now, as the learning process it out of the way. It will be made even easier with a faster system that hopefully wont crash every ten minutes!
On the subject of a new system, i want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the project so far. Not long after the last update, i received two donations that pushed the savings up enough for me to buy an 8gb stick of DDR3 memory for the new system! My current system has only 3gb, so that will be a huge improvement. Thank you so much!!
I can work towards a CPU now, which due to price and good customer reviews, i’ve decided to go with an AMD FX-8350. Once i have that, i can hopefully assemble everything and fire it up. Im going to have to get a new case though, as my current one is just way to small and ill need it to house the old system anyway. If anyone has some advice on a really nice budget case, that would be great.
I’ve actually got some free time over the next couple of weeks while i wait to hear back about school, so im going to put some extra time into the island and try and get everything from the starting beach all the way to the first monorail station finished. Now obviously it wont be 100% final, i just want to get it to a point where i can record a video of a walk through. That way, when i start working on the new map, i can at least show you guys how its looking right now. Please remember that i cant record a video till i get the new system, my current system just cant cope when i start recording.
Now im still not even sure ill be able to make a complete 8192×8192 map. The current level is 4096×4096, which is already a very large level (thats 4096 metres), and although the new map will mostly consist of more ocean space around the island, with a 10% increase in land mass, that 10% actually equates to an additional 400 metres of land and more importantly, a huge increase in surface texture size.
The great thing about CryEngine is that the surface texture can be split into many smaller pieces, with each piece given its own specific resolution, ranging from 64×64, all the way up to 2048×2048. This means that the ocean floor can be set at a lower resolution than the terrain, because it’ll be under water and not visible. This will hopefully save a lot of memory, but it will be interesting to see just how much memory this map demands, even for just the terrain and first initial surface generation.
In the event that an 8192 map is not possible, ill just make do with the current map and continue with development as usual. I just hope i dont get to 80% completion before i find out.
Hope you like the new shots! 🙂