Hello everybody! I’m back with the first official look at one of the in-game environments; Laughlin Lake. The map is covered with dense forest, rocky terrain and is sparsely populated with some key areas that include trailers, camp grounds and other smaller establishments which you’ll need to visit in order to rummage for supplies. It is also planned to include some wildlife that you’ll be able to hunt and wild edibles to gather, if your character has acquired the skill.
I’m focusing on more realistic visuals this time around and though the art style is still very similar to Out Of Hell, I’m going to avoid the exaggerated ‘grime and grunge’ look. Though grime really helps establish that lived in look, I’m opting to have it more subtle and natural this time around instead of caking it on everything!
There are plenty of neat things going on underneath the hood but the one I’m most proud of is the lighting. All lighting and shadow is fully dynamic and done in real-time. Due to the nature of the game, a fully dynamic day and night system was needed which does not really allow for the luxury of baked lighting, global illumination and shadowmaps. It was not easy to accomplish but I think that the effort was really worth it; it is enough for my needs! Here are some various dusk, dawn and day images:
There is no aggressive optimization yet as that is a pass that I will do much later when all the maps are almost complete but I do currently have LOD’s in place. UDK makes it ridiculously simple to generate LOD’s because of the inclusion of Simplygon (which is a huge time saver) so thanks for thinking of us, Epic!
I’m building these maps with the same computer I used to build Out Of Hell, so it is quite an old rig. Depending on where I look during various times of the day, I’ll get anywhere from 15-40 frames per second. During the night phase, the framerate shoots up to between 40-70, so all in all, it’s pretty good considering the amount of stuff happening onscreen. Here is a cycle through various times during the day:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this update! I’ll be posting more screens as I go so come back often or subscribe to the mailing list!