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Development Info Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #79: Graphics and Rendering (and E3)

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, May 28, 2014.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Adam Brennecke; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

    In this week's Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter update (now permanently moved to Wednesdays), Adam Brennecke tells us about the game's area rendering pipeline. He's clearly in his element when it comes to technical stuff:


    You might be happy to hear that Obsidian have taken steps to address the issues some people had with certain screenshots they've released in the past:

    We noticed, and so did many of you, after releasing our first few screenshots, the 3D characters were not matching the 2D rendered scene as much as we would have hoped. So we put our thinking caps on, and we came up with new features since our first batch of screenshots, including dynamic ambient and a shadow control system.

    To really make sure the characters fit in the scene, we came up with an ambient system that samples color from the 2D background, simulating a quick and dirty global illumination model. Characters pick up subtle color variations depending on where they are standing and what type of environment they are in. If a character is standing in a lush green jungle, it will pick up a subtle green hue from the light reflected off the environment. Game programmers love fast and cheap methods, and the ambient system gives us great results with little impact on rendering performance.

    Another feature that we've added recently to solve the issue of grounding characters into the scene is a system to shadow 3D characters when traversing into dark shadowy areas in the 2D image. The new system samples a low resolution image map which controls the contribution of the directional sunlight on the character, and to avoid double shadows, the same image controls the value of the dynamic shadow map. Lastly, to better match the 2D and 3D shadows, we color the dynamic shadow to match the 2D rendered shadow color (which often has a blue hue to it).
    But that's not all. It's E3 next month, and the update confirms that Obsidian and Pillars of Eternity will be making an appearance there. I quote:

    We are going to be going on update hiatus for the next three weeks as we prepare for E3 in Los Angeles. After E3, the next update will feature the final classes covering The Front Line (fighters and barbarians).

    At E3, the team will be showing Pillars of Eternity at the Paradox booth behind closed doors. To avoid spoiling what we will be showing, we will be saving these moments until you get to play it. Because we want to include you in the experience, we will be taking photos at the booth, and in a future update we will be sharing more screenshots from the demo. To give you a small taste, here's a sneak peek at a scene that will be shown at E3:

    [​IMG]
    A press-only demo, huh? I bet some of the backers won't like that. I think we can all understand why Obsidian might not be keen on showing off unfinished gameplay, though.
     
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  2. Athelas Arcane

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    Surprised they're going to be at E3. Looks like that partnership with Paradox is paying off already.

    Maybe it's just me, but I thought the character models looked more solid and blended in better with the environment in the teaser from December.
     
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  3. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

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    Have to admit but it did kinda of irk me when I read it. :oops:

    Guess I've just gotten spoiled with other KS developers and how open they've been. Alli-in-all, it's really no big deal as I try to limit my exposure until the games come out anyway.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
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  4. Athelas Arcane

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    :hmmm:
     
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  5. Scruffy The janitor Patron

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    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    :bounce:
     
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  6. Copper Savant

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    Pretty sad indication of the role of 'press' though, that they're seen as a safer, less critical audience, happy to ride the hype train.
     
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  7. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

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    A WILD ALOTH APPEARED!

    This looks so damn sweet.

    :bounce:
     
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  8. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

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    I guess I should qualify "open" as putting out frequent updates that include gameplay videos, alpha/ beta demos, etc. and not "press only" events.
     
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  9. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    Most of those ks devs have press only events. Thats where a lot of interviews come from.

    Obsidian has been just as open with the community, if not more due to Sawyers frequent posts.
     
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  10. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    mindx2 doesn't give a shit about interviews. He wants to see the game he funded in action - for real, not in five second miniclips. Pillars of Eternity COULD have had a 20 minute gameplay video months ago. Obsidian have chosen not to give that to us.
     
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  11. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

    J_C
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    Exactly. But even if not 20 minutes, I'd be happy with a few 2-3 minutes clips which show gameplay. Obsidian realy underperforms regarding showing stuff.
     
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  12. Athelas Arcane

    Athelas
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    Showing a gameplay video would be useful if it could be counted on to be an accurate representatiion of what the final product would roughly be like. That hasn't necessarily been the case for the other KS's.
     
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  13. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    I know if they did post a video I would go : This is great but ... and nitpick the shit out of it.
     
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  14. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    :lol: Yeah, you're probably right.
     
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  15. PlanHex Arcane Patron

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    I creamed my pants a little when he rotated everything and shattered the 3D illusion. This is some cool as shit tech they've made. Looking forward to see more it in action.
     
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  16. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    InXile's first gameplay video was met with almost universal praise even on the codex.

    As was Hairbrained Schemes actually, then they cut everything that wasn't combat in the game.
     
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  17. Onholyservicebound Arcane

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    I think it was really progressive of Obsidian to hire a programmer with progeria.
     
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  18. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    that oversized cap is not helping
     
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  19. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    They went pretty creative with their 2D/3D mixed approach.
    Nothing in there is very demanding on GPUs, nor is there something very complex.
    Just a simple 3D navmesh with a picture in the background (which has the usual deferred shading textures).

    They really achieved a great effect with very simple techniques. Not that they invented it, this is being done in a similar way in many adventure games (Moebius, for example).
    But PoE brings it to a new level, it seems.
     
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  20. kazgar Arcane

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    I look forward to hiring the sphere as a companion, and then romancing it.
     
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  21. garren Arcane Patron

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  22. StaticSpine Arcane Patron

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    :mob:
     
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  23. jdinatale Arbiter

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    For a game that's allegedly being released this year, there is absolutely no excuse for why we haven't seen a combat video (and I don't mean a 3 second clip of half-assed spell animations like in the trailer), or why we haven't seen a UI demonstration or why we haven't seen a sample quest demo.

    Oh cool, we get to see how objects are illuminated. That should have been shown over a year ago. As a backer, I expect meaningful content updates.

    Larian Studios really set the bar with transparency and how to properly run a publicity and media campaign. Larian is by far the frontrunner in the incline.
     
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  24. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    Alpha animations and FX. They probably will towards the end of their Alpha 2 phase - people will just go RAAAAA animations are shit!

    We have seen what the UI looks like, but Kaz probably hasn't done the fill in areas for the UI, as it currently looks like this

    [​IMG]

    I agree that I would like to have seen a mockup of this in an update and some combat, but they are trying to avoid negative press as much as possible - like an AAA developer ;)
     
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  25. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    That's fair. An actual video is a bit delayed.

    Personally, I'm not really upset about it. In the end the only use of a video for me (pre-Beta) will be a confirmation that shit *exists*.

    So, its more or less a *Oh, shiny* thing for me.

    From that point of view the written updates provide me with a lot more info.
     
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