Experimenting with Unity 5

For the past five months, medical
Mike and I have been carving out a significant portion of our schedule to work on RedFrame. We’ve made great progress on several fronts. Mike has been working on the main code base, building a robust infrastructure that is now allowing us to set up puzzles and interactions that previously had been held together by ad-hoc prototype code. The types of interactive elements available in the game are very well known at this point so we’ve been able to front-load this engineering work.

During this same time period, I have migrated the entire house to new, cleaner, Maya files, and in the process have greatly improved much of the texturing and quality of models. I’ve also finally been able to get around to working on an area that I had put off for a long time: the yard. Happily I feel that this is now one of the best areas in the game. I’ve also started work on the other environments outside of the house and am planning them out in broad strokes.

All of this work has been aimed toward building our first demo with interactive puzzles which will continue to grow out into the final game. As we begin winding down some of these time consuming programing and art tasks, I will return to puzzle design and Mike will be freed up to work more on environmental storytelling.

There will be a lot to share with you this year and we’re very excited to show it to you. Thanks for the support and stay tuned!Hall
For the past five months, medical
Mike and I have been carving out a significant portion of our schedule to work on RedFrame. We’ve made great progress on several fronts. Mike has been working on the main code base, building a robust infrastructure that is now allowing us to set up puzzles and interactions that previously had been held together by ad-hoc prototype code. The types of interactive elements available in the game are very well known at this point so we’ve been able to front-load this engineering work.

During this same time period, I have migrated the entire house to new, cleaner, Maya files, and in the process have greatly improved much of the texturing and quality of models. I’ve also finally been able to get around to working on an area that I had put off for a long time: the yard. Happily I feel that this is now one of the best areas in the game. I’ve also started work on the other environments outside of the house and am planning them out in broad strokes.

All of this work has been aimed toward building our first demo with interactive puzzles which will continue to grow out into the final game. As we begin winding down some of these time consuming programing and art tasks, I will return to puzzle design and Mike will be freed up to work more on environmental storytelling.

There will be a lot to share with you this year and we’re very excited to show it to you. Thanks for the support and stay tuned!Hall
Unity 5 has added some really cool lighting and shader features to help artists create more realistic looking scenes. A lot of this is coupled to their out of the box set-up, health system
but it is pretty easy with Unity to write new shaders that take advantage of this new lighting model.

RedFrame has traditionally not made much use of of specular lighting because it required using dynamic lights to add the spec highlights. This slows things down a bit since the scenes have hundreds of thousands of polygons. However it seems like using Unity’s reflection probes is pretty cheap and can help mimic all sorts of real surface types.

As an experiment, I wrote a shader that takes the light map as the diffuse contribution but also has specular and occlusion maps that can interact with box-projected reflection probes. The below video shows the library using this technique on some of the surfaces. There is one dynamic point light in the center of the room to add some more vivid spec highlights, but this is running at a few hundred frames per second with 8x anti-aliasing, so it is a good sign.

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