M@xTizZz wrote:So we started to think about a solution to improve erode visibility with Stephen and Ruben.
And we got an idea, not sure if it's possible to do or not, but we think it deserve to be shared here.
The primary point of our thoughs : there's not enough shadows rendered by the game.
Even without erode in previous years, we always had to add terrain shadows to the overlays to make things visible in game on mx tracks, and play with darker/lighter decals on sx tracks.
Our idea :
a file like shading.ppm which is full white at the start of the race and updates on erode
let's call it " shading-eroded.ppm "
On this file we'll see the shadows of eroded stuffs only.
This file would be the only one to update = no more perf issue
The shading.ppm would show the shadows of the "base" disp map only and not update anymore when running erode
The shading-eroded.ppm would show the shadows of "eroded stuff" only and update automatically when running erode
an other file where we could set the "power" of the shadows for each .ppm files separately
just a basic txt file :
1 would be default shadows, more than 1 = more shadows, less than 1 = less shadows
Again it's just an idea and i really have no idea if it's possible to code or not...
If I understand you correctly, "shadows.pgm" is a little like that. No color though. And it only blocks direct light.
I'm thinking about adding ambient occlusion to the terrain shading calculation. Probably the best way to make ruts stand out.
Ever since online erode came out, I've been thinking that some kind of tire-mark visual would be very helpful, as well as nice aesthetically. This would be in addition to any shading as a result of the deformed terrain. I'm not sure the best way to do it—thousands of small decals following all the bikes around sounds like a performance killer. Maybe something like the above mentioned "shading-eroded.ppm" except where the bikes draw a low opacity dark line? In effect, you will be able to see where bikes are going/what lines are forming before the actual terrain deformation builds up to the point where it is clearly visible on it's own. A dark line is more simplistic than real life, so maybe not the ideal solution, but IRL it's pretty easy to see where other bikes have gone in dirt without having dug a significant rut.
Other MX games do this to good effect. Reflex was over exaggerated, but it was very clear were other bikes had gone.
Supercross lays down tread-marks which is much nicer.
Even with significantly sized built-in ruts and bumps, in this game I find it necessary to manually increase their visibility using textures. Below are crops from my overlay, rut/bump multiply layer, and shading.ppm from Monster Mountain. The darkened areas on the overlay are not shadows, but the actual low spots from the disp map.
If this kind of visibility enhancement could be incorporated into erode, it would help significantly.