More Faces! And Graphics Musings.

Hey Folks! Took a bit of a diversion today to catch-up with Emily's latest face work, since she had been waiting a few days for me to drop her latest assets into the game. And as you can see in today's image, they came out pretty well!

This is literally 8 of the first 10 random faces generated in a quick test run I did while making this news post. Technically, there's something like 3000 different combos in this system, but I reckon there's a good 15-20 major face types, each with a dozen minor tweaks. And it's pretty easy to expand later. All in all, I think this will create a nice range of unique and memorable faces for crew and NPCs.

I also diverted into graphics for a while, since I had some new choices to chew on. Recently, I contracted Amandine Coget to take a look at the prototype so far, and to give some recommendations on improving the rendering. I had a range of questions, from Unity-specific implementation, to things like resolution, lighting solutions, and modding accessibility.

She delivered those results yesterday, and it raises quite a few important questions. One of the biggest ones is whether to rearchitect the rendering or not, as the current "vanilla" Unity approach is going to bog-down as my light/shadow use increases. (It's already showing signs of slowness with a single medium ship.)

We discussed some of the other techniques we've seen out there for 2D-with-lighting, including Megasphere, Hyper Light Drifter, and Halfway. Folks have definitely done it before, but each approach has its pros and cons.

Ultimately, I want the warmth and atmosphere that lighting provides, the accessibility to modding that pixel art/sprites provides, and the design hooks provided by things like lighting, fog-of-war, and line of sight. Oh, and performance that's acceptable on older machines. What? Is that too much to ask? :)

Anyway, it means some serious thinking is ahead. Hope everyone has a good weekend!