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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Interesting Developments

So as you may have seen, my weather system finally got to the store.  However...

I got some great ideas for 'version 2' which will probably just be an upgrade for existing owners.

Namely as I was explaining to my wife how to achieve a 'wet' look in a game (specifically Black Desert Online) I realized I could probably do the same with my own system.
So now, I've implemented specularity control.  It works wonderfully :)

Note the shine on the texture, giving an appearance of wetness.

I've also resolved a problem with shadows on highest settings for the decals.  It looks vastly better with them disabled.

Lastly I plan on improving the actual decals themselves, which look frankly too chunky for my tastes.  The rain is ... ok .. but only because I've already meddled with it.

Lightning is working again!
It needs some cleanup but so far I'm pleased with the results.  Timing's good, colors are acceptable (I had to use brightness to avoid interfering with the interpolation engine) and the overall effect is quite good.

Good progress tonight makes Mike a happy man :)

More comparison shots:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Weather system is FINALLY ON THE STORE WOO!

It took a lot of emails, a lot of time, and even longer development but it's finally there!

You can check it out here:

I'm sure problems will arise in some capacity but I'm very happy just to see it finally show up on the damn store.  It felt like an eternity but here we are :)

I may do a video tutorial of it's use/function as well.

I need to do some updates for the mad lobster stuff because he just keeps adding more to his mad scientist lab.  It's gone from a good deal to a fantastic deal.  I'm reminded of the amusement park kit that just kept getting better and better.

Anyways right now I'm extremely happy about my weather system being available.

A few updates were made to the previous attempted upload:
1) You can now add a lightning sound.  Granted there's code in there for a lightning effect but it's non functional at the moment. When I make that change I will release it as a module for free.

2) There's a semi-smart fog system for weather conditions.  Having been playing a lot of Fallout 4 (specifically with the TrueWeather mod) I found I really enjoyed the combination of fog AND weather environmental effects.  So right now if it's NOT nighttime (it uses a less than stellar method of determining, specifically the color red of ambience) it will NOT override existing fog settings for that specific state.  If it DOES override it is done with some fuzzy logic that will basically determine if it's a storm, a heavy storm, a snowstorm, a duststorm, etc.  Basically there's a light fog for light storms, heavy fog for snow/thunderstorms, and a dust storm setting which gives it orange colored fog.  It also tempers the nighttime fog orange (this is the one exception to the night rule). 

3) I managed to get the environmental systems (rain, snow, dust) installed.  I also use my improved rain, which was accomplished by simply running a better smoothing and alpha texture on algostep's original rain model.  Snow and dust are unaffected currently.

 4) I fixed the errors with the demo level which includes a lot of extra moving pieces now but they all worked flawlessly for me.

Again if you get a chance, swing by over here: and check it out!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Another rejection on the store

So my offering got rejected.  I sort of expected that, given it's complexity.  It takes time to dial into the right setup for the store to deploy to customers.

That said.. some of this stuff becomes inordinately frustrating as it ends up delaying projects by weeks or months due to their slowness.  It took two weeks for a reply this time.  How long I wonder, will it take for them to do the next version - and what if that one fails?

It's no wonder people sell their scripts directly.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Slowness, turtle club, etc

Waiting on my weather system to be admitted to the tgcstore site.  Spoke with an admin today and.. nothing yet.  Eventually maybe?

I've already begun work on version two. 

And grown a new beard.

And it's still not approved... let that sink in.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Weather System Status

So recently I posted an update to the forums.

I resubmitted my weather and time of day system last night to Game Guru's store.  I made significant progress on some pieces that have been outstanding for quite some time.  I added a modified version of my function library that shows how to transition to a specific state and also a simple 'instant state change' script. Added better documentation, made a test map, bundled it all properly so the store would read the weather stuff etc.

I made some pictures and sent it on up.  We'll see how it goes. 

In the meantime though..
Recently though I had a spurt of inspiration and have begun adding some minor improvements to it. So I might already have to revise my update... assuming they actually accept the submission which has always been a chore.  They're needlessly bureaucratic on the site and it's frustrating to work with in that regard. 

Rant aside, I'm planning on adding some really interesting things to the weather system such as:
  • Random rainstorms will have a 1/3rd chance of being a lightning storm (with sound)
  • Heavy/light fog conditions which will override preset TOD settings.
  • Possible ambient music/sound using 'startrain/snow/etc' trigger zones.
Little things like that ;)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: Mad Lobster's 'Scientist's Laboratory & Lair'

It's been a while since I've been compelled to do a review.  I generally have little free time and these reviews receive very little looks or comments so in general I don't feel like it's very useful.

As such I'm not going to do my usual spate of pictures/etc.  I am going to keep this clean and succinct.

The Mad Lobster is a relatively new artist in the Game Guru world.  New artists are always a mixed bag.  They either are an old pro who is intimately familiar with model making or a new guy just looking to release his poorly textured objects for some attention.  I understand and can appreciate both positions.  Often the old pro runs into the issue of not knowing the limitations of the engine (20k polys, for instance) or can't get the textures to look good.   It's a fine tuning act in most  cases where they begin their forays and you can SEE the raw talent but it's just ... not quite built around Game-Guru's limitations yet.

This is a rare exception here; The Mad Lobster is obviously an experienced modeller.  The poly counts are good, the textures are excellent and properly positioned and there's clearly some good normal mapping.  It's the best first go I've seen done in Game-Guru in a long time (probably a year and a half, really).

The first foray was a whole kit called the 'Mad Scientist's Lab and Lair' - it's a huge array of beautiful objects with tons of work put into them.  Moreover it's really got just about everything you could ask for.  Tesla coils, panels with buttons on them, big robot arms, ominous looking walls, the works.  It's really impressive on a level I wasn't prepared for.

All told you get *43* exceptionally high quality objects that look fantastic in Game Guru for a very reasonable price (18 dollars).  I'd reckon this kit is easily in the top 10 of all available products on the store and is easily on peer with Wizard of Id or Rolfy's products.

So if you're still hanging around here for the odd periodic review, here you go :)  The best new product of 2017, IMO.

TGCStore updates and weather system delays

A few weeks ago I put my weather system in queue to get put on the site but unfortunately was rejected (as expected).  However, I've emailed support about the issue and heard nothing.

So at this point I'm kind of floating in limbo.

Should I sell it here directly?