One of the 3 main design pillars being tackled for Fallen Enchantress is 'The World'. Wildlands, randomly generated maps, more quests/lairs/resources/creatures...we've taken all the feedback from WoM to ensure FE delivers with some really engaging worlds. When you start a new game, half the fun will be simply exploring the land!

On the visual side, a simple piece of technology that we'll be utilizing to make the world feel more magical is the old-school trick of 'atmospheric perspective' or 'distance fog'. Early 3D systems would use this as a crutch for pathetic draw distances (I'm looking at you, N64) but you can't deny that it adds a thickness to the air...a ethereal quality to the environment....that players want when exploring a fantasy world.

The challenge in Fallen Enchantress is that the main map allows players to pan between countless terrain types seamlessly. We deal with this by interpolating (animating) colors and distance fog values based on camera location and what type of environment is being looked at. And to keep this from interfering with the gameplay, it really only needs to take place in the upper 1/3rd of the screen.





The end result is a more magical and fantastic feel to the world. Instead of simply talking about the heavy post-cataclysmic fog that looms, we now get to show it!


Comments (Page 2)
on Jun 21, 2011


  When you start a new game, half the fun will be simply exploring the land!

Yesyesyes!

Unrelated question: Are you making the cloth map prettier as well?

on Jun 21, 2011

Looks nice.  The props mentioned should be fun for creating all kinds of interesting effects (for weather, spells, or places of interest).  Might be able to tie one into the spells the buff and debuff the cities. Could have patches of roiling mist too.  There could also be some applications if they can be used on a tac map.

 

The mountains look to be predominately of the rolling type.  Will there also be soaring peaks or sharp drops- or is that something to tie into a place of interest only.  Perhaps some kind of prop(s) that could (not on all) be centered on the peak to give them some more variation in appearence.  Then if the elevation is dropped such as with a spell, you could remove the prop when the elevation drops to passable.

on Jun 22, 2011

Looks pretty cool.

 

I am liking the look of E:FE so far.

A lot more character it seems.

Glad to hear it's easily moddable as well.

Win/win.

 

on Jun 22, 2011

flymar
(isn't it actually decreasing the FPS?
Naw, any stuttering in the vid is form the fact that I was in debug with FOW completely uncovered (while recording)...the calulations for this effect are really minimal.

Magog_AoW
Are you making the cloth map prettier as well?
I believe we'll be tweaking the cloth map, but our main visual focus is on making the main game looking better.

crystlshake
Will there also be soaring peaks or sharp drops- or is that something to tie into a place of interest only.
We played with ways to pinch the verts in such a way to give some sharpness to the mountains, but it ended up looking really cheap    IIRC there are some new terrain types that will allow for sheer mountainsides, though, which could be used in conjunction with tiledesigns to make some cool looking mountain peaks.

 

on Jun 22, 2011

I'll tell you a story about Heroes 5.

 

A good game. It has a problem which I believe is not a problem at all, but it freaks me out. It always has fog in upper part of screen if you don't zoom. If you play on 16:9 screen 1/3 of screen is fogged. Very frustrating. So guys, be cautious. And add option to turn off fog altogether.

on Jun 22, 2011

I think most of these new GFX improvements will be implemented alongside an option to turn it off...though I hope it won't ever come to that

on Jun 22, 2011

Buladelu
I'll tell you a story about Heroes 5.

 

A good game. It has a problem which I believe is not a problem at all, but it freaks me out. It always has fog in upper part of screen if you don't zoom. If you play on 16:9 screen 1/3 of screen is fogged. Very frustrating. So guys, be cautious. And add option to turn off fog altogether.

 

I'm playing through the HoMM V campaigns with maxed graphics (I think, the options are a bit strange) on 1920x1080 and I don't see this fog you're talking about.

on Jun 22, 2011

Any chance we could see that video without the black screen across the bottom half?

on Jun 22, 2011

Hey Boogie, since you seem to be the man in charge of art and graphics, can I make a couple of small requests for FE?

  • Please improve the available postures on the unit cards. Many of the current postures in WoM are extremely awkward.
  • Please increase the polygon count on characters where / when possible - Especially the faces!

Looking forward to future updates!

on Jun 22, 2011

BoogieBac


We played with ways to pinch the verts in such a way to give some sharpness to the mountains, but it ended up looking really cheap    IIRC there are some new terrain types that will allow for sheer mountainsides, though, which could be used in conjunction with tiledesigns to make some cool looking mountain peaks.


 

Sounds like what I was thinking.  You could make a 'peak cap' tile design prop that could place on the peak (random on locations with altitude above a given height or when there is a drastic altitude change).  Say like 15% chance that an impassible mountain tile will have a prop spawn on it to varry the skyline.

on Jun 23, 2011

Campaigner

I'm playing through the HoMM V campaigns with maxed graphics (I think, the options are a bit strange) on 1920x1080 and I don't see this fog you're talking about.

 

Camera set to Classic HoMM, zoom out. Hordes of the East 3.1. I see it everywhere except cities and combat.

on Jun 23, 2011

i reckon each faction should have their own terrain theme rather then just kingdom get grass and empire getting hell, so could a faction get desert or swamp or frozen tundra then i think it would be nicer.

on Jun 23, 2011

Looks amazing. Really looking forward to this

Honsou.

on Jun 24, 2011

 This is looking very, very, very NICE!  

 

 

-Teal

 

 

on Jun 28, 2011

Is the camera still going to be free form or is it going to be locked in that angled position.  I like being able to move the camera around to really get into the world and just look around at things but I always end up moving it back to the overhead slightly sloped angle where the camera lines up with the grid lines. 

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