After a long break, and working on a different project(Minertopia: a Minecraft remake) i have decided to go back and Finnish Liero3D before i continue on minertopia :)
However, I am afraid that there will be some rather BIG changes in this project that might not make everyone happy, and I'm sorry if I'm making any one disappointed.
But this project is taking a very different direction in the style of the graphics, and is instead going with a look much closer to the original Liero 1.33, yet still 3D :)
All the minecraft and voxel games have really inspired me to make Liero3D into something that feels and behaves more like the original(if not exactly!), something that lets me keep that hand-pixel-made feeling and still use all the glory of 3D rendering, and i belive "voxels" is the solution to do this.
The goal, assuming my engine can keep up with it, is to convert the original 1.33 graphics straight over into blocks, on a 1:1 scale, so that every single pixel becomes a "3D pixel" block :)
I did a simple rendering test, showing off some random mud balls and using deffered shadows:
Don't be alerted with the ugly and primitive shading, I'm planning to add SSAO(Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) to give it a nice shaded feeling, similar to this picture (NOTE: that that picture is pre-renderd in a 3d modeling software like Maya, so it can never look that good with realtime effects)
But there a few things that are interesting with the picture above, it has almost exactly the same field of view as the original Liero 1.33, and it fit the same amount of pixels as if you where simply adding a 3rd dimension to Liero :)
The performance is not great yet, but a big factor is that the sunburn engine don't like terrains where chunks are much higher than they are wide, adding my own occlusion outside of sunburn should improve this.
One more big thing i can do is to optimize a mesh so that a big flat surface, for example: 8x10 blocks, still takes the same amount of polygons as 1x1 cube, as long as they are made from the same material, an example of this would be the big flat top surface of those balls, if an smart algorithm could split that surface in as few sections as possible, we would save tons of polygons.
There are more things that will be totally awesome with this graphics style.
not only did i split development time in half... is it MUCH more simple for me to create a simple level editor where you can paint, digg and sculpture a game level.
The same can be done with the player and the weapons(model editor?) to make things just as mod-able as the original game :)
Also considering creating an algorithm that converts the original 2d sprites into 3d models straight over :)
Again, I'm sorry if this change of style is different from what people wanted, but i got a bit tired of getting stuck on all the problems that round-fake-holes gives me...
However, I absolutely LOVE Voxel style games! and this would make it more true to the original 1.33 :)
Talking about Voxel style games, check out Voxatron!, yet another game that inspired me to make the change ;)