unreal Unreal

Simply staggered by this evolution coming into Unreal Engine 5:

And just as amazing is the announcement that studios pay nothing to Epic for using the unreal engine until the first $1M is earned! Another staggering fact for indie developers to mull over.

The Lumen illumination and Nanite geometry capabilities are truly 21st century game changing game development capabilities.

Some screen shots from the video:

playstation 5 tech demo
unreal engine 5 tech demo
unreal engine 5 playstation 5 tech demo

SSAO Screen Space Ambient Occlusion

I isolated the inherited SSAO contribution to the overall post processing effects and was a little underwhelmed:

Definitely some AO contribution but this type of post processing is quite expensive to compute, so thought it could get a lot better.

After a trawl of what others had achieved, a refactor of the shader produced this (based on the cry engine approach):

This I thought added a lot more, but perhaps too much on the flat surfaces, so polarised to this:

Terrain – overhangs, caves and hoops

Cogwheel Chronicles uses a typical 2D height map field to store and regenerate its terrain geometry.

This doesn’t allow such features as caves and crags, so more ‘fakery’ has now been employed with the terrain shaders.

The shaders used specifically for terrain can now also be used for additional model geometry, using the appropriate world positions (rather than geometry UVs).

This allows pre-modeled terrain features to blend seamlessly with the generated height-map based terrain.

It works reasonably well:

Channel Packing

Channel packing is extremely common in game engines these days, however was not available to Cogwheel Chronicles until now.

I’ve adopted the ‘MRA/RGB’ pattern, in that the PBR metalness texture is stored in the Red channel of the ‘packed gloss’ texture, roughness/gloss goes into the green channel and baked AO into the blue channel.

Three textures now packed into one, saving video memory during game play. PBR textures can still be authored separately, the engine can upload these and pack them appropriately on run.

cogwheel chronicles channel packing textures

Dippy

Dippy was discovered in Wyoming in 1898, and acquired by the Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie for his newly-founded Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh .

It’s a pretty impressive sight, managed to get a fairly exclusive viewing 🙂

Mutoscope

Perhaps not completely consistent with the Cogwheel Chronicles timeline of 1882, but hey it’s a game, artistic liberties are taken 🙂

cybernescence studio

Back in the day when I was a member of a prestigious business software association and discussion forum, occasionally people would share pictures of their office space just for fun. Here is a one part of a wall in the cybernescence game studio.

The steampunk lamp I built myself from an old paraffin blow torch 🙂