working title: MOLD

working title: MOLD

production blog

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Status update.. (a long one)

November 21, 2013

Hi everybody!

a lot is happening at the moment. The project I was working on professionally is finished, so I’m finally back at Mold fulltime.

( /edit: I removed the info about my commercial project after thinking it over… this blog is not a place for EA ads ;) even when I was part of the vfx/3d team … )

so whats next?

131120_feige_mdl_v04_previewI fixed the model of the Fig (attached the arms, fixed some folds), and I reported a subsurface scattering bug to SolidAngle which wasn’t one ;) (well to my defense, I encountered an undocumented dependency of a rendersetting, which doesn’t make sense…. so it’s kinda a bug and they are going to address it :) )

I’m sketching concepts on a daily basis, and I’m constantly working on the story which is almost finished (but i don’t expect to finish it completely until the DVD presses are going to heat up.)

I’m in contact with a very talented artist / sculptor who is going to (will be hired to) model the first set / bashkit elements in january… (“in contact” sounds soo formal.. ;) it’s a good friend back from my “Fiftyeight3D” days, who happens to be a great concept artist and modeller) but nothing is carved in stone yet, so lets see whats going to happen ;) and hope for the best. (and for an affordable offer :) )

So my job in the next weeks/months will be to finish all necessary concepts and prepare everything for him until january..

Babette got contacted by a co-worker who happens to play in a band, which happens to have the exact style I was looking for…. so yeah! what a nice surprise and coincidence… lets hope we can work something out in the near/mid-near future…

what else? -> afanasy / CGRU (rendermanagment)

131017_afanasy_renderqueuei polished my version/update of the Afanasys softimage submitter during MPCs Fifa2014 project..

i addressed most of the issues of the original (the new submitter reads all necessary scene settings instead of requiring you to set it all manually (per pass)).

“Arnold” and “Arnold watermarked” were added as services, and custom Arnold settings were added to the submitter, it supports all softimage renderers (using the mental ray service) and Arnold / Arnold watermarked renderer on pass level…..

and finally….. the hole thing was polished to death to work as good as it gets, and to be as bugfree as possible. (because i simply needed it ;) )

new features:

  • reads all possible settings from the scene
  • SolidAngles Arnold was implemented. (watermarked and licensed)
  • the submitter automatically sets EXR to scanline and autocrop (Arnold)
  • I rearranged and renamed the layout (to a more common/useful style)
  • speed optimizations, and a few minor bug fixes
  • temp scene directory option (to avoid “too long paths” on windows)
  • added submitter-options: skip rendered frames, bucketsize, autothreads/thread limit, arnold_licensed?, tempScenedir

I’m in contact with the original developer, and I’m planning to share this update via GitHub asap. (low priority, but i think it’ll eventually end up in an upcoming cgru version). If you need it _now_, don’t hesitate to contact me, and I’ll send you the necessary files (you need to have at least some afanasy experience to update though)…

you can download afanasy for free at http://cgru.info/#downloads.html

Molds engine….

mhhhh… one of the most difficult decisions I still have to make…. I was using Visionaire for the prototype, and while i think this game could be made with it (with some limitation though), I’m very suspicious about the update cycles/progress of the engine. Don’t get me wrong… I really respect those guys working on it in isolation, guys who support Indie developers with an affordable and easy to use engine, but Unity adjusted their licensing recently, and I found ready-to-use solutions for almost all my problems in the unity store….

so the question is:
should i go for Visionaire:
easy2use but restricted to adventure elements, performance hungry, kind of simple, probably good enough, “i’m sure i can handle it”, win and mac only (Linux and iOS support were announced to be added in the not-so-far future, but to be honest, Mac support was announced back in 200? …. whenever…… so who knows when they really deliver… -> and that’s one of the main problems I have with it,,,)

– or

should I go with Unity:

extremely flexible (way more game design options), all thinkable platforms, way faster, 3D elements, ready-to-use assets, but also overall way more complicated/techy (i would need to do quite some reading) and expensive… ?

latter would mean to throw a little DukeNukemForever, and risk a delay (or even fail), but at the moment i think it it’s the only valuable option to proper execute all the ideas i have… so I’m heavily temped to create the proof-of-concept with Unity…

…but I’m still researching it, so lets see what I come up with in the next months… I clearly don’t want to risk the completion of the game for a few features, or additional platforms…… but Visionaire kind of worries me……..

if you have an opinion about this issue, don’t hesitate to share it.

–Stephan

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