November 2006

New style for the main 3D view

As already hinted at in the last post I decided to change the visual style of PjW towards a different look, which gives the player the feeling of actually having the earth between his fingers, rather than just feeling like floating around it in space. So the last days I spent on changing the visuals of the main 3D view (where you’ll spent most of your time) like I did with the nation selection screen.

If you take a look at the screenshot on the left you’ll quickly notice that it has changed drastically from the earlier versions and I myself feel this looks and feels much better than the old version. First there is the sky background, which is different depending on the nation you choose (that’s one part of the uniqueness of the different nations, the player should always directly see what nation he choosed, so besides the different backgrounds I’ll als add minor differences to the UI depending on the selected nation). Second is the rippling (and moving) reflection on the ground which adds some dynamics to the scene itself. And lastly the earth is now using an advanced shader for rendering it’s surface. The shader itself was done by 3DLabs for one of the Workspaces in Rendermonkey (but can be freely used as long as it’s mentioned) and uses a base-texture, a night-light map and a cloud cover. It’s got a moving night-day border, so while playing you’ll see the how that border slowly moves across the globe (another one for making the scene look less static). In addition to that I also added glowing region borders to the shader.

So much for now. I really like the new style much more than the old one. It’s dynamic (and therefore not that boring as the old one) and makes the earth look more plastic, therefore giving you more of a “it’s mine!”-feeling than the old view.

Back on the road again

After putting a many hours into the latest Guild Wars Chapter (and still enjoying it) I returned to work on PjW again.

One of the parts back from the old version still in the current build was the nation selection screen, and I really disliked this one. So after having the initial idea on how the new one had to look, I did a quick drawing of my new ideas and spent the last few hours on creating a new one. This one looks much more polished and clean and I really prefer it over the old one.

You can see both versions of the nation selection screen below (click on it for a bigger picture), with the new one being the one on the left :

Looks a lot better, doesn’t it? What you can’t see in the static screenshot are the dynamic water reflections which are realised using noise and a GLSL-shader. As you can also see it’s still not totally finished, but adding descriptions and the few other missing minor things should be done quick.

So stay tuned for more news to come…

(OT) What I’m up to…

As you can guess by the lack of recent updates since releasing the updated NewtonPlayGround, I’m not working on some game/project at the moment.

Mainly that’s due to the release of chapter 3 of Guild Wars (aka “Nightfall”), and since I’ve been a Guild Wars player from the first day on when Prophecies was released I couldn’t resist the third chapter (since chapter 2, “Factions” already was awesome).
So I bought myself the collector’s edition back on October 27th, and been playing the game since for about 100 hours (I finished it with my Necro from factions and also almost finished it with a Dervish). Besides the fact that the collector’s edition is including some great stuff (an awesome art-book, soundtrack CD, making-of DVD, two skill-pins, and much more) the game itself is also great, with really great looking environments and loads of gameplay. Even after finishing there is so much to do that I’ll be busy with it for some more weeks, like doing PvP or exploring the whole map and doing competitive missions.

That’s it for now, I just thought that some of you would be interested in what caused the lack of updates and here you have it. But don’t worry, PjW isn’t dead and I plan on continuing work on it next month or so.