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Power Tools

Find out what we're doing and thinking as we develop WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition and the Tower Fall expansion!

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Power Tools

Postby loboLoco » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:07 pm


Video Link: https://youtu.be/r_PIVvLP-wQ

People often ask me if I am a programmer. Definitely not! (That’s why I brought Tommi aboard.) But I do like to make things, and games are extremely fun and interesting to make. Fortunately, using the Unity game engine, there’s a lot I can do even without coding skills. Even better, in recent years other developers have released a huge variety of tools that make Unity more powerful — and more fun for a non-programmer like me. (Still, if anyone had given my younger self a glimpse of how technical my work would become, I would have laughed and returned to writing my novel).

Today’s video shows how we use a tool called World Creator to refine the terrain, making it more rugged and realistic. World Creator is one of over a dozen tools that we use to debug code, animate graphical interfaces, create terrain, and much more. But even though (or perhaps because) we’re so dependent upon these tools, we have something of a love/hate relationship with them. Each one comes with a promise: a better or faster way of doing something. But each one also comes with a price, and it’s not just monetary. First, we have to spend some time evaluating the tool to see if it meets our needs. Occasionally it will conflict with other tools we’re already using, so we have to resolve that conflict. And every tool has its own quirks and learning curve, which hopefully isn’t too long or steep. As games get more ambitious and complex, so do these tools, and in the past few months I’ve spent far more time than I ever imagined testing and integrating new tools that will help us push WolfQuest to the next level. Lately I’ve been reviewing tools for vegetation — there are several new ones which promise much denser grass and bushes at low performance cost, but each one has its own particular setup and configuration procedures, and it’s difficult to compare them until you’ve learned them. I’m closing in on that choice, but it’s taken quite a few hours to get to that point. But I’m sure the results will be worth it.

So, for the truly, madly, geekily curious out there, here are the main tools that we’re using so far in WolfQuest 3.

* Beautify: Post-processing effect with bloom and other enhancements
* Bone Controller: Dynamic movement of wolf head and limbs
* Combu: User account system
* ConsolePro: More detailed console for debugging
* DoozyUI: Spiffier interface animations
* Enviro: Dynamic time-of-day and lighting effects
* Garageband: Tim Buzza’s tool of choice for recording music
* Imperial Fur: Fur shader
* i2: Language localization (yes, we plan to add other languages at some point)
* MAD Compile Time Optimizer: Faster runtime code compiling during development
* MicroSplat: Terrain shader to reduce tiling artifacts, add normal maps, tessellation, and more visual wow.
* Photon Networking: Our multiplayer solution
* Rewired: Much better input mapping for keyboards and controllers
* River Auto Material: Very realistic flowing water
* SSAO Pro: Screen-space ambient occlusion
* Terrain Composer 2: Powerful tool for applying textures and vegetation to terrains
* World Composer: Generating terrains from satellite and elevation data.
* World Creator: Refining and improving terrains.

Speaking of tools, I need to try the latest version of MicroSplat to see if it fixes a strange problem with mipmaps… Back to work!
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Re: Power Tools

Postby Phasoli » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:30 pm

This is amazing! I'm so excited to explore. This is going to be an amazing new game.
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Re: Power Tools

Postby Weylenn » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:35 pm

YESSSS. Thank you so much Dave for the nerd info! Oh my goodness I'm so hellin' amped!!!
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Re: Power Tools

Postby Sunset-Light » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:57 pm

A novel, you say? You have sparked my interest.
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Re: Power Tools

Postby Ecliptic » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:27 pm

Wow, so many tools! Very interesting to see what’s necessary to create a game.
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Re: Power Tools

Postby Kereudio » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:05 pm

I follow a few unity-engine developed games... seeing how different they are from each other and from WolfQuest, and how many different tools are being used between them, is really quite amazing, I will admit! I'm glad you've found a program that works so well with your individual skillset as well, I'm sure it makes things a lot more fun for you when developing!
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Re: Power Tools

Postby Brinnadaze » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:17 pm

It's so exciting to see glimpses into the process like this! Every update I get more and more hyped up for WolfQuest 3 and Towerfall. :D I'm dying to roam the new map -- especially the famous Lamar River and to finally reach the top of Amethyst after all these years! :wolf:
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Re: Power Tools

Postby C0rgi » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:55 pm

    Very interesting, can’t wait for the game, you guys are going all out for this, you’re amazing !! cx
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Re: Power Tools

Postby SolitaryHowl » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:41 pm

I can't wait to explore, that map is going to be huge! What are you going to do to define the map limits for the player? Invisible walls or natural terrain features?
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Re: Power Tools

Postby TimberRaven » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:58 am

Oh man, (Forget my last post!!!) ok, I saw the video, and it was pretty cool. I'm a geek! I have a geek family! I practice Scratch and Java. Whoot-whoot! :mrgreen:
That video was much like the video, Map Making. When do you suppose, like what month at least, when it will come out? Obviously somewhere in 2o18, but that could mean next summer or something. :shock: I do not want to FINALLY be playing this by next summer! :wink:
Anyway, just keep cranking out more posts and videos on all the stuff you do! :P
Last edited by TimberRaven on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Power Tools

Postby roguemoon » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:33 am

The changes to Amethyst are mind-blowing so far, I can't wait to see how Slough and Tower Fall will look! Really cool to see behind the scenes how the game is developed.
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Re: Power Tools

Postby NoyaTusk » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:29 pm

This map is going to be just..wow ! It's so cool seeing and getting brief ideas of what the new expansed Amethyst Mountain will look like, the mountains and just the terrain all together looks a lot more advance and realistic compared to how it is now.
I'm really looking forwards to being able to view Tower Fall as a brand new stage in the next part of the story, however I am curious as of how the Slough Creek map will be expansed and what will happen with the den sites, will there be new dens? Or will the previous ones juts be relocated?
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