It’s been a while since our last development update, but we’re back to bring you up to speed on what we have been up to these past few weeks!
One of the things we have been working on are the backdrop assets based on this concept rendering using MandelBulb 3D.
A few weeks ago I created a quick mockup for a portal effect that we could potentially use on switched environment pieces. Here is a short video of the very first results we had last month.
Perhaps the most noticeable issue is the one-frame lag in the portal rendering, this requires a bit more in-depth research to get the update ordering correct since adding tick dependencies had no effect. Getting portal rendering to render and interact flawlessly with the world and players (especially in multiplayer) will take a lot more effort and is not our current focus. We’d like to revisit this feature in the future and see how we could potentially use it in our game.
Release of Unreal 4.5
The new Unreal 4.5 was released last week and we’ve had the pleasure of working with the preview release for some time before that. It’s the biggest patch by Epic yet and included hundreds of fixes and some really great new features. You can read all about it on the official site. We did some testing on a few of the major changes & improvements including Distance Field Ambient Occlusion and the new Ray Traced Distance Field Soft Shadows.
We’ve tested Distance Field Ambient Occlusion (first introduced in 4.3) to see how it performed in different scenarios and mesh structures. Between the preview and full release of 4.5 they’ve improved upon the effect by adding Specular Occlusion (not shown in comparison) and improved the performance by approx. 20-30%. (Read our full post)
4.5 introduced a new soft shadows technique for fully dynamic lighting (a definite requirement for our constantly changing environment) and it looks amazing, we’ve not done any performance testing ourselves, but according to Epic it’s approx. 20-30% faster than Cascaded shadows maps in most scenarios. (Read our full post)
UMG (Interface Editor) has been taken out of experimental and is production ready. We’ve started to replace the built-in HUD with some of our own designs. We should have more on that soon.
And finally, we’re continuously making improvements on the switch mechanic itself, trying to get it as fluid as possible during high paced combat. At the same time we’re starting to develop a few new game modes that we expect to start playtesting soon. That is all for this dev update! As usual check out our Facebook page for occasional updates on Switch! Let us know your thoughts and comments below.