here's a short video demonstrating the ambiance of the first level of my game, ad noctvm. everything is still a work in progress. i'm using unreal engine 4. constructive criticism is highly appreciated.
29 October 2015 at 17:08:27 MDT
on 29 October 2015 at 17:47:28 MDT
Well done. The rain is a nice touch. Something distracting about the torches. The flames seem to be moving in rather than up and out.
on 29 October 2015 at 19:01:46 MDT
yeah i agree. i don't quite like how the flames look. i've always had trouble making particle effects.
on 29 October 2015 at 22:21:41 MDT
I am not a gamer, but on a photographic level I liked the contrasty black and white, and really liked the sky and rain effects. The flame movement may not have been realistic but one could say it was vaguely surreal. It gave me ideas about incorporating live action actors in a virtual gaming space, which is nothing new, but it would be more to comment on the irreality of the world they dwell in vs. an attempt to make it super photorealistic. A Brechtian effect.
on 30 October 2015 at 10:34:10 MDT
that's interesting. i never really got that impression from my game, but i have had similar ideas. i like it!
on 30 October 2015 at 00:54:39 MDT
Adding to the flames commentary: IMO, the problem is that the sprites sort of pop into existence a lot. Maybe have them start smaller and grow larger until they disappear, or have a brief fade-in if you can do that?
I'd also personally think it would benefit from more air effects, especially in the distance - thin fog, dust motes, etc - but that may just be me, I love that stuff.
on 30 October 2015 at 10:29:59 MDT
i agree as well. it's just that particle effects are a pain to make. i don't know what it is, but i can never get them looking the way i want. hell, for the flames, i even used a pre-made effect and tweaked it until it looked like torch flames, yet they still came out looking weird. it might just be unreal's particle editor or it's me not quite understanding how to make particle effects. another problem might also be that the effect is very small and when i put it in the level, i had to scale it up about 5x. nevertheless, i'm definitely going keep tweaking those flames until they look good.
i definitely want to add more fog to this level. it already has distance fog in it, but it's at max density and minimum distance, yet there's still a lot of visibility in the scene, which is disappointing. i want more silent hill 2-esque fog, where you can actually see the moving "clouds" and the fog is so dense that you can only see five meters in front of you. that would require adding more particle effects to this level, but alongside my difficulty with making particle effects, i also have to worry about performance since i'm on an older computer, so as much as i would like to, i can't add too many effects. i also want to add grass because as you see in the video, the ground is just a flat plane with a flat texture, which is a high-contrast picture of grass and leaves but the contrast is so high and the surface is so flat that the only way you can tell it's grass is by the footsteps. like with the particle effects, performance is the biggest problem, at least if i want to add realistic-looking dense grass. i could probably add very sparse grass, like older games did. that's certainly an option, but i wouldn't look as good, of course.
man this reply got long. anyways, thanks for the comment! let me know if you have anymore suggestions. i'd love to hear your thoughts! :)
on 30 October 2015 at 12:20:13 MDT
That's fine! It's nice to make long comments, even if it's just to work out thoughts for yourself :D
You might also be able to try something like stylizing the flame sprites more so that the popping motion feels less abnormal.
That's too bad, although, notably, I did happen to like a lot of the clarity in the scene if it makes you feel better in your fog limitations :p I also think that the contrast is high enough that you probably don't really need anything more than the strategic clumps/blades to look good. A lot about the darkness and the ground texture will infer that there's more out there.