Friday, April 13, 2012

Graphics : Gamecon & Shaders

Unfortunately due to crunch time, there has been a lack of blogs lately and exams are coming up to so this will probably the last one until they are done.

Poster for Ultimate Gladiator Coliseum 80 AD

My group Scorching South Studio’s game was just recently completed and show at UOIT’s gamecon where students of all years showcase their games to the audience. Our game Ultimate Gladiator Coliseum was showcased along with the other second years and we got overall very positive feedback at the event. A lot of people had fun with it and we didn’t hear any complaints about the game so that’s definitely a plus for our group. There were some technical issues at the beginning that caused stress, but overall the experience was quite fun.

Now that gamecon is over and our game has been submitted, we were also required to do a post-mortem of our game to see what wrong and right. Since this is a graphics blog, I am going to look at one specific problem we had, and that was late implementation of shaders. Our group was so preoccupied with other tasks over the semester that implementing shaders was pushed back until late. We should have known we would run into errors along the way  and should have anticipated it would be easier said than done to put shaders in our game, even though we knew how to do it in other programs.

Here is how our game looked like without shaders (and older models)

This caused a lot of stress on several days and in the end, we got most of the shaders we wanted but not all of them. Had we not pushed it back so far, we probably would have gotten every single shader we would have wanted for the game. There were just tiny errors that we had to overcome to get them in, but alas the time constraints near the end didn’t let them in. That means graphically, in our opinion the game was still lacking because of those missing shaders we wanted. Nevertheless we got a lot in still, just not every single one we wanted.

Here is what the final game looked like with shaders

It was definitely a good learning experience, because it shows us never to underestimate how much time we need. Our group needs to make sure not to underestimate how long it can take to finish up a task, especially as one as complicated as shaders. We tried putting it in while thinking of the best case scenario, when we should have went in thinking with the worst case scenario. If we had done that we would have gotten the rest of the shaders that we wanted and overall be able to polish our game much more.

I don’t have much time to really write this post so I am going to end this one short for now. Maybe later I will talk more about how more aspects of the game went in specifics but for now I want to get to studying or at least relaxing my tired brain. This may be the final post for the semester but hopefully this will continue into the summer!

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