Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Arc Dev Diary 11/26/2013 - Light Baking and Final Fixes Before 1.1.0


Hey everyone, I’ve been MIA on the last two updates, sorry for that. Had some work stuff to get done on my job I get paid for, and promised the wife I would take her to the Dr. Who special at the local cinemas yesterday.  Even with this other stuff going on, my computer has been at work since saturday morning and hasn’t stopped today.  I’ll attempt to take you through this tedious process of light baking in our editor.

Light Baking

This is what my desktop has looked like for the last 3 days.  What I’m currently involved in is making sure the OUYA version of our game looks as close as possible to the PC version on a TV.  To get started I copied our pc version of level 1 and then turned everything off that OUYA can’t handle.  That’s stuff like bloom, real time lighting, camera distortion effects etc.  

Next I assign what I call OUYA materials to each object so that I’m free to tweak ambient and diffuse colors without screwing up the PC materials.  Then I start the long process of baking individual objects with the correct lighting.  Below you can see that I’m working on the planet, a shorter 10 minute bake.  The bake times vary depending on number of lights and how complex the geometry is.

Last night I ran a 6 hour bake while sleeping, it wasn’t even half way done when I got up in the morning. I found I had made a fatal mis-click by trying to bake the lighting at way too high of a lumen count.  After a quick fix, it ended up only taking around 2 hours.

My process has been like this, bake the scene, zach will export the game and then I play it on my 65 inch plasma tv (2 years old roughly).  From there I make notes of what’s too bright and what’s too dark. For some reason on the TV, things just come in really dark.  So it may look blown out on your pc monitor but it’s perfect on the OUYA.  This is the best I can do currently to encompass what most people will see from different tvs.  If it looks good on my 2 monitors, Zach’s 2 monitors and the 65 inch plasma then that’s good enough for us to ship.

Before a light bake (OUYA Version)

After a Light Bake(ouya version)


Today I’ve been doing a hundred tiny things.  Formatting currency correctly with the right number of commas, reducing log output on retail builds and squeezing out a few extra FPS by combining runtime meshes.

With just a few minor UI things left to do, I’m almost ready to stick a fork in this armory and call it done.  I hope to stick that fork in tonight because then it’s on to the fun stuff, platformer levels!

We discussed our next release today and when that might be.  Bringing the OUYA and PC builds to parity and getting the armory in was quite a huge task.  We were hoping to get our first paltformer level done as well but that was just too much work for 7 days of effort.

With thanksgiving this week, we’ll lose a day.  So we’d really like to go ahead and push build 1.1.0 to the OUYA store tomorrow before we start hammering on our first platformer level. This will hopefully let us get the build out before the holiday weekend and give us a clean slate to come back to!