So after a full week of HLSL and RenderTarget2D mastery, I have got my water effect to look just about where I want it to. There’s two other effects I’d like to add, but attempting to add the first one – a secondary water ripple (is it a ripple?) when objects are placed in the water on top of the ripple from motion caused the FPS to drop a bit. I think I’ve reached my limit of full screen draws for effects, so I’ll have to see if there’s a way to localize this sort of effect, but given the poor access to the backbuffer in XNA 4 (more on that later), there aren’t many options I can see.
Also, as you might note in these screenshots, I’ve finally got rid of the generic circular shadows that had been in the game since practically day one. Now frame-accurate shadows are cast on the ground, which certainly adds a bit more depth than I was expecting when I tossed it in there. Since the water reflection code was very similar to shadows, I figured “why not?” and sure enough, I’m relatively happy with how it came out. 🙂
Unfortunately, with the “Way Things Are”, I recently had to update the entire game from XNA 3.1 to XNA 4.0. If there’s anything that gets me angsty it’s having to take days recoding things that already worked just because someone thinks the changes are for the better (here’s a hint, it’s really not). I’m still not happy with the changes to blending… there are some blending behaviors that are impossible to reproduce from XNA 3.1 which changed a lot of subtle things, and as a graphics designer that kind of thing drives me up the wall. The sad thing is the “quick fix” offered by the XNA team and others who have used XNA 4.0 doesn’t really fix the problems I’m talking about. But enough whining, at least it’s done and over with.
I know it seems a bit late in the development to finally get to a major graphics engine improvement like this, but in my opinion there’s no better time. Honing in the final look of the game means I’m finally getting to the real meat of production, with one more final addition – handling the Z-coordinate so Arashi can climb stairs and cross bridges – that should be the last time I need to tinker with such things.
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A long-time independent game developer that was lucky(?) enough to have grown up with the gaming industry. I am a programmer, a game designer, a concept and pixel artist, a music composer, and a novelist. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I am determined to take advantage of every talent I hope I have to make it happen!