Please remember that all assets shown are currently a work-in-progress.
Outdoor Graphics Update:
As we described in an earlier SITREP, while nearly every other game “bakes” its lighting into static “light-maps” that cannot change, Six Days is one of the first games to adopt “global illumination” that can light the game world dynamically. This allows us to make lighting and visibility much more important to combat, it creates variety because missions play much differently depending on the location and angle of the sun, and it feels more realistic.
However, today’s graphics cards are just beginning to become powerful enough to light entire worlds dynamically in a realistic way. The challenge is that light bounces all over the place, and the scene can look very unrealistic when rendering engines don’t account for this. This is why Nvidia and AMD have begun introducing ray tracing capabilities within their graphics cards. But the installed base of cards capable of ray-tracing entire worlds dynamically is still much too small to make this a minimum requirement for a video game.
Recently, some games have begun experimenting with a technology called “Screen Space Global Illumination,” but we found this can lead to sudden, disturbing changes in color and shading.
We developed our own Global Dynamic Lighting system a few years ago, and have modified it three times since then. But one of the problems with our earlier implementations is that they caused areas in shadow to become unnaturally dark. Besides not looking as real as we’d like, this also created unrealistic gameplay because characters could position themselves in areas where they would be seen in real life, but not in the game.
Enclosed are screenshots that show our new outdoor lighting. Although we’ve improved dozens of smaller things to make the scene look more realistic, please notice how much softer our shadows look now. This is particularly noticeable in ruined buildings. In the past, for example, areas in shadow would go to black very quickly. Your visibility here is much more realistic now.
And, of course, with our Procedural Architecture, all the geometry—and lighting—in this scene will change the next time the game is played!
We’re very focused on continuously improving our audio design in Six Days, and we want to thank everyone for all the kind words on the system so far.
- Recorded and implemented 5,000 new mission dialog lines.
- Improved audio CPU performance.
- Added audio mix settings for music, gameplay and voice.
- Next steps—in-game cinematics, more systemic combat dialog, bug fixes, and overall game mix.
- Hit our target of 4K resolution at 60 fps on high-end machines.
- Reduced memory footprint by 50% so we can now run smoothly on machines with 8GB RAM.
- Next steps—continue improving performance across low-end and mid-range CPUs and GPUs. This is a core area of focus for the team. Unfortunately, this also causes new kinds of instability and odd bugs that need to be squashed each day. We're anxious to get through this phase!
- Implemented the first pass of our contextual tutorial system.