DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

Series of developer diaries for Six Days in Fallujah.
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AmperCamper
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DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

Welcome to the first entry in a series of Developer Logs we’d like to share with our community. These shorter-form updates are meant to provide context on things the team is currently working on in between our larger SITREP update diaries. A big thanks to our community for suggesting this format!

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.

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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.

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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!

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Audio:

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.
Performance:
  • 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!
Tutorials:
  • Implemented the first pass of our contextual tutorial system.
BadKarma
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

It's astonishing how close the architecture in these pictures look compared to the real thing, with several buildings intact of shelling.
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

This is definitely a step in the right direction, I saw people suggest this format, and, I'm really glad it got accepted, in the first image on the left you see some insurgents on a Rooftop, two appear to have AKs, but one appears to be holding pistol, suprised none them have a PKM or RPK to lay down suppressive fire from a position like that, kinda curious what pistol he's holding.
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aggimajera
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

I can only imagine the technical wizardry at play here to make this all function properly. I’m glad you guys adopted this method of delivering info too!
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

this format is great! cant wait to see more and eventually play the game, keep up the great work
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

thank you for the continued updates on the game. Can't say I have ever followed a game so closely or with this much anticipation. Maybe in the future in addition to these devlogs, we could get a video showing off the office space and the team! I know more often than not, we don't need videos seeing the game; rather, just a little bit of proof of life to show the game hasn't died off. Lots of love to you all and thank you!
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

I gotta hand it to the team. We asked for something, and boy was it delivered! This is actually MUCH better than most videos that could've been in its stead. It is a massive deal to me to hear about optimization in gaming, and tech specs + resolution/hardware targets. Very very few developers ever bring it up, and to see it written plain. As well as those absolutely stunning screenshots w/ way more detail than was needed on the lighting specifics. Very awesome! Thank you guys very, very much, sincerely.
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

AmperCamper wrote: Fri Mar 17, 2023 8:02 am
Amper, this is a great format and super happy to see it being a thing! So happy to hear back from the team and to know that they hear our feedback and take it into consideration while they are developing the game.

It truly helps me know that our voices are heard and are validated with the production of the game.

Knowing this new format is important. It speaks more IMO than the SITREPS as it gives the insider feel to how those in the studio feel on the completion and product of the game.

I would love to see this be a new FORUM selection in the main Menu titled respectively "DEVLOG". I would like to believe that I am not the only one that would like to see this change.

Thank you for the DEVLOG, definitely helps with keeping the hopes alive and also very nice to hear directly from the DEVTEAM on the topic and state of the game!
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

I like coming back to this and playing where's waldo with the insurgents, I think I spotted a total of six lol.
Plus the architecture looks so realistic, even down to the front gates. Great work!
Bobberlar!
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Re: DEVLOG: March 17, 2023

NICE! :) great work! hats off to all involved!
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