Revamping Tracks

Revamping Tracks

Postby SvenAndreasBelting » 28 Nov 2020, 16:32

Hi finally the post about some tracks I want to improve.


Sandtrack:

You can downlaod the track here https://www.dropbox.com/s/ta5ucxpyb5sex ... k.zip?dl=0


Most of the track is still the same as it was here https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic ... 18&t=12629

But here is a list of things that I changed compared to the track which is included in the main game right now:

- smoothed road (you won't jump inside of the pyramid anymore)

- improved balancing between the two routes

- added buildings

- added details

- better lighting

- added lap line

- maybe some other small things I just forgot ;)


I think the track is finished now but if you notice any issues I will fix them of course.




Green Valley:

Originally I wanted to post a first WIP version of the track but there isn't much to see right now.

The road will stay almost the same except for things like smoothing and maybe some other small changes.

The plan for the track is to give it an alpine feeling so it will have a different setting to Black Forest.
I already tried out a new road texture and a new grass texture I also created new trees already.


The biggest change of the track will be the mountains I've been trying out different techniques to create nice looking mountains in the last weeks.
I tried a lot in blender but I think I had the best results using another software specifically for creating mountains.

But maybe you have other opinions so tell me what you think.
Screenshot (20).jpg
Procedural mountains with a node based material system, created using blender

alpinevalley-2020.09.05_19.26.23.jpg
Mountains created using blender without nice texturing, viewed inside STK

Screenshot (23).jpg
Mountain and texture created using Gaea viewed in blender

That was the first mountain I created with Gaea so with more experience they might look even nicer.
Also I don't have the full version of the software yet that's why the texture has a very low resolution.

If most of you agree that the mountains I created with Gaea are the nicest looking I will probably buy the full version of the software.



STK Enterprise:

I think there doesn't need to be changed much on this track.
I tried out to replace textures with nicer ones and also to add PBR and normal maps to existing textures to use the full potential of STKs engine.

I will also add more details to the track
Here is one screenshot with new and improved materials in STK and also some pictures I found that are inspiring me.
enterprise.jpg





Black Forest:


The biggest problem of this track is the performance on low end Computers and sadly at moment I can't do much about it without making the track looking much worse on higher settings.
As soon as one of these issues https://github.com/supertuxkart/stk-code/issues/3805 and https://github.com/supertuxkart/stk-code/issues/4401 is fixed I will improve the performance of the track as good as possible.
For now I could make a light version of the track. I could replace all 3D trees with X trees and some other things it would hopefully improve the performance by a lot. The game play would stay the same so it should be possible to play online with the light version of the track.
If some of you would like to use such a version of the track please let me know I will try to create and share one then as soon as possible.

I already fixed some other things for the next major release:

- Balanced all alternative and secret routes

- replaced the mountains in the background with nicer looking 2D planes

- some lighting fixes and other small things.

- added egg hunt



So that's it for now, let me know what you think about all the changes on the different tracks.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby wax » 28 Nov 2020, 17:41

Hello,
About the sand track;
I don't know if you planned to add more checklines (considering the number of checklines on black forest lol) but for now the track might be broken.
https://youtu.be/d09i8-mEp6Y
About green valley, not sure you can take a screenshot in-game of the mountains created with Gaea, so it would be easier to compare.
For stk enterprises, the new floor texture looks good. Would be nice to have also gameplay changes :P.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby Alayan » 28 Nov 2020, 17:54

I like the Gaea mountains.
Image
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby fracture » 28 Nov 2020, 19:16

I like the new sandtrack with the improved bridge at the beginning and the fixed oasis, although you can't even see the latter when driving (it would require too much work to fix so it's probably fine to leave it as is). Probably the only things I don't like are the background, which just looks old and dated at this point, and the music, which does fit the theme and could stay, but sounds boring compared to other themes.
STK enterprise doesn't need much improving and most of the track is good until the last room after the big jump which feels empty. I like the new floor texture.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby QwertyChouskie » 28 Nov 2020, 21:00

STK Enterprise looking nice!

As for mountains and terrain in general, remember you can now use custom shaders (e.g. terrain shaders) :)

(Also I see you're still on Blender 2.79, you should be able to use 2.8+ with Worldblender's export scripts, might make things easier :) )
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby FabianF » 28 Nov 2020, 21:27

Hey,
Thanks for sharing the results of your work.

Shifting Sands: I think this track is now completely fine. It's good you have kept the gameplay the same while balacing the alternate paths. The only things I noticed is that the offroad doesn't slow down (which is also the reason why Wax's shortcutting is possible I guess) and that the water under the bridge doesn't rescue. After fixing these things, Shifting Sands will be one of the best tracks with your improvements.

Green Valley: Your plans sound good! I also like the gaea mountains. Even if "there isn't much to see yet", I think releasing a test version would be great, just to see the general theme of the track.

STK Enterprise: I also don't think this track needs many major changes. Gameplay changes are unnecessary, except maybe removing some items, and I don't think it needs a lot of graphical changes either. The screenshots you sent are looking nice though!

Black Forest: Yes, this track sucks because of its lags. Changing trees to something less laggy would be a good idea. Good to hear you balanced alternate paths, since they were pretty imbalanced before. Also cool you added an egg hunt, there are indeed many nice locations to place eggs.

Overall good work so far :-)
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby SvenAndreasBelting » 08 Dec 2020, 17:26

So I have fixed the problems you noticed on sandtrack (offroad slows you down and the water rescues now).

I haven't added checklines I think the slowdown should fix the problem.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/moed83sc2l32v ... 9.zip?dl=0


QwertyChouskie {l Wrote}:As for mountains and terrain in general, remember you can now use custom shaders (e.g. terrain shaders) :)

Well I have no idea how to write custom shaders, would probably a good idea to learn though. Any tip how to start?



FabianF {l Wrote}:Hey,
Green Valley: Your plans sound good! I also like the gaea mountains. Even if "there isn't much to see yet", I think releasing a test version would be great, just to see the general theme of the track.

OK so here is a WIP version https://www.dropbox.com/s/9yb3j77jhfghu ... y.zip?dl=0
as I said there isn't much to see yet. For now the track is just named Alpine Valley to prevent confusion.
ATM there is only one mountain model and it's only placed in the background for the final version I plan to convert all mountains into a mix (visually) between the mountains in the background and the grass mountains.
Of course in the final version the mountains will be better integrated into the terrain. But for now it should help to get a felling of the track.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby FabianF » 08 Dec 2020, 18:15

Nice work so far! Keep us updated :-)
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby wax » 08 Dec 2020, 18:34

Btw now I tested sandtrack in high graphics, I notice an important fps drop at the end of the pyramid, from 50-60 to 32 (graphics 3).
Nice work on green valley indeed, there are already many great things there.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby SvenAndreasBelting » 08 Dec 2020, 18:41

wax {l Wrote}:Btw now I tested sandtrack in high graphics, I notice an important fps drop at the end of the pyramid, from 50-60 to 32 (graphics 3).

Probably the lights or the refraction/reflection effect.
Do you have usually more than 32 fps on other tracks with lights or refraction effects?
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby wax » 08 Dec 2020, 20:01

Just tried on candela city and ravenbridge mansion.
On both I get low fps at beginning (each lap) (29 candela and 35 ravenbridge) but for example there's a part on ravenbridge mansion with several lights (after the zipper) where I get 43-44 fps.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby eltomito » 08 Dec 2020, 23:19

When you turn advanced gfx pipeline off on a slow computer and play Alpine Valley, it actually looks worse, IMHO, than Green Valley at the same gfx settings.
Most notably, the rocks in the middle of the road are almost invisible because you changed the road from dirt to asphalt. See the attached screenshots.

It happens in other tracks, too, that these gfx settings make things hard to see (Oliver Math class shortcut, for example) but it would be nice if people paid attention to it when designing new tracks.
Attachments
GreenValley-rocks.png
Green Valley, rocks on dirt road
Alpine-rocks.png
Alpine Valley, rocks on asphalt
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby SvenAndreasBelting » 09 Dec 2020, 00:53

I'm always testing my tracks on high and low settings to make sure it's drivable on all settings. But Green/Alpine Valley isn't at the point where I look at these things.

All I did for now is trying out things like textures models and some very basic prototyping. Of course a lot looks weird at the moment but it's all about getting a feeling of what would fit the theme of the track and what wouldn't.

Of course the rocks are hard to see but maybe I will just replace them with a completely different obstacle. Or this part of track will end up being a dirt section I don't know yet and it simply makes no sense to care about these things for now.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby QwertyChouskie » 09 Dec 2020, 06:25

SvenAndreasBelting {l Wrote}:
QwertyChouskie {l Wrote}:As for mountains and terrain in general, remember you can now use custom shaders (e.g. terrain shaders) :)

Well I have no idea how to write custom shaders, would probably a good idea to learn though. Any tip how to start?


The `shaders_prototype` folder in the media repo has a prototype road shader and might be a good reference point.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby fracture » 09 Dec 2020, 16:43

Green/Alpine Valley looks okay for now. I think the mountians you created in the background should be slightly bigger. Maybe you could move the rocks to a different part of the track with dirt. I noticed that off-road shortcut doesn't work anymore though it is still possible (but much harder). The easiest thing to do would just be to make that part out of bounds so players can't take the shortcut anymore and will be rescued by thunderbird if they try.
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby Ludsky » 17 Dec 2020, 13:32

Your working is so wonderful Sven :)
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Re: Revamping Tracks

Postby MonsieurApple » 23 Dec 2020, 09:03

Alpine Valley, it actually looks worse, IMHO, than Green Valley at the same gfx settings. Most notably, the rocks in the middle of the road are almost invisible b https://blender.onl https://gimp.cc https://audacity.vip
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