In the 11th edition of the Fableforge Weekly Update we'll talk about a few changes on the graphical-end I wanted to make before getting started on the combat system.
A tricolored region that uses green, yellow, and red colored grass blocks. Notice the new foliage improvements (improved texture, color variation, mesh rotations).
Region Color Palette Improvements
A flythrough video showing the overhauled region color palette system. This is a tricolored, hilly grassland region with sparse pine trees.
Region color palettes have been overhauled. Regions can now use up to three different colors for its surface block (grass blocks for grasslands, sand for deserts, snow for tundra). The colors that regions can choose from are also now more diverse and appealing.
Visual representation of the new tricolor system. These are not actual region colors, but are colors used to easily see how this new system works.
Previously, regions were only able to pick two different colors and blend between those two colors. This effect made the terrain look less flat by using a spectrum of colors between the two selected colors.
Now, regions are able to use up to three different colors and blend between all three. This increases region diversity, as well as further adding more color diversity to the terrain.
BEFORE: Only two colors were blended.
AFTER: Tricolor support adds more color diversity to this region.
Improved Region Color Palettes
Region color palettes were overhauled. Colors that were not as appealing as some other colors were removed. Many new colors have been added to replace the removed colors as well as to add more color diversity between regions.
Several changes have been made to foliage blocks (tall grass, flowers). Here's a list of the changes:
Foliage texture changes
There are less blades of grass in the tall grass texture, and each blade of grass is wider. The stems of flowers are also wider. I believe this adjustments gives off a more toonish vibe. It also makes grass patches look fuller, which I find to be a nice aesthetic improvement. The shading on the grass and flower textures are also more subtle.
Flower mesh change
Flowers previously used a cross mesh just like tall grass. Flowers now use a two-sided mesh. This mesh makes the flowers look more natural.
Flowers can now spawn multiple times on a single block
Instead of having a flower block represented as a cross mesh to simulate a cluster of flowers, a two-sided mesh is generated multiple times at random positions and rotations within the block position it spawned at. This makes the flowers look more appealing and natural.
Foliage now have random rotations
The new random rotations give foliage a more natural and less structured look.
Improved foliage random scaling
Foliage blocks spawn with a random height, this worked well with tall grass as the length and width didn't need to scale with the height. For flowers all axes needed to scale with the height otherwise flowers would spawn with unnatural (and unappealing) dimensions.
Foliage color variation
Foliage now has its own color variation. Previously foliage would just use the color of the block underneath it. To add more color diversity foliage now use a color variation technique similar to how surface blocks blend between their 3 region colors.
You can compare the first video at the top of this post with this older video to compare the differences in foliage.
BEFORE: Notice the foliage compared to the newer videos of the foliage.
Also compare the second video underneath the title "Region Color Palette Improvements" with this older fly-through video of a forest region.
BEFORE: Notice the foliage compared to the newer videos, also notice the monotonous-looking color palette of this region. The newly overhauled region color palette system helps regions look more vibrant and less monotonous.
A few miscellaneous graphical improvements were made. One of these changes is making the AO (ambient occlusion, which is the shading you see at the corners of blocks) more subtle.
Another change was improving how fresnel works. I use a fresnel effect on blocks to give that subtle shiny appearance you may have noticed. This effect was much more apparent in low light levels, which was an issue. This has been fixed. I don't think this was really noticed by anyone because I don't think I've shown a screenshot or video of low light level areas where this issue would be apparent.
A request I commonly would get from you guys is to increase the height of the clouds and decrease their size. I ended up increasing the minimum cloud height by 100 blocks and decreasing the maximum size a cloud can be by about 20%.
BEFORE: Many of you guys pointed out the clouds being too low in this video, changes were made to make the clouds not spawn this low to the surface.
These past couple days I've been experimenting with larger trees. I've made a few new large oak tree models and large pine tree models. I wanted to give a larger since of scale in the world and I think bigger trees would help a lot in that regard.
One thing I've been testing is how performant larger trees would be, and the performance decrease seems to be almost negligible.
Tree trunks are larger in these new trees so handling how they are spawned on the ground is handled a little differently to prevent parts of the trunk floating in the air.
Unfortunately I don't have any screenshots to show just yet as I'm still not content with the appearance of these trees and am still tweaking and experimenting with different looks.
Next Week Preview
It's been a while since I've posted a new Weekly Update. I tweeted out about a month ago I went on vacation for a couple weeks, and I planned to get much more done as soon as I got back home but unfortunately I got sick with flu-like symptoms (I promise it wasn't covid, I've been fully vaccinated before getting sick! 😊). After recovering, a family member passed away and I set aside time to be with my family during that time.
I want to thank you guys for being patient and understanding. Development will resume, and there's so much more exciting things to look forward to soon!
Next week there's still a few more graphical improvements I want to make, as well as some bug fixing and performance improvements before I start developing and showcasing combat. I will start development on combat the following week, so stay tuned!
If you have any questions or comments, let me know! I'd love to hear from you guys. You can email me at email@example.com, or by dropping a comment wherever you saw the link to this blog post! (twitter, reddit, discord, etc.)
Again, thank you for your patience and understanding. I'll see you next week!