Today’s dev journal will introduce two features of the game. One is the procedural reduction of fine details when the camera is too far away to see clearly. The other is to introduce a massive world map feature that is coming to our website soon.
This week, I’ll also be asking for some feedback from our viewers. We’d like people to vote on our polls to determine the way certain game features will work. After all, this game is for you guys!
Distance Detail Culling
Culling in games means that the camera in a scene does not draw some objects, even if they are in the camera’s arc of visibility. There are lots of reasons to cull objects, but in our game we do it only for one reason –rendering performance. So the game will play smoothly and suffer less from camera jerkiness.
Any game that renders large outside scenes uses some sort of detail distance culling, just like Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, or Dragon Age. You just can’t render full detail at maximum distance, regardless of what graphics engine you’re using.
Luckily, City of Steam is a browser based game using the Unity 3D engine. So, a lot of the detail down-sampling is done for us when dealing with terrain, grass, trees and other objects.
So, when you get close to these objects, they will pop into existence without you noticing. And for those with low spec computers, we provide a slide bar to adjust this distance.
I've been working on a massive map feature that will help with visualizing the layout of the world of City of Steam and should be a lot of fun. The map will be interactive so you'll be able to check out where dungeons and other points of interest are quite easily.
I'm just finishing up a few major areas before posting any photos. I hope to have something to show next week.