Although Unity 5.4.2 is old news now that 5.6 beta is out, updating Planet Nomads to 4.2 still meant a massive visual boost to the game. Our environment artist has revised his existing biomes and utilized the new camera effects stack.
This is not a render.
This picture shows the impact of post-procesing effects alone. We are using Unity über stack.
The stack includes pretty much all thinkable camera effects, and we use most of them - new antialiasing, depth of field, motion blur and eye adaption, the improved ambient occlussion, color grading and bloom.
The graphic overhaul is not about camera effects alone though. Biomes are getting a facelift. Game assets are getting new textures, new world objects have been introduced into the game and floora is getting more varied.
Deep Forrest then and now.
One of the lessons learned:
Don't make your trees just trunks, focus on rich crown of the tree. That way you'll be able to create the atmosphere of a deep and impermeable forest or jungle with ease.
Texture Array and PBR Shaders
By updating Planet Nomads to 5.4.2 we also got another hefty feature - texture array. Which for Planet Nomads - a sandbox game with procedurally generated voxel planets meant no more nasty grid lines between the chunks.
And obviously the ability to use dozens of material textures at once, minimizing tiling and generally making the ground more corrugated, deformed and ultimately more realistic.
How Real Is It?
Yes, screenshots are nice, but how does it look in the game? Take a look.
If you just watched the Nomadic Journals you will have seen these new prefab blocks. Most of all, they have been added for gameplay reasons - to make building faster and simpler. Yet with proper 3D models, rather then blocks with tiling textures, they add a visual punch to the game too.
So that is all. Planet Nomads is launching Q1 next year as Early Access / Game in Development.
Thanks for reading and watching and spending your time with this article and our game. If you like what you see, send Planet Nomads your vote over at IndieDB.
Plus you can always tell all your space-addicted and Minecraft-crazed friends about Planet Nomads too.