TaleSpire Dev Log 360

Let's look at Water Tiles.

I've been working on/off on Water Tiles for the past few weeks. Although the request has been for some blue tiles, we did want to test using the water plane shader to make it more in line with the "resin liquid" in-game. It had some issues but was promising. The Water Plane was never meant to have vertical sides, so all of the ripples were done with a top-down projection.


This results in long vertical lines running down the sides. Not particularly pleasant looking. Another issue was going inside the water, every tile would appear opaque because of the harsh normals. Essentially blinding you.

I decided to look at the second issue first as it appeared direr. One potential solution would be to make the water tiles solid, circumventing the problem. That way, Creatures wouldn't be able to enter the water, and the Camera would be less likely to have to pass through water tiles. Turns out, because you can easily see through the water tiles, it feels terrible not to be able to fly through with the camera as well.

So to partially address this issue, I set the normals of the tiles to be float3(0,1,0) facing upwards in world space. This would address the edges being too dark and constructed to the rest of the water volume, but would also make the color of the water more consistent regardless of the time of day.


This helped tremendously when flying through. It also made the vertical lines less visible. Not a fix, though, so had to handle that next.

I decided to use a Triplanar projection as a way to add more variation to the sides. What I didn't realize was that I had somewhat shot myself in the leg doing the "forced normal direction" in the previous fix. This meant that the normals, using the Unity Standard shading, were no longer facing the right direction. I wanted to use the lighting as is, so I needed to get the normals for the Triplanar projection from somewhere else. I decided to bake the normal directions into the vertex colors of the assets themselves: 


[Insert Meme about Drawing Owls]
Something that eventually resulted in this:
Somewhat reminiscent of a cube of resin.

And in motion, it looks something like this:

I wish I could say these work perfectly, but there are still some odd behavior in certain cases that would need some iteration. Also, using this particular method of driving the camera through the resin is never going to be perfect. Some visual glitches will occur. 


Finally, building caused a bit of an issue. To be able to pick Creatures through transparent objects, we don't pass said objects into the Pixel Picker. This essentially means that once you place a transparent object, such as a water tile, you can no longer pick it up again. Of course this is a problem. The solution we came up with was creating a toggle for transparent objects in Building Mode, essentially enabling and disabling the feature. Which looks something like this: 

Overall the water tiles are looking decent. There are still a lot of cleanups, testing, etc, to do. Unless something serious comes up, though, we're looking at something which could go out soon-ish. I'm pretty excited about this personally and hope it will work the way you folks imagined it would.

Thanks for bearing with my ramblings!

Have a good one.


Disclaimer: This DevLog is from the perspective of one developer. So it doesn't reflect everything going on with the team



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Guest
User
Ooiittee
Ooiittee
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Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, but seriously, thank you.
FlavioAlvarenga
FlavioAlvarenga
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Amazing! 
MartnPabloGaviln
MartnPabloGaviln
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That is something amazing i really want. 
demongund
demongund
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Can't wait! Please, in your experiments, try allowing non cubic shapes. We could work magic even with a static cone or cylinder.
Ree
Ree
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Let me see what I can do. I was thinking about shapes for splashes and maybe for waterfalls, are these the types of things you'd be interested in?
EhThereBud
EhThereBud
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to Ree- YYYYYYYEEEEEEESSSSS!!!!! water fall ones would be amazing please and thank you 
Rhibo
Rhibo
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I can't quite tell from the screenshots but will there be 2 water options or just one? I'm curious if you intend to have a short and tall water tiles or just stack the short ones. Either way looks great!
Ree
Ree
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So far, we have a 1x1 and a 2x2 normal tile size for water tiles. We could certainly consider some other things if that makes sense.
DanielFuckingWhitne
Add on  suggestion to this... Let us change the color of the water. I have had some success with lighting, bit I need rivers of blood!!!
Ree
Ree
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This is something we need to make available at some point. It is planned, but don't have an ETA on it.
_b1ack0ut
_b1ack0ut
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Now, IDK if this works with the water tiles, BUT I have had great success turning the water plane into an ocean of blood for a map i was making, theres a specific location where you can put the sun that makes everything blood red.

Downside: as the position where this is possible has the sun underneath the board, it can be a little dark on the map itself, and the sky will be similarly bloodshot, so if you're not going for a biblical apocalypse look, this may not be the way for you. 
PandaExpress
PandaExpress
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That looks awesome! Thanks for all your hard work. Also, can we expect group movement to be out of beta soon? :)
Ree
Ree
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It is a priority, at least :) So soon-ish?
GMWorkshop
GMWorkshop
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Amazing work! Can't wait for those tiles, the weather system, the group movement, aaaaaargh so much great stuff coming! Blown away by all your hard work team, just incredible.
bottomtext
bottomtext
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A bit aspirational maybe, but wondering if it's possible to make water tiles submersible for characters? Underwater combat is a thing after all. Or maybe I read this wrong and it is possible. Either way, awesome feature.
Gazza
Gazza
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You can see this in the video. 
Plate
Plate
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There ya go boys! Well done
InsufferableSmartyp
Looking great!   Can't wait!
blackwolf_majik
blackwolf_majik
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I'm THRILLED and can't wait to play with this!
Brill
Brill
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Oh dang! Water EVERYWHERE!
Sanglier
Sanglier
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Niiiiice we are going to make so much great stuff with that 
sheehanicy
sheehanicy
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man this is great to see but I was hoping it would use the volume tools for selection, tiles are great but sometimes you just want to make a thin little stream down a channel, something similar to how the experimental fog is currently implemented would have been fantastic IMO