Spellcaster Studios

Make it happen…

Glow and special effects

Continuing the saga of “let’s clean up all the art”!

This week, we’ve been very busy with the new PS4 submission of Strikers Edge, so there wasn’t as much work done as we’d like.

First of all, we kind of decided on the final model look:


It has features of both the cube-based version and the low poly version. We think the texture might still need work, but as a starting point this works!

I’ve also added a glow system to the engine (been delaying that for ages). It was a bit of a struggle, since the engine wasn’t exactly done with that in mind, so I wanted to make it work with minimal changes to everything else… The first results weren’t very good:


I tried giving the glows a bit more “edge” by discretizing the gaussian blur at the end of the pipeline. The results looked promising, but it became a bit too cartoony:


The end result of the glows was actually good enough:


In game, the crystals’ glow is animated so it looks a bit better.

The glow system allowed me to improve other effects, like the lightning, which now can fork like real lightning and glows:



In the image above, I had increased the lightning rate, so a lot of them just hit the white position, which adds to the effect.

Finally, we decided to tackle the basic enemy weapons.

This is how they looked:

screen836 screen839

First, we didn’t want to use circles for the shot… Nothing in this game is circular (except stuff that’s probably going to be removed), so the shots shouldn’t be as well. Besides, this shot is a sprite oriented to the camera, it lacks a bit of directionality and 3d-ness…

So, we decided to try and use a lozenge as a basic form:


Then, we played with the colors and added a trail and some glow:


Which looks good enough, in our opinion… We did the same with the machine gun:


I like the look of these a lot, they look more dangerous than the gun variety, which is the point…

Finally, I wanted to play around with the energy shield… This has been in my mind for ages now and the results were great!


Basically, on a shield hit, I draw a sphere with a shader. That shader will perturb the position of the sphere vertex based on the distance to the hit and time. It also uses that distance to the hit and time to change the alpha effect, which creates that shockwave thing.

Also added a gameplay helper. Now the color of the shield reflects how much charge the shield holds:


The sparks effect also suffered some changes due to the glow, but nothing major… I’m not 100% happy with it, it becomes a bit too blurred for my taste…


Next step on this will be to model the main character, with skinning, etc, and to add functionality on the engine to be able to render that… This might take a while, so updates may be delayed!