It's possible to scale a modern engine (Like UE4) back until it looks like a late PS2 game, right?
Yeah, just turn down/off all features. Most of the looks come from very simple geometry and low textures.
No ambient occlusion, low shadow resolutions, and have it run default at directx9. There's a launch parameter for that, if you look it up. Just downgrade everything.
100% ambient lightiing, baked shadows, no AA. done.
It's possible, don't expect the game to run on the period-correct hardware though. If the game looks like a PS2 game it damn-well better run on my GeForce 2.
There's indie games out right now that look like early Xbox games, run horribly, and have positive reviews somehow. As great as it would be to get it running on 1999-2004 hardware, I don't think the people who buy indie games these days are smart enough to care.
i wonder if i could enter her library...
also interest, but instead of ue4 for unity
90% of the stuff produced with Unity already looks like a PS2 game.
Same answer. Ambientighting, baked shadows, low res textures.
I'd like also add that you gotta set a hard limit on the resolution. Jaggies on every edge is an essential part of the vintage look.
disable anti-aliasing/anisotropic filtering, use low-res textures with low quality compression, lighting/shadows baked onto lightmaps. use very low-res meshes with lots of shared UV-space. NO global illumination, just direct lighting and a global ambient light to brighten all unlit areas.
UE4 lightmass is vastly superior to any of the old lighting solutions so you'd have to lower the lightmap resolution / volume lighting sample density to avoid the baked lighting from looking too accurate. also almost all modern engines are built for physically based rendering. because of this you're kinda forced to disable specularity globally. this means no more shinyness anywhere.
you also have to disable features like screen-space reflections, screen-space ambient occlusion, baked ambient occlusion, HDR & bloom, sub-surface scattering, color grading and eye adaptation. almost all of the things i just listed are post-processing, so they're very easy to disable. and of course, you cannot use things like normal maps or anything other than diffuse really. also pay attention to compression (RGB vs sRGB) / gamma settings etc.
pic related, tried to disable what i could quickly, but didn't disable normal maps or mess with compression settings for textures. the scene is obviously still way too high quality because it's been baked with modern high quality global illumination, stuff that you would disable / replace as mentioned earlier. was forced to brighten the pic up a little in photoshop since the scene relied heavily on the tonemapper.
They probably recognize how indie games are built by more novice people on shoestring budgets, and therefore don't expect the graphics to be anything special.
The interesting point about indie games is that they can explore niche and experimental game play in a way big companies don't dare gamble on AAA products.
what does this even include ./ mean
Not disparaging other indie developers, just saying that while it'd probably be unrealistic to expect U4E to even boot on ~2002 hardware, if someone shot for a 2002 graphical look it'd probably run perfectly fine on modern budget hardware and that's a good enough scenario given there's a whole host of well-received indie games that look the same and underperform almost to the point of being unplayable on my own top-end 2014 rig.
>that's a good enough scenario given there's a whole host of well-received indie games that look the same and underperform almost to the point of being unplayable on my own top-end 2014 rig.
you can do that with any game if you turn up postprocessing hard enough. It doesn't make the game look any better, it's just cheap effects
>"Lightmass creates lightmaps with complex light interactions like area shadowing and diffuse interreflection. It is used to precompute portions of the lighting contribution of lights with stationary and static mobility. Communication between the editor and Lightmass is handled by the Swarm Agent, which manages the lighting build locally and can also distribute the lighting build to remote machines. The Swarm Agent, which opens minimized by default, also tracks lighting build progress and keeps you up to date with which machines are working for you, what they are working on, and how many threads each one is using."
when you bake your lightmaps it will automatically start the swarm agent which shows you what lightmass is currently doing (calculating the lighting/shadows mostly). every single thing that gets put on a lightmap from shadowing to lighting to the color of the light or baked ambient occlusion is done by lightmass. all the info is on the wiki, though they do tend to explain things in a non-friendly way with lots of technical jargon. when i said UE4 lightmass is 'vastly superior' to old stuff i simply meant that it calculates lighting/shadows far more accurately thanks to the fact that modern computers are much faster.
That's fairly suitable. I'm not looking to be 100% accurate to PS2 era rendering, I'm mostly aiming to accomplish:
-Having the game be aesthetically similar to Silent Hill 2 through 4, with lighting that isn't especially flashy and none of the next-gen gloss featured in most UE4/modern titles.
-Having a consistent artstyle that won't create an unbearable workload for a hobby project.
-Running on as wide a range of hardware as possible.
If I can get all that down and still be a tad more high-definition, I probably will.
Do what now?
I don't really get what you're trying to say or how it relates to the discussion, so I'll break down what I'm trying to say into dot points so I'm sure we understand eachother:
>as pointed out by >>503453, a game with a 2002 graphical style made in Unreal Engine 4 is unlikely to run on 2002 hardware or perform as well as a 2002 engine with the same graphical style because of the inner workings of the rendering engine being geared towards modern hardware
>still, because of overall optimization and how much less demanding lower quality effects and assets are, a 2002 styled game created in Unreal Engine is likely to run decently on the modern budget hardware most people use
>there are games running on their own engines that have worse performance than what Unreal Engine would achieve outputting the same visuals and they still manage to get away with it and be well received
>therefore, peformance matching the visual quality of the game 100% doesn't matter as much provided it still runs well on modern hardware, as other games have gotten away with less
The underperformance you talk about is mainly due to poor asset handling, naive lighting solutions and to some extent leaky code. If you don't know what you're doing it's very easy to make a game run crap. It typically have very little to do with the shader models, texture resolution and poly counts.
Depending how a scene is put together it can either fly or crawl trough your graphics hardware while looking exactly the same.
thanks for the resolution tip, kind of thought that would help out with that
Of course you can do that.
That Silent Hill 4 picture is just meshes all with completely unique textures, as lighting is baked into those textures. In the Silent Hill 3 picture, everything is totally unlit, except for Heather.
For the most part, the Silent Hill games don't even use baked lighting, and when they do, it's baked straight into the textures, not into separate lightmap textures. But again, that's rare. The only examples I can think of off the top of my head is Henry's apartment in 4 and the Session 9 wheelchair hall in 3. The ambient occlusion is usually just in the textures. Larger bits of AO and most static environment shadows are just done with decals. The Silent Hill games don't usually use decals as they're normally used either. Since the games are normally on a room-by-room basis, a lot of the textures are totally unique, and it seems the artists preferred this over using more generalized textures with decals for unique details.
I think UE4 would sort of be overkill though. If you wanted to use a totally current engine I'd suggest Unity because by default it's much more basic. The majority of UE4's ubiquitous graphics features are just going to be a distraction. Most of those big graphics-intense features in Unity are either not there (you have to do it yourself) or are in some optional premade package.
I mean all you need for this is just some basic diffuse shader, unlit shader, and a transparent shader.
I was thinking of Unity originally because there are already plenty of low-fi games out of that engine, but I've heard through people on mod teams I've worked with that creating gameplay mechanics in Unreal 4 is simpler for someone without much programming background to get into, and I'm used to editing Unreal Tournament (2k4 thru to the current edition) already. There's also the issue that every Unity game I've played with realtime lighting has run like hot garbage on my own machine with it enabled and that's one feature I'll definitely use to some extent. I'll probably try both out, though.
The only reason those Unity games you played ran poorly were because they were made poorly. I do see lots of poorly optimized Unity games though. When I've used it, it's been very easy to do, but then again I'm aware of all that performance stuff.
It just seems to me that those developers simply were not knowledgeable and mindful of performance optimizations. For example, if a developer didn't know what occlusion culling was, they wouldn't ever consider baking it in Unity, even though it takes a few clicks anyway. On the other hand, if they were using UE4, this inexperienced developer wouldn't need to consider it because UE4 does it automatically.
It would run better or the same as UE4 in Unity if you do consider those things, unless you have a crazy graphically-intense game, which is what UE4 is suited for. You, however, are aiming for making a game with very bare graphics. From a just-graphics point of view, it's much easier to get that in Unity (not that it's hard in UE4, it's just that you actually have to change lots of default settings).
But you are right that UE4 is more accessible for someone without programming experience, because of stuff like their Blueprints, and their visual shader creation, and lots of nice art and level design oriented features.
So yeah, definitely try them both.
>FINGERLESS GLOVE METER AT 30%!!!
Seriously, who the fuck thought all that was necessary? It looks like a really bad Halo clone.
Yes, just use 64x64 textures of 128x128 max, have small rooms, prebake a bunch of backgrounds, run in a low resolution, limit character models to 5k poly's 2 maps max, only diffuse maps and little to no lighting.
Of course you can. You guys are asking stupid questions. Instead of asking dumb questions just go look at what the PS2's graphics processor supported and only use those features and don't make massive big worlds with them.
Left looks like one of those joke "modern gaming pictures" and the right looks like a 360 game. You aren't illustrating this very well.
It's not just the pointers, it's the massive amount of redundant bullshit you have to code just to do basic shit. The OOP nature of C# makes coding a motherfucking breeze, much easier to organize and you don't have to manage all your code in memory because C#'s automatic garbage collection deals with it for you.
While we are talking about old 3D game graphics, can you also turn off texture filtering, get this extremely rough shading that 5th gen consoles had, reeuce draw distance that fades to black etc ? Sometimes it just adds if you're going for something in the uncanny valley.
I don't buy the whole "Old-graphics = uncanny valley = spoops" thing, Silent Hill 3 had reasonably clear graphics and it was the design of the creatures that made them hard to make out. Low draw distance/heavy fog is definitely effective, though. It means that the second you can see something coming it's already in your face and it's especially effective if you give audio cues to indicate that there's something lurking around in the dark that could jump out at you. The obscenely low polycount on that raptor isn't what makes it scary.
It's actually a sprite, but I get your point. Maybe the good spooks of older games lie just as much in the sound design.
I'd say Silent Hill's sound design is quite simple, just building up for something that doesn't happen or isn't there, but that's why it's so incredibly effective.