How does my new project's style look? And am I doing a good job at optimization?

I recently started putting in a ton of effort into a rewrite of a game I unfortunately just didn’t have the time to work on. I’ve been planning and developing towards this project for a year, and I just started working on it finally. I designed a consistent style I plan to use throughout the game for terrain, UI, and generally the overall theme of the game. This is one of the first times I’ve spent a large amount of time on visuals alone and I’ve now sunk around about 12 hours into just that.

I’m curious to know what others think about my visual style in its current form minus the UI I suppose as I haven’t finalized my new UI. (By the way, you can throw your harshest criticisms at me, I want to know where my weak points are right now especially in the early stages).

To give a brief description of the style, I’m mainly focusing on a dark, lowly saturated environment with mainly blacks, grays, and both soft and vibrant green colors. My goal is essentially to create a “natural feeling contrast.” I want to create a sort of calm and low energy, but unfamiliar looking environment where things both kind of blend together and pop nicely.

Additionally, another area I’ve sunk many hours into this first week has been optimization. I believe I’ve sunk around the same amount of time into optimization as I have the visuals, possibly more. I’ve pulled every trick I can to make the game run smoothly on standard hardware and I want to fully support play on integrated GPUs.

My terrain generation is extremely optimized (and for low bandwidth devices). In it’s current state my code can generate all of the main terrain in about 1.4 seconds on average which usually leads to completely seamless loading. I expect this number to go up as I start pushing forwards towards my goals for the game, and I have a little performance demo built in which generates 100 outer islands (vs. the base four) which bumped time up to ~14 seconds on average. (If you want to test out the demo generation you can use this chat command to restart the server in that mode: /flags CRAZY_ISLANDS)

The game (or really the barebones progress) is here and I’d really love any feedback:

A lot of my plans for this game are very ambitious (some of which include live updates, persistently “running” servers, modding, and a gamemode dedicated to programming within the game) and I honestly don’t want to get carried away explaining my ideas for fear that I’m going to either exhaust all of my creativity or just create false hopes for anyone following it as I am 100% sure a lot of my big plans are going to fall flat somewhere, and I want to be sure this project launches with the full potential I can give it.


I don’t have much feedback but I really like it. I’m not a huge fan of green but it looks really cool. I usually lag a lot and take a long time to load but it didn’t take long to load which is great. This would be a good fighting map though because of the holes. Anyways, keep up the good work! :slight_smile:

The terrain is a major good point for me, I really like how it looks. Surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to blend in with the green/black water/lava etc. on the floor, which is also nice. Personally, I would increase the distance you can look before the blur sets in. For me, it feels a little bit too high, and reduces the amount you can appreciate the map due to the surroundings getting blurred very quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the terrain but the blur feels a bit extreme.
Edit: I personally didn’t experience any lag in game, so I believe your optimization is going fine.

@RlGHTEOUS Thanks! :smile: I agree with you in terms of the DOF effect, it does cut off what you can see a little too soon in some cases. For some reason the DepthOfFieldEffect only seems to do a few intensities and the next lowest is extremely hard to see, which I don’t want (otherwise what’s the point of it) and I’d love to lower the intensity just a bit.

@JustKillea Yep, the game actually will involve a lot of fighting and fast paced gameplay so that’s good :smile: I have plans for several gamemodes which are going to heavily rely on terrain. Generally the different gamemodes I have planned are either focusing on base building and or fighting as well as survival.

That sounds cool. :slight_smile: I like those types of games and good luck finishing your project.

You’re trying to create a natural feeling contrast? I feel this is far from it… The overuse of the granite material feels super unappealing to me… The terrain (rock and grass) looks fairly alright though, pretty nice. Reminds me of skywars or some kind of sci fi planet. If you added some info on the game I’d be able to judge it better.

This is a good point I think, I do use quite a lot of granite in the terrain and I can see that being somewhat unappealing visually especially in the quantity it appears in. My choice for granite was mainly coming from the fact that a lot of the materials are very “smooth” for what I want to do I think (e.g. slate looks very bland with my terrain imo). Additionally, the game is very sci-fi oriented and it’s set on an alien planet so I’m glad that that’s what it reminded you of.

Here’s a giant description of the game’s style on a fundamental level as well as a little bit of how the gameplay is going to probably end up working:
Essentially you are stuck on the planet and your goal is to essentially survive. I’m currently in the process of working on some of the other terrain features atm such as resources. The basic resources are things like coal, iron, and a few other things that you will be able to harvest from the terrain, and you can use those resources to build up a base. Some of the gamemodes will involve short matches with lots o fPVP, some will also involve PVE/survival, and some will be very long term with persistent saving vs others which will be much shorter term.

Essentially using the resources on the planet, one of which is your main power source (which is a green material that you find in the form of crystals, which is an abundant material on the planet, and thus shows up in a lot of places in the terrain as well as the stuff you build) you are just kind of surviving there. The enjoyment in the game is going to be driven by a number of different things which are mainly coming from the gamemode. For example, one of the things I want to focus on is self sustainability in the survival modes i.e. your goal is to build a base which can sustain itself.

So effectively in terms of the visuals of the game, there’s going to be lots of sci-fi style with grays and bright highlights and stuff. There will be a few primary “highlight” colors in the game. Green, purple, as well as some oranges. The environment itself will be very dark generally however I want to have a decent amount of variety in color. I want the environment to always look and feel very different to what the player builds (i.e. the player’s creations will have much brighter colors) while sharing aspects between each other (i.e. based on the games resources). One of the primary themes in the game (if you couldn’t already tell haha) is hexagons (I don’t know if I’m just uncreative and took it from my name or if I am obsessed with hexagons).

Additionally, in terms of those three highlight colors, while a lot of the environment is going to be based on that primary green color, and a lot of the player’s creations will also stem from this this, I’m planning on introducing some of that into PVE. For example, the player might be able to find areas inhabited by something which are unique in their colors and they could contain rare materials. Additionally in terms of how that fits into lore, the other two of the colors will stem from two much rarer resources that will have slight effects in the terrain (and also will have uses in some of the game’s mechanics). For example, you might occasionally find the materials hidden underground, or rarely you could find small patches where the environment has taken some of those colors.

Sort of summarizing my goals, I don’t want to make the world super boring where it’s all just two colors and a few materials and nothing else, and I want the player to “stick out” in the environment sort of. That probably means that the terrain will have a lot of different materials which can generate, maybe some browns, some different formations, natural resources with unique colors, etc. Generally everything will be quite dark, but having lots of vibrance.

A giant description? do you mean gigantic ?? The description sounds like a pretty good game but apart from the crystals and scifi it really reminds me of minecraft (pvp, pve, resources base etc) I feel like it’ll be a fun game, but it’ll take quite a long time to finish. Minus the granite, looks pretty great. gj

Yep, it’s definitely going to be quite a massive project. It won’t quite be like Minecraft though in a lot of ways, although I can for sure draw a lot of comparisons. I’m glad you like it so far! :smile:

These are two materials+colors I’ve come up with as alternatives that look decent. Keeping the colors looking consistent is a little difficult though as materials are wonky haha.

I think my favorite is the pebbles on the right, it’s sort of a middle ground between too smooth and too grainy. What do you think?

I think I prefer the slate as it gives it a more rocky look, which other planets (like mars) has, have you thought about changing the colors? It looks quite dull (which I know youre going for) but the black is a bit too dark for the green I think. I’m also not a huge fan of the pebble material so maybe my opinion is biased haha