Espadon Online - English Forum Section Opened!

A place to show off your latest screenshots and for people to comment on them. Only start a new thread here if you have some nice images to show off!
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Espadon Online - English Forum Section Opened!

Post by Espadon PR »

Hey folks!
We would like to present you some of our work. Espadon Online is a German MMORPG under development using the Ogre3D Engine. The game will be set in a medieval environment in Northern Germany around the year 1380. We are focusing on a realistic medieval atmosphere and character development.

Right now our homepage is only available in German, so we just want to present our work here until we can provide an English version.
First of all, we have been developing with Ogre3D for about 3 years now. Our team consists of around 30 people who develop Espadon Online in their spare time. Most of them are students, but some of them are professional programmers or artists.

Here is a selection of our work so far:

Image
The picture shows our terrain engine and the GUI of the editor. The world is based on cells which are paged, using the current camera position and is dynamically loaded and unloaded.

Using our worldeditor and other models we can freely manipulate and create our game world and right now some smaller scenes. The functionality is inspired by 3d modelling software. For the Editor GUI we are using wxWidget. The ingame GUI is planned using myGUI.

At the moment we are using normal mapping and basic ogre compositors, but parallax and specular mapping, as well as pssm are under development.
Texture splatting is being adapted to use alpha map atlases instead of vertex painting.

Image
Our trees are modeled by hand in a 3d modelling program and then processed to be usable for our billboard shader. The additional information for the billboard technique is stored in a second texture coordinates set.
We use a combination of modeled branches, static planes and billboards to create realistic plants. Together with smaller plants, which we batch together, it is possible to create a dense vegetation.

Image

The also have some fully animated, placeable animals. The animations are created in 3ds Max and Maya.

Image


For further reading visit our homepage: http://www.espadon-online.eu . There you’ll also find the forums and our gallery where you can find more ingame and rendershots: http://www.espadon-online.eu/galerie/.

We are always looking for talented programmers and artists to join us. Unfortunately, German language skills are required. :wink:

We appreciate your comments and critiques!
Last edited by Espadon PR on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by spacegaier »

Wow, this is looking really, really good! Would be great to see it in action, so any chance for a short video?
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by jacmoe »

Looks accomplished! :)
Great work.
A video would be really nice.
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by kulik »

Really nice visuals! Keep up the great work, kudos!
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Slappy »

Wow, the images looks nice!
Keep good work!!!
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by sleo »

Graphics is good, but about gameplay I have disappointing presentiment, because you tight object too close to each others, there is no room to move and to action take place. Look at popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, Runes of Magic, Rift Online.
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by lonewolff »

'Presentiment' looks fine to me. Look at popular MOFPS Crysis... 8)

Screenshots look awesome. And that is with no AA turned on!
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

First of all, thank you all for your positive feedback! We didn’t expect to get that much feedback in the ogre forums.

A small video of our editor and its workflow will be coming soon. But because of major changes in our WorldEngine related to logic and server integration, we will wait a little longer to present a stable version of the editor.


@sleo
As these scenes aren’t the actual game world and just test scenes for demonstration purpose only, we didn’t care about how they would be to play. For the game world we will of course be aware of the issue you mentioned. Thank you for the hint anyway.

@lonewolff
AA is actually turned on, but doesn’t have any influence on our alpha mapped leafs. The biggest part of the vegetation are planes with transparent textures, so the effect of anti aliasing isn’t a big benefit in the scenes in the screenshots. I think we have to take a closer look on anti aliasing to make it work better!
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by rogerdv »

Your trees are wonderful, please present my respect to your artists. And of course, the rest of the work is excellent. Is it going to be free to play? Linux version is planned?
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Thank you rogerdv. :)

Yes, it is planned to be free to play. We don't want to make money with our hobby.
But unfortunate there is only a Windows version planned. If time goes by we surely will think about a Linux or Mac version of the game.
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Today we would like to present a small shader update, which might be interesting for you, if you ever got depressed about the monotonous look of larger textured areas.
Our buildings are textured using tileable textures. As you may know from your own experience, tileable textures often look very clean and boring.
Our artists are currently creating a monastry, where we have larger areas of a tileable brick texture. To improve the contrast of those areas, we created a simple shader, which allows us to use vertex painting in maya to paint a dirt texture over certain regions of our walls.
The technique is quite simple, it requires only a few lines of additional shader code.

Code: Select all

color = 1-color;
float4 dirtTex = color*tex2D(dirtMap,textureUV);
result = (1-dirtTex) * “the color you get with your shader”;
In “color” we store the vertex color data, “dirtMap” is a tileable black and white image to control the coverage of the vertex painting (normal vertex painting looks very smooth, we didn’t want that look). The dirtMap looks very random, in fact it was created using clouds and noise filters ;)
“result” is our outColor.
In the example screen below normal mapping is used together with the dirt shader.
Only black and white vertex painting is used, but you can also use colors to give the dirt another hue.

Image
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Priato »

Congratulation! Keep good work!

I have some question about the projet:
- Do you use a custom terrain scene manager? Or an existing one? Based on paging system?
- German language to join the project is really needed?
- Do you plan to open the source code?
- What kind of chicken have you got in your game? Chicken Climber? ;) Your Chicken seem to don't like the floor :)

EDIT: I've used Ogre 3D 1.6, so I have used the old terrain manager. I need to test the new one that seem to be very good!
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Hello Priato, thank you.
1) No, we just use a normal scenemanager. The paging is done by our own WorldEngine based on a specified position (right now the camera position). We are using the Ogre Workqueues to load the terrain and the objects into the world, without getting larger rendering gaps.

2) Unfortunately yes, right now we are only developing in german. Posts in the forums etc. are in german language, although there will be multiple language support for the game itself later. Essential parts of the game, like the code itself (variable / class / function names etc.), meshes and textures, are named in english.

3) We didn’t discuss on open the source code until now, so right now we cannot give an answer to this question. Maybe we will publish some parts of our gamelibs. Possibly we will post some shader code related to some techniques, but I assume most of the code will remain closed source.

4) Yeah, the chickens are everywhere in the farm scene. As there is no AI at the moment, they are just placed like other objects. Of course they won’t climb in the finished game. ;)
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Recently we reworked out terrain texturing. We used vertex painting to apply textures to our custom terrain, but we weren’t too happy with this technique (not very precise, especially when it comes to LOD terrain generation). We changed the terrain painting to use alpha textures instead. The textures can now be painted independently from the vertices. As our terrain is divided in cells, we now are able to use up to 10 textures in each of them, which is more then enough for our chosen cell size.
We also added normal mapping for our terrain, the normals are interpolated based on how strong the specific texture is painted onto the terrain region. To achieve this we use 2 passes. The first one is to splat the textures themselfes and the second for lighting with PSSM and normal mapping. Specular mapping will also be available due to a free alpha channel in the normal map.
The new technique improved the overall optical quality quite a bit, as the screens below show.

Image

Same screen without normal mapping:
http://www.espadon-online.eu/upload/gal ... errain.jpg

To splat the textures onto the terrain we also implemented brush support, as the screenshot below illustrates. It works just as brushes in normal 2d graphic programs.
http://www.espadon-online.eu/upload/gal ... sultat.PNG
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by jacmoe »

I would really like to know more about how you handle terrain - especially zoning and painting.. That could probably be integrated into Ogitor. :)
If you feel like sharing some of that, give one from the Ogitor team a poke.

If not, then no hard feelings.

I love this project. :D
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by gdalex »

I thumb up this idea, this would be a great association :)
Your work on vegetation rendering is remarkable.
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by nec »

It is beautiful, congratulation !
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Thanks for the feedback, we appreciate your support.

One of our programmers just contacted jacmoe and the ogitor team to exchange some knowledge :)
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Lately we tweaked our lighting settings quite a bit. The shadows were, compared to the shading of the surfaces with normal maps, not dark enough. Now they are as dark as the shadows caused by normal maps. We also increased the brightness of our sun.
You see, no fancy new shaders, but it still looks way more atmospheric than before ;)

The first screenshot shows a scene using the old settings above and the same scene with the new settings below:
Image

Here some other scenes, quickly created in our world editor.

Image
Image
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

Hello again from the Espadon Online Team.
Finally we opened an english section in our forums. There you can post feedback and ask questions to our developers.
For now the latest news on our website can be found there as translated versions.
In the near future we will try to provide more information about Espadon Online (also those from our website) in english.
Come and visit our forum at http://forum.espadon-online.eu

For those of you, looking for new screenshots, we got a small update from our world editor Bob the Builder.
We changed the GUI from wxWidget to Qt, due to some internal code problems and even got a new design. Below you can see the new GUI design.

Image
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Re: Espadon Online - English Forum Section Opened!

Post by Espadon PR »

Today we would like to present you our official Espadon Online Logo Animation!

Since the last half of a year, we considered how to represent our game natural and timeless. Therefor it was a huge progress of scheduling, designing and developing for our (espacially) 3D-department and Music/Sfx as well. At the end, after all necessary discussions, sketches and test-renders, it was worth it.

[youtube]kiwCemndlZQ[/youtube]

We've also integrated the Cascade Shadow Mapping with Poisson Disc Filtering by foxbat (http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=71142) with some minor changes to fit it into our render pipeline and to work with our own Terrain Engine. This helped to push our shadow quality much further. As you might have noticed in earlier screenshots, we used PSSM and basic Percentage Closer Filtering. Thanks to foxbat at this point ;) Now we can cover a whole szene with shadowing (200 metres ingame) using 3 1024*1024 shadow maps.

Furthermore we changed our rendering pipeline to HDR. Everything is now rendered to a 16bit float RGB texture in linear color space. In the compositor shaders we adjust our exposure based on the average luminance (we do this the same way as in the ogre HDR sample). At the end of the pipeline, after other post processing effects like bloom, we tonemap the result using the Uncharted-2 Tonemapping Operator and apply the final gamma correction of 2.2. The U2 tonemapping operator offers great filmic color reproduction and a lot of artistic control over the tonemapping curve. For those who are interested in this topic, here two very good blog posts on it:
http://filmicgames.com/archives/75
http://mynameismjp.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... e-mapping/

Here are two of our first screens using HDR and CSM:

Image

Image


(You can also post comments in our english section HERE)
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Re: Espadon Online - English Forum Section Opened!

Post by Mind Calamity »

Wow! :O

Those screenshots are simply jaw-dropping. Amazing work! :)
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Re: Espadon Online

Post by Espadon PR »

spacegaier wrote:Wow, this is looking really, really good! Would be great to see it in action, so any chance for a short video?
Sorry spacegaier, it took us quite some time to follow your request.
We wanted to wait until we finished our official Logo Animation to get an uniform look for our videos.
I can proudly say that we just released our first video, which should give you a deeper insight in our worldeditor Bob The Builder ( BtB ).
There is a sketchy scene setup shown, including a closer look at some of the tools provided.

[youtube]cKgctDwsjw8[/youtube]
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Re: Espadon Online - English Forum Section Opened!

Post by bstone »

Looks really nice! But have you guys thought about adopting something like Blender for your world editing needs? You could have saved yourself some serious man/months of work.
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Re: Espadon Online - English Forum Section Opened!

Post by Espadon PR »

Hi, yes we have thought about importing parts from maya / blender.
In the video you can see the modelling of the later "open world", the world where all players will be together, see each other etc.
Later on there are dungeons which are completly instanced and only avaiable for one player or a small group of players.
Those dungeons will be generated in maya / blender and imported into our engines.

Yes, you are right, if we had done this with the open world too, we could have saved a lot of work.
But the main purpose is not only to finish the game, but to understand and develop it from the start. Of course, we could have used all the great projects for terrain, weather, water etc. here and just make our game.
However, making our own engines for terrain, world/paging, weather etc., we pursue the main character of Espadon Online. Every member should develop his skills and develop and understand those (our) engines.
Last edited by Espadon PR on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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