Michael and I have started development on The Grandfather back up this week, so I'm not going to be spending as much time on Dusk. However, after getting some feedback from the GOG.com community, I've been doing a little bit of improved texture work.
Ok, so the lighting is complete crap, the UV maps are complete crap, and the aesthetic design is complete crap. remember, this is pre-pre-pre-alpha. Point is, you can see some new textures that look better than the pixel mush I had before.
I'm using a freeware program called Krita along with Gimp for texture work now, and it has a really nice feature for drawing seamless textures. To be perfectly honest, I've just used Gimp's basic "make seamless" tool before now. This solution looks much cleaner.
I know the game's low-res aesthetic is probably going to be a bit devisive. I want it to look almost just like the early 3d games that its emulating. Which means things are going to have a low polycount and textures are going to be low res without the benefit of bilinear filtering. I'm also using a little add-on that lets me force the game to a downscaled resolution, although if I end up keeping this it will certainly be able to be toggled on and off in the settings menu.
But just using crappy models and low res textures doesn't actually look quite right. So I'm also doing some color manipulations. First, during texture creation I switch the image to "indexed" in Gimp, using the actual Quake color palette. All this basically does is limit the variety of colors in the texture, to make it look more like older games and less like just a downscaled png. I'm also using a color correction ramp ingame that fakes a limited pallete for rendering, so that textures look "crappy" enough in low-light situations.
(without the ramp)
(with the ramp)
I know that plenty of people aren't going to like this, but... well, I do. Anyone who follows Videogame Potpourri knows I have a weird love for crappy 3d visuals, and as odd as it sounds I've always wanted to make a game that looks just like this.
Once I actually get into level design, I'll be doing a lot more "prettifying" stuff with lighting, architecture, etc, so the game WILL at least look better than this test level.
Guess I'm banking on there being other weird people like me out there :P