Serendipity in Metasweeper

August 18, 2020

After you leave the safe confines of Metasweeper’s starting forest area, what happens? Well, that’s what I’ve been working on the past two weeks. I wanted to give a sudden opening up feeling (similar to Hyrule field from Ocarina of Time) and I quickly selected a new desert biome to suit this purpose. To make convincing desert sand, I changed the directional lighting a bit and added a reflection effect inspired by the game Journey. And while I was messing around with reflections, I perturbed the top of the black tiles that hide mines so that when you travel on top of them, they make a sort of glittering reflection pattern.

Next up, I started messing around with a shader from Obversion thinking it might be a cool abstract pattern for the puzzle sections (for those technically inclined: the old shader produced a procedural Voronoi diagram and I switched from using the standard Euclidean metric to a Manhattan metric which fits the “things move at right angles” principle much better). What I produced already looks quite a bit like the veins you might see in some stones, so I replaced the bland grey neutral terrain material I previously had and now it looks way better (side note I also added Beveling to the terrain mesh which you might be able to see in this image as well).

The last thing to share doesn’t fit the theme as well. I was trying to make the forest floor look more interesting and I think I accomplished that. But it certainly took a meandering path to get there (I started out thinking moss, then grass, and finally a bed of clover). I’m embedding a video since gif compression completely ruins the aesthetic and it’s really hard to notice for instance the trample effect where the clover shrinks when you pass over it and slowly moves back into shape.

As always your feedback is welcome.

Best
-Adrian

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