For a while I’ve been thinking about putting deferred lighting with normal maps into GTB. This was something I talked about briefly during the development of GSB but it never happened. it basically a way to ‘fake’ the 3D lighting effect with a 2D image, *if* you have the original 3D model the 2D image came from, and thus can make a ‘normal map’.
Here is what I mean:
This stuff is definitely not my area of expertise, and to confound the problem, all of the tutorials and explanations of the effect seems to concentrate on XNA or doing it with actual 3D scenes, whereas mine is a 2D engine.
Plus, it seems that it doesn’t do what i wanted it to, which is to take a lightmap full of various light sources (image the whole scene, with just the ‘light’ rendered onto it), and convert that into realistic looking shadows on 2D sprites. it appears to be a single-light source only solution, involving pixel shaders. Bah.
As I type this, I wonder out loud if bump maps are the answer to my problem? It’s not a disaster if there isn’t a solution, as GSB looked fairly pretty, but I’d like to take things up a level with GTB. There is only so far you can go with 2D top-down view rendered stuff, but I’d like to be the prettiest, shiniest 2D game of it’s type, if at all possible. The other effect I tried once but wimped out of was those distortion-map effects where you get a sphere that distorts the pixels accross it, and thus get a ‘shockwave-air-blast’ style effect. I think Call of Duty 4 used it a lot. I ran into ‘tearing’ and other bugs and eventually abandoned it in a strop :D
Anyone got any tips for fairly awesome 2D top-down effects in games?
(The minute I have my logo finished I’ll talk about GTB)