Apologies for the lack of updates here! While I've been meaning to post more frequently here, please keep in mind you can get the latest and most in-depth news via Patreon! I give a major monthly progress update for $3/mo patrons, as well as weekly technical updates including artwork and previews for the Inner Circle tier. At any rate, here's a high level overview of the major happenings with the project!
Malise and the Machine v0.0511 Release
New Dev Team Member!
New Render Management Software
To accomplish the above, I first tackled the software side of things. One of the biggest drawbacks to using Daz Studio for character art is that its rendering configuration is by no means optimal for a complex render setup like what we have going on. It’s not to say Daz isn’t useful for character art, as in the past year I’ve discovered some of my favorite game artists that work on AAA projects use it for posing and character design. For whatever reason however, no one had attempted a solid render management and batch render solution for Daz. What this boils down to is that with the exception of animations, I had to do renders by hand. This means I had to manually set the lighting/ load any material presets / change the output file name / whatever and click"render"... sometimes up to 25 times or more per final image (in the case of this last story H scene, for instance). It was both tedious and very time consuming. This however is no longer the case, because early on in October I determined it was possible to create the render manager / batch renderer I've needed since the start of this project.
The end result is the MATM Render Manager. This is a GUI-based render manager and batch rendering plugin for Daz Studio customized for Malise and the Machine. The tool dynamically builds options by recognizing characters / objects in the scene and allows for complex pre-configuration of renders, giving the user the ability to click “render”once and let it run in the background. The tool saves anyone working on character artwork (future additional character artists?) for the game anywhere from 20 minutes to hours per completed image based on the complexity of the scene.
New Rendering Rig / 3D Workstation
This was no small endeavor, as these kinds of systems aren’t standard by any means, and it took a lot of research and searching for parts in order to reduce cost (to give you an idea, the system would have cost $6500+ retail in parts alone had I not found other sources). Admittedly, it was a lot more work than I thought going into it, and the build went anything but smoothly due to difficulties in acquiring parts, but now that it's completed I can say it was a worthwhile move. So, what does this behemoth do for me you may ask? In short, it not only has the potential to cut a lot of time off of overall development, but will allow for more adventurous undertakings (more animations, etc). In not-so-short terms, check below:
- Extremely improved rendering times.
- Greatly improved hard drive speeds.
- Double the SSD space for working drives, double the RAM for binge multitasking in PS/Daz.
- Improved editing performance.
- Extensibility beyond MATM.
Engine Development Progress
Map and Environment Progress
In addition, TK has begun concept and technical work on the new areas planned for v0.06. It probably goes without saying, but you can check out his latest work on Patreon :D.
As always, thanks for your continued interest in our project! We look forward to getting v0.06 out to you as soon as possible!