Fun with shaders

After getting the debacle with my git repo fixed up, I decided to work on some shader stuff.  I’ve never made a shader before, so I started with some great tutorials Makin’ Stuff Look Good in Unity, a great series of tutorials for Unity devs.

I started out with the tutorial on Winston’s barrier from Overwatch and this is what I had:

Initial Fire Shield
Initial Fire Shield

It looked pretty cool, but wasn’t much different than the tutorial, and also the hex pattern looks far more sci-fi than fantasy RPG.  I made some modifications using temporary PNG assets that I reworked the RGB channels on and ended up with this:

Arcane Fire Shield
Arcane Fire Shield

Much better – arcane symbols work more nicely than the hexes.  Of course, this will be developed over some time to get a better effect, then slightly modified for different elements (there are 12 of them in the game).

Anyone following this at all might be asking: “why the heck are you working on shaders and effects when the game systems aren’t done yet?”  I think it’s a valid question.  Most blogs and books on game development seem to point to it being better to get functionality in, then make things look good.  There’s probably wisdom in that, and I’m sure it works for a lot of people – maybe most people.  But I thrive in chaos.  I also have a bit of the ADD.  And being a (semi-)solo developer, I have to really work on all of the things, so…  sometimes I jump around to not get bored or when I get stuck on something and want to revisit it later.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  Always find the work flow that works for you, rather than trying to fit yourself into the work flow you read or learned about.

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