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New Textures Mostly Done

As promised, here is an update on the status of the new textures to replace the ones that I wasn't supposed to be using. As you can see in the attached image, the mech and base textures have been significantly reworked, even beyond just the required replacement of the base texture. The mech's normal map is much simpler now because I realized that you rarely get close enough to see the fine details anyway, and I was never entirely happy with the old normal maps. The other major change was that the mech is now weathered. There is dirt and grime and wear on the edges of panels. Overall I think it's a huge improvement, and for being programmer art it's not too bad. :-)

The base was redone in a similar fashion, although its normal map is mostly the same as it was. It's also much better looking, although as I was trying to get a screenshot of it I discovered that on most maps the improvements aren't all that visible. Oh well.

If you check out the development image gallery, you will also see new terrain textures for the maps. I'm somewhat less happy with these, but under the circumstances they're at least acceptable. I'm not sure you can tell from the screenshots, but I also closed off Riverside so the ends of the river no longer disappear off the map. I have some plans for that map that should make the river look more natural, as opposed to just ending like it does now.

There are still a couple of textures that haven't been replaced yet and obviously something needs to be done with those. The foliage on some maps doesn't look very good right now either due to the changes so some more work may be needed there too. Once the texture work is done, I have a couple of things I want to work on in the engine. There are things that bug me right now about the way the camera and laser sight work and they should be fixable. The mesh code is also likely to get a significant rewrite to simplify its use and hopefully eliminate some performance problems that I've been having, but have been unable to resolve due to the current complexity of the code.

Once all of this work is done, I'm hopeful that some more playtesting can be done. The site is getting quite a bit more traffic these days thanks to some publicity generated by interested visitors, so it may be possible to find a few more people to participate now.