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Development Diary #1 - Wet Materials + Revolvers

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Development Diary #1

Howdy! Brief development update here.

Since the campaign had been nearing its end, a lot of work has been done over the past couple of weeks, to organize, document and properly lay out our process, leaving us somewhat shorthanded. The last two weeks of silence have been filled with a lot of prep, restructuring, planning for the future and gearing up for the road ahead. Today, the funds were transferred over to us and so, we've begun to get the ball rolling for our planned development cycle: organised, funded, and most importantly, dedicated.

Despite the restructuring and real world work, our team has still been using the downtime productively: powering through internet, computer, and other issues to bring Dead Matter that much closer to completion.


I've been hard at work at integrating a physically-based porosity and wetness system into the world's master material, for those stormy nights and rainy days.


Each material in Dead Matter contains baked-in information about the material's height, ambient occlusion, and roughness. Utilizing this information, we can best approximate where puddles are likely to form on the material's surface when it takes on water. We use this information in every material to determine the material's appearance when wet, which is ultimately unique for each material we author for Dead Matter. Through the roughness map, we derive qualities about how 'porous' the overall surface is and transform this information into what is called a 'Porosity map'.


What is porosity? A lot of this information has been covered in-depth by Sebastien Lagarde, a former DONTNOD senior graphics programmer and current director of rendering research at Unity. Sebastien worked on and had outlined his research on Physically-Based wet surfaces in video games while working on Remember Me (released in 2013). The series on his blog is a fantastic read and will help give an extensive look at what we set out to accomplish with our materials.


Ultimately the 'wetness' of all materials in the game is measured from a value between 0-1, which is controlled by our weather system. The porosity map, and the wetness value in tandem with the material's heightmap AND the material's ambient occlusion map, ultimately allows for the convincing formation of puddles on the material's surface. The overall result is still missing a few features (namely the animation of rain droplets, and running water along sloped surfaces), but we're quite happy with the initial results.

This system is tied to every single general-purpose material present in our game.

To better demonstrate the change in appearance, here's a video showcasing the effect in real-time. Note the difference between each surface's appearance as it takes on more water.


Our lead weapons designer and prop modeller, Dusty, has been laying the groundwork for a system that will bring extensive variation and customization options to the weapons of Dead Matter.

Modular barrels, grips, sights, attachments, rails and unique weapon mods and crafting options are all supported.



The Road Ahead

We'll have much more content to show and talk about over the coming months as we settle down and properly get into the groove of development, so stick around and stay tuned.

Let's make something great.

Edited by Yad

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I'm SO pumped to see you all taking this route on your weapons systems!  This game is going to be amazing!  You need to get Dusty down to the Knob Creek Machinegun Shoot next month so he can get hands on any weapon you all plan on working with.  :D

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The visuals looks crisp and clear. Every step you guys made are in the right direction. I'm really liking the modular weapons, I'm wondering how we can change and acquire these in game ?

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