What bothered me the whole time is that due to the nature of the current artstyle (mainly a lot of white color) it was sometimes hard to see how blocks were placed if a lot of geometry was overlapping from the cameras perspective.
So i experimented with outlines which are rendered around blocks.
There are 2 different ways in which those can be rendered:
A) Render only outlines on overlapping geometry
B) Always render outlines around blocks.
This screenshot shows both variants pretty well:
Now, while at first i didn't really wanted to have any kind of outlines in the artstyle, i realised that i had to put them into the game in order to increase the visibility of the map-geometry.
My first choice was option A as it reduced the outlines to a minimum (lines were only rendered where objects were overlapping).
But after a lot of testing i realised that option B was overall better.
The reasons were:
- As the outlines are always rendered around the geometry it makes the artstyle more consistent
- It highlights edges around blocks in the distance (regardless if something is behind it or not) which makes it easier to spot them. (otherwise they were blending in with the skybox.)
Here are some screenshots comparing the game without the outlines (left) and with the outlines of option B (right)
(Note: the screenshots are rather large in size!)
Note that the outlines are always 1 pixel thick, regardless of the distance to the geometry. So they are almost invisible up close but get more pronounced at longer distance.
Feedback is greatly appreciated.