Forests: Density and variety of trees

The forest in Alpha reminds me of a modern forest formed by todays forestry. The distance of the big trees to each other looks ok, however there are almost no trees in their middle ages and the ground has only a few smaller trees. Therefore the forest looks thin, especially due to the fact that there is only a small village nearby with several cultivated fields. Did the common slash-and-burn method for creating those fields consumed most of the lumber so the villagers get it from the remaining woods to build and maintain their village? And if so, wouldn’t it affect the larger trees (the Alpha forest actually contains tree stubs) but not the smaller ones?

Maybe someone can provide more insights, if this is intentional (and why) or maybe just a lack of Assets due to early development.

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As i would suggest forest were not so wild anymore. They belonged to lord and they were harvested. I don’t think villagers could hack wood without lords approval. They mostly were collecting fallen wood for cooking and heating. The missing of small trees is something i we seen in our forest when there were deer eating it. Also the most small vegetation is at forest edge or on parts where is a bright spot between trees. But i don’t know how is it in this game.

There should be younger trees where light sheds on the ground like in glades. Otherwise, it’s nearly impossible for new trees to grow in a full-blown forest because they don’t get any light. That’s why there actually are hardly any younger trees in real forests as well. They only grow back when older trees die and fall and glades would be formed.

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Maybe only tangentially related, but I’m hopeful the final version of the game has a bit more variety in how plants and trees move. I know it looks nice, but the way bushes and grass sway you’d think there was a constant wind blowing back and forth, while leaves and branches of trees only move very slightly.

I don’t know if it’s possible for these things to fluctuate or if they’re either just on or off, but it’s a detail I’ve been thinking about.

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I think that the forests should have lots of variety. It would be nice from a gameplay perspective and also realistic.
In Bohemia major changes in landscape began around the year 1150. In that period classical medieval villages with fields started to appear in areas where there used to be wild forests.
In 14th century the total area of forests in Bohemia was at all-time low and the average distance between two populated areas was only around 2,5 km.
BUT in the period that the game takes place, a lot of those newly founded villages were already abandoned for 50-80 years, roads were forgotten and those areas became naturally forested again. Generally the distribution of population around 1403 already started to shift towards more people living in densely populated areas (cities and big villages).

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Reviving an old thread as the topic is relevant to my post… (otherwise this would have been a new post entitled ‘forrest walk’ or some such…)

Just to start a discussion on this games flora- the posts above were during development. We need to raise awarenss about just how freaking amazing the graphics engine and models used by KCD really are.
We are not due a better or more complex medieval world anytime soon- KCD is the new baseline for me, (for forests, certainly), going forwards.

Here is a few photos to utilise for reference/discussion (or else the people who think Arma/Horizon Zero Dawn outperform this software will chime in ‘nothing special’(I have no idea what they are smoking and assume ignorance of what is actually happening)).

First shot: my fave starting point for sunrise and experiencing light illuminate edges of log piles/fences etc.
Notice individual fence pailings (made of solid timbre planks), the uneven edges (complex geometry) on all objects…

Heading off in a direction:
Sun overy shoulder as any photographer knows to do-
(Spot wheres the wally- hint: shadow)

Heres the bril:
That complex forest in the distance can be walked into
(No immersion breaks- just fluid rolling landscape)

In the forest:
Trees are different, complex, react to wind etc…

The forest is dense and hard to navigate.
Any clearing stand out and offers a respite

Forests get so thick that sunlight is a welcomed visitor.

(Photo missing due to posters laziness)

This was a quick sojourn: not a heavy forest (some are so dark they are intimidating- just like the real thing!)

I removed the HUD for one shot to show how the game could be played (g_showhud=0).
Left the AMD monitoring tool up to show how an aged midrange PC CAN handle this game easily in Ultra settings.
(I dont need sixty frames per second for walking around medieval landscape)(hovercraft racing north of 600kilometres and hour/competitive shooter or brawler, certainly).

Game is beaut.
Not much compares.
Now if any muppet wants to challenge with shots from other games (please do).
I will of course go and find the equivalent best shots in this game and also discuss why number of polygons and reactionary ‘bend points’ all add up to requiring more grunt- this IS a discussion after all…

why do almost all “game shots” come onto the forums sooo dark?

!Dark shots! (Screenshots not ‘bright’)

I cannot speak for everyone else… (though most shots I have seen are fluorescent ansel snaps) my method is using a camera and taking a photo.

My normal method, previously, has been to use my old android phones camera - a very bad idea for a huge range of reasons; mostly due to dodgy focusing (added after an update when new model launched), and a tiny, color saturating, sensor…

The above shots were from a consumer class camera using kit lens. The forest lighting was enough to throw the ‘auto white balance’ off a little. Otherwise sett8ngs were full manual (my normal photography technique)…

I dont recommend this technique to anyone- especially as most screens are six bit panels or have horrendous colour accuracy.
The screens I use are colour calibrated. I prefer less than 2 JNCD (just noticable colour difference) and great contrast/blacks.

Whilst the In Plane Switching (IPS) panel featured above is better than most typical consumer panels, vs the loungeroom reference (plasma), it is lacking in the purples…
Both screens crap all over the best Twisted Neumatic (TN) panels that make up 90%+ of screens sold.

Whilst I have a nice series 9 samsung (top of the line) its TN screen is outclassed by vastly cheaper IPS panels, and is basically just good for competitive gaming (has low latency).

Why dont I just take screen grabs?
I do- but they are a nightmare, based on my present infrastructure, to put on the net.

A camera with wifi/or a wifi SD card just proves easier.
(I did have to log in twice; once on my old android phone to create the message, and then I could edit the post on the ipad and add photos. These forums dont work on the worlds largest consumption platform (ipad). No button to create a post. Crazy.
WH mods know this and consider having a major market segment unable to use the forum an acceptable tradeoff.

I personally like the forum tools/software.
I do find it hard to believe that anyone has built a web technology (ie forum frontend) that wouldnt render on iOS… but- not my problem :wink:

I probably will use a different approach in future.

So- why so dark?

Well these are calibrated screens.
When the game had a brightness slider- I left it dead centre/default. (Was the correct position)

These here represent fairly closely what I see.
They lack major sharpness- but that isnt their design.
They do show the variation in trunk shape.

Whilst my camera missed proper exposure in shot 1 (i had iso @100), a slight bump to ISO (sensor equivalent sensitivity akin to ‘once upon a time’ film grades) corrected the shots.

Samsungs OLED screens running Basic profile are some of the most colour accurate high contrast screens on the planet.
Proofing the forum on the Note/iPad shows correctly how the game looks… (sans sharpness)

Monitors set correctly is one of the best free tweaks a person can do for their setup.
As is physical ergonomics.
And speaker placement/calibration.

I have the good fortune of having been a professional calibrator and have most tools only a step away/at hand.

The last shot of the forrest, with an absense of ‘white’, the forests ‘cold’ colour is (slightly) overdone.

I notice it, but many wouldnt.
Most wouldnt own a screen that has true colour output, nor have the time/knowledge to make use of.

The first time the Warhorse logo fired up on the reference plasma, the perfect playback (colour) made me really smile.

Warhorses effort in the art department- having a solid emphasis on real world design (especially light/colour), makes this my go to ‘peaceful nature experience’.

Same reason I love Forza Horizon 3s (set in Australia) landscape and colour accurate design.

Some stuff just stands out because it doesnt, erm, ‘stand out’.

Gaming monitors seem to offer black crush modes that help see opponents in the dark. To each their own.

My experience with a gaming on colour accurate monitors kicked into a new gear, in the era of LCDs, when a ruby buried in the mud of the sewer floor in the opening Oblivion dungeon, a path I had walked fifty+ times, just magically stood out.
Vs TN/6 bit and ‘cheap’ panels- the ruby was a murky brown-red that was unnoticeable in the darkness.

Colour and contrast are WAY MORE important than resolution.
Of course selling what consumers need vs selling what you have to sell- we all get sold crap.
Selling 4k was the easiest way to sell ‘big screens’.
The chips that drive these screens make a huge difference.

Last week I saw my first 4k screen with a paultry 150 lines of motion resolution. (Standard low level motion resolution sold for decades)

Truly consumers have proven their stupidity by allowing this to happen.
(You know people buying these things actully brag about owning 4K)(good for them!)

Id take a 720p panel with full motion res and true colour over most 4k sets presently selling.
I suppose I buck the trend.
I have A LOT of hifi (actual high fidelity) from the 60s and 70s.
I often buy electronics based on weight.
Crazy

Short answer (why so dark): early time of day in game.
Sun not fully risen.

I see a lot of darkened screen grabs. Especially bad from Games like D&D raid shots and other games I have seen on you tube showing screens. It like the device/app can’t compensate the brightness.

Here is another pass at the same walk I did above.

Includes a few extra forest shots (the point of this topic).

Ran with two console variables <press ‘tilde’(~) key>:
g_showhud=0 :turns off heads up display (HUD)
e_volumetricfog=1 :turns on fog.

Fog is used in base game as part of weather system and is about a 2.5% hit to framerate. That fog is always on. Using above fog feature adds actual fog to the game. In the many, many hours I have been using it, it seems to have a naturalness to its behaviour.

Case in point- sometimes when I begin this walk the fog rolls in… (usually with sun/weather being a factor in its behaviour), ay least it suspends disbelief and APPEARS to have a natural logic.
It adds another ~5% cpu hit to process though seems to offload some gpu difficulty, perhaps by masking distant objects(?)… framerate doesnt feel impacted, but is going to be system dependant. My rig is above recommendeds, is a few years old and was middle of the road ‘enthusiast’ build.

These shots were taken with all overclocks off. Left AMD monitoring up to show how game is beautiful and capable of running well on older systems…

5820k @ 3.3ghz (6cores/12 threads)
X99 chipset/quad channel ram @2400mhz cl14
AMD Fury (not fury-x or nano)
M2 SSD capable of 1000Mb readspeed

I can gallop a horse through Rattay with no popups.
In game settings are all maxed (Ultra)(sliders 100%), except antialiasing(AA)(1tx), and shadows (high).
When not on the 21:9, I raise AA and shadows to target 45fps lows.

This is same walk as above…
Notice diffuse shadow when standing on top of shed (was sharply defined in full sunlight),… notice sun rays streamimg through trees (looks amazing in motion).

Bugger I was running radeon chill and it made all framerates hover at 42. When i turned it off frames returned to well north of fifty fps.

If I OC the video card a bit it noticably improves further still.

Why does any of this matter?
Lots of people report problems- so few report ‘working’.
My rig is made of second hand parts and cost ‘bugger all’, and represents a fraction of the power of its’ more recent equivalents.

The important thing is these are all enthusiast grade parts and perform reliably for many years.

KCD is only title that plays better than games on my older rig (an i7 3770k that happily ran up to 5ghz) KCD is the only title I have noticably improved by this slower processor. Obviously it is due to making better use of the extra cores and threads.

Ever since Lans of Lore showed me photorealistic looking gameworlds (early nineties), i have sought out many games to see how well they can render a forest/nature.

KCD is the best, so far, by far!

Again, these photos are not a ‘heavy forest’, or one specially chosen to show off the world.

I know many readers here ‘have the game’, so these arent anything ‘new’,… but for those who really dont understand why this game has lower framerates that every other game, there are reasons and they should be explored… (discussed)