New Lighting System
Hello, once again.
Today, we're revealing one of the components of our next update, and that is our lighting model is being changed.
This is more of a technical thing, and we're talking about it now and showing you what to expect, so that you can look out for it when it rolls out.
Light sources are quite harsh things in games, and for them to be efficient, we don't do any light bouncing. Light bouncing in its simplest terms, is how your hand glows white if you hold it over a piece of A4 paper. The light bounces off the page, and gives a nice diffused glow on your hand, despite the light not being pointed directly at your hand.
Nowadays, of course, game engines are starting to try and support that with lightmaps, global illumination and then real-time raytracing. But those are all expensive, and don't really apply to our mostly dynamic game. So, Victor himself, wrote a new lighting model for our game that fakes a bit of light wrapping around objects.
This is nice, because since we don't have too many shadows in the game, we had noticeably stark contrast between the back face of an object, and then the lit surface beneath it.
This new lighting model is somewhat reminiscent of sub-surface scattering, which is what makes your thumb look like a volcano when you put it over a flashlight.
Basically, the back of objects now takes on a bit of light.
This has been a long time coming for us, since we always wanted the game to have a 'softer' look.
I've gone ahead and taken some comparison screenshots of it below, you can drag across them to see both versions. That'll explain it best.
When you're playing otherwise, I think you'll notice it the most when you're exploring caves, and trying to look at an item with a torch below you or something. You'll be able to see the dark part of the item a lot more.
Anyway, here it is!