There has been a lack of updates in this blog recently for a number of reasons:
1) I’ve been slightly too busy doing stuff unrelated to game development and so the time I’ve had to work on stuff I actually work on stuff rather than writing about working on stuff.
2) For reasons I can’t go into I’ve held back this post for a sort of an upcoming event, but I got the go-ahead to post it anyway.
So LIGHTING. Good lighting is what makes or breaks an environment, you know it, I know it – Everyone knows it. It’s awesome to work on The Haunted and be the primary lighting dude, specally since we did really well in the MSUC contest. Winning that is like one clap on the shoulder and two kicks in the ass. Of course it’s a good thing to win four catagories but now the preassure is on and the next time around we have to be even better!
A big step on the way towards the ”better” is a compleatly new level. It’s called TH-Temple. Level design by Schlauchi, art by Hegi and cds and myself.
So lets get into it, shall we?
Alright, so below this text you see the level with the temporary lighting someone set up (I honestly don’t know who, and it doesn’t really matter, but for the sake of this text let’s just say it was this kid.)
So this kid set up the temporary lighting and as you can see it’s not that exciting. Everything melts together and becomes a blur, which is great if you’re out having a beer and you’re after a buzz. But there is no beer here. We want no buzz. We want a dark scary temple where you can kill zombies and look cool doing it!
So I went in and compleatly replace the current lighting set up with my own. I’ll go into further details about how that set up is later in this post, per popular request. This picture below is actually a picture of the latest version of the map (worthnoty is that it’s not the FINAL though. I still have a few light passes left to do on it.)
In this picture you see an older version of the sky dome in the map. Hegi later tossed in a bit of a redish tint in it to make it more interesting.
For once, Schlauchi went ”TOO BRIGHT!”which was super confusing. I ran outside, screaming. And you know, it was raining and very dramatic and I was convinced Schlauchi had been obducted by some…thing. Turns out he just had a compleatly different take on what this level should be in TH compared to the other ones.
If the whole level is dark it adds variation to the whole game. So we went in a compleatly different direction for Temple: We made it dark. In this specific picture it’s bright though….
Next are a bunch of progress shots of the interior lighting in the main dome shaped tower.
So this is my basic light set up. I have this semi-standardised version but I have to make changes on each map to make it all good.
First off I got a skylight (Ambient lighting) set to a fairly low value just to avoid all dark spots.
I got the primary light source at the top of the picture. It’s a directional light that casts shadow (Sun, or in the case of temple: Moon)
Then I got two ”help lights” (bottom right) that are cast vauge lighting in slightly different angles than the sun/moon light actor, but from the ”bottom”. These doesn’t cast shadows and I use them to simulate Bounce from the moon light actor.
At the bottom right I got two ”shadow lights” that I use to control the shadows. I got one pointing in from the exact opposit angle (X/Y axis)to the moon light actor and one directly under it but in negative Z-axis compared to the sun (as in, it’s pointing ”up”)
Neither of them cast shadows and I use them purly to light up my shadows so they don’t go all dark.
Like I said: Each lighting set up I do differs from level to level but they’re always simillar so this is the basic set up I use.
In addition to having this general system for the entire map (displayed in the picture above) I go in and place spot lights in the level to make things pop more. These spot lights are low radious, high brightness on selected assets and locations to make important locations such as ladders more visible or to add to the overall depth in the scene.
Each torch has three, sometimes four light actors.
Light 1) Really high brightness, small radious yellow light.
Light 2) High brightness with slightly bigger light radious. This light is still yellow but slightly more orange inhue. It is the ”primary” light source for the torch that actually effects how much light the torch casts that actually matters and isnt just for good looks.
Light 3) Low brightness, large radious red light.
Alternative 4th light: Secondary bounce, low brightness, large radious light that isn’t placed close to the source but acts as a secondary bounce of the light. Useful in damp, wet environments where light would be reflected alot.
That’s all for now,Cya!