The lighting was very important to bring our art style together. We had a couple of narrative and environment elements we knew we had to support with our lighting. Specifically, we knew we wanted our game to take place during the night in a bright city. We also knew that the environment had to be highly visible because of our game being co-op.
Our first and most important task was to make the city dark, but readable! We did this using a post process volume and an exponential height fog. Rather than going with low lighting, the night, blue tones come from color grading, almost like the process of creating an underwater view. Our exponential height fog creates a misty, in-game vignette. It gives the effect that objects are the lightest closest to the player, and this refocuses their view to their team and immediate arena. Along with this, each character has a soft white light that follows them. This is to keep the characters and objects closest to them to most readable and the least changed by environment light colors. All these effects mimic a cartoon rendition of a night scene, which makes our lighting cohesive with our style.
Finally, we added lights to our blueprints! The lights were to add color variation and make our city pop. I started by adding lights to add light bleed to emissive object in-game, such as billboards. These were mostly rect and point lights. I also added random, high spot lights to the blueprints to mimic lights from high buildings. These added much needed color variation and hinted there being more to the city outside of the players’ view.
As important notes for the blueprint lights, all these lights needed to be movable, as our scene is procedural. They all also have a maximum draw distance of 6,000 to keep the FPS from being affected too much, as it only allows lights to show if they are within 6,000 cm of the players.
- Chris Spicer