We’ve continued sorting through found issues in 1.6 while developing our 1.7 and 1.8 patches. Last week we announced that we would be switching the 1.7 'design' and the 1.8 'solo/server file' updates around. James is hard at work continuing solo and server files. As you can imagine this doesn't make for very exciting devblog material. On the other hand Andre and Jos have been focused on 1.8 design work. Andre has been focused on lighting among other things and Jos on level design and power grid development.
Interior lighting has been and still is a challenge in a world as large as ours. This task is made even more difficult with our dynamic day night cycle. We needed to find a solution that didn’t take hours/days to compute and didn’t cost a ton of overhead performance. Traditional light mapping wasn’t possible in combination with a day and night cycle.
Realtime GI (Global Illumination) is unfavorable at such a large scale and the need for light probes in every structure is unrealistic. Baking this properly and getting the lighting to behave with our streaming setup was also a problematic. Along with these issues, this method will soon be deprecated in the Unity engine. This option also is more costly when it comes to performance.
In the end and as of right now, we’ve gone with our own solution. We have darkened the ambient lighting in interiors. Doing this provides a much darker interior without any performance hit or baking process. The outcome is rather fitting for the overall style of Survive the Nights.
Interior Ambient Lighting
Jos continues to design the power grid, creating a realistic and in the future usable system. This task is made easier with the help of some backend tools but there's still a lot of hand design that goes into it. We will have a more detailed outline of the power grid system in a coming update including exactly how it will eventually function. In the mean time here's a quick look at some larger lines crossing some woodland and river.
Spanning the Gap
Headed out of Power Plant