Road to Launch – Map Changes Part 3
Map Relighting and You – an illuminative guide
Art Director Marlo is back to enlighten us about key lighting changes to come on classic maps and to highlight how this will impact you as a player. The Road to Launch is the perfect time for Marlo and his team to shine, as they brighten the player’s experience. As Marlo put it himself:
"The goal of the map relighting is to create a much variety as possible in terms of player experience. We will create stronger and more unique moods for each map so that they can become more memorable, enhance the level design intentions and ultimately enrich the gameplay experience on these maps”
Tactically speaking, relighting resolves the murky issue of lighting for different graphic settings. Marlo and his team were struck with the bright idea of baking shadows into the maps with a new engine to produce shadows offline.
“Maps that have gone through the relighting process would also have baked shadows when switching to low settings. Aside from making the map look better on low settings, this will make gameplay more balanced as areas that are meant to be dark or bright, will still remain on the same level of brightness regardless of graphic settings.”
The brilliance of this plan shines through especially in two recently-documented, open-air maps: The Rig and Towers.
Say goodbye to blue skies, as the clouds creep in over Korolyov (soon to be known as “Towers”). Towers will now feature a unique, heavy-overcast sky to produce a gloomy and cold feel and be the single brightest value on the map. For Marlo the objective is:
“To take advantage of the building structure silhouettes which are dimly lit against a relatively bright sky. We will also take advantage of the heavy use of lines in the map by placing some spotlight accents to highlight important parts of the map and create interesting light and shadow effects from the detailed geometry. To top it all off, we will have a post-rain effect on the ground to increase the feeling of depression on the level."
Our other Onslaught map will also get its moment in the sun, as Marlo and his team work their magic on The Rig (Shearwater 51). A new day is dawning on The Rig, which will provide a unique experience for players that reinforces the feeling of fighting on a huge, industrial platform out at sea.
"For The Rig, we will focus on the experience of being isolated in the middle of a vast ocean. The time of day will be changed to sunrise so the players can see the horizon better and enhance that feeling of isolation. The mood will be very cold in terms of ambient light, but comfortingly warm under the lights inside the oilrig.”
Stay tuned for more glittering changes to other classic maps such as Markov Station on the Road to Launch.
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