🤑 Indie game store🙌 Free games😂 Fun games😨 Horror games
👷 Game development🎨 Assets📚 Comics
🎉 Sales🎁 Bundles

The World Begins With You

An atmospheric puzzle-platformer-adventure. · By Fabian Denter

mini review + Lighting Questions...

A topic by Bela created Feb 13, 2018 Views: 174 Replies: 4
Viewing posts 1 to 5

Hey there,

Your game is a beautiful exploration game. The music was on point, the sound fx were minimal but effective, the low poly rocks were never repetitive and the lighting was gorgeous. The moments where I was traversing stairs and rock outcrops were my favorite - you seem to have a real eye for that kind of environment and pacing. I could have done that for hours. 

The problems I had were pretty minor: The maze was a little large and I couldn't see the buttons, but I made it through. There were a few times where I jumped and expected the momentum to carry me, but as soon as I let go of directional input, I stopped mid air and fell. I got used to it, but I think having momentum in air (like with a rigidbody) would feel more graceful and match your game's aesthetic. I thought the Inside inspired light puzzles were too abrupt and punishing after such a peaceful journey, and I actually felt they were possibly unnecessary. As someone who designs platformers, I feel an internalized pressure to challenge players with hard puzzles and dangerous situations, but playing your game reminded me to relax a bit and trust that the journey itself is worth it. 

I did want to pick your brain about lighting if you don't mind. Were you using real time lighting throughout? and what volumetric lighting tool were you using?

Thanks and great work!

Bela

Developer

Hey there, 

thanks for your post! It's quite interesting to me that you didn't find the rocks repetitive, because they are actually just the same 5 single rocks put together into 3 or 4 different formations and then scaled and rotated in the scene. It's a real advantage of working in a simple, stylized way, because I can make a rock formation very large and place the exact same mesh next to it, but smaller and with a slightly different rotation. Your feedback that it works and doesn't come of as lazy is nice to hear! :)

Regarding the jump mechanics: I was thinking a lot about this during development. At one point I had a jump that had zero "air control", but I thought it felt weird. You jumped and had to wait until you landed to gain control again. Then I went to the other extreme and had full air control for a while, which felt more responsive, but also weird, because you could jump and turn around mid-air, which is a behaviour that I personally dislike in most (not all) games. I settled with a compromise, so you jump and have a bit of control mid-air. I'm still not satisfied with it, though (also because of the lack of momentum that you mention).

The lighting in most scenes is fairly simple. For the exteriors I used a realtime directional light and a few realtime point lights to brighten up a few places. I used Unity's precomputed realtime GI on very low settings, which gave a surprisingly good and soft result. The cave scene is lit by various point and spotlights and there I again used the precomputed realtime GI on low settings to get a soft bounce light.

For the volumetric lighting I relied heavily on an asset called HX Volumetric Lighting. I think it's very easy to use and gives good results, while being not so heavy performance wise. I probably overdid the effect in some places, but I overall still like it.


Thanks again!

HX volumetric lighting... I'll check it out. I've never really messed with precomputed realtime GI, but I'm gonna open up Unity right now and look at it for my project. My problem is I love I love Lighting and point lights but I HATE baking. Like why does baking have to be the worst thing ever invented for lighting performance?? I feel like I'm missing some important note that's tucked away in Unity docs or something, it is just so counter intuitive for level design it seems. Thanks for sharing!

Developer

I agree, baking is quite unintuitive with its long waiting times. But I think for some scenes it really pays off at the end, especially more realistic ones. The precomputed realtime GI has to be "baked"/calculated as well, but on lowest settings it took me a few minutes on my machine, so that was fine.

BTW I recently came across this free volumetric lighting solution here: https://github.com/raphael-ernaelsten/Aura
I haven't tried it yet, but it looks promising. :)

cool, i'll take a look. thanks