Monday, November 21, 2016

Skies and Lighting

     Today I want to talk about lighting. Lighting is a very important in both in games and movies. In games, especially 3d games - sure it is important to have good quality 3d models and a unique style, but it is really the lighting that can make or break the visual look you are going for. The lighting is important because it sets the mood. With good lighting you could set pretty much any mood you could think of. Making a scary horror game? Do something unsettling with the lights, make them flicker, change them to an eerie dark red. Want a bright cheery colorful day? Turn the lights up, give them a warm sun color. Is the game sad? Make the lights darker, gloomy and depressing. You get the idea.

     The lighting makes the game world feel more immersive and really just brings everything together in terms of the art assets. Lighting is an area of its own that designers usually study. There is a lot that goes into good lighting. With that said, I am not a professional lighting artist and some people might disagree with some of the statements I mentioned above. However, I personally feel that it is important to at least have a good basic understanding of creating good lighting. Again, I am no lighting master and i'm sure many professional lighting artist might slam me on my lighting skills if they saw them.

     Anyway, with all that said, this blog isn't really about how to make good lighting, or what makes good lighting. It is more about the type of lighting that I want to achieve in my upcoming game "Samer Hills". Throughout the years, all my experience with making games - "good lighting" is an area that I often just looked pass. Actually, looking back at any of my older games, I can shamelessly say that the lighting is absolutely terrible. I didn't know at the time how important lighting was. I started getting a better idea for lighting with my previous horror game "Potato Thriller", but it still isn't really good. It has all really been a learning process all these years (and in some way will always be a learning process) but I have come really far since I started and just gained so much more knowledge about game design and development.

     So let's talk a bit about what I am trying to go for with "Samer Hills". I want the game to have a surreal and unsettling mood. Like it is its own reality. I don't want it to feel like the player is in familiar place that they could see in real life. But at the same time, I want it to feel real enough to pull the player into that world and is an immersive experience overall. Kinda like how immersive the movie "interstellar" was. But at the same time, I don't want them to feel like they are in outer space because its not a space game. Not sure if that made any sense. It probably didn't. But it makes sense to me and that is all that matters. I think?

     With my new game "Samer Hills" on the horizon, my new found goal is to really focus on nailing not just lighting, but all major important areas of game design down this time around. I don't think it is impossible for one person either (I know, it sounds really ambitious and even narcissistic to some degree, but I honestly feel like I have gained enough skills as a game developer to accomplish this, and I hope to show it in my next title.)  I want to create a really good quality polished game. I am taking game development more seriously and want to be taken more seriously as a game developer. I look forward to sharing my next game soon and hopefully I don't disappoint. More updates soon to come!