Status Update: Lights and Shadows

A status update and another preview video of the new version are now available!
  • Hi folks! Today we want to share a few more screenshots with you.



    Brief summary


    The new version will provide much more realistic lights and shadows. In addition to that, lights no longer pass through walls.
    In terms of modding, we've started working on the new Plugin API and decided to stick to Java for the API.



    Long story


    As mentioned in our previous announcement, we will see some major improvements regardings lights and shadows in the new version. In the current Rising World most lights were static (i.e. computed once by the CPU during chunk generation) - this provides good performance, but the visual results weren't that great. In the new version, all lights will be fully dynamic, resulting in a much more realistic lighting. In addition to that, lights are able to cast shadows now. To make sure performance doesn't suffer too much, we will use a deferred renderer (which can handle lots of lights fairly efficiently) and a smart shadow updater (which regenerates shadows only if the environment changed).


    We've prepared a small comparision between the new lights (still work-in-progress) and the static lights in the old version of the game:


    lighting01.jpg



    Shadows play a big role and can be a real game changer. When exploring dungeons, for example, or walking through forests at night (just equipped with a torch), shadows create a completely different atmosphere.


    lighting02.jpg



    Another big improvement thanks to proper shadows: Lights no longer pass through walls in the new version!


    lighting03.jpg



    Apart from lights and shadows, we also started working on the new Plugin API. We decided to stick to Java for the API, since this language provides a much better performance (and full multi-threading support) compared to scripting languages. This also means that large parts of the current API stay compatible, however, there are still a few changes to the API so existing plugins need to be updated for the new version. We will post more information about that soon.


    Stay tuned for the next status update! If you want to get more information in the meantime, make sure to check out our development roadmap on Trello :)

  • Rewriting the game from scratch may take you a while but this is looking really good. May be a great time for a lot of people including myself to get super computers from places like NASA ;) or ibuypower. Going out on a limb here and guessing the specs are going to leap to 12-16 Gigs of RAM not sure what the current recommended specs are. Keep up the amazing work looking forward to the release :thumbsup:

  • Hay loving these screen shots Red and I agree with what you say about the use of lighting / shadows :thumbsup::thumbsup: also just wondering will lighting effect the player as well i.e will we be able to hide from bandits if we are in the dark? I understand this may not be a top priority of all the things that you are working on right now.


    Also another aspect is the sound having great sound effects in surround 5.1 / 7.1 can also make a game come to life, are you going to be re-doing these or just porting the old sound files over? putting these two together ( lights & sound) with the game play that we already know and love will just be fantastic

  • Thanks a lot for your feedback! :)


    also just wondering will lighting effect the player as well i.e will we be able to hide from bandits if we are in the dark?

    Well, basically that's not directly related to the lights & shadows ^^ The lights and shadows are really just a rendering thing. Since lights aren't static anymore, the light & shadow information is only available on the GPU basically, while npc AI is handled by the CPU.


    Being able to "hide" in shadows only works if the lighting was static (or in a static world, so the "dark spots" can be defined beforehand)...


    This means shadows won't affect the npcs unfortunately... but things like current time of day could be taken into account for the AI.


    We didn't start working on the npcs, so unfortunately I can't say much about that yet :/


    Also another aspect is the sound having great sound effects in surround 5.1 / 7.1 can also make a game come to life, are you going to be re-doing these or just porting the old sound files over?

    We are re-using our old FMOD project for the new version. Starting from scratch would be way too time consuming (there are already so many sounds in the game) :whistling: But we're reworking and improving many sounds (item sounds, footsteps, ambient sounds etc).

  • Red, will this include a server demo?

    I'm afraid the playable demo will be singleplayer-only || It's really just supposed to be a tech demo to get a very first impression of the new version (and it also helps us to get some early feedback about performance).

    However, irrespective of the demo, we try to get a more fleshed-out version (with multiplayer) ready as soon as possible.

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