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Thursday, October 14, 2010
 

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Frictional Reveals New Feature From Upcoming Game Engine
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 10 comments

Frictional Games has added a new blog post featuring information about HPI3, the engine powering an unnamed upcoming project. The article examines the inclusion of global sunlight and its associated shadows, a feature which will be important in Frictional's next game.

To get nice ambient lighting what you need to do is to somehow simulate global illumination. Light does not just hit an object and then stop, but bounces around and scatters color from nearby on each other. There is a lot of research into this and most of it require one to pre-calculate the result in one way or another.

I settled with something really simple called hemispherical lighting, which basically means to have separate up and down (sky and ground) colors and then blend them depending on the normal of the surface. My first idea was to use cubemaps to do something similar, but since the cubemap needs to be very blurred, using hemispherical lighting gave pretty much the same result and is a lot faster.

Next up was the direct lighting from the sun and this was quite simple. I could just add some tweak to the existing shaders and make it work. Basically sunlight is just like normal light but without any position or attenuation. This means every pixel is lit from the same direction and strength is independent of distance to the source (as it does not have a position.
Click over to the link below which includes a variety of screenshots.

Frictional Blog: Sunlight With Shadows
Frictional Games
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent


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Archives  News  Frictional Reveals New Feature From Upcoming Game Engine