Friday Rewind #4: Visual upgrades

5.4.2019 – HP Noronen


This Friday Rewind goes through two major visual upgrades we have made lately to our volumetric lighting and water shader.

Upgraded volumetric lighting

Volumetric lighting is one of the things that have a really huge impact on the visual atmosphere of the game. We’ve built our volumetric lights on top of one of our favorite Unity extensions called Aura. Aura is a free extension that can get you a long way. However, Aura 2 was released recently, which makes things even better. The biggest change for us is that Aura 2 plays much more nicely with baked lighting and light probes. In addition, as the original Aura is not supported anymore, being able to trust that we will get future updates is something that we appreciate a lot. During this week we took some time to upgrade to Aura 2 and do required adjustments to volumetric settings on most of the levels.


Water upgrade

There is quite a lot water in the game and we do love our water! Our water has lots of features that make it stand out from what you usually find in games. However, having the possibility to configure things in more depth does sometimes come with the cost of it taking more time to find just the right kind of water. Therefore, we have been focusing on enabling easier configuration of water settings, to ensure that our level designers have flexible tools in their hands to provide the look they want to.

One of the things that we have had in place is providing texture-based gradient for water depth. However, making new texture gradients and trying those out is not the most responsive way on adjusting things. Therefore, we provided an option to just use a color gradient instead, and worked on adjusting more unique gradient settings in specific levels after that.

After that change, we went through most of the levels, and they now have more unique visual settings for water.

Below, you can see the gradient changes in how water turns rusty brown with increasing depth.


Of course, there is still a place for more consistent water coloring, which you can see below, playing together nicely with volumetric lighting as well.

If you’d like to have a chat about our visuals or anything else, remember to pop into our Discord server to have a chat with us!


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