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Darkness Revealed Update 8 - 2D Sprites, 3D Lights!

Hello, everyone!

So, Last week's devlog was about our work to build a solid technical infrastructure for our game. We then started to show a bit of the graphical changes we're doing to the game. Today's post is a direct continuation of last week's post, so if you're feeling lost, we recommend catching up with Update 7 before reading this one.

Maps all around!

Moving on from where all animations had been properly replaced by spritesheets, we created all the additional texture maps to allow our sprites to properly react to 3D light. Two softwares were used in this process: Sprite Dlight and AutoTileGen. One just for sprites and the other for the game's tiles. 

The softwares generated three new maps for us: the normal, occlusion and depth maps. Normal maps are used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents. Occlusion maps are used to calculate how much each pixel in the sprite is exposed to ambient lights (a cheap and effective way of simulating bouncing lights). Depth maps contain information related to the distance of the surfaces of scene objects from a viewpoint.
What they do is basically giving our rendering pipeline some additional info that allows light to properly react to each sprite's intended 3D shape. The same process was also done for the game's tilesets, therefore bringing the same effect to platforms, walls and ceilings.

Great, so what is it all for?

2D sprites, 3D lighting!

Enough with the tech blabbering! Talk is cheap, so take a look at it yourself and tell us if it was worth the trouble! :)

Implementing all of this in the game was real hard work and we can't wait to turn on everything and have the true graphics for this game showing up for the first time! There's still a lot of effects to work on to make the game's atmosphere and mood complete, but the texture maps are by far the biggest change of all.

On the next update we'll show how our map editor is coming along. Don't wanna spoil it, but it's Mario Maker meets normal maps, so... pretty sweet!

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