Thanks for all your feedback about the lighting in the Release 255.
There are quite a few post talking about it - so I wanted to make a list of the items and what we’re doing about them.
Night time darkness balance - the darkness balance is very display dependent. Different displays can present a different range of dark colours. We balanced the lighting against our displays, laptops, and TVs. But there will definitely be displays where the game appears too dark (and too bright). Given the variation in display the best solution is to expose a slider for players to find a balance that matches their display.
RESOLVED - with Release 225.2: add an option for all players to balance their own darkness balance.
Others have raised the issue of nyctalopia. We’ll need to investigate what options there are for making sure the game is playable with anyone who is affected by this. Can anyone point to other games that offer good solutions?
TODO - learn about how best to help players with nyctalopia - assuming #1 isn’t enough.
Shiny blocks no longer whiten the block colour - previously shiny or polished blocks would be presented with a whitening over their base colour. This made it impossible to have a dark shiny block. For example, the decorative blocks would all be noticeably whiter. The whitening also made dark shiny blocks appear much brighter when lit with gleam and torches. So a marble or decorative dark floor could appear quite bright when lit.
With the rendering update the shiny blocks now retain their natural colour. Dark remains dark, and black stays black. This does mean that if you have built with dark shiny blocks then the environment will be darker - as the whitening has been removed. All material variations (wood, stone, brick, etc) should retain their colour much more consistently. We don’t plan to change this. Blocks should present the correct colour independent of the shininess.
If you still find that you’re unhappy with your build and actually want the shiny blocks to be brighter then the easiest solution would be to use the new Goo farming system to create some lighter spray colours and redecorate your build. The advantage of this is that there is no need to rebuild. Just spray the blocks and the colours will change.
TODO - Review the luminance of the black and white balance based on the new lighting intensity.
Gleam lights the environment proportional to the gleam colour: previously gleam blocks, independent of their colour, would emit the same brightness as white gleam. So a black gleam would light the environment the same as white gleam. There are many builds that used darker gleam blocks that will now appear much darker.
The advantage is that you now have much more control over the brightness of your build. If you want subtle red lighting, you can now get it from a darker gleam block. Where as previously it was impossible.
The disadvantage is that if you’ve built with darker gleam blocks then your builds will be lit darker.
So it gives you much more building control, but it will leave a legacy of darker builds.
One idea would be to allow the Transformation Chisels to change the brightness of Gleam, Refined Gleam, and Gleam Lanterns. In the same way that you can use the chisel to program the LED blocks, we could use the chisel to brighten the gleam blocks. They could go from “dark gleam” where they emit almost no light, through the current config, up to a bright version. This would allow players to rebalance their own builds. This would also give players much more variation when building. The advantage of using the chisel is that there would be no need to rebuild - instead blocks could be brightened by simply chiselling them.
TODO - explore the idea of using Transformation Chisels on Gleam to change their brightness.
Mesh lighting broken - the mesh lighting is definitely broken - sorry! The meshes are much darker than they should be when lit by the world light (instead of sun light). So for everyone who has shared images of their builds with under powered lighting we’ll get this fixed asap.
(Reminder that dark meshes, for example black storage - will remain black - see #3. But machines and plinth will all recover their correct brightness.)
RESOLVED - fixed with Release 225.1.
Bloom balance - we’re still working on the bloom balance. It’s not quite doing what we want. It’s basically making too much of the scene a little blurry, rather than just making the bright areas glow.
RESOLVED - with Release 225.2: get the bloom working as desired.
Day/Night Cycles and Fog - the new day/night cycles normalise the scene brightness. This basically means that the scene has the correct brightness throughout the different times of day.
- Day should be dominated by the sun brightness which overwhelm the gleam / torch light.
- Night should be dominated by the gleam / torch light and supported by the moon / sky lighting.
I think this balance is pretty good, but we will continue to tweak it. There are still a few parts of the scene that are unbalanced. For example, the planets in the sky are too bright during the night and will make the landscape darker whilst you look at them. (They’re too bright, because we tried to make them bright enough to be seen during the day!)
The fog helps add a sense of depth to the landscape, it’s a little strong at the moment and also needs more balancing.
TODO - continue to normalise and polish the day/night cycles and fog.
We’ve put a lot of work into the farming update to try and make the rendering much more consistent so that you would have more flexibility and control. Ultimately we want the worlds and builds all looking great! The (impossible) challenge is that there is also a huge legacy of builds in the universe. It would have been impossible to change the rendering without changing anything.
So for players who are unhappy about some of the changes hopefully the above details and actions will reassure you that the game will look better than ever!