The new lighting system: my dark view

Ok, I agree that it was a bit odd how some of the blocks looked metallic before or even “waxy”, but I do feel like while they are more uniform now, it’s gone a bit overkill.

I see that the colors themselves have been corrected which is great, but I think if you’re putting any amount of gleam/torches/light emitting objects near any colors (black or otherwise) there should be a certain level of shimmer/glow that helps bring out the definition in texture/rock type instead of “eating” all light.

One very specific example I’d like to share is a dark room I have where there was a single block of green gleam in it that was meant to represent a computer monitor. Before the update, there was a green glow in a radius from the single gleam block that brought your attention to it. Now it’s just a textured green block in an extremely dark room.

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I think the luminosity is fine. But the way light carries has changed. Before it had a gradual feel to it, in the way that block 1 would be 80% 2 60% etc etc.

Now it feels block 1 is 80%, 2 40%, 3 0%.

I also have a theory that I’d like to share.

Was the new lighting system built entirely around the “natural world” only, without taking builds into consideration? For instance, did players who played on the test servers see any builds that were taken from like a “snapshot” of the game world as it stood at a certain point, or were they all empty/clean worlds?

If this was the case, I can see how the devs might not have seen what sort of effect the new lighting system might’ve had on all the varying complex builds that exist on the live version of the game. Again though, I think things are way too dark even in caves.

If any players who playtested on the test servers can confirm this, it would be helpful as I’m curious about this possibility.

The 1.0 lighting system was a major turnoff for everyone who knows and loved the lighting in beta:


I’ve spent some time on testing, but I’ll admit that I haven’t tried much to do rooms with a ceiling. I was expecting changes, but not to that level.
On testing, most of what I saw were zones that were built for testing the farming update. So, a lot of rooms made to receive sunlight, often outside

Had we been able to test the update on a copy of the live worlds, some issues would’ve been obvious from the start. Though I’ve been warning the devs as much as I could about potential problems with lights and meshes during the entire process of testing.


Most of the problems I’m hearing are about how artificial light isn’t as intensive anymore. Gleam light range now depends on the colour intensity, light colours go further than darker ones. Maybe this can be tweaked to make light travel a bit longer.

The game does feel more vibrant and shadows feel like shadows now, but maybe they took it a bit too far. My eyes have started to adjust and it doesn’t look so bad anymore but that’s just for my own builds. In reality black doesn’t reflect light by definition.


I’ve included some before an after shots of various textures to show the changes.

All areas taken from same location under same conditions:

Notice how with the black bricks you can differentiate each brick. You can see the mortar between each brick. After, it’s about as close to flat black as you can get it.

The white gleam has lost texture, has become “flat”, and looks less white and more grey. It’s also emitting less light to the surrounding areas.

It’s difficult to see the individuals tiles which make the mosaic, a well… mosaic.

The marble looks okay in this picture, but next to other blocks when it’s this dark it’s hard to tell it’s even marble.

One block deep glass with a black rock behind it. Notice before you can actually see the depth of the black block behind the glass. After, it just looks like glass with nothing behind it.

Looking at this example it’s clear things look more black, yes, but almost all detail is lost when next to each other with how dark it is.

To me game has had long time problem with black/dark blocks because it has been used way too much. I hope that black stays as it is that players would start using brighter materials finally :smiley:

I think nights are too dark on nature, it is giving new difficulty to all planets. Dark nights look nice, but there could be variation of that all nights wouldn’t be that dark.

Well then maybe they should not be as common as they are. The developers put all the black and dark rocks out there. So you are saying we should not use them despite the fact they are being provided?

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I appreciate your opinion and I’m glad you agree that night is a bit dark, but as for the black/dark blocks, anyone should be able to use whatever color they want without having “defective” blocks that need being worked around.

Again, I’m ok with the fact the colors have been corrected and the metallic shimmer has been removed, but again the issue is about the lighting.

People shouldn’t have to arbitrarily discontinue using dark blocks or having dark builds as a “challenge” to use more light blocks. This game is about creativity, so you can pretty much do anything you want, but all colors should be viable and function well with light.


While there are issues I definitely disagree with this. I think the game feels so much more immersive now… It gives it a realism it lacked before when all gleam kicked out the same light. The game has depth now to me.

A lot of reworking will need to be done on a lot of builds and I can understand why people are annoyed about that, but over all the changes are in my opinion excellent (barring a few tweaks needed like the gradient)


If I may push a bit further, can you explain a bit more about how it’s more immersive? Like give some examples how it’s more real and has more depth?

The gleam kicked off the same intensity of light, but the light was the color of whatever color the gleam was. Now the gleam doesn’t really seem to glow that much.

Also, what do you mean about the gradients?

No, I am saying that using dark should be used in moderation :smiley: It is just my opinion where black/dark items are used way too much, so not new issue for me that it seems to be now.

Like I have said earlier lights, reflections and colors are not perfect now but I like how most of stuff look now.

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sure :slight_smile: for example my forest is full of lights up in the trees, these now seem to give more depth as they don’t just bathe the entire canopy in light… It seems more dappled.

Inside my base underground was a small room that I lit with multicoloured gleam strips. Some were bright colours others darker. Before the update this room would give me a headachr it was so bright, now it looks how I thought it would it’s much darker and feels a lot more natural.

My characters colours even look more… For lack of a better word more realistic. Her eyes look less dead lmao not sure how to better explain this.

The glowcaps I have look really glowy now too, they don’t get lost in the faint gleam light any more.

Edit: plus the gems and tools etc look fantastic and So shiny!! I’m in love with my emerald bow!


Personally I really like the colours now, it does feel a whole lot more immersive what with having actual shadows again.

I like that black is black etc and it has given me reason to try and inject some good contrasting colours into my building (I used quite a lot of refined black meta due to its previous shininess).

However, I think that maybe there should probably be more gleam types that are classed as “light”, as many of the colours I have seen that are now dull, are in fact what I would expect to be much better at emitting light.


I will disagree you might like light builds I do not. Again like you said personal opinion, but to have the game force players to use a certain palette does not seem like it is trying to encourage creativity. The more you restrict choice through game mechanics, then do you not limit creativity?

I would agree that reflections are well done, the liquids mechanics are well done. The natural lighting is well done. I think the artificial lighting (gleam) needs to be changed and how meshes handle light needs to be looked at.

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Defective for you might not be defective for everyone. I for one always wanted a material that is essentially a void, so black you can’t see it. But since they’re changing the way existing blocks look people’s work put in to a build can be invalidated. And the new paints are so rare and can’t be used on all blocks it’ll be a real problem if you have to re-do a whole build just to get it looking good with these changes. Not to mention what if in a year they change it again?


I definitely do agree that the tools look fantastic now. They do look more real, metallic, gem-like and such.

Thank you for providing some examples too by the way.

I think it’s important for the sake of discussion to shy away from “it just feels good” and look at the pros and cons.

While there will always be people who prefer the old way and the new way, I think it’s good that we try and find a common ground, find what we all like, and what we all feel like might do with a bit of an improvement.


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Game shouldn’t force players to use certain colors and limit creativity, to me it is one of the core thing of Boundless.I expect players find now new colors that will look nice now, still I am trying to hold myself to change colors in builds just because of I expect to see adjustments to just released system.

Also being honest about this dark world issue; I would be also complaining how build has gone dark if I would have been building with dark blocks and using gleam my light source. That is much rework.

Game offers way to fix many building related light problems with sprays, I am just afraid that if exoworlds keep being rare it won’t be easy and cheap way to fix things, all exo jumping, goo hunting and farming and then playing paint mixing is not easy and fast way to fix buildings if stuff stays dark like this.

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And you cannot paint gleam. But we will see what is decided. No point in tearing anything down until they decide what if anything they are going to do.

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