Camelot Unchained is getting a lighting-centric facelift

    
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City State Entertainment has announced a major visual upgrade for Camelot Unchained.

In a new letter to backers today, CSE Co-Founder and Technical Director Andrew Meggs explains that “until now, CU has gotten by with fairly simple lighting, the kind of light you might find in a high school theater production.” But the studio has always planned to revisit it “to bring things up to the standards of 2016,” and that’s exactly what the tech team is doing.

CSE is focusing on indirect and dynamic lighting “that can adapt on the fly to a world that adapts on the fly,” making use of cube map light probes, mathematical algorithms, and shader tricks to optimize the overhead on the client.

The effect is intended to make Camelot Unchained pretty, longer. After all, Meggs says, “We expect this game to be around in 2026, so we’re building for the future.”

We’ve included the gallery of the before and after shots below.

Camelot Unchained new lighting

Source: Press release
Update: The letter is now up on the official site as well.
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ItsLorgarn
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ItsLorgarn

I feel like the indirect lighting is a tad bit overblown though, isn’t it? I feel like a 50/50 between the old and the new would perhaps work.
I’m not a dev though so I have no basis supporting that claim, I trust them and as Mark keeps reiterating, as with everything else this is just a first pass.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

Hm. It’s a funny one. The reflections on the shiny armour look great with the new lighting, but the shadows cast in the old one look more realistic, when considering sun position and light of day (such as the shadows higher up on the buildings cast by structures jutting out in the third image pair).

LostAnju
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LostAnju

Veldan LostAnju Realistic isn’t necessarily good, realistic will age faster imo. The darker ones kind of have a slightly stylized look to them

Veldan
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Veldan

LostAnju While “better” is an opinion, surely you can see that the lighter ones are far more realistic?

phoenix0401
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phoenix0401

Thornz It’s funny, DAoC was really the “it” game for me that made me realize how wonderful this genre could be. But it wasn’t until Unchained was announced that I realized that this is the game I’ve been waiting for.

phoenix0401
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phoenix0401

I want to complain about how they should put this off and focus on getting the product out the door but, damn, the “after” shots are so nice I just can’t.

Francis courant
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Francis courant

“Capturing the look of all the ways that light bounces between objects is a key part of making computer graphics look realistic, but the sheer number of interactions makes it computationally expensive. Some game engines pre-compute those computations, but that’s not good enough for CU. Our entire world is dynamic. Players can build and destroy structures. The terrain can shift depending on who controls a zone. The time of day and light angles change constantly. We need lighting that can adapt on the fly to a world that adapts on the fly.”
How the physics and systems work in CU is fascinating. Really enjoyed today’s update.

TimothyTierless
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TimothyTierless

My sandboxy pvp brothers and sisters, we have seen the light! Hopefully soon it will be coming from the glow of our enemies structures burning in the night!

PaganRites
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PaganRites

Thornz Welcome to the family!

LostAnju
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LostAnju

The darker ones look so much better though >.> I thought they were the new ones