Monday, December 29, 2014

New Light and Weather System Coming

Holiday time is a quiet period in our office as members of our team are spending time with their families. But we know that our fans always crave for fresh information about our projects. So here we are, with a bunch of great-looking panoramas from Scandinavia!

As you may have already noticed in some earlier screenshots we have published, there are considerable changes coming to the game environment. Several in-game graphic rendering elements have been altered or improved to achieve a richer color palette, as presented on the images in this blog post.

The most noticeable changes to the systems are improvements to HDR tone-mapping calculations and sun shafts. Each weather condition now has its own specific lighting preset, allowing us to provide different scene illumination and reflectivity depending on the current state of game environment. 

Sun shafts (sometimes dubbed "God rays") will be using a new calculation algorithm which creates softer and more lifelike effects - driving during sunset or sunrise will provide you with vistas you have not yet seen in ETS2. In order to improve the looks of scenes, we've also decided to alter our fog/haze calculation system.

As the shaders and rendering code are changing, we also need to adjust quite a lot of game assets. Shaders and textures of many objects such as buildings or roads have to be updated in order to correct their specular and diffuse lighting properties to match the new system.

We are half-way through all this work, quite a lot of it is still ahead of us. We aim to release the improvements mentioned in this post alongside Scandinavia DLC. However, the visual changes will be very noticeable everywhere, it will not be just the new parts of the ETS2 world to benefit from the new graphical features. So even if you don't rush to buy Scandinavia right away when it's released, you will get the visual changes as a part of a free game update available for all Euro Truck Simulator 2 owners.