The Phantom P.I. Mission Apparition is a spooky, puzzly adventure game starring a paranormal investigator who specializes in helping ghosts who are being bullied in the afterlife. Players explore a haunted house, solve puzzles and collect clues about the grisly death of rock & roll legend Marshall Staxx in an effort to free him from the torment of a mischievous ghoul named Baublebelly.

Report article RSS Feed Cecil's Facelift Was A Success!

We reveal the new changes to Cecil, our main character and show some of the techniques we used to help improve his visibility in the world.

Posted by rocket5tim on Sep 30th, 2013

In our last post we talked about our plans to update the look of Cecil, the main character in The Phantom P.I. Well I'm happy to report that the operation was a success and that Cecil made it through the process without any serious complications.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of old vs. new Cecil models in the game:

Cecil old vs new

The big changes to look for are: he has ears, sideburns and a nose and we scaled up the mustache. We're also thinking of scaling up his bangs.

The next problem to solve is that the character looks pretty flat in the game and he doesn't really stand out against most of the backgrounds. All of the lighting information in the game is baked into the static textures and all dynamic objects (like the player) receive lighting information from Light Probes. While the light probes do a great job of helping dynamic objects look like they're moving in and out of light correctly, they're not all that great and showing finer shadow details like you'd expect to see on a main character. I've been searching around for a good mobile-optimized shader solution for a while and then yesterday the Toony Colors Pro shader pack was on sale on the Unity asset store so I thought I'd check it out.

Cecil shader comparison
Click the image to see the full sized version

Using the Toony Colors Pro/Normal/OneDirLight/Basic shader with the "old school" ramp and 1 dynamic directional light, you can see that Cecil "pops" much better in the scene without being all blown out like you get with just Unity's default mobile diffuse shader and a directional light. He also has nice shading across his contours thanks to the ramp texture.

Next I'll be adding a "blob" shadow under the player to help root him to the wold. For that I'm going to try to use Fast Shadows (also on the Unity asset store), but I haven't looked into it enough to know for sure how well it'll work in this game.

If you have any tips on character shaders or lighting, let me know.

Post comment Comments
Spacew00t Sep 30 2013, 4:54pm says:

Very nice looking, I think I might take a wack at using these toon shaders!

+3 votes     reply to comment
rocket5tim Author
rocket5tim Sep 30 2013, 6:19pm says:

Thanks very much! I'm only scratching the surface of what those shaders can do, so definitely check out the demo scene to see what they can do.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Guest Oct 1 2013, 12:53am says:

I've looked at moddb for several years now and have never said a thing, I will however say that this game looks awesome and I would be excited to play it!

+1 vote     reply to comment
rocket5tim Author
rocket5tim Oct 1 2013, 5:46pm says:

Thanks! :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
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The Phantom P.I. Mission Apparition
Windows, Mac, Mobile, iPhone, iPad, Android
Developer & Publisher
Rocket 5 Studios
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Release Date
Released Jul 24, 2014
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Related Games
The Phantom P.I. Mission Apparition
The Phantom P.I. Mission Apparition Single Player Adventure
Related Engines
Unity Commercial Released May 30, 2005
Related Groups
Rocket 5 Studios
Rocket 5 Studios Developer & Publisher