This easter long weekend I spent way too much time with the graphical configuration of the game and all its levels. There are some suprising (and baffling) choices made by GBX/Timegate on this game that to be perfectly honest, do nothing but worsen the games look and feel!
Ambient Light removed from all shader models : Previously any item not lit by a local (game-world) light source gained additional lighting and specular from a non-existent constant that is completely unrealistic. This has been removed
Ambient Specular removed. Specular lighting on objects is now only caused by actual local light sources : Objects in the dark are no longer shiny, shiny-ness is now only created by local sources
Normal Detail Mapping improvement : Detail map tiling increased, and strength tweaked to give better looking details to take use of the new lighting model
Specular Power Adjusted : Objects all had a specular power level of 30+ this is idiotic and makes everything appear like its chrome. Now everything has a specular power of between 1 and 8 depending on what they are made of (much more realistic values)
Specular Level Adjusted : Objects not only had huge Spec Power, but they also had huge specular levels. Now they are much more realistic ranging from 0.01 to 4 depending on what they are made of
Blinn Edging reconfigured : Blinn shading is a very simple approximation of light reflecting off the surface at harsh angles. This has been reconfigured to have more realistic settings on things like cloth/rubber/skin. Makes these items look alot better when lit from behind
Fog / Smoke / Steam / Vapor density and opacity increased : Makes them more visible and the levels scarier!
Particle LOD Levels redone : Each particle system has multiple particle emitters. each emitter has 1-3 LOD levels which decides how many particles are generated for that emitter depending on how far from the player it is. Every one (this took a while!) has been reset so that ALL lod distances use the same settings. This means no matter the distance, Particle effects are always at their highest quality!
Smoke / Fog / Steam / Vapor / Dust lifetime increased a fair bit so it effects the gameworld more
Fire / Sparks tweaked to look better close and at a distance. adds alot to some of the larger scenes and longer corridors as the special effects are now visible from a long way off
Check out the latest vid to see what the Sulaco looks like now!