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Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:06 pm
by loboLoco
Video link:

There are so many elements to make a vast open-world environment believable — from the ground textures to the vegetation to lighting, fog, and weather — but one of the most important is shadows. But shadows are very expensive (that’s game dev term for “slows the game down”), so we’re always trying to use the least shadows we can. In a big map like Amethyst Mountain, that means we can only have shadows extending out 50-150m from the player — beyond that, nothing casts a shadow, which often isn’t even visible or noticeable, but with long views it becomes quite apparent and detracts significantly from realism.

In the old game, we could “bake” shadows into the textures, which is great for both performance and visual quality — but that only works when the sun does not move. With our dynamic day/night and weather systems, it’s not an option. I’ve been looking for more than two years for a way to have distant shadow but had given up hope until last week I began talking to Georges Pax, a graphics and rendering wizard who developed the special type of shadows we use for grass and rocks in the game. He’d been working on an amazing new technique that draws shadows out to the horizon — and no more “expensive” than what we already are using for grass shadows! So today’s video looks at how his innovative technique makes WolfQuest’s recreation of Yellowstone look even better.

If you’re curious to learn more about his work, you can find him on the Unity forum, where his username is tatoforever.


We are releasing the first episode, Amethyst Mountain for PC/Mac on Steam and, as Early Access on July 25. That will be followed by multiplayer and Slough Creek some months later, then followed by the mobile versions. We’ll then resume development of the next episode, Tower Fall.

WolfQuest 3 will be a free update to players who own WolfQuest 2.7.

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:27 pm
by poncho0287
I didn't know wolves could fly. XD "I believe I can fly. Oh wait wolves cant fly ahhh." Rip wolf.

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:39 pm
by elkhunter123456
love the the view when you look down at the valley, it looks like a real forest and valley. How did you fly at the end? LOL

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:44 pm
by YellowstoneWolves1
Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate! The shadows you added really did help, though personally I didn't notice farther out. But I did see the difference in the closer trees.

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:51 pm
by Starbender2000
Lol. Unfortunately flying wolves will not be part of the update. :lol: But good reminder of the fall damage we can now take. ;)

- StarBender2000 :wolf:

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:21 pm
by katlove
Oh no! Wolves have discovered how to fly. What next? Maybe the sliding elk will be back! :lol: Well anyway the shadows are looking good!

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:50 pm
by Phasoli
Those shadow graphics look stunning! Hopefully I can at least play with some basic shadows, haha.

Re: Shadow Play

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:33 pm
by DinoDogDude209
Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans!

These new distant shadows look much better, it makes the landscape look even more realistic. Also, the blooper at the end really cracked me up. It looks like that wolf was the one who trained Wapiti 3F! Hopefully nothing like that happens in the actual game though, that would be pretty immersion-breaking. :lol: