Check out the awesome new lighting and rendering overhaul we just added to Pre-Release! This change is step one to upgrade CHKN’s graphics and look & feel. We’re still tweaking so please let us know your feedback, We think it looks pretty dang snazzy already so we wanted to share it with you first! (Click the screenshots below to see larger versions.)

Left is today’s game. Right is on Pre-Release. Note the lighting now has better detail (see horns) and sky is atmospheric (haze, clouds).

Venus flytrap in a new forest scene on Pre-Release (right). Fog effects plus color correction allows for warm night time atmosphere. Note the improved light reflecting off the eyes.

To the desert! The new skybox is in full effect (on right). The sunlight is scattered and reflected nicely off the beetle mouth… right before it bites your face.

Here are the technical details, if you’re into that sort of thing:

  • Upgraded Visuals (Lighting, Colors, Rendering and Effects):
    • Switched lighting from gamma to linear model to produce much more accurate and realistic lighting
    • Switched from LDR to HDR rendering to produce more accurate colors and better shader effects
    • Upgraded skybox to a new dynamic system for better day/night cycle lighting, atmospheric scattering, advanced fog, and dynamic animated clouds
    • Added new post processing effects to tie it all together (color grading, motion blur, ambient occlusion, bloom, screen space reflection)

In the swamp, the mist is enhanced by the new scattering and height-based fogs. Add the color correction with custom LUTs and we get this eerie blue-green look!

Light beams from the sun shine down through the trees, washing over the player and creatures. No epic crab fight here. Everything’s fine.

The new skybox creates a pretty amazing sunset. The light beams are shining, the coloring is warm and realistic, and the scattering adds to the effect in the background. Time to relax before night falls.

We’ve also got new environment art, some updated creatures, and a whole new Adventure starting experience in the works, all coming soon in the next update.

For video sneak peek, join us for our next dev livestream on Monday (Oct 30th) at 3:30 PM EST on Twitch and YouTube.

For now, there’s lots of work left to do so we’ll get back to it.

Later gators.

– Team CHKN