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Thread: DARKNESS & LIGHT & SHADOW - General Discussion

DARKNESS & LIGHT & SHADOW - General Discussion

  1. #1

    DARKNESS & LIGHT & SHADOW - General Discussion

    These are some shots from the game The Darkness. As is fairly common in games now the characters eyes need to adjust when moving between light and dark. In this game when standing in a well lit area looking into a darkened area, the darkness is pitch black, but when moving closer to the darkness it becomes easier to see what hides in the shadows.

    I'd like for this to have an effect on gameplay, that is, the enemies eyes would also adjust and be able to see when moving into darkened areas.

    What this would mean, is that it would be better for the player to move between pockets of darkness to avoid guards patrolling in the light, because dousing every torch in the building would actually make it easier for them to see you, thanks to their eyes adjusting to the light. This would get rid of being able to hide right in front of the face of your enemy, and make players think more about dousing light sources.

    Of course it's entirely possible that while this seems like a good idea in my head, it would play horribly. What do people think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Great post.

    People are starting to come up with some really interesting ideas on this forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    That would work really well. They had something like that in Need For Speed Most Wanted. When you drove into and out of tunnels your eyes would adjust. I think it would work really well for a game like this especially since in the previous games T1 and T2 it is kinda hard to know how dark a room is due to the graphical limitations.

  4. #4
    I think this is a really great idea too. I think it would add a challenge without making the game impossible.

    You'd sort of have to race against time to knock out guards before they have a chance of seeing you.

    One problem I can see with this, however, is that it would be hard to tell how close guards were progressing to "dark vision" or whatever you want to call it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I don't know. HDR just makes it annoying to look at light sources. I am all for Garrett (or another character) being able so see easier in really dark areas though.

  6. #6
    Great idea! This should mean, though, that not only flashbombs have the blinding effect, but flares and the turning on of the lights as well (you know what I mean, sudden like).
    Oh, by the way, maybe Garrett's mechanical eye should give him a sort of protection from it, or something.

  7. #7
    It would definitely be nice to add HDR as a graphical feature, although you would probably want the player to have faster adaption than in real-life. (Master thief. Magic powers. Kung fu eyeballs. Whatever.)

    Originally Posted by Prospekt1125
    One problem I can see with this, however, is that it would be hard to tell how close guards were progressing to "dark vision" or whatever you want to call it.

    Using HDR and also making HDR affect AI would be interesting, but counterproductive unless there was some clear mechanism so that the player knows when his strategy of "destroy their night vision" is working.

  8. #8
    You also have to remember that unlike the guards, Garrett himself is also dark. So even if their eyes adjust to the darkness a little, they probably still wouldn't be able to see the black cloaked figure hunched in the corner.

    Whereas Garrett can see the guard in the blue tabard and chainmail striding through the room fairly easily ones his eyes adjust.

  9. #9
    We can only hope Garrett subscribes to the Havelock Vetinari school of fashion. (He is after all a thief, not an assassin.)

  10. #10
    Perhaps Garrett could have options to leverage a new darkness engine like this. Not to get too much into the old "RPG upgrade" mode or anything, but to be able to purchase softer boots, darker clothes, magic items of concealment, even paying a bit to have his blades and such blued to cut down on reflectivity. Heck, I've even wondered why he doesn't tie a small fire-resistant cloth around his fire arrows.

    Also, I can't recall that light levels had much direct impact on animals... could that be incorporated as well?

  11. #11
    Wow. I never would have thought of this. I like the idea. It could also be used for suspenseful moments, and those "OMG" scary moments that are meant to make you jump out of your seat.

    No, I don't mean a a standard "BOO!" moment like in crappy horror films. Here's my idea:

    Even Garrett makes a mistake on rare occasions. If he somehow tripped an alarm, or was spotted by a mechanical eye or arrow turret, perhaps the lights would suddenly all turn off at once... the villain of the game perhaps taunting you through a loudspeaker like in Thief 2 whenever the eyes spotted you... and then a hatch on the wall opens. You can't see it yet, because your eyes are adjusting... but you can hear the hissing and clicking of cave spiders drawing near...

    Oh, and this "adjusting" effect would play a *HUGE* part if you accidentally are looking in the direction of a flash bomb when it goes off.
    "Going legit is more trouble than it's worth." --- Garrett

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by HellKittyDan
    Of course it's entirely possible that while this seems like a good idea in my head, it would play horribly. What do people think?
    I wonder this too. Sure, it's realistic and all, but how many times do you make the transition from light to dark in Thief? Every ten feet? This may be another one of those times where realism detracts from the gameplay.
    Mr. Perfect - a name fraught with peril

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Eye adjustment was already in T1 and T2, but it was only with drastic increases in light. I.E. the flashbomb effect, because that was a sudden shock to the system. I agree with Garrett having the ability, he spends most of his time in the dark anyways, but unless it's total darkness, guards shouldn't see Garrett upon stepping into the shadows he's crouching in, unless they stay there for like 30 seconds. Even then, like someone else said... black clothing in a black corner.

  14. #14
    I found a post from TTLG about HDR lighting (and bloom). I can't verify whether it's true or not, but the author seems to think that for most practical purposes HDR actually mimics low dynamic range unless used very sparingly:

  15. #15
    People! Let's get back to real world biology/physics! Garrett can control the iris of his mechanical eye, so it isn't necessary to wait for his eyes to adjust!

    I think this was implemented well in HalfLife, but for a game like Thief where you will constantly be moving between light and dark - this will probably drive everyone crazy. I also don't want to have to deal with trying to dodge a guard by diving into a dark room only to have my screen adjust and discover I ran headfirst into another. Let's try to keep things simple, Thief DS should have taught us all the lesson that gimmics won't make the game any better.

    My own little input to the screenshots in the OP: too much blue! It may be realistic, but part of what I love about missions in Thief is colour. Walking down a hall with red carpet with plants here and there, a small torch provides a little light but can't penetrate the cool dark shadows - even a little scene like this was vibrant.

  16. #16
    Right on the money, Danie1.


  17. #17
    IMO Thief is not really strongly associated with "gritty"... At least not in the "Oh God Use Blue Lights Everywhere" sense, like in The Matrix.

    Sure, there's a lot of it, but it's because it's night-time, not because you want the audience to be terminally depressed.

    Get a good sunset mission in there somewhere, with lots of slanting red light.

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by Terr
    At least not in the "Oh God Use Blue Lights Everywhere" sense, like in The Matrix.
    Or Thief: Deadly Shadows.

  19. #19
    If guards that follow you into the dark are able to see you after a while then the fundamental aspect of the game (stealth) is lost. It also makes the light crystal pointless since, regardless of whether its lit or unlit, people will see you eventually.

    I'm afraid that I can't see this adding anything to the game. It's more likely to break it.

  20. #20
    The pics talk for themselves.It's an interesting idea...but maybe there are , on the market, a few other good engines, too.

  21. #21
    Great idea.

    For me the gain of gameplay advantage in the old games by extinguishing all torches in a room always felt somehow unnatural and unaesthetic...your idea would solve this....

    About the black clothing: it wouldnt harm the idea of HellKittyDan because even if clothes have the same color as the background (which is rarely possible by the way) guards would still be able to recognize the contrast/silhouette when their eyes are adjusted, while they wouldnt see anything if they arent.

    When you look closely at the first three pictures you will see my point: imagine that this is the 1st person view of a guard and Garrett is standing in the next room - in the first picture we wouldnt notice him at all, in the second with little possibility but WE WOULD DEFINITELY NOTICE HIM IN AT THE THIRD PICTURE BECAUSE THE WALLPAPERS ARE WHITE/GREY. This definitely shows that the cloth color is only secondary....

    About the difficutly to see wether the guard is "adjusted" or not: think of reality! Via animation of course! How does a person move who cant see a thing? With uncertain, irregular steps and stretched-out arms because of fearing to run into something. When his movement becomes certain, you will you have to run....

    About the colors: the HDR/light adjustment principle have nothing to do with them as they depend on the surrounding materials. So you still can have red carpets
    Still, I think a blueish tint isnt bad, is realistic and wouldnt influence other colors...

    Last but not least: this would greatly increase atmosphere and visual quality! Why do dark-only games feel unaesthetic? Because it isnt natural! In reality dark places (literally!) are contrasted by the fact that light sources seems to be all more powerful out of the view of a dark place. This feature would make the darkness in thief visually more intersting. Imagine the flackering, golden shine of a torch seen from a dark place....

    I think if implemented well you can´t go wrong with this idea - it is the natural next step for a game series which plays with darkness/light since the first installment.
    New science:

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I really like this idea as well!

  23. #23
    Originally Posted by geekytom
    Great post.

    People are starting to come up with some really interesting ideas on this forum.
    Yeah I agree, this is a good idea. It's a shame, because on the Deus Ex 3 forum, I feel it's devolved into mind-numbingly inane chatter... things tangentially related to the game but ultimately stupid and pointless. Of course, it's only a matter of time before that happens with this forum as well, seeing as there is exactly 0 information on the game except that it exists.

    But I digress. This is a good post and seems like it could work well in-game!

  24. #24
    Originally Posted by Terr
    IMO Thief is not really strongly associated with "gritty"... At least not in the "Oh God Use Blue Lights Everywhere" sense, like in The Matrix.
    Originally Posted by Neb
    Or Thief: Deadly Shadows.
    Okay, someone please help me understand this, 'cause I just don't see it: There seems to be a lot of complaining on the forum about the omnipresent shades of blue light in Thief: DS.

    The thing I liked about the blue lighting was the fact that it helped reflect the fact that it was *night*. This also helped differentiate among ambient moonlight, torches, and electrical light. From what I saw:

    Blue light = surfaces reflecting ambient light at night; usually moonlight. Also the light that usually went through windows. As the entire game happened at night, this helped drive that point home.

    Yellow/ warm light = surfaces that reflected torches. A good indicator that, if the light was coming from around a corner, you should get a water arrow ready .

    Pale white light = From those weird electrical lamps that never went out . Also a good indicator to move past it quickly, to keep from being spotted.

    Overall, I think the color choices to reflect lighting sources in DS worked pretty well. So why no love for the blue light?


  25. #25
    I don't think TDS did color too badly. My gripe about blue light was where certain games/films use it as lazy way to be uniformly dreary, especially when it's from artificial lighting.

    And then those annoying Pagan will-o-the-wisps...

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