General FreeSpace > FreeSpace Discussion

The future of lighting flags in FSO

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I've always stuck with whatever the default lighting settings were, no matter how good or bad they wound up looking, because having to fiddle with multiple esoteric flags seemed like far more trouble than it was worth. Having something that actually makes logical sense would be a massive improvement. :yes:

Iain Baker:
Sounds good to me 👍

I agree also.  I used to occasionally mess with different lighting settings back in the days of the pre-Knossos launcher, because a lot of people had included their own settings so I could try them out with ease.  But since Knossos didn't include those easy lighting presets, I just stopped bothering and used whatever defaults the mod came loaded with.  I wanted to spend what little free-time I have playing mods, not starting and exiting FSO over and over again to see what THIS setting tweaked...

Iain Baker:
I find I always use the same dark and moody lighting presets for any campaign that isn't a meme campaign. So long as I will still be able to do something similar I will be happy  :)

My go-to settings are below if anyone is interested, although I'm open to suggestions about how to improve it. I'm aiming for dark and moody, with lots of dynamic lighting and colour from stars and weapons.

-ambient_factor 70 -spec_point 0.4 -spec_static 2 -spec_tube 0.8 -spec_exp 0.8 -bloom_intensity 15 -no_emissive_light -shadow_quality 1 

If I recall correctly, most of the lighting settings (especially ambient factor) were rendered near useless after the version 3.8.0 which introduced forced HDR. The modularity was also gone as it was no longer possible to turn off all the extra graphic options and play with retail level graphics if one wanted.

For me the version 3.7.4 is still the best looking FSO version when it comes to achieving moody and dark lighting. It had dynamic shadows and deferred rendering but no HDR nonsense. The specular effects were also so much better. The fact that different specular parameters no longer have much effect on the game is very telling.

Sure, the MVP assets are miles better now then they used to be, but the lighting is soooo important to the overall mood of the game. I actually took years of break from FSO after the release of 3.8.0 in 2016. I was so disappointed in the lighting and the fact that SDL2 broke all kinds of ****, like some of the most memorable Force Feedback effects in my joystick. Direct Input worked way better.


A bit ranty post, but still I applaud any efforts in fixing the current lighting system and its parameters  :yes:


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