New lighting engine makes the game look significantly better.
While Street Fighter V continues to struggle with its launch, Microsoft’s own Xbox One exclusive fighter, Killer Instinct, now enters its third year, with most of its problems behind it, and a strong foundation for further improvements and iterations. And so, as we enter Season 3, Microsoft and developer Iron Galaxy are now going to start paying attention to other things- such as the game’s graphics.
“We are excited to be adding several new elements to KI Season 3 that we believe really improve the overall experience, and I’m going to be speaking to the ‘Art side’ of things today,” explained Art Director, Chad Greene, to Ultra Combo. “In terms of visuals, we are adding new graphics technology; reflection tech for the stages; re-introducing screen space color adjustments that work with gameplay; adding an all-new dynamic lighting system that provides greater realism and interaction for the characters and stages.”
“As technology advances, graphics are becoming more and more powerful and the gamers have come to expect stunning visuals on today’s console hardware,” continued Greene. “Early in development of S3, we knew that we wanted to raise the bar on many levels and have a deep passion for delivering on ‘next gen’ visuals. In order to do this, we had to overhaul the tools and the pipeline and we’re really happy with the results and how we are utilizing the graphic power of the Xbox One.
“Our lighting system was very specialized, and it was time for an overhaul. We met as a team to ideate and decided to use a system that allowed us to obtain dynamic lighting for the game, but work with our existing game engine. Once in place, our stages were completely re-lit utilising the new tools while characters received updates to their lighting probes, which allows them to interact with the stage lighting. Characters now composite into the scenes in a way that is really believable – allowing for good integration/compositing while maintaining readability – especially important in a fighting game.
“We are now able to get realistic bounce and fill lighting on the characters and we are using strong rim lighting (from behind) to further pull the characters out from the background.”
Killer Instinct Season 3 will launch on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs on March 10.