Specter's Lighting Explained

Why 2D lighting? The lighting system is one of Specter’s main features. It allows us to add a lot of atmosphere to a level and make art reuse less obvious. Also, it looks pretty. The base system is actually older than this project. I first implemented it for a project which unfortunately got called off (that’s also where I met Blair, the artist and game designer behind Specter). At the time it produced results like this: Since then I spent quite a bit of time on it, adding new features, optimizing, etc.

Specter's Rendering Pipeline

1. Particle Rendering All particles are rendered in additive blending mode. This allows for nice fire effects, which is the main application of particle systems in Specter. Effects like smoke or dust are hard to achieve this way, but until now we haven’t had need for them. Due to the fact that I only want to apply the additive blending to the particles themselves and not to the scene I have to render them to a separate render target.