[Graphics] Color palette + lighting

Hi everyone,

a ghost from the past here :slight_smile:
Until today, i wasn’t even aware Julian actually went for it.
I’d be absolutely humbled if it turned out i was, even an infinitesimal bit, the cause of it. Even if not, i’m still excited to hear of this project.
Enough banter from me. Let’s get straight to it.

From what little i managed to research about the game, it seems the devs got 85% right. I hope this is a success.

But i do have to comment on something that actually bothered me to no end and is shockingly simmilar to Firaxis’s XCOM: EU.
The monotone color palette and that wretched haze. I know it’s personal taste, but that is one thing that turned me off in the previously mentioned game. It made the game look so smeared. I’d argue it also destroys the immersion.
Judging from the current ingame vids, because of this style, the units, as well as the map features are poorly discernible. There is no contrast.
I think this is something that the latter XCOM2 addressed and greatly improved upon.

Liven the colors up, add more contrast and really get rid of that haze and find a more attractive alternative. Personally, i’d go with light/shadow effects.
I know there’s this preconception that a dark palette, conveys fear. Honestly, this one’s, as well as XCOM’s didn’t. Just made the maps bland and devoid of life.
And besides…what’s scarier that strolling trough an idyllic wheat field when suddenly somethings nasty pops out from the shadows and dismembers you.

Same goes for the weapon FXs. If when shooting a puny pistol produces extravagant visual effects, but does really no damage…i find that silly and obtrusive.
That’s why in the original X-COM even bullets had their personality and made deaths so…khm…exciting. You knew that, that one streak in the air, might cause a sectoid to melt into a slimy goo. Felt so satisfying. Weapons in today’s games really lack that visual punch IMO.

But anyway, the game seems to be doing most things right, just hope to get a little bit of feedback in.



On each backer build when I’ve played them I’ve had a real hard time spotting mutants on the screen, they only way I’m managing to do it is via targeting lines, I wish I could just easily see them.

This +1 :slight_smile: I don’t want that the world mood to be created only on objects colours. Original X-Com was quite colourful, but still scary. But Phoenix Project Bases seem to be quite nice from all the artworks I have seen. New Jericho bases sometimes are also colourful - it depends on the objects and lightning. Only scavenge missions are so dull all the time.

Here pistols are also quite deadly. Probably people whose videos you have watched were not quite proficient in using weapons in this game. :wink: I personally like all those bullet traces. It helps me spot where all gunfire is going.

This one! Sometimes I find myself in the battlefield going like “now, where’s that alien?.. Hmmm…” Good thing it’s a TBS, being a RTS I would have all the aliens banging at my door before I could spot them.

But from what little we saw, my guess is that Anu and Syn will liven up things. It makes sense, specially for Syn and their faith in a better future, to be all bright and neon sparkly.

To address a few points made.

Regarding the bullet trails, i’ve seen only a couple of weapons and they all seem to me almost identical in this aspect. Just a hazy blue-ish trail. This is something a lot of games nowadays do.
Personally i much more enjoy discrete animations.
But yes, i’m nitpicking.

However i must say the visual aspect plays a crucial role in creating the atmosphere, tension and immersion. And also plays into making the game memorable.
I will never forget the lushness and diversity of the original three games. Only TFTD was maybe a bit watered down (pardon the pun) in terms of landscape aesthetics.

In Phoenix point i noticed it immediately, before anything else. The visuals look and feel blended up. Things are not discernible, the maps look homogenized, especially with that haze thing, which really bothered me in XCOM. And i severely miss more lighting effects, shadows etc.

I know it’s probably too late to change some low level mechanic of the game at this stage. But i believe touching up the aesthetics is feasible.
As for the fog of war, which in this case is that haze i mentioned…wouldn’t maybe a blur/ out of focus effect work? I think in Fallout tactics they decolorized things out of view if i remember correctly.