Cryptic Studios’ Environment Artist, Patrick Poage, has returned to the official blog to share a new insights into the design process for Barovia, the new zone in the upcoming Ravenloft expansion to Neverwinter – including some of the challenges faced during optimization,
For our low-end PC players, there is a feature called clip fog that simply culls any object farther than a certain distance from the camera. This works really well for interiors, and generally well for exterior levels. The problem with this map, however, was that the Castle of Ravenloft wasn’t drawing! The most iconic and important landmark in the zone was too far away, so low-end PC players just wouldn’t see it at all. It took some clever workarounds and a fair bit of work, but such an important landmark is worth the effort.
Along with the examples of optimization, Poage also discusses the importance of artistic intent during production as well as examples of design iterations that the Domain of Dread underwent before it’s (test) release (as well as a tease about a “fun challenge” in the village for those who like to collect Scrying Orbs).
Source: Official Site
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