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New Update: Dynamic Lighting

Today we have released our new dynamic lighting system (DLS).

We are incredibly proud of this new update, because it not only adds a great tool for more atmospheric maps, but with our unique approach to prop shadow rendering, we now can simulate almost realistic shadows out of any two-dimensional prop.

So here’s what our DLS can do:

New Lighting Tab

New dynamic lighting tab

We have grouped all options for DLS into a new tab, which you can find in the lower section of your toolbar.

By having it there, it is completely up to you, if you want to include light on your map or not. Your interface is not cramped with new toggles and options, but stays focused on what you want to achieve.

DLS is also another thing that requires additional resources from your PC. So if you are running DUNGEONFOG on a slower system, this gives you the free choice if you want to go that direction or stay on the safe path (in terms of performance).

There is still space for improvements here, but for an optimal experience when working with lighting, we recommend that you are working on a PC that has at least 8GB RAM and a graphics cards installed.

Ambient Light

You now have the option to adjust the ambient lighting of your level by

  • adjusting the ambient stage light
  • adjusting the ambient light for all rooms at once

We decided to give you an option for all rooms at once, so you don’t have to manually adjust each room one by one, but apply a general lighting for all. You can still adjust each room separately, by selecting them.

Light sources

Every prop can now act as a light source. It is up to you to decide, which prop should be a light emitter. To help you here, we have already flagged all props, that are intended to be light sources as such, so you don’t have to do that yourself.

All you need to do is, place that prop on the map and adjust the lighting settings to your needs.

Wall shadows

Every wall is automatically detected as a blocker. So as soon a light hits on a wall, it is blocked and thus creates a shadow.

  • We tried to stick as close to the physical equations behind that, so pay attention to the general ambient lighting of your scene.
  • We have added additional options for you, so you can decide if your rooms are blocking light, or not.

Prop Shadows

Now, this is something that we are especially proud of. You might have seen prop shadows in other tools. They usually cast a straight, endless shadow based on the range of your light source.

To have a proper shadow cast, you usually have to know the height of your light source, the height of your prop and - which is the biggest problem - you have to have a 3D model of the prop that is being lit.

Most 2D map tools simplify that for the sake of their programmers sanity.

They just say: "Ok, there is a prop - take the outline and block light from there.", causing shadows to be more a conceptual area where no light falls, regardless of the shape of that prop.

With DUNGEONFOG we have the unique chance to bring change to the market and to challenge other publishers with new ideas. So we tried to solve this problem of 2D-meets-3D.

And the result is truly one of its kind!
Also, we do not cheat by restricting this to our own props only - it works with all uploaded props as well!

With this update in place we can proudly announce, that with DUNGEONFOG you have the most realistic lighting system that any 2D map editor offers today.


To answer some of the questions you might have

How does our DLS affect the viewer?

For now, lighting is only meant to aesthetically enhance your map and to add a new level of visual atmosphere. The viewer does not yet include light into any line of sight mechanics.

Having line of sight, or a fog of war based on visible light sources is something that we will address very cautiously. We don’t want to end up with a scenario, where you have to move “light tokens” around your map to reveal areas, but to have a simple mechanic for GMs to decide what type of FoW you want to use.

How does our DLS affect the notes?

The overview map does include the lighting for the whole level, but since rooms in your notes should have the purpose of giving you a visual representation of the interior of the room, we decided that they are not affected by lighting.

This is something, where we hope that your feedback will help to form a conclusion to what is best and we will wait until a general consensus is formed.

How does our DLS affecr the export?

Lighting is now part of the map that you create and as such also part of the export.

We have discussed the option to give you another switch to export your map with or without lighting, but we leaving this option open for discussion.

Some of my props are now casting a weird shadow

Now with all the praise aside, our editor is still a 2D editor, trying to behave like a 3D tool, so there are still limitations.

One of them is: Chunks, fragments and other small parts that are scattered around the main prop are causing shadows as well.

We are in the process of going through all props and adjusting them and we also have a new forum thread where you can report such props, so we can fix them.

What’s next?

There’s our new monthly prop pack incoming! I will announce more about soon, so keep an eye out to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We are also going to start our next improvement cycle for the exporter and our notes before we then start working on the viewer and general workflow improvements of the editor.

I will keep you posted here and our platform updates.

As always, have fun testing and
Let the dice roll!