When talking about graphics, many think about how many pixels a platform can churn out, or how many polygons are moving on screens, or maybe about the resolution of textures or the density of foliage.
But there’s one element that often stands above them all, and just as often it’s overlooked because it’s more subtle and cannot be quantified in numbers. Yet it pervades everything in a game, and it’s what turns polygons and textures that would look drab and boring into a visual spectacle.
That’s lighting, and few things can show it better than timelapse videos on games that feature a day/night cycle like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Luckily, plenty of them have been published in the past few days and below you can see a few of the best ones, courtesy of YouTube users Operation Witcher, IGGYPOPE, 8-BIT BASTARD, Ser0ven and of the folks at Xbox UK.
Incidentally, we learn an interesting detail about the game’s lighting via Level Designer Miles Tost:
@Keitho4466 Yes. Basically the environmental lighting on each weather type under every possible time of day is unique per land.
— Miles Tost (@MilezZx) May 23, 2015
Basically, as those who are playing the game might have noticed, depending on where you are, the lighting settings are actually different, giving each location a different atmosphere.
But without further ado, I leave you with the videos.