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Simple change to improve visual effect of lightning

Patrick Heney shared this feedback 8 months ago
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The visual effect for the lightning in the game could be dramatically improved by randomizing the verticies only once per strike (or maybe once per second if you have extremely long lived lightning bolts).

The current method randomizes the lightning bolt verticies every frame, which produces a bolt that jitters and flickers unrealistically. In nature, when lightning strikes, the discharge finds a path through the atmosphere and the bolt surges through it -- the path doesn't change that quickly.

When a bolt is generated, randomize the verticies, store them in a list and then draw the bolt using that list, and vary the alpha / opacity / brightness / whatever (even just toggle rendering on or off), each frame instead of moving the verticies.

As AAA software engineer myself, with experience in procedural systems, generating lightning and electric arcs is something I've done many times. Your current implementation is what most developers do, but my proposal will get you a much better looking effect. It's also relatively simple to implement or adapt from existing code. (Obviously I've never seen your code, but from my experience, it has always been a relatively simply change to make regardless of the implementation.) In my experience, modifying code as I've described generally takes a single engineer no more than an hour or two, so it's also not an expensive change. Hopefully.

Thank you for your time.

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