VR, Forward Rendering And Lighting..?

Just hoping that you guys can help me out with getting all of this sorted out in my head and advise me on the best thing to do.

I’m at the VERY stages of developing my game so far and I’m trying to plan ahead as much as possible. First of all I’ll give you a quick rundown of what sort of game I’m going to want to create and the basics of the plot so that you can advise me on whether to use the normal renderer or the forward renderer.

My game is going to be a survival horror game set on a mining ship in deep space. One of the crew inadvertently brought back an alien from the surface which over time has laid eggs in the crew. The side effects of this parasitic invasion is insanity, paranoia and violent behaviour so when you dock with the ship after receiving a distress signal all of the crew are dead (They’re all dead Dave lol).

I’m going for a Dreadhalls meets Alien Isolation type game but with face hugger type aliens rather than a bloomin great big alien and I’m planning on having the little buggers jumping out of engineering panels, air vents, light fittings and corpses.

I’m planning on having the lights on the ship breaking when an alien pops out of the light fittings and also having the now deceased Chief Engineer sabotaging the electrical system so that every now and then all of the lights on the ship turn off temporarily forcing the protagonist to use his torch.

So will me using lights in this way prevent me from baking lighting…? And will these lights prevent me from using the forward renderer…?

I’m a complete n00b at this malarky so please explain all of this as if I’m 5 years old lol

Many thanks in advance for any help!

I listened to bits about making Robo Recall and they were saying how they baked stuff separately for day and night and were able to switch easily between the two. So I guess if you start off with a clean star trek space craft, you could probably easily switch to a version where everything goes a bit dark, but I don’t think it would be that dynamic as you describe.

Have you played Robo Recall? I think that would be a good reference what is possible. They have critters popping out from everywhere. But it sounds like you want to heavily use lights and shadows, but really it might be hard to get it going at 90FPS. You might need to find a VR game that can technically do what you are trying to do (or something close) before you start doing something serious. I’m not sure how many people would play your game if it only gets to 60 FPS or 75 FPS - such a huge risk.

I’ve solved my lighting issues by using 2 dynamic lights and a custom voxel based lighting system. But that won’t help you as mine is a building style game.

Yep , dynamic lights kill performance !
You can perhaps get away with 1 or 2 on a high end card
before you’ll drop frames and enter re -projection. There are
also issues with the forward render path , MSAA and projected
shadows that Epic is working to fix.

Maybe you’re jumping too far ahead with deciding on forward
rendering at this point. Get a gameplay prototype together and
then solve the technical issues ? Deferred would definitely be
a better choice for lighting and atmosphere.

UE4 Documentation : Forward render features & issues ]

— Chuan

Okay, thanks guys.

I guess I’ll just have to mess around with things and see how they go. I might end up ditching the lights going off at the same time and just have random dark areas with broken or flickering lights instead.

I’m working on bringing the polys of my modula corridors down too so that should help matters.

I’m also thinking about having my game procedurally generated too but am going to have to do a bit of research on that because I wouldn’t know where to start lol