• Register
Post news RSS Light System Evolution

A quick retrospective on light systems used in Sewer Tea. There's a gameplay video too!

Posted by on

Hey everybody,

I'm writing this piece of news for the second time because it looks like my browser just messed it up and refreshed the page without saving my progress at all. Such a shame, but at least I'm already recovering from the tiny heart-attack that I was about to have when I realized I lost all of the stuff I just wrote :]

The news were much bigger but I'll keep it short now since I don't want to spend more time on it and I'm a bit upset because of having lost all of that amount of work I shouldn't have lost.

Being Sewer Tea a horror-themed game, we need the atmosphere that only a proper light set-up can create. Wandering around the Hotel being able to see what's in front of you and behind you made the whole gameplay relatively easy.

Now the light system is finally done and that has changed. We used an Unity Asset Store add-on called 2DVLS (2D Volumetric Lights) that came in pretty handy. We had to break our necks figuring out how to implement it properly within Orthello framework (the 2D add-on we're using on Unity, let's remind the audience we started this project when Unity didn't have any 2D native tools at all).

Let's make a little bit of retrospective (but before that, let me ctrl-copy all of this text so far :D). Alright, the first light system we "created" was a horrible photoshop mask that was superimposed on the player. There's no need to say that this method (taken straight from my years using RPG Maker XP) was discarded right away.

Epic light system
Epic light system is EPIC!

We want the best for Sewer Tea, so we decided to start coding our own light system in order to satisfy our demands. We created a system in which a coat of black tiles was created on top of every room, making it all dark. Using Unity colliders, we checked the tags of those black tiles against the collider of the player's flashlight and change their alpha accordingly. The system wasn't that bad but it had some performance issues that we couldn't cope with.

Light System
Better but not there quite yet.

After some thorough research we started browsing the Unity Asset store for some add-on that could help us achieve what we needed for Sewer Tea and we found 2DVLS. It took us a fair amount of time to make it work within Orthello Framework (there are some issues with orthello materials/shaders) but in the end we managed to get a decent result, as you can see in this short but intense gameplay video.

Since I couldn't find any information on google regarding implementation of 2DVLS in Orthello, I could do a tutorial if anyone is interested.

Hope you liked what you saw/read. Please take the time to track us here on IndieDB or follow us on Twitter/Facebook to be up to date with the latest news regarding Sewer Tea's development.

Thanks for reading,


so far it's looking good

just asking, did you find it's easy to use Orthello, especially when you are doing some combination with the other add-ons?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Kuznetsovsky Author

We started the project when Unity didn't have any 2D tools at all. I'd recommend using Orthello only if your game is not going to involve any physics at all. Otherwise, I'd just use Unity's native 2D tools :p

When it comes to the implementation of the 2D volumetric lights add-on, we basically had to change Orthello's shaders so that the lights could affect its sprites too.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Post news
Related Games
Sewer Tea
Sewer Tea Adventure
Related Engines
Unity Commercial