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The graphics of Dual Universe have taken many strides forward since the beta started, and they continue to be an area of focus for us here at Novaquark as we keep working on improving immersion in the game.


In previous updates, we’ve tackled visual effects upgrades to water, warp effects, the skybox, entire planet revamps, and much more. In this devblog we want to talk about the various art upgrades coming to Dual Universe with Mercury.




We’re implementing Screen Space Global Illumination (SSGI) in Dual Universe to improve lighting and the overall look of the game. SSGI is a method to simulate light-bounce to achieve more realistic lighting. Much of the lighting detail in the real world comes from light which has bounced many times from different surfaces. However, calculating all of the different light paths in a real-time digital setting such as a computer game is difficult. Standard rendering provides only the first bounce of light, but SSGI is a way to approximate complex light interactions without taking a heavy toll on framerates. SSGI will be available as an optional setting in Dual Universe with Mercury.


We’re also improving our Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) to enhance how objects and surfaces are lit in the game, and therefore their visual quality. SSAO efficiently approximates the brightness of light on different parts of visible surfaces. It considers factors such as the game environment, the position of light sources, and shadows created by different surfaces to add a more realistic look to 3D game environments.


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As shown in the screenshot below, there will also be graphical improvements to vegetation as we implement asset fixes that significantly improve their look in the game. 


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We’re also adding three new explosion visual effects with the destruction of core units which you can see in this video 👇


The color variation is chosen at random when your core explodes.




There are many more upgrades included in Mercury that will improve the look and feel of Dual Universe. We’d recommend you turn up the volume too: we're also polishing the sound design in order to enhance the game’s performance.


Mercury is arriving very soon, and your feedback is essential. If you have any thoughts on our art improvements, we’d like to hear them. Let us know in this forum thread. 

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