For games like Neverwinter, they’re not just bringing in new content and areas for players to explore. Sometimes, they go back to areas that they know are popular, and remake them to better reflect the technology of the game. Neverwinter is doing just that with their remastering of the Spellplague Caverns.
Developer Patrick Poage took to the Neverwinter blog to talk about what it was like to remake the level. This new “master version” of the level isn’t just a visual makeover. Nor is it a “leveling dungeon” like it was before. No, the master version aims to give people a challenge by giving players the chance to “chase the wizards of the Cloaked Ascendancy and try to stop them from completing a ritual that will bring chaos and devastation to the city above”. Yep, both a new story and new monsters come attached with this makeover.
But, as for the makeover of the level itself, the key thing in the mind of Poage when redoing this was apparently the lighting. The previous model had very harsh lights, as well as shadows that would obscure the details of the level. So, Poage went, turned off every light in the level, then slowly added them back to see what worked, and what didn’t. The featured image above is the result.
The lighting was a big step, and the other part was the VFX. More were added to the caverns in order to give it more life. Finally, the final boss area was remade in order to make it a more cinematic experience, and one that you could literally feel the tension in.
Check out the full blog post for the full breakdown, including extra art showing the step-by-step process of how the Neverwinter team made the Spellplague Caverns new again, it’s worth the click.