Ready at Dawn released their PS4 exclusive The Order 1886 earlier this year. While The Order 1886 might be a critically panned release, it did manage to deliver on the graphics front, bringing CGI-quality visuals in real-time gameplay.
Galahad is the main character of The Order 1886 and throughout the game, players can notice that he lacked any proper reflection on surfaces with a highly reflective material e.g Mirror. This led to a fan theory speculating that Galahad was a Vampire, even though the developers never intended this to be the case here.
In their recently held technical presentation at SIGGRAPH 2015 on the Environments of The Order 1886, Ready at Dawn finally revealed the real reason why Galahad had no reflection in the game.
As explained by Ready at Dawn, the reason why Galahad and other Knights had no reflection was not because they were Vampires, but because of their implementation of Ambient Occlusion capsules that were used to create better shadows. They had an issue with dynamic objects and required real-time occlusion calculation. They had a set amount of capsules enabled at a time.
While the AO capsules were successful in grounding dynamic objects and characters in the scene, they had their own limitations, particularly on a highly-reflective material. On such a material, these capsules would appear ridiculous and show cruder silhouette of the characters. The devs called this effect the “Lycan Child” and to avoid it, they disabled it on these highly reflective materials.
The Order 1886 was released in February 2015 exclusively on the PS4. Ready at Dawn developed the game on their own custom in-house engine.
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