The Star Trek Online team is busy preparing the game for console release later this year. Part of the preparation includes updating the games graphics in a way that shows vast improvement, but also keep the game viable for lower-end systems. In a new, detailed developer blog on the game's official site, readers are given insight into how big improvements will be made in very visible, yet low footprint, ways.
The lighting system, on the other hand, was way out of date. It was pretty obvious that updating the lighting would have the biggest impact, not only to the look of the game but on the lives of the artists that are developing it! They have to jump through a lot of technical hoops to get the lighting to look good by today’s standards. So we decided that the best features to add would be lighting-based: deferred shading and light probes as well as some updates to our HDR lighting and post processing.
With STO’s old lighting model, artists would only be able to use a few lights in any given scene so they had to be very creative to make a scene look convincing. With this update, we moved STO to deferred shading. It basically means the artists can use as many lights as they need to light their scenes. Correct lighting adds an incredible amount of realism to the game and makes everything feel much more immersive.
Read the full post on the Star Trek Online site.