Game Design Spotlight #9: The Picture Style feature in SOLO revitalizes the stunning beauty of its game views and models
Welcome to the ninth installment of the Game Design Spotlight, a weekly piece where I examine the design elements of various parts of an MMO, such as the overall design of a game world and glitchy home decor systems. Last week, I told us about LotRO’s subtle quest design and how it immerses players engaged in reading the newspapers. Today I’m focusing on an in-game color filter system in a title considered one of the “most beautiful MMORPGs” released in the West in the last year.
Swords of Legends Online is quaint. Notably, its biomes are eye-catching, appearing as lush ravines, snow-capped mountains, nighttime towns, and isolated islands set in front of a bright moon. There are plenty of times to stop and take a snapshot with your character; even them as a vehicle to explore this flourishing world is a fantastic set to put the picture together.
While trying out the game recently, I was perfectly satisfied with the visual spectacle of SOLO after playing around with the graphics settings. That is, until I discovered the Picture Style feature in the top left corner of the screen that convinced me to switch between color filter presets mid-game to create beautiful breathtaking views.
Understandably, gamers are probably not invested in this type of feature due to the poor gameplay experience, abysmal location management, and other glaring issues in SOLO that are the meat and potatoes of MMORPGs. Yet, deep in the mire of its troubles, there’s a silver lining that objectively makes the game a bit better and more memorable.
Its saving grace is mainly the image style, supported by keys that seemingly push the player into photographer mode. You’re won over by the beauty of the game through your character, drawing their attention to the camera as you get closer, prompting them to flaunt through a selection of screenshot-worthy idle animation poses.
Plus, the locations you venture into are full of vibrancy, but can change drastically with a preset or custom color filter, perhaps prompting you to use camera mode to stylize and take a shot however you want. you want to. Although it still has its downsides, SOLO’s Picture Style element revitalizes the stunning beauty of its game views and models seamlessly with just a click of the mouse during instant play.
See everything in color
As mentioned, the Image Style attribute can be found in the upper left corner of your in-game UI. A single click pulls down a selection of predefined filters and a custom option for personal settings. Out-of-the-box filters: “Recommended”, “Cinematic”, “Soft”, “Dreamy” and “Nostalgic” fulfill a particular image criterion that best matches their short description. For example, Dreamy features a sharp glow on everything in sight. It’s a mix of warm saturation, bright sources, and an overall softness that has become a favorite for gamers on Reddit.
Another preset like Cinematic has an impressive streak of deep shadows and overall clarity across the screen, but comes at the cost of cutting out vivid colors. Players can dip their toes into whatever suits them depending on the location and, truth be told, mood they prefer. If neither hits the nail on the head, the custom selection displays a tab of image options that adjust in real time. It includes ways to play with depth of field, highlight intensity, vignette, contrast, saturation, color temperature, and many more.
SOLO makes it fairly easy to change the recommended picture settings. Optimizing it on a journey through a sea of trees versus hiking up the cliffside of a snowy gorge makes all the difference visually. Insert methods for hiding players, teammates, enemies, blocking pop-ups, and SOLO continue to make immersive environments the top priority and rid the player of intrusive things in front of them.
A library of you
In some cases, you can’t hide everything. That’s where Camera Mode comes in. It lets players pause their motion set for themed shots, apply visual effect filters like water waves or oil paint. oil on their screen, three light sources in any direction, and much more. From the recent SOLO anniversary screenshot event, it’s clear to see the appeal of such a system in a game known for its beauty.
All the elements I introduced, such as the picture style and camera mode, are tempting even if gamers aren’t the biggest fans of screenshots. In fact, SOLO wanna you to have screenshots and even videos of your in-game experience. Its Highlights system automatically creates screenshots following certain in-game events, like unlocking achievements, defeating enemies in the arena or victory in a duel. While requiring NVIDIA ShadowPlay support, the videos note those achievements and PvP battles to add to your library.
It’s unclear if SOLO is intentionally aiming for this, but it sounds like it wants players to have memories – in the form of screenshots/videos – of locations reached and heights overcome.
A big wheel
Gameforge has added new locations to SOLO, lovely cosmetics to put on characters, and plans to move to Unreal Engine 4. These aspects of the game best serve the Picture Style feature, furthering its purpose as a makeover picture picker. which looks even bolder depending on location, character, and graphic prowess. SOLO has stumbled awkwardly everywhere else, but its notable appeal has always been a well-maintained, developer-oiled wheel.
This wraps up another week of Game Design Spotlight! Are you interested in features where MMOs give players ways to make their environments dynamic? What are the examples? Let us know below! Also feel free to comment on any games or features you’d like me to cover for future stories if you have any suggestions!