Some of you may have noticed something about the level shown at QuakeCon – it was really gray! This was never intentional, and is something we’ve worked on since then. The reason the level was so gray is because before we knew what we were doing, two texture sets were created – a highly saturated blue texture set, and a fairly desaturated gray texture set. Here’s why I ended up using the much less colorful gray texture set.
Looking at a screen where the majority of the color is super saturated is a bit unsettling – kind of like eating a cake made entirely of frosting. What we’ve discovered is that it’s much better to have most of the screen be a fairly desaturated color, and then use more highly saturated colors in smaller amounts – such as for object textures, HUD graphics, and borders/supports. Had I used the highly saturated blue texture set, looking at the level probably would have been akin to eating too much candy – nice for a bit, but then made you want to puke after awhile. The gray texture set might have been more boring, but at least it didn’t make anyone nauseated
So while the gray textures set provided a nice desaturated base for us, it lacked color, and was pretty boring. … until now, that is!
With some additional color (in small amounts!) and texture detail, I’d say it’s greatly improved over the way it looked at QuakeCon!
So, the lesson here is: Keep most of the screen a fairly desaturated color, and then do more saturated colors in small amounts. Are you paying attention budding texture artists?