If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then a video has to be worth considerably more, right? At the end of our latest stream session with CohhCarnage, we showed off some of the updates and additions our team has been working on recently, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We sent David Schlow out to catch up with one of the newer members of our team, VFX Artist Fernando Flores, to dig a little deeper into what it is we were treated to.

Q: I think it’s safe to say that the lightning effects seen at the end of our latest stream with CohhCarnage made a lasting impression on the community. Can you talk about what we saw?

A: Sure! It’s basically a massive lightning strike that will spawn during storms and do an outrageous amount of damage to a small area, most likely instantly killing whomever stayed in the center! Oh, and there is also a telegraphing period before the strike so players will have time to get to safety, so as long as you are alert during storms, you should be safe... in theory.

Q: This month you brought out a little something new with the Wizard spells. What’s your process like? How do you even begin something like this?

A: For these projectiles, the first thing that I started with was its shape and speed. Once I got those to a solid state, I added secondary elements like the immediate flame trail and some embers, in the case of the Fire School of Magic, in order to break its silhouette into a more personalized, fiery look.

Q: There seems to be a lot of layers going on in the video to make the end product. Are all effects this complex?

A: No, some are and some aren’t. It's all about how well it fits the gameplay and making it look pleasant.

Q: What sort of discussions with other developers happen before and during the process when working on effects like this?

A: First I talk with Chris Perkins on what he would like to see next, then he goes through his vision on how it should roughly look. After that, I start trying things out and we go back and forth until we reach the desired outcome. In the case that I need specifics like animations or shaders, I would contact Ross (animator) or Bruno (technical artist).

Q: Will each class’ abilities have their own distinct effects?

A: Yes! Each class will have their own look, unless it is an element spell casting class like the Wizard where the look will derive mainly from the player’s School of Magic.

Q: What about the NPCs?

A: In some cases, NPCs and PCs will use abilities that have the same VFX. However, there will be plenty of cases where NPCs have their own unique ability VFX, distinct from the player abilities.

Q: As noted, we’ve already seen the lightning work. What other atmospheric effects are you working on?

A: At the moment I am not working on any, but I recently finished working on an electrified effect which basically displays electricity surging from a large surface.

Q: Any hints about what you’ll be working on in the future?

A: Soon I’ll start working on another class’ base abilities, maybe a more up close combat-based class.