Art of lighting in Game Development

By Juegostudio | Mobile Game Development | August 7th, 2020

Importance of Lighting in Mobile Game Development: Key Principles

Lighting is a crucial component in mobile game development. Not only does lighting enhance the visual environment of a game. Most games are played on android devices owing to the portability these fit-in-the-pocket devices come with. This makes it especially important to realize the need for emphasis on strategic game lighting techniques that ensure to reduce eye strain. Deciding about what amount of lighting to use can be especially daunting for a developer without much knowledge about the kind of device on which a player would play the game. If the gaming device is a low-end smartphone, this might lead to a lot of post-processing and bear implications on frame rates as well as energy usage of the gadget. Dynamic or real-time lighting are often solutions that can provide optimal lighting for mobile games and ensure a pleasant gaming experience.

The interesting relationship between emotions and lighting has allowed game designers and mobile game developers to have an additional element in their toolkit alongside characters, narrative, audio settings, gamification settings, game mechanics among other things. A designer should be familiar with a conceptual understanding of brightness, sharpness, shadows, reflection, and contrast in order to create a game effect that stands out from the rest. At Juego Studios, there is a team of experienced game designers and developers who bring to the table rich experience in creating outstanding games with immersive gaming technologies using cutting edge tools and technologies.

Importance of Lighting in Mobile Game Development

There are several key functions that lighting performs in a game. Perfect lighting in Games creates a very attractive illusionary scene. It is an art of fulling the artistic touch and beauty of each and every scene. Lighting is not only a source of adding light to objects. There is much more to lighting than one, being a game developer should not overlook at any cost. Below are some of the critical areas where lighting plays a pivotal role in the entire experience of game development and design.

1. Draws Attention

A proper amount of lighting with focus and shadows ensures the player is an active participant in the game and at the same time allows the player to focus at certain parts of the environment in the game either to draw his attention to grab a reward point or to become vigilant about a potential obstacle or threat.

2. Provides Depth and Tracking

Lighting allows for depth in a game based on the position or state at which the player is at a specific point of time. Lighting up certain parts of an environment allows a user to track the objects more clearly. Lighting should not only be used as a medium of illuminating objects in the gaming environment but also allow for a more immersive gaming experience that feels like a real-life-like environment.

3. Sets the Mood

Lighting plays a major role in setting the right ambiance of playing a game. Although often lighting in a game is quite similar to that of creating a movie, the unique feature of a game is the interaction it requires. The lighting needs to be unique to each and every game genre. For instance, a horror game needs to adjust its lighting in such a way so that the player gets a sense of eeriness while interacting with the objects in the game.

4. Automatically adjust to the external gaming environment

Imagine you are playing your favorite game out in broad daylight and even after adjusting the smartphone display lighting, you feel the game lighting is not adequate to give you a pleasant visual experience. This is a situation that would eventually push players from your game and find out something that is smarter by adjusting its lighting based on the external environment you’re in. This is the essence of dynamic lighting in a video game developed for mobile.

Key Components to Keep in Mind While Lighting a Game

While lighting is a core concept in game development, there are several aspects that one needs to ensure to have a solid grip on before venturing into the world of lighting. Below are some of the most essential concepts to be aware of.

1. Color and Intensity

A complete understanding of colors gives the required context for lighting. Warm colors and cool colors, primary and secondary colors are all essential in determining the mood of a game. While the color red is often used to denote a sign of danger or an alert, it might not always be the case. Using colors differently and in different permutations and combinations can take the game a long way. The idea of evoking a certain emotional reaction by the usage of colors and lighting them in a particular fashion is a broad topic one needs to understand.

2. Color Balancing

As a continuation of the previous point, color balancing plays a major role too. Having too many colors not mixed in appropriate proportions may make either the entire scene very dull or over-stimulating. Colors need to be balanced in the right fashion such that lighting up these sections does not create the unnecessary vibrancy of colors.

3. Audience

Color and lighting on top of it should not be generalized for all types of audiences belonging to different parts of the world. Similar to cultural differences, colors too, symbolize different meanings and emotions in different parts of the world. Therefore it is of utmost importance to decide on your target audience of players and then decide on the fair color and lighting usage details.


While lighting is a core concept that every game developer would know, often not everyone pays a lot of attention to the details and eventually creates games with outstanding features and game mechanics which ultimately fail to make it to the top because of sub-optimal visual performance. If you are planning to hire a game designer or developer for your game, you should look for a developer who has demonstrated great skills with respect to lighting up the game in the right way such that the entire experience of playing the game is visually appealing. At Juego Studios, the entire team of mobile game developers is well equipped with all the required know-how of creating immersive gaming experiences with the latest technology that can be deployed through cross-platform architectures.

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