Ubisoft Solved Lighting Issues in Far Cry 5 by Looping One Day Endlessly

Ubisoft recently held a presentation at the annual Siggraph event; a five-day industry event taking place in Vancouver. The Ubisoft presentation was an in-depth look at the making of Far Cry 5, and delved into some of the issues which the developers overcame. One such issue was found with the game’s lighting. It required a slightly unconventional solution.

Fixing Problems With the Far Cry 5 Lighting

During the development of Far Cry 5, it seems that the developers encountered some problems with the game’s day-night cycle. The Siggraph presentation lists three issues in particular which arose; “Every day is different… Night looks the same as day… Physical lighting values cause too much contrast”. As a result, the Ubisoft development team had to find solutions which would bring the cycle under control. One of the solutions which the developers came up with seems to have been inspired by Groundhog Day; the developers took one day where the cycle worked better and caused it to loop over and over. By ensuring that the sun and the moon started and ended in the same position during the day, the loop was made seamless; “Tomorrow at 12 AM is the same as today at 12 AM.”

Developers Fixed Issues with the Far Cry 5 Lighting by Looping One Day

The team apparently devised several solutions for the lighting problems; the loop was just one fix. Players may wish to take a look at how the sun and moon move in Far Cry 5; it could be that each day in Hope County is actually the same day on an endless loop! It’s unclear from the presentation notes whether they actually stuck with the loop for the final game; “Our workarounds have enabled us to ship a game and we’re very happy about that,” continues the Ubisoft presentation; “but we’re definitely going to look at changing what we do and improving for future projects.”