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Pointers and Hints

Here are a few pointers about making rain, carefully as these are trade secrets :D

  • The main thing is that it's not just about the rain. Making a level feel rainy is the result of a lot of things.

For example, you can use Serious Engine 3's awesome new "Wind" entity that applies a out side force to all particles that have the 'affected by wind' option set. The "Wind" entity also affects the Cloth and Rope entities, but I do not suggest using them, as they are still buggy. Having wind on your level will add a good stormy mood.

  • Add sound. I know that getting sound , I mean good sound samples ain't easy, I my self have been collecting for like 4 years, but it's totally worth it. Having different sounds thorough the level,will add cool variety.

  • Use detailed Probe Lights. Why ? Well usually the cube map's size is 32 X 32, witch results in a nice blurry reflection.

But when it's raining, surfaces get more shiny , so having a cube map size of 64x64 or even 128x128 will add that look.

  • Normal Maps. If you have custom models, the benefit is that you can use the "Detail normal map" to simulate water flow. It doesn't really matter what you use for it, as long it's a generic normal map, when you mix it with the model's other, or main, normal map , it will look like bumpy water drops.

  • Add Filler. Add more than 1 particle effect, to simulate distant rain, or noise.

  • Add dramatic vistas. Usually in a small tows, or alley way, you can't really see the whole storm, or the filler, so you should add areas that give a great view of the storm.

  • Add rain puddles. Making good use of the "Decal" entity, you can easily add rain puddles. When making the rain puddle material, Make use of both normal map slots, set them to 2 different generic normal maps, and set them them to move in opposite directions.

Most importantly be creative, and know the purpose of your rain, whether you want it to be just a background noise, or scene drama builder. If you don't spend time fine tuning your rain, it could end up either too unnoticeable or too noticeable and annoying.