Yes,but how would they go about designing this, as I said, would it bea case of playing around with different things and coming up with something that looked ok, or do you think they decided from the start exactly what they wanted and hence coded it?
Imagine the situation. You have a special event happening in your game, and you want a visual effect to accompany that. What should it look like?
It depends on the author's creativity and the art direction that he's employing.
Since you want to know a process, here is one:1) Research
You mentioned "kind of 80's style." Maybe that is what he was going for. In any case, you would need to brush up on what the visual effects of the 80's look like.
You could watch video clips from that time, TV shows, films etc. and collect the bits that you find relevant. You make sure to let your mind analyze and assimilate this material, because it will later on reproduce
it. 2) Design
Once you are satisfied with your research, it's time to let your mind create something based on it.
You have your constraints: you want a visual effect "in the style of the 80's," and it should harmonize with that special event in your game, considering how the game will look like at that point, with the level, the characters etc.
You will start imagining how this visual effect should look like. You could copy an effect that you've seen from your research material ("reproducing" it), or you could combine and change some effects that you've seen and come up with something original ("extending" it).3) Implementation
By the time you know exactly how you want the visual effect to play like in your game, you can go to your art software and your game engine and start implementing the effect.
The graphics for the visual effect can be procedural (you generate them with code and at the time that they are displayed, such as those 3D spinning cubes), they can be pre-rendered (you work in an art software to produce material that can be imported and used by your game engine, such as a video clip, images, models etc.) or they can be a combination of both these methods.
Then you arrange and animate the graphics in your game engine to look and "feel" with as much fidelity to your original design as possible.
There is usually a small compromise when you implement a visual effect (when you finish it, the effect looks a bit "worse" than what you intended), especially when you're inexperient, because we can easily imagine something too amazing with our minds that might not be easily implemented on the computer side.
Edited by Kryzon, 20 April 2014 - 08:36 PM.