My little nephew was watching that cartoon I had never heard about some time ago (Raving Rabbids) and I was thinking wow that kind of shading would be perfect for the kind of games I would like to make, especially if on mobiles.
One has to choose a niche that fits and obviously AAA-style MASSIVELY MORPG games will forever remain beyond my capabilities and resources, while puzzle/board games aren't my cup of tea and 2D isn't what I want to aim for as I have a reasonable knowledge of 3D, so small 3D adventures (small as in the size of the gameworld, not necessarily the whole scope which can be divided with gamestates in manageable chunks such as old SNES Zelda did) with a cartoonish look are exactly what I want to do.
I've covered all Rastertek tutorials and am in the process of totally factoring that codebase into something more reusable and flexible, or in short, creating a modest, but somewhat capable 3D engine. I'm comfortable with HLSL as well.
The kind of shading I want to achieve can be seen here in case you don't know that cartoon (though it's also a game here):
Now for the actual question (TL;DR)
When I say cartoonish I don't mean cel-shading which doesn't resemble the style I'm after at all. As you can see it's far from "flat" and there aren't necessarily black outlines. Is the shading-style I want above actually a form of processing or is it just that the artists use brightly coloured textures while the shaders are still just plain good ol' bling-phong, shadow maps, point lights etc?
Maybe somewhat of a second question, some effects you see puzzle me a bit too. When one character flexes his muscles (0:32) you see a left-to right white-coloured swipe (0:37 - 0:38) that briefly highlights it. Maybe it's just a strong specular effect with the light moving left-to-right or is it something more sophisticated? And the fireball (0:19) lights its surroundings a bit, a (screen-space?) pointlight or something I guess?
Thanks fro clarifying things a bit for me.