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|Disco Zones and other Disco Stuff|
effects may differ and at least one disco thing is PC only
This is a Gateway Article. It gives an overview about different things in Journey, that the community calls "disco".
Disco means "fast changing colors or flickering in different colors".
Disco Zones - areas where disco stuff happens.
As far as known, disco things exist only in Out of Bounds (OOB).
What is it?
Known disco-things in Journey are:
- Disco terrain / Disco areas, where the terrain becomes disco.
- Disco War Machine / Disco WM - is a War Machine that can be found out of bounds in the Underground level, notable for its flickering colors.
- Disco Wayfarer - can be found in the Underground OOB level. The most impressive Disco WF is on the PC version. Though on PS3/PS4 you can get a Disco Wayfarer for some seconds, while sliding too. See videos here: videos about the PlayStation Disco Wayfarer
How and where to do it
To add: Information about Disco Zones in each level (could be also "not found yet / assumed there is no") how to get there and eventual platform differences.
There is a theory that for example in Underground, the whole area to the east and below the surface is a Disco Zone. Some holes to slip below to the North and the Disco WM to the South.
Disco areas / terrain becomes disco
A part of the surrounding or terrain becomes disco.
See a video here: Paradise_(OOB)#Disco_Zone.
Known disco areas were found in the Out of Bounds areas of Pink Desert and Paradise.
Space to talk about, why it happens and other further information.
Although details differ, all disco effects are produced by some unexpected behaviour in the pixel shaders (the GPU code that is responsible for generating elements of the 3D world on a 2D viewport).
The following appear to be common patterns in Journey:
- Mesh shaders: Disco zones at the lower edges of meshes (mountains) where regular color textures (sand/rock etc) are not applied correctly and instead interim values such as normal vectors are exposed as colors. These seem to occur with the parts of the meshes that are below terrain level.
- Cloth shaders: Flickering wayfarer robe occurs when clipping below terrain (such as in the Underground), likely because surround illumination color cannot be resolved accurately affecting the colors cast on the cloth. In the case of Underground it also happens outside the skybox (another element that's expected to provide some color values and may not work as expected when going beyond "normal"). In some other areas the effect is just plain color rather than disco. Clipping into terrain also confuses cloth dynamics (spinning scarf) which results in rapid changes to various attributes, combined with shader bugs this may produce rapidly changing colors.
- Glitches outside the skybox where environment and fog colors are not calculated correctly resulting in flickering and other effects.
Videos and Images
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- Decision about naming. Nathan and ravingmadness on discord #disco wayfarer, 2020-11-12: both said, that we call disco zones everything where disco stuff happens. since people already used it for different things and it makes things less complicated.
- nathanj on discord