In my last post about my space game, I noted that it looks pretty flat. I've implemented something similar to this technique on RobotLovesKitty, and now it's super shiny.
The lighting I'm using is based on an image, or 'light map' to which the light will be rendered to. The one used here is crazy just for testing, but it shows the tiles, and the gaps between them.
There is also a normals texture to define the bumps per-pixel. I used the red channel for left-right and green for top-bottom. Here's the normals of a curved surface which I use as a reference
I'll need to think of some way to tone it down, and to turn of the effect completely for computers that can't handle it (probably mobile devices). Having dynamic lights that show the contours of the textures I think is going to help set the mood of the levels throughout the game.
Once this is fully sorted out, I'll get onto implementing levels to tell the story. (and I'll finish writing the story)