Gearbox, the brilliant minds behind the Borderlands series have upped their game at this year’s Game Developer Conference, showing off some of the technical changes they’re making in Borderlands 3 versus its predecessors.

In this video, provided by IGN of the Borderlands 3 presentation at GDC 2017, we start with how Gearbox made the comic-book-style outlining from the previous games even more beautiful to look at in Borderlands 3.

The previous games used simple edge detection to create that style, but the developers found that to look a bit clunky, so they pushed it further, creating a system that could choose more edges, and vary the weights of the lines. They also created a system that could pick apart the outlines baked into the textures, and texture those individually, making it much easier to make something seem like a different material without moving too far from the feel of Borderlands.

Using the Unreal Engine 4, the developers are given a lot more freedom to create and push their art further. They can even connect cross-hatching to shadows, and render it in real time, immersing the player into the unrealistic game world. The special shadow and highlights system they created even lets them distort the cross-hatching in the shadows to create amazing special effects with very little effort beyond its creation.

Borderlands 3 currently doesn’t have a release date, but this tech demo is promising, and proves that Gearbox is working hard on their new games.

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