Particles are used to simulate fuzzy phenomena, which are very hard to reproduce with three-dimensional rendering. Hundreds and thousands of particles can be generated, using relatively little processing power, to create effects that would have been too costly and demanding using existing polygon techniques.
Particles were first mentioned in a Developer's Blog in August 2009. Mod Chris E stated that particle effects would be introduced into the game, along with sky boxes, bloom lighting effects, and water reflections.
Particle effects made their first appearance with the 2009 Christmas event. The first glimpse of particles was the snow coming out of the wardrobes through which players entered to get to the Land of Snow. The snow blowing out of the wardrobes gave the effect of cold winds coming out from the Land of Snow. Upon entering the Land of Snow, snowflakes would fall from the sky if the particle effects option was on. Flakes that were far away appeared smaller than the ones in the foreground, giving a three dimensional perspective of the scenery. After a few months, practically every update released used particles.
- On 8 February 2010, Strykewyrms were released, all three of which were the first monsters to incorporate particle effects.
- On 15 March 2010, Corpse mages, Corpse archers, and Dragith Nurn lurking in the Lumbridge Catacombs received 2D sprite cores, and all of the Undead received 2D sprite eyes.
- On 12 April 2010, the barriers and level end doors in the Dungeoneering skill were released using particle effects. Also, the official Dungeoneering trailer on Jagex's YouTube account, contained more realistic water splashing, snow, and fires with particles that will be released in the feature.
- At some point in May 2012, the Mort Myre Swamp received particles.
- On 25 May 2010, Skillcape animations were updated with the use of particle effects and were also tweened.
- On 27 May 2010, The first items with particle effects were released. These include the Zamorak, Saradomin and Guthix halos and the Faithful shield. When igniting a flare, it produces particle smoke.
- On 24 June 2010, all strike, bolt, blast, wave, and surge spells from the standard spellbook were given particle effects, as well as a new animation. Instead of a coloured ball, they represent their element more and have tweened animations.
- On 22 August 2010, it was revealed that the Dungeoneering Master cape is a new item with particle effects when Telmomarques achieved 120 Dungeoneering.
- As of 12 October 2010, the Albino Rat now uses particles for its eyes, along with the new ability to blink.
- On 20 December 2010, NPCs from random events and clue scrolls, e.g. Zamorak wizard were made to use particles when they pop up.
- On 1 March 2011, particles and bloom lighting effects were added to the fire pits in the Cosmic and Chaos portion of the Elemental workshop.
- As of 15 March 2011, snowy areas used particles, such as in the 2009 and 2010 Christmas events.
- On 15 April 2011, the 2011 Easter event was released, in which the river and cloud spirit's chatheads use particles.
- On 1 November 2011, three new gloves were released which used particles: the goliath gloves, spellcaster gloves and the swift gloves.
- On 20 December 2011, the Christmas wand was released as a reward for completing the 2011 Christmas event, A Towering Feast.
Continued use of particle effects Edit
Mod Woody stated in the forums that magic spells, hair, smoke, and fog will all benefit from particle effects. He has also mentioned that particles might be used in upcoming quests and places, such as Zanaris and the Fairy Tale III quest, the final quest in the Fairy Tale quest series.
|“||There are all sorts of things we would like to enhance with particles, and we will be adding particle effects to certain areas and animations soon. This Christmas update is just a glimpse of what we have planned, as we didn't want to hold it back any longer. In the future, you could be seeing particles used for all sorts, from fountains and chimneys to fires and magic effects. We'll also be giving other snowy areas a similar treatment in the near future.||”|
— Mod Woody
Much of the mentioned elements has been subsequently updated.
- Contrary to popular belief, the Dramatic Point emote does not use particles. It actually uses polygons as snowflakes.
- Previously, medium and high level particle effects were not available on Macintosh operating systems running the latest Java; this is now fixed.