I don’t know if anyone knew about this, but I thought it was interesting. The Hedgehog engine, the one used in Sonic Unleashed, Generations, and Lost Worlds, had a sort of semi-realtime GI.
At the link above is a presentation given in 2009, I think, of the engine. In the left hand column, there are “bookmarks” you can press to go to a certain part in the presentation. A couple of those marks that are insteresting are:
Real-Time Light Samples - at 10:04
Demo - at 26:58
Good example at 34:35 (no bookmark).
Demo - at 35:35
The Future - at 56:18
This engine uses static lights, so static GI, too. But, even so, I’m surprised not any games used this engine (it’s just a graphics engine).
It uses what they call a “GI atlas” and a “light field”. The GI atlas is basically baked GI lightmaps and the light field is what gets the texels around the character, like Sonic. Here’s a picture of what the light map is like: http://info.sonicretro.org/File:Unleashed_dev_072.jpg
You can also see a real-time example at around 36:40 in the video I linked.
You can see a couple of in-game examples of it in action in the attached pictures.
Here’s a couple of sites for some more info:
I just thought I’d throw this out there and see what people think. I gotta say, I think I could do this in Blender’s game engine by baking GI, getting texel info, and setting vertex color to amend the GLSL shading.