This rig is using maya pfx. All the attributes are located on the main ctrl for easy editing. There are interactive lights that will flash as the lightning animates on. Controls for:
~ seed, number of bolts, length, width and randomness.
~ addition of twigs and/or leaves and controls for each (branching).
~ overall noise, wiggle and turbulence (all animated via expressions).
~ curve follow/attract for specific shapes.
~ pfx attractor for bolt attraction.
~ animation controls -- start frame, duration, hold, and end length
~ light controls (3 point lights) -- placement along path, duration, intensity, noise, noise frequency, noise offset and delay.