Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rain Beta

Phew, finally got in the beta for a weather system I've been working on for a bit. I don't want to talk too much about it, but it is pretty neat, it is a simple simulation with some basic starting parameters and rules that it follows. I'm kinda hoping to give mystics some weather related tools, but for now really observant people might be able to predict some basic trends. Although it'd probably be a mistake to assume they might mirror reality in some way; I know nothing about meteorology.

I've found a few typos already, but the main bug reports I could use are where the weather doesn't seem to make sense. Like you travelled straight west and it went from raining, to sunny, to raining (this is sometimes legitimate though, and in places like tanglewood or the marsh, unavoidable.) The most common error you'll run into is raining in doors, which for the most part is fixed, but in some places the designer might not have marked it correctly, or the indoors area is technically ALSO outdoors. We couldn't catch all of these, so I'll need to rely on bug reports. General feelings about weather there is too little or too much rain, and how long it should last are good, but make sure you give those a few weeks, as you might just be in a rainier or rainless trend for a bit.

Weather only exists on Puddleby Island now, it takes about half an hour to add a given region, more considering I'll probably want some extra features to account for each islands unique characteristics. For example, I haven't decided how it should deal with the desert on Gungla, and it probably has to rain a lot more on Noth, and Iceton has some pretty unique weather patterns and a fragile snail ecosystem to consider.

Edit: Oh, this is also another great example of art inspiring a feature. The great rain art we got for Lugubrion's keep let me realize just how cool it could look for the whole world. Now we just need some better light snow (currently it ranges somewhere between white-out and noreaster conditions) and some heavy rain graphics.