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Platform Masters - Will you be the world's next platform master?

Rain - all 9 layers, 100% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #91: Now this looks like a serious cloud burst as the rain is very intense. The intensity of the rain is adjustable by merely changing the base opacity. 100% opacity is far too high of a base opacity.

Rain - all 9 layers, 80% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #92: At 80% opacity, the rain still looks very intense, though not quite as bad. Still, it's a bit too intense.

Rain - all 9 layers, 60% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #93: At 60% opacity, the rain looks very nice. It seems to be the best balance between opacity and quality.

Rain - all 9 layers, 40% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #94: At 40% opacity, the rain looks almost absent, almost like a light drizzle in a sense. It still makes reasonable sense, but the rain could still be more intense.

Rain - closest 5 layers only, 100% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #95: If you've noticed on the previous screenshots, the draw count is nearly reaching 1500 (compared to the nearly 1100 it was). I was also getting rather high CPU usage as well, from the equivalent of drawing 9 full screen images (let alone the buffer and the scene itself (there's 2 buffers, though the scene essentially counts as the first)). I was hovering around 60 to 80% CPU usage on one core (compared to the 20 to 40% I was getting without the rain). Here, with only 5 layers visible instead of 9 (the 4 hard-to-see further ones are not being drawn) it's around 1300 draws per frame and around 40 to 60% CPU usage. This is the rain with 100% opacity, which looks about as intense as the 80%.

Rain - closest 5 layers only, 80% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #96: With the same setup as screenshot 95, only with 80% opacity, this looks about what the 65% would have with all 9 layers. It's a bit intense, but bearable.

Rain - closest 5 layers only, 60% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #97: At 60% opacity, it seems more around what 48% opacity would be for intensity, quite decent actually.

Rain - closest 5 layers only, 40% opacity

Date: Dec 14, 2010
Screenshot #98: The 40% opacity output is even more absent than the other 40%.

Given that you've now seen the variations and things, I'm leaning more toward limiting the rain out to 5 channels instead of all 9. However, knowing how I am with configuration settings, expect to find another configuration setting that adjusts this intensity. This way, if you have a computer that's more designed for gaming and the such, you can increase the range of the rain (with the base opacity getting lowered to compensate, allowing for the same overall intensity).

Ronnisa Plains - new hills and river near ground

Date: Dec 16, 2010
Screenshot #99: In preparation for the terrain creation system, I decided to fully enhance all of the scenery in Ronnisa Plains. This, as far as scenery goes, is otherwise all that was planned for Ronnisa Plains. The rain, here, is 9/16 opaque (56.25%) which is pretty much what the final result will be as well. In the initial version, there were 3 sets of hills, going out a long ways. In the new version, there are 7 sets of hills - 4 of which up close and 3 on the other side of the river. The river's texture is also changed considerably, though at this low height, it's kind of hard to see the detail. Still, however, the texture (and even the beach, of which has been present for a while) is much better than it was - it makes the environment more realistically. The river's color is actually slightly darker than the fog's color.

Although the overworld will be undergoing a substantial change, the relative layout is the same as it is when this screenshot was taken. If you look at the placement of the red flag, you'll see that Ronnisa Plains is sort of nested in the mountains, the northern part. There are mountains (short, smooth ones as they're actually intended to be old mountains) to the northeast and southwest of Ronnisa Plains. These mountains are reflected in the scenery and that's what the mountains across the river are - they are the mountains to the northeast. What about those on the southwest side of the river? They're just small hills actually, less than 275 feet tall.

This screenshot shows the scenery from about the highest expected point you'll reach under normal means for the regular and probably even the jumbo levels.

Ronnisa Plains - new hills and river near clouds

Date: Dec 16, 2010
Screenshot #100: When just below the clouds, the far hills and short mountains (the furthest mountains are actually 2703.36 feet above the ground, with a peak elevation of nearly 3200 feet - most anyone would consider that a mountain, a short mountain) are best visible. The hills that were originally at 32 (between the river and the highway) have been moved out to the 240 - they're the same size image (by pixel count) and otherwise have the same shape, but they're 7 1/2 times as distant and 7 1/2 times bigger (by physical size). Remember how "Pixels*Scaling=CU" works?

The next intended step of the process is that of the terrain creation system. At the time this screenshot was taken, only the programming needs to be done for that, along with changing the grass effect.