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Jeremy's House - making houses 10

Date: Nov 16, 2011
Screenshot #221: Remember! Save often! After saving, saving the individual layers is the true final step, though only worth doing after every layer is processed. The method for this has been unchanged almost since the initial design was set in April of 2009 when I first started this now 31-month-old project. This screenshot shows a common thing I do - simulate the results. Here, I'm basing everything as if the camera was 640 CU above the ground. Redoing the shoreline is the last thing needed for world 1's scenery to be truly finalized.

Jeremy's House - shoreline mistake

Date: Nov 22, 2011
Screenshot #222: The shoreline in Jeremy's House, the game's first world, is beautiful. However, looking to the clouds as a guide, since these ground decals cover the same standard zones as 2 full cloud layers, I was thinking I was only going to get a 6 Kbl repeat span instead of the 12 Kbl repeat span I wanted. I went through all the effort to make the shoreline, farm fields, and all that... just to realize that I had the clouds use a finer resolution texture. It took a while for it to be realized too as I was wondering what was going on. It wasn't until I imported it into my game engine that I discovered the reason which meant that nearly all of my effort was wasted. There are a few things that could still be used, but that's it.

Why do I want a 12 Kbl repeat span instead of just 6 Kbl? This screenshot shows it very well. Take note of the city and the peninsula it is on in the background and how frequently they appear. That frequency of appearing is too high, way too high. "But 6 Kbl is 192 screen widths, a tremendous distance!" Each world is vast as to how big they are, as has been advertised almost since the initial conception. The visibility in this world is just shy of 600 screen widths, absolutely huge (and that's less than half of what the Sentus Mountains world uses)! These ground decals are actually 170 2/3 screen widths into the distance at their closest point, 341 1/3 at the most distant. It's a huge amount of distance and with great distance comes objects appearing very small. By halving the resolution and doubling the repeat width, I can make the repeating much less noticeable and still not have a texture doubling effect. I'll now need take 3 at the shoreline because of this oversight....

Jeremy's House - ground level

Date: Nov 25, 2011
Screenshot #223: After redoing the coastline and adding in a stop sign across the road I forgot in the video, world 1, Jeremy's House, is now complete and what a treat it is! This is a view of what the scenery looks like from ground level. From on the ground, the scenery doesn't look exciting. You can, however, clearly see the closest houses and the closest traffic. Notice the cop car in the scene? You won't get pulled over for speeding or anything, considering that 81 mph is more than triple the speed limit in a residential area....

Jeremy's House - near the ground

Date: Nov 25, 2011
Screenshot #224: From just a short distance above the ground, the scenery really improves. This also shows another section of the roadways - an area with road closed barrier with detour signs below, hinting at road construction. Stop signs on the north to south directions and none on the west to east directions are also present. Since repeated stop and go is very difficult to program, the traffic simply flows at a constant speed of 24 mph. Notice how nicely everything lines up.

Jeremy's House - the traffic

Date: Nov 25, 2011
Screenshot #225: From even higher up, the far away traffic becomes much more visible. It takes careful observation to see the most distant cars, especially the dark colors. How many cars can you find in this screenshot? In addition to easily-visible traffic, it's also easy to see the layout of the neighborhood. You can easily tell that there are 10 houses per block.

Jeremy's House - highest level point

Date: Nov 25, 2011
Screenshot #226: When you play the supersize level, this height may be about the highest you'll encounter. However, the tutorial level goes much higher, due to the demonstration of white springs. From here, you can barely make out the coast, at least the ocean water anyway.

Jeremy's House - near the clouds

Date: Nov 25, 2011
Screenshot #227: When near the clouds, the coastline and farm fields are easy to see. Notice the much greater spacing between the loops of the city compared to screenshot 222?

Jeremy's House - the coast

Date: Nov 25, 2011
Screenshot #228: The far away decals are easiest to see with extreme height, slightly over 4 miles (6.45 kilometers) above the ground in this case. The city, freeway on and off ramps, and even the turquoise-colored water near the shore instead of the rich blue far away are very easy to see.

Earth Space Base - Making Earth

Date: Dec 18, 2011
Screenshot #229: Earth. When you look at it, it's nothing more than a giant ball. However, it's a special planet as we live on that giant ball. Earth Space Base, world 17, takes place in space directly above Earth. To be exact, it's placed a few dozen miles north of where Johannesburg, South Africa is. Thus, to make Earth, the first step is to render a 2D map as a sphere. Thanks to the giant-sized textures from Visible Earth, I can get pristine quality... if GIMP didn't frequently crash with the "failed to allocate %d bytes" error which causes the program to stop running, losing all unsaved progress while at it. Once I rendered the sphere, done without the lighting, I applied the lighting next.

The atmosphere. To do the atmosphere, I needed a spreadsheet. Column A is the size of the circle I need. Column B is the offset from one of the corners. The selection I have in this screen shot is used so I can quickly and accurately get an elliptical selection of the size I want from where I need it. Column D is the shade of gray I use, for opacity. 63 means 1/4 opaque (fairly hard to see). The other stuff is used to calculate the gradient, using base e (2.718281828 as far as I memorize it).

Once the atmosphere is done, finalizing remains. The image here is actually double the size of what I really need - a scale down follows, increasing precision.

Earth Space Base - Floor troubles 1

Date: Dec 25, 2011
Screenshot #230: Between unwanted cleanup stuff and construction due to my parents, and having a hard time deciding how to design the floor, the floor took far longer to make than anything else. Here's an example of the floor before the changes. This is revision 2. The bright red is fairly difficult to see. Revision 1 is visible where the text is - the darker side has more opacity but it's much easier to see and is about what I expected. This was due to a mistake.