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

Earth Space Base - realistic stars

Date: Jan 16, 2012
Screenshot #251: Celestia indeed had it correct. Another look at the math and the "warping" makes complete sense. Why? It all comes down to angle changes with fixed Z distances. Consider an object 100 CU in the distance. That would put the position at (0, 0, 100). Now, let's say we move this object just 1 CU to the right (from going 1 CU left), putting the object at position (1, 0, 100). This new position causes the object to change by "abs(atan(0/100) - atan(1/100))" or 0.57294, about 34.38 arcminutes. Now, let's compare it with the object at (10, 0, 100), 9 more pixels to the right versus that at (11, 0, 100). This yields a difference of only 0.56671 or 34 arcminutes. It's not much of a difference. Now let's really increase it and compare 120 to 121 for the X position. The same change in the X position leads to an angular change of only 0.23367, about 14.02 arcminutes, less than half. Thus, it takes more than twice as many pixels to cover the same angular change on the outsides as it does near the center, creating the warping effect. This means Celestia, an interactive 3D planetarium that allows you to visit other stars and galaxies in the cosmos, is accurate and is really all I need. Being licensed under the GPL, I can use the info in Celestia freely, including screenshots as I've done in this case.

After figuring out the exact part of the sky visible in Earth Space Base and making the adjustments, this is what I get. How many constellations can you find here?

Carnivalesta - realistic stars

Date: Jan 16, 2012
Screenshot #252: With an astronomically correct sky, Carnivalesta's night sky couldn't be prettier. With great height to see over the mountains blocking the way, and hiding the debug panel, it's very easy to see the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) in the sky. The scene here is facing exactly due north and thus Polaris (the north star) is almost exactly dead center horizontally in the scene.

Lake Keveran - textured lake bottom

Date: Jan 18, 2012
Screenshot #253: Now this is pretty! Lake Keveran's bottom is amazingly detailed as far as the texture goes. Yep, ground decals are used again for this. "Swim in a beautiful lake" has been added on the newly updated about page and this ensures that. That texture is amazingly detailed and hints to small sand dunes. The clarity of the lake also amplifies this and it's nice to look at from above the water's surface too. Barugan Reef (formerly Sentus Reef and formerly before that Keveran Reef) is intended to have a similar texture on the cliff face for the surface that the reef goes on.

You may have noticed an absence of the houses. This is because they were the old versions and they used a function that I've since abandoned so I have to leave them out. They, like with Jeremy's House and Ronnis, used a nonstandard design and must be standardized. This is otherwise easy enough to do. One other enhancement in store is varying the shoreline, like I've done in many other places. This means yet more ground decals.

Another thing you may have noticed is that the timer looks different. I made the numerical display much easier to understand so you can more easily know how much time remains without looking at the clock's hands.

Lake Keveran - Underwater views

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #254: "Swim in a beautiful lake" as the intro goes. Lake Keveran really is beautiful and this screenshot illustrates this well. That textured lake bottom is amazing. Underwater, the scene gets quite dark as it naturally does in the real world. You can even see sailboats drifting by while underwater and my top favorite sail boat sail, "Space Explorer" couldn't be any better for its design.

Lake Keveran - Sailboats

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #255: What a nice day to go sailing! These sailboats are the same ones as seen in Ronnis, except they're closer and more fitting. Remember what that closer sailboat has on it too, especially the word "scenic". The lake's shoreline can't be seen too easy from this low height.

Lake Keveran - Highest level point

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #256: The largest of the jumbo levels may get to about this height above the lake. From here, the view is already quite spectacular, though still not quite at its best.

Lake Keveran - Scenic Lake Keveran

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #257: Do you remember what that sailboat in screenshot 255 has on it? Ya know, the "scenic" text appearing? This is the most scenic view of Lake Keveran and it's really very pretty from about 1000 feet above! From here, you can easily see how crowded the beach is and you can also see some areas are more crowded than others, thanks in part to easy access routes to them. Even the highway in the distance has turn lanes to allow for easy access to the lake. The "swim in a beautiful lake" couldn't be any truer with a view like this! When I first saw this view, I had it stuck in my head the night I went to bed that day for a whole half hour, having a hard time getting to sleep because of it.

Lake Keveran - Fast air taxis

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #258: High above Lake Keveran, you can't see much. The only new thing visible up here are the air taxis that zip by at 384 mph. This scene approximates what you might see if you were in one of those air taxis. You can actually see 4 separate air taxis present in this scene.

Lake Keveran - 4 miles above

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #259: From 4 miles above the waves, the scene isn't all that spectacular any more. Too bad you can't look down at the lake from this great height.... This would, in a way, resemble the views you might see from on top of the highest mountain in the Sentus Mountains though.

Ronnis frame rate test - control

Date: Jan 26, 2012
Screenshot #260: As explained in the video of the overview of PM's development (from Jan 24, 2012), Ronnis is having serious frame rate problems. To isolate the cause and better plan out how to fix the issue, I need to run an experiment. For an effective experiment, I need every condition to be identical except for the one thing I need to test.

This first screenshot is the control. Here, I have none of the buildings and ground decals visible. That odd building is a standard scenery object since it has to be done in a special way. It is the only such object and only uses 1 single draw. With this setup, even a very dated Pentium 3 processor can easily handle this.

Ground decals: none. Buildings: none.
Draw count: 828. Frame rate: about 359 fps.