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

Mars Space Base - ground level

Date: December 1, 2013
Screenshot #461: Although Mars Space Base was done on November 16, 2013, I wanted to make the video before I posted any screenshots of Mars Space Base. This space base is intended to be a newly constructed one so it's a lot emptier. I may add in a few buildings into the scene, especially in the foreground area. At the moment, this is all I have.

If you look very closely in the top right corner, you will find an odd-looking star that doesn't seem to fit in. This is another space base, the third farthest object in the game at 8192 SU.

Mars is the second-farthest object in the game at 65,536 SU (half that of Earth). Mars is slightly more than half the size of Earth but if you look closely enough, you can see that, despite being half as far, Mars appears slightly bigger than Earth in Earth Space Base. I do need a very large texture for Mars (at least 12,288x6144, preferrably 21,600x10,800 or 16,384x8192) that doesn't have usage royalies or the like for commercial use (much like the Visible Earth project from NASA for Earth Space Base's Earth).

The directionals in the foreground are unchanged from Earth Space Base.

Mars Space Base - ground location

Date: December 1, 2013
Screenshot #462: The far banners are different for Mars Space Base. Here, you can see "Polar Research Lab B" (the far space base in the background is actually lab A), and it's over the Icaria Planum. The latitude is 47.82S and the longitude is 91.82W.

Mars Space Base - brand name and ID 25

Date: December 1, 2013
Screenshot #463: This banner looks very familiar from Earth Space Base, except that the planet (Mars) and base ID (25) are different. Other than this, there isn't any significant difference.

Mars Space Base - Mars heavily offset

Date: December 1, 2013
Screenshot #464: Like Earth in Earth Space Base, Mars moves. It moves twice as fast as Earth but even with this insane speed it takes quite a long time to get Mars completely off the screen. If you look closely, the extra "star" in the top right corner is no longer there.

Maglev Train - updated train cars

Date: December 1, 2013
Screenshot #465: Completed November 27, 2013, the train cars have been redone which gives Maglev Train (world 11) its first new progress in a few years. Since it's now very fast and easy to add in new scenery objects, I can make progress on this... if only I had completed trees.

Here, you can see the updated train cars, though they're not entirely completed. I need to make some fine adjustments to the train cars, especially the tank car and antidrag car. Antidrag car? See that green car on the far left, with the sloped sides and angles. This is the antidrag car. It's designed to significantly reduce drag and the front and backs of all trains will have this. Since it doesn't entirely obey my standards, adjustments are needed.

Those mountains in the background are not jagged because I need to redo them so that they are spaced farther apart.

As a side note, you will actually be able to jump around and run around on this train. I have yet to add collision detection for this though.

Mount Sentusia - designing the rim shape

Date: January 8, 2014
Screenshot #466: With Mount Sentusia's rim being all at the same Z position originally, rather unrealistic, I knew I needed to improve it by having multiple Z positions. After some planning, I went at making the shape layers. I wanted them to be quite rough, after all the lava that often blasts out, but gradually get smoother near the top of the rim since wind is available to erode the surface. This screenshot shows all the squiggly lines for each shape layer. The farthest visible layers have very little visible, so gaps are present in those. The closest visible layers, however, don't have that. That all-white background area is where the transparent part must be contained in (the lower part is filled in as needed).

This is also the first official screenshot taken under Windows 7. Windows 7 cuts PM's performance down by 85 to 90%, rather much. It's so much so that what was getting 60 fps in XP just fine is now getting... 11.3 fps.

Mount Sentusia - finalizing the rim update

Date: January 9, 2014
Screenshot #467: After making the shape layers, I needed to make the basic lighting texture, the basic texture, and the brighters as well. Once the final output is made, the shape layers are used to cut out the topmost part. Once all that's done, I do the usual saving of the images and importing them into the game engine.

My Excel spreadsheet in the background details all the plans I had set. There were a lot of details that I needed to consider, as I detail on the right side.

Mount Sentusia - the odd gaps bug

Date: January 9, 2014
Screenshot #468: Due to overlooking a detail in the design of my spreadsheet, the spacing I had was too great. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. From referencing the height I was expecting and setting the height so I roughly got that, I gained some useful clues to what was actually going on. In the above screenshot, you'll see a column labelled as "height (diff, px)". The left, narrow column is the key. It's basically nothing more than pixel height difference compared to the previous layer. I originally thought it meant from the surface of the lava lake. Instead, it was the pixel difference from the top of the previous layer. Because of this, the heights of each layer way higher than they should have been. So, I needed a few tweaks to get what I should have gotten, using the height for a given layer as a guide to go on. It meant having to redo the slope angle lighting and finalization. I also overlooked something involving the lighting so I needed to redo that anyway and so I did.

Mount Sentusia - crater rim near the lava

Date: January 11, 2014
Screenshot #469: And so I did complete the redo. The end result? Well, it couldn't be much better. From near the lava, the way the scene looked before was fine. This is the true version, the corrected version. You can see how the closer part is quite dark then it gets brighter then darker near the top. This is because of the slope angle changes. To add extra realism, I added lighting effects as would be caused from the Sun hitting the slopes at the angles they are actually at. The more direct the angle, the brighter the light. It's not obvious as to this being the case, but when the slopes are level or going downward, it's easy to see the effects.

Mount Sentusia - easy-to-see lower slopes

Date: January 11, 2014
Screenshot #470: When the lava is almost entirely off the screen at the bottom, the lower slopes are much easier to see. In a way, this makes for an excellent demonstration on the game engine is capable of. For the most part, the typical levels you'll be playing here would get roughly this high.