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

Earth curvature effect - at the edge of space

Date: October 25, 2014
Screenshot #571: Um, Jeremy Kaplan, weren't you supposed to be swimming around in Lake Keveran? What are you doing in outer space? That lake, from this altitude, would be only a few pixels on a side. By international standards, the altitude (height) in which you are officially in outer space and become an astronaut (cosmonaut, etc.) is 100 kilometers. This is what the view would look like at that altitude. You could see the stars as well.

Earth curvature effect - ISS orbit height

Date: October 25, 2014
Screenshot #572: The International Space Station has a varied altitude but this is around the typical area. Here, the curvature is quite significant and the stars really stand out.

Earth curvature effect - 1500 kilometers above

Date: October 25, 2014
Screenshot #573: The view from 1500 kilometers (932.057 miles) has the curvature very pronounced and very obvious.

Earth curvature effect - Earth no longer visible

Date: October 25, 2014
Screenshot #574: It takes a crazy amount of effort just to get high enough to get the Earth completely off the screen. This is pretty much the exact altitude in which Earth is no longer visible. The only hint to Earth being present is just the sky still being visible. You can see it at the very bottom, though only just barely.

Earth curvature effect - no trace of Earth left

Date: October 25, 2014
Screenshot #575: The show's over with. Above this height, which takes an absolutely insane amount of effort to reach, there is nothing new to ever see. 1 foot higher, 1 mile higher, 1000 miles higher, 1 million miles higher, etc. will always have this exact same scene (though the stars are dependent on the world and will vary with that).

Mars Space Base - new and updated buildings

Date: October 31, 2014
Screenshot #576: Mars Space Base is a new space base with construction. Thus, there are only a few buildings. They exactly like the ones in Earth Space Base, except that I've added a lot more detail to them. Both space bases have been updated accordingly.

Nodera Highlands - updated ground decals

Date: November 5, 2014
Screenshot #577: Nodera Highlands has seen a lot of updates. The ground decals are probably the biggest update made. With the reduced visibility, I had to redo the ground decals. With other changes I made, I moved the ground decals a lot closer to the foreground. With that, a range extension was made so I decided to throw in a freeway interchange system and this is, thus, the closest visible one in the entire game. I've also added in the dynamic precipitation intensity. This means that rain and snow will change in intensity in real time. Rain cycles once every half hour for a full loop and the snow cycles every 2 hours.

Automating gradient generation

Date: November 8, 2014
Screenshot #578: For a long while, I've manually done the gradients for things like the turquoise to blue fade, the sand darkening near the shore, the sand to grass fade, and many others. I've now, working on Musan Swamp, run into a case where I need 1024 repeats of that process. With something like that, and knowing that a lot of ground decals are in store to be made, I know I need to automate this process. While the general concept is pretty straightforward, programming it isn't quite as straightforward as I thought. Still, this is only the first steps.

The point of this screenshot shows how basic the system really is. I start with a base image where white represents areas where something is to be placed and black where nothing is to be. I have to find the edge of this to know where to place the circles. From there, I just need to place the circles but only in the areas where I'm needing the gradient. The selected area shows this. The part on the other side of the line is only there temporarily as I was after ensuring that the circles were drawing properly and at the right size (they are the right size - 16 pixels in this case).

At this point, I just need to set up the formulas for the shading used and work from there. The formulas are in my Excel document for the ground decals, a document with almost 40,000 total rows right now and more are still expected though I can finally leave out the gradients in this case.

Musan Swamp - the foreground decals

Date: November 14, 2014
Screenshot #579: Because Musan Swamp is a hidden world unlocked when the right conditions are met, the finer details will not be revealed until about a month after PM's release. You can kind of get a vague idea on what the setting is like though and a sense of the amount of effort needed to access this world.

This screenshot shows the amazing detail in the swamp water in the foreground area. The shore, the pretty gradient to grass, and the road are beyond. I still need to rework the trees though. Care to go swimming in this beautiful swamp?

Adding trees to Keveran Desert

Date: December 17, 2014
Screenshot #580: With a strong focus set on getting as many of the trees done as I can, Keveran Desert is one of the worlds that I knew was going to be quite demanding and tricky because of the Keveran River. Not only do I have to know where to place the trees, since it doesn't make much sense to have them out in the sand or in the middle of the river, I also need to know how much of a span they cover so that way, when I generate the main layer, the trees will not end up in the river or a very sandy area. This screenshot shows the position setting where I'm marking the end position of one particular set of trees. There are numerous sets of trees here, with an estimated 7500 total trees (actual figure unknown at this point).