The focus lately has been on developing the terrain, pretty much effort has gone into making it look as good as possible while making it run smoothly. The Wolfire team is using World Machine 2 to make the terrain for their game, the result is a more natural look with believable mountains and hillsides. Another great thing about World Machine 2 is that it's free for non-commercial use, so all you modders can make your own maps! I will go through the development all the way from the start to where it is today.
First up is terrain coloring, terrain coloring is good in many cases, for example it can make one grass texture into dark green grass, dried grass or bloody grass, all by just painting on the terrain.
Here you can see the terrain shadows, the left shot shows an earlier, blurrier version while the right one is much more detailed. The shadows are pre-computed into the texture wich means no limit on the texture resolution and no impact on the framerate!
Direct lighting is only half of the lighting system, there's also light coming from the sky rather than from the sun, this is called ambient lighting. In the left picture you can see the ambient shadows with drastically increased contrast. The right picture shows how it looks combined with the normal shadows.
Let's leave the terrain and go on to the procedural animation system. Overgrowth will not feature conventional animation of characters, you'll see coded animations instead. The biggest advantage with this is that it will look totally awesome! While traditional animations might look stale and jumpy sometimes, procedural animatinos ensure smooth, realistic and much more dynamic animations in all situations.
While working on the animation, David took breaks from time to time to record videos of each stage. The following video show those recordings, the final animations will look much better than the last scene in this video.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates!