Day/Night cycles

Today I wanted to share one bit I’ve been working on recently – day/night cycles.

Those of you who have played Thea: The Awakening surely remember that one of the game’s features was a day/night cycle that affected visibility and difficulty. We’ve decided to keep this element in Thea 2: The Shattering as well. An opportunity to work on this bit appeared after Khash has added handling of specular maps into his terrain and water shaders this week. So to test how things work, I played a while with different light setups and thought it would be cool to put together a switchable animation with a set of lights that would show the day/night cycle. After two days of trying to get the light and shadows right (being fairly new to different lighting settings),  here’s a short video showing the progress:

 

Other terrain elements also got an upgrade – water got an improved normal map, can now bounce off light and also blends with the shore much better. Also terrains can now use emissive maps, so I can add a nice glow to lava tiles on the volcanic island (yet to be done). And KIhash is improving terrain blending as I type  this post. Of course there’s still much work needed – rivers are a bit buggy, fog of war is missing, etc. – but I do hope we’re going in the right direction.

Below are a three more screens from different biomes.

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