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Questionnaire about clouds in your game



    1. Do you see clouds at night? The textured clouds that change, puffs contrails wisps, not the ones that morph.
    2. Do you see cloud shadows? Either at night or during the day, do you see the cloud shadows move and the light get brighter and darker?
    3. How dark is your nights?
    4. Does your night get its light from the moon or the fake ambient glow everywhere?
    5. Do you see shadows at night cast from the moon light?

    Thank you for answering these questions. The reason I ask is these are questions that have been on my mind for a while. I am currently going through the games code trying to get things looking right, especially at night. All the mods I have tried suffer from almost all the problems up there.

    Things I have learned. The game has 3 different clouds. The first 2 are labeled as fog and not clouds. After making all colors blue I determined there are 4 fog color values that control the clouds. The two clouds are also controlled by the cloud density multipliers.

    The first clouds are thick hazy clouds that block out the sun and stars, used for rain and thunder. Didn't like, immediately disabled. The second ones are the same but more of a continuous pattern with gaps in it. Looks great, but after a while looking at it the illusion was destroyed, those are not clouds. So i disabled those as well.

    So now I have a clear sky with tiny little amounts of real clouds that disappear at night. Time to look at cloudkeyframes.xml. O wow, that is a mess of confusing code. 24 hours later and lots of coffee / game crashes, I was able to figure out 4 things. The majority of the values I assume are RGB and alpha values. Messed with them, crashed the game, moved on. The first values to have a good effect were the size and location. Managed to get triple the size clouds moved more toward overhead, but didnt quite get it overhead probably because of the physical textures do not go that high. Good enough, looks great, but still no clouds at night. Figuring out most values are RGB, i decided that they also should work on a time, and it looks like 0 - 24 hours. So i just copied the second to last and second to first over to the last and first values. Back in game, I have clouds at night. Sorry if you don't feel my excitement, but for once I can see the actual clouds of the game cover up the moon and get illuminated by its light. Just beautiful. So after removing the awful artificial glow of everything at night, my nights look pitch black in the woods but everything just feels so alive watching the moons shadows move through the forest. It gives everything just enough of a glow at night without making it night vision.

    I have Natural Vision installed over Visual V, but even in the vanilla game most of these values are either severely reduced or turned off to the point I have never enjoyed playing the game at night and skip to morning. Thank you for taking the time to read and I would very much like to hear everyone's input on clouds in game.

    TL;DR Night sucks, many lost sleepless nights staring at code, nights much better now.




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