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Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 16 Nov 2018, 00:17

Hello. I hope this is okay to post, but have you looked at S2Engine HD?

The reason I bring up this engine is because it handles water, weather, and day/night cycles really well. It's easy to manipulate and change any of this and even animate things (the day/night cycle). Personally, I don't think the engine is as graphically nice as Skyline (and the UI is a bit of a mess in some ways), but these particular features are very nice, in my opinion.

Now, I have little experience with Skyline (waiting for the next release to purchase, to be frank, due to the GUI changes), so perhaps you have similar tools. If not, it might be worth taking a look.

Also, the S2Engine's FSM (Finite State Machine) form of visual programming is pretty interesting, too.

If this sort of post is not allowed, then please remove it. I am not bringing up a competing engine to say it's better. Quite the contrary. I simply wanted to point out a few features that I found interesting. I hope that's okay.

Thanks.
Last edited by monkeyfrogstudio on 16 Nov 2018, 14:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby epsilonion » 16 Nov 2018, 11:18

This type of post is against the terms of the forum because it can be seen as advertising another engine, it may be worth taking the links out and rephrasing the post so that it can be seen as not advertising.

On another note, about the features mentioned.

Skyline had a great water (ocean) system in the 1st generation with costics etc that is to be brought back into the engine at some point, I think i remember them saying about a year ago that they where considering upgrading it to another middle ware.

They also have a river/lake editor planned in the original road map.

The weather system is easily made with lua and particles but there is a planned particle removal layer so you don't have to have the rain indoors. The volumetric clouds should be making a return soon (I hope) so that they can be some beautiful clouds again.

Day Night cycle is also already in and accessible via lua and the multipliers can be changed so night time is not as long.
I had a script about weather, seasons etc that I was making and I even planned to make the sun higher in summer and lower in winter etc but waiting for that to become available.

We are waiting for quite a few features to be made available to us even though there are quite a few that have started development and priorities changed meaning they are waiting to be completed but they will get there.. :P

I am hoping that that within the next few months we see some real improvements on the features (GUI, Ocean, Clouds, PhysX Update and more), there are only two developers meaning that updates can be seen as slow at times but when they get there head into it the updates (posts to the forum and blog) come fast and the major features come quickly.

They are very approachable and may even consider options for features etc..

Hope this helps..
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby epsilonion » 16 Nov 2018, 11:21

.
.
This is the road map thats posted on TRELLO.

https://trello.com/b/pjbQYgTR/skyline-game-engine
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 16 Nov 2018, 14:03

Thanks for the reply. Nope, I definitely was not advertising their engine. I have no reason to. However, I still think it would be worth looking into HOW the day/night cycles, weather, and water were implemented. Most game engines allow for programming these types of things via their scripting or programming language of choice. So, yes, I fully expected that something could be done via LUA within Skyline. However, S2 makes these things much more accessible to the end user without programming, but via the GUI. They are easily adjusted and able to be animated, if needed. I was recommending the features and ease of use.

In any case, I look forward to the next release of Skyline. I am anxious to test it for my project(s).
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby StarFire » 16 Nov 2018, 17:47

Thanks @epsilonion for responding, as you say no links and all is well ;)
As for the post dont worry about it, we not lol :D


Yes Skyline has been under going some major changes mostly in the editing department, with a new unified UI which looks stonking! Some neat touches to the scene editing so it is much more inline with 3d content tools. Loads of bugs and workflow improvements.
Game Objects has had an overhaul and has a new DNA system to replace the generators. A new UI to edit the GO libraries, and of course you can now open any Go library so having your own set of game objects is now doable.
GUI visual editor is currently getting a work over to make it fully usable.
As for the ocean system that was slow and outdated, we are aiming to add the nvidia water works but that will be a bit later as the priority is on the core base editor.

The Tod is pretty usable @monkeyfrogstudio have you tried the editor (located in the toolbar) for it?
As for tod lua there are a few commands here is an example. If you would like to send me a list of the commands that you would need please let me know and we can have a look at them for you.

Code: Select all
obj = 0;
function onInit(objID)
    obj = objID;
    sky.print("Scene Script Acitve");
    env.setTOD_Enabled(1);
    env.setTOD_TimeMultiplier(50);
end

function onUpdate( td )
    TOD_time = env.getTOD_Time();
    sky.print("TOD_time:"..TOD_time,1);
end

function onKeyDown( key )
    if(key == "1")then
        sky.print("Setting sky to morning",1);
        env.setTOD_Time(6);
    end
   
    if(key == "2")then
        sky.print("Setting sky to noon",1);
        env.setTOD_Time(12);
    end
   
    if(key == "3")then
        sky.print("Setting sky to evening",1);
        env.setTOD_Time(20);
    end
   
    if(key == "4")then
        sky.print("Setting sky to midnight",1);
        env.setTOD_Time(24);
    end
end

function onStop( )
    env.setTOD_Enabled(0);
end


Also there is a return event from the tod:

Code: Select all
function todEvent(value)
   if(enableTOD==0) then return; end   
   if(value == 0) then turnOn()  end -- night so turn on the lights
   if(value == 1) then turnOff()  end-- its day so turn off the lights.
end


At the end of the day we really need a solid scene editor before we advance on the environment tools. But most of all you should be able to make a performance friendly game with skyline not just a pretty scene.... even though that is very nice to do :D hehe
Loads still to do but we are moving forwards, albeit a tad slower that we would like, but forwards is forward!

Hope this helps :D
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 16 Nov 2018, 19:30

Thanks for the reply. I do appreciate it. However, my original post was basically asking if you had seen how S2 handles water, weather, and day/night cycles, not if Skyline had them. I figured Skyline did (or would). Part of the reason I brought this up was because the day/night cycles, weather, and water are made easily available and adjustable via the GUI instead of just code.

S2 is not a superior engine (from what I've tested), it's default graphical display is strange (everything looks foggy), it's GUI is pretty ugly and buggy (for the most part), and it can be dog slow on fairly simple scenes at times. So, no, I am not at all promoting that engine. Not in the least. However, there are a few things the lone developer of that engine has done right. That is why I'd asked if you'd taken a look at it. Setting up how an ocean, lake, or a river works is a breeze, is a lot of fun, and the end-user has a lot of control via the GUI. The same with the weather system and day/night cycle.

In another thread (viewtopic.php?f=41&t=902) SolarPortal blatantly asks about new engines (particularly Unity), asking for thoughts and opinions. It was after reading that thread that I created this one.
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby StarFire » 16 Nov 2018, 19:36

We really do appreciate the input :D

Personally I haven't used the other engine, will take a look at any video of the operation. When we get back to developing the environment tools we will certainly be open to listening to any suggestions ;)
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby epsilonion » 16 Nov 2018, 21:26

Ah sorry I think I read it wrong lol... I have not personally tried that engine, my experience comes from Leadworks and UE4 then Skyline.. :)

I think I traded up personally but I do see where your coming from with the editor's/GUI making it easier to access the features and to adjust them for your scene in the GUI of them editors making it so simple that anyone could use them..

p.s. did you know you can register your lights in the scene with the TOD system so that come on at night and turn off in the morning automatically? this is done through code but maybe dragging lights from the scene entity list to a gui to add them that way may be easier for some people that don't code...

Good idea's keep em coming mate... :)
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 16 Nov 2018, 21:41

No worries, epsilonion. ;)

I also have Leadwerks and have tested UE4. Leadwerks is an interesting engine in many ways, if not a bit dated. But it has some pretty severe issues, too. For example, on my system (and a few other people's systems, too) I cannot get a compiled game to run full screen (with the latest release). The Leadwerks equivalent of a flow graph is poorly implemented and definitely not full featured, either.

I also tested Unity and like a lot of what I saw there. But as someone who is not a programmer, I saw Unity as a money pit. The only way to get things done (without hiring a programmer) was to purchase endless addons, hoping that they worked together. I'll say this, though - one of the things I like about both Leadwerks and Unity is the ability to quickly block out levels via integrated "modeling" tools. Unity adopted ProBuilder and Leadwerks has it's roots in the older BSP-styled editors. Unity's latest prefab system is pretty nice, too.

Which brings up another question - Can we or will we be able to attach code snippets to prefabs in Skyline? For example, could I create code that opens/closes a door, attach it to a door model, and then save out that door model as a prefab, using it (along with attached code) throughout my level?
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby SolarPortal » 16 Nov 2018, 21:46

Which brings up another question - Can we or will we be able to attach code snippets to prefabs in Skyline? For example, could I create code that opens/closes a door, attach it to a door model, and then save out that door model as a prefab, using it (along with attached code) throughout my level?


Yes, this is what we call Entity Presets. They can have 1 or more entities which can be attached or detached to other and each entity saves all actions, scripts and graphs that come back after the preset is loaded.
The game objects are a collection of presets that are already setup and ready for game usage.

In another way to say it, a preset in your example could be a building with the physics actions and the door with its script attached all in one file. These can be loaded in editor side or during runtime in the game.

Skyline features a Visual module programming system, which is designed to allow a non programmer to hook logic blocks to make something happen. Similar to UE4 blueprints.
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Re: Water, Weather, and Day/Night Cycles

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 16 Nov 2018, 22:12

Thanks! That's actually pretty awesome and exactly what I was hoping for. I can't wait for the new release. My wallet has been itching me to purchase Skyline, you know. ;)
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