I've been working on some new systems to allow for some dynamic weather effects, as well as improvements to lighting and other ambience effects. Let's take a look!
First up is the weather. It's generally a bit nebulous how much time passes over the course of Unto the Breach, especially given you'll essentially be fast-traveling between locations, so to that end I've added some randomized weather systems. Most of the time it'll be nice and sunny, but once in a while you might get caught in some light showers (Doramor is fairly mild in Spring). Currently there's only the two possibilities, but I can expand it later to give more options (heavier storms maybe, or some blizzards in later episodes as the year goes on, or maybe even something more exotic).
I've also been able to setup objects like street lamps in Doramor City to automatically turn "on" when it's nighttime or raining, including the lighting effects used for other sources of illumination. Check out the pictures below.
In addition to weather (including variable cloud cover!), I've begun experimenting with an additional lighting effect system that adds, in addition to more fine-tuned brightness/contrast/color controls than what RPG Maker provides by default, some additional lighting effects like bloom-type lighting, with no performance hit. Right now it's pretty subtle (I'm not a fan of making everything look over-exposed), but it's definitely noticeable in some situations like in the pictures below. Check out the tents in the upper right in both pictures, you can see them with a bit of a shimmer effect in full sunlight that fades away as the clouds move over them.
I'll keep fine-tuning it and find more ways to add more interesting lighting to the game, but for now I think that's looking pretty spiffy. Also, check out the new rest stop I've been building. This camp is out in the wilderness, giving you an opportunity to rest and offload loot without having to go all the way back to Doramor City, plus they carry some provisions (albeit at a slight markup, yay supply and demand). You might also find some juicy info regarding nearby points of interest...
Of course, I don't think I can truly show off the full effects of a storm without a GIF, so here's a short one now. Check out the lighting from those open flames!
Finally, I've got one other cool thing to show off, which you might have noticed in the GIF above. I'm testing out a particle system that can be used in a multitude of ways. The first way I'm trying it out is with sporadic embers coming off of open flames. In the case of the rest stop above, that's the two braziers by the entrance and the campfire. Instead of being stuck with a simple three-frame animation, I can have much more dynamic things happening. I'm also experimenting with stuff like rays of light (such as when you're walking beneath a forest canopy), but I haven't gotten any results I'm quite happy with, so no pictures yet.
Still, I think little touches like these will do wonders for helping the world feel more alive and real (don't even ask how much weather research I did to figure out the right direction the clouds should be traveling in), and I'm excited to see what else I can figure out with the system. I hope you enjoy it too!