Devblog 2: Buildings, Terrain and Lighting

Buildings are in!

Buildings

Buildings are in! We have added basic wooden structures for the starting models and a campfire to provide light. The starting models are placeholders but they are in, with snapping and placing requirements. They will be relatively easy to craft, but will have a durability, so they will need to be upgraded or they will degrade and fall down around you. The speed of their degradation depends on the current weather – rain will make it rot quickly whilst clear skies will not. You will also need to make sure that the building is stable: if you build an unsupported structure it will fall down around you.

Terrain

Despite many people disliking Unity’s terrain system, we find it quite flexible. The LODs still work on the SpeedTree models placed as tree objects on the terrain and it allows us to use textures for grass instead of the more performance-taxing 3d models. It’s also a native terrain system, making it faster than custom-written terrain solutions. However, it isn’t possible to remove individual pieces of grass from the terrain, or have a voxel terrain system.

Lighting

One of the main problems with Unity’s PBS (Physically based Shading), is that if you don’t have good lighting, everything looks black one one side, as the light doesn’t bounce to it. To solve this, we place directional lights at the edge of the map, each set to have no shadows and 0.1 intensity.
For the Lens flare, we use a Lens Flare Component. This allows much more customisable Lens Flares, so you can change the colour (E.G. Red for a Laser Lens Flare).

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