Welcome to Edition 100 of the Realm Devlog! This is a major milestone and one we are extremely proud of! Since the very start of the Realm journey we’ve always striven to build consistently and openly; subscribing to the ‘Building in Public’ ethos to a higher degree than any project we’ve seen thus far.
We believe that this openness and resilience is the reason that we’ve withstood the bear market and why we still have so many awesome players and creators despite the changing sentiments of the last year or so. We’re also thrilled to see a raft of new players joining our ecosystem and would like the opportunity to welcome them to the fold!
As we reflect on this major milestone of 100 consistent weeks of high quality development updates, the executive team here at Realm have been formulating an updated roadmap that will serve as a robust guide as to the direction of the project well into 2024. We’ll be publishing this tomorrow and are ready to then discuss the details in the AMA at 3PM UTC!
Now, lets get stuck into some awesome dev we’ve been working on this week:
Crescent Ring Base: Procedural Generation
What’s all the noise about?
When tackling the design of expansive virtual landscapes, we make use of a diverse set of approaches and tools in our creative arsenal. In this week’s example, we are utilising Blender’s geometry nodes to construct the plinth of the Crescent Ring and its adjoining clusters. Procedural modelling offers a distinct advantage — when correctly configured, it allows for the generation of numerous iterations by merely adjusting a single variable. In this case, the entire node chain is orchestrated by a singular Musgrave noise texture.
As readers of last week’s Devlog may have noted, noise textures played a crucial role in shaping the animated force field. There is a variety of noise types, each with distinct visual characteristics. Some manifest as irregular, interconnected curves, while others form regular clusters of squares and triangles.
In today’s example, the noise node serves multiple purposes, delineating the openings in the expansive white horizontal planes, dictating the positioning of asteroid- and crystal particle systems, and influencing the distribution and curvature of colourful mounds on top of the terrain. Beyond procedurally altering geometry through diverse noise types, we can also interchange objects within particle systems. The Viridian Crescent for example will have an array of plants, whilst Halcyon will be covered in gold nuggets. The possibilities are endless and a great tool for creating large realms such as the upcoming Belt realms.
Check out this awesome process video for yourself here:
Its also worth noting that what is presented in the clip is not the final iteration; Our ongoing process involves narrowing down to our favourite version per cluster and further refining it including optimising mesh topology to avoid unsightly visual artefacts. Additionally, our approach to in-game lighting revolves around baking light and ambient occlusion maps within Blender, which are subsequently integrated into a custom shader in Godot. This enhances performance, a critical consideration in the context of large Realms.
We hope you are as excited as us about the progress in developing the Crescent and if would like to play around with noise based procedural generation yourselves then just jump into our builder tool and check out the terrain creator. It’s pretty fun!
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