Good day everyone, this suggestions thread is about forests.
So, we already have good forests in Unity version, which are definitely better than in Java version. However, there is still a big room for enhancements as right now they don't look like real forests, and most foliage shading don't look like, well, a foliage, more like a solid objects. When I searched different game foliage implementations I found this thing:
Comparing this implementation with existing forest I can conclude that there are several things that makes forest look realistic:
- Visible plant sub-surface scattering (leaves and twigs). I remember that current scattering is low as it didn't work fine at nights, as a result leaves of trees and bushes looks less like a foliage and more like a solid objects. So, well, I don't know if it is possible to solve at this point, but if it will be solved it will add +50% of realism to the trees. Even cartoon trees looks nice with sub-surface scattering
- A lot of small plants of different size. Rising World forests already have some, but much less than real forests have. I think that more random grass textures and different height variations of grass will partially fix that (we already have different grass, but looks like only one is generating in the world/in biome). As an addition there can be more bushes, small trees, large grassy plants (like Anthriscus, Chamaenerion, and other tall grasses)
- Other small natural objects - fallen branches, tree stumps, roots, twigs, small stones, etc. We already have some, but looks like most of them are generating in coniferous forest while other types of forests don't have small objects
Small addition about object scattering. I don't know which scatter algorithm Rising World uses at this moment, but I want to suggest two good algorithms of natural scattering:
- Poisson Disc, it works fine for limited areas, but require modifications to work in infinity world. It is a good for ecosystem simulations as it can take into account plant size and density. There was an old article about ecosystem simulation
- Triangular grid. This is a simple (and cheap) algorithm that distributes object on triangle vertexes with random offsets. Since triangles are just offsetted squares it is very fast, and due to same thing it is easy to make it infinity or limit to area of any size.
I also hope that with new plugin system we will be able to modify existing ingame objects and their shaders and scatter new objects in the world. In that case it will be possible to alter some assets and enhance forests, or add a lot of different custom plants to them
P.S.: Please enhance spruce assets, at this moment they are too yellow and don't have enough branches. I think that there are spruces in the world that looks like these, but I like spruces from the forum header much more than assets in the game. Probably I'm not the only one who think so
P.P.S.: If it will be possible to alter assets it will be possible to make nice game stylisations with plugins. Like Cartoony Risen World or Blocky Risen World, or any other variants that can be imagined