Welcome everyone in this seventh Devlog. Today we're talking about two important aspects of the gameplay of Fields of History : The Climatic Conditions and the Day/Night Cycle.
In Fields of History climatic conditions play a major role. In addition to strongly influencing the battles, these also have an impact on the transportation of troops, military supplies, morale of your men and other points that we will see together.
Transcribing in a video game, realistically, the multitude of weather conditions that can be faced in real life is not an easy thing. For Fields of History, it was a multi-step job.
First of all, we realized our ingame map from a modified equidistant cylindrical projection of the Earth.
Then, we reproduced the solar cycle algorithmically in order to represent the daylight variations throughout the year by respecting the seasons as well as the inclination of the Earth.
You can see below the graphical representations of a day and a year generated from the game data.
It was then necessary to take into account the differences related to rainfall, wind speed and temperature. Unlike the solar cycle, the weather is not an exact science. So far, no mathematical formula allows us to know the weather in advance (hopefully otherwise no more Weather Girls).
For realistic results, we have relied on the work of NASA. Thanks to the numerous data offered by the American agency, we have been able to establish, empirically, a database. We then programmed several modules using those data.
One of the first modules to have been developed is the one that manages rainfall. You can see below, with a gradient ranging from white (low or no precipitation) to blue (heavy precipitation) through green (moderate precipitation), the graphical representation of rainfall over a year.
Heavy rains will have devastating effects on the trenches. Likewise rain will play on the morale of your troops and potentially reduce their effectiveness in combat. Rain will not be the only problem, combined with negative temperatures, it could turn into snow or even hail, which would be much more problematic.
In order to take into account these new parameters, we developed the temperature module. Below you can see the graphical representation of the ground temperatures over a year.
There are several factors to take into account when we want to better reflect the temperature variations on Earth. There is first of all the sunlight (as we have seen before) which plays a major role but it's far to be the only one.
Like rainfall, we couldn't determine temperatures with a single criterion. We had to take into account the differents climates (continental, temperate, tropical, etc.), the winds as well as the ocean currents.
NASA websites have been a great source once again for the data we needed to carry out this work.
Once this module system was integrated within the WolfEngine, we could, for obvious gameplay reasons, simplify it by segmenting the generated results.
This segmentations make it possible to obtain various important ingame parameters.
The sunlight of a province is easily identifiable. It can be important (Day), in a transition phase (Twilight), very weak or nil (Night). The same applies to the weather conditions (sunny, cloudy, rainy, foggy, snowy, etc.) and also for the temperature that are expressed in Celsius degrees.
That's all for this time. We will talk in more detail the consequences on combat that these parameters have during a future Devlog.
In the meantime, take care and enjoy today's good weather!