The first part of an underwater ecosystem: food. The game needs to have something growing in the underwater biomes for the herbivorous fish-analogues to eat.
This means I’ve been spending my time modelling up underwater plants and coral and watching a lot of Pixar movies. For research. Yes. Pixar binge for research. It’s not like I cry every time Dory finds her parents or anything.
Moving on, here’s the new trees so far:
Obviously, I’m using a loose definition of the word “tree” here, but they’ll be rendered by the tree system and they work the same as aboveground trees, so as far as the game is concerned, they’re trees.
The exception to the rule, of course, is the kelp. If it was rendered normally it would stick up well above the surface of the water, so I’m coding some new rules for it. Any geometry above the water won’t be rendered, and I’ll be trying to add a ‘crown’ model that floats on the surface, to hide the geometry cutoff.
Early results are promising.
The swim physics are also coming along, though P. specium look less like they’re swimming and more like they’re crawling along an invisible flat plane in the water. I’ll need to iterate over all their moments in order to make things look good in the water.
I’ve also been working on the limb animation. To save time, I’m not going to re-animate all the limb assets with swim motions. Instead, I’m going to try and procedurally modify them to make them look less like alternating ‘steps’ and more like a sort of breaststroke. Not sold yet on the idea, but we’re seeing progress, and that’s the important part.