Darn, I nearly forgot about the weather

I, right along with Ramp, have been harassing Martini for a while now to see if he couldn’t conjour up some simple weather event – a darkening of the sky, drawing in of the fog, overcast style.

Granik and Martini have finally been working on new lighting/environmentals for 1.24, and its looking good and hey were talking about creating a system that would give us variable weather conditions, for a future release. But … The changing the daylight from a bright, sunny, texas day to a permanent gray, overcast might be a bit holywood but it would also be depressing and unberable.

I thought it’d be worth making the extra effort to start out with variable environment settings, even if it was only 3 or 5 options.

Fortunately for me, Killer and Rafter were of a similar mind.  I think Gophur was counting on me saying it’d take a lot of work. It took about 45, maybe 60 minutes to get the data moving through the system and correctly generated on the “weather server” (a part of the strat host that keeps the entier network synched as to what game time is).

Each time the game clock rolls over past midnight, it picks a new “weather pattern” for the day. So far we have sunny, greying and overcast. Still needs a bit of work tho ;)

34 Comments

I want to marry you and have your babies

I won’t go that far – but I am looking farward to it. It’ll be nice to have a bit of a different look. Hell after 5 years now that game clock actually means something.

Ok, you are almost there. Get your weather feed here: http://www.weather.gov/xml/

and overlay it onto the gameworld. It updates hourly. You could then have…brace yourself….wind!…hmmmm air pressure would be nice….you could probably find a better feed (but this is free…which is good, right?).

And if you do this, I will let you sleep with my seeester.

Great stuff KFS. Really glad you are going with variable weather for the first pass – beyond my expectations.

Easting is EXACTLEY right.

With planned squad nights, planned attacks, WEATHER PLAYS A VERY IMPORTANT role.

Now you’ve added another variable to the planned attack equation that must be taken into account. By having Random weather, the only way to forecast for squad night would be to login at midnight to get today’s weather report.

Why not just overlay realtime weather data into the host so weather could be forecasted normally using RL components.

I’m no coder, so I don’t know how much harder all this would be, but if you already have the data generated for you, how hard can it be to parse it out?

If it’s only 1d6 weather states, system wide, real weather won’t work, but if you choose the current weather at one real world location (say, Namur?) we could then use the real world weather reports and guides.

Oh, and weather in game, will change the face of the game. Woot.

WEATHER!

Oh man..
Normal maps, new buildings, infantry update, hulks, updated haze and lighting and now weather…

dangit I’m gonna have to resubscribe if you guys add anything else.

Pass on a pat on the back to all the rats for really pushing the game to the next level this year.

Heh. Lots of people saying “let’s use real world weather”. Time to reprise the long-ago Forum discussions of weather physics and seasonal functionality for games with accelerated time and an accelerated calendar.

KFS1, any near term prospects for WNW-to-ESE-zoning the game world and implementing visual-weather in each zone?

And, are we at all close to moving from visual-weather to weather that causes physical effects?

And one more while I’m asking: regarding the work that’s been done on smoke and STO technology, any near term prospect of getting drifting surface fog patches over water tiles during night hours?

They could put in for the grid system to simulate differing weather in square patches, just put a smoothing effect when players transition from 1 grid square to the next. A storm eye might cover 6×6 square depending on the size of the squares.

When kfs showed us this blog article, I thought about how it looked like a weather satalite picture.

Using this technology could be an ideal approach towards a weather system, or multiple weather systems. Animate the weather, black = clear skies, gradually movement from black to grey to yellow to red would indicate increasing rain clouds to the eventual rain system itself.

Set the weather system to move over game time, so a weather front may move slowly or quickly and use the grid system as I said before to determine what weather the player is experiencing based on their grid position.

Sounds easy, I don’t know how compatible the systems are, but imagine the pure markiting aspect of producing the first variable weather system in a mmog, that isn’t just, rain on / rain off.

Did i told you I love you?

BTW, push for basic RAIN

I don’t care if is GREY FOG with rain sound.

It would be a FIRST STEP.

Thanks

oh, BTW, weather prediction is very important, i know you have to do it step by step, but make weather prediction the 2nd step please.

Weather predicion was key to all the major WWII operations (D-Day, Bulge, Uranus, etc…)

We’re not at real weather yet – only environmental changes – primarily lighting and fog distance.

Weather prediction is something we’ve already been thinking about, but with only 3 weather states right now (it may be more before I get TOEs finished), its not something a lot of energy is going into *yet*.

Besides, we’re talking 1940 forecasts. So you have a 1 in 3 chance of the forecast being accurate.

If you want historical weather data I’m sure it would be available from several universities and possibly military archives.

Great job btw!

well, wrong weather predictions will be great too :)

Make the weather prediction system this way:

prediction for 3 days in advance has 1/3 chance to be wrong

prediction for 2 days in advance has 1/6 chance to be wrong

prediction for today is right

So you could make that every (in game) noon the games choose what weather will be past-past today (ie at “ingame” monday 00:00 it chooses “ingame” wednesday’s weather) and trought the gazete you make a weather prediction, this way (i dont remember BASIC, but i think youll get the idea):

10 random A (1 to 3)
20 IF A = 1 THEN “false weather report”
30 random B (1 to 6)
40 IF B = 1 THEN “false weather report”

So:

-Mondays weather (that has been choosed Saturday at 00:00) is displayed correctly in the Gazette

-Tuesday’s weather (that has been choosed Sunday at 00:00) is displayed wrongly in 1 o 6 chances

-Wednesday’s weather (choosed Monday at 00:00) is displayed wrongly in 1 to 3 chances

Nah, historical data is worthless. We aren’t doing a play by play reenactment. You need visible satelite for cloud layers, moisture maps to determine relative humidity, wind and precipitation maps for.. wind and precipitation… air pressure charts. Visibility and ceiling reports…with extrapolated data in between if sources are scarce on a micro level.

Using realtime real world data, you could call an emergency op with your squad for a factory bombing run because you saw on the weather channel that skies would be clear over England/Germany/France after 2 weeks of being socked in with overcast skies.

And who cares about forecasting…leave that to the weather channel. Plan your ops with what you have at your disposal.

It would be *ground breaking* to incorporate it into the game.

Plus if you do this right, you might make DoD look at you(err CRS) a little closer. Loosen those wallets, so to speak.

Oh, accellerated time/calendar isn’t a problem Doesn’t mean the weather can’t be real time.

Windspeeds, air pressure, RH.

I’m not suggesting to show the weather in the UI. Just to have in-game weather tied to real world weather. If it’s raining in Dinant, make it rain in Dinant. :)

Simulated Weather – excellent.

Real World Weather – impossible, as current forecast models depend *heavily* upon satellite data and human input of updated variable values.

Real World Weather forecasts in WW II were *slightly* better than random beyond 2 days. *Slightly*. D-Day’s “break” in the weather was possibly a statistical fluke where a forecast was randomly correct without proper data.

Weather in WWIIOL: 90% of players are side loyal. Of those, the vast majority remain in their North or South side teams inside their allied or axis team. Weather only needs to be different in any way between North and South to have a realistic “weather” effect. (Basically, divide the “entire world weather” into 2 sets and voila’: weather.) Next, make the weather in the south side be the incoming weather to the north side, and you have “prediction”.

With a third layer of “weather” happing south of the southern towns, the South could have players/planes fly to the “zone” and thereby “predict” incoming weather. Make it an “hour” of game time to fly there and back, and its a real life simulation, south to north, using 3 distinct zones.

Simple weather – accurate as it was in WW II, because its only a day ahead for predication. PROBLEM: Dividing line of “weather” in the middle of the map would be jarring. Like a storm front.

Weather states:

Sunny: We already have this as WWIIOL weather now.

Overcast: As KFS1 is doing it, but allows Air Operations at low level.

Rain/storm: Tanks, trucks, and ATG/AAA guns are *much slower* on any surface, except concrete roads (which are few), fog at 500m range. Aircraft cannot fly below the cloud deck, as the clouds are just above the church steeples, visibility only 500m. Navy has no visibility (fog) from 500m out (fun for them since this is naval knifefights with battleships!). This is INFANTRY weather, and changes the game considerably for all players. (Air can still bomb and a2a above cloud deck, just no CAS) (Navies can still use fog/rain to move into position unseen and hope for break in weather).

This should be tested at what would be the world’s most popular Intermission.

Who’s asking for forecasted weather?

Take a feed of real world real time data–overlay it onto the world. If real world Ciney reports overcast skies, then make the virtual Ciney Overcast. Same with wind velocity and direction, precip, pressure. Update it every hour. When it gets to Halloween, start a 30 day process to make the non evergreen folliage display its fall colors and lose it’s folliage incrementally. Put snow on the ground when it snows in Ciney. Repeat for every where in Europe.

We shouldn’t be thinking *at all* about forecasting weather; moreso we should be discussing overlaying current weather data onto the gameworld and manipulating the game evironment to match the data.

Does that make sense?

Will there be a code-means of smoothly changing from one weather-effect to another, or will it occur abruptly for now?

All i say to this is: Give them the little finger, and they demand the whole hand, as we used to say in Germany.

Lets stick with it and look how it effect gameplay.

PS: If nobody understands what i want to say, no problem, we just reached the semifinals of the world championchip some hours ago, so i am of course bloody pissed.

PPS: kfsone, i hope we meet england in the final and have a new version of the 66′ final, but of course, no false goals this time ;-)

But easting, if you use a RL location(s) for the source of weather, then you can use RL forecasting tools to predict future weather patterns. When it’s just a visual effect like now, it’s not really a big deal, but in the future, when weather has an actual effect on your combat abilities, forecasting will be important. So people will use the RL forecasts if they can, because not using them will be a disadvantage. And when have WWIIOL players ever voluntarily given up an advantage in the name of better overall gameplay?

Anyway, the fundamental point here is: w00t CRS!

Hmm, it just occurs to me, as my toon sits in Stormwind, that this might be some “keeping up with the jones” thing with Thunder? :)

Coool!

But we can not use real WWIIOL weather data, or it will not be a prediction, but to read a chart (what is tomorrow? 6 of June? then we will have sun)

As the currently weather system WWIIOL uses, CRS have to chose 1 city (Namur?). So, at every game noon (you know, each 6 hours or so) it will read current Namur weather report for some weather web page, and using this information, it will choose a weather setting for the game. So, if a squad want to plan a night game sesion, it would have to search for real info on Namur.

BTW, make some very hard weather days, maybe with very dense fog, but instead a full random value, give it less posibilities…

Im sure if you decide 5 weather states, someone will collect real info on WWII and givew you percentages of this weather conditions on the real wwii weather days.

Im sure if you decide 5 weather states, someone will collect real info on WWII and givew you percentages of this weather conditions on the real wwii weather days.
Oooh. That is a good data point. I have no idea where to track it down, though.

Hmmm… Speaking of forecasting, I bet if you want to see a storm all you’ll have to do is check out the Hanger whenever the pea-soup rolls in.

I hate to say it, since I am very much in favor of weather effects, but the flyboys are going to scream and logoff anytime they can’t get in the air and dogfight…

Which is why before the visual-weather becomes physics-effects weather, it’d be good to zone-band the map, and create a complex weather algorithm that “moves” weather zone by zone from the Greenland direction across England and western Europe toward Switzerland, with the weather in each band likely to be, but not locked to, the weather in the preceding band in the preceding sequence-step;

*and*

assures via manipulation of the outcomes that at least a third of the zones are flyable at any given time.

This feature…assurance that at least a third of the map is flyable at all times…is the core virtue of a zone-banding approach.

In such a zone-banded system, the flow-direction dimension of the zones would determine how often the weather would change. Changes would be more often than 24 hours. Thus when a weather change occurred during high-visibility daylight, a means of smoothly changing from one condition to another would be needed. Similarly, a fast-moving player who moved from one zone-band to another, when the zone-bands had different weather patterns, would need to experience a smooth change from one weather experience to the other.

As to the size of the zone bands, England might consist of one or two. The Channel and North Sea would be one. France/Belgium/Germany/etc. might consist of say four, with their boundaries running roughly parallel to the Channel/North Sea coast.

Watch time-sequenced videos of actual European weather progressions, and you see exactly this behavior much of the time. Weather originates in the Greenland area, moves across England and the Channel, then moves across Europe…sometimes moderating, sometimes worsening as it progresses inland, depending on the season and the influence of energy arriving from the Mediterranean and northern Russia.

The UK gets most of its weather during the summer months from the carribean, up the gulf stream coming in across southern ireland. Winter weather comes from greenland and from scandinavia.

When we get hot summer weather it comes up through france from the sahara in africa.

Or, CRS just makes sure there is clear air *somewhere* on the map that the flyboys can get to — the exact mechanism does’t really matter — so that a significant (and highly vocal) segment of the customer base doesn’t get grounded.

Personally, I’m looking forward to trying to glide my crippled Blen through the storm front that just moved over the airbase I am trying to reach — although I understand that we are still looking a ways ahead for anything like that….

OK pilots have GPS anyways, who cares if they can watch the weather channel and know what the weather over London will be?

We also don’t have WW2 era meteorologist providing weather reports. I see no issue with using real world data other than it’d be a bitch–but possible for a Superman like Oli–to code. Some concessions must be made. And what pilot can’t fly in the clouds? You’ve all flown before right? Clouds are in layers. No fight above the clouds? No problem. I’ll poke down through and look for some fresh meat….

Clear air? Do you think they stopped the war because it was cloudy? or raining? Get a grip. Fly (and fight) above the weather….

Easting, you don’t read the Hanger forums much, do you?

I’m testy today.

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