"What, really? I have to do it? Are you sure that's wise? ... "
Being part of a team of two, you're never short of work; If one of you doesn't do it, the other one will at some point have to.
Having completed the major artwork assets (Apache, apache cockpit, ground forces and base objects) the task of producing the terrain has come to the foreground. Richard's busy making things go in and out and spin around, I'm not, so ...
Unlike most software companies that actively encourage the generation of hype and excitement, we feel it's important to try to present a realistic expectation of what the sim will offer.
Firstly, the Leadwerks engine was not exactly designed for flight simulators. Aside from the limit of 40KMx40KM, it has a rather strange terrain tiling system. While normal simulator terrain engines use hundreds, even thousands of individual 'tiles' that are lovingly arranged on a 'terrain grid' to make a textured landscape, the leadwerks engine allows us the use of 5 terrain texture samples. The net result is repetitiveness. From one end of the map to the other, the colouration appears much the same.
The second problem with this texture sample issue is that while at both, low and high altitude, the terrain looks very good, at medium alt it looks somewhat bland. The texture samples blend together and you get more of a colour than a texture.
It's not all bad news because the Leadwerks engine can do somethings fabulously well. As stated above, at low-alt the terrain looks fantastic, which is obviously important for a helicopter sim. It can also do vegetation, lots of it. The atmospherics are fantastic, bloom, hdr and other assorted acronyms that nobody understands anyway.
Here are a trio of screenshots from various points on the map. Hopefully they will illustrate the good, the bad and the ugly.
I'll be updating the thread periodically as I add in natural features, bases, target areas, vegetation etc.