We have been told all our lives that weather can be fickle. This becomes more apparent to us as we age and weather changes our plans or our lives!
Developing Weather Zen™ has been the same. Mixing weather effects with game play can be just as fickle as planning around real weather. How should it look? How should the player know when the weather affects them? How hard will it be for level designers to create levels with interesting weather? These are only a small number of the questions we are exploring.
Sure you can draw some puffy shaped things and have them move around – this is not thrilling visually or in terms of gameplay. However, this is easy to build simple gameplay around, hit the puffy shape and get hurt or miss it and go unharmed.
On the other end of the spectrum you can use large physics systems with lots of particle generation and get a neat weather visual effect. There are some tools that make these visuals pretty well, but to design and generate game play with these particle systems takes a skilled animator.
Where is the balance of these approaches?
The Krellware team and their partners are actively trying to solve this. Our game designers don’t want to be visual effects exports! Yet we all want the weather to… well … ‘wow’ you and us! Sorting that out is taking a little time.