Work In Progress / [LOCKED] The Cogwheel Chronicles: Volume 1 Mechastica

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Wolf
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Posted: 30th Aug 2017 06:53
Quote: "So I've recently been focussing on consolidating and testing the re-written player mechanics and adding a right-click / left-hand hooking system (bit like BioShock Infinite), which is working well now. Also the inventory and money/vending system graphics were place-holders only and looked pretty bad, so I've redone these, they are still not amazing but hopefully OK for initial early access/beta releases."


That sounds very interesting! I'd be delighted to see that in action some day.

Quote: "I was pandering to the teenage boy market too much with the female protagonists having short skirts and being somewhat attractive"


There was a whole witch hunt on this recently that had its zenith with deliberately designing characters in Mass Effect Andromeda to be less attractive. (at least I think that was the case.) Stick to your original vision, you can never please ideologues. My take on it.



-Wolf
cybernescence
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Posted: 27th Nov 2017 01:13
Hi all - a complete lack of updates for the last few months as have been testing the new GG beta against Cogwheel levels and hopefully helping to iron out some of the beta bugs along with the other beta testers.

I was in two minds whether to stick with the DX9 version or migrate Cogwheel to Game Guru DX11 - I think in the end moving to the new version has been the correct choice but still have some things to resolve. However the better visuals, performance, the option to use PBR assets and a myriad of bug fixes and load time speed up tells me it was the correct choice ... but has slowed the Cogwheel schedule down a couple of months.

Hi Wolf

Quote: "That sounds very interesting! I'd be delighted to see that in action some day."


Here is a 5 minute video showing some of this in action:

First/Third Person Switching
'Tesla', left hand hook array for climbing, boarding airships etc.
Airship flight, including 'endless/open sky' (though I chopped the travel time out of the video, but the floating refuel dump is way way past the end of the GG map)
First/Third person surface and underwater swimming.
Height based fog (Tesla machines have gone mad and are poisoning the surface world)

Music by TeknoAXE

Quote: "Stick to your original vision"
. Yes I'm going to take your advice

Cheers.




Gtox
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Posted: 27th Nov 2017 04:32
This is a remarkable effort.
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GraPhiX
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Posted: 27th Nov 2017 20:31
cybernescence you have done something incredible with GG your talent and patience astounds me.
I have been following your progress with great anticipation and you have delivered every time if there was ever an ambassador for GG it is you

very well done with this it is amazing I cannot wait to buy and play it
Welcome to the real world!
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cybernescence
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Posted: 29th Nov 2017 19:20
Thanks for the kind words Gtox and GraPhix, they are very much appreciated

More to come - the 'centre of the earth' level has steampunk horse riding ... just converting the horse to pbr - pbr is really suited to steampunk given there is usually so much metal in steampunk assets.

Cheers.
beanz
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Posted: 30th Nov 2017 13:03
absolutely stunning work ! pure magic !
the airship game-play looks just sooo fabulous !!!
and steampunk horse riding at the center at the earth ??!! that is something i always wanted to do !
on top of the awesome visuals it really looks like very fun and varied game-play.
very inspiring and motivating to see this being done in GG.
LIFE ON EARTH IS EXPENSIVE BUT IT INCLUDES A FREE TRIP AROUND THE SUN
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science boy
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Posted: 30th Nov 2017 23:46
wow if only i had time to fully grasp lua
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cybernescence
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Posted: 1st Dec 2017 10:47
Thanks for the wow sb.

And great to see you keeping in touch with GG - hoping to see more of twin worlds soon.

Thanks beanz (heh that's my dogs name ). Really appreciate those words - keeps me motivated.

Cheers.
Wolf
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Posted: 12th Dec 2017 19:38
Wowzah! This is some impressive LUA Kung Fu! As someone who is just really getting into it this is quite something to behold.
Wolf
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Posted: 13th Mar 2018 03:45
Unlocked upon Authors request
cybernescence
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Posted: 13th Mar 2018 11:50
Thanks Wolf & hello folks,

so Lee releasing the engine source to developers has resulted in a flurry of activity, but I'm now way behind in coding that I have promised for others (to people who have been waiting for months, I'm sorry).

The work-arounds I'd built outside of the engine I can now change the engine to do instead, these are completed so far:

Infinite ocean (much larger water plane that periodically tracks player position if player view begins to be able to see an ocean 'edge')
Fixed height cloud layers (that allow flight through them, also tracks player position when needed as per ocean)
Day/night cycle that blends two sky domes across the 24 hour cycle, but also moves the specular light direction (PBR), shadow direction (elevation too, so long/shorter shadows across day), light ray direction and of course rotates the sun position of the sky dome to match (azimuth only at the moment). This can be controlled by new lua commands that can also automatically adjust the sun light factor too and allows the setting of 'game time' as needed (or can reflect actual system time, so the real time you play changes the in game time to match)

Other development completed is swirling height based fog (this also needed some engine tweaks as not all the required shaders received the sun factor parameter control).

Fog is a very important game component for Cogwheel Chronicles – it is almost a character in the story itself.

Up until now though the fog has been pretty boring, so have now implemented a swirling height based fog effect into the game. Once you’re up in the sky on your airship / biplane / steamhawk / jetpack you can leave it all below but down near sea-level a dense poisonous fog envelopes and swirls and saps your health:



And moveable lights are now possible! This has dramatically lifted the fun - dragons now have flickering magical fire as they approach, airships have lights (that are actually useful as it gets dark in the game now).

The shader work has moved a head a little - Lee & Preben's stock PBR shader is really great, but I'm still preferring the custom one in cogwheel - there's actually not much visually different now but I've combined a lot of the textures into channels to save read time and video memory (like unity does).

Still kind of stunned at AmenMoses' work and will be ever indebted towards him for his quaternion work (which he has improved even further by placing these transforms inside the engine, callable by lua).

As always any comments welcome - I'll place a video showing the day/night stuff, lights, dragons etc soon. Finishing off with a sketch of Cathodia & Isaac the two player characters -



Cheers.
lorddweeb
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Posted: 13th Mar 2018 21:07
Glad to see this project is still making real progress. (And it sounds like quite a lot of progress) Can't wait to see the new videos.
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science boy
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Posted: 13th Mar 2018 21:50
well jealous but well impressed and wondering how to tap some of your skills of you! ( mind is a cosmic vapour of swirling transient nodes of creative ideas on mind control)
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Bugsy
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Posted: 13th Mar 2018 23:01
this has me very excited. I do think the third person animations need a LOT of polish. as it is, they very much drag me out of what is an otherwise "SUPER EXTRA COOL" looking experience, most especially for gameguru.
cybernescence
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Posted: 9th Apr 2018 00:14
Thanks guys - appreciate the comments

Day/Night - Rotating & Transition Blended Sky Domes, with Matching Sun and Shadows, God Rays and PBR Lighting, and Moveable lights.

I especially like the sunrise. There is some shadow fizzing with game time moving at this speed though at more normal speeds it looks fine. Full PBR is hammering my test machine (GTX750TI), FPS dropping under 40 even with this limited scene, so will have to go on a performance sweep next.

There's a setting to mirror local machine time to game time - not sure whether to make something of this or not ... dragons only come out at night, so to track their lair, have to pursue and find them at night, whether this has to be a real night I don't know yet .... might add frustration to the player not fun Any thoughts?



Cheers.
Gtox
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Posted: 9th Apr 2018 06:06
@cybernescence - I wouldn't bother matching the game time to the machine time. If somebody is only able to play the game at night due to work etc, then they'd be stuck at night in the game world. I think that most people prefer a relatively rapid day/night shift.
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Bolt Action Gaming
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Posted: 9th Apr 2018 16:53
Woah. I love the moving shadows and would love to pick your brain on how you pulled that off!
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Posted: 9th Apr 2018 18:43
i love what you do.
just amassing ,
don't know how you do this.
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AmenMoses
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Posted: 9th Apr 2018 18:58
I can't wait to see what you do with the particle system re-write I'm currently embroiled in!
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Bolt Action Gaming
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Posted: 9th Apr 2018 21:08
PCS for what it's worth you can do a full day to night transition with my weather system on the store. I've also managed to sync it up with Rolfy's day/night sphere but it's pretty difficult because the timing is a little wonky.

What I *HAVEN'T* been able to do though is change the light/sun position which affects shadows. I have to assume that's some fancy trick I'm not aware of or some new PP functionality I haven't monkeyed with yet.
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Bolt Action Gaming. Thanks , will go have a look at the store.
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cybernescence
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Posted: 11th Apr 2018 21:05
@pcs - thanks appreciate the comment

@Gtox - yes I think you’re spot on. I’m always trying to think of something a bit different to do given limited skill, time etc but this would be a pain for most people.

@AmenMoses - I saw your experiments and as usual they look great. I was trying to test and play with your git hub physics changes too but keep getting ‘merge head’ issues (don’t really understand git properly yet)

@BAG - needed quite a few engine changes to get working. Though the sky box blending code is actually in the engine just commented out and in dark basic format. Maybe I need to get your script to add some weather effects

Cheers.

Wolf
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Posted: 12th Apr 2018 18:54
I'm wowed by this too. If I am to add a tiny criticism its that now its really visible that the terrain does not cast shadows at all.
Impressed by what you are achieving here.
cybernescence
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Posted: 28th Apr 2018 18:41 Edited at: 28th Apr 2018 18:42
Thanks Wolf - you know what I'd never noticed that until you have pointed it out - and somewhere I must have known having stared at the code for hours on end .

Just a quick update with some of the more 'wild west' (steampunk tho) themed islands - the sheriff ('I am the law') is taking an age to rig (thought I was getting better at it but seems not):

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cybernescence
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Posted: 29th Apr 2018 20:33
Be careful how low you fly - the nemo claw can strike quickly too ...

Ideally, instead of the pole on the bottom of the claw, I wanted large chain hinges but this was beyond my animation skill. Perhaps when AmenMoses' physics changes get into engine could his 'hinge' approach instead of animation (maybe)?



Any thoughts, improvement ideas?

Cheers.
Bolt Action Gaming
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Posted: 30th Apr 2018 20:26
Haha wow, that's impressively inventive!
I'm really looking forward to the final product, physics aside I'm sure that no one will care - that's slick as heck.



cybernescence
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Posted: 7th May 2018 02:19 Edited at: 7th May 2018 02:20
Thanks for the comment and the blog mention Bolt

New NPC:

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cybernescence
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Posted: 8th May 2018 00:27
First cut scene test with Cathodia avatar (both avatar and speech are work in progress - using text to speech but will use real voices soon):



Would you help her?

Cheers.
AmenMoses
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Posted: 8th May 2018 08:52
As it's pretty obvious she has just escaped from an asylum I'd stay well clear ...
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Duchenkuke
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Posted: 10th May 2018 09:32
awesome stuff....
PCS
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Posted: 11th May 2018 16:38
like they say in my language.. lekker man .
Translated it means . ... very nice man.

lol .

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Wolf
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Posted: 27th May 2018 20:34
Extremely impressive work.
Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 27th May 2018 22:53
Wow! this project is stunning.....awesome stuff
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science boy
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2018 21:19
holy crap i may as well give now....

wow cyber i am totally always wondering how you do things but it keeps me going to know your a genius with your world

gotta ask is the day night a drain on resources and is it the video or does the day/night stutter on occasion? just a big well done fella

when your game is up on sale i will definately buy it
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Pirate Myke
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Posted: 27th Jun 2018 14:23
Your skills are incredible.

If any one doubts you can make a game with Game Guru, They should take a look here.
Well done.
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Posted: 28th Jun 2018 01:47
I think the enemy mesh is great but he looks like he's coated in slime. I might turn up the roughness on him a bit.
granada
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Posted: 1st Jul 2018 12:52
Haven’t checked this out in a while and I must say it’s looking great ,I hope you finish this and get it out there .it will be on my list

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cybernescence
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Posted: 7th Aug 2018 12:37 Edited at: 7th Aug 2018 12:38
Thanks everyone - really appreciate the comments (@Bugsy - yes I agree, looks like a plastic jacket, should be canvas, will adjust).

Well, lots of progress being made, though mostly enablers although core 'hub' level is filling out nicely - have to take this slowly as add entities and scripts then re-check performance, make tweaks, add more, re-check, sometimes remove FPS killing aspects, add more, rinse repeat. Takes time unfortunately. But the good news is the latest DX11 version is performing really well in comparison to a few months ago before Preben's updates.

Engine updates (bespoke to Cogwheel game (probably)):

Shadow mapping refresh cycle restrictions removed (were causing horrible shadow juddering for TP character and fast moving airship action - the restrictions were clearly put in to aid performance but I couldn't stand the visual impact in Cogwheel)
Shadow mapping AABB bounding box was hard-coded to terrain area, so shadows stopped once outside of 'normal' terrain. As Cogwheel is an 'open world/sky' game (the hub level is anyway) had to change the shadow 'box' to follow the player co-ords and it works nicely - now get shadows wherever player goes to.
SetFont (lua) has never worked but I wanted a more old fashioned text display - tracked down the error and now works great for bitmap fonts (I posted this one-line fix on GitHub as guess this is relevant to all who use GG)
The custom PBR shader Cogwheel uses (based on Unity calcs) was showing sparklies on edges of entities in low light - this was really annoying but eventually tracked it down to just needing to normalise a vector. Took a while to track down though
Occasionally I'm getting runtime error 7006 (illegal object ID) - so this is something to do with the start marker and third person as if I delete both and re-apply, then the error goes away - not isolated where this is happening in engine yet as have a work-around but will have to find it as it is annoying.
I've finally landed on post process corrections after testing and looking at dozens, maybe hundreds, of different approaches and it is a light-weight colour complement tone mapping - it moves colours that are near to sepia more towards it and those that are far way more to a sepia complement. This gives an overall tone to the game, helps merge in assets that I haven't changed textures of to fit, and adds a bit of interest with the complementary colours that emerge.
Lee mentioned on his twitch that he was nearly there with volumetric GPU particles - I really hope this is the case, because it is the last 'big' thing that is holding back this steampunk game - it needs nice looking smoke, steam and fire belching out of chimneys and characters. I've tried to implement the shaders for this myself but have had no luck - needs a Lee or a Preben skill level

Enough of the wall of text - some screen shots below

Cheers.



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AmenMoses
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Posted: 7th Aug 2018 19:50
I was a bit puzzled by Lee's announcement about particles because I created a branch in which to add Lua commands to control the existing particles system and Preben suggested a method of batching the draw calls for better performance and both of us stated the need for a new shader to depth blend the particles so you don't get the sharp edges when in contact with other entities.


So does Lee think I am coming up with a 'new' system or does he think Preben is (or maybe Preben *is*?) or is he himself working on one?


I do wish we had more joined up thinking around here.
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cybernescence
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Posted: 9th Aug 2018 23:15
@AM - I thought what you were doing with the existing decal particle system was good though I thought from Lee he was experimenting with a geometry shader for particles but I may not have understood.

I'm experimenting with a different shader aspect now as need a better way of introducing (and removing) special characters and items into the game:



Cheers.

granada
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Posted: 10th Aug 2018 20:04
That looks realy cool ,great idea

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Wolf
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Posted: 11th Aug 2018 17:20
I feel like Discord sometimes keeps me from also posting here,

so let me just reiterate that I am very impressed by your work! And your stamina at that, you have been tinkering on this project for half a decade which is quite astounding! ....and please keep at it



-Wolf
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Posted: 15th Aug 2018 08:36
I've skimmed through all 4 pages of this wip and what an amazing work you've done so far, as a new guy playing with this software, I have a new perspective on what can be achieved with this thing. Keep at it dude and I hope we get to see this project finalized, one thing I hate is that sometimes our imagination far exceeds what is practical but it happens more often than not, will be keeping an eye on this one
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Posted: 22nd Aug 2018 09:56
That materialized effect is cool
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cybernescence
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Posted: 27th Oct 2018 03:22 Edited at: 27th Oct 2018 03:24
Thanks guys for the comments - really appreciate them.

I've been in a productive down cycle for several weeks, somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of work still to do on this project, but am now back in the saddle so to speak

Not a huge update today, just a few pictures, but soon will show progress with a vid - got some cool stuff coming up - just about managed to build terrain chunking into GG - not quite streaming, but the ability to load many terrains dynamically (discrete island terrains in this game's case) without a loading screen and ending / starting levels. It does pause for a few seconds as not multi threaded but have a cunning plan to hide this from player . Also made the terrain modifiers used in the editor useable in lua, so can drill into the terrain in game time.

First pic is one of the peelers from Landan (air city) sticking the boot in:



Next is player swimming back to hero airship before it gets dark and the dragons come out to play:



Finally another shot in Landan - here you need to get up on the buildings, get over pipes, lock pick doors on balconies etc:



Cheers

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Pirate Myke
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Posted: 27th Oct 2018 12:54
Such great additions. Thanks for posting.
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 28th Oct 2018 22:25
The sheer amount of work going into this project is truly eye-watering, and a fantastic achievement. If you ever need a British voice for one of your characters, get in touch

AE
PCS
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 18:10
fantastic work as always. love your work.
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synchromesh
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2018 17:04
Still blows me away with all the new shots …
What will you do with yourself once its finished
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cybernescence
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Posted: 5th Nov 2018 00:35 Edited at: 5th Nov 2018 00:38
Thanks guys
@AE - thanks - may well take you up on that offer - I have all the voices and lots of sound FX still to do.
@synchro - "volume 2"

Really enjoying GG again now. I've got the terrain chunking working, so can develop terrains and save as .fpms and then load them in during game time when needed, deleting previously used ones. Also modified the code that is used in editor to highlight entities so that hero props and things of interest can be highlighted via lua in game time. Filling the world is still tough though, but am compromising a little by adjusting the story to fit - you're an aeronaut out on the fringes of society so it's only right you'd visit some barren islands now and then where other adventurers are making their way:



Cheers.

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