Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Kickstarter Update #18, $1,273,752 and Counting

Checking in on the Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Kickstarter campaign finds that the team at Portalarium has an eighteenth update ready for us, and this time it goes into the subject of world design and the tech that drives it. The accompanying 11-minute video:

And some text to go with it:
Let's start by talking about Terrain. As you know, we are working with a hex style map. One of the things we've done to streamline content development is to assign hexes with terrain presets, such as swamps, forests or mountains. Each terrain type can then be assigned primary characteristics such as height maps, textures, basic physics, which allows for simplified world building. In addition, the hexes are also meshed to give them a certain unique look and feel. These hex presets allow engineers to take what the designers want and easily translate it into the game world. Whether we want to add an ancient, forgotten dessert to explore, or remote island ruins filled with treasures and peril, this tech allows us to changes one tile and change the world!

We also want to focus on maximizing player performance as well, and have developed several systems to optimize data flow. Overall, hexes will be processed in 3 x 3 chunks for basic rendering, and only the data currently onscreen is processed. Behind the screen, we will be utilizing two different styles of GPU acceleration, which will automatically adapt based on your hardware specs to ensure the best possible performance while allowing for breathtaking visual impact.

A great example of this tech in action is our new Weather system, which we were able to implement partly because of these presets. We want the weather to look and feel real, while also having a meaningful impact on the player. Our weather will be simulated to not only look realistic, but to provide for evolving weather patterns that influence other aspects of the game. Weather, along with the day and night cycle, will be an important part of each scene. For example, perhaps a player can only approach a secured location under the cover of darkness, or maybe there is a rare herb that can only be gathered during a thunderous rainstorm.