+1 for forests, dust/mist/fog in desert/snow/temperate landscapes, and most definitely night battles (this could look amazing with DX12 light sources).
In the assets/lighting folder, there are files labelled as Frozen_Day_LightEnv, Frozen_Night_LightEnv etc, this is an indication that they are working on implementing night at some point
Thanks for the file info but there are actually night maps in the game right now. There is not a day/night option but certain maps now are just night I think and are labelled as being night. I imagine there will be an option at some point but that is just a guess. Here is a cool screen shot made possible by the night map: http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/609476610127446289/1A26D354705163ED851AD4770EE538C2FDC7D7C1/
I think more can be done to add to the feeling of night and with cool lighting but will have to see what the devs are doing with that.
However, AotS does run into an issue with scale. The tier 1 units appear to be quite large. Using an 8km map as a reference measurement, the smallest units are around 30-40m. On a 1920x1080 screen, a 2-3m object (extremely large bird, or deer) would approximately be only 5-8 pixels wide blobs zoomed in, and would be less than half of a pixel wide zoomed out. Terrestrial wildlife might have slightly greater visual impact at higher resolutions like QFHD. The wildlife would likely be barely noticeable, or might just appear as a film-grain effect on the current average Joe's 1080p.
Yeah, I had thought of that stuff, though not done the maths . I don't expect land creatures but birds in flight would be cool. I think a few games have done it, like the total war games. Small is okay and not to scale is also ok really. More about the impression of a living world. Especially when/if they do alien tile sets, just to throw in a few interesting little things would be cool. It is often little touches which give a game soul. Like multiple clicking on units in Warcraft games to get interesting reactions, building a palace in Civilization one, or the humour of the advisers in Civ 2.
It is not clear what laws of imaginary physics the magical levitation pods on the sides of the hover craft adhere to. They may apply some quantity of 'negative gravity' against the planet, and have limited impact on low mass objects like grass/dust. Either way, the effect of pressure from the air displaced by their movement should in turn have some small effect. It would look nice to have the environment react visually to the units movements. Due to the immense number of units that may be present in this game, this may result in a significant performance loss.
I don't know the science fiction behind it, and I realise they are a long way off the ground, but I think part of the charm/relatability of tracked/robotic units in RTS games is the visual evidence that it is moving, with tracks on the ground, or even exhaust fumes. I think it is one reason some people don't like all hover units as they can appear quite sterile in this regard. The most appropriate thing for this game would probably be some kind of air-shimming effect which intensifies when the units is moving and diminishes when it is stationary, for that all important visual cue to the player that the unit is off and obeying your command. If it were gpu expensive, and it could well be, then a toggle for it in the graphics settings menu might suffice.
Another thing to add to the original list:
- Smoke coming off damaged units or buildings (easier to do on building I'd guess). TA had that and it worked well as a quick health check on the units and a plus for atmosphere.
Just as an addition, some people might think little touches like this are not so important. But I remember the days of many C&C clones and to some extent WarCraft 2 clones and one reason they never did so well is that they simply didn't have the character/charm and atmosphere of those games they tried to imitate from. (One reason is budget I know )