Weather Switcher

Alter ambience by controlling light intensity, colour, the moon, starts and sun.

WHAT IS IT?

This Multi-Player Behavior can be used to change the ambience of the environment to suit the setting and mood of an experience. With options to control the colour of environmental light, the position of the sun and moon, the density of clouds and the brightness of the stars.

A MULTI-PLAYER BEHAVIOUR

The Weather Switcher is a Multi-Player (MP) Behaviour, and as a result, the environment state changes will affect the experience for ALL players.

This also means that if the Weather Switcher has triggers influenced by player interaction, then the actions of ALL players can trigger the Behaviour.

APPLYING THE BEHAVIOUR

Because this Behaviour is Multiplayer, make sure to select โ€˜Synchronizedโ€™ in the Behaviour Panel when adding it to an actor.

Itโ€™s recommended to apply this Behaviour to a Logic Asset. This makes them easier to identify and reduces the face count in an experience, which improves performance.

This Behaviour doesnโ€™t work with the Toggle component.

PROPERTIES

WAIT FOR MESSAGE

If Wait for Message is set to FALSE, then the Behaviour will be active as soon as the experience loads.

If Wait for Message is set to TRUE, then the Behaviour will be inactive until triggered, and Message to Switch will become available as a field.

Message to Switch

To set an activation message, either create a new one by clicking the field, typing the desired message and clicking enter, or selecting an existing message from the drop-down list.

PRESETS

The Weather Switcher Behaviour will open set to a Preset by default and can be changed to a range of themes from Desert, Neutral, Night, Noon, Sunrise, to Overcast.

There is also the option to create a Custom Weather Switcher. When this is selected, a range of options to customise the colour, light, sun position, moon position, and star intensity will become available.

CUSTOM WEATHER SWITCHER

Presets must be set to CUSTOM for these variables to appear in the Properties Panel.

SKY

The Sky Parameter has variables that affect the colour of different areas in the Sky Box.

The Skybox is a cube-shaped object that surrounds a Land in Game Maker and is used to simulate an outdoor environment.

Sky Top

This parameter sets the colour for the uppermost section of the skybox, starting at the horizon line and moving up to cover the whole area directly above the experience.

Sky Middle

The Sky Middle colour settings affect the horizon line of the skybox and blend between Sky Top and Sky Bottom.

Sun and Moon colour settings will also influence the look of this region of the skybox.

Sky Bottom

This parameter sets the colour for the lowermost section of the skybox, starting at the horizon line and moving down to cover the whole area directly below the Experience.

LIGHT

Light Colour

This Parameter sets the hue and saturation of the main light in the experience.

The Light Paramtere is the light used to generate shadows in an experience.

Setting the Light Color can drastically affect the playability of the experience as well as the mood and atmosphere of an experience.

For example, using a warm, yellow light can create a sense of comfort, while using a cold, blue light can create a sense of dread.

To change the Light Colour, click on the colour bar and make a selection from the pop-up window using the colour picker, sliders, or a Hex code.

Light Intensity

light intensity refers to the brightness of the light in an experience. Using a high-intensity light can create a sense of daylight or bright sunshine while using a low-intensity light can create a sense of twilight or a dimly lit room.

Light Colour and Light Intensity are non-directional and apply to the overall lighting state of the scene. It is separate from the colour and intensity of the Sun and Moon.

FOG

Fog is a visual effect that simulates the scattering of light in the atmosphere, creating a hazy or misty effect.

Density applies more or less fog, and Power changes how it will be distributed over a distance.

Fog Density

Fog density refers to the amount of fog present in a game's environment.

A higher density of fog will create a thicker and more visible haze, while a lower density will create a thinner and less visible haze.

Fog Power

Fog Power represents the curve in fog intensity over distance.

It can be set to a value between 1.00 - 8.00 and refers to how visible or intense the fog effect is in an experience.

It may be counter-intuitive, but less power lets you see more fog. This is because the more power it has, the farther away the fog starts farther, but it increases more rapidly.

A Fog Density of 2.00, with a Fog Power of 1.00, will have a thick fog but a short fall-off, which makes it harder to see into the Fog.

A Fog Density of 2.00, but with a Fog Power of 3.00, will have a greater curve in Intensity, resulting in a longer gradient of fall-off, which makes it easier to see further into the Fog.

SUN

Sun Colour

This parameter sets the colour and intensity of the Sun in the skybox.

Click the colour bar in the Properties Panel to access the colour selector pop-up and use the sliders, colour picker, or hex code to select the desired result.

The Sun Colour pop-up window is unique in that the Colour Intensity is also selected in this window. You can access it below the colour picker and use the slider to set the variable as needed.

This setting also changes the colour of the horizon line in the experience and the look of the Sun.

Sun Size

Sets the Size of the Sun to a value between 0.00 and 8.00, with 0.00 being non-existence and 8.00 being large.

MOON

Moon Colour

This parameter sets the colour and intensity of the Moon in the skybox.

Click the colour bar in the Properties Panel to access the colour selector pop-up and use the sliders, colour picker, or hex code to select the desired result.

The Moon Colour pop-up window is unique in that the Colour Intensity is also selected in this window. You can access it below the colour picker and use the slider to set the variable as needed.

Moon Size

Sets the Size of the Sun to a value between 0.00 and 8.00, with 0.00 being non-existence and 8.00 being large.

STARS

Star Intensity refers to the brightness or luminosity of stars in an experience.

Star intensity can be adjusted to mimic different times of day and can be set with a value between 0.00 and 10.00, where 0.00 displays faint stars and 10.00 displays bright stars.

SHADOWS

Shadow Colour

This variable defines the colour of shadows cast by objects in an experience when light is blocked by the object.

Clicking on the colour bar in the properties panel will open a pop-up where the values can be set to match the desired look of the game.

The shadow colour can be set using the available sliders, or if a colour pallet has already been defined for an experience, a Hex code can be pasted into the available field.

Setting Shadow Colour to white will result in no shadows being cast.

The chosen colour will also affect the colour of objects. The impact of the colour will change depending on how dark or light the surface is.

Shadows can be used to create a sense of realism, depth and atmosphere, for example, darker shadows could be used to accentuate a horror experience.

Shadow Intensity

Shadow intensity refers to the darkness or strength of the shadows generated by Blocks and Objects in the experience.

The value of Shadow Intensity can be set between 0.00 to 1.00, with 0 representing no shadows and 1 representing deep shadows.

For a standard shadow setting, try using Dark Grey (HEX Code #A9A9A9) as a Shadow Colour with a Shadow Intensity of 0.6.

TIME

Time controls the position of the Sun and the Moon in your experience and can be set using the sliders or field between 0.00 - 1.00.

This changes the location of the Sun and Moon in the skybox as well as the location of the environmental light source.

Setting the Time of an experience will have an overall effect on the intensity of light, and the direction shadows are cast.

Use the table below as a guide for setting the time of day and the position of the Sun and Moon.

While only one Time can be set on a single Behaviour, it's possible to use multiple Weather Switcher Behaviours to trigger different states during an experience.

Sky Influence

This parameter controls how much the colour of the sky affects assets.

SSS Intensity

SSS or Sub Surface Scattering is the parameter that defines how light bounces around and exits clouds. This appears as a halo of light when the sun or moon is directly behind them.

The parameter can be set to a value between 0.00 and 10.00, with 0 being no Sub Surface Scattering.

Sub-Surface Scattering (SSS) refers to the way light enters beneath the surface of an object, bounces around inside the object, and then exits the object.

When you hold your hand up to the sun, and your skin takes on a reddish, almost translucent glow, that's sub-surface scattering at work - light enters the skin, bounces around under the surface, and then exits.

In nature, this process wonโ€™t occur in solid objects, as light bounces off due to object density. It is, however, common in some organic or transparent objects.

CLOUDS

Cloud Density

Cloud density refers to the thickness or amount of clouds in the experience and can be set with a value ranging from 0 to 1, with 0 representing no clouds and 1 representing full coverage.

A lower cloud density value will result in fewer clouds, which can create a clear sky, good for a sunny day.

A higher cloud density value results in more clouds, which can help to create a darker ambience and overcast look.

Cloud Shadow Colour

Cloud shadow colour refers to the colour of the underside of the clouds in an experience.

Clicking on the colour bar in the Properties Panel will open a pop-up where the colour picker, sliders, and HEX code can be used to set the required values.

Adjusting the Cloud Shadow Colour can help create a more realistic look by matching the shadows to the ambient lighting in the scene. This can also be used to affect the overall mood and atmosphere of the experience.

The Shadow Colour and Shadow Intensity settings donโ€™t affect Cloud Shadow Colour. However, it is affected by Cloud Light Colour and Cloud Sky Colour.

Cloud Light Colour

This parameter defines the colour of the cloud surface facing the Sun or Moon.

Try using a blue or purple cloud shadow to create a colder-looking environment or an orange or yellow cloud shadow to create a warmer-looking environment.

Cloud Sky Colour

This parameter sets the colour on the top surface of clouds.

Select the colour by clicking on the colour bar in the properties panel on the right of the screen, then using the colour picker or sliders.

Always make sure to press 'APPLY' before closing the colour picker window.

SSS Colour

This parameter sets the colour of Sub Surface Scattering light in clouds.

This appears as a halo effect but will only be visible when Sub Surface Scattering Intensity has been set to a value higher than 0.00.

PREVIEW

Clicking PREVIEW will generate a live view of the current Weather Switcher in the Edit Mode of the Game Maker.

Each time an adjustment is made to the Weather Switcher, the PREVIEW button will need to be clicked to update the scene.

RESTORE

Click RESTORE will toggle the scene to the Default Ambience setting of the scene.

The Restore button doesnโ€™t erase custom settings on a Weather Switcher. Clicking Preview again will update the scene with the selected Weather Switchers parameters.

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