Well the more I experiment as a "rookie modder" the more I discover is possible. The more I learn how to do, the more ambitious my expectations get and the further away I keep moving the goal posts and so it's taken longer to release version 3.0 of this mod than expected. Real life commitments, technical problems with a new gpu and a brief diversion into a wildflower mod. also proved somewhat of a distraction.
Anyway, in the realisation that this sky mod could become one of those "never ending projects" I thought I should take stock of where I am at the moment and put out this third version as it is: This is partly because although I view it as "incomplete" in terms of the latest ideas I've still to experiment with along with many more refinements I'd like to make to what's already done, it does make considerable improvements to the things I first set out to change. It's also partly because a lot of the issues I'm now exploring don't look as if they're going to be quick easy fixes, many being at the boundaries of my limited technical understanding and potentially the limits of what's possible without getting access to more of the core code of ROF. (Anybody know of a free MGM file translator/editor? Notepad will open the files but displays them as meaningless strings of random characters. Hex editors at least tabulate things but it's still pretty meaningless to one of my limited knowledge)
I will also point out I've optimised this for my own PC which although no über gaming beast is somewhat above the recommended specifications for ROF, so this mod does have the potential to impact performance of lower specification or older computers that were already struggling to "max out" ROF .
Previously in v2.0 of this mod I'd re-painted only 2 core texture files, this version includes more than 40 new higher resolution texture files, scripts and particle models affecting numerous aspects of the appearance and lighting of the sun, moon, sky and clouds (and that's stripped back down from the 60+ it had reached at one point). Hopefully by addressing more of the factors affecting the look of the sky as one complete package you'll feel I've kept some of the artistic drama of my earlier sky mods but done so in a more balanced, natural and less contrived manner.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY TO LOOK THROUGH THE README FILE INCLUDED IN THIS MOD BEFORE TRYING IT JUST TO BE AWARE OF THE COMPROMISES, LIMITATIONS AND QUIRKS OF THIS WORK IN PROGRESS… IT'S NOT YET ALL I WANT IT TO BE BUT IT IS THE BEST I CAN CURRENTLY GET RISE OF FLIGHT TO DELIVER.
Testing all the infinite combinations of this mod is even more impossible than the previous version. Consequently whilst I've tried to eliminate potential problems, because of issues described in the readme file of this mod, in some way shape or form everybody is likely to be experiencing something slightly different in terms of which changes the mod does or doesn't make to their own missions. I've spent well over one hundred hours experimenting with, testing and flying this mod and at times it's still surprising me. It has however reached that point where what it needs is a lot more people using it and offering feedback.
As before it's principally aimed at adding more interest into those transitional periods around sunrise, sunset and twilight but also alters the sky during daylight and at night and makes changes to the appearance of the wet weather.
The following are a few screenshots contrasting "before and after" images showing the sort of changes this mod may make to ROF.
mod comparison one.jpg 137.95KB 957 downloads
mod comparison two.jpg 186.84KB 893 downloads
mod comparison three.jpg 166.38KB 931 downloads
mod comparison four.jpg 133.5KB 932 downloads
mod comparison five.jpg 153.17KB 926 downloads
mod comparison six.jpg 190.21KB 932 downloads
mod comparison seven.jpg 183.33KB 933 downloads
mod comparison eight.jpg 161.12KB 932 downloads
mod comparison nine.jpg 140.8KB 936 downloads
My preferred Version3.0 of this sky mod with all the large clouds (that needs you to set the cloud base very high) can be downloaded at:
An alternative (but less atmospheric) partial version 3.0a without all the large clouds that may impact both on FPS and the compatibility of this mod with pre-existing and pre-scripted missions is available at:
The earlier versions (1.0 and 2.0) of this mod have been downloaded by hundreds of people so I hope you all like this latest incarnation?