So, water for this small planet has been difficult for me and I've tried a couple approaches and have yet to get something I like.
What I want:
- reflections, refraction, transparency, specular, normal mapping
- under water fog
- fog color changes based on depth and distance
Video of planet water on YouTube
Reflection and Refraction
There is no reflection or refraction on the water because I don't know how I will manage that on a curved surface yet. I think what I will try first is only doing water reflection and refraction when you're close enough to the water that it appears to be more flat so I can use conventional techniques.
To support underwater I applied a fog to the pixel shader for the terrain based on the terrain depth under water. I have a outward facing sphere with a shader for transparency, normal mapping and specular. I also have an inward facing sphere with a shader for when you are underwater looking up at the surface from below.
Unfortunately, the fog shader on the terrain does not line up perfectly with the underwater inward facing sphere so you see cracks at the water edge where there is no fog. I think I can only fix this issue with post processing.
New Game Dev Machine
I got a new developer machine with an i7 processor and Radeon 5770. I tried to choose a middle of the road graphics card. You can see the new game dev machine specs and discussion on eggxpert.com
Lastly, I've spent a some time working with OGE which stands for "Open Game Engine". I've created a small RakNet plugin for it and have been trying to get a little client/server action going. This is a potential game engine that I might adopt for MyFirstPlanet, at least in the development stages to do all the audio, graphics, user interface, networking, gameplay, physics, and scripting that I would have to build myself. It supports OGRE as a graphics engine plugin so I shouldn't have to rewrite any of my graphics code.
I'll try to post again when I have a video to show of the network tests. It will mostly just be a couple clients on a server flying ships around in space over a planet.