I have just finished implementing my first attempt in adding randomization to missions, well I mainly implemented weather randomization and it includes ~75% of the weather settings, which should be adequate to create random weather system.
So what we achieve from this?
Simple, a mission designer can decide that he/she do not want to define an exact weather scenario, they prefer to define rules to the weather "engine" and the plugin will generate weather numbers to x-plane.
The Pros are:
- Every time you fly a mission it has its own weather characteristics, can be more engaging.
- Repeat-ability of missions.
- Not always "match real world" option in x-plane produce variety in weather scenarios, especially in locations where weather is predictable (always sunny or always rainy). Maybe you want today to fly in a wintry weather or warm one ?
- The plugin does not have rules to create plausible weather, it just spit out the random variables to x-plane, and x-plane should handle them. For example: If a cirrus cloud layer must have a layer base and top of 2000ft but no more, the plugin will not validate the values and will send the base/tops values to x-plane and let it handle them.
- If designer won't define variety of weather values, the randomness might not have enough challenging scenarios. For example: wind speed and direction are always north and between 0-5knots, or not enough cloud types.
How to implement
If you want weather randomness you only need to add the random attribute for each weather aspect and assign a value. The list of attributes will be listed in the updated document under "weather topic". Here is a list to have an idea what to expect:
Please remember that you do not have to assign a minimum and maximum values. You can define:
The first option will pick a distance between 1000 and 15000.
The second option will pick a distance between 0 and 15000 (the plugin will assign a default minimum if you won't).
The second iteration will be to fully randomize a weather system. That way we could randomize part of the weather system and in some cases let the plugin "decide".
There is another feature I would like to add to the plugin, but I'll introduce it once I'll figure how to implement it correctly. It is an exciting one (from my point of view), and it will open many possibilities around it.
The next plugin version will be available soon, it is time to test the build on other OSes...