It goes perhaps without saying, but savage is an outdoors game. When you look at a map, there's very little in it that's man-made. Some low huts and old ruins, but that's about it. So, you'd think that the environment would get a lot of attention in an enhancement like Savage XR. Better water rendering, dynamic shadows, a realistic sky. But up to this point, the environment code in Savage XR remains much the same as it was in SFE or even SEP. There's rain and snow (that fall from cloudless blue skies sometimes) but even they are not very dynamic or interesting.
Ah, but the Sun has a lens flare! That's interesting and dynamic! Well, the Sun in my eyes was annoying. More than that, the lens flare effect was doing horrible things to the frame rate.
That's where the story begins. So I took a look at the sky rendering code, and what I found made me cry a little. A poorly implemented sky indeed. Full of unnecessary bits and slow bits. So, I spent some time and cleaned it up a little, and improved it where I could without changing it drastically. Removed the lens flare, changed when and how the screen is cleared, made the background color match the fog.
I'd like to change it drastically at some point, add some forward scattering effects for the sky, real cloud maps for high altitude clouds, etc. But for now I think it will do.
So here is what sky is like in current XR RC3 (sun is off because I'd rather poke my eye out than look at all that flare):
And here are a few examples of what XR Test looks like(first one is a compare with above):
In this last one you can see how the "dust" affects the Sun, at morning and evening the Sun is redder and not so bright compared with this one closer to noon:
So that's a little tidbit on the Sky, I hope you thought it was kinda cool at least.