I had a flash of inspiration after-hours yesterday and took a second look at the smog layer beneath the traffic. It was barely visible and not contributing much visually, but after seeing the frequency with which people were dying at the live demo I realized that the city’s underbelly needed to be more attractive and look less like you were seeing the edge of a finite virtual world. I whipped together a material that conveys a sense of pollution so thick and caustic it’s almost liquid:
The refraction and weird surface normals blend very nicely into the smog particles, making it harder to tell where they begin and end:
Here’s what it looks like should you get close enough during gameplay:
After that I realized that even though the buildings are ridiculously tall, you could still see something that resembled their bases down below when you die. In order to maintain the illusion, I added a gigantic distant plane which emits an off-white colour and depth-blends into the runtime generated buildings. It’s meant to look like a volumetric brightness emanating from a city bathed in permanent light:
This also recaptures some of the glaring angles I liked from earlier builds which proved unsuitable for general gameplay.
During a run, this is probably the most you’ll see of the lower city: