Sad sad topic I know. Well anyhow, I have weather done! I did clouds first, because they were the most difficult, followed by the second most difficult rain, and finally snow. I have all three engines integrated into umake as well, although I'm not using the snow engine to generate summer fluff yet, nor am I using the rain engine for solar particle storms. But I will!
Rain was a bit surprising, because well, the rain actually isn't as atmospheric as it could be. What it lacks? Donner und blitzen! However, also lacking initially was that the sky wasn't darkened when it was raining, I now have code to do that and it actually does feel rainier. Overall, the weather systems feel quite good, but they will be expanded (like everything else).
So I'd like to release another demo next weekend. In the meanwhile I'm going to focus now on strictly gameplay enhancements, no more graphical additions or tweaks, and no network coding -- for the meantime. I would like to start working on the quest system, give the player some quests they can accomplish. I can't see quite yet how the quest system will fully develop so there is nothing for it but to jump right in. In particular I have three ideas for quests:
1- Deliver a letter for an NPC. NPC A will request that you deliver a letter to NPC B. When you do, NPC B rewards you somehow, and comments on the letter. Maybe even gives you a new quest.
2- Help a debtor. NPC A asks you to help them with a debt they owe to NPC B. You can either pay off the debt, threaten NPC B. Threatening may cause jail time (whatever that is) or have other bad affects.
3- Find technology. NPC A needs a piece of technology to finish whatever invention they are working on. When you deliver you are rewarded, maybe with upgrading the ship or something.
In general, it would be nice to allow for quests to result in more quests -- chain them together to create more full plotlines. Anyhow, these three things seem like a good starting place, and the universe is definitely fleshed out enough to support these types of quests.