Another week of trial and error, and I have both some graphics and procedural generation of some islands. There's also now a hot air balloon user object, with better physics, a burner, and operating flap at the top of the balloon to dump lift. There are gauges better gauges for health, fuel, and lift. The lift bar is showing different zones that you'll need to manage. Check out a quick video of how this looks.
And the log of accomplishments:
Mockup some graphics
Initial island generation complete
Added water to the islands
New hot air balloon graphics and physics
Added mountains to the islands
Wasted a bunch of time on shaders
Added edge winds
Added multi-point wind physics on the user
I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get shaders to do what I wanted, only to later figure out that there was not instancing of properties for them. I wasted probably 4 hours, if not more, trying to use them for tinting sprites, but I gave up for now.