Montgolfier: Lift Off
So the first functional effort after a week of (part-time, a couple of hours a day) hacking is ready. It has all the elements I wanted to test out, from the balloon physics, to the wind generation, to the transitions over a day/night cycle, and some rudimentary energy and damage system. Here's a short video of the behavior of the environment and balloon.
Here's the rough log of accomplishments:
Learned enough of Unity to make progress
Full ballon (only) physics and mechanics working
Wind generation and iso-lines rendering
Energy (fuel) and damage tracking
Day and time tracking and animation
Wind transition from one day to the next
Refactor to async wind generation to avoid stutters
Created some "void" areas that will be used as an idea later
Prefab random landing platform placement all around the map
After spending most of the time learning enough about Unity to be dangerous, the most fun achievement was getting the winds working, and seeing that they turned out roughly how I imagined in my head. This took some thinking initially, and then figuring out how to coerce the particle system into cooperating with me.