G'day ImpScary and UT2007,
I'm still here, and still going, sorry about the lack of updates / news on this thing, I've been working things out with sovaka on the way we are gonna handle the procedural assets in this thing too.
What I mean about procedural assets, is like space ships and cities and stuff, and the way we are going to allow people to build and modify their ships, their surface assets (dwellings, cities, roads etc).
They will probably be built around primitives which will make up the whole, a prefab system as such, where each primitive can have a material assigned to it, attachments added to it, etc.
I won't go too far into it just yet, it's still a work in progress, so I will fill you guys in when sovaka and myself have come up with a solution we are happy with.
As for the planets, well, I'm currently getting it to run under OpenGL as well as DX, all the while looking the same, and I'm getting the resolution of the mesh for the terrain increased to a ridiculous resolution, all the while not harming the frame rates too much, I'm part of the way there, I should be able to have a mesh of 500mm under foot shortly, on a planet the size of, well it shouldn't matter really, not the way I'm doing it anyway. This method will make integrating other terrain types allot easier too, I know I spoke / mentioned this before, but this time, It should work allot better and simpler, no silly hacks.
I'm also working on the forest rendering from high altitudes, I have come up with an idea for this that should work OK, I'm still penning out the details on this.
The full planetary weather flow sim is almost ready to show off, I'm not quite happy with the way it flows yet, but the fundamentals are in and working.
With the flow sim comes the clouds too, the ones I had from an old DX7 implementation I made won't cut it, but the new ones I'm working on will, I should be able to get the look of that previous picture that palaslet posted, well, I'm hoping anyway, the problem with the old ones, was that they cannot handle 1000 km long 4 km high detailed formations, where this new setup should be able to eat it.
So there you go guys, that's what we are working on.
We'll keep you informed as we progress with this thing.