I thought I'd do something a bit more 'normal' for once and just make an entry about where I am in the development process. I may do this more in the future, since this actually seems to be a place where people read what I write. My daily environment is sooooo annoyingly sane and normal. It's bad for my health.
Anyways, what you see in the top image is a planet. It has been colored according to tectonic plates, each overall color being its own plate. If you don't know what tectonic plates are, they're really cool and you should totally find a couple of online videos on it (who has time to read, seriously...). If not, it goes like this: After forming, the Earth was molten rock, but here and there some large granite chunks ('cratons') solidified and began merging together and gaining size from lava hardening on them. In time, they became large plates that covered the planet surface. They now move slowly, and where they collide, mountains form, while rifts form where they split (and molten rock from deep in the planet rises through the rifts and hardens into new pieces of the plates). Where they just rub, earthquakes happen.
So in order to make a more scientifically appropriate planet, I have the planet form with these plates. The darkened parts are their edges, where they either collide, rub or divide with other plates, creating large terrain features ('macro-topology', I think it's called). The next step is to begin turning those discolorings into actual surfaces features. In our world, places like the Rocky Mountains or Himalayas are made that way, while the East African Rift Valley is an example of plates tearing the surface slowly apart. I love it!
Of course, there is a lot of unseen stuff going on, too. The way the planet forms is designed to make future features easier to implement (this is the fifth version of my planet generation algorithm), from handling massive differences in scale and distance (see hill in front of you, see mountain far away) to angling colors right in the sunlight (as the planet spins and its sun passes in the sky, even). But those things are still 'invisible' so to speak. The tectonic plates, however, are becoming visible.
So hopefully, there will soon be realistically formed world terrain. I look forward to showing it to you :)