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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Fortnite players find first evidence of falling temperatures as mysterious cloud approaches

Winter is coming?

Fortnite fans dreaming of a white Christmas have found the first real in-game evidence that their snow-dappled wishes are about to come true, and that temperatures are beginning to fall across Battle Royale island.

For those unfamiliar with recent events in Fortnite, players first spotted a mysterious storm cloud forming on the island's distant horizon almost exactly a week ago. Its arrival was accompanied by several carefully timed cosmetics, all hinting at plunging temperatures in Fortnite's future, leading fans to speculate that the newly arrived storm cloud would usher in a cold front from the south - hopefully blanketing everything in a festive layer of snow.

Since the cloud was first sighted, however, there hasn't been an awful lot to report - aside from its steady, if incredibly slow, creep toward the mainland. Eventually, fans supposed, something was bound to happen. And now, one week later, something has.

In another example of Epic's increasing flair for environmental storytelling, and in a delightful flourish, players waiting for a match to begin on Fortnite's starting island have noticed that their breath can now be seen forming into little wisps of condensation in front of them. It's subtle, but incontrovertible - as documented by Eurogamer's Emma "Keen-eyed" Kent in the videos above.

Geographically, of course, this all makes total sense; Fortnite's starting island - which lies just south of the main map - is currently the closest point to the incoming storm cloud (or snowstorm, as we should perhaps now call it), and thus likely to suffer its effects earliest.

That ol' storm cloud is still some way off, however, so it's possible we won't be seeing more dramatic changes in the weather until the start of Fortnite's almost-certainly-festive Season 7 in a couple of weeks. At this point though, I'd say it's practically a given that Epic is lining up a snow-covered winter wonderland for Fortnite fans this Christmas.