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Back to HoboBen's Blog ( Created 20 May 2010 | Last Edited 24 May 2010)
Development Diary : WIP: Hero Extant
So here's what I've spent the last few days on...

Highslide JS

Generates a random fractal landscape, simulates temperature bands, wind & rain, then rain water flow leading to lakes and rivers, then decides what terrain type the resultant tile is based on temperature, rainfall and elevation.

If you'd like to see the generation process for yourself, you can download the current version here (currently for windows). Note that the menu options aren't actually applied yet, so just hit enter twice to skip straight to world generation. (Note: takes about four minutes!)

Highslide JS Highslide JS
Highslide JS Highslide JS
Highslide JS

Highslide JS

Highslide JS Highslide JS

World gen isn't quite finished, the various races need to be born and then populate the world as some simulated random history unfolds, e.g. founding new cities, building roads and trade routes, cities growing, wars & allainces between races or factions, conquering or raiding cities, kings dying and having heirs, kings being dethroned, etc.

Only at that point will I let a player jump in and play.

It takes a long time to generate a world, but this needs to be done only once and then the player can play several games (the history will persist, so what you did in a previous game may be notable history in the new game).

Very much inspired by dwarf fortress (basically I'm hoping my game will be what DF would be if all the development was focused on adventurer mode instead)

Latest Comments

Posted : Thursday, 20 May 2010, 06:17

Looks very nice and interesting. I've always liked simulated world kind of games, like the Elder Scrolls series.

One suggestion, your rivers are too straight. You should add meandering river generating. Even if it's just making them randomly curve from side to side along a straight path (based on size and force), it'll make them look 1000s of times more realistic.

You might also want to generate multiple weather patterns, and switch between them over time (but don't give them all equal amounts of time). i.e. for simulating changing seasons.

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Posted : Thursday, 20 May 2010, 06:24

Thanks, yes, I was extremely surprised when I read on wikipedia that rivers don't always take the easiest path of finding the lowest elevation. I know the material of the rock they are channelling through can affect things but it's doesn't seem to be the main factor.

I'd like to add a more meandering pattern but I'm not sure how to best to realistically (rivers are frickin' complicated!). Perhaps just arbitrarily randomly curving will be realistic enough.

Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 06:35

Took a whole 1.5 hours to compute, a nice big 2048x2048 map!

400kb JPG

For each pixel draw a 16 by 16 tile and you've got one giant world!

(Still haven't fixed the rivers yet; indeed they are painfully too straight)

Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 07:26

That's fantastic! Although, I can't help but notice Mr Sad, sat to the left of the brown area!

Fix those rivers, then speed it all up, and you'll have a great little pseudo random quest generator!! Hop to it!

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Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 08:57

This is great! I can see the DF influence. Can't wait to see what it evolves into

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Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 10:39

I love the idea, particularly as I've played quite a bit of DF.

With the straight rivers, is it because you're making them move up/down/left/right by a random amount each pixel, so they're averaging out straight, or are you using a more complex algorithm? I recall Phoenix posted something about more random generation a little while ago (Perlin Noise). Would that make them more curved?

Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 11:03

Maybe you should also allow an shallow-ness next to the rivers. Then you can half half-river pixels around them, and it'll look smoother to create diagonal rivers.

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Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 12:58

Aw, cheers!

@Shroom - the rivers look for the quickest possible downhill path, finding the adjacent tile that gives the largest drop in elevation. Mathematically sound, but not realistic! I think adding a sine curve of (randomly?) increasing amplitude would probably do the trick.

@DD - thanks for the idea, it would probably improve the preview render. When you're actually playing each pixel will be a whole tile so it would be less noticeable, but yeah, definitely worth doing for the preview.

Posted : Monday, 24 May 2010, 20:00

Those maps look quite nice. Yes the rivers all look a bit too straight. Something you should consider in regards to rivers, they actually carve out a longer path over time. Consider a river making a curve to the right. The flow of the river will hit the left, longer wall, carving out the shore over time, and the right side will collect mineral deposits, eventually coming above the water level. So the longer a river has been around, the more wavey its path becomes (and the longer its total length is).

Good luck, it looks great so far!

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Posted : Wednesday, 26 May 2010, 22:35

It'd be costly to simulate full river dynamics, but maybe you can try defining a start point, and then over x amount of iterations, barely curve it around like Mindstorm / Joe suggested in a randomly chosen direction, then reroll how the river curve, putting the previous direction at a higher odd as to prevent it looping back into itself.

Hopefully that makes sense! Regardless, I find this to be beautiful work. Keep it up.

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