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isomage
05-30-2009, 03:27 AM
To go along with my random subsector generator (http://axiscity.hexamon.net/users/isomage/traveller/) I've started working on a random world generator.

My goal is for it to be able to either randomly generate a UPP or accept one as input, generate UPP-appropriate terrain, city locations, etc., and render either in grayscale or color. Output will be vector PDF.

So far I've managed to have my program duplicate the classic world map form, and for a test I've manually specified some hex contents; the random generation code is up next.

My tiles are only very rudimentary at this point, so if anyone wants to make any suggestions about types or style that would be great. I think I like them somewhat abstract, like with the filled equilateral triangle for the mountain; it reminds me a bit of old star frontiers maps (which I should probably look at for inspiration, now that I think of it).

BeRKA
05-30-2009, 04:34 AM
Nice! This is something that I actually has considered doing myself. I am happy that you do it, since I don't have any time to do it right now, and I really like to see this generator in action.

Suggested inputs (except for UPP):
Temperature - to determine the amount of ice.
Age - to determine mountains.
Tidal lock - for dark/bright side.

Valarian
05-30-2009, 04:38 AM
The maps are looking good. It's going to be a challenge to get a decent looking map through random generation. You'll have to put in some heavy weightings for the surrounding hexes to get terrain that doesn't look strange. Good luck with this. I'll be looking on with interest.

Redrobes
05-30-2009, 06:21 AM
Thats looking superb iso. Will be following this one too... not that I play Traveller any more but its interesting.

ravells
05-30-2009, 06:29 AM
I'll echo Redrobes! Superb idea! The icing on the cake would be to make the map editable so that the GM could put in star ports, cities with name labels, make tweaks to the landscape etc if required. Repped!

Steel General
05-30-2009, 12:20 PM
Cool stuff!

Jexl
05-31-2009, 01:50 AM
Keep it up, I've been looking for something like this for a personal project. I'll be following this thread.

isomage
05-31-2009, 08:23 AM
I've got the geometry sorted out (mapping the hexes to points on the surface of a 3D icosahedron) and have started generating rudimentary random planetary surfaces consisting only of land and water tiles (by sampling 3D noise at those points: high values = land, low values = water).

The edges where triangles join up still need some correction, and with only two tile types being shown the results are unspectacular, but here's an example anyway.

Next steps: edge correction, terrain generation based on UPP.

isomage
05-31-2009, 10:59 PM
I fixed the bug with the edge-rendering. Here are a couple of random examples. All I need to do now is generate UPP-relevant terrain and wrap a web interface around it :)

BeRKA
06-01-2009, 03:26 AM
Looks fine!
Will the output be png as well?
I like png better than the pdf you have for your subsector generator.

isomage
06-01-2009, 05:17 AM
Well, it's currently only making PDF -- I'm converting it for easy display here. I guess in the end anything's possible. Being only a single page, unlike the subsector maps, it would be pretty simple.

The PDFs can be loaded into inkscape, however, and have the advantage of not having a fixed resolution.

Turgenev
06-02-2009, 09:04 PM
Ooooh, I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. Great work so far.

isomage
06-03-2009, 06:05 AM
I haven't been able to work on this for a few days, but I'll be getting back into it soon.

I'm interested in what you guys would expect from a "Traveller World Map Generator" in terms of map appearance. The obvious UPP stats to work from would be size, hydrography, atmosphere, and possibly population (for city density, if the generator will place cities). Hydrography gives us a spectrum from desert world to water world and various ocean percentages in between, and atmosphere would affect vegetation, but even on those two axes the setting allows for so much variation that representation could be problematic. If I used little pine trees to represent thick vegetation, then it wouldn't seem very alien, so perhaps simple color-coding of hexes would be best. But then should all desert worlds be brown, all seas be blue, and all vegetation green? If not, then so much for an easily understood coloring convention.

Any suggestions?

BeRKA
06-03-2009, 06:57 AM
You need to place a starport on the map as well.

Other inputs can be different colored seas (and land) for atm >= A and for atm <= 1.

The color of the photosynthetic pigment (for plants) can vary depending on the star color:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetic_pigment

At first one color for a hex is fine, but I hope that future versions will include some kind of fractal terrain.

icosahedron
06-03-2009, 07:09 AM
Great idea Isomage. I can see me using this. Repped. :) Maybe you need to be more abstract to represent alien terrain. Simple things like your triangle for mountains, a scribble blob for vegetation, the traditional 3 stalks for swamps, a couple of dunes for desert...

Alien colour can be a problem. Again, I'd go with simplistic representation (though I'm probably in the minority here amongst the artistic types) with maybe just two or three colours, khaki for land, bluish-purple for 'sea' and maybe a greyish-brown for arid/barren areas.
Just my two credits. ;)

isomage
06-03-2009, 07:13 AM
At first one color for a hex is fine, but I hope that future versions will include some kind of fractal terrain.

The maps are actually fractal terrain already (just low-resolution fractal terrain) :) The program samples 3D noise at points on the surface of the icosahedron, with high values being rendered as mountains, middling values as flat land, and low values as sea. More noise is used to determine vegetation distribution (the light and dark green patches).

I'll only be putting a single terrain icon in each hex, and it should be viewed as the predominant type within the hex, not as the exclusive type. If we were to zoom in, subdividing each hex into several smaller ones, we would find that a coastal land hex would actually contain a number of land and sea hexes, and any of the new, smaller, coastal land hexes could similarly be subdivided, and so on. The map at the resolution given is just a high-level overview, and any individual hexes would need to be mapped in detail by the GM if players were to do any serious exploring.

For example, here's the same patch of terrain rendered at successively higher resolutions with my random wilderness map generator (http://axiscity.hexamon.net/users/isomage/wildgen/). At each step, each hex is replaced by four smaller ones, and the process could go on forever, adding ever more detail.

isomage
06-03-2009, 07:14 AM
The color of the photosynthetic pigment (for plants) can vary depending on the star color:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetic_pigment

That's interesting, thanks. I guess I could have a range of colors for plants (and another range for seas, another for soil, and so on)

isomage
06-03-2009, 07:17 AM
Alien colour can be a problem. Again, I'd go with simplistic representation (though I'm probably in the minority here amongst the artistic types) with maybe just two or three colours, khaki for land, bluish-purple for 'sea' and maybe a greyish-brown for arid/barren areas.
Just my two credits. ;)

Good suggestions. The off-color sea is a good idea -- it could be blue enough to represent Earthlike oceans, but still different enough to encompass all sorts of alien types.

thomryng
10-29-2010, 07:50 PM
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but did you ever get the UPP input on this working?

cheers,

thom

AHawk
12-21-2010, 08:35 PM
its awesome!, so did you get it to accept UPPs, yet?