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Thread: Wheel of Time: World of Dreams - o/s realscale mmorpg

  1. #1
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    Default Wheel of Time: World of Dreams - o/s realscale mmorpg

    Hi Everyone...

    I'm not great with introductions - especially with people I don't know :p, so just a bit about me and what brought me here

    I'm a small software developer living in Ireland and a total Wheel of Time fanatic. A while back I got the idea that it'd be cool to develop a really well built MMO for the WOT Universe. Over the last year or so I've gotten together a basic draft, demo and roadmap for the project and pretty much know what I want and at the moment I am fleshing it out further. The end goal of the project is not just a game, like World of Warcraft or one of the many other mmo's I'm sure you've heard of or played, but the develop a real living, breathing, organic, dynamic, changing world.

    The primary goal is accuracy, realism, and dedication to the 'Rules of the traditional WOT Universe'. Think real life earth but in WOT terms (the power, source, pattern, ages, etc).

    And one more thing - WOT Fans out there will know that the world Robert Jordan created ends in the 3rd age. - This game world is set in the 4th age. Millions, perhaps billions of years after the events of the book. Another age is ending... anyway

    I have a small team of 5 developers at the minute and we are looking around for some other skills we are currently missing, map makers, models etc. The problem is scale. Its massive. Real-world Massive. Massive on a scale that I've never built for before and one thing has gotten me stumped...

    Terrain. Maps. A world can't exist without them. Everything is built on it afterall.

    • First, I know jack all about building real-world organic terrains. At least on the kind of scale and complexity that I'm thinking of.
    • Second, my attempts at getting familiar with what I thought would be an easy subject lead me to see that I, and my circle of friends, are out of our debt on this one - great mapmaking is not as easy to achieve as I had thought!. So kudo's to the hard work of the various authors I have looked at these past weeks. There are some great attempts at creating WOT maps.
    • Third. Robert didn't create enough information from which to derive an actual real scale world from.


    This is what I want to do, and hope to learn how to achieve by shamelessly lurking, asking questions and hopefully soliciting help along the way from fans that also may lurk here.

    I hope to find/create terrain maps that I can use to create the various continents. They must be vagualy familiar to the traditional WOT world, but must not be the same and must be original or in the public domain. They must be detailed, large enough, so that I can generate around them a natural, organic world - familiar to fans, and enough to form the basis of our blank canvas from which to flesh it out a believable WOT planet.

    Scale: 510,100,000 km≤

    Yes. You read that right. :p

    They would be in a format, maybe similar to heightmapping (suggestions welcome) that I will be able to use to generate the in game world and terrain.

    They will include all major mountain ranges, major rivers etc, landscape for all the regions.

    After I have this general information, I plan to subdivide the various area's into regions where the different factions and territories reside. thankfully there are huge expanses of wilderness which I had hope to procedurally generate landscape for further detail.

    Anyway, enough of that, it's going to be alot of work for me - and any suggestions for creating such large scale terrain would be welcome.

    What I am hoping to find here though, is also the 'look good factor'. Actual detailed regional maps - I hope to solicit help of there is any to be found in creating regional maps for the important area's, cities, territories etc. Should be fun :p

    The project will of course be open source. I will follow the rules of the forum (as I think I've learned them) and just create a WIP thread and upload my efforts. I hope that the curious, the fans, and others will go - hey... nice map... but, try this, or try that, or here is my two cents worth.

    Right now all development is on a wiki which will be open to the public soon. This contains the game mechanics, backstory, world mechanics, source code and so on. everything really.

    So, thats it, and me in a nutshell.

    oh ps: Game title is Wheel of Time: World of Dreams

  2. #2
      arsheesh is offline
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    Wow, sounds like a massive undertaking. Well God bless you for it. Welcome to the Guild! Not sure how to direct you, but spend some time in the tutorials section and you may dig up something that is of use to you.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

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      waldronate is offline
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    Start at Virtual Terrain Project for pointers on good representations of terrain and lots of discussion on making and displaying terrain.

    Realize that you're probably going to have to have procedural terrain and/or repetitive blocks for the "generic" areas, with hand-modeling for areas that are important. Level of detail schemes will figure prominently in your work, as will (most likely) working from world-level layout fown to local areas.

    If you're not set on creating your own engine, consider looking at one like Outerra ( Outerra ) that has solved the complicated display problems. There are plenty of complicated problems on the generating end, even with tools like World Machine ( http://www.world-machine.com/ ) and GeoControl ( Home ); these tools work well in the local terrain realm, but didn't do whole-planet all that well the last time I looked at them.

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    @arsheesh: Thanks bud. I have been looking around and following the tutorials. Right now I'm drawing up simple maps by hand, trying some suggestions in the forums, trying to tie down a 'style' that I will use throughout. In the game at the minute, when I go into map mode it simple lerps the camera overhead at a certain height looking straight down, giving me a top down view of the area, and I can spin the map and move around etc to see other area's. This approach works - but its just a top down view of the 3d scene. I want it to be more traditional, look like a hand crafted map of the era in WOT and in WOT style. I've been paying heavy attention to the work of some of the guys on this forum already who have submitted wheel of time maps as used on WOT-Wiki. I'm hoping to pop them a PM sometime soon to make them aware of the WIP thread that I'll start up soon. Then there are other maps not WOT related, to many to name, that I think look fantastic. I'm currently arguing with myself as to the right approach and style but I'm starting to notice that there are common elements that seem to stand out amoung differing styles that make it a 'good map'. So I'm hoping to identify these over the xmas.

    The more I can do with code, the more versatile the map will be - so I'm hoping to derive enough information that I can do this procedurally.


    @Waldronate - thanks for your links. I am currently already looking at Virtual Terrain Project, but I had not seen Outerra. It looks very promosing.

    Right now I've been using fractuals to create my maps in detail. By overlaying them essentially on top of some layout. They worked in the sense the provided me with all the detail I needed but they take too long to generate for use in real-time, plus there are other issues too I wont go into here.

    I had planned to generating the entire world and saving it to disk. But this requires a huge amount of storage, to much to distribute. So I had thought on storing this data serverside, stream to clients as required and cache. Its unlikely anyone will ever be able to visit every single area anyway, as in the real world.

    I had also planned on generating the terrain procedurally, but I want to avoid 'generic areas'. The purpose of this project is that I will create a terrain for an entire planet, including plate tectonics, effects of the moon, rotation of the earth and other things that will effect it. So, i thought it would be nice to have some equation I can use to 'generate' or recreate a terrain in real time from some data, but I'm not sure what options exist here yet. I've to look around. It'd have to be vastly smaller than storage requires and usable to warrant going further down this route (i think).

    I like Outerra aproach though. It seems similiar to what I had in mind so I am going to take a good look at it tonight.

    I am currently tying with Unreal, Cryengine and Unity atm so I'm not 100% set on any given engine yet. I don't fancy the prospect or time requirements of writing my own from scratch...

    I'll also check out Geocontrol.

    Look forward to hanging out here! and tnx again for the welcome, and happy xmas!

    Anyway, thanks for

  5. #5
      tilt is offline
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    hi there, and welcome to the guild - sounds like a wonderful project but I can't help to think Copyright - might be worth checking up on before you release
    regs tilt
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