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Thread: Working on a ambitious world generating tool...

  1. #1
      covatex is offline
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    Post Working on a ambitious world generating tool...

    Hi all...
    I like rpg games a lot!, in fact I used to be a DM.
    Beeing a DM I realized that there are a lot of oportunity areas in software for helping the planning of sessions. So I decided to write a program to help de DM taylor a world. As I say in the title, the project is to ambitious.
    It includes the creation (automatic generation and manual detailing) of regional, area and local maps (Continent, cities, dungeons... even floorplans).

    I have a very good advance in some modules...
    Right now I can:
    * Generate a fractal region (continent) map
    * Paint it whith different gradient color schemes
    * Generate winter and wummer climate maps
    * Simulate climate according to latitudes, date, axis inclination, etc (temperatures (max-min), pressure, humidity, soil saturation, precipitations, wind directions and wind strenght)
    * Zoom in and out
    * Put manually pins and indicators with descriptions (which can be viewed only when certain ammount of zoom is applied) -cities, farms, castles, towns, etc, etc, etc...
    * Customize and show/hide a grid (hex or cuad, color, size, border width)
    * There are hundred of icons of mountains, cities, trees, villages, castles, ruins, temples, towers, etc...

    Right now I am working in the mechanisms to grow rivers, forests and cities according to climates... And I must admit that rivers are tough...

    There is a really big list of features waiting to be coded including...
    * The generation of area maps (cities, villages, ports, etc...) Right now I have some basic working algorithms...
    * The generation or building floorplans.
    * The maps will be linked together, so you can open the map of a city clicking in the region... and open the floorplan clicking in some building in the city...
    * The map will draw a network of roads between cities (considering importance and population)
    * You will be able to zoom in a sector and find out fauna (generating encounters with the possible monsters of the area)

    Well... that's why I'm here... I wish you help me with feedbak, ideas and critics. As soon as possible I will upload an alpha so you can start trying the software...

    Can someone tell me which is the correct thread to discuss such matters?

    Excuse my english please, is not my natural language.

    I leave you some screenshots so you can figured out what I am talking about...
    Regards

    Cova
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Working on a ambitious world generating tool...-general-map.jpg   Working on a ambitious world generating tool...-temperature.jpg   Working on a ambitious world generating tool...-heightmap.jpg   Working on a ambitious world generating tool...-climate.jpg   Working on a ambitious world generating tool...-places.jpg  

    Last edited by covatex; 11-21-2008 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Add question about correct thread

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    There are several members here who are knowlegable in the areas you arelooking for assistance in - unfortunately I am not one of them. I'm sure they'll be along at some point and can answer your questions.

    In the mean time... Welcome Aboard! Be sure to introduce yourself in the Member Introductions thread and/or add your location/pin to the members map.

    I hereby banish your "Blue Pip O'Anonimity" *bonk*
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  3. #3
      Redrobes is offline
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    Thats pretty ambitious indeed. It would wrap up a mapping app, a content generator, a content organizer for all three domains of terrain, city/building and dungeon all in one.

    Is the idea to always produce roads and floor plans or to make them when you request them. If the DM wanted specific roads or a specific floor plan can he do that ?

  4. #4
      covatex is offline
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    The main idea is to make the DM's life easy, not to make the DM's life
    Roads, city positions (even number and type of cities) and forests and mountain icon positions are pregenerated, but you can erase them, or add completelly new ones.
    City plans, and floor plans are generated on demand, but you can easily (is this the correct spell? ) edit them.

    Content generator engine is ready! Actually names for pins and region maps are generated with a grammar (you can grab your notepad and edit the grm file to add, delete or modify productions and chances of apparition) There's also a pc and npc generator (including race, feats, skills, class, traits, pictures, etc... -all configurable-) based on the same engine, but this is a matter of another kind of forum, isn't iti?

    As I said in previous post I'm having some troubles to put the rivers. I know how rivers must go (from hills to sea, growing as they reach the ocean, with 'meandros' in plains, etc.) but I can't get a good natural looking algorithm to do that. Pathfinding stuff doesn´t produce good results... And rain erossion destroys the base map... Any ideas? (this was for coders...)

    Are there any special features you are interested in?
    What do you think about the look & feel?
    Any ideas and critics are wellcomed!

    Regards

  5. #5
      Sigurd is offline
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    Ambitious indeed.

    Qs.

    What format are you storing your graphics files in?

    I notice all your examples are square. Is that the current field of your algorithms?

    What programming language(s) are you using?

    Have you thought about working through individual aspects separately? If so, do you have a part of the process you're working on right now? You know, if the interesting bit is the world making. You might be able to make some cool filters for the Gimp or Photoshop. You'd be spared from doing the rest of the interface.

    Can you generate your rivers on a separate layer and then apply only localized erosion around the rivers to preserve the rest of your map? Or offer a sliding scale to the user starting with the rivers and proceeding with the rest of the erosion?


    Sigurd

    Good luck

  6. #6
      Redrobes is offline
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    Everyone is finding it hard to do water flow accurately. There has been a number of people who have something that's an approximation to it. All of them have good and bad. The better ones seem to be very slow.

    To do the wobble in a river thats a "meander" so similar word. Check out the wikipedia entry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meander

    also Rilles:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rille

    If you want them in your rivers you will need to track sediment as well as water. You have to put down sediment that the water carries until the river changes direction. To do that you need to track the water speed and possibly pressure. It all starts to get hard very quickly.

    I write one called GeoTerSys on my sig below.

    I also write a zoom campaign manager too. Thats on the sig as ViewingDale. If your able to view AVI movies with an XviD codec look through these movies:
    ViewingDale & Fentor Cross Church High Res + CWBP demo (and even more)

    Try using VLC movie viewer.
    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

    Also check out:
    Wilbur - http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/software.html
    GeoControl - http://www.geocontrol2.com/e_index.htm
    L3DT - http://www.bundysoft.com/L3DT/
    WorldaMachine - http://www.world-machine.com/features.html
    http://www.iahr.org/membersonly/graz...00/000/364.htm

    The last one has some maths about the physics behind the process. You might have to simplify the process tho. Theres a big list of references there too to go through.

    Oh yeah, also check out these movies from Ron Fedkiw's page of research work with his students. Some of the fluid ones are particularly interesting. The papers for them are available though difficult to understand and definitely difficult to implement for large terrain surfaces.
    http://physbam.stanford.edu/~fedkiw/
    Last edited by Redrobes; 11-21-2008 at 03:03 PM.

  7. #7
      covatex is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Ambitious indeed.

    Qs.

    What format are you storing your graphics files in?

    I notice all your examples are square. Is that the current field of your algorithms?

    What programming language(s) are you using?

    Have you thought about working through individual aspects separately? If so, do you have a part of the process you're working on right now? You know, if the interesting bit is the world making. You might be able to make some cool filters for the Gimp or Photoshop. You'd be spared from doing the rest of the interface.

    Can you generate your rivers on a separate layer and then apply only localized erosion around the rivers to preserve the rest of your map? Or offer a sliding scale to the user starting with the rivers and proceeding with the rest of the erosion?


    Sigurd

    Good luck
    Sigurd:
    The map generator is in C++, and write BMP's. You can then -if you want- convert them to GIF or JPG. The main application is in VB6, and reads an ASCII .map file containing info of roads, pins, locations, graphic files locations height, width, comments...

    As I am using the diamond sqare fractal algorithm the maps are sqare, but in the .map you can specify your height and width. I am planning to add the Perlin noise algorithm in the generation (as in Terragen, using both diamond sqare and Perlin noise)

    About being spared from doing the rest of the interface, I actually WANT to do the whole interface! so I can keep control of all the features.

    About generating the rivers in a separate layer is a pretty good idea, and the post erossion could work too, but the actual problem is to define a credible river path considering the geological surroundigs and the climate/precipitations.

    I will start thinking about the post-erossion and the posibilities of the extra river-lake layer. Thx a lot for your comments.

    Regards

  8. #8
      covatex is offline
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    Redrobes:
    I've been watching your work in ViewingDale and I must say that is a really AMAZING work!!! The zoom level is incredible! How do you do that? Do you keep separate resolution images? is everything on the fly?
    The quality of the terrain graphics is impecable!
    Congratullations

    I'll check the links you've just send me. Thx a lot, and congratullations again!

  9. #9
      Ascension is offline
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    I know nothing about programming but my thought would be to have "markers" for things like high points, low points, wet points, lakes, and other things like that. Then you could just connect the markers with a straight line. Additional marker points means more meander in the line. How one would do this I have no idea...I just know how I might approach it (like a theory). Cheers.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  10. #10
      covatex is offline
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    Ascension:
    I alrready have those points marked! but straight lines are really ugly! Even "S" lines are ugly and unnatural...
    Regards

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