August 17th, 2011


How to build a world

The first overall goal of the world generator is to create enough information to produce a basic biome display. A lot of initial attempts at a world generator will start with things like "I need to lay down some forests, and some mountains, and some rivers, and some deserts..." and then when you end up with a jungle next to a desert, or a desert next to a swamp in an unlikely way, it's difficult to fix.

So the idea is to go down to basic elements. The biomes are not the basics, they arise, at least in DF, from several factors: temperature, rainfall, elevation, drainage. First, it uses midpoint displacement to make an elevation map.

It also makes a temperature map (biased by elevation and latitude) and a rainfall map (which it later biases with orographic precipitation, rain shadows, that sort of thing). The drainage map is just another fractal, with values from 0 to 100. So we can now query a square and get rainfall, temp, elevation and drainage data.

This is where the biome comes from. There's an additional vegetation field so it can alter the amount (from logging for example), and there's also a "savagery" and a "good/evil" field. So for instance, if rainfall is >=66/100 and drainage is less than 50, then you have a swamp.

I'd never realised that Dwarf Fortress was so complex. And then I read this interview. Sadly, I'm too shallow and time-poor to give it the kind of time and attention it deserves.

So instead I have From Dust pre-ordered, which is less intrinsically complex, but a damn sight prettier:

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.

Dakka, dakka, pow!

I play computer games

Not at all
on my phone
on a non-phone portable device
on a console
on a computer

I play

not at all
entirely multiplayer
mostly multiplayer, some single player
mostly single player, some multiplayer
entirely single player

I engagine in multiplayer gaming

not at all
on the sofa
on a local network (a few people in the same home)
on the internet (but just with friends)
on the internet (with people I've not met before the shooting started)

Playing social games on Facebook totally counts as "multiplayer with friends" (if you interact) or "single player" (if the only interaction is trying to beat each other's high scores).
"On the sofa" means a console, a TV, and two or more people playing a game at the same time. Not two of you sitting on the sofa with laptops. That would be "on a local network".

Interesting Links for 17-8-2011


Bliss and Chaos

As various people have recently suggested, I took a couple of hours off this evening and did something for me.

To whit, I played From Dust (see video on my post this morning).

Which was exactly what I needed. A nice simple game, with simple quests that lead you slowly through the game. Pick up sand, and put it down somewhere so that your people can climb over it to get to the next place they need to go. Pick up water and put it somewhere else, so that your people can get into what used to be a lake. Pick up some lava and build a bridge across this river. Watch in horror when you realise that the diverted river is now headed directly into your village. Restart your level.

What's nice about it is that there is very little time pressure (so far). In a couple of places I've had to have things ready for the arrival of a tidal wave, but it's not been exactly hard to do that. So I can spend ages wandering around a level, enjoying the scenery, and then trying to get the palm trees to grow over the entirety of the island for extra bonus background details.

It's felt like a nice little holiday, and I actually feel like I have more energy than I did when I started.

Time for bed!

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.