Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

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unelsson
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by unelsson » 30 Mar 2019, 23:41

unelsson wrote:
29 Mar 2019, 13:07
Okay, it's been really fun to play with this and try things out... Few further development ideas came to mind though:
- XY-rotation and objects leaning towards slopes, natural objects should probably rotate from the base instead of object center. I wonder if in some cases current behavior is wanted, so maybe this also should be a configurable option.
- There probably should be an option for spawning ingredient objects exactly on the same place as the "mother object". One could make an object for apple tree, and then also have apples spawning as a separate object on all of the object ids.
I stand corrected, objects rotate by their origin, so I guess that's resolves my first problem. Making models so that origin is where the center of rotation is wanted is the key. Still going to need to do some more testing with this though. Ingredient-thingie would be just adding another layer to the algorithm, I guess.

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jayhova4x4
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by jayhova4x4 » 01 Apr 2019, 06:43

One of the things I always found so irritating about Morrowind is the move to tiny land mass. Oh there was Todd Howard whispering "but it's so hand crafted it's got to be good" I was not thrilled with the trade. I wanted a land that really felt big and none of the games after Daggerfall ever did. I'd really like to see morrowind scaled up to a realistic size 100 times as large.

Here is a comparison of Vvardenfell with Paris, not the big one, the one in Texas.
Image

A scale up project would be awesome. You'd have to have real fast travel once again.

CMAugust
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by CMAugust » 01 Apr 2019, 13:40

There's a lot that would need to be added to support a 1:1 Morrowind (the majority of the wilderness would need to be deterministically generated on the fly and not read from a huge file), but it's a nice thought. This is the start of what I'd consider a procedurally-assisted workflow, where the artist can spend less time on the broad strokes and more time on the detail. It could be possible, for instance, to have intelligent object scattering logic so that trees/rocks/etc are clustered in a believable and interesting manner. As a landscape artist, you'd have a good base to work with almost from the get go.

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Br0ken
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by Br0ken » 01 Apr 2019, 14:07

Some interesting tool in development.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAYgW5JfCQw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHw0LbiWoyo
Its author Adam Brown wrote:
I am planning to follow Blender's example and raise money to pay for the current development to this point and then open-source it so the community can support it.

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Husaco
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by Husaco » 02 Apr 2019, 07:06

jayhova4x4 wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 06:43
One of the things I always found so irritating about Morrowind is the move to tiny land mass. Oh there was Todd Howard whispering "but it's so hand crafted it's got to be good" I was not thrilled with the trade. I wanted a land that really felt big and none of the games after Daggerfall ever did. I'd really like to see morrowind scaled up to a realistic size 100 times as large.
I've never understood this complaint. Yes, Daggerfall is colossal on paper—twice the area of Great Britain or whatever—but the overworld is so sparse and utterly barren that for all intents and purposes it may as well not really exist (as was the case in Arena). It's neat that you could theoretically hold down the w key for 6 hours and end up at your destination, but it would be utterly miserable to play the game that way. In practice, travelling in Daggerfall consists of bringing up a crudely drawn map and clicking on a random pixel overlaid on it and watching a counter tick down the fictional days.

In constrast, Morrowind is utterly miniscule by real world standards, but the experience of following a winding path with distractions and detours every step of the way conveys a tangible sense of scale much grander than the reality of it actually only being the distance from your house to the shops.

Obviously neither experience describes an epic journey across a strange land, which no video game could realistically accomplish, but which captures its essence better?

CMAugust
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by CMAugust » 02 Apr 2019, 09:28

I enjoy both games. In my view, the two approaches can't be fairly compared because the first was abandoned in its infancy. It may be primitive and crude by today's standards, but it's still easy to see why people get excited by Daggerfall's massive world.

That being said, I think any further discussion on that topic deserves its own thread. :P

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by AnyOldName3 » 02 Apr 2019, 12:15

People do manage to wander for hours in Minecraft without getting bored...
AnyOldName3, Master of Shadows

Chris
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by Chris » 02 Apr 2019, 18:52

Husaco wrote:
02 Apr 2019, 07:06
I've never understood this complaint. Yes, Daggerfall is colossal on paper—twice the area of Great Britain or whatever—but the overworld is so sparse and utterly barren that for all intents and purposes it may as well not really exist (as was the case in Arena). It's neat that you could theoretically hold down the w key for 6 hours and end up at your destination, but it would be utterly miserable to play the game that way. In practice, travelling in Daggerfall consists of bringing up a crudely drawn map and clicking on a random pixel overlaid on it and watching a counter tick down the fictional days.
For me, it's about creating the perception of a large world. Unlike later games where people don't seem to recognize things that happen 5 feet outside of town (or worse, when two warring "cities" are a few minutes' walk down the main road), in Daggerfall places feel appropriately separated. It also helps with the representation of time; Daggerfall's able to have a more realistic day/night cycle where inns and such matter because you can't just stand around for a couple minutes to pass through an entire night (cities would also close at night, making you either camp out or break in by climbing over the walls).

Diseases can have more progressive effects that start negligible and get worse over time, whereas trying to do that in later games would require making them super-viruses or something since you're never more than a couple minutes away from some place with healing. Daggerfall's fast travel was also unique in that it required deciding whether you wanted to go recklessly, getting to some place a few days earlier but without healing and possibly at night (when the shops, if not the whole city, are closed), or cautiously but get there more rested and during the day (when places are open). Plus it would cost money, since you'd be staying at inns along the way. Timed quests are also a thing, giving the sense that the world doesn't revolve around you (if you don't do it, they'll assume you died or gave up, and write it off as a loss or send someone else), you can't dawdle since it takes you time to get places. You can fail almost any quest this way, which plays into the regional and faction reputation system, creating more dynamic interactions between you and the NPCs.

There's also the fatigue system, where instead of measuring how winded you are like the newer games (and where everybody seems to be out of shape), in Daggerfall the time scale allowed it to represent how tired you are throughout the day (and without giving you narcolepsy like mods for the later games do). More strenuous activities, like running and fighting, wear you out and make you a bit more tired the normal. If you run out of stamina, you pass out, and if you pass out in an enemy-filled dungeon, you die.
In constrast, Morrowind is utterly miniscule by real world standards, but the experience of following a winding path with distractions and detours every step of the way conveys a tangible sense of scale much grander than the reality of it actually only being the distance from your house to the shops.
I feel the opposite. When I walk from one place to another in Morrowind (or Oblivion or Skryim), it shows how much of a theme park it's designed as. I don't get a sense of scale or the same sense of adventure when it takes a minute or less to walk to my destination.

In contrast, I get a sense of a more personalized adventure when I get to decide where I go and what quests to take on, because there's literally hundreds of towns and hamlets, and a few dozen cities, in several regions, and each place having a bunch of potential quest givers (excluding guilds). Or even when there's a fixed quest (i.e. the main quest), several stages can have the target location be randomized, still giving it a personal touch. Skyrim plainly shows how that kind of personalized randomization doesn't work with a smaller game world, as you're often sent to a place you've already been (discouraging exploration).

Daggerfall's biggest drawback was the available technology. The low resolution and view distance made trekking across the wilderness all but impossible, but those things have long been overcome in game engines. While increasing the view distance in a game like Morrowind can show you just how small and fake the world actually is, in Daggerfall it can instead let you see its grandeur. Better terrain generation algorithms can also create prettier scenery and vistas, encouraging exploration even if you don't run into a dungeon or something.

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lysol
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by lysol » 02 Apr 2019, 19:11

I mostly agree with Chris here. I feel that while Daggerfall was really huge both gameplay wise and geography wise, the technology really couldn't deliver that well what the developers wanted to deliver. Morrowind was still a great game with tons of gameplay choices, but let's just face it, it was a step towards where we are today with Skyrim. A small enough step that I still think Morrowind is one of my favourite games of all time, but still.

If I may dream a bit, OpenMW could allow for making Morrowind the game Bethesda wanted to make when they made Daggerfall. Imagine a Vvardenfell at least ten times as big, with a fine-tuned generated landscape that was filled with wildlife, preferably with some kind of realistic eco system. Throw in some optional survival mechanics. Then we are talking hardcore rpg. That would have been something... ;)
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silentthief
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Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid

Post by silentthief » 02 Apr 2019, 20:20

I agree with Chris as well, once MWSE/distant land lifted the fog off of Vardenfell, I was surprised how small it actually was.

I do think that you could have a much bigger land and still maintain a dense enough landscape whether that is simply with landscape features (such as plant variety or terrain variations), or game play events (like hidden treasure, random friendly or hostile encounters with NPCs, combat with animals/monsters, or interiors such as lairs/dungeons) to not feel like it is boring/empty.

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