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Islands

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JTippetts

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For several years I've had it in my head to make an old-school Dragon Warrior style RPG, only with randomly generated maps and areas. Sort of toward that end, I've revisted my island generator, rebuilding it with the updated noise library. Above are a couple of examples, elevation only; I'm redoing color-mapping for compositing images, so none of the vegetation levels and rainmapping are in, so all you get is mountains phasing into desert.

As part of the overhaul, I've implemented a new library of classes to facilitate color-mapping and compositing of images. Borrowing a few of the concepts from the noise library, I've implemented a small (much smaller than the noise library) set of chainable modules that operate on a combination of color sources and noise sources for selection, blending, mapping to curves, etc... The colormap chain can be built simultaneously with the elevation noise module chain, and can use portions of the noise module chain to perform it's operations. With the structuring of image compositing as module trees, complex operations can be easily implemented from simpler building blocks. So far, it's working pretty nicely, and it has sure cleaned up the island generator.

As part of what I envision, each pixel in the overmap image (or, perhaps, block of pixels, depending on the scale of the world) stores various data relating to rockiness of the terrain, aridity, vegetation levels, presence of a river, presence of a road, presence of a town/dungeon/castle/other, etc... The overmap representation can be used as mini-map, to give the player a place of sense, but the meta-data generated by the vegetation, elevation, and rainfall generators is what is used, along with generated quest information, region information, political boundary information, etc... to construct the world.

From the overmap are constructed areas, each area corresponding to a block of pixels in the overmap, connected to neighboring areas. These areas would be the player's overmap representation, upon which they can wander from town to castle to dungeon. In the tradition of the old-school RPGs, random encounters in the overworld pull the player into a battlefield. In my idea, however, instead of the static battlefields like Dragon Warrior, the battlefield would be a yet-finer representation of the world, showing the player's immediate local surroundings. This battlefield would be randomly generated using the meta-data for the region. So a battlefield in swampy terrain would generate as a water-splotched bog; the vegetation level would determine if it were a grassy, shelter-less bog or a thick, dense, forest-like swamp with trees and moss and mushrooms.

I don't know if anything will ever come of it, but the idea is sort of interesting to me, at least.
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