Hello and welcome to this weeks Dev Diary!
Today's topics revolve around my attempts to create a height mapped terrain. As mentioned earlier, after several hours of watching tutorials and finding most of them lacking in beginner friendliness, I was a tad frustrated to say the least. But after letting the issue rest for a week and indulging in my addiction (yes, Total War Three Kingdoms was more addictive than anything in a long while, which also made it a pleasure to analyze as a striving game dev), it clearly helped me internalize some things about the tutorials that I had watched and tried out earlier, as now just this morning, I got the following results just with a few minutes of fiddling from memory;
It still lacks finer detail, but keep in mind, that this is a 10x10km sized heightmap, a "tad" smaller than the previous 60x60km that I quickly made using SketchUp. For the final game it is most likely necessary to make the map out of several pieces, in order to be able to make it as big as I have envisioned it to be. Still, the first target is to make the 10x10km playground for testing purposes.
Here is a preview of the textures I'm going to be using with the terrain, which also works as a followup hint from last weeks puzzle - where is the first map based on?;
I'm still looking for sources for higher quality height maps, but no luck so far. Those who are interested in trying out for them selfs to create terrain from heighmaps, an easy tool can be found here, originally made for making Cities Skylines maps from any place on earth you might want to build your own city at;
It might turn out that it is easier to make a map from a medium quality heightmap at first and do the details by hand, but we'll see. One major thing pointing to that plausible outcome is the fact that I have managed to make Blender crash several times because my PC runs out of memory, when I try to increase the quality too much on the current heightmap.
For the coming week I'll be working out the textures and after that focus more on the height map it self, as texturing the ground makes it easier to visualize while modding the settings for height differences and smoothness of the terrain. I'll also leave you with a link to a simple tutorial on how to make a textured 3D terrain from heightmap.
Thank you for tuning in, and I'll see you on the next one!
You can check out every possible mid week announcements about the project on these official channels;