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2D artillery game terrain generation

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Much to my dismay, the forums are abundant with information on terrain generation.. in 3 dimensions. What about Scorched Earth? How can I just generate a simple, one-pixel color 2D terrain with decent-looking slopes (as opposed to random, spiky heights of pixels). I am a complete beginner in this respect, so please don''t refer me to something like Worms or Liero which are much too complicated a starting place for me.

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Three ideas:

  1. Generate white noise and smooth it somewhat. This will give you smooth rolling curvy hills.

  2. Perlin noise.

  3. Random midpoint displacement.

Basically anything you can use for a 3D landscape you can use for a 2D landscape, just cut a slice out of the 3D landscape.

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2 years ago I played around with this during a CS class, I started rather simple and by adding small enhancements, ended up with a technique which worked very well.


min : min height
max : max height
slope : maximum slope
smoothness : low values = high smoothness
sign : -1 or 1
width : width of terrain, if on pixel by pixel basis, width of screen
terrainHeight[width] : array of heights
rand(low,high) : return random # between low and high

terrainHeight[0] = rand(min,max)

start sign at either +1 or -1, depending on if height is closer to max or min

for i=1 to height:
terrainHeight [ i] = terrainHeight[i-1] + rand(0,slope)*sign;
if rand(0,smooth) = 0 switch sign

You also want to change sign if you go above maxheight or below minheight.

That's a basic outline, I later added in a second pass, that'd get rid of anything that was "out of place"

[edited by - cozman on March 22, 2004 9:25:38 PM]

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Here''s what I ended up going with..

1) Divide the field into some number of columns such that each column has at least 2 pixels in it.

2) Place a random value between HIGH and LOW at the left side of the field. Call it A.

3) Generate a random degree from +-DEGREE

4) Find point B (from A) using that slope, and draw a line between them, and fill in all values below that line with "ground."

5) Repeat the process using B as a starting point until the right side of the screen is reached.

DEGREE is a value between 0 and 90 that determines the avaliable ranges of slopes, so I can choose how steep each point -can- be, though I don''t have a minimum, and I don''t have any way of biasing towards the last slope, either.

HIGH and LOW are percentages of the height of the screen, so if I have multiple types of terrain (different layers of dirt and stone for example), I can ensure that each layer is at least as high as LOW, but no higher than HIGH.

It works fairly well, but I find that there aren''t many mountains in my terrain, it just seems to move roughly up and down.. so it needs a bit of tweaking, but I think it''s a nice solution considering I''ve never done this before.. =P

Thanks for the replies.

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If you use my sign idea, you can make sure that the terrain continues to move up or down for extended periods, that keeps it from getting to choppy, and will give you nice mountains & valleys.

Just keep the terrain going the same direction between 5-25 times, then allow the sign to switch, this should give a decent variance.

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