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Theis_Bane

Map Zooming and Detail

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I had an odd thought the other day. Say you had a continent level map, detailing the shape of the land, terrain features, and interesting locations. Now, say you wanted to be able to zoom in and out of that map to get a greater level of detail, but you didn't want to go in and draw out multiple levels of detail for every inch of the landscape.

Would it be possible to generate say, beach shape, on the fly as you zoom in by using a seeded randomly generated number to calculate terrain variations based on the main image and previous zoom levels? If so, how would one go about calculating this? Am I even making sense?

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Looks like you are describing procedurally generated terrain.

 

Simply put, you figure out some math formulas and statistics you want to use, and then compute the results. 

 

If you are only looking for graphics, here's an older article for a GPU-powered system. If you need something to interact with physics, or to place other objects on, or for different uses, you'll either need to read up on procedural generation or make something up on your own. 

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