Reshaping The World 2: Vast Biomes, Pathway Network Generation

Rafs

Director-General of GreenTech
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
392
Likes
2,514
Points
305
Age
28
#1
Hello!

This is a continuation of my last thread on the world generation of TerraTech.

A year later, many things have changed. We have setpiece missions dynamically generated throughout the game, also racing missions generation has improved.
Yet, there is much that can be changed to make the world feel more alive, immersion can be improved, and also navigation; directly affecting campaign experience and tech designs.
I'll begin talking about vast, larger biomes, and then talk about pathway generation.

--

Vast Biomes

First, I'd like to show two pieces of artwork I found, which inspired me to make this thread. Have a look:




Besides the techs shown, which could inspire a whole additional thread, or the curious pink crystals and dark terrain biome, there is an important aspect in these images: the vastness and immersive atmosphere of the biomes.

Key aspects:
  • Biome is big, you don't see patches of forest or desert anywhere near.
  • The sky has notable color variance, much more than it is now, like a whole different climate.
  • No patches of trees, crystals and rocks are uniform within the local landscape.

All this makes the biomes much more immersive, makes TerraTech feel like a large open world game full of curious places to explore, worlds within worlds to discover!
For achieving this, I have a list of practical suggestions for world generation:
  • Make biomes in general much larger.
  • Deeper changes in sky effects.
  • Make resources appear in patches, with "tree containing areas" as mini biomes within the biomes.
    Give the desert areas clusters of palms instead of one palm every 300 meters, and contain the clusters within a region, not everywhere.
    Same for forests, have large plains, plains with rocks, tree cluster areas, areas with luxite or no luxite, etc; within the biome variants we already have, not as biome variants themselves.
  • Refer to my original thread for more biome features to make each biome feel more alive and unique.
  • Larger mountains (not steeper, just larger), larger canyons and wider valleys, larger pillar models that would dwarf any tech, and so on.

I think this would help making the world of TerraTech much more cohesive and immersive, instead of broken patches of the green biome, the red biome, or whatever color biome, you have different climates with their specific features.
The larger clusters of resources will make resource gathering much easier even with the larger distances between different ones.
But with larger biomes, every different resource would be much farther away, how do we deal with that? Navigation is already clunky when you have to cross mountains to get from a forest to a desert... Well, here comes the second part.

--

Pathway Network Generation

What if, Terratech world had a sparse network of pathways for easier navigation?
Remember the new venture race tracks, with leveled terrain? Yes, that would be a perfect pathway.

Imagine this but without the race effects:



How to implement that in the world:
  • Think of the branches of a tree, starting at the initial forest biome, and each pathway branches into two pathways, and so on, as you get farther and farther from spawn. That would happen right after world generation, cutting the terrain much like set pieces are generated, but on large scale.
  • The pathways would resemble venture race tracks, perhaps wider, perhaps with a different colored terrain texture.
  • They would connect with other branches of pathways, at random.
  • The network would be sparse enough so that to reach most places you would still need to go offroad at times. But distributed enough to make inter-biome travels much faster.

And it would have many positive outcomes:
  • Having faster wheeled techs like venture techs would be very nice for traveling; nowadays if you want to go far you either have to be a strong offroad tech or fly.
    Speedy venture techs on a normal campaign run are rare, you always bump into trees/rocks or can't go up hills and traveling becomes a chore.
  • They will help the player memorizing the world map better since the pathways will be a more unique feature in the landscape.
  • Long travels will probably not be a chore anymore, but still rewarding if you can fly between locations as a fast shortcut.
--

That's all! If I have more ideas I'll be posting in this thread for now. Hope you all liked it!
If you have any ideas related to this, please do share!

Thanks :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
7
Likes
14
Points
115
Age
17
#4
I've always loved that mountain Geocorp concept art. We really need more Bases like this just scattered around the world, it would be so fun just coming across one of them, and not through a mission.tonytony
 

Comrade Commie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
106
Likes
161
Points
445
Age
15
#6
Having large, flat and open biomes with massive mountains and even ranges would make this game far funner. It would also be cool to have biomes effect techs differently, with cold biomes reducing performance overall but extremely hot ones maybe increasing friction and damage?
 

Saelem Black

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
532
Likes
1,853
Points
505
#7
I have definitely been a big advocate for larger biomes. New and more interesting ones also, but it seems like a really low commitment thing to add a few sliders to the start of a new campaign to choose biome size. I honestly wouldn't be opposed to entire campaigns in one biome. I really love the desert in particular, and I'm sure just about everyone would have a salt flats playthough.

Changing the variability and locations of resources would also add a really awesome dynamic to crafting, since you'd have to hunt a bit more thoroughly to find a precious mineral.

Lastly, a really interesting biome I'd like to see is floating islands. Probably at 1000 ft or higher. It would give a great deal more verticality to the game and motivate the creation of flying techs. I know the devs have been working on some air missions and/or aerial AI, which could find a home there.
 

Comrade Commie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
106
Likes
161
Points
445
Age
15
#8
Steep valley biomes and steep cliffs would be great if it's possible to generate a way up them, too.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
13
Likes
7
Points
9
#10
hmmm i like that,

but if its going to be vast there should be more objects and more variety, maybe there should be insanely huge natural objects,

and since the world is being conquered by techs there could be little outposts for enemies! would be also cool to see alien life, i mean whats the point of the planet being alien if there are no aliens?
 
Likes: Rafs

桂桃~

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
84
Likes
179
Points
435
Age
19
#11
Geographical features of each biome could be implemented via more diverse biome subtypes. Grasslands would have plains, plateaus, rolling hills, dense/sparse forests, rocky outcrops and crags for instance (I think a bunch of those are already in the game). More of such diversity lends itself to creating a larger and more interesting biome.

In addition to this, biome subtypes should be made to pair with others, for instance, grasslands sparse forests go into dense forests and rocky outcrops go into crags which in turn may go into a forested mountain in a mountain biome. Anything to make biome transitions/blending make more sense. Sand, for example, would not pool up above a flat area. Therefore salt flats should always have a higher elevation.

I said this in a different post too but it would be nice if we could have 'echo biomes' with a different colour swap to existing ones.
 
Likes: Aardvark123

harpo99999

Ah kick till it starts
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
2,202
Likes
1,119
Points
570
Location
australia
#12
as I understand (IRL) salt flats are DRIED out lakes so should be lower elevations than surrounding areas and the deserts can be at most elevations but shoudl often have mountains around them to prevent the moisture from reaching the desert
 
Likes: Aardvark123