Little Tree on the Prairie

A lot of our time over the last week on the programming side has been spent updating our internal documentation.  Since we invested so heavily in back-end programming for the game, there are a lot of systems that we’ve written but have not spent a lot of time interacting with yet.  And because we want the game’s content to be malleable enough that people on the team with no programming skill can edit and create content, they need to have reference to consult.  It’s not the most exciting work in game development but it needs to be done.

Steampunk Colorado

From earlier: Steampunk Colorado

While waiting for some last bits of an object systems rewrite to be finished, I’ve been implementing some of the “high prairie” (aka Yellowstone) biome code that we were talking about at the beginning of the month, with the hope that we can start showing some more varied screenshots.  It’s still a work in progress, but here’s where it’s at right now.

High Prairie and Pine Forest biomes

Shown here are the biome generators for the high prairie grasslands and the high prairie conifer forest (two of the planned seven “mini-biomes” of the high prairie biome set).

forest floor texture

Missing from this forest floor texture: empty cans of cheap beer, discarded cogs left by bands of wandering steampunks.

The biome transitions are still basically straight lines at this point and we’re going to try to cram a bit more biodiversity and foliage variation in there to make things seem a bit more realistic (There was an extensive discussion on the subject of diseased trees). Note also that this is the upper plateau segment of the high prairie biome which is dryer and colder.  The lower areas will generally be more green and lush with broadleaf forest.

We’ve done some work to reduce the appearance of terrain texture tiling artifacts (notably some clever spells cast by Mr. Whitman) which has paid off very nicely, and the process of creating terrain is starting to speed up a great deal.

To do this week: work party controls (so you don’t just get anyone doing everything), greener pastures, and hopefully the death of the object framework rewrite. Death in a good way, that is.

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11 Responses to “Little Tree on the Prairie”

  1. Scott says:

    Looking lovely, though a little “grit” on the floor will help add perspective. Right now, everything looks a little like a miniature.

    { reply }
    • Agreed. There are a number of things planned to add to the terrain. For example, the hills don’t cast shadows right now, the colored fog layer is disabled, and maybe if we’re lucky we’ll have some nice particle thingies floating around here and there. Right now I’m just sorting out rough geometries and object placement algorithms.

      { reply }
      • Hound Archon says:

        Oooh, nice particle thingies!

        Please say there will there be will-o-wisps that float in among the trees outside the settlement in the dead of night, making tiny wailing sounds like nuns being slowly thrown down the well.

        And other culist stuff like that.

        { reply }
  2. Bropocalypse says:

    I don’t know why, but those trees look delicious to me.

    { reply }
  3. Thomas says:

    Any word on whether or not we can carve into those mountains near the top there?
    Or will that just be impassable (yet picturesque) scenery?

    { reply }
  4. Eragfred says:

    I wonder how much fps will this game get on my computer.

    { reply }
  5. Kazeto says:

    I see the “chris whitman’s wizard powers are many and varied” tag gets some frequent use on this blog.

    Sir Chris, I know it sounds weird but we love your wizard powers.

    { reply }
  6. Dareon says:

    “Encoggle” is the best new verb I’ve encountered in a while.

    { reply }
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