All posts tagged with "basically a simulation of Colorado"

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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Biomes of Steampunk Colorado

Last time we talked about biomes back in February, Mr. Whitman had finished a framework for terrain generator and had implemented a few test case biomes which we have been using in-game for a while just to give us something to hack on to test the features we’re after. This small set of biomes has been the backdrop for a ton of our screenshots lately. You may have noticed a recurring theme of pine trees on a field of green grass with some lakes.

We’re going to start mixing it up in the next month or so. The system we’ve implemented runs on a concept of two or three specified biomes on a given game terrain map (the playable area in any given colony).  Some examples might be a “high prairie” (aka “Steampunk Yellowstone National Park”) biome, a tropical rainforest, a desert, or the Novyrussian taiga.  Within these biomes, we have subcategories of smaller environments that we call “mini-biomes” or “sub-biomes”.


Not pictured: The Underdark.

For our high prairie example, these include the prairie highlands, canyons, conifer forests, aspen forests, or craggy hills. We have some heuristics for determining where these mini-biomes should go within the map.  A fairly simple random walk for determining river directions, which gives us gravel beds, canyons, and actual rivers, and Perlin-based determinations for where forests or hilly regions are placed.

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