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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”.

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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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