This is still very much a work in progress...but today I'm going to talk about my Landmass system.
I wanted to make a randomly generated map, that was different every time you played, but I didn't want to create an algorithm to generate elevation in a believable way. Some people spend years on those types of algorithms, and I was not prepared to spend that kind of time.
Instead, I came up with a different system, one that I haven't seen implemented in a strategy game so far.
I actually got the idea from Diablo 3. Their procedurally generated dungeons are split into giant chunks, and each chunk has a specific entrance shape that lines up with other chunks in that tile set.
I decided to take this mechanism and implement it in an outdoor setting. But how would I make different tiles fit along the edges? It's easy to do in a dungeon with narrow hallways, but how could I do it with an open air environment?
I realized that the edges were the most important part of all of this. So I decided to make the edges of each tile a combination of elevations. Then tiles with a similar elevation combination can line up with that edge. I limited the elevations to 3 types: Low (L), High (H) and Water (W), but that alone wouldn't work. I decided to have each edge split half-and-half between two elevations. Half one elevation and half another elevation on each tile edge.
Each chunk edge can have one of the combinations above.
Then we can create tiles that look something like these above, with each edge a combination of 2 elevations.
I realized, that as long as the edges remain clean, the middle of the tile can run with creativity.
As there are 9 edge combinations, and although each tile has 4 edges, the actual total number of tile chunks I created is just 18. There are 4 combinations I omitted because they're strangely arranged (I may add them at a later date).
So basically that's it! The map ends up looking something like the sketch above. I created an algorithm that generates tiles, one at a time, by reading the edges of the tile right before it and the one above it, then choosing a random tile that fits.
You can see that this system allows for quite a bit of flexibility while remaining relatively simple. The texturing and colors are not final but I'm really happy with how it turned out!
I create, design and develop video games I'm interested in playing.
The Fire System
Melee and Ranged Units
Weather and "Seasons"
Ladders and Elevation
Animating 2D units in a 3D world
Setting the Theme
Setting the Focus