[MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

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Nystul
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by Nystul »

monobelisk wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:02 am I agree. I think I'll stick to my previous suggestion of Interesting Terrains first making a copy of the woodsfile buffer for internal use, then overwrite the woodsfile buffer with Interesting Terrains height values - that would also ensure compatibility with other mods that use the 1000x500 heightmap for topographical information. I'll do some testing today, and share my results later :)
if you can do this that would be awesome ;)

monobelisk
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by monobelisk »

Nystul wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:03 am
monobelisk wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:02 am I agree. I think I'll stick to my previous suggestion of Interesting Terrains first making a copy of the woodsfile buffer for internal use, then overwrite the woodsfile buffer with Interesting Terrains height values - that would also ensure compatibility with other mods that use the 1000x500 heightmap for topographical information. I'll do some testing today, and share my results later :)
if you can do this that would be awesome ;)
So far, it actually looks like it might be promising! :)

However, I'm having some issues with getting the correct base height and "extra" height, so it'll take a bit longer than anticipated before I have anything screenshot worthy.

monobelisk
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by monobelisk »

Nystul wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:03 am if you can do this that would be awesome ;)
So far, so good! However, the transition ring generation and world terrain hiding process are considerably more visible than without Interesting Terrains, especially when there are tall mountains.
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haloterm
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by haloterm »

I'm currently switching back and forth between Basic Roads and Interesting Terrains (or actually I have both activated, so that I see at least the road network drawn on the travel map by Travel Options) and I really wish that one day both can work together ... because of this:

Image

That's on the Isle of Balfiera.

This is ... :shock: Alpine paradise idyll. Even with cows.

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Nystul
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by Nystul »

this looks amazing. thank you for your efforts!
monobelisk wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:25 pm So far, so good! However, the transition ring generation and world terrain hiding process are considerably more visible than without Interesting Terrains, especially when there are tall mountains.
I would not be too concerned. It is just how distant terrain looks (being one limitation of my mod). And since your mod generates more interesting terrain and more mountains in general it just happens more often that such transitions can be seen. Nothing to worry about ;)

Looking forward to give this a try. No that is an understatement. Pretty hyped right now :)

haloterm
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by haloterm »

I travelled a lot with Interesting Terrain now.

When thinking of compatibility with Basic Roads, this will surely provide some challenges. For example, I was just in Makilliweyn (Dragontail Mountains) -- with Interesting Terrain this city lies on top of the mountain and going there by foot feels quite natural, if one follows the terrain in a reasonable manner. It's quite exciting actually:

Image

It is really giving a sense of greatness, of lonelyness, when you climb these naturally feeling mountain and then, finally, on top is this big city, like a guardian, a safe haven. So awesome.

However, I think that for such mountainous regions a different road network than currently created by users is needed. It needs to follow the natural slope of the terrain, otherwise some roads (like in this example) would go straight down in 80° or 90°... easiest way to do this is to simply NOT have roads in such regions, just some partial paths covering flatter grounds. Maybe one day two versions of the roads mod could be done. One for use with Distant Terrain and one without...

haloterm
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by haloterm »

Sorry for spamming this thread. Found a little bug:

Image

This is in Wayrest region, near Joyous light of Akatosh.

monobelisk
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by monobelisk »

haloterm wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:27 pm I'm currently switching back and forth between Basic Roads and Interesting Terrains (or actually I have both activated, so that I see at least the road network drawn on the travel map by Travel Options) and I really wish that one day both can work together ... because of this:

That's on the Isle of Balfiera.

This is ... :shock: Alpine paradise idyll. Even with cows.

I travelled a lot with Interesting Terrain now.

When thinking of compatibility with Basic Roads, this will surely provide some challenges. For example, I was just in Makilliweyn (Dragontail Mountains) -- with Interesting Terrain this city lies on top of the mountain and going there by foot feels quite natural, if one follows the terrain in a reasonable manner. It's quite exciting actually:

It is really giving a sense of greatness, of lonelyness, when you climb these naturally feeling mountain and then, finally, on top is this big city, like a guardian, a safe haven. So awesome.

However, I think that for such mountainous regions a different road network than currently created by users is needed. It needs to follow the natural slope of the terrain, otherwise some roads (like in this example) would go straight down in 80° or 90°... easiest way to do this is to simply NOT have roads in such regions, just some partial paths covering flatter grounds. Maybe one day two versions of the roads mod could be done. One for use with Distant Terrain and one without...
Roads compatibility will be my next project, now that Distant Terrain works. Indeed, it's going to be a challenge! I don't know when I'll reach a point where I'm satisfied with the terrain, and won't make further changes (it's probably gonna be sometime around v. 1.0). Therefore, it wouldn't be a great idea to create separate road networks for Interesting Terrains just yet. Also, I'm not exactly sure how the road patching works, but my impression is that only edge points for each map pixel is stored, and that the roads themselves are generated at runtime, which would make a sepparate set of road patches more or less irrelevant.

The ideal solution would be to procedurally generate roads that naturally follow the terrain slopes, but for now my plan is to smoothen the terrain around the existing road network much like how locations are smoothened. My philosophy behind terrain generation has always been that the terrain should conform to the existing heightmap and existing locations (and now also existing roads), not the other way around.
haloterm wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:58 pm Sorry for spamming this thread. Found a little bug:

This is in Wayrest region, near Joyous light of Akatosh.
No problem :)
I'm assuming that the area in the screenshot is close to a location. It's due to a limitation in the current version of the mod, as it still relies on the built-in location blending feature, which alters the terrain heights around locations AFTER I've textured the terrain. This will be fixed in the next version.
Nystul wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:24 am this looks amazing. thank you for your efforts!

I would not be too concerned. It is just how distant terrain looks (being one limitation of my mod). And since your mod generates more interesting terrain and more mountains in general it just happens more often that such transitions can be seen. Nothing to worry about ;)

Looking forward to give this a try. No that is an understatement. Pretty hyped right now :)
Thanks :) I'll post a demo of the fixed version sometime soon (still have a few things I'd like to implement before the next release), as I suppose you'd be the best person to evaluate how well the integration works.

Also, I have a potential idea on how to optimize Distant Terrain so that the transition ring can be created more smoothly; basically instead of generating them on the CPU, it should be possible to pass the main heightmap from the woods file to the terrain shader, and then achieve the transition by displacing the vertices in the vertex shader instead. It would work both with and without Interesting Terrains. If you're interested, I could play around with it a bit and share my results? :)

haloterm
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by haloterm »

Thanks for replying!
monobelisk wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:58 am that the terrain should conform to the existing heightmap and existing locations (and now also existing roads), not the other way around.
I hope that does not mean that such great locations like Makilliweyn (from my post above, the city on top of the mountain) get flattened, because exactly such locations are one of the benefits of your mod. These give Daggerfall a unique appearence and I hope that you do not flatten the terrain there.

As I said, I have walked a lot with your mod, and I have started to replace the hiking guides in my Black Horse Courier mod. They previously assumed Distant Terrain's "Improved Terrain" option to be active, but your mod is superior in landscape quality (it's much more natural and smooth), and your mod will be a (soft) requirement for my mod (at least if players want to actually follow my hiking guides).

At the same time, I assume that Basic Roads is installed, because it serves a similar purpose. Your mod gives a natural feel to the landscape and thus creates atmosphere -- Basic Roads gives plausible infrastructure and thus cultural and historic context, and this also creates atmosphere. Both combined -- awesome.

That's why I think when your mod is finished and no big terrain changes are to be expected, and based on how Basic Roads works, a compatible road network might be needed. Just small adjustments to extreme places like Makilliweyn to avoid a road being draw in a 90° angle from the city gate down to the valley. The easiest way is to simply change the road network at this area, so it does not try at all to draw roads there.

monobelisk
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Re: [MOD] Interesting Terrains [WIP]

Post by monobelisk »

haloterm wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:23 pm I hope that does not mean that such great locations like Makilliweyn (from my post above, the city on top of the mountain) get flattened, because exactly such locations are one of the benefits of your mod. These give Daggerfall a unique appearence and I hope that you do not flatten the terrain there.

As I said, I have walked a lot with your mod, and I have started to replace the hiking guides in my Black Horse Courier mod. They previously assumed Distant Terrain's "Improved Terrain" option to be active, but your mod is superior in landscape quality (it's much more natural and smooth), and your mod will be a (soft) requirement for my mod (at least if players want to actually follow my hiking guides).

At the same time, I assume that Basic Roads is installed, because it serves a similar purpose. Your mod gives a natural feel to the landscape and thus creates atmosphere -- Basic Roads gives plausible infrastructure and thus cultural and historic context, and this also creates atmosphere. Both combined -- awesome.

That's why I think when your mod is finished and no big terrain changes are to be expected, and based on how Basic Roads works, a compatible road network might be needed. Just small adjustments to extreme places like Makilliweyn to avoid a road being draw in a 90° angle from the city gate down to the valley. The easiest way is to simply change the road network at this area, so it does not try at all to draw roads there.
Locations will get flattened much like they do now, but at an increased radius so that it looks more like the landscape naturally allowed the location to be built there, and less like a perfect location-sized square was carved into whatever the landscape is. So locations that are currently positioned at high altitudes will retain their altitude, but the border will be smoother and more organic. I think I'm gonna make it so that locations at high altitudes (mountain peaks) will have a more narrow smoothening radius than locations at ground level.

I like your idea of the hiking guides. That, combined with Interesting Terrains and Roads, will definitely increase both immersion and atmosphere! Down the line, as the terrain generation gets finalized, it would definitely make sense to create custom road patches specifically for Interesting Terrains. Until then, though, I'll work on implementing the flattening so there's at least minimal compatibility in the mean time, and also because some level of flattening/smoothing will be necessary no matter what. No matter the end results, it should be so that in both cases there will never be slopes above 45 degs in the road network, but that the road network otherwise follow the terrain as it exists. It's hard to say exactly how it's gonna end up before I've experimented with it for a bit.

Also, btw, don't count on the landscape staying even remotely the same until it's finalized; slightly changing a decimal in one of the terrain generators can literally change the entire world beyond recognition, and I'll probably be changing quite a bit until I'm completely satisfied.

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