Neverending maps by seamlessly stitching maps together!

I've always wanted to create big maps. Stuff that can be used to create whole worlds. Big maps are definitely possible with the "Generated Worlds" (working title) application. Below you'll see an example of four different maps created by the same random seed. The difference in each map is an "offset" factor that determines how final noise is generated. An offset of 0 (default) creates the first image, while an offset of (1 * Map height) creates the second, (2 * Map height) creates the third, and so on. The example below shows the "Height Offset" or Y-Offset. Of course the same is possible horizontally, allowing you to create huge maps consisting of N * N smaller maps.

There are a couple of tasks left before this works flawlessly, and that is to make sure rivers do not start at the edge of maps, - and to make sure texture heightmaps (for example forests) also overlap seamlessly into a large map. Luckily, the little detour into creating starfields has presented a nice elegant solution for the heightmap challenge already (although not shown here).

I think this is pretty cool, and I hope you do too!

First version of Starfields

So, I've been spending the past day or so creating a new theme for starfields. It's still early, but the early result shows some promise. There's more I want to do with this, - to add brighter stars and perhaps a planet or two. Any ideas beyond that? Would be much appreciated.

Anyway, here's an example of the first version of starfields.

Starfield version 1


Tiny change in priorities

Due to another project I am working on, I have to shift my priorities a tiny bit. I have to squeeze in another theme early on, which is a space background. The base background will be black with scattered interstellar clouds, based on the same noise generation that creates land and water composition currently. Cities will turn into stars (with randomized looks based on the same master seed). It is a shift that pushes some of the other things on the backlog further down, but I think this can be pretty cool as well! Screenshots coming as soon as the theme is "good enough".

The space maps are needed for a (rather simple at this point) game-development project.


Fixing the demo!

So, some people were experiencing problems running the demo. It turns out I was accidently using some .NET 4.5 specific code. At least I suspect that is the problem, as the demo now runs flawlessly on my wife's computer as well. I've uploaded a new version with the fix at https://sites.google.com/site/genworlds/

This release also contains debug files. So if the application still crashes violently, you should be able to help me find out why. Here's how:

  • Control Panel
    • Administrative Tools
      • Windows Logs
        • Application
          • Look for glaring errors

Once you find the error symbol (or two), copy the content and mail me at generatedwrlds@gmail.com please.

Hopefully it'll all be smooth sailing though :)


The way ahead

The demo is out, and I want to reveal some plans for the future. Some of the priorities will be driven if/when I get some feedback on the demo version on what people would like to see, but I have many plans of my own as well. So, here's what I want to do!

  • Do some minor work on rivers, in an attempt to remove the most ridiculous-looking ones.
  • Create a second map theme, which will most likely be an aged, wrinkled, parchment-like theme.
  • Aim for fully-flexible map sizes.
  • Support both 32-bit and 64-bit.
  • Create consistent textures that appear the same, independent of map sizes.
  • Add serialization to map objects. This in itself doesn't offer much, but with proper serialization in place, I can:
    • Load and store map objects (not images)
    • Allow users to customize the different layers applied to a map
    • Manually place cities, labels ++
    • Add various post-processing effects.
  • Create a full UI experience.
  • Improve the random name generator significantly.
  • Improve the language libraries significantly.
  • Create a proper installer.
Further down the road when I am happy with the application itself, the goal is to keep adding more interesting and unique themes.

So you can see, there's enough to do!

Time for a small demo

A small demo version has been made available. As with most demos, not all functionality or "content" is included. But it is a good way to show everyone what this project is all about.

It should be noted that this version is based around a "one-click equals finished map" concept. The end product down the road aims to allow for manual processing and post-processing as well.

The demo, as well as some disclaimer bulletpoints on the version can be located Here.


Something coming very soon.

I know it's been some time since I posted an update here. Things have progressed, although slower than I had hoped. And somewhere along the way, I thought to myself "I want to get something out there. Anything!". So I decided to create a small, stripped down version of the software. Call it a poor man's prototype. And it's almost done! (We're talking a week or two, if not days).

Now this little "teaser" of an application does not contain much customization or choices, but it at least contains a petty few. But then again, it does produce maps.

The thought is that I'm going to update this little thing as I proceed with the core libraries, so that anyone who wants to, can offer feedback. Hopefully this leads to discussions that increases the quality of the final product.

Once I publish it, I'll include a text file that summarizes the largest restrictions compared to the complete version.

Hopefully you'll take time to give it a spin when the time comes :)