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[TERRAIN_OVERHAUL] More Terrains / Terrain Features / Bonus Ressources [WORK IN PROGRESS]

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by raystuttgart, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Mostly by giving them different "Terrain Details" and "Blends". "Heightmaps" are also possible, "Grids" hardly matter.
    (If you experiment a bit you can create almost everything you want.)

    It is pretty easy once you understand how Terrains and Water work in Civ4Col.)
    Took me a while to understand but I learned a lot when I did "Large Rivers", "Lakes" and "Shallow Coast".

    Recently I also created this "Ice Lake":




     

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  2. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Graphically maybe yes.
    But for gameplay? :dunno:

    Grand Canyon or Death Valley a "sinkhole" would normally never be created as a "Terrain" of their own.
    If at all they would be created as a "Terrain Features" - which should allow everything that you described above.

    Heights are easily done by "normal 3D graphics" and even depths "below ground level" should be possible.
    (At least considering graphical effects using intelligent colour schemes that create "fake depths visual effects".)

    It is maybe possible to create such stuff playing with "Terrain Details", Terrain Textures" and maybe also "Heightmaps".
    But for me it would need to have some purpose in gameplay to invest the efforts to figure out. :dunno:

    Summary:
    The Use-Cases you described are at most "Terrain Features" and not "Terrains".
    (It would technically be much much easier to do it that way.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  3. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    Agree on that.
     
  4. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Off topic for this thread, but if you ever work on getting Col2071 to work with the WTP DLL, then we should talk about this. Space shouldn't be DOMAIN_SEA, but rather DOMAIN_SPACE. This will help to solve a bunch of space vs water issues.
     
  5. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    The difference between "half deserts" / "semi deserts" and "deserts" is basically determined in the amount of "life" they sustain.
    (A half desert may still have a few more cactus plants, shrubs, mice, lizards, ... a desert is more hostile.)

    Actually everything I model will more or less just "half deserts" / "semi deserts" because of some terrain features and bonus ressources.
    ("Real deserts" would simply be no fun for gameplay - they would be "dead places" for gameplay on the map. Not just "harsh places".)
     
  6. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Ice Lakes are now fully integrated.
    (Incl. Map-Generation logic.)

    At lattitudes > 75 degrees the game now creates "Ice Lakes".
    At lattitudes < 75 degrees the game still creates normal "Lakes"

    So do not worry, there are no Ice Lakes in Caribean Maps / Caribean Map Scripts.

    (Maps / MapScripts playing in the complete New World will however have them in "High North" / "Deep South".)

    By the way:
    They can also have Bonus Ressources like Seals, Fur Seals, Canada Goose, ... (They are great places for hunting.)
    They may also have Bonus Ressources like e.g. Fish, Shrimp, Clam, ... (so fishing / ice fishing is also possible.)

    Those are places that can keep a settlement alive high up in the north.
    (May be worth it, if there is e.g. Gold or Silver ...)

    Screenshots:



    Map Generation "Americas Map":
    (High North >75 degrees Lattitutde)



    Map Generation "Americas Map":
    (North <75 degrees Lattitutde)

     

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  7. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Well, another small piece has been created:
    The "Canada Goose".

    Step by step I get closer to finish this ... :)
    (Modding simply takes patience and perseverance.)



     

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  8. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Hi guys,

    the next Terrain is implemented: Rock Steppes.

    It is generally very similar to Deserts in terms of "Harshness". (Very low Food, basically no Plant Yields, Breeding Yields, ...)
    (You normally only want to settle in such areas if there are valuable Bonus Ressources (Minerals, Gold, Ore, Stone, ...) that make that spots interesting enough.)

    The main difference to Deserts is:
    Deserts have Yield Rock Salt, Rock Deserts have lots of Yield Stone.

    So some players in the past complained about "Stone" being hard to get.
    This Terrain shoulds eradicated all such complaints completely.

    Edit:
    I forgot to explain that this terrain is supposed to be mixed with Tundra and Taiga in MapGeneration.
    (So that area - which is supposed to become strategically and economically more valuable - will also become your "prime location for Stone".)



     

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
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  9. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Ok, I am working now on finishing "Shrubland".
    (Currently still not happy with the graphics I have.)
    By the way:
    This is the last Terrain I plan to add.
    (Then all Climates - Cold, Temperate, Sub-Tropic, Tropic - have 3 Terrains each.)

    Considering gameplay and balancing "Shrubland" is basically in between Desert and Prairie and only fits South America.
    (I intend to give it different Yields and balancing though in a later build.)





     

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
    modmod and schueler like this.
  10. Acheron81

    Acheron81 Chieftain

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    Looking good. So will grassland be the wettest tile you can find in the temperate zone? For example from wettest to driest Grassland/Plains/Rock Desert?

    How much work would it take to make the Faire Weather map generation script work with this? I bet it would make some very realistic looking maps.
     
  11. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    @raystuttgart

    I want to thank you for all the effort that you are putting into this! WTP really needs more diversity with regards to terrain to make the map less bland and
    "same-samey). I always disliked the 5x5 patches of similar terrain that was often generated by the FW map script, even though I did correct this a bit in my FW tweak variant, I was not able to achieve what I really wanted due to not having enough terrain/features to work with.

    With that in mind I would like to kindly remind you of this ticket that I created a while back: https://github.com/We-the-People-civ4col-mod/Mod/issues/338.
    Here, I proposed a new game mechanic that would vary the yields of any given terrain/feature combination to avoid having all of them essentially being clones of each other. Your proposal of adding a lot of new terrain goes a long way towards solving this.

    However, I now realize how we can achieve far more diversity!

    Why don't we "subclass" the terrain by creating "composable" features that we can overlay the terrain with.

    Consider this:
    We create a number of features that "modulate" the underlying terrain in terms of vegetation, soil quality, moisture, rockiness etc.

    For example: we could have the following features:

    Vegetation: We already have these in the form of forest density (including shrubs, lull grass)
    Soil: Normal, black (Chernozem ), nutrient poor etc. Note that these already exist in BTS mods (RI etc.)
    Moisture: Wet, normal, dry (wetlands could be a feature rather than a terrain)
    Rockiness\elevation: Flat, Rolling, rocky ( I stole this and the above from Alpha Centauri :p )

    If we then apply this concept to e.g. plains, we'd easily have 10+ variants that could have their yields remixed (some would be good for breeding, others not so much but would have more food than normal etc) We could even add some unusual yields like adding a bit of ore to a rocky plains (and making them terrible for breeding)
    We should probably also restrict some combinations that would not make sense like having a very wet desert :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  12. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    I am not really sure how I should answer to this. :dunno:
    Depends if you really understand my concept and how climate works.

    There is no way to really define a "Temperate Zone" by something as simple as e.g. just Lattitude.
    "Climate Zones" (incl. Vegetation) are influenced by many factores like Lattitude, Mountains, Winds, Water surfaces (Lakes / Oceans), ....

    I am talking about modelling "Climate Zones" with Terrain Types not "Zones in terms of simple Lattitudes". see e.g. the map here.
    If you think in simple Zones from "North to South" you have not yet understood what I am trying to create.

    So yes, "Grasland" is the wettest "Temperate Climate". (If it would be wetter it would simply not be "temperate" anymore.)
    But there is no "Lattitude zoning" in my concept that e.g. says Grasland could only be in the North.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  13. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Nothing to thank for. :)
    Being creative as a modder is fun for me.

    And diversity is what you shall get. ;)

    Although I have almost finished "Base Terrains", I have just started with "Terrain Features" and "Bonus Ressources".

    so e.g. with "Terrain Features" I plan to

    Add more vegetation (as Terrain Features):
    (Similar to "Lush Grass" and "Shrubs" and "Barrel Cactus" and "Mangroves" and "Swamp" and "Bog" and ... .)

    - Spilt remaining normal Forrest Types: deciduous forest (Leaf) and corniferous forest (Evergreen)
    - Transform current Bonus Ressource Cactus into Terrain Feature Cactus
    - Add further Forrest Types (but I must still refine my concept)
    - Add Lichen and Moss (because I really need them for my concept, to add some more Food at specific Thundra Types)
    - Add Hedges and Thickets (which I want to have for completion to e.g. add Birds there)
    - Young Forest and Burnt Forest (just for diversification but also for Events)
    ....

    Add more non-vegetation (as Terrain Features):
    (Similart to e.g. "Rock Reefs" or "Tar Pits" or "Flood Plains" but this time more on land.)

    - Volcano (which already existed)
    - Flood Plains I already created and added to Plains (just mention it again)
    - Nutrient Rich Soil (similar to "Flood Plains"), Nutrient Poor Soil ( had not thought about it but your idea is interesting)
    - Sharp Stones ( basically more or less an obstacle in Flatland that Pioneers can remove by "Pioneer Action" digging up --> giving 20 Stone)
    - Huge Rocks ( basically more or less an obstacle on Hills that Pioneers can remove by "Pioneer Action" digging up --> giving 50 Stone)
    - Impassable Mountains I already created and added to Plains (just mention it again)
    - Ore Rich Mountains / Silver Rich Mountains / Gold Rich Mountaints / Gem Rich Mountains ( Similar to my "Impassable Mountains" as Terrain Feature on Top of Mountains)
    ....

    And more (temporary) weather effects (as Terrain Features):

    - Tornado
    (which already existed)
    - Blizzard I already created and added to Plains (just mention it again)
    - Fog I already created and added to Plains (just mention it again)
    - Sandstorm I already created and added to Plains (just mention it again)
    - Rain
    - Drought

    ...


    And then I finally come to all the other stuff as Bonus Ressources:

    Just take a look at all the animals and other stuff I already created and rest assured that I intend to add much more ... ;)
    I will need to add much more because I also intend to add several new Yields for the New Terrains and new game concepts I want.

    -----

    Comment on my concept:

    I do not want to have "magic numbers" - not easily visible on first sight that modify the Yields.
    (e.g. some DLL logic running trough all Plots and randomly applying +1 / 0 / -1)

    I want to work purely with:

    1. Terrains --> Because my "Drain Feature" e.g. allows to drain Marsh and Wetland
    2. Terrain Features --> Because we e.g. have Cut Forrests, Cut Grass, ..., Irrigate Deserts, ...
    3. Bonus Ressources --> Because they may be changed in one of my later features as well.

    Trust me please, that I have put a lot of thought into the design of this concept. :thumbsup:
    (And there are reasons why I do most of it using existing game concepts and XML that I simply expand.)

    I want to create it in a way that:

    1. Everyting is nicely visible on Map.
    2. It can easily be expanded and modified by XML.
    3. A Map Creator can nicely use it to create Maps.


    -----

    Summary:


    I am still far a way from having "my vision" for this finished.
    I may still need months for this, but I am having fun creating it. :)

    Simply have some patience. :hug:
    I can only create a tiny bit of the puzzle every day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  14. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    No that would not work, because then I could not put other features like e.g. "Swamp" or "Bog" on it. :nope:
    • Some things (like Wetland) simply need to be "Terrains", so I can put a "Terrain Feature" (e.g. Vegetation) on it.
    • Some things (like Cactus) simply need to be "Terrain Features" so I can put an additional "Bonus Ressource" (e.g. an Animal) on it.
    Trust me, I consider in much detail what I will create e.g. as Terrain, Terrain Feature or Bonus Ressources.
    (It depends where I want to place it or how I want to combine it with the others.)
     
  15. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    This was THE list I was waiting for.
    Thanks. :thumbsup:
     
  16. HiFiPanda

    HiFiPanda Chieftain

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    Exactly a reason why I wanted to ask about month ago (but I forgot :rolleyes:) if there are any plans to implement this type of terrain, as currently it looks really weird when out of nowhere a desert appears next to fertile jungle/grasslands tiles.
     
  17. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    So ok guys,

    here is the last Terrain I wanted to add "Shrubland" - it is basically the "transition" between "Prairie" and "Desert".
    (In later builds it will get Yields of its own though.)





     

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  18. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    As I said, I am now finally done with all "Base Terrains". :)
    However I still have a long list of "Terrain Features" and "Bonus Ressources" to work on.

    This branch basically reached "alpha development stage" now.
    (Savegames will not constantly become completely incompatible anymore.)
    • work on e.g Map Scripts and Maps could already start :thumbsup:
    • work on texts and translations for Terrains, ... can slowly but surely start
    • detailed balancing concept (incl. distribution of Terrain Features / Bonus Ressources) can slowly but surely start
    • proper graphical tests and further grapic improvements can slowly but surely start
    • ...
    -----

    Still a lot of work, but it is fun. :)
     
  19. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    While I very much like the new terrains/ features recently encountered a problematic part at a different topic:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/atta...7/?temp_hash=45c8e40bb8633f2fafae528ed8b74d95

    So the native mercenary have soooo much bonuses in most terrains/ features which cc. covers the entire screen. :eek:
    It is pretty irreal right now (to have the same unit bonuses from tajga till rainforrests) + ugly.

    Solution can be if with the terrain overhaul a part of combat overhaul delivered to solve this.
    I think of "native combat bonuses based of terrain of origin" -> like promotions -> based on origin.

    Example:
    Native warrior/ mercenary comes from XY village which have in like 5 plot radius certain terrains/ features.
    Then get bonuses (promotions) just for those ones -> and NOT for all the others.
    That way can avoid to have a native bonuses in tajga while comes from Central America, or have water based bonuses (swamps/ rivers, etc...), or forrest if comes from a desert where no such exist.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  20. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Not related to "Terrain Overhaul" concept / implementation itself. ;)
    Please do not start other concept discusions here but create new threads instead.

    I can tell you right away that I am not going to implement what you suggest though:
    Way too much effort and really bad for performance for too little benefit.

    The Unit simply does not know / store / consider its "origin" considering Promotions.
    It is simply the same Unit, no matter where it was created / spawned.

    And I am definitely not going to create a copy of the Native Soldier for each Native Nation ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021

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