August 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm #165
There is a vast number of options and possibilities available for the terrain system(s) for NPB, 2D tiled based terrain, 3D instanced/zoned terrain using a 2D/3D overland map, and then streamed/seamless 3D open world. There is also different variations with these as well.
There is also the choice of which variation of the different maps of Britannia to support. Just taking a quick look online, (my memory of maps isn’t great) there is at least 5 fairly distinct variations of Britannia over the years, just compare the U9 map, to U4 and you can easily see the difference.
There is a few cases, were there isn’t any variations in maps to worry about, such as Morgaelin for U8, or Novia from SotA (Arguably this is still is development so could change.) Though, in the case of U8, there is some distinct differences between the game world, and the map provided.
Ideally, I would hope that all variations of the maps would be supported in the end. However, based on the time/effort involved in world crafting, it may be best to determine an order in which to focus on these.
Personal opinion, would be to start with the map from Ultima 7. This is due to a few factors, 1 the overall popularity of game (U6 is also a prospect here) Also the fact that the U7 map is the most “complete” in terms of total land mass, with the most defined layout. In my opinion, it would be best to start with the ‘complete’ map, and make the required changes to fit the others from that. These changes mainly being removal of land/islands.August 6, 2015 at 7:10 pm #166
I think the goal for a base map is be a large, U7-based terrain map with rocks and trees and foliage, an ocean travel system, and a moongate system. Probably no towns or other more game specific details.
One major thing to consider with the variations is the differences across U4-7 are relatively small if you ignore scale. Small areas of a world map are easy to alter such as adding or removing islands, changing mountain shapes, etc. The landmasses are fairly consistent. Towns generally changed the most, but these won’t be part of the base map anyway. U8/U9 aren’t a factor here since those maps will be imported, which leaves Serpent isle (and the sosarias).August 7, 2015 at 11:13 am #170
Thankfully, scale on terrain, at least for 3D terrain, is fairly easy to adjust in Unity. Though there is issues with textures and such depending how the scale is adjusted.
I already have a U8 height map that is fairly complete, based off of the cloth map. It still needs a few iterations to get it to a state that I am at least happy to share it.
I can hopefully get a first pass of a U7 based height map done, for a 3D terrain, done fairly easily with my work flow. This should give a somewhat decent starting point for people wanting to work on the other systems, such as moon fate travel, water travel etc. While a more comprehensive terrain is finished.
Another thing that we may want to decide on, is a unified set of terrain textures for the different biomes. This would help for both terrain creation, as well asset creation for any ‘natural’ assets.
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