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On biomes, ores, decoration, and ecosystems

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 19:31
by ShadMOrdre
This is just a discussion about a direction I'm taking with a couple of mods I working on.

It all started with boredom. Tired of seeing the same things. This is mainly due to lack of content. So then I download a mod or two or ten or well, sometimes, there just ain't enough mods in the world. Not true. But as I consume these mods, I find, some are incompatible with others, some require updating for newer versions of MT, and some, just can't be lived without.

So, I begin hacking and coding, and end up with where I am now. A massive undertaking, but well worth the effort. This is not a plug for the mods I discuss, only a discussion about motivations, problems, and solutions.

World building 101: You must start with the very basic details. Materials, or rather, those items that constitute the known world. The elements, dirt, stone, and so forth. Thus begins life lib_materials and lib_ecology. These mods consolidate nodes found in other mods into a singular namespace, while removing all the processing that may occur in their parent mods.

The above mods are meant to be a singular collection of all that makes up an MT world, in the rawest sense. Not the produced goods, not the craftitems or other such things, but simply the dirt, stone, plants, and trees. From here I can begin to rewrite crafting recipes where there may be conflicts, given all the new materials. Content.

Now, on to the ecosystem part. Biomes, in MT, are rather simplistic definitions. And for that, they are perfect, in light of what I'm about to say. Biomes give us a way to make the world different, but are only the beginning. Ore defs and decorations can both be biome dependent, with both also having the abilities of noise spread and specific node placement. So within a biome, I then create an ore def for a given grass type, slightly different from the grass type of the overlying biome. Upon this new grass type, I then create my ecosystem. By creating several such ecosystems, biomes themselves can become varied within themselves, allowing for truly different spaces.

lib_materials defines many "new*" stone, sand, dirt, grass, and liquid types. *(New in that I mostly consolidate from other mods into a singular namespace.) I end up with enough variation to allow the next step.

lib_ecology, in addition to providing the plants and trees, also covers biome definitions and decorations for those biomes. This mod defines close to 100 trees, 100 plants, (these numbers are close but not accurate), again consolidating from other mods with additional new stuff. It also currently defines around 250 biomes. With my new way of thinking about ecosystem definitions, there will be so much variablility that it may become possible to have maps in which you may not encounter certain ecosystems.

I am considering adding the Australia and Aeotora mods to lib_ecology, and Facedeer's Real_Minerals and Icy_Diamonds' Fluid_lib and Melterns functionality to lib_materials. This all provides a hefty base upon which to create some truly astonishing worlds.

This entire thread may simply be a discussion for myself, in which case, moderator, please move to an appropriate forum, maybe mod discussion. And sorry for the inconvenience if this is the case.


Re: On biomes, ores, decoration, and ecosystems

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 19:42
by texmex
Very interested in your undertaking here. Following!

Re: On biomes, ores, decoration, and ecosystems

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 20:07
by ShadMOrdre

Thanks. I was motivated by your post to go ahead and post this, because this is a HUGE undertaking, and one that, IMHO, can lead to a higher profile for MT. It's all about the content.

And just an FYI, I use item_drop, and the mods I reference above include support for floodables. :)


Re: On biomes, ores, decoration, and ecosystems

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 22:08
by texmex
I’m glad someone found my post :)

Indeed it is huge, but don’t you also feel like ”let’s do it right for once, let’s put the engine to some real use”? That’s my sentiment as well. Though I’m more into the mechanics and progression of such a game (which is why I’m stuck at biome generation in my own game project when really I should focus on the core gameloop).

I reacted a bit on the part where you talk about adding in Australia, Aeotora and Real Minerals because of the possible overload of materials and minerals that wouldn’t necessarily have a real purpose in the game (think of the more or less pointless minerals in MTG). Though a subtractive approach could be used, where materials from different mods are accepted into the game and the rest are just unregistered for use later, Though the method is abit sloppy, it’s better than forking. I use the same method myself.

Ah, floodables, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a log time. ^_^

Re: On biomes, ores, decoration, and ecosystems

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 22:28
by ShadMOrdre
Game mechanics are on the horizon. When thinking of game design, it starts with world building, rules making and perhaps some storytelling. What I've been thinking has been a combo of awards, crafting (unlockable), stats, and some others to esssentially generate the data that rules would need.

Crafting, in the minecraft traditional sense, should be more about increasing technology, whilst inworld object creation should be more immersive in general, because I hate formspecs. To that end, I've started hacking at the mods that use them instead of an inworld, immersive option. Sokomine's Anvil mod, taken from cottages, is the example I'd use here. The anvil is essentially an item frame, and all interaction with is done inworld with LMB and RMB instead of using a nonimmersive formspec. With this thinking, take a peak at my lib_tools mod, where I've already begun to implement this philosophy. While the included anvil is a direct copy of Sokomines, the enchanting table was cobbled together with code from Anvil, Itemshelf, and Xdecor. The result, is an interactive eye candy, way to enchant tools and armor. I currently have a crafting table done the same way.

Is this close to what you envision?

And as for heavy, I currently run advtrains, mesecons, digiline, pipeworks, several versions of a modified settlements mod, and about 100 others. My item count is around 20000. Is it heavy, you bet. I usually run this on a quad core xeon, but it runs surprisingly well on my quad core acer desktop. I'll try to grab a mod list and itemlist and post for your boredom.... ;)