Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Mon Jul 07, 2014 16:34

Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

I finally upgraded my linux system to xubuntu 14.04 and could start trying out some of the minetest mods and games that wouldn't work on my old system. So, one of the first things I did was go looking for a floating island game. Paramat and HeroOfTheWinds both had floating island stuff out there, I happened to find SkyTest first, so I loaded it up and started a game.

After one game where I flew around a bit just to get an idea of what the world looked like, I started a new skytest game with the determination that I would not use the helicopter, or fly privilege. For the entire game I would have to build bridges to any and every island I wanted to explore. From ground level, to as high as I can get. This is my journal of the fantastic things I've seen and done during that game. I didn't think about taking screenshots when I started the game, so I went back later to capture images of those early explorations, and that means you will be able to see bridges I built later in the process in the pictures.

I started the game with skytest 0.1, generating a map using the indev method. HeroOfTheWinds recommends singlenode, and I would probably use that if I started over. But indev worked very well. I added my bridgetool mod, because I knew I was going to be building a lot of bridges, compassgps so I could keep track of where I was, and explorertools all, just because I like being able to place a torch on a right click while I'm holding a pick. But other than that, this is straight skytest. (Skytest 0.2 includes the bridgetool mod)

I spawned at ground level, and stayed there just long enough to gather enough earth and stone so that I could climb up to a local high point and build a stairway to a floating island that I could just barely make out above me.

Link to all images from this post

Image

Image

I had to go up about 250 nodes to reach my first floating island. But it was well worth the climb!

Image

You will note that these island from SkyTest 0.1 are not just beautiful, but simply awe inspiring.

Image

They are a bit flat though. Meaning that there isn't room for deep caves or high mountains on these island.

Image

That changes, DRASTICALLY, when I switch to SkyTest version 0.2 later. So, as awesome as these floating islands look in these images. They get, in my opinion, far better in the newer version.

I numbered the islands as I built stairways and bridges too them. The below view is of island 001 in the distance as I climb up to a higher island. You can see the small I house I built on 001 to use as my base of operations. Thats where I have put my chests storing all of the stuff that gets to be too much to carry as I am exploring.

Image

And below is yet another incredible view of several floating islands at once.

Image

It's hard to describe how absolutely awe inspiring the views are when you are peaking over, under, and through floating islands. You can see the clouds drifting by far below, and see where islands cast shadows on each other. When moving downhill you have to be very careful, because what looks like a solid slope could conceal holes that will drop you through into the vast nothingness below.

Occasionally you find caves and holes that you can peer through and find wonderful views to other floating islands. It seems like every corner you turn you see another site that leaves you slack jawed with wonder.

BUT, thats more than enough pictures for my first post. I'll show you fire biomes and some fascinating views through an island cave next time...
Last edited by Kilarin on Tue May 31, 2016 03:37, edited 3 times in total.
 

User avatar
srifqi
Member
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 04:31
Location: Indonesia
GitHub: srifqi
IRC: srifqi
In-game: srifqi

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by srifqi » Mon Jul 07, 2014 18:02

Finally, a SkyTest journal (after v6 mapgen journal)

+1
I'm from Indonesia! Saya dari Indonesia!
Terjemahkan Minetest!
Mods by me. Modifikasi oleh saya.

Pronounce my nick as in: es-rifqi (IPA: /es rifˈki/)
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Mon Jul 07, 2014 21:59

Skytest has fire biomes!

link to all images in this post

Image

I don't know if it is very logical to have areas of the world that are always on fire, but it certainly is fascinating to look at.

The fire biome below shows something interesting in the distance:

Image

That odd floating island, island 008 of my exploration, looks sort of like the bottom portion of it was cut in half. I believe that is because one half of this island was generated using skytest 0.1 code. Then I updated to skytest 0.2 without generating a new map. The second half of floating island 008 generated using the new skytest 0.2 code. And boy, what a difference it made!

Image

With the new version, the islands go from really pretty, but kinda flat, to unbelievably beautiful, with tall mountains above, and great depths below. The terrain of the islands goes from very interesting, to "Oh Wow!"

Image

I, of course, had to climb that peak of cinder, the view from the top was nice:

Image

And if you think fire biomes look interesting during the day, you should see them at night!

Image

These fire biomes, combined with the depth of floating islands in skytest 0.2, allow for obsidian caves.

Image

Very deep, Very dark obsidian caves:

Image

Obsidian caves are darker than black velvet draped over a coffin on a moonless night. They are blackness itself. It's like the obsidian sucks in all the light that touches it. You can place torches every other node and still feel like you can't see everything. They are DARK!

But they have some fascinating surprises. I was wandering through an obsidian cave on island 008, turned a corner, and came upon this wonderful view:

Image

The screen shot can't capture the chill that goes down your spine when you are climbing through an inky black cave, turn a corner, and suddenly find yourself looking out a large window into sky. And not just empty sky, but sky filled with floating islands. Wow!

And this is a view of island 008 from a distance.

Image

Island 008 was mostly fire biome, and generated half with skytest 0.1 and half with skytest 0.2, which made it pretty interesting. But the next island was generated entirely with version 0.2, and it surpassed 008 in my opinion.

More on that next time.
Last edited by Kilarin on Tue May 31, 2016 03:50, edited 4 times in total.
 

User avatar
HeroOfTheWinds
Member
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 23:16
Location: Hawaii
GitHub: HeroOfTheWinds
IRC: WindHero

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by HeroOfTheWinds » Tue Jul 08, 2014 03:47

This is a very nice journal, and it inspires me to keep working on this game mode to see someone enjoying it so much! Yes, the volcanic/fire biomes are a little impractical, and I keep trying to find some way of blending them into the islands better. (Altitude, temperature, distance from island's middle...) Not finding too much that is satisfactory though.

Yeah, the cubic cut-out of the island was from the internal version switch of SkyLands. That probably won't happen very much in future updates, since I'm not toying with the terrain generator too much right now, only the biome system and other gameplay tweaks.

I look forward to hearing about Island 009!
Nam ex spatio, omnes res venire possunt.
Why let the ground limit you when you can reach for the sky?
Back to college now, yay for sophomore year schedules. :P
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 05:52

HeroOfTheWinds wrote:Yes, the volcanic/fire biomes are a little impractical

I'm not certain the game is about being "practical." It's more about looking great, and the fire biomes do that in spades.

HeroOfTheWinds wrote:I look forward to hearing about Island 009!

Ah yes, Island 009, the first island fully generated in version 0.2. My very first screenshot of this island will make it clear that things are going to look VERY different from here on!

Link to all images in this post

Image

And I can tell you, getting up to the top of that floating hill was not a simple task. And YES, it goes without question that I had to get to the top of it. What else was it there for if not to taunt me with how absolutely awesome the view would be from up there? Of COURSE I had to get to the top of it! Don't pretend you wouldn't have done it too!

Image

So I built steps up to the bottom of the floating hill:

Image

And discovered that the darn thing is HOLLOW! A hollow floating hill! I'm using the word awesome way to much, but that is just AWESOME!

After some careful climbing and more tunneling, I made it to the top:

Image

And the view was definitly worth it. The view of 008 from a distance at the end of the last post is the view from the top of the same floating hill looking in the opposite direction.

You can see from here that island 009, while really cool, was not very large. And there were no other floating islands in sight. So I stocked up on bridge building material, headed to the far edge of the island, and started building a bridge up into the empty sky. You can see the beginning of the bridge off in the distance in the above shot.

Image

The above is a view from partway up my blind stairs looking back down on 009, and 008 as well. 009 was beautiful, but small. I had to go up about 300 nodes before I ran smack dab into the bottom of island 010. Island 010 turned out to be full of even more beautiful sights than anything I had seen yet. And it was far from small. It was huge, it was enormous, it was gargantuan!
Last edited by Kilarin on Tue May 31, 2016 03:59, edited 5 times in total.
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 15:00

After climbing over 200 nodes up, a floating island appears in the distance above me. Once I get closer, it becomes clear that I am going to come up right smack dab in the middle of it and have to tunnel my way in.

link to all images in this post

Image

Don't be deceived by the size that floating island 010 appears in the above shot. The limits there are just because of my viewing distance. The further edges are not loaded yet. Island 010 just keeps going, and going, and going. And all of it is fascinating terrain and biomes.

Of course, I didn't come up under a thin portion of the island either. I had to tunnel quite a way up to finally get out on the surface of the island. But when I finally did, Wow! What interesting terrain!

Image

And turning around and looking the other direction was this structure:

Image

Image

There was a tiny floating island, only about 4 nodes wide, floating way up in the air, so, of course, I built a bridge up to it, and from there another very tiny floater was visible above that, so I built up to it and looking down from up there the same structure looks like this:

Image

It's kinda hard to see the stairs up to the first island because I built them out of the dirt I had dug tunneling up from below the island and they grew grass and blend in with the background.

It's hard to pick just a few favorite shots of the scenery from island 010, there was so much of it.

Image

Image


Pools on the floating islands have a tendency to fall through and make spectacular waterfalls. But this one wasn't really very visible. The waterfalls on 015 are much better.

Image


And you tell me, is this a nyan cat made out of desert stone and sand? :)

Image


One of the fascinating things about skytest 0.2 floating islands is that they have a lot of shape and structure underneath them that is fascinating, although sometimes a bit tricky to explore without flying

Image

Image


I manipulated time a lot so I didn't stumble over an edge in the dark, but I still ran into the occasional spectacular floating island sunset:

Image

I built bridges to islands 011 and 012 from 010, but they both turned out to be very small. 013 was just a bump on the way to 014. And 014? Well, thats for next time.
Last edited by Kilarin on Tue May 31, 2016 04:11, edited 3 times in total.
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Mon Jul 28, 2014 15:20

Way past time for another update here! Skytest has a couple of new versions out now, so my images are once again behind on what the current version looks like. So, if you think this looks awesome, the new version looks even better. :)

Island 014 was not too small and not too big. But it's environment was not as spectacular as 010. Except for one very interesting looking geographic feature that dominated the center of the island:

link to all images in this post

Image

Image

I didn't stay on 014 very long, but saw another island in the distance, built a bridge, and crossed over to 015. I thought 010 was big, but 015 was bigger. Of course, the comparison depends on how you count islands. 010 was all immediately connected. 015 was really a chain of large islands that were loosely connected. There were several places where I had to build bridges to cross gaps, but since the gaps were fairly close, and the space between the islands was not empty, but filled with bits of floating rock, I still counted them as the same island. Island 015 is so large that I haven't really finished exploring it yet.

One of the most immediately spectacular features of floating island 015 was the waterfalls:
Image

There would be no waterfall when the region first loaded, then the water sources would start spreading, and before your very eyes these huge spectacular waterfalls would form:
Image

Image

Image
(and this one shows off the lovely snow biomes, more on them later)

Image

Image

Image


The only flaw in these gorgeous waterfalls is the fact that the water hits an invisible barrier when it runs into an unloaded chunk:

Image

If I was playing with "fly" as an option, I could have simply flown down and gotten the water flowing again. Or if I wasn't so lazy, I could have built a bridge down there, but that would have been a LOT of work just to make the waterfall look a little bit prettier. :)

The waterfalls were really fantastic, but they were by no means the most interesting things on floating island 015. But this is enough images for one post. I'll put up some more screenshots from 015 next time.
Last edited by Kilarin on Tue May 31, 2016 04:21, edited 3 times in total.
 

User avatar
paramat
Developer
 
Posts: 3357
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 00:05
Location: UK
GitHub: paramat
IRC: paramat
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Tue Jul 29, 2014 00:00

paramat wrote:Beautiful screenshots.

Thank you kindly! But since I believe a lot of your code went into this project, I think the thanks should go back to you!
 

User avatar
HeroOfTheWinds
Member
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 23:16
Location: Hawaii
GitHub: HeroOfTheWinds
IRC: WindHero

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by HeroOfTheWinds » Tue Jul 29, 2014 01:11

Indeed, great screenshots. You might find that the new lighting in Minetest 0.4.10 makes the islands look even better, especially caves. And yes, I love the waterfalls, hate the chunk borders. I also notice that you've gotten a mithril pick and a stack of ice. :3

Indeed, most (almost all) of the actually terrain code that went into this is paramat's. All I've done is combine a few ideas, add some visual variety (which was also from watershed). However, I still keep trying to add enough so that eventually I can call half of it mine, lol. (If you went by lines of code, I'm almost there, but I'm going by actual work.)
Nam ex spatio, omnes res venire possunt.
Why let the ground limit you when you can reach for the sky?
Back to college now, yay for sophomore year schedules. :P
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Tue Jul 29, 2014 14:47

And now for some more of the wonders of floating island 015

link to all images in this post

The snow biomes were simply breathtaking:
Image

Image

Image

Image

I love this shot of one lonely Christmas tree poking up over an islands edge:

Image

And when they interact with a fire biome, I start wanting to play Vangelis' "Heaven and Hell" album:

Image

Image

There are some beautiful forests on the floating islands:


Image

The below forest was entirely nestled inside a cave opening. I had to put a bunch of torches up just to make it visible

Image

It was eerie and beautiful all at the same time. Strange to be surrounded by trees, but still have a roof over your head.

In one part of 015, I ran into this spectacular double island, floating sky ridge thingy:

Image

Image


Below is a view from the top looking down on one of those lovely snow biomes:

Image

Looking down from the top of the floating ridge you could see through many multiple layers of island. It was a spectacular view:

Image

Image

Image

And now we are almost caught up to where I've explored. I've seen some of island 016, but I still have more of both 016 and 015 to explore. I'm going to upgrade to the newest version of skytest soon, and hopefully will have some really interesting new things to post!
Last edited by Kilarin on Tue May 31, 2016 04:41, edited 2 times in total.
 

User avatar
HeroOfTheWinds
Member
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 23:16
Location: Hawaii
GitHub: HeroOfTheWinds
IRC: WindHero

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by HeroOfTheWinds » Tue Jul 29, 2014 23:20

Once again, enjoying your chronicles of the journey quite a bit!

Kilarin wrote:
HeroOfTheWinds wrote:I still haven't figured out anything I can do with cavorite. Do you have plans to include it in some really interesting recipes in the future?

I have been terrible about getting to it, but yes, I definitely have plans for cavorite, which include a special flying machine and a tool upgrade system that lets you increase (maybe even double) the dig speed of tools and their lifespan. Provided my current streak of inspiration lasts, I should be getting to it soon.
Nam ex spatio, omnes res venire possunt.
Why let the ground limit you when you can reach for the sky?
Back to college now, yay for sophomore year schedules. :P
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Jacobs Ladder: A SkyTest journal

by Kilarin » Tue May 31, 2016 04:53

imgrush went down, that is the second time I've lost all of my pictures on this thread. I transferred them all over to imgur which should be stable.
 


Return to General Discussion



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MoNTE48 and 4 guests