[Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

Gundul
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gundul » Post

Gael de Sailly wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 08:50
Gundul wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 05:38
I think I found the lag problem an the server. I generated again the map and disabled now
biomegen and river_mapgen mod. First tests look like lagfree now, please try again:

"rivers"
gundul.ddnss.de
Port: 39155
Ok cool, will come here again :)
For the lag problem: is there something to be fixed in my mod?
No, it is a hardware problem of the server. It is strong enough to serve blocks to clients
but not strong enough to calculate a map for itself. :)
As the world is there now, there is no need anymore of your mods on the server.
Just fly around and look :)
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by MisterE » Post

I just took a road trip through Virginia, and seeing the scenery, I thought of some improvements you can add.

1) rivers, and especially, streams, should be displaced down (-1 y) 1 node. this will make well-defined banks on streams. as it is, riverwater seems to be placed on top of the ground at times

2) make land features that are eroded by wind as well, and I also want to make streams less common

3) have some streams be covered up and flow underground in tunnels, to re-emerge elsewhere. One could conceivably wade through these tunnels... very occasionally, whole rivers should dive under the terrain

4) at the start of small streams, have springs. You could implement this in many ways, preferably several at once.
here are some suggestions:
springs:
a1) a highland bog (water sources, reeds, mud, dirt, fallen trees)
a2) small reservoir behind rock face, with stream flowing out an aperture.
a3) rocky outcrop

5) This kind of landscape definitely needs karst. It should have large areas studded by rocks that stick out of the ground, with no dirt.

Image

6) The landscape should have various unique and somewhat rare features, such as chimneys, cliffs, mounded hills that are somewhat out of place and not caused by recent water erosion (perhaps old mountain ranges, worn down long ago?), sinkholes (both water-filled and dry)

Image
Image


7) streams should spread out on flat land, and should have obstacles placed in their way, such as large boulders composed of several stone nodes, which they flow around. Larger rivers should have a delta as the reach the sea, where the river spreads out into marshland. also, as larger rivers go over flat land, they should have reasonably sized islands in them.

8) As you do erosion calculation, do not have rock be all the same density. Have some rock be very easy to erode, while other rock is very hard to erode. This should make for some nice waterfalls and weathered pillars, if you get the noises right.

9) please make some rivers like this:
Image

10) make some large areas be covered with rolling hills, with no rivers and only very small streams at the bottom

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gundul » Post

Would it be possible to move point zero to the center of the map ?
That would be easier for servers as map generation can be limited to
a certain number of blocks.
For now your maps always start at 0,0,0 and expand to the positive,
like 4000,0,4000.
For a server it would be easier to have that map from -2000,0,-2000 to
2000,0,2000. That would prevent you from falling down at the edge of
the world :)
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by voxelproof » Post

MisterE wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 23:17
I thought of some improvements you can add.
Isn't it too much for one man who does his magnificent work for the community in his free time out of work/studies when he doesn't have to perform his duties :) I discussed almost the very same features you've listed here with Gael a few years ago. The amount of work required to implement all the substancial geomorphological factors even on a very basic level would certainly require work of a small team of coders and even in such a case it would take considerable amount of time (i.e. months rather than weeks) to achieve satisfying effect.

So, let's don't hurry Gael and rather thank him for what he has shared with the community so far. Maybe I just can't express this sort of gratitude in English without unnecessary exagerration, but the truth is that Gael's work delivered me many hours of really nice, memorable gaming experiences.

And by the way - sinkholes are abundant especially in v7 and those meandering rivers, heh, there was sometimes even too much of them in the default valleys ;)
To miss the joy is to miss all. Robert Louis Stevenson

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

Thank you for your kind words voxelproof :)
And you're right, I'm very busy these days and that's why I haven't reacted yet.

Gundul: About centering the map, it's definitely something I want to do soon.

MisterE: thank you for your suggestions, I don't forget you, I'll answer all of them but not the time for now. I can say that most of them would be very difficult to implement, but some are doable (#1 and #8 at least)
Just realize how bored we would be if the world was perfect.

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by MisterE » Post

Gael de Sailly wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 16:39
I'll answer all of them but not the time for now.
No need to answer... these were simply ideas on how the mapgen could be expanded. Don't get me wrong, this is already the best, or one of the best, mapgens for minetest. It can only get better. I did not intend to put pressure on you, just throw out some ideas for how to make it better. Feel free to use them if it suits your purposes. :)

As to implementing #1 and #8, I think that that alone would make a huge difference in the way the landscape varies. If you get the noises right, #8 may automatically add unique land features, where hard rock is left exposed where there was a noise variation. This could add things like pillars, and waterfalls.

Karst might be another easy thing to implement... I'm not sure. It would require placing small and large rock mounds in large grassy fields.

Anyhow, regardless of how easy it is to implement any of this, there is no pressure to do so. Thank you for a really good mapgen. Also, FYI, I managed to get the map to generate on linux, without the preview. THx.

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gundul » Post

My server, showing an example map generated with your mapgen
now has an own topic in the forums:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=25805
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

MisterE wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 23:17
I just took a road trip through Virginia, and seeing the scenery, I thought of some improvements you can add.

[...]
Thank you for your suggests and your inspiration :)
I've been a bit late to answer, but I really wanted to give a clear idea of what is easy to do, or not, as most of these features are things I've already thought about.

1. Offset rivers by 1 node: Should be easy, not 100% sure it will really look good but I should try. Also, for gameplay, it will make river crossing more difficult (which can also be part of the game!)

2. Wind erosion: That's an interesting idea. I currently don't know good modelling equations for wind erosion, I could investigate this but my intuition is that it's going to be harder than river erosion (especially the way these two erosions combine)

3. Underground rivers: would love to have this! But I don't have clear ideas of how this could be done, it's probably very difficult.

4. Springs: should be quite easy to add, good idea! Highland bogs are also a good feature to add for cold flat areas, (not only water springs), but it's more about the biome system. By the way, would be really cool to have a biome system that takes into account rivers, and slopes!

5. Yes I think terrain at very small scale is too smooth, it should not be hard to add some outcrops (basically very irregular noise) at some places. However bare rocks like these are incompatible with the way the mapgen currently works: ground and biome generation are independant.
These scattered rock outcrops are only one of many aspects of karst, with caves, sinkholes, chimneys, cliffs... In an ideally realistic world, all of this should occur together (so basically #2, #5, #6 and maybe #10 of your list).

6. "Strange" geological features: great too, some of these features could be simulated with noises on Lua side (chimneys?), some other I don't really know (sinkholes).

7. Rivers widening in plains: looks really tricky to implement, because currently the grid calculation does not consider river width, and during Lua mapgen, they are expanded to as much 1 cell on each side, so a river can't have more than 2 cells in width (24 nodes by default). Allowing rivers to widen will quickly overshoot this limit. What I can do is implementing this for small rivers that are far from the width limit, and never mind for rivers that are already close to the maximum.

8. Variable rock strength: yes, interesting, the current system allows it with little modification and I think that's in my TODO list. Rock strength parameters are called K and m in my code, and for now they are constant, but the erosion code (the advection function) should be totally able to run with noisy data arrays instead, that could be generated just like the initial terrain. They have to be constant vertically however, so not possible to model superimposed rock layers. But adding horizontal variations and watching how rivers avoid the harder spots will already be interesting.

9. Meanders: Probably very difficult to have clean, regular meanders like this. In nature, meanders are created by very complex processes of sedimentation, they are so complex that researches are currently not able to make them appear in lab experiments. And my model does not include sedimentation, only erosion. I don't know, either, how they could be generated procedurally.
I'm preparing to change the flow simulation algorithm to another that will be faster and may generate a bit more curls in flat areas, but it's unlikely that you will come to this kind of regular meanders.

10. I'm not sure I get the idea, but I think this kind of landscape is also related to karst. Maybe this could be done with some noise twists, not sure. Also, for now a given surface will always generate a river of the same width. It has to be made variable.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by ShadMOrdre » Post

Some of this is actually easier than we think.

Karst rocks as schematic decorations in biomes that support them. Caves as well.

Sunken rivers, done. Please see here. In the included mg_valleys insprired mapgens, this was somewhat trivial to add, as was riverbanks. I had the plants spawing on the muddy banks. Working to fix that. I also used altitude to narrow rivers, so that they taper out right at the height where mountain like terrain begins. This is the noise based rivers from valleys, but has nice effect.

Sinkholes can be handled with a noise carving "air". See the above link using the v3d mapgen.

Non noise based rivers continue to be the issue. Pick an pos at a certain elevation range, and as chunks are generated, flow towards the chunk with lower mean elevation until at sea level. No premade path, carve valley or canyon so that river always flows downward, or into a lake.

@Gael, you've looked at some of my code before, and had issues. The above is a fully packaged "game", so that all mods are included and properly referenced. It is WIP, but works.


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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by MisterE » Post

Thanks for considering my suggestions, and sorry that they were somewhat disorganized and repetitive. This mapgen looks good and looks like it will just get better over time.

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

I pushed a small update with optional centering of the map (see the mapgen_rivers_center parameter in minetest settings).

I have bigger changes incoming on the dev branch, that I will merge soon. I completely changed the flow routing algorithm, to one based on a recent research article. It has linear average complexity, while the previous one was log-linear. Along with other optimizations, time per iteration drops from 137s to 29s on my computer, for a default 1000x map.
I'm also reworking default parameters.

I started coding some parts in C++ too, from scratch: see mapgen_rivers_c. Only the river flow calculation is working for now, but since it is probably the hardest part, I believe that eventually getting the whole mapgen working natively on the core could be a reachable goal if I put enough effort into it.
The new river routing algorithm performs impressively well in C++: calculating flow direction + lakes + river flux on a 1000x1000 map takes only 0.4s, although there is still possibility for further optimization. This opens perspectives!
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

@Shad:
Thank you very much for your advice.
ShadMOrdre wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 18:10
Some of this is actually easier than we think.
Yes some of these features may seem easy, but I absolutely want them to look nice (and not all the same), and consistent with the rest of the landscape. For sunken rivers for example, I have no clear idea how to define their properties so that they don't break anything, given the atypical way the map is generated (and the fact that all pre-generation is strictly 2D). If a river crosses a long distance in a cave before going out, ideally it should be taken into account in the erosion code, and that is going to be tricky. Another solution would be to generate it on-the-fly during Lua mapgen, by covering the river and the bottom of its valley by an excess of rock, or modifying the Y position of the river. But here again, it's not obvious how to define the height and length of this covered area (under which criteria?), so that it looks homogeneous enough (but I keep these questions in mind).
Generally, for the Lua part, I avoid all processes that affect terrain over a long range, because of the ways it may interfere with both the grid pattern and the chunk border.

That said, I didn't say I excluded all of this, I only mean that it may need much work and code and I'm not sure of the quality of the result, and that there are other interesting things that could be added with less work.
ShadMOrdre wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 18:10
In the included mg_valleys insprired mapgens, this was somewhat trivial to add, as was riverbanks.
[...]
See the above link using the v3d mapgen.
For now I can't locate the parts of code you are talking about. Will give a closer look at them.
ShadMOrdre wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 18:10
Non noise based rivers continue to be the issue. Pick an pos at a certain elevation range, and as chunks are generated, flow towards the chunk with lower mean elevation until at sea level. No premade path, carve valley or canyon so that river always flows downward, or into a lake.
I'm not considering this approach for now. First, it would be a huge rewrite of all the code. Second, in a natural landscape, it's stunning how different valleys or catchment basins can have an impact on each other, through erosion processes (watershed displacement, stream capture…). The all-in-one pre-generation reproduces some aspects of this complexity, and this contribute to the overall impression of realism, that I believe you won't ever have with an on-the-fly approach.
Not sure to 100% understand what you mean, however.

----

Side note: I'm realizing that when I first introduced my project in April, I presented it as a collaborative project, and I remember Shad was soon interested. But it appears that I only worked "lone wolf", because I was actually progressing much faster and more easily than expected. So I'm sorry if I left some people out in some way, I will try to pay more attention to what you present/suggest.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gundul » Post

Gael de Sailly wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 23:12
I pushed a small update with optional centering of the map (see the mapgen_rivers_center parameter in minetest settings).

I have bigger changes incoming on the dev branch, that I will merge soon. I completely changed the flow routing algorithm, to one based on a recent research article. It has linear average complexity, while the previous one was log-linear. Along with other optimizations, time per iteration drops from 137s to 29s on my computer, for a default 1000x map.
I'm also reworking default parameters.
Thanks for the updates, it will be nice to have a centered map on the server.
I will wait for your dev branch to be merged into master and then make a new
map for the rivers demo server.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by ShadMOrdre » Post

Gael,

No offense on the lone wolf lack of collaboration. You clearly know what you are doing, and are probably better off working lone wolf due to that fact. You are attentive and open to suggestions and that makes this collaborative, even if you are still the only one doing any work. :)

As for the rivers code, I should have provided a more accurate pointer. Here it is. [urlhttps://github.com/ShadMOrdre/GAL/blob/main/mods/lib_geology/mg_valleys2d/init.lua]GAL[/url], beginning at around line 551, I start playing with the numbers. It was a shot in the dark that simply actually worked.

On a different note, I'm intrigued about something. In a previously posted version of my voronoi based mapgen, you pointed out the memory drain, and a few other issues, that I then reworked. Instead of pregenerating a massive 1000x1000 grid with voronoi, I moved the processing into the on_gen call, since calculating 80x80 is far faster than calculating 1000x1000. This allowed my to remove the preprocessing that killed startup times. So my question is this, Would you be willing to provide psuedo code for the flow routing algorythm. If my guess is correct, and the algorythm not too complex, I might be able to fold the logic into my voronoi mapgen, where I might more easily determine elevations outside of noise calculations and generating chunk limitations. I know that moving the voronoi calculations into the on_gen call dramatically improved everything associated with my desire for voronoi cells in the first place.

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

ShadMOrdre wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 08:41
So my question is this, Would you be willing to provide psuedo code for the flow routing algorythm. If my guess is correct, and the algorythm not too complex, I might be able to fold the logic into my voronoi mapgen, where I might more easily determine elevations outside of noise calculations and generating chunk limitations. I know that moving the voronoi calculations into the on_gen call dramatically improved everything associated with my desire for voronoi cells in the first place.
Of course I can show you the algorithm :)

Calculating the flow direction is much harder than it seems. The naive approach (setting flow direction to the lowest neighbour of every node), does not work well because the flow may be trapped into an enclosed depression.

I made a quick pseudo-code of the first algorithm (the one that has log-linear complexity). I hope everything is correct.

It is a "flooding" algorithm: the idea is to process all nodes in the order they would be flooded by a gigantic sea level rise.
You need a binary heap queue structure, where elements are sorted by elevation.
For every node it calculates the node to flow into (flow_to) and the elevation of the lake (lake_elevation) if higher than ground elevation.

Code: Select all

queue = []
for each boundary node B:
	B.flow_to = outside
	B.lake_elevation = B.elevation
	queue.insert(B)
end for

while queue is not empty:
	A = lowest element in queue
	queue.remove_lowest()
	for each neighbour N of A:
		if N.flow_to is not defined:
			N.flow_to = A
			N.lake_elevation = MAX(A.lake_elevation, N.elevation)
			queue.insert(N)
		end if
	end for
end while
After this you can compute flow accumulation (that is, how much water quantity accumulates on a given node), and you can define rivers by applying a threshold to this flow accumulation, and set river width as proportional to the square root of the water quantity.
I don't have the accumulation algorithm in mind but I could also write the pseudocode if you're interested, it's not very hard.

I highly recommend to run the algorithm on the full map, or at least on full islands, otherwise it won't be consistent between chunks.

For the second algorithm, with linear complexity, it comes from a research article, publicly available: https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-7-549-2019.
It is a much more difficult algorithm, it took me months to understand the concepts and implement it. But if you have questions about it, I can try to help you.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by MisterE » Post

Gael de Sailly wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 23:12

The new river routing algorithm performs impressively well in C++: calculating flow direction + lakes + river flux on a 1000x1000 map takes only 0.4s, although there is still possibility for further optimization. This opens perspectives!
in other words, it *could become a default mapgen!?

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

Yes, technically it's possible! (but not soon). The other question is: do the core devs want it?
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gundul » Post

Of course they will want it. A good mapgen like this can only be a win for minetest.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

I've merged my dev branch.
Mostly internal changes, but also some concrete changes on the mapgen.
Notable features:
  • Map centering (really) works.
  • Sea level can change throughout the simulation. This gives a better coastline.
  • Debug in erosion parameters (they were simply ignored!)
  • Changed default parameters
  • Changed the flow routing algorithm, as I've already explained
  • Massive optimizations, by using appropriate data type with Numpy
  • Some fixes about lakes (they were sometimes missing water at the borders).
Pregen time should be divided by 3-4.

I'm still working on default parameters, they may change again on the coming days.

I'm also implementing spatially variable erosion, and simple vertical tectonics (variable_erosion branch). It works but there are several things I want to change before merging, and that are not trivial, this is not for now.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Lone_Wolf » Post

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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gundul » Post

"Probably not" was only said by Ruben. How many core devs there are in total ?

And please correct me, but wasn't the valleys mapgen also originating from Gael ?
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Gael de Sailly » Post

Thank you Lone_Wolf for your message :)
Gundul wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 16:44
And please correct me, but wasn't the valleys mapgen also originating from Gael ?
Yes but Valleys has a more complex story. I wrote the original Lua version in 2015, but not the C++. Duane did it and Paramat merged it. I had zero C++ skill at the time, so of course, at first I didn't maintain it. The devs also had difficulties, maybe because of Duane's special coding style.
But since 2018 I've tried to make changes on core valleys MG, and all got rejected.

For mapgen_rivers I won't insist too much to get it accepted, I understand it's a big and complex piece of code to be added, and this would give me responsibilities on it. I proposed it because I tried to rewrite mapgen_rivers in C++ for performance reasons and realized it was very appropriate for this project, but this was not only to get it merged.
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Re: [Mod] Map generator with Rivers [mapgen_rivers]

by Lone_Wolf » Post

If this is released in a fork I can compile a Windows RunInPlace/Installer client with the mapgen added for you. I could probably compile a linux appimage too. Although I would have to figure out how
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