[Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

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Dokimi
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

parasite wrote:When they go to a mine, they like to have 99 food items with them.
I think I know what you mean. Sapling drop has been fixed. I might add something as a concentrated food e.g. Karaka flour cake.
parasite wrote: (and can be done in additional mod, if you think it should be an optional add-on.).
Mainly for the sake of organization. This mod is getting huge. Stuff like Kumara should be in a Maori-build mod (which could also become huge).


parasite wrote:But how could you get an alloy of iron with coal?...
I suspect this kind of thing might make into default Minetest one day. Many people know this is how it ought to be. Think I'll leave it to them.
parasite wrote: It's better to introduce graphite somewhere below -1000, and that block of graphite, instead of common coal,...
Good idea... I read something suggesting some NZ rocks do actually have graphite in them.
parasite wrote: (I found a strange liquid on the surface. ...What is that? It look cool. Hot spring?
Boiling mud pool. My limited attempt at recreating Rotorua (NZ's geothermal tourism mecca. If you are a tourist, you will go to Rotorua. It is physically impossible for tourists to do otherwise!)

parasite wrote: Great! I cannot make a vid right now, but exploration of both the surface and deep undergrounds deserves a serious reportage on you tube. I can say just... thanks! This project is going to be unique and outstanding!
Wait till I've finished the biomes. Some big rearrangements going on there too.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Wuzzy » Post

Bugs:
- Lighting is broken for thin tree trunks (hint: paramtype="light")
- Missing inventory images for saplings, spores, seeds
- Trees sometimes float over river water
- Broken crafting recipe for limestone asks for default:coral, which does not exist
- Raupo on top of sinking mud is highly unstable. If you place or dig a block next to it, it drops as an item. If there is a lot of raupo in the swamp, it creates a chain-reaction

The good:
- Clean, crisp leaf and tree trunk and stone textures
- Lots of trees, great models
- Rich biomes, I could explore for hours
- Nice selection of new stones
- Surprisingly polished for a 0.1 release
- Some nice crafts to begin with
- Ponga fence! (but texture needs better tiling)

The bad:
- Thin tree trunks burn as long in the furnace as their full-cube counterparts
- It's tricky to craft a stone pickaxe, a lot of stones are rejected
- No ores generate for quite a while, they seem to only generate in default stone, which appears deeper

The ugly:
- Still generates generic “grass” and “dry grass” alongside lots of scientifically-named plants. This mix or generic with specific is ugly. Aotearoa should have its own style of grass
- Wooden plank textures do not tile
- Wooden planksa are only called “wood” instead of “Wooden Planks” (inconsistent with MTG naming style)
- The bird ambience sound quality varies greatly. A lot of the recordings are of low quality and not fun to listen to with headphones
- The textures of Minetest Game really drag the overall quality of this mod down. This mod has its own art style which just doesn't go well together with Minetest Game's
- Minetest Game (!) has a richer sea life than this mod


Suggestions:
- Make plants wave in the wind (waving=1)
- Make thin tree trunks craft to wooden planks (but less than 4)
- (Longterm) Cut ties to Minetest Game and make this an independent game, possibly reworking all the default cruft (especially textures)
- Add bushes, MTG style
- Add dense forests. I feel like all biomes are relatively sparse. Are there really no dense forests? Even MTG forests “feel” more dense. Intentional?
- Maybe add disable_jump group to some swamp-related blocks?
- Make mud more liquid-like: Harder to walk through, animate texture, enable drowning
- Don't make screen 100% black when head is inside sinking mud, instead make it a bit translucent
- Add more uses / crafting recipes for plants and trees, so they are more than just decoration. A good point to start would be simply more stuff to build with. Doesn't need to be sophisticated, simple stuff would be a nice start
- Add fence gates for every wood
Last edited by Wuzzy on Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

...seems the to do list just got longer!

Some of these things have already been fixed in 0.2.
Wuzzy wrote:Bugs:
- Lighting is broken for thin tree trunks (hint: paramtype="light")
Ah.... a mystery solved!
Wuzzy wrote: - Trees sometimes float over river water
This is the result of the same species being in multiple biomes, one of which is sand or gravel. So it spawns in the river in the other biome. Eventually I will rearrange some species. Maybeeeee it will fix it.
Wuzzy wrote: - Raupo on top of sinking mud is highly unstable. If you place or dig a block next to it, it drops as an item. If there is a lot of raupo in the swamp, it creates a chain-reaction
...and that part of the reason I completely redone that biome!

Image


Wuzzy wrote: - Already providing some interesting new crafts
Huh? What's the bug?

Wuzzy wrote: - It's tricky to craft a stone pickaxe, a lot of stones are rejected
Yes... technology. Ah... A full on Aotearoa game is probably needed to give a suitable tech for this map. As for stone axes... I made big trees unbreakable by hand, which makes wood hard to get. So I made stone axes craftable from gravel. This is what people would have realistically done. Go to the river and find a good river stone.
(I am trying various experiments like this, which may or may not prove to be much good ultimately)
Wuzzy wrote: - No ores generate for quite a while, they seem to only generate in default stone, which appears deeper
Ores are way different in 0.2. See comments above.
Wuzzy wrote: - Still generates generic “grass” and “dry grass” alongside lots of scientifically-named plants. This mix or generic with specific is ugly. Aotearoa should have its own style of grass
True. They are half place filler, half to give the wheat/cotton. Again... farming... drifting into an Aotearoa game.
Wuzzy wrote: - The bird ambience sound quality varies greatly. A lot of the recordings are of low quality and not fun to listen to with headphones
The originals were terrible. See website in comments above. I cleaned them as best I could. Some still have rough patches.
Wuzzy wrote: - The textures of Minetest Game really drag the overall quality of this mod down. This mod has its own art style which just doesn't go well together with Minetest Game's
Most default has been banished to -15000. Ultimately it may be banished entirely.
Wuzzy wrote: - Minetest Game (!) has a richer sea life than this mod
I'm getting there...

Wuzzy wrote: - Make thin tree trunks craft to wooden planks (but less than 4)
1. this already has soooo many wood textures!
2. a lot of these things are too useless to make wooden planks from.
Wuzzy wrote: - (Longterm) Cut ties to Minetest Game and make this an independent game, possibly reworking all the default cruft (especially textures)
I'm gonna have to start asking for donations if people want to see that! It would be an epic undertaking.
Wuzzy wrote: - Add bushes, MTG style
If you are referring to the single node bushes... for some that might... maybe... be appropriate. For others... no.
Wuzzy wrote: - Add dense forests. I feel like all biomes are relatively sparse. Are there really no dense forests? Even MTG forests “feel” more dense. Intentional?
Again see comments above. I have reduced some of the lag by reducing the "openness" of leaf textures. I suspect even the dense MTG forests have significantly less vegetation, but it's tiny trees packed tight vs my forest giants. Things get pitch black too at realistic densities. Minetest eyes are unable to adjust to the dark!
Wuzzy wrote: - Add fence gates for every wood
I could never find the way these are registered. I know it's there... somewhere. Anyone care to post an example?

0.2 Progress:
I've been working on biomes. Some big rearrangements there. More to come.
Image
(I've split the main forests up. This is new beech forest. Looks good with a weather mod).


Development plan:

1. Rocks. 99.9% done.
2. Add all possible biomes. In progress.
3. Sort out vegetation, soils etc for each biome.
4. All that niggly little stuff.

0.2 is currently playable, but I am in the middle of fiddling with it. See the branch on github if you want to test it.
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

I think an Aotearoa game is a good direction to take. also pounamu tools.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

PolySaken wrote:I think an Aotearoa game is a good direction to take. also pounamu tools.
A vision for an Aotearoa game has been slowly forming in my mind (and yes it would include pounamu tools, and many other suggestions!).

However I was only half joking when I said I'd have to ask for donations. I don't want to leave you all with yet another half-finished-could've-been-awesome Minetest game. It would take a long term time investment I may not be able to give.

As for this map, I am making it because I like nature stuff, and I find it a relaxing thing to play. It's my digital bonsai! I am trying to keep it playable at every stage of development so it never does feel half finished even if life does get in the way and stops me from truly finishing it.

~~~~~

Thought I'd share a photo or two for the non-New Zealanders to explain the question of forest density:

Tawa forest (young, I think, and therefore small).
Image

Tree spacing can vary enormously . 2m... 10 m... The main point is that it has a closed canopy. And the understory is jam packed. (for the curious: the heart leaved shrubs are kawakawa, the tree to the side with long white poles is mahoe, the big ones in the back are Tawa).

This undergrowth is what makes NZ forests so dense. It can get extreme. The same forest...
Image
Visibility is reduced to a few metres or less.


~~~~~~~
Development:

I'm going to take a long time to get to all these small issues e.g. non-tiling wood textures. Cleaning up birdsongs. Minor bug fixes.

If you like this mod and want to speed things up, maybe submit a pull request to the 0.2 branch. Don't be offended if I take forever to get to it!

Please only submit actual fixes. Make feature requests on this forum.

Cool! Have fun with it guys. (0.2 is looking much nicer than 0.1 by the way. most of it anyway!)
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Wuzzy » Post

- Make thin tree trunks craft to wooden planks (but less than 4)
1. this already has soooo many wood textures!
2. a lot of these things are too useless to make wooden planks from.
Fine. Make it sticks then, or nothing, if it is really intentional.
- (Longterm) Cut ties to Minetest Game and make this an independent game, possibly reworking all the default cruft (especially textures)
I'm gonna have to start asking for donations if people want to see that! It would be an epic undertaking.
Given that this mod is still very young, I can understand you want to get the basic biomes done first, I can understand.

But you are overestimating the amount of work. The trick is to start of minimalistic.

I was literally able to turn this mod into a basic but fully functioning game in less than 5min by just collecting a few mods and dropping them into a game directory:

- aotearoa
- ambience
- default (from Minetest Game)
- creative (from Minetest Game)
- sfinv (from Minetest Game)
- dye (from Minetest Game)
- stairs (from Minetest Game)
- flowers (from Minetest Game, only added for compability)

That's all it takes for a fully functioning game! This is not experimental, it actually works and is playable out of the box. And I did not even need to write a single line of code.

This is basically just aotearoa, plus its dependencies resolved.
You can add more mods later as needed, but it's easier to start off as small as possible.
Add doors (from Minetest Game) if you want the fence gate API.

The huge benefit of turning this into a game is that you now have full artistic control over everything. You could still continue work on the main mod (aotearoa) and leave the rest alone. But if you run into problems with other mods, you can fix it yourself.

You can redo the textures in default, you can create your own flowers, custumize ore distribution, get rid of silly stuff like mese, etc.

For the longterm, I would brutally remove everyting in default that is not absolutely required, this will reduce maintenance costs a lot.
I would probably remove flowers mod later, the default flowers clearly don't make sense. I only added it in the list for compability reasons.

I said it before and I say it again: Dependence of MTG will only drag the quality of this mod downwards a lot. You will be restricted in your artistic freedom, you have to deal with compability BS, you have to include crafts for items which you don't really want, and things will break whenever a new MTG update comes out, it will likely break things, which you have to fix again. All of this will never happen in a self-contained game. Just saying.
- Add fence gates for every wood
Minetest Game/game_api.txt:
doors.register_fencegate(name, def)

Edit: fun with v5:
Image
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Shnikety » Post

Wow! Love the sound, had people in my house looking outside wondering what those funny noises were. Even had a moment when I was looking around for a bird before I realized there's no mobs.
I wouldn't change to much, it's very good just the way it is. MineTest needs more mods that add details like these.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

0.2 is coming....

Image

All the big stuff I wanted to get done is now finished. This is a big jump up from 0.1. All the rocks, lots of new biomes, new species... managed to get realistic densities (without tooo much lag). In some places you will get lost within 3 meters.

There will be lots of little things for future updates, but 0.2 is pretty much done. Just needs testing!
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Wuzzy » Post

Woah. This mod is getting better and better.

Some compaints:

In -dev it seems impossible to obtain wooden tools right now.
The only wood I can collect is rotten wood (which seems to be useless) and thin tree trunks (which only craft to sticks).

Pipi seems to be very overpowered. They heal lots of HP and you find them in huge quantities. They are also a bit odd in that they are an item but you get a block (seashells) for eating them. Weird, but not a problem.

For the item tooltips, I think the scientific name makes it a bit unreadable and too long. Don't get me wrong, I think it's cool to have the scientific name, but the way it is displayed it quickly becomes a distraction.
You could write the scientific name in a new line and in a different color to make the tooltip more readable:
I.e. instead:
Nikau Palm (Rhopalostylis sapida) Sapling
write:
Nikau Palm Sapling
(Rhopalostylis sapida)
Newline = \n
Color = minetest.colorize

For some reason, fruit have no scientific name. This is inconsistent with item names and should be fixed.
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

Wuzzy wrote:---snip---
For the item tooltips, I think the scientific name makes it a bit unreadable and too long. Don't get me wrong, I think it's cool to have the scientific name, but the way it is displayed it quickly becomes a distraction.
You could write the scientific name in a new line and in a different color to make the tooltip more readable:
I.e. instead:
Nikau Palm (Rhopalostylis sapida) Sapling
write:
Nikau Palm Sapling
(Rhopalostylis sapida)
Newline = \n
Color = minetest.colorize
---snip---
Yeah this would look better in my opinion. I use this to put tooltips and stuff in item descriptions.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

Thanks for showing me how the names can be done better. It does look much nicer.

Tools (like farming) are something that really needs solving in an Aotearoa game (default technology is...yeah). Currently the early tools are hard to get (find a gravel river... get an axe... then cut wood). I've given a starting axe to simplify.

I was meaning to add a cooking thing for pipi etc. I few more things like that and it should be ready to release.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by Skamiz Kazzarch » Post

Do you have any plans to integrate Earthbuild into this? What with not being able to dig wood by hand and the need to proces most stones befor they are usefull in crafting.
If you also made it so that stone isn't so easily obtainable as a building material it would be a nice brake from the standart gameplay, as far as building is considered. (I am thinking in the direction of Terrafirmacraft if you are familliar with it.)
If not, I may try my own hand at it.

Also want to say thank you for this awesome mod. I love the diversity and how it compleatly sidesteps the generic "stone", "dirt", "iron/copper/coal ore", etc... kind of worldbuilding.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

Maybe the only farming tool should be a pounamu adze?
Image
that's pretty much what they were used for.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.1][aotearoa]

by parasite » Post

stone axe as initial stuff is great thing, but wooden pick cannot dig stones!

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

0.2 is released!

There was a bunch of other small stuff I wanted to do... but I haven't had time and it has more than enough to justify an update. So... here it is! Lot's of big changes.
- many new biomes (e.g. new forest types, volcanic zones...)
- many new species
- many new rocks... in fact most default stuff is gone.
- ...and a whole bunch of stuff you'll just have to check out!


Future development

I still have lots of minor fixes, more species, and a few more biomes I would like to add. However I'm probably going to be a bit too busy now. We will see! Either way it is currently playable. (Most of the stuff I want to add is just me being a perfectionist!)

Ultimately this probably needs to form the basis of an Aotearoa game...

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

A Vision for an Aotearoa Game

For many of the ideas people (and myself) have come up with, we would need a full on Aotearoa Game. Personally I'm not sure that I will have the time, or skills (or energy!) to do that. It likely would need to be a team effort, and I would be happy for someone else to take the lead on it.

Here is my vision for an Aotearoa Game:

Think of it like an interactive Attenborough nature documentary. That combination of peacefulness, wonder, and scientific knowledge.

I have tried for that documentary feel so far. A realistic representation of things that are far off, or lost, even to people who live in New Zealand. This realism could include supernatural things (e.g. Taniwha), and even silly things (e.g. ridable Haast Eagles), but done true to their myths or a realistic "What if" scenario.

I greatly value the peacefulness of this mod. I would want to maintain that - a reliable "Happy place." It could include dangers e.g. Man eating Haast Eagles, but in such a way that the player can choose not to engage with those threats. They know when they are entering the danger zone. No sudden death surprises while enjoying the sunshine.

I would also do survival gameplay (though not extreme survival). It encourages a proper exploration of the world and its elements.

I would overhaul the technology.
1. For realism (again documentary like).
2. So that the player always has a future goal
3. So that it progresses in stages. e.g. Stone Age -> Copper Age -> Bronze Age.....

Each "Age" would be fully 'satisfying'. That is, you would have enough content that you could stay in the stone age forever if you felt like it (e.g. Earthbuild + a Maori-build mod would give a large range of stone age stuff to use).
Progression to the next "Age" would require some difficult to acquire "bottleneck" technology (i.e. every tech beyond it would require it) e.g. smelting opens up all the copper age tech.

Perhaps a loose sense of narrative would be nice too. Perhaps simply limited to giving the player some kind of role or backstory e.g. various lost/explorer stories
e.g. a lost crew member of Abel Tasman/Captain Cook, or a Polynesian navigator.
The player could be given different starting tools/tech depending on what story they choose.

Do we want an Aotearoa Game??
If you leave it up to me alone it wont happen. I wont have the time, nor the willingness to put in the effort all the extra mods would require. I'm not a coder per se, so I'm not the right person to run a project like that.

I would love to see this Aotearoa biomes mod grow into something more. But whether or not that happens... I leave it up to you. ;-)

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

What if there was some sort of narrative relating to Maori legends, such as that of Maui?
If we could have a 'story' present in the form of tasks to complete which unlock new bits of plot, but still leave the open-world style of play intact, it could make for a really fun game.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by parasite » Post

Dokimi wrote:I still have lots of minor fixes, more species, and a few more biomes I would like to add. However I'm probably going to be a bit too busy now. We will see! Either way it is currently playable. (Most of the stuff I want to add is just me being a perfectionist!).
I hope that this project will continue to develop. It is fantastic! Thank you for being able to experience this world and its update to 0.2. However, I can not promise that I will help with a narrative things or technology, or biomes/trees/food, especially since I do not know New Zealand legends, stories or traditions... Maybe this project will slow down a bit now, but I really hope this is not the end! Let me be optimistic here ;)

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

I hope that this project will continue to develop. It is fantastic!
:-( I don't have the time anymore! But for good reasons :-)

Fortunately this mod is at a point where someone else could easily finish it. (all it needs are a few missing species, kelp/seaweeds (after MT 0.5 comes out), and minor fixes. It is pretty close to complete already!)

The Biome_Guide.txt gives some explanation of what each biome is, and what species I planned on adding. I have added educational links in the main post. Anyone willing to learn should have enough info to finish this mod.

Perhaps the future development should take place as part of a Aotearoa game, along with the other mods that would require. I leave that task to those people who want to take on the challenge. As for me... for the foreseeable future the most I will be able to do is drop by to give advice and ideas!
However, I can not promise that I will help with a narrative things or technology, or biomes/trees/food, especially since I do not know New Zealand legends, stories or traditions...
A lot of NZ science knowledge has gone into making this (I know a lot about the subject!). But, even I have had to learn a lot, and I made mistakes too.

A willingness to learn is far more important than what you currently know. (seriously... 15min of reading would give you more knowledge than the average NZer for a lot of these topics! https://teara.govt.nz/en has lots of good info.) Aotearoa game content could be made by non-NZers. So please don't let that stop anyone who wants to contribute!
I really hope this is not the end! Let me be optimistic here ;)
That will depend on how far other people now want to take this. Here's some ideas for the next step.

The next two mods we need for an Aotearoa game are:
- mobs
- construction/tools/farming

Plenty of ideas have been given already for mobs. So here's some "expert" (ha!) ideas for a NZ Maori construction mod if anyone wants to try making it.
+ Spoiler

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

I was playing a survival world with aotearoa when I came upon an idea: flax gel bandages.
flax gel is one of the most powerful natural antiseptic/antibiotic substances and also helps promote tissue healing. Flax gel could be added as a direct healing consumable rather than a food. if manuka oil was also added they could be combined into a special 'medicine paste'.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

I reckon I'll have a crack at making the Aotearoa game, as there are a few things I'd like to see added and I can't expect anyone else to do it.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

PolySaken wrote:I reckon I'll have a crack at making the Aotearoa game, as there are a few things I'd like to see added and I can't expect anyone else to do it.
I look forward to it...

I had endless stuff I wanted to add but lost interest! (e.g. most of the forests lack enough undergrowth, only Kauri forest is most complete)

For a while I was thinking of doing a "Musket Wars" era New Zealand game. Like a NZ wild west, e.g. Te Rauparaha era. Having made the map very realistic, it seemed to me the game should be also set at a specific time period.
https://teara.govt.nz/en/musket-wars.
Would need lots of stuff with mobs, and factions, and trade which I don't know how to do.

Anyway, you can make what you like! Keep us updated :-)

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by PolySaken » Post

Dokimi wrote:
PolySaken wrote:I reckon I'll have a crack at making the Aotearoa game, as there are a few things I'd like to see added and I can't expect anyone else to do it.
I look forward to it...

I had endless stuff I wanted to add but lost interest! (e.g. most of the forests lack enough undergrowth, only Kauri forest is most complete)

For a while I was thinking of doing a "Musket Wars" era New Zealand game. Like a NZ wild west, e.g. Te Rauparaha era. Having made the map very realistic, it seemed to me the game should be also set at a specific time period.
https://teara.govt.nz/en/musket-wars.
Would need lots of stuff with mobs, and factions, and trade which I don't know how to do.

Anyway, you can make what you like! Keep us updated :-)
My plan is to replicate the feel of being in a pre-settlement era Aotearoa as closely as possible without making the game unplayable. I'm going to add stuff like Rata trees, and biomes such as Kanuka shrubland, alpine shale, and coastal forest, with all the corresponding flora (and hopefully fauna too). This list is by no means complete, and suggestions are welcome.
some of my more interesting ideas are:
- pancake rocks like in the coromandel
- dense underwater forests with kelp and neptune's necklace (and hopefully seals)
- lots of environmental hazards like onga-onga (a nettle that can grow up to 10m and is known to kill cattle) and aquatic animals like sea snakes and leopard seals.
- I plan to include as much realistic bushcraft as I can, which is quite a lot since my entire family (myself included) are pretty much experts.
Since Aotearoa has no native land mammals, most of the threats will have to be plants, sealife or in some cases birds.

I'm going to start in a while after I finish a couple of extra projects.

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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by Wuzzy » Post

What about corals?

(PS: I'm already hyped!)
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Re: [Mod] Aotearoa [0.2][aotearoa]

by Dokimi » Post

Sounds great! Good to hear you know some bushcraft. I myself have experience with NZ botany, and wouldn't have been able to do this otherwise. Now I'm trying to remember all the stuff I wanted to add...

You may have seen "Biome_Guide.txt" has some species listed that I was planning on. Also the education resources in the main post are good :-)

For extra undergrowth here's some species that can go most places: Coprosma robusta, Pseudopanax arboreus, Schefflera digitata, (there's lots of others... but those would fill out some empty spots)

Other Biomes I was thinking of:
- kelp forests (like you said). These can be added to existing marine biomes (i.e. the cold ones e.g. subantarctic) (plus various seaweeds everywhere)
- Kanuka shrubland
- Puriri forest
- Kohekohe forest
- subantarctic/deep-south Rata forest
- ... I'm sure there was more! ;-)
...pre-settlement era...
Cool. That means you can do Haast Eagle, and Giant Moa! (For the human side, maybe do Polynesian, like the player is the first explorer?)

alpine shale
There's a scree biome. Same thing?
coastal forest
Pohutukawa is the Northern version of this (e.g. ~ Bay of Plenty northwards). Southern ones would be very similar to existing Lowland forests. I'm guessing you would replace the "Coastal scrub" biome (seeing as I done this as an inhabited area).
pancake rocks like in the coromandel
You mean Punakaiki? (That's west coast!) Cool place though. I guess there's lots of weird things like that e.g. Moeraki boulders, Waitomo glowworms...
sea snakes...
Wait what? These things make it here... OMG they do!
Great white sharks though. We got more of those.
What about corals?
Too cold for reefs (That's Australia..). NZ does have them though, deep sea ones etc.

Anyways, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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