Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generators)

Kilarin
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Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generators)

by Kilarin » Mon Jun 03, 2019 05:09

Realms version 0.2

This mod lets you add different lua landscape generators and control exactly where they run based
on coords and other parameters provided in the realms.conf file

License
My stuff is code=MIT License, images=CC0. Some code and images copied from others. Please see [license.txt](license.txt) for details.

What it does:
When I first started working on the Fractured game, my vision was of a world with multiple layers, or "realms" going both up and down through the minetest 64k by 64k cube. Like this:

Image (sorry, art is NOT my strong point)

When I saw Beerholders multi_map mod, I got all excited, because I thought it would do what I wanted! But once I started looking at it I realized that it didn't allow the kind of control over where the realms *were* that I was looking for. I strongly suspect that multi_map is technically superior to this mod, so be sure to take a look at it. But if you need more precise control over the map and biomes, then Realms is an attempt to give you that.

The purpose of Realms is to allow the user to control multiple landscape and biome generators with exact precision. Specifying exactly what generator should run where, and what biomes should be active, etc.

It is perhaps best to explain with an example. First, let me explain the following naming conventions:

tg_* = terrain generator, a program that generates terrain (without biomes)
tf_* = terrain function, a function that generates terrain designed be called by another generator
bd_* = biome definition, a file containing biome definitions
bm_* = biome map, a file that defines a group of biomes (from various bd_* files) and how they should be mapped to the terrain (biome maps have biome functions built in)
bf_* = biome function, a function dealing with biomes designed to be called by another generator


Here is an excerpt from the example realms.conf file:
Code: Select all
    RMG Name         :min x :min y :min z :max x : max y: max z:sealevel:biome func          :other parms
    -----------------:------:------:------:------:------:------:--------:--------------------:----------
    tg_layer_barrier |-33000|  4900|-33000| 33000|  4999| 33000|       0|                    |bedrock
    tg_2dMap         |     0|  5000|-33000| 33000|  6500| 33000|    6000|bm_default_biomes   |sea_percent=20|canyons
    tg_2dMap         |-33000|  5000|-33000|    -1|  6500| 33000|    6000|bm_mixed_biomes     |sea_percent=20|canyons|extremes=4
    tg_caves         |-33000|  5000|-33000| 33000|  6000| 33000|    6000|                    |

What this means is not as confusing as it looks at first. This is all setting up one realm.

A Realm Map Generator named tg_layer_barrier will run from y=4900 to y=499, the min and max x and z values are set so that it will run at that altitude anywhere on the map. What tg_layer_barrier does is just create a layer of invisble invulnerable nodes to separate layers (thank you to Beerholder and his multi_map mod for this idea.) You will notice that the parameter "bedrock" has been passed in the "other parms" field. The "other parms" field can be used to pass parameters specific to a particular generator. In this case, passing "bedrock" to tg_layer_barrier will cause it to generate a layer of invulnerable (but opaque) nodes as the very top layer of its area (in this case, at y=4999.)

The next entry is for tg_2dMap, this is a map generator based on 2d noise. It's pretty simple actually, I'm new at this. This generator will operate from min(0,5000,-33000) to max(33000,6500,33000). This means it will be called from y=5000 up to y=6500, but only on the x+ (east) side of the world. sealevel is set to 6000, which tells tg_2dMap where to base the surface of this realm. And we passed it a biome function of bm_default_biomes. This biome map reproduces most of the biomes from default using a (sort of) voronoi diagram to determine biome placement. In the "other parms" field we tell tg_2dMap that sea_percent=20, so it will adjust the map so that about 20% of the world will be sea. And we also passed "canyons" as a parameter, so it will create canyons in the map. (my canyon code stinks, please help me improve it!)

Under that, we call tg_2dMap again, but this time, even though it operates at the exact same altitude, it will operate on the x- (west) side of the world. And we pass a different biome map, so the biomes will be different on the west side of the world from the east in this realm.

Finally, we give the west side of the world the same sea percent as the east, and canyons, but we ALSO pass extremes=4 which will cause tg_2d_map to generate more extremes, higher mountains, deeper valleys, and flatter plains.

The last line sets up a map generator called tg_caves. You will notice that it covers the whole world (not divided between east and west) from altitude y=5000 to y=6000 (sea level for this realm). You will also see that it *overlaps* the previous two tg_2dMap landscape generators. Realms map generators are always called in order, and so tg_caves will run after the 2dMap generators have filled that region with stone, and will carve out caves in it.

The next realm can be defined wherever you want it to be, can run the same or completely different map generators, and combine them with whatever biome maps you wish. With *realms*, you have complete control over your lua map generators.

---

So, what if you don't want to use one of the rather primitive map generators I have included with realms? No problem, it should be very simple to adapt almost any lua map generator to work with realms. You just have to make the following adjustments:

* make your mod dependent upon realms
* in your mod, instead of doing a register_on_generated, do a realms.register_mapgen(mapgen_name, mapgen_function)
* your mapgen function will need some slight modification:
* it should expect a table _parms_ to be passed in. This table will contain (among other parameters)
* parms.isect_minp and isect_maxp, these are the min and max of where your defined realm has intersected the map. THESE are the points your function should operate within. Note that one nice benefit of this is that your function does NOT need to check if it is in the right region and exit if not. realms takes care of that and only calls your function when the chunk actually intersects the defined realm.
* parms.sealevel, which your function should use to establish where the surface of this realm is.
* parms.area and parms.data, update THESE, do NOT create your own voxel manipulator. Realms creates area and data for every chunk, passes it to each generator that intersects with that chunk, and only updates it to the map after all generators have completed running. This improves speed and efficency.
* anything you want passed on to OTHER realms generators being called on the same chunk should be put in parms.shared

I have attempted to document the individual generators included in realms so that they will be easy to use.

Biome notes

Realms tries to implement biomes in a way that will look very familiar to people using the built in lua api register_biome function. But with some important differences.

First you will notice that I am trying to separate terrain generation from biome generation. This allows you to mix and match the two however you wish. Just for example, suppose you want one level of the world to be mostly desert. You've already got a nice desert biome defined in bd_default_biomes, so you create a new biome map, and set it to use the desert biome you want, and a few other biomes, but set the map so that the desert biome will cover 80% of the surface. You can do this without having to define a new biome, and without affecting the other levels that use the desert biome for only a small percentage of the surface.

Biome Definition (bd_*) files just contain the definitions for the biomes. These are standard lua tables that look mostly like the regular definitions used for the register_biome function, except for the addition of the decoration table. (more on that later) Do NOT bother putting heat/humidity points in biomes here, that is handled in the biome map.

Biome Map (bm_*) files take a selection of biomes from biome definition files and say how to map them to the world. This allows you to mix and match biomes for different realms. So, for example, the biome map bm_mixed_biomes combines biomes from bd_basic_biomes (a group of ordinary biomes) and bd_odd_biomes (a group of unusual biomes) and maps them to the world using a simple matrix method. There are currently 2 methods of mapping built in.

VORONOI, which is an approximated VORONOI diagram. I use the approximation to make calculations faster. When using this method you need to specify a heat and humidity point for each biome. The drawback of using VORONOI is that its not easy to estimate or control exactly how common any particular biome is going to be this way.

MATRIX, which is super simple. You just create a two dimensional matrix and put the biomes into the matrix. You can repeat a biome, you can put them in whatever order/relation you want. It doesn't create a "natural" of a mixing as the VORONOI diagram, but you will know EXACTLY how often any particular biome is likely to show up. BUT, MATRIX does not deal with altitude restrictions on biomes as easily as VORONOI. So I've added an extra field to the biome definition for MATRIX mode: "alternates". If you are using MATRIX mode, and have a biome with altitude restrictions, include a list of alternate biomes in the alternate parameter and the generic generator will automatically search through that list for valid replacements if a chosen biome is outside of its altitude restrictions.

I also have one biome map that uses RANDOM as its distribution method, but it is customized and only useful in a very limited situation.

Now, back to that decoration table. The regular minetest api uses register_decoration to set up decorations. Decorations are associated primarily with a soil type, and you can't pass functions. This is where my biome setup diverges from the standard. I link decorations directly to the biome definiton. Here is an example biome definition from [bd_basic_biomes](bd_basic_biomes):
Code: Select all
    realms.register_biome({
          name="basic_warm",
          node_top="default:dirt_with_grass",
          depth_top = 1,
          node_filler="default:dirt",
          depth_filler = 4,
          y_max = upper_limit,
          y_min = 1,
          alternates={"basic_shore","basic_ocean"},
          dec={
             {chance=0.25, func=bd_basic_biomes.gen_appletree},
             {chance=0.25,schematic=defaultschematics.."/apple_tree.mts", offset_x=-3,offset_z=-3,offset_y=-1},
             {chance=0.1,schematic=defaultschematics.."/aspen_tree.mts", offset_x=-3,offset_z=-3,offset_y=-1},
             {chance=0.05,schematic=defaultschematics.."/aspen_log.mts"},
             {chance=0.05,schematic=defaultschematics.."/bush.mts", offset_x=-1,offset_z=-1},
             {chance=5, node="default:grass_1"},
             {chance=5, node="default:grass_2"},
             {chance=5, node="default:grass_3"},
             {chance=5, node="default:grass_4"},
             {chance=5, node="default:grass_5"},
             }
          })

You will notice the dec (decoration) table included. Each item in the table has a chance, that is the percentage chance of this decoration showing up. So 5 means that, on average, 5 out of every 100 nodes in this biome will have the decoration. And 0.25 means there will be only 2.5 of this decoration per 1000 nodes (100x100 node area) I fully intend to implement a noise option here as well, like regular minetest decorations use, but haven't gotten to it yet.

There are three kinds of decorations.

* func (function) which allows you to call a function that generates or places whatever you want.
* schematic, to which you can pass a mts file, OR a lua schematic table. You will note that you can also pass offsets. I TRIED to get the regular schematic center_x etc parameters to work, but they just didn't seem to be doing anything, so I implemented this. Any help getting the built in params to work would be much appreciated.
* node, to which you can also pass height and height_max, as in this cactus example: {chance=0.1,node="default:cactus",height=2,height_max=5}, This is handled just like the regular decoration version, so the catctus will be between 2 and 5 nodes high.

I LIKE having the decorations associated directly with the biomes. But I'm willing to listen if someone wants to try and convince me it would be better to implement them the same way minetest does.

But, perhaps the most important point of all about this biome implementation, is that this is the way most of the map generators I've included with realms are implmenting biomes. But it is NOT required. If you wish to implement biomes using a completely customized system, realms is perfectly happy with that. Just tell it what generators to run where, and it will do fine.

If you want to see realms in action, it is used in the current version of Fractured

To Do
Realms works, but it is mainly a proof of concept right now. It needs a lot of work, and since I don't know what I'm doing, I could certainly use some help. These are SOME of the major issues I see that still need working on

* I need a map generator that uses 3d noise. I haven't yet figured out how to use 3d noise to create natural looking terrain. And HOW do you define the surface so that the biome functions know where to decorate?
* We need 3d floating islands. (related to above)
* biome decorations should probably implement x and z min and max
* biome decorations need a noise option
* biomes need more decorations
* caves need to be much better
* ore! I haven't even tried to get ore generating in these above ground realms. I THINK there is a way to get minetest to do this without requiring lua?
* cliffs/canyons needs improved. Especially canyons, my canyon code is just sort of a place holder. Now that I've been working on this for a while, I THINK that the proper way to implement canyons/rivers is probably using the intersection of two different 2d noises? Perhaps with a third layer of noise to limit which intersections get mapped?
* how to do rivers/pools above sea level?
* I need to figure out how to implement the regular schematic flags, especially when passing mts files?
* realms needs to implement translation consistently (hardly doing it at all right now)
* the chasm walls in tg_mesas.lua and bm_shattered_biomes.lua need to have some more natural dropoff. Also, decorations for chasm floor in progress.
* documentation still needs work
* there is a strange glitch where sometimes an area of recently generated terrain is suddenly dusted with snow. I'm not certain if this is something minetest is doing or a problem in my code.

---------------------------
github repository:
https://github.com/Kilarin/realms
 

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TenPlus1
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by TenPlus1 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 05:17

Wow, this is what I've wanted in Minetest for a loooong time with the layered worlds :)
 

Kilarin
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Mon Jun 03, 2019 05:33

I think you'll recognize a lot of the nodes TenPlus1. :) Borrowed a lot from ethereal for the "odd" biomes.

Realms is really pretty primitive right now, these images don't show off great lua landscape generators, but they do work as a proof of concept showing realms can create very different kinds of worlds at different places within minetest:


Realm 2 east:
Image

Realm 2 west:
Image

Realm 3 east:
Image

Realm 3 west:
Image

Realm 4:
Image

Realm 5 west:
Image

Realm 6:
Image
 

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duane
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by duane » Mon Jun 03, 2019 06:09

This looks very neat. The only problem I can see is having to specify decorations multiple times if they go into multiple biomes. Of course, you can link them, but it could still get confusing to track them in several places.

If I were you, I wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to duplicate biome/decoration code in lua. I think you'd be better off trying to get your layers working in C. A lot of people have no use for lua mapgens, no matter how creative, because they'll never match the game code for speed.

On the other hand, you might ask the developers whether they'd even be receptive to adding this to the game. No point wasting time if they aren't.

* A good example of 3d terrain in lua is Valleys Mapgen (but don't ask me to explain how it works).

* I made a lua floating island mod ages ago, which does not require 3d noise.

* ore is another area where you'll be duplicating effort in lua, but Valleys shows one way to do it. Valleys also does rivers, but rivers and pools can be huge cpu sinks.

Edit: I suspect you know that you can put surface realms underground -- all it requires is setting at least one layer of air chunks to not propagate shadow, and lighting the rest normally. Lately, I never propagate shadow. I just don't have any use for it.
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Mon Jun 03, 2019 14:51

I think you'd be better off trying to get your layers working in C. A lot of people have no use for lua mapgens, no matter how creative, because they'll never match the game code for speed.

I see you have already been developing a c version that is awesome!

And you are certainly correct that many people will never put up with the speed of lua generators. But the kind of unusal landscapes I'm interested in creating are not going to be accepted in the primary minetest code, and probably shouldn't be accepted. So I still see a lua map gen solution as being worth pursuing for the creative aspects.

Thank you for the links, those may prove very useful.

And, no, I did NOT know about making nodes not propigate shadows. This is probably something I should integrate, not only into underground realms, but into my layer barrier.

thank you!
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by duane » Mon Jun 03, 2019 20:38

Kilarin wrote:And you are certainly correct that many people will never put up with the speed of lua generators. But the kind of unusal landscapes I'm interested in creating are not going to be accepted in the primary minetest code, and probably shouldn't be accepted. So I still see a lua map gen solution as being worth pursuing for the creative aspects.


I understand completely. In my case, the decoration/biome code ended up sucking up so much of my time that I finally gave up on it.
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Mon Jun 03, 2019 21:57

duane wrote:the decoration/biome code ended up sucking up so much of my time that I finally gave up on it.

It seems to be working fairly well so far in realms. Probably in part due to the simplification of including the decorations directly in each biome.
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by sorcerykid » Tue Jun 04, 2019 01:29

I wonder if the core devs would entertain the possibility of an API specifically for CPP map generation mods. I realize they've opposed general purpose APIs for the CPP-side in the past. But that seems mostly to do with code interoperability concerns (i.e. shared interfaces for CPP and Lua would become a maintenance nightmare simply to account for corner cases where CPP might be superior).

Map generation, however, seems like a strong justification for introducing such an API to the engine. Then again, maybe LuaJIT or even compiled libraries would be a viable alternative. It's hard to say for certain without benchmarks.
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Tue Jun 04, 2019 03:11

LuaJit certainly sounds interesting. What are the negatives of implementing it?
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 21:33

small improvement, realms now has improved chasms in the mesas and shattered plains, the chasms have debris, stones, gravel, old logs, and the occasional previous explorer who never made it back out
Image
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Fri Jun 14, 2019 02:48

Way to much work for a small update.
Node type decorations can now have a rotation parameter which can be:
rotation="random" (param2=0 to 3)
rotation="random3d" (param2=0 to 11)
rotation={0,3,11} (a table of whatever values you want)
rotation=0 (a fixed value)

And, using this new rotation logic, you can now find rare cow skulls in desert regions
Image
Not great work, but not too bad for a first time node box creation I think.
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by duane » Fri Jun 14, 2019 04:26

I like it!
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 21:29

Improved mushroom biomes. Now mushroom biomes have two new giant mushroom types, and 4 new small mushroom types
Image
Image

for anyone who is interested, I found a nice resource for public domain plant images:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Adolphe_Millot
Adolphe Philippe Millot was a french painter who created a LOT of very nice plant illustrations like these:
Image

Image
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Sokomine » Tue Jul 16, 2019 23:48

Kilarin wrote:And, using this new rotation logic, you can now find rare cow skulls in desert regions

That's a very nice idea and will increase the immersion when walking in a desert. It would be nice to have that in MTG.
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Wed Jul 17, 2019 01:06

They are welcome to it! But you really might want someone with more skill to design a better looking skull. :)
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Sokomine » Wed Jul 17, 2019 01:13

Kilarin wrote:They are welcome to it! But you really might want someone with more skill to design a better looking skull. :)

Perhaps there could be more than one model (if we find someone with blender skills to add them)...
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Wed Jul 17, 2019 02:07

Sokomine wrote:Perhaps there could be more than one model

excellent idea!
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Red_King_Cyclops » Sat Jul 20, 2019 14:01

This mod looks like it could prove very useful. Along with some skybox code, mods with new dimensions or planets/moons could be made and without overriding the default terrain.
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by ShallowDweller » Fri Jul 26, 2019 22:17

I absolutely love mods that add a use to all that vertical space! And now I have better reasons to use the travelnet's teleport! :D
I wish I could offer some help but I'm a noob...
Anyway, keep up the awsome work!
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Red_King_Cyclops » Wed Jul 31, 2019 13:32

I've been thinking of using this mod to make a layer version of my mod saturn_moon. The rules for making biomes, configure files, etc. are fairly easy. I want to disable the normal realms so I can replace them with my own, but a lot of the code is made for the normal realms and there are many nodes that depend on the mod name being "realms". Given these hardcoded features, how do I make my own realms?
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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Wed Jul 31, 2019 14:12

Red_Kings_Cyclops wrote:but a lot of the code is made for the normal realms... there are many nodes that depend on the mod name being "realms".

Just create your own bd_ (biome definition) and bm_ (biome map) files, and have them refer to your own nodes (or feel free to use the nodes that are defined in realms if you wish)
You do not have to put your bd_ and bm_ files in realms even. You can define them in your own mod.
as long as you call realms.register_biome, realms.register_biomemap, and realms.register_mapfunc for each of your newly defined functions, they should work fine.

realms.conf no longer has to be defined in the realms folder even, you can put that in your own mod by adding lines to minetest.conf like this:
Code: Select all
realms_configpathmod = fractured
realms_config = realmsfrac.conf

So, with the above, realms will look for its config file in the mod fractured, named relmsfrac.conf

This all deserves a longer post with more details and examples, I'm kind of buried under today, will try to get back on and give it the time it deserves later.

ALSO, while I am absolutely THRILLED to have someone else playing with/testing the code. Do be aware that at this stage of development, it is not exactly stable. I do not anticipate any major structural changes in realms going forward, but that depends on what falls out during testing.
 

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Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Red_King_Cyclops » Thu Aug 01, 2019 23:14

Kilarin wrote:
Red_Kings_Cyclops wrote:but a lot of the code is made for the normal realms... there are many nodes that depend on the mod name being "realms".

Just create your own bd_ (biome definition) and bm_ (biome map) files, and have them refer to your own nodes (or feel free to use the nodes that are defined in realms if you wish)
You do not have to put your bd_ and bm_ files in realms even. You can define them in your own mod.
as long as you call realms.register_biome, realms.register_biomemap, and realms.register_mapfunc for each of your newly defined functions, they should work fine.

realms.conf no longer has to be defined in the realms folder even, you can put that in your own mod by adding lines to minetest.conf like this:
Code: Select all
realms_configpathmod = fractured
realms_config = realmsfrac.conf

So, with the above, realms will look for its config file in the mod fractured, named relmsfrac.conf

This all deserves a longer post with more details and examples, I'm kind of buried under today, will try to get back on and give it the time it deserves later.

ALSO, while I am absolutely THRILLED to have someone else playing with/testing the code. Do be aware that at this stage of development, it is not exactly stable. I do not anticipate any major structural changes in realms going forward, but that depends on what falls out during testing.

I did not know that a mod could just depend on realms instead of borrowing code. Would the mod's folder's contents look like this?
Code: Select all
bd_saturn_moon
bm_saturn_moon
depends.txt*
init.lua
saturn_moon_realm.conf

*The depends.txt file would read:
Code: Select all
default
realms

I am not sure what the init.lua would do in this case. Also, what is minetest.conf?

You have a lot of work to get through, so you can take your time to respond to my questions. I have been requested to make a layer version of my mod for a server, and so far realms seems to be the easiest way to make this version, but I'm in no rush. I've also looked at some of the realms example code and it seems that using realms could give me greater control over the map generation of my planet mods.
My best mods: space_travel, time_travel, and rocket.
 

Kilarin
Member
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:36

Re: Realms (multiple layers with different landscape generat

by Kilarin » Fri Aug 02, 2019 02:23

Kilarin wrote:You have a lot of work to get through, so you can take your time to respond to my questions.

Thank you for your patience! Hopefully I'll be able to get to you on this early next week.
 

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