World Generation / Map Generator / Game Modes / Scenarios / Biomes

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World Generation / Map Generator / Game Modes / Scenarios / Biomes

Post by ssilk » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:53 pm

There are some dozen of suggestions around generating worlds. And as it turns obviously out: It's not possible to fulfill every suggestion, cause the suggestions are going into quite different directions. Someone wants to play without water. Others with plenty. Some want to hop from island to island, others want to have one big plain field. Some want many trees, other don't like trees.

The best explanation of this dilemma can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9492 Uncertainty factor

The content of this thread is "some kind of suggestion", which - at the same time - tries to bring all the ideas around world generation together into a concept, that enables all those wishes.

The current map generator is very good to generate more or less random maps. But that is also it's problem: A random map doesn't guarantee that the map is playable. That it is fun. That it has a good game-target. And a random map also doesn't guarantee a good game.

Before making suggestions you need to know, how the current generator (I call it here "map-generator #1") works:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=8016 Random Map Generator (This article describes, how the current map generator works) ... _generator (A description in the wiki)

A new world generation doesn't replace the current world generator but makes it one small part of the new!

That means, that the current map-generator-#1-algorithm and for example the Resource-Spawner-Overhaul-mod can exist in parallel on the same map. The map is generated in two (or more) layers (one for each generator) and the new generator decides, which "layer" should be used and blends between the layers so, that it look "natural".

Other map-generators can be used to generate part of maps (sectors). The current map-generator #1 can create several types of landscapes. But it cannot create for example rivers or roads. It can also not create parts of (old) factories (from blueprints or other maps). That job can be done by specialized other map generators. All the map-generators create the map (or only active in some parts of the map) and then rendered together, like a picture with layers in Photoshop, where you blend more layer one or layer two, depending on a mask.

Under that circumstances it could have the following suggestions implemented:

How the results may look like:
Taken from viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8670&start=10 Multithreaded game update loop.

The idea is in short, that maps should be not completely random. Because that's the reason for a bad game. You cannot guarantee a good gameplay, if the player is enabled to drag any knob. This is like with an old radio, if you don't press the right buttons and turn the frequency to the right position, you won't hear anything. :)

Current radios don't need to press many buttons. You can say "Play me Rock'n'roll" and it plays rock'n'roll. This should be the same in Factorio, instead to be forced to drag knobs. (But that is still possible)

But that alone doesn't make a good game. The generated map must have th right "mix" of landscapes/biomes etc. This means: The landscape is splitted into bigger parts, like the starting area for example. There are parts of the map, that include much more resources than others - for example. Or you can guarantee, that one side of the spawning point has a lake in the back. Or when you reach some point of dicovery you will find automatically the big boss. Such things.

That spreading of landscapes-types could be done more or less randomly, like now, but it could also be controlled very exactly; created by a modder, because a mod can do everything. Think to Diablo, where they generated parts, that are completly random and others, that where more or less fixed (in Factorio for example parts of an old factory which can be more or less "destroyed"). In Factorio that could be made just by mods or scenarios (which are nothing else than a mod).

So the point is, that the mod/scenario should provide only those knobs and buttons, that guarantees the promised scenario/gameplay, which can be achieved by generating the right part of map at the right time. (As said: There is of course an expert view, but that doesn't make that promise anymore.)
For example: A scenario-mod with the name "Island Hopping" could have only two knobs in the map generation screen; one with "island size" and the other with "Island distance". Anything else isn't needed, cause the scenario isn't tested with other justifications and so they are normally hidden in the configuration.

The mod internally translates the two knobs into some rules, that influences the map generation (like described above) and other changes. That's in general the basic idea. (Problem begins with interaction between two scenario-mods, like "Waterworld" and "Dune", for obvious reasons. :) But this should not be covered here!)

Related Lists

viewtopic.php?f=80&t=16592 Game Setup, Game Configuration, Init Screen
viewtopic.php?f=80&t=139&p=82957#p82957 Enemy Variations / Enemy Variety / New Enemies / Boss
viewtopic.php?f=80&t=342 Events (Environmental Disasters and Weather)

Easier handling of map generator
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6508 Master Settings
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7924 More precise map generation options
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6564 Changes to map generation and "world type" setting
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9870 Add chooseable difficulty level
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13001 Guarantee resources in starting area
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15988 Select Starting location environment
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20146 Terrain types
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20814 Choosing a Biome
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21358 Better map generation algorithm
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22473 Notify users that you can't finish the game with no aliens.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=24306 Correct how World Generation Works
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=25269 Map Editor: Change world generation after the fact
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28027 Please add a "no starting lakes" option
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28642 Fixed maps discussion
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=29977 Terrain preview on game setup screen when using seed

The most ideas here are depending on what type of game you want to play. Depending on that you choose a mod. The mod then can decide itself what changes to it's world generators makes sense and can provide some buttons like "difficulty", "type of landscape" or "No water"-options to the world-generator-screen. What this means is then hidden inside of the mod.

The point is, that the mod promises a type of game/map and within it's approved parameters it will always fulfill this promise. The responsibility to this promise is now at the modder and not longer the player.

Some kind of preview in the map-generator
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5635 Minimap preview in map generator

Scenario handling / Biomes

Enabling the player to choose from many different types of maps, that guarantee to accomplish, what they promise:

viewtopic.php?f=76&t=160 Different planets
viewtopic.php?f=76&t=224&hilit=Terraforming Alien Technology, Advanced AI, More Planets,Factorio "World"
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4632 Arctic/Desert Biomes
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3219 Biome resource variation
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4692 Map generation changes (a thread which tries to bring some things together)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5702 Map generated in terrain
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6709 Map Gen Starting Area Options
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8185 Change to Biters, Biter Bases, Pollution, Resources
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9870 Add chooseable difficulty level
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12406 Difficulty level
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18094 Specific easy game map modes like Island, Peninsula, Istmus
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=20035 What are your thoughts on death in single player?
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20901 Quick selection of the starting area
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21143 Difficulty Presets
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21511 Suggestion: Arctic biome, Changing weather
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22058 Challenge scenarios (some ideas)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=25397 Starting planets
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=26360 Random Planet Settings
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28120 Permanent Landscape Features
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28289 Multiplayers : Map generation for "split play"
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28726 Climate selection dropdown
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=29516 Caves, wind, waterfalls, hills, valleys, earthquakes, bees
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=29934 Biome Expansion
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=30583 Custom terrain type generation
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=32212 Biomes
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=32603 Rivers
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=34964 Story Mode
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=38694 Initial power / wreck/crashed ship
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=40448 Snow areas in factorio
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45860 Arctic biomes? And restricting biomes that can spawn

Brininging in (new) types of playing the game (by easy choosing of mods in the map generator screen)


viewtopic.php?f=80&t=342 Events (Environmental Disasters and Weather)
Environmental disasters. This is in general having more random events during the game. Some mods implemented for example an asteroid crash.
There are especially events, that makes energy generation more random, which makes much sense gameplay-wise.

Tasks like "Bring W at X to Y and you will get Z"

viewtopic.php?f=80&t=183 Events (“Againts all odds”. Free-play, global task.)
Events that add "tasks" to the game, that the player needs to solve.

There is of course some similarities between events and tasks.

Early game and research
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3618 Rethinking the (very) early game
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3034 Making Research more difficult / rewarding
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9492 Uncertainty factor
viewtopic.php?f=80&t=13022 World Generation / Map Generator / Game Modes / Scenarios / Biomes
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
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