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Imagine Nations
 
 
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Nov 20, 2013 @ 3:21pm
Sep 14, 2015 @ 1:50pm
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State Of The Game: New Year’s Edition (Part 1)
From Location to Realization

A large amount of objects goes into generating a fully random world with complex features like towns in, particularly when the goal is to have things appear different every time – terrain, road layouts, buildings and more.

Before getting into how the towns are made, here is a little explanation of the underlying terrain systems is in order.

Like an Onion

Generating all the information that makes a full voxel world is very expensive in terms of computer processing and may take several hours if it was all generated at once. Fortunately, not all of the information is needed for most things, and we can get away with using lower resolution or less precise data.

To that end, terrain generation is set up in layers, each subsequent level having more detail and bringing it closer to the final result. At the lowest level, only the general shapes of the landmasses and seas, and basic height ranges are visible. It is not a whole lot, but plenty for getting a good idea about where you might want to generate a village.



An example of the lowest resolution height layer that is used for general shape. This is full size for an entire planet face. This particular image is old, since post engine change it’s harder to output images like this, but it’s extremely similar.

This allows the placement of towns to be planned ahead of building the area it occupies. Right now though, because they’re still heavily in development, a town is placed in the middle of the world area.

Tiles and Keeping them Hidden

The easiest way to build a structured area like a town is with tiles, each containing road and places for buildings. Tiles are easy to keep track of, and easy to work with, but have some drawbacks, mainly concerning how easy they are to spot in the world, especially where they join to other tiles.

This can be mitigated somewhat by making sure you have plenty of different tile variants for each type of tile that exists, so there’s a much smaller chance of getting two that are identical in a row, and by rotation and flipping to get more variants out of a single base image. More on that later.




Prototype for testing town layouts, showing two layouts as basic tiles (left) and the first image-based tiles (right).

Random Interior Design

As it turns out, designing the layout of a house is no simple task. The number and types of rooms and how they connect are a very important process. We need to make sure that a randomly generated blob of rooms both looks like a house and makes enough sense to be believable takes a lot of work.

A graph of the connections between rooms is made based on the type and size of structure. The rooms are placed, shuffled around, and expanded within limitations to make (mostly) normal looking structures.



Prototype for house generation showing the graph of rooms and their relative placement in the final house, back before doors were added.

After that, the doors and walls are fleshed out as the structure is bound to the block grid. The general features of the rooms like walls, ceilings, and floors are dictated by the room type. You may have seen some of the pictures in the weekly screenshot recaps showing the animal pen rooms as low walled courtyards.

The buildings are then placed into the town tiles to line the roads, which with enough variety can look quite natural.


Another town layout prototype pic, this time with a larger pool of different tiles to use with the houses.

Wrapping up

Eventually the houses will have more complex features and decorations, and be filled with the trappings of whoever lives or works there, but for now the focus is on getting them into the world. They’ll be functional places for the townsfolk to operate from, which is an important feature we are working on in the coming months.

Some of the features, particularly world gen and buildings, are currently in the early build available to backers. We’re expecting the town functionality in a build in the near future, and then the focus will be tweaking the current functionality and adding in the citizens.

- The Imagine Nations Team

Get Imagine Nations for $15.00[www.imaginenationsgame.com] and gain access to early build and Backer’s Access to private forums for Backer’s Only.

Description
Release date: Early Access in First or Second Quarter 2016
We are targeting an Early Access launch Early 2016. More Information can be found on our website.

We've all played that game that left us hanging. You begin going down a path and are suddenly wishing that <insert content or feature here> was available. You feel let down. But fear not, for with your help, Imagine Nations will resolve that dilemma.

You will be able to enter a sandbox game that is catered to your play style. In Imagine Nations, you could:
  • Explore a vast procedurally generated universe, from your starting planet to the stars beyond!
  • Research new technologies that help both yourself and various cultures advance through the ages.
  • Go out and build creative and elaborate constructs from duct tape and guano (or whatever else is lying around on the ground).
  • Engineer and pilot a new jet, ship, or even a state of the art spacecraft.
  • Build and run a successful town, growing it to heights beyond just a planet, but into space itself.
  • Fight creatures and find awesome loot in dangerous locations, only to sell it to some sucker in a nearby town.
  • The opportunities are as endless as your imagination.

Imagine Nations is a sandbox game that defies genres by allowing you to play the game using the features that interest your play style the most. Once you've created your character, you are dropped into a voxel universe (think games like Minecraft and Cube World) that will let you do as you please, for better or for worse.

The center of Imagine Nations is the various cultures that can be found on planets throughout the universe. You begin in one of these towns, with a culture that looks similar to yourself. These cultures act with or without your input, growing from humble beginnings as hunter-gatherers to massive empires spanning a galaxy filled with space-age technologies. You are free to support the towns directly through various means, or let it grow naturally.

From the beginning, the choice is yours as to how you want to progress. Do you support the cultures directly by helping to gather resources, building new buildings, settling down with your own home, and maybe even starting a family? Or do you work indirectly, completing various missions offered (which may send you off to dangerous and exotic locations) that have the potential to impact on how well the towns function? Or maybe you simply don't care about these people, and go off on your own and rough it?

However, be aware that the universe is ever changing. You may find yourself caught up in events that are far reaching even if you could care less about the people around you. These are times when the universe is looking for a hero, and the time for someone (maybe you?) can step up and be that person.
Popular Discussions View All (24)
5
Sep 7 @ 11:34am
What I'm Looking Forward To.
thermal_bull
19
Dec 16, 2014 @ 6:52am
is this gonna be like a rts of civilization??
Hoddy
4
Feb 12 @ 6:54am
Activity/Development
Xtrylanx
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1,056 Comments
mbhahn  [author] Aug 30 @ 12:46pm 
@Scrubs McNubbs Yes! Very much so!
mbhahn  [author] Aug 30 @ 12:46pm 
@ARCHTOP We are still working hard. We are a team of volunteers making progress. Once we have the UI done, we hope to push a new build to the backers shortly afterwards.
Scrubs McNubbs [Sick :s] Aug 17 @ 1:15pm 
Question: is this project still in the making?
ARCHTOP Aug 7 @ 11:08pm 
how close is this game being to complete, im looking foward to it
mbhahn  [author] May 19 @ 1:49pm 
@bravocado04 Reach out to us when we are closer to a preview alpha build.
mbhahn  [author] May 19 @ 1:48pm 
@The2ndarbiter Not dead. Just working hard. Thanks for checking in.
mbhahn  [author] May 19 @ 1:47pm 
@[iLL] Denis We are working on a new build. We have been posting the new buildings and other concepts in action on our social media pages. Please take a look.
Highland Bagpipe May 18 @ 8:23pm 
please don't be another dead game.
[82DK] Denis Apr 30 @ 4:25pm 
no news for 1 month?
Gipsar_YT Apr 2 @ 12:50pm 
hey, cat banana studio's, im a small youtuber and this game looks amazing! i think it would be good for both uf us if i get a coppy of the game and do a lets play to promote your game on steam, what do you say about my offer?