The Biome element can be taken in two entirely different directions depending on how you envisage the end product. Aesthetically, it is easy to take it ‘over the top’ and end up creating a headache – especially when you have backers running around asking you to implement everything from the Grand Canyon to rainbow coloured lollipop trees (don’t laugh… I guarantee someone will brings this up lol).
My thoughts are based on maximising the visual practicality of creating the game world, especially from a procedural point of view.
So in no particular order, the following are the 6x distinct outlays I would consider:
- The standard world – Hills. Mountains, Plains etc.
- Arctic – (been there, done that lol)
- Volcanic Wastelands
In terms of environmental gameplay interaction, this is where things can really be ramped up depending on your thoughts:
The standard world… you are already all over this (awesome job by the way – drooling already)
Jungle – Trade resources of spices, diamonds & gold. Perhaps even tie a ‘medical’ resource into this that effects the skill up speed of the physician skill tree? An option of developing a ‘Merchant’ character would also allow you to implement ‘trade caravans’ that would run between the major settlement and the resources – because of their ‘loot’ they would draw a much higher level of agro from wandering Monsters and make them a real life target (just like the real world).
Swamp – More designed as a pathfinding risk area separating low lying areas of the map. I remember playing the original Populous as a kid on the Amiga 500 and watching as my ‘not so bright’ lemmings walked into a swamp and disappeared as they got sucked under. Aside from this, a higher concentration of Monster spawns could be tied to swamp generation.
Desert – Another pathfinding risk. Any of your wandering people are subjected to 2-3x the amount of normal attrition when crossing these areas – experiencing quicker levels of hunger (thirst) and fatigue.
Arctic – I know you already have plans for this. Perhaps add some area specific resources such as Pelts/Hides for crafting, higher levels of trapping skills etc to encourage players to venture forth into the icy wilderness.
Volcanic Wastelands – Seriously, this has the most scope of the entire lot. These are areas of utter ruin. Barren, cracked earth torn apart by volcanic upheaval. Highly concentrated areas of mineral resources balanced against the highest Monster spawn areas on the entire map. Monsters generated here are down right nasty and tougher than your average kill. It’ll take a real effort to push into these areas and hold off attacks while your miners/merchants extract the resources.
Hopefully something in that list will give you guys some creative thoughts or spark an idea that can add to the richness of Stonehearth. If you like the line of thinking, let me know as I’d be more than happy to help bounce around some creative aspects.