Hi, I was thinking about some suggestions for better terrain!
As you can see in a screenshot above, the lake area is too blocky. When I have time I try to terraform these to have more ‘natural’ look by adding curves. It could be improved from the map generator though!
- The ‘green’ layer next to water (maybe range of four blocks) could be lowered by one block, so that the angle would be less steep.
- Adding sand texture that was introduced in desert biome would also improve the overall looks! If the area directly next to the lake would have sand texture, this would make it look more believable. In my head it would go like this:
- terrain generator decides where is lake gonna be
- those 16x16 chunks next to lake area in all 3 dimensions (around and below) would have sand texture applied to
- chunks around lake area would have one block tall layer sanded down to provide ‘beach’ look.
- This one’s a bit game changing, but hear me out. Making farming possible only in areas next to water. By giving dirt blocks next to water a ‘muddy’ or ‘watered’ state, they would change texture slightly to one a bit darker and only on these placing farming zones would be possible. Something along the lines how farming works in Dwarf Fortress. Reason behind this is simple: Stonehearth is at its current state too easy. And this comes from a player who usually plays his games at the easiest difficulty!
But how would 2 and 3 combine together? Morty, you cannot have the sand and muddy dirt at the same time!
Well first of all, the sand would be applied at terrain generation, and ‘muddiness’ would be applied when water touches the dirt. As you guys said few times, Stonehearth is a game of planning, and this would make the player plan ahead more. The player would dig a trench going from the lake (or river if added in the future) going towards the area they want to farm. Now the ‘thickness’ of this muddiness would be calculated as: for every block thickness of the trench, two adjacent blocks would get watered. So 2 blocks thick canal would water 4 blocks of farmland from each side.
Another thing needs to be addressed as well, in my opinion, and that is moving individual blocks. So far player can only build structures, but not terrain per se. It would be very good if player could move dirt as they can move bushes and cacti and herbs atm. This would help the player in mountain and desert regions.
And also about the desert biome, the second step about adding sand could be reverted. Generator would add a grass layer next to lake, and when player want they can start planting directly on top of the grass layer, as it already has a ‘muddy’ state, or just move those dirt blocks in the area they want to till. The muddiness would also be modified a bit as well for desert biome, as the water would provide only half of wetness compared to forest biome.
My last point is about adding more noise to terrain generation. As you can see in the screenshot, the lake is more like a cross than an actual circle, or rounded shape that bodies of water tend to have. I think, though I’m no expert here, that if during terrain generation it would recognize that there are two chunks diagonally to each other (could be simple check like ‘Do I have a chunk of empty air next to me? If yes, does this chunk of empty air has another chunk of dirt/mountain next to it? If yes, does this chunk have another chunk of dirt/mountain that we both are neighbours to?’) and then the generator would just sand them down.
Now I hope I didn’t scare off too many people by this wall of text, but this has been on my mind for quite some time, and I just had to know if there is anything similar planned, or if I’m having delusions