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People are complaining that the generic biomes are ugly. It's really hard to fix that when they're defined as json. The json-defined biomes also present a lot of really unfortunate limitations, like only allowing for 2 kinds of huntable animals and (I think) 2 kinds of trees, as well as preventing the use of more complicated mixtures of layered texture patches and things of that nature.

IMO the json files should just point to a js in a separate directory, which could be loaded to provide some basic global variables for common textures as well as a biome prototype with a standardized interface that could provide features like highly tunable (ie specific to the biome) texture decoration, more biome-specific trees and a wider variety of huntable animals, especially for the savannah biome. That would also allow map-specific biomes to merely fill the global variables that the map uses, allowing for easier customization without the restrictiveness of the generic json schema.

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There already are JS files per biome, one can do everything what you want per biome.

While the biomes themselves can be improved, the greater problem is that every map looks the same no matter what you do in the biome code.

So IMO the best practice is to just not use the biome system at all when introducing new maps.

There are map-specific biomes, for instance Persian Highlands or Gulf of Bothnia which don't use the generic biomes.

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18 minutes ago, elexis said:

There already are JS files per biome, one can do everything what you want per biome.

What? How? Where?

18 minutes ago, elexis said:

While the biomes themselves can be improved, the greater problem is that every map looks the same no matter what you do in the biome code.

Well yeah, if you have a limited set of biomes they'll end up being repetitive and samey. That's not what people are complaining about though.

20 minutes ago, elexis said:

So IMO the best practice is to just not use the biome system at all when introducing new maps.

There are map-specific biomes, for instance Persian Highlands or Gulf of Bothnia which don't use the generic biomes.

It depends. Some maps work better when using customized setups, especially if they're supposed to represent a particular place. On the other hand maps that don't (like mainland, frontier, ambush, etc) are probably better off using random biomes though. That's what the generic biomes are good for, making generic maps less boring.

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24 minutes ago, aeonios said:

 What? How? Where? 

Since you're already working on procedural map generation code, take a look into the rmgen/rmbiome/ folder. Like the rest of the parent directory, it was refactored in alpha 23, because it was an inextensible mess before. Basically the generic biome system is only a vocabulary with some specific variable names and an optional JS function that is called.

The map-specific biomes

18 minutes ago, aeonios said:

That's not what people are complaining about though. 

I've seen several thousands of lobby matches, and experienced very heterogeneous feedback, so it leaves an odd impression to speak in the name of all people.

28 minutes ago, aeonios said:

That's what the generic biomes are good for, making generic maps less boring. 

While it's ok to have a basic set of generic and ambiguous maps, to me the map design stage was missing when deciding to use generic biomes.

In Alpha 20 _kali's rmgen2 maps (Ambush, Frontier, Stronghold, Harbor, ...) maybe doubled the number of generic biome maps, it made something repetitive twice as repetitive.

In Alpha 21 _kali and me introduced some very good maps (Red Sea, Mediterranean), but also few maps that are out of place geographically (Amazon) or historically (Howe Sound).

For many older and newer maps, the author only had an algoirthm in mind.

But the vision of 0 A.D. and it's specifically defined geographic and historical context can only be to let a player relive history. To me it's not in line with the vision of 0 A.D. to not think about specific geographic locations and historic sites.

Therefore in Alpha 22, a map that originally was just an aegean sea copy with the generic autumn biome, became Danubius, a certain place at a certain time of a certain scenario with a unique character.

Alpha 23 maps took this further and implemented only specific sites for Kushites: Jebel Barkal, Lower Nubia, Fields of Meroe, Elephantine and Greece Hellas, Dodecanse. I have a clear vision to take this to the next level(s).

Trying to improve random maps that are bad by design is a good starter task to familiarize oneself with the code, but it limits the potential for improvement one can tap into.

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1 minute ago, elexis said:

out of place geographically (Amazon) or historically (Howe Sound).

fc3f56d1403d9afc.jpg

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