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Mines (Stone and Metal)

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Not sure if Art topic or Gameplay topic.

It would be great to improve the mines in the game. In ancient times, mining was quite advanced. I know it's an Age of Empires convention to just have piles of Gold laying everywhere, but with many other things 0 A.D. and WFG has improved upon in the genre, I think mines and mining can be another.

Just with the assets already in 0 A.D. and Delenda Est, I was able to make a cool looking and more realistic mining depot than is currently in the game:

screenshot0017.thumb.jpg.570806accb8a268e43eea9da53528f15.jpg

 

Now, if anything the cliff face objects ("stone_savanna_cubic") should be more rounded and the "mines" more jagged, but you guys get the idea. It's a crude representation, but gets the point across (this screenshot is for my rework of Saharan Oases). Stone mines would look like open pit mines, while metal mines could look like mine shaft tunnel entranced. Both mining methods were used in ancient times.

This in and of itself could be enough. They could work just like current mines, but be placed more strategically, be larger and more important. You could still have a couple of smaller starting mines in the home territory, but the bulk of a match's stone and metal would be mined from these larger strategic mines.

 

To take it one step further, with a slotting concept you could add slots to mines whereby you can allow the player to "claim" mines by building storehouses there (and could extend this to a farmland concept where you claim juicy free farms by building a Farmstead on a slot). Like so:

mines1.thumb.jpg.f60c16731d258539646ccf8f49a400d3.jpgmines2.thumb.jpg.ce5173d29ffe452d8c3d73be49b06e94.jpgmines3.thumb.jpg.78856306d6d54c855b17ed492a6eb70e.jpg

 

This could be a way to allow players to gather these resources outside their territory and provide points of contention outside territory boundaries while providing additional immersion.

 

I hope you liked my brief presentation.

 

 

Spoiler

While units are actively mining the stone, we could even have a cool dust effect:

screenshot0020.thumb.jpg.b550d692d6533890236c99b5c9b66296.jpg

 

 

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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Looks like i need to make more rocks

Not a fan of the weathered variant? Normals baked a lot nicer on that one

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4 minutes ago, LordGood said:

Not a fan of the weathered variant? Normals baked a lot nicer on that one

The weathered one gives a weird lumpy shape to the top of the cliff face. I like the flatter tops of the cubic variant. Something between the two may be ideal. I imagine it'll take a lot of experimentation, though the current variants are already useful on their own.

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8 minutes ago, LordGood said:

Looks like i need to make more rocks

Not a fan of the weathered variant? Normals baked a lot nicer on that one

I tried mixing the two, to some decent results. :) 

 

screenshot0022.jpg

screenshot0021.jpg

 

Their textures are quite grainy with a lot of noise. It might be better to reduce the detail of the diffuse texture and instead add detail in the normal map, perhaps similar to these:

screenshot0023.thumb.jpg.24b3c2078204806785e0139578eb576b.jpg

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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On my wishlist you will find a feature that allows buildings to act as sockets. I haven't started programming it. I was waiting for the regenerative resources patch to be committed. I might have been a bit too optimistic ^^

For more details about my plan for that features see the readme https://github.com/0ADMods/building-sockets/blob/master/README.MD

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There is a fundamental difference between a mine (e.g. ore, coal, gems), where people dig shafts or tunnels to reach veins underground, and a quarry (e.g. marble), where people cut out large blocks from the surface in broad daylight. Differentiating mines from quarries would certainly be an improvement.

In Cossacks, wood and stone were gathered as in 0 A.D., but coal, iron, and gold were collected by building a mine structure on a mine slot, and sending workers inside, which would then provide you a steady trickle; mines could be expanded to increase the number of workers you could assign into it. They could be captured by enemy soldiers or destroyed by cannons. Implementing something similar in 0 A.D. would be great.

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I believe a slot type thing would already be possible by using hacks. I am not sure, it all depends on whether one key link works as I expect it to. (but doings things wrongly is worse than not doing things at all). But I leave such judgements to you.

Making the slot an indestructible entity which can upgrade to a foundation might work, no? (there are still some edge cases there..)

Edited by (-_-)

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15 minutes ago, Nescio said:

There is a fundamental difference between a mine (e.g. ore, coal, gems), where people dig shafts or tunnels to reach veins underground, and a quarry (e.g. marble)

Indeed. That's why Stone "mines" would be called Stone Quarries and Metal "mines" would be called Metal Mine or Mine Shaft. :) 

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Soooo nice... I love.. I'm 100% pro

I remember some nice ideas and visual refs in this thread about different types of mines etc:

 

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And of course the AI would have to be adapted to be able to use those proposed mine-slot structures.

7 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Indeed. That's why Stone "mines" would be called Stone Quarries and Metal "mines" would be called Metal Mine or Mine Shaft. :) 

Mine shafts, yes, but I'm not sure a quarry-slot structure is necessary; stone was cut in the open air, e.g. this unfinished kouros in a marble quarry on Naxos:

Kouros_Apollonas_22.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Mine shafts, yes, but I'm not sure a quarry-slot structure is necessary; stone was cut in the open air, e.g. this unfinished kouros in a marble quarry on Naxos:

 

Part of having a socket would be as a gameplay convention, allowing the player to build the dropsite out of their territory.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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Depending on the size of the hill necessary to make the mine look more authentic,

  • Most maps would have to be significantly reworked in many cases to integrate large hills.
  • Can we find a visually pleasing model and texture for any existing maptype and biome?
  • Reserving something like 20% more map area for hills will mean either (even) less area for players to build, or require players to play with larger mapsizes (i.e. simulation performance improvements become more important).
  • Gameplay wise, if there are less locations on the map that provide resources, then not capturing and keeping the few points central to resource gathering may be too punishing, snowball the game more easily.
  • Some maps already have hills, but only one or very few. For example Pyrennean Sierra or Jebel Barkal. If only the existing hills can be mined, the maps are either not as playable anymore (lost central hill = lost game) or not playable at all in the other case.
  • Some maps are intended to be entirely plane (Anatolian Plateau).
  •  What about the starting mines at the civic center?

So the screenshot looks good and it should be implemented for all relatable maps, but it doesn't sound like vanilla could use that approach for many if not the majority of maps / map ideas?

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The way I see it, mine slots won't have to be enormous. It could be visually pleasing to have one or more mine slots near large hills or cliffs, but in principle they could be placed anywhere on the map.

Cossacks for comparison:

cossacks.thumb.png.d386ebfd27909462ab749ce9460dfc16.png

Mine slot + structure in red, farmstead in blue, storehouse in green, several small rocks for stone in yellow.

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Copper mines of the Great Orme (Wales):

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160420-the-ancient-copper-mines-dug-by-bronze-age-children

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-Great-Orme-Mines/

Spoiler

Bronze-Age-mining.jpg

 

Neolithic flint mine (Britain, Norfolk):

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/grimes-graves-prehistoric-flint-mine/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint

Spoiler

image.png.31f70e723cb57a1a61763993de10fc9f.pngimage.thumb.png.f365b9000f2797d0e6dd6962b96a0cfa.pngimage.png.5eb53483f7a6d10a270b1afe68dee7a0.png

 

Iron mining, iron age (Southern France), the red square on the figure:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322010581_Remains_of_the_iron_exploitation_during_pre-Roman_and_Roman_period_in_the_mining_district_of_Baillestavy_Eastern_Pyrenees_France

Spoiler

image.png.424d17308ca981cae2283b3176bae495.png

Different iron ores:

Bog Iron:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bog_iron

http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/bog_iron.htm

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289236536_Prehistoric_iron_smelting_in_London_Evidence_from_Shooters_Hill

Ironstones:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironstone

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siderite

https://www.wealdeniron.org.uk/hist.htm

Spoiler

Mine.jpg

 

 

Bonus: Salt mining Hallstatt period (Austria):

https://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/hallstatt/en/salt_mine/hallstatt_period

Spoiler

1400462777755.jpg

image.thumb.png.d85986f99532629d7d9e56df5628e1c1.png

image.png.a0db3bce55b4430a6f1d2c826f7aea77.png

 

 

Edit: For bog iron, it is quite common in wetland and forested streams where the geology is rich in iron. Here a picture of field campaign I did in Hessen in Germany:

Spoiler

image.thumb.jpeg.46501bb5f34a1c7eeb4124d709de262a.jpeg

This is due to iron-oxidizing bacteria, forming biofilms:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron-oxidizing_bacteria

The iron minerals are dissolved in anoxic conditions (no oxygen) below the water table as Fe(II) minerals and when the water rises up it got oxidized in Fe(III) minerals, bacteria use this difference of oxidative potential to fuel their metabolism. In the case of my picture, this is a seepage because there are beavers dams and ponds in the area.

Edited by Genava55
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On 4/4/2019 at 12:45 PM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Their textures are quite grainy with a lot of noise. It might be better to reduce the detail of the diffuse texture and instead add detail in the normal map, perhaps similar to these:

that graininess is a result of the details in the normal map. AO and spec maps drive the definition in the stone you present, but separate actors cant cast AO onto each other, which would be quite a boon to mountains and cliffs

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Looks good. The entire VisualActor will be the mine that units surround and play the gather animation from? Should work, but what will happen to the actor once the mine is depleted? It sounds like it might look awkward if theres an empty spot in the map that was designed to have this little hill and flora there. So perhaps that could use some 'damage variant' or the decaying 'corpse / rubble' actor mechanism? With damage variants, the transition could be smoothened, but of course costs a lot of additional work. Replacing the active mine actor with a depleted mine actor would be easier. Also if this is a huge actor, then it will be a ghost / have no obstruction. So it should probably transition into an entity with obstruction if not entirely removed after depletion (should not be so hard from the code side).

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you're going to need some normals for those at least, are those 1080 textures?

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3 minutes ago, LordGood said:

you're going to need some normals for those at least, are those 1080 textures?

They have normals, they are textures  from the terrain initially

screenshot0038.png

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I mean macro normals carved out in blender, separate from the texture normals. These normals are prey to seams whereas carved normals aren't, as long as your UV planes don't overlap

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9 minutes ago, LordGood said:

I mean macro normals carved out in blender, separate from the texture normals. These normals are prey to seams whereas carved normals aren't, as long as your UV planes don't overlap

How would you do it without killing the polycount :)

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