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I know this is less likely to happen in practice, given it would likely require significant engine changes for something many might find too unusual to be worth it. At the same time, especially considering Pyrogenesis can be used for different products and genres including space / scifi, I definitely don't see it as something too wild to consider at all. So yeah, I was thinking about planet maps. Right now a map must be flat, circular though rectangular edges are also supported if I'm not mistaken. Were this idea to happen both custom and random maps would support an additional spherical format: When used the terrain is generated as a sphere rather than a plane. Obviously it could only produce unrealistically small planets you can easily circle around... even so it could be an interesting concept for sure. Such maps could provide both unique mechanics and visuals alike. Mechanically the biggest change is everything warps around, you can attack from different sides which would make the gameplay special. Visually it would also be an unique feat rarely done in an RTS: Apart from having an actual horizon where distant terrain covers while buildings have different inclination (think the effect in Animal Crossing), imagine being able to zoom out and see the whole planet from space! Obviously this would imply big changes to scrolling and movement: The camera would work differently as it pivots around the center point of the sphere, moving the view would also rotate it. All unit / building models will need to point toward the center of the sphere, otherwise just be aligned too the spherical surface and that should be it... not sure if pathfinding would have bigger issues getting adapted. Daytime and atmosphere would be a trickier one since we don't even have a dynamic day / night cycle for existing maps (although I think one can be scripted), seeing the proper time of day based on your camera position would be the cherry on the cake were the the rest to be implemented successfully. If supporting actual sphere mapped terrain is impossible, a simpler alternative would be allowing rectangular maps that are seamless and repeat around the edges. This would surely be easier to implement, main hurdle being a technique to render copies of terrain and models across seams while also allowing the camera to scroll seamlessly. However this method wouldn't allow zooming out so you can see the entire planet and manipulate it like Google Earth, zoom would have to be limited or you'll see infinite copies of everything.
Hi guys. I give Gallic Fields and Alpine Valleys a "autumn" skin. Would be cool to be able to "bundle" multuple maps together into one file and they could be randomly chosen on launch (like different variations of the same skirmish map). But that's a idea for another day. In meantime, enjoy screenshots: