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===[TASK]=== Terrain and Map Overhaul (Milestone: Alpha 25)


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I have already been experimenting with giving the game a much needed update to the terrain textures. I have been exclusively using assets from this website here, licensed as cc0: CC0 Textures - Public Domain PBR Materials

We could contact this gentleman and ask for his assistance in creating new assets if his site currently does not have them and WFG could even become a Patron (his highest Patreon level is $5/month). Even if we don't try to partner with him, we can still utilize his excellent CC0 assets and ask him to check out how we're using his stuff.

cough I am very keen now on using CC0 or CC-BY-SA materials. eh hem. And so far the results have been better than I'd hoped. 

 

EXAMPLES

India:

Spoiler

MjmVluS.jpg

 

Desert (using assets from the India biome)

Spoiler

resWBIm.jpg

 

Alpine-Polar (I think these 2 should be combined)

Spoiler

QFpBWqc.jpg2ofxbbY.jpg

 

 

Pros for updating the terrains:

  • The game's current terrains are inconsistent in quality and scattershot in style. A new set of terrains can unify the quality and style.
  • Terrains take up a massive amount of screen space, or what the player sees, so improving them gives a large boost in visual quality.
  • The current terrains don't fully take advantage of the graphics engine's capabilities. A new set of terrains can do that.
  • Improving the terrains can bring the look of the game closer to modern expectations.
  • We can reduce the sheer number of terrains by half, which comes with the benefit of visual consistency and ease of use for mappers.

Cons for updating the terrains:

  • It will take considerable effort and take attention away from other possible tasks.
  • The new textures will be on average 4x larger than the existing textures and will add normal maps and spec maps where previously there were few.
  • Will increase the graphics memory load and possibly push out those with low-spec computer rigs.
  • ?
Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I have already been experimenting with giving the game a much needed update to the terrain textures. I have been exclusively using assets from this website here, licensed as cc0: CC0 Textures - Public

Terrain Overhaul has begun for A25 (terrains successfully ported over from Delenda Est to A25 dev version, locally):     The current idea is to release the new terrains with A25, a

Posted Images

Let's take stock of the current terrains situation (Alpha 23-24)

 

Current Biomes. Inconsistent.

  • Alpine
    • 41 terrains
    • 41 textures
  • Desert
    • 58 terrains
    • 59 textures
  • Mediterranean
    • 40 terrains
    • 42 textures
  • Polar
    • 17 terrains
    • 17 textures
  • Savanna
    • 36 terrains
    • 37 textures
  • Steppe
    • 13 terrains
    • 13 textures
  • Temperate
    • 47 terrains
    • 48 textures
  • Tropic
    • 32 terrains
    • 33 textures

 

 

Let's look at a potential Alpha 25 situation. Consistency.

Proposed Biomes

  • Aegean-Anatolian
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures
  • Alpine-Arctic
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures
  • East Asia (Bonus)
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures
  • Equatorial Africa (Bonus)
    • 18 terrains
    • 27 textures
  • Hispania-North Africa
    • 18 terrains
    • 27 textures
  • India
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures
  • Italy
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures
  • Mesoamerica (Bonus)
    • 18 terrains
    • 27 textures
  • Middle East
    • 18 terrains
    • 27 textures
  • Mongolian-Tarim (Bonus)
    • 10 terrains
    • 15 textures
  • Nubia-Savanna
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures
  • Sahara
    • 18 terrains
    • 27 textures
  • Steppe (Bonus)
    • 15 terrains
    • 30 textures
  • Temperate-European
    • 18 terrains
    • 36 textures

Why do some proposed biomes have 18 terrains and 36 textures, while others have 18 terrains and 27 textures? It's because they will reuse many of the same assets, specifically normal maps and spec maps. Some diffuse maps will simply be color corrected for the biome and can share normal maps and spec maps from other biomes. For example, the Alpine-Arctic biome could use the same diffuse map as the Temperate biome for a cliff texture, just color corrected for Alpine theme, and then share the same normal and spec maps between them. This saves time and effort as well as unifies the look of the complete set of terrains.

 

(Bonus) Biomes are lower priority. For instance, if the Xiongnu are added, then the Mongolian-Tarim biome would good to add. If Scythians or other similar civs are added, then the Steppe biome would be good to add. Otherwise, these biomes could be added lastly, the others a greater priority since we have civs already in-game for these biomes.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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Assets.

I propose that we curate the current list of biome assets, such as trees, animals and rocks, and fill in any gaps where necessary.

Each biome should have:

  • 3-5 tree species
  • 3 or more bushes
  • 1 berry bush object
  • A set of eye candy rocks
  • A set of eye candy flora
  • 2 Stone Mines
  • 2 Metal Mines
  • 2 or more dangerous animals
  • 3 or more cosmetic animals
  • 3 or more huntable animals (not including fish)
  • etcetera

Biomes can obviously share many of the same assets (Oak Trees or Date Palms for example will be used in multiple biomes). But a new spreadsheet must be created and agreed upon to go with the new proposed terrain biomes. Also, limits should be imposed for visual consistency. For instance, no more than 5 tree species per biome. We're not going to have 10 grass terrains in a biome, so there shouldn't be 20 tree species all mixed together in that biome either.

 

This will obviously necessitate a lot of random map script tweaking, but the final product will look very nice indeed.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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  • 2 weeks later...

For maps situated in Africa, it's important to realize the continent consists of several distinct ecoregions (get a decent map or consult Wikipedia (linked). From north to south:

  • Mediterranean zone (used to be fertile): coastal Morocco to Egypt.
  • Atlas Mountains (wooded): Morocco to northern Tunisia.
  • Sahara (desert): Mauretania to Egypt.
  • Sahel (transition zone): Mauretania to Sudan.
  • Sudan (savanna):
    • West Sudanian savanna: Senegal to Northern Nigeria;
    • North Central savanna: southern Chad, northern Central African Republic, western South Sudan;
    • East Sudanian savanna: Uganda to Eritrea.
  • The Sudd (swamp along the Nile in the centre of South Sudan) separates the savanna regions.
  • Forest-savanna mosaic (nomen est omen):
  • Tropical moist broadleaf forests (I doubt anyone would ever use this technical term in daily language):
    • Upper Guinean forests: Guinea and Sierra Leone to Togo;
    • Lower Guinean forests: Benin to Cameroon;
    • Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests: Cameroon to Democratic Republic of Congo;
    • Northwestern Congolian lowland forests: Cameroon to DRC;
    • Congolian rainforests: Cameroon to DRC.

The above is roughly the situation north of the equator. Below the equator you get practically the same ecoregions, though in reversed order, under different names, in different countries.

The different ecoregions are actually identifiable from space:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Africa_satellite.jpg

Of course, it's easier on schematic maps:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Biomas_de_%C3%81frica.PNG

These vegetation zones correlate (i.e. not a 1:1 correspondence) with climate:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Africa_map_of_Köppen_climate_classification.svg/1900px-Africa_map_of_Köppen_climate_classification.svg.png

precipitation (rainfal):

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e1/Africa_Precipitation_Map.svg/1000px-Africa_Precipitation_Map.svg.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Africa_1971-2000_mean_precipitation.png

temperature:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Africa_temperature.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Africa_1971_2000_mean_temperature.png

and, to a lesser extent, even language families:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/African_language_families_en.svg/600px-African_language_families_en.svg.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/Map_of_African_languages.svg/1525px-Map_of_African_languages.svg.png

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  • 1 month later...

Hey folks,

Back from my injury and hopefully stable to contribute. During that time a made a lot of test around and I see that I had the same idea from @wowgetoffyourcellphone . CC0 textures are great and the other great thing is that they have substance files that I can modify at will. there is also the possibility to make up some of them, it's a reallly great software. I'm still waiting for their legal team answer to know how much of it I can distribute, with how much modification. If we do things from scratch I'm pretty sure i'm the owner of the substance file. 

Anyway I was interested in the idea of consistency and revise terrains, but where can I find the list of those terrains as proposed by Wowgetoffyourcellphone (darn it's a long name) ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I was looking through the terrains I saw those labelled 'fancy'. Do they use something like parallax occlusion mapping ? I'm not really familiar with the method,but I find the result really neat. What does the engine need to make those, because the textures that I see (a specular white pixel spots, and an albedo) don't make sense to me.

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Those don't use parallax, although we have that, hence the name parallax in material. Those "fancy" material use triplanar projection. From what I see it basically use the alpha channel as height as well, but instead of distorting the ground it adds little plane objects

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s I've done some test and boy do I have question.

Right now I understand how to replicate the 'fancy' grass elevation effect, and done some test with other textures. Feels fine, but I really don't know how to make the terrain triplanar material work. With the right textures nothing seems to happen.

Does anyone have an idea?

I've also refine the pipeline between substance designer and the engine. I'll make some terrain test along the week. The great advantage is that they are going to be tileable and coherent and easily color swapable. Substance is a proprietary software but the work done is propriety of is author. It's a standard in the game industry so I think any artist passing along will be able to pick it. Anyway, it's not perfect but it's promising.

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6 hours ago, MrLux said:

I've also refine the pipeline between substance designer and the engine. I'll make some terrain test along the week. The great advantage is that they are going to be tileable and coherent and easily color swapable. Substance is a proprietary software but the work done is propriety of is author. It's a standard in the game industry so I think any artist passing along will be able to pick it. Anyway, it's not perfect but it's promising.

I have a few substances I made in the past if you want. Some are exported there:

https://github.com/0ADMods/eyecandy/tree/master/art/textures/terrain/types/new

 

6 hours ago, MrLux said:

Right now I understand how to replicate the 'fancy' grass elevation effect, and done some test with other textures. Feels fine, but I really don't know how to make the terrain triplanar material work. With the right textures nothing seems to happen.

Does anyone have an idea?

Did you change the terrain XML material file to match ?

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Hey there,

I've been doing another batch of tests. I'm plan on giving a thought examination into the new terrains and get more cohesion and precision. 

Spoiler

screenshot0015.thumb.png.dc97a96e1f77dbcd770121d558f281de.png

For the progress this is a screenshot of a WIP cobblestone texture to have an idea of tiling limits and scale use in susbtance painter. I'll obliously will keep working on it and release eveything under CCO, origin files included. Power to freedom data, yadahi yadaha. ^^

But now for the real trouble.

This is a screen shot of a test texture to push the engine. Clockwise, starting from the top left: 

  1. lux_TT.xml normal terrain with just the basecolor. I name it diffuse but the ao info is baked into so, not really a diffuse.
  2. lux_TT_norm.xml terrain with normal map, on which the alpha channel is also the height map. 
  3. lux_TT_NS.xml terrain with normal and specular. As per pbr workflow I wanted to test the colored reflectivity, so the inner circle reflects gold light.
  4. lux_TTt_tri_NS.xml same as 3 but triplanar
  5. lux_TT_tri_norm.xml same as 2 but triplanar
  6. lux_TT_tri.xml same as 1 on the inputs, but triplanar base material.
Spoiler

screenshot0014.thumb.png.07837f1d5456bac756244838078a23f2.png

All the 6 material use the same 3 textures maps, 512*512. Still dont really get the DTX compression, but base color and normal are DTX5 and specular DTX1.

And now the problem, visible in the screenshot. 

  • Only the triplanar material gets the specular working.
  • the triplanar projection works? I mean I see the orientation changing. It's that all ? Maybe, probably, that I didn't get anything at all on how it works.

And I also tried a basic_trans_parallax_spec.xml material def for a terrain, it crashes the Atlas. I get it, it's not a terrain material. So no parallax for terrains, I mean it would really be neat for road, cliffs and rocks?

Edited by MrLux
fixed order of texture explanation
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They are png, and I did use the terrain norm spec. 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<terrain>
<textures>
<texture name="baseTex" file="types/lux_scale_test_diff.png"/>
<texture name="normTex" file="types/lux_scale_test_norm.png"/>
<texture name="specTex" file="types/lux_scale_test_spec.png"/>
</textures>
<material>terrain_norm_spec.xml</material>
</terrain>

That it's why I find all of this odd.

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No, nothing seems to have change. Only the triplanar material as the specular info displayed.

Also, I get now what the triplanar does. That would be nice for cliffs and other slope textures. It would be interesting to know if that computes more than the basic, to know which terrains should be tri planar and which shouldn't mind.

And with all of that, the parallax occlusion is not present for terrain materials, is it possible to try it? Some dev outthere ?

Edited by MrLux
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You can enable it by changing the terrain xml files DE has special ones for terrain

 

https://github.com/JustusAvramenko/delenda_est/blob/master/art/materials/terrain_parallax_spec.xml

Notice the big USE_PARALLAX

You can also boost the specular value of a material. It's the second number. See the comment here

https://github.com/JustusAvramenko/delenda_est/blob/master/art/materials/player_trans_parallax_spec_helmet.xml

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  • 4 months later...
  • wowgetoffyourcellphone changed the title to ===[TASK]=== Terrain and Map Overhaul (Milestone: Alpha 25)

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