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Dev Diary #80

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Hey there, fellow ylanders!

Let’s talk about another exciting feature coming in 0.13! The new and improved terrain generation. We have changed the way the terrain is generated in both the surface and the underground caves – this paves the groundwork for future updates that will allow us to quickly and painlessly generate more unique terrain variations. Let’s take a look at the changes!

In the old system, we were able to create nice terrains, but there wasn’t a big diversity after all – all ylands were basically a cone, where the top of the cone was the highest mountain peak and on the surface of the cone random changes were applied, so that it always looked a little bit different. This ultimately resulted in the ylands being a bit repetitive – the mountains were always in the middle, there was never a large flat area, and it was impossible to add some unique terrain features.

Another big issue with the old system was that, by breaking the surface of the cone (so that the ylands didn’t look completely the same), the terrain got too fragmented, and animal pathfinding was not able to navigate through there.

Some smaller modifications could be made to the old system, but in the end we weren’t able to keep the same visual quality and at the same time add much more variety and make the pathfinding work there, so we decided to make a completely new system.


Ylands meets Astroneer? By @Spyler.X!

With the new system, each yland is split into several sections and each of those is handled separately, so we can decide in which section there will be mountains, where lowlands, and so on. This way, we can have mountains on the edge of the yland and flat areas in the middle, which was not possible before.

Those sections are then connected and blended together, and each section can be completely unique, therefore creating ylands that don’t look so similar to each other.

Another big plus is that surfaces are not so fragmented as before and animals will have much less trouble navigating on them. And with changes made to the terrains, vegetation needed to be adjusted as well, so we optimized its spawning in all of the biome areas.

This all results in a much better control over the process of how each yland is created.

Since 0.13 just lays down the foundation of the new system, we will add much more polish to it and make sure there’s much more variety in the future, but we consider it already a great improvement!


And that’s all for now. Have a great weekend and as always - stay classy! And remember that in this post here you can leave your questions for next week :)

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Will this mean 0.13 will update our terrain tools too? 

Will 0.12 islands/maps feel less valuable (should I wait to make the city roleplay game I am making on the new map-type). 

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With this change, the old saves will see changes in their biomes or it keep the same ?


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