Suggested Design and cities

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Will Shirley, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Will Shirley

    Will Shirley New Member

    Okay, as a Newbie and more a designer than a gamer, I have been using Minetest as a means to design both buildings and homes in a city/settlement basis. I suck at games generally, just don't have the killer instinct, but I have been in civil engineering since the 60's and now as a retired person I have been working on my art/photography. Sandbox games are great for figuring out how to design a settlement with enough room, gardens, restful spaces, etc. I have carved whole mountains into sculptures with big movie theaters on the other side.... Now I love the graphics in Terrasology but it is different enough from Minetest that I am still struggling with how to move, eat and not die... In that game it is easy to set up "no damage" so I can jump from floating islands and stay underwater for hours, but in Terrasology, not so easy to find. By working in "Creative" mode I can not worry about finding the materials and making tools... I know, it's cheating, but not for my purposes, but how does one do this in Terrasology? I'd like to see more furniture/editors as well as a better array of materials for making homes. At 67 I am a tad old to begin learning how to make mods, but it's not impossible. I have some minor programming but for most of my life I was a CADD tech with a side of sculpture, so this is how I like to go in my games. Comments?
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  2. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    Hey there, good to see you made it on the forum :)

    So the base setup for Terasology is far more "raw" than you'd get out of Minecraft or probably MineTest, as evidenced by the "Builder Sample Gameplay" template having literally nothing but a hilly world, two blocks, and the ability to place or break said two blocks (no inventory, health, toolbar, etc). Anything you add beyond that is your choice, with "Core Sample Gameplay" a slightly less minimal setup we recommend starting with (still far less than something like vanilla MC/MT)

    You might have picked JoshariasSurvival (JS) if you hit issues with dying from starvation? Since that's specifically meant to be about survival it includes such stuff as thirst and hunger. Simple use Core instead then add in individual modules of interest but avoid hunger, thirst, breathing, etc. JS does have some nice powertools for interacting with blocks in bulk - but it introduces all that with a tech tree to climb, not really as creative mode additions.

    The health system is part of Core still, but will likely itself be extracted and made more optional. In the meantime you can use the console to gain flight, ghost mode for clipping through terrain, and I think there are outright options to reduce types of damage if you don't want to just rely on flight allowing you to move around without risk of taking damage from falling.

    So with Terasology you sort of get a "build your own creative mode" :D We should really make an outright template to begin with (Builder Sample Gameplay is really more a demo of just how bare bones the engine itself is - not really meant for a creative style game mode). One thing you probably will want for sure is the BlockPicker mod (infinite inventory of all blocks). Definitely StructuralResources as well (a pack of shapes like columns and various slopes etc). Structure Templates allow you to "copy paste" and define structures for reuse. ChiselBlocks has hundreds of nice building blocks. Lots more like that!

    My favorite contributor is your age and made a ton of our blocks, so it is definitely possible for you to add in stuff too :)

    If you have experience in CADD and sculptures are you used to Blender by chance? You can add your own new block shapes (like furniture) pretty well, and we still lack a lot of those. There are some basics but no nice furniture sets yet. Some just creatively use thin slabs and other shapes to build furniture in pieces.

    One lovely build video I noticed a little while ago follows- lots of nice big stuff!

  3. Will Shirley

    Will Shirley New Member

    NO, I haven't worked with Blender much, I mostly was drafting roads, bridges, utilities and survey maps with the occasional architectural job. I rendered by hand with pencil and watercolors. One of the things I like about Terasology is the painterly color palette. It looks like an illustration. I love the video, how does one do a fly-thru like that? Let's see.... my original OS was Amiga, I did all my drafting on CADD progs on that with a super-charged dual processor A4000 tower. Also worked in Microstation and AutoCadd. There were some nice programs in Amiga world for making worlds and trees etc but it took some time and you were more of a god than a participant. I enjoy exploring worlds looking for new sites based on historical patterns, ie high ground, nearby water, good clearing for agriculture... So once I sink my teeth into this I will see what if anything I can contribute art-wise. Thanks for the help and heads up.

  4. Skaldarnar

    Skaldarnar Badges badges badges badges mushroom mushroom! Staff Member

    @Will Shirley that sounds amazing :) Maybe we can make good use of your experience when generating cities and villages. We currently have two approaches, one for static cities and another one for dynamically growing cities. There is some/a lot of randomness involved, so it's somewhat the opposite of a well-planned city. Afaik both city modules can deal with the structure templates @Cervator mentioned, thus, adding some new buildings should be possible.

    In addition, I would really appreciate any sketches of "city building blocks" - kind of patterns one can use to automatically generate cities and villages that feel a bit more organized. I read some papers on road network patterns, we just need to get them in-game already... And, of course, more building designs are also welcome!

    PS: Here is an (older) video of what we have so far:

  5. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    My first computer was an Amiga 500. I remember that thing - lovely days. Civilization I, Settlers (first one even in German, not English, as that's the only one I could find!), Populous (I think?) and so on :)

    Yeah simply drawing out some city blocks would be useful. The MMO in development Crowfall lets you build your own private kingdom out of a sort of Tetris block approach where each contains some amount of landscape, buildings, open lots, etc, in a way so they'll fit together nicely when placed either manually or procedurally. At present Structure Templates focus more on smaller pieces, while Cities do try to cut things into lots, parcels, and so on. Might be something neat to look at!
  6. Will Shirley

    Will Shirley New Member

    I have several worlds started in Minetest, first I explored for a good location from an historic view: defensible, water nearby etc and then You figure on the time period. I personally am very fond of 7th century AD as many wonderful cultures were forming and meeting. There's a good chance the Norse made it to Japan around that time. If you compare the timber architecture of the stave churches to the temples in Japan it is remarkable! In some periods town walls were to keep animals in rather than people out, or to divide up gardens. If you assume, for instance, a global setback you can have great halls with plasma TVs run by small hydro plants or even fuel cells. I have a weakness for exploring caves and it would be swell to be able to decorate the walls with animal drawings. Generally I apply some history to my work. First the original settlers need high ground, water and food. Roads connect settlements and intersections determine the location of a market place. Buildings grow near markets. The proportion of people to businesses is essential to portray a prosperous location vs one which is just hanging on. A great source of inspiration are the living museums around the world. Hedeby, York, Birka, all show history and functionality. Consider ley lines in some project with settlements connected according to ancient concepts of earth energy. Cities grow not according to a plan, mostly, but to universal rules, like houses grow near roads, markets near intersections, bridges encourage villages. A great example would be Paris as opposed to Phoenix. Phoenix grew up in the stinking desert at the intersection of a railroad, river and cattle trails. It grew into a huge metropolis but violates some basic rules: high ground, water supply, good soil. At this time Phoenix is stuck with mass transit and a huge hunger for electricity. AND no reason to exist: the river has long been dammed and dried up. The railroad left town. NO agriculture thanks to decreasing water supplies, alkaline soil and near yearly floods thanks to messing with the drainage by placing roads on top of creek beds. Paris, on the other hand, is doing fine. Anyway, this is my approach. I suppose if I had the killer instinct I would have just played with zombies but somehow that does not move me much. Your videos are fantastic, I love them. I assume you programmed a moving camera? Do you recall an Amiga program called Pagerender 3D? Odd name but it was a prog for making objects with the ability to include cameras and such for video creation. You could import-export in DXF format so I could use the CADD progs at work to create objects and then import and animate them in Pagerender, export to Caligari 24 for ray tracing. We also used Vista Pro for world creation and a couple others which allowed you to, for instance, take a B/W image of a person lying down and convert it to a 3D landscape with trees and rivers and which, when seen from above, still showed the person, like an earth giant. Some fun. If my fibromyalgia and arthritis permit I look forward to making some contributions to this project. This image is of the front entry of a settlement/university on the river.

    Attached Files:

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  7. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    I never did get into any sort of graphics work on the Amiga, but can vouch for my viking roots coming originally from Denmark :D

    There is a "Cinematic Camera" option in-game that sort of stabilizes the camera - with flight enabled you can fly around normally yet get a nice smooth flyover effect even as you start, stop, change direction, etc.

    Nice village!

    I do dislike how arbitrarily cities get placed in MC. I believe Dynamic Cities has some effort spent on evaluating sites before placing a city, looking for a large flat area. We need to improve river placement, then maybe with that in place it could be used as another criteria.
  8. Will Shirley

    Will Shirley New Member

    As a kid I used to design and build miniature cities on plywood, complete with nuclear plants, lights in the homes and monorails. I saved all sorts of odd bottles and such to make buildings. Sim City was a great beginning and as time goes on we have better tools. I think Terasology will be great fun in design. One aspect of Minetest which can be problematic is the floating mountain problem. A couple of spots I have found so much convoluted material, mountains, caves, ruins all tangled up and half not connected to the ground. I usually dig away "floaters" when I can. Here's a shot of a small settlement... hard to see the building as it is partly earth sheltered. I'd like to design a small hydro plant since there are so many rivers and streams. IT wouldn't work, of course, but if it looked right it would serve a good purpose. I will see what I can do on a video. Some things I have need video to properly show.

    Attached Files:

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  9. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    Handling floaters is relatively straight forward, it just takes a bit of effort. I even managed to do something like that years ago as part of a block integrity system to make sure unsupported blocks would disappear - if I could get that working (even if very poorly) actual smart contributors definitely could, just need to put in the time :D

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