Author Topic: Improving World.DAT discussion  (Read 1305 times)

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Improving World.DAT discussion
« on: April 07, 2018, 03:42:35 am »
Players spend a significant amount of time in this game in Geoscape. Earth should look better and more accurately reflect our real world (circa. 1999) Searching the forums has led to:
Volutar's World Editor
Bladum's World.DAT
Hobbes's Area51/Terrain pack 4.X
Am I missing any?(yes i was! there is also)
https://falkooxc2.pythonanywhere.com/worldeditor

These resources make some of the changes I'm looking to see, but do little to satisfy my main concerns with the current globe, being:
Firstly, I feel the coastlines of Earth look terrible. Laughable. Land in vast areas where none exists, missing landmass and islands, and oversimplified edges.
Second, all but the very largest bodies of inland water are ignored. Earth looks very dry, and earth has MANY lakes large enough to lose a UFO and drown its entire crew.
I have therefore started using World Editor to experiment with "improving" things. That was over a year and many man-hours ago. Progress is pictured below. The Question is : "Should this be finished?" Getting this far has taken dedication, there is still more to go, especially in Canada and Greenland, where high latitudes are a pain. Then would still come the terrain distribution improvements by Bladum followed by integrating all of the terrain type improvements by Hobbes. Whew. Poly count is already pushing 6000. I welcome any and all opinions or insight. I dont think I'll finish this unless other people think it's possible AND practical. I think it looks beautiful so far, but if it breaks the game, makes it run too slow, or too drastically changes the "look" of the game then I'll shift my efforts back to other parts of the game i've had my eye on...
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 04:45:14 pm by SophiaThe3rd »

Offline Yankes

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 03:15:12 pm »
Better would be showing results in game itself. Another thing is performances, current drawing globe code excepted classic number of polygon and could have problems if you bump up number of them.

Offline ohartenstein23

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 03:44:06 pm »
The original WORLD.DAT has ~600-700 polygons, and with some tests from my random world generator, it seems like up to ~5000 performs okay, though I don't remember the exact counts I used.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2018, 09:08:02 am »
I have therefore started using World Editor to experiment with "improving" things. That was over a year and many man-hours ago. Progress is pictured below. The Question is : "Should this be finished?" Getting this far has taken dedication, there is still more to go, especially in Canada and Greenland, where high latitudes are a pain.

A lot of dedication, excellent work!

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Then would still come the terrain distribution improvements by Bladum followed by integrating all of the terrain type improvements by Hobbes.


I made a new terrain distribution for the Terrain Pack/A51 as well

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Whew. Poly count is already pushing 6000. I welcome any and all opinions or insight. I dont think I'll finish this unless other people think it's possible AND practical. I think it looks beautiful so far, but if it breaks the game, makes it run too slow, or too drastically changes the "look" of the game then I'll shift my efforts back to other parts of the game i've had my eye on...

I'd definitely be interested in an upgraded Geoscape for Terminator: Tech-Com total conversion. I'm curious to see how your work actually looks ingame.

One minor issue with the smaller bodies of water is that they'll involve missionZone redesign so that alien bases aren't generated on lakes.

I'd like to see how it actually looks ingame.

EDIT: something else I realized meanwhile about the high polygon count (6000) - it will be required to assign textures to all those polygons, so there might be an issue because of all the work involved.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:01:18 pm by Hobbes »

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 05:39:51 pm »
Trying to capture an in game shot as requested, game crashes on startup. Last successful in game check was back when Africa and Australia plus Eastern Asia were completed, some thousands of polys ago. Simply replacing old world.dat with new one is all that's needed to change the earth, correct?
Attached are crash log and World.dat in current state.

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EDIT: something else I realized meanwhile about the high polygon count (6000) - it will be required to assign textures to all those polygons, so there might be an issue because of all the work involved.

-too true, but thats just a simple matter of click, arrow key, click, arrow key.. also, nearly all work so far is strictly inland water or coastline. All these new polys will just copy the main neighboring poly's texture.

not sure where the hold up is, any ideas/fixes very welcome.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 02:23:37 am »


It appears Canada is trying to impale Africa or something...  ;D

I couldn't get it to work on vanilla since it doesn't have the additional textures (segmentation error), but when I used your file on my Area 51 mod it worked flawlessly (well... there are still parts of the globe that require more luv)

My bet is that your crash is related to the ruleset since the game loads your WORLD.DAT file without any problems

This illustrates my mention of the high polygon count - it's point and click, but unless there's another way, that means 6000 point and clicks...

--- posts merged ---

Had a better look and the detail looks quite nice, that must have taken quite an effort :)



And this was taken using it on Tech-Comm mod:



Very nice work. I would be definitely be interested on this for Tech-Comm, since textures aren't used as much on the mod
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 10:08:29 am by Solarius Scorch »

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 03:55:59 pm »
Super! I was afraid some limitation was the problem, but it appears that's not the case. The impaling poly is a simple issue of not enough vertices. A single or two point "poly" (missing the third coordinate) kinda of "draws anyway" with missing points assumed at the center of the earth or some such. Earliest versions were tested in game to ascertain the smallest features (coast/lakes) the game will draw at max zoom. Smallest of the small might not appear at lowest zoom after terrain textures bring colors to the table, but zoom in and they do show up.
If I understand correctly Hobbes, I just need to drop the number of types of terrain back to original, and it should load vanilla with improved globe, right? (for future testing/screenshots)
How to edit country border lines? Will need doing after everything else gets polish too i suppose.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 08:15:49 pm »
If I understand correctly Hobbes, I just need to drop the number of types of terrain back to original, and it should load vanilla with improved globe, right? (for future testing/screenshots)

That *should* do the trick, assuming there are no bugs with the ruleset.

I assume you used the globe from either the Terrain Pack or Area 51 as a starting point since i haven't seen any other globe with so many textures assigned. And when vanilla loads your WORLD.DAT it can't find the extra textures referenced on the file, thus it crashes. At least that's what must have happened when I tried it with vanilla.

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How to edit country border lines? Will need doing after everything else gets polish too i suppose.

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globe:
  polylines:
    - [293.125, -44.5, 291.375, -47.25, 288.375, -45, 285, -45, 278.8, -46.125]
    - [242.875, -32.625, 253.625, -31.75, 256.75, -28.875, 258.625, -29.75, 261, -26.375, 263, -26.125]
    - [235, -48.875, 255, -48.875, 265, -49, 270.375, -48]

You should also adjust the missionZones on regions.rul to avoid alien bases being placed on water, if you want your globe to be a stand-alone mod.

Any ETA on when will you have all the polys done?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 08:17:42 pm by Hobbes »

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2018, 12:03:47 am »
Quote
Any ETA on when will you have all the polys done?

Ballpark estimate on my coastlines is around 40-ish man-hours remaining. I don't sit down to it as often as I would like lately, but I'm shooting for around June. If your new mod is better suited with a "blank slate" earth (few/only one texture) it could be made available in shorter order than my vision for this project i suspect. Bladum's geographic distribution is much improved in my opinion, and I would want that integrated already as well, even if earth was a snowball/cinder. I still don't know how I'm going to deal with the poles themselves.

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 01:31:22 am »
Major slowdowns ensued after my tower PC burnt up, but i was able to salvage everything and transfer to a laptop powerful enough to deal with YAML rulesets over 20K... ;)
Coastlines progress, all that remains are tiny RANDOM islands, Canada's high altitude, and the poles.

OPINION QUESTION?: The poles WERE low res/low difference breaks in terrain type in the VANILLA game. They worked alright because the game wasn't very specific. It's an easy search to annual median sea ice levels on google. But, Super high (80°+) latitudes are hard to coastline... SHOULD there be A strip of #SINKABLE ocean between high pole and high Canada as in vanilla or would  earth  be more natural with  broken sea ice snugged right up to high lat polys?
TLDR: should sea ice butt-up to places that WOULD be frozen or should players be given a chance to sink a UFO they don't want to deal with?

also:
I am a little confused about rulesets as pertains to World.DAT. Options (in rulesets) like countries, regioins, etc. allow for (override/delete/replace) of  lat/lon. coordinates, but I am not sure about how to make this into a MOD instead of an Upgrade to OXC. I would love to release as many versions as necessary to accommodate vanilla players as necessary.

Still unpacking/studying Terrain Pack 4.0 to gauge available terrains vs. desired #EARTHACCURATE
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 01:39:16 am by SophiaThe3rd »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 02:55:16 am »
SHOULD there be A strip of #SINKABLE ocean between high pole and high Canada as in vanilla or would  earth  be more natural with  broken sea ice snugged right up to high lat polys?

TLDR: should sea ice butt-up to places that WOULD be frozen or should players be given a chance to sink a UFO they don't want to deal with

Vanilla. Oceans already cover more than 70% of the planet. And if modders want to reduce/increase the number of UFO interceptions over land/water they can do it through the ruleset by adjusting the UFO flight patterns.

Quote
also:
I am a little confused about rulesets as pertains to World.DAT. Options (in rulesets) like countries, regioins, etc. allow for (override/delete/replace) of  lat/lon. coordinates, but I am not sure about how to make this into a MOD instead of an Upgrade to OXC. I would love to release as many versions as necessary to accommodate vanilla players as necessary.

Still unpacking/studying Terrain Pack 4.0 to gauge available terrains vs. desired #EARTHACCURATE

First version should only use the vanilla terrains rather than the whole Terrain Pack.

Afterwards, it's really up to the modder's skills and needs. In Tech-Comm for instance I'm planning to use less world textures than vanilla.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 06:31:17 am by Hobbes »

Offline coolguy

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 05:24:22 am »
I'm so excited, this new globe will surely give the game a more modern look. So much detail, wow.

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2018, 07:50:44 pm »
Work progresses on this Jovian project. I feel satisfied with the coastlines and inland water of the entire globe. Once product hits the shelves feedback is welcome and missed spots could be persuaded, but things look great with my only gripes being that Australia has weird terrain that i'm not sure is land or lake or lagoon and Canada has WAY too many lakes, most of which are frozen(?) most of the time.
That being said next comes elevation layering. As laughable as the coastlines were, the representation of flat/hilly/mountainous terrain was quite a bit shite as well. Entire mountain regions missing and such. Good or bad this means slicing up the interiors into polys small enough to mold around earths' terrains. Coastline additions pushed the count up to 7500, so this process will likely push 10k. Process is not AS slow as finessing the waterlines, but its a bit of scissors work. About 75% through the N/S Americas. This puts things at about version 0.33
Still to come will be the actual terrain type assignments coupled with texture work to smooth appearances, as well as polyline work for country borders and mission zone adjustments for zones 3 and 4 for sure; zones 1 and 2 need checking but appear to be mostly within adjusted landmasses. (will UFOs land in the water if its within the zone?,or do they find a textured poly within the zone?)
There was a recent corrupted data scare recently, so i'm backing up this progress online as well. Of course anyone is welcome to do anything with it.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2018, 01:34:43 am »
Great work so far. Here are a couple of images taken with the new world using Tech-Comm



If not for the lines shown below I'd start integrating this globe with Tech-Comm



That being said next comes elevation layering. As laughable as the coastlines were, the representation of flat/hilly/mountainous terrain was quite a bit shite as well. Entire mountain regions missing and such. Good or bad this means slicing up the interiors into polys small enough to mold around earths' terrains. Coastline additions pushed the count up to 7500, so this process will likely push 10k. Process is not AS slow as finessing the waterlines, but its a bit of scissors work. About 75% through the N/S Americas. This puts things at about version 0.33
Still to come will be the actual terrain type assignments coupled with texture work to smooth appearances, as well as polyline work for country borders and mission zone adjustments for zones 3 and 4 for sure; zones 1 and 2 need checking but appear to be mostly within adjusted landmasses. (will UFOs land in the water if its within the zone?,or do they find a textured poly within the zone?)
There was a recent corrupted data scare recently, so i'm backing up this progress online as well. Of course anyone is welcome to do anything with it.

For Tech-Comm my requirements regarding textures and hilly/mountain/etc. terrain will be quite simple, since I'm only planning to use 3-4 different biomes (one for polar, another for forest, another for desert) and then there will be 3 variations of each biome (plain, hilly, and swamp). The biomes will be assigned to textures, but the variations will be determined randomly for each texture. So, I'll just need all the coastlines defined, the extra layering for elevation will be welcome to other mods that use this with the original game.

Offline SophiaThe3rd

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Re: Improving World.DAT discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2018, 04:21:24 am »
Found the three bad polys, thanks for the spot. Only the three, correct? If it's what you want, its yours