Some ideas about trees

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LaChupacabra
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Some ideas about trees

Post by LaChupacabra »

Last edited by LaChupacabra on 15 Oct 2020 22:31, edited 2 times in total.
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LaChupacabra
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1. Percentage limitation of forest areas

Post by LaChupacabra »

1. Percentage limitation of forest areas
Currently:
The player has the choice of playing on maps completely devoid of trees or completely covered with forests. It is true that after the last change in version 1.10.2 it is possible to stop the further growth of trees, but this solution, although it is a step forward and has its advantages, has at least two significant drawbacks: firstly, it doesn't work in the online game (it works only in scenarios where the location of forests has been determined in advance), secondly, it makes it impossible to remove trees, even in the scenario editor, which can be very burdensome - it was possible before.
Idea:
Thanks to the setting available at the window level and the map generation settings, it would be possible to limit the amount of forests on the map, making them look much more natural. The default value could be 30%. The size of the saved and downloaded files (especially large maps) would be much smaller without the old beauty of the maps.
Solution details:
  • If it is possible, the algorithm would check the number of wooded tiles from time to time (even only every few months) in relation to the rest of the land or only in relation to free tiles - it is clearly visible on the map, but the question is whether it can be easily converted into a result .
  • If the number of trees were below the specified limit, tree growth would be enabled
  • If the number of trees exceeded the limit, tree growth would be turned off
  • If the number of trees for any reason exceeded the limit, the trees would disappear
  • In the world generation window, a new option could override the tree planting algorithm selection - the one with the "original" and "improved" options could be saved in the settings.
  • In addition to the world generation window, it would be good if the option to reduce forest density also appeared in the settings so that it could have an impact on the forest generation in the scenarios.
Trees - density setting.png
Trees - density setting.png (130.32 KiB) Viewed 846 times
Last edited by LaChupacabra on 10 Oct 2020 22:48, edited 1 time in total.
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LaChupacabra
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2. Improving tree generation

Post by LaChupacabra »

2. Improving tree generation
Currently, when trees are initially generated, these are all too often planted separately. As a result, there are no natural-looking vast meadows and clearly defined forest edges - everything is blurry.
Generating new trees during the game is different - then they are much more often planted next to the existing ones. By generating forests in the scenario, the best, most natural-looking effect can be obtained by speeding up the game and allowing for quite free growth. I think that the same very good effect could be obtained in the map generator by improving the current (improved) algorithm so that after generating larger clusters of trees, it would plant the next ones more often near the existing ones than in completely random places.

Another consideration regarding tree generation is the problem with forest crossing railroads and tracks. I think that the algorithm, not being able to plant the tree, could try to plant it in another, closest free field.

Layout of trees after several dozen years of free growth from nothing:
Image

The current, not very natural looking tree arrangement at the start of the game
Image
Attachments
natural looking forests.png
(604.98 KiB) Not downloaded yet
not natural looking forests.png
(704.07 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by LaChupacabra on 10 Oct 2020 22:48, edited 1 time in total.
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3. The appearance of trees depends on the season

Post by LaChupacabra »

3. The appearance of trees depends on the season
As long as it would not create an excessive burden, it would be a very nice addition in my opinion. Currently, no matter if it's spring, summer, autumn or winter, the map looks the same all the time. It would be nice to see the same landscape with the colors changing with the seasons...
Last edited by LaChupacabra on 10 Oct 2020 22:48, edited 1 time in total.
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4. Shaded and brightened trees on the slopes of the mountains

Post by LaChupacabra »

4. Shaded and brightened trees on the slopes of the mountains
Currently:
With the trees view on, you can hardly see the topography. As a result, even the most mountainous map doesn't differ in appearance from the completely flat one.
Idea:
In order to show the relief of the land under the forests, it would be possible to use the shading effect, which is used, for example, in the case of transparent buildings.
Solution details:
  • Each type of slope would be assigned a shadowing or brightening strength
  • Trees on slopes to the west and north would be shaded
  • The trees on the east and south side would be brightened
  • Shading effect, would be better as the part of the game, not add-ons - this would allow to use the effect on older add-ons and also limit the excessive number of sprites.
Hillside without trees
1. Slopes without trees.png
1. Slopes without trees.png (225.98 KiB) Viewed 846 times
Hillside with trees
2. Slopes with trees.png
2. Slopes with trees.png (504.01 KiB) Viewed 846 times
Hillside with shady trees (only two shade)
3. Slopes with shady trees (only two shade).png
3. Slopes with shady trees (only two shade).png (606.48 KiB) Viewed 846 times
Last edited by LaChupacabra on 10 Oct 2020 22:49, edited 1 time in total.
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LaChupacabra
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5. Areas of eternal forests

Post by LaChupacabra »

5. Areas of eternal forests
This is part of a larger idea where the heightmaps / scenarios would consist of layers including:
- terrain height (currently the only editable layer)
- water depth (it can be a common layer with the terrain height, where the water having a blue shade)
- type of terrain (moderate, arctic, deserts - the possibility of mixing different substrates, which would be available in the new climate: mixed)
- rivers and canals (recreating them from scratch to update the map is a nightmare)
- roads
- cities and buildings
- enterprises
- objects
- forests, including:
- areas where trees can grow - they are indelible like the type of terrain, outside these areas trees would not grow or would grow reluctantly and would disappear more often
- forested areas
Many of these points are possible today thanks to the map generation tools by McZapkie. Unfortunately, this is a patch that requires compilation and is not particularly easy to use. This way of saving developed height maps and scenarios would be very useful when creating new maps, and even more so when modifying existing ones, which sometimes may require changes to be able to play them at all.
In the case of trees, such permanent forest areas would be usefull for maps, where the author might wish to map some specific area or highlight the features of part of the map.
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2TallTyler
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Re: Some ideas about trees

Post by 2TallTyler »

I like a lot of these ideas but lack the knowledge to put them in the game (yet).

Shaded trees on hillsides is a feature in the Citymania client, which unlike JGR is fully cross-compatible with vanilla OpenTTD including multiplayer games.
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Re: Some ideas about trees

Post by LaChupacabra »

2TallTyler wrote: 14 Oct 2020 01:41 Shaded trees on hillsides is a feature in the Citymania client
So there is some shadow of hope. :D
I have a few more small ideas, I will add them soon
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6. Forests around Forests (enterprises)

Post by LaChupacabra »

6. Forests around Forests (enterprises)
Or forests in forests. I think it might make sense if trees were more likely to appear around forests - enterprises. And likewise, if forest-enterprises would appear only or mainly where there are larger clusters of trees.
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LaChupacabra
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7. Trees less often planted on the south side of roads, tracks and other structures

Post by LaChupacabra »

7. Trees less often planted on the south side of roads, tracks and other structures
I like the game with the view of trees, but often, even while watching the game, I have to turn off their view, because they even completely block the view of roads, tracks or vehicles moving along them. I think a good effect could be achieved by reducing the likelihood of trees effectively appearing on the south side of any objects that might obscure.
Solution details:
Version 1.
  • when the algorithm tries to plant a tree, it checks if there is any object on any of the tiles above
  • if there is an object on any of the fields above, the probability of planting a tree is reduced to 20-30%
Version 2
  • tiles on the south side of various objects would be marked
  • the algorithm after drawing the marked field would additionally reduce the probability of successful planting to 20-30%
Current
Less southern trees A.PNG
Less southern trees A.PNG (729.41 KiB) Viewed 654 times
After the proposed change
Less southern trees B.PNG
Less southern trees B.PNG (709.37 KiB) Viewed 654 times
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supermop
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Re: Some ideas about trees

Post by supermop »

Hi - Idea #4 (terrain shading) is something I've been clamoring for for years - and I agree that the best way to do it is with the transparency shading to work with various tree graphics and avoid the need for massive numbers of slightly different sprites.

One method I came to think would be helpful to create cohesive regions of shadow that reflect the parts of hills. As hills in game can be very noisy trying to approximate various grades, it may be best to select the shade amount based on average of surrounding tiles/vertices. This would allow larger flat areas on dark sides of hills to remain light, but small bands of flat or 'backwards' patches of slope would still be shaded.
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Re: Some ideas about trees

Post by _dp_ »

Citymania client (https://citymania.org/downloads) has an option for shading trees in the latest version (1.10.3).
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Re: Some ideas about trees

Post by Amak »

It would be great if there was a 'biomes' type thing where you could set the density of tree's or if they even can grow and also ground tiles etc etc.

I wonder if that's possible?
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Re: Some ideas about trees

Post by odisseus »

This is already present in the tropical climate. Trees don't grow in the desert regions, and if you try to plant them manually, you just get cactuses instead. On the other hand, cactuses can grow only in the desert.
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