Moderator: OpenTTD Developers
1. Percentage limitation of forest areas
2. Improved tree generation
3. The appearance of trees depends on the season
4. Shaded and brightened trees on the slopes of the mountains
5. Areas of eternal forests
6. Forests around Forests (enterprises)
7. Trees less often planted on the south side of roads, tracks and other structures
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
The current, not very natural looking tree arrangement at the start of the game
- natural looking forests.png
- (604.98 KiB) Not downloaded yet
- not natural looking forests.png
- (704.07 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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...
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.
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.
- 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.
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)
- cities and buildings
- 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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Shaded trees on hillsides is a feature in the Citymania client, which unlike JGR is fully cross-compatible with vanilla OpenTTD including multiplayer games.
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.
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.
- 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%
- 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%
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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