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Procedural terrain for Real Time Strategy.

The current phase of development is taking longer than I'd like because of the difficulty of designing procedural terrain for Real Time Strategy games.

In many RTS games water is impassable, this makes bridges very important strategic locations. But the flip side of this is that units that can go through or over water become valuable too.

Unfortunately it's not so easy to just let any unit become amphibious. If a unit can go through water it needs different pathfinding, it also needs to know the difference between moving in to water from the shore, and moving in to water from a bridge. Most RTS games are not true 3D. So bridges, though they look like they are raised up above the surface of the water are usually not. Driving your tank over the side of the bridge and in to the water would give some funky results.

So I need to mark tiles as water, but also mark bridge tiles. An option would be to add impassible tiles along the edges of the bridge, so you just can't drive off or on to them. Another option would be to hard code amphibious units not to go from bridge to water or vice versa.

Another problem is to keep the nice flowing appearance of rivers while making them modular. I want them to curve but that means either writing a lot of heavy code (which will get executed when you start, lagging the game start up more than I'd like) to curve them by hand, or cutting them in to sections and treating them just like terrain tiles.

The same issue is attached to roads if I want to handle them as objects instead of just different textured terrain, though there's the problem of making them intersect...

Other problems include placing and keeping track of walls, buildings and such. Also code for more types of terrain such as fields and woodlands.


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