Resource and Geological Designs For Worlds

  • I was wondering how the current Eco world is generated? Is it a minecraft were based on area there is a random chance of (insert material here) per 100m^3 (for example) or will it be based on a more realistic simulation were 'veins' of materials will be found and 'owning' that, land can be a big benifit, or a social problem, ie lots of gold (or other valuable resource) right beneath the center of town, does the town make money and things off of the resource at the expense of the quality of the town, ie the environmental factors?

    Also when a server is created can the different variables be changed? ie lots of forest, maybe not as much oil or ocean, less minerals etc?

  • I'm also quite curious about this.

    I noticed in previous images released of mines that a building and mine tracks are needed to extract resorces from a mine. So it's possible that one simply extracts resorces from the dirt and may not even know what he gets untill it's prossesed. Or maybe certen types of dirt produce certain minerals. Either way it'll be very different from the minecraft analogy where one simply breaks a random "coal block" and out comes coal.

  • I imagine a lot of it may also have to do with the specific social policies and laws put in place by the community of the server.

    If there is digging around like the way you dig in minecraft, then without "mining" zones then the world could get pretty hectic with the amount of digging for resources that takes place. But that might be the risk some worlds decide to take.

    However, if a community decides that you can only "mine" in specific areas, and then people just dig freely in those areas to find resources, then mining the way minecraft mines would work perfectly.

    Potentially, perhaps those minecarts we saw in the video are a way of making mining more efficient. Intsead of having to walk your goods up and out of the mine, you just place the goods in the mine cart and up it goes.

  • Here is a bit of a sneak preview with the world generator as of today.

    <img src="" alt="terraingenerator" title="terraingenerator"/>

    We are currently using <a href="">SharpNoise</a> which is a .NET port of <a href="">libnoise</a>. I've combined that with a simple node editor such that you can string together various modules to get whatever type of terrain you want. It is a bit more involved than just choosing a seed like minecraft, but I hope that people can use it to generate all kinds of different terrain styles.

  • The way mining will work: you collect tons of ore, and break it down in a refinery into ingots. The two key design points that really change the way it works compared to Minecraft and other voxel games:

    • After refining you have many tons of mining tillings (ie, toxic waste), which you have to rebury or store, or it pollutes the world. The ratio of waste to metal is probably like 5:1.

    • You are limited to realistic carrying capacities, it you can't hold thousands of tons of ore. You'll need to setup transport networks to get any kind of efficiency mining, meaning the world will be transformed with infrastructure for transport, affecting the ecosystem in the process.

  • Thanks John!

    Transit networks sound awesome.

    Going back to Lemon's original post: your saying that distribution wise it will be similar to Minecraft and other such games?

    "Is it a minecraft were based on area there is a random chance of (insert material here) per 100m^3 (for example) or will it be based on a more realistic simulation were 'veins' of materials will be found..."

    For the sake of simplicity I could understand if ores were just equally distributed throughout the world. However, I also think 'veins' where a specific material is plentiful would add a new dynamic. I'm imagining a scenario where one place has tuns of an ore we need... but it's also home to a forest with a large deer population needed for hunting.

  • So a player could run a junkyard for a living? :)

    I appreciate the irony that we pay a dump to take our trash, then we pay them again for the natural gas they harvest from our trash.
    Being from Michigan, I don't appreciate that we import so much trash to the Great Lakes state, but i suppose the humidity decomposes it faster.

  • The need for waste disposal is a great idea. Will communities be able to enact enforceable laws limiting specific locations for waste disposal?

    Or, can we ban the use of certain materials outright from the get go until certain technologies are developed by which to properly dispose of them?

    I could see the research of recycling technologies a potential game changer, though obviously certain resources could never be recycled efficiently.

  • I don't want to incite feature creep, but:
    Would refining (or other tasks) have a skill based effect? Thinking of Ultima Online: ore is refined into ingots, but those who have yet to build up their blacksmith skill waste a lot more ore, and the more precious metals require even high skill levels.

    Seems like skill based gameplay should be optional, and potentially not in the Vanilla release of Eco, but possible in Mods perhaps.

    Skills could even be decided at character creation instead of growing with use.

  • @Sketchbookgames I would say that probably a more 'Eco' way to do it would be that you need the infrastructure to 'smelt the ore or whatever.' ie if you want you can take and smelt ore but you need to build the equipment which might be costly, giving investing a role in Eco. For example if you think a player will be able to extract enough ore to make it worthwhile to build a smelting shop then you can help him out for a share of the profits or a specified amount of ore. That also would prevent potentially the leveling problems that some games have. Also this might already be implemented. ie it is a side effect of what has already been done.

    @jonasdk the one concern that I have is that to do that the world would always have to be the same. Also if the world is the same then it would be possible for players to claim areas that have more ore because they know where the real world deposits are. But for a place to start it is a great idea.

    @headgamer I like your conflict of interest idea, with both people wanting the land but mining will hurt the deer so only one can use the land, if the deer are preserved then no mining can occur.

    Also I assume that a player can become a freelance spill/environment clean up person and be hired by companies, governments or individuals?

    For this I am working with a geology professor to make a realistic generation system which I can push to Eco if that is what Eco would like.

  • Expanding on the ore locations/generation ideas i agree that it would be hard to have a static terrain set if things are to be procedurally generated so instead of a GIS map, we could use the topological fauna and flora as clues to what would be found under the ground. I.E. if a particular mineral deposit (say iron) is located close to a stream bed, we would see a slight discoloration in the water to reflect that, or there would be more of a particular tree / plant found in the area where a corresponding mineral is richer. We kind of see this already with the way certain soil is colored and leaf saturation is defined by what the roots intake all the time. So they would be 'clues' we could use when trying to find particular ore deposits or vise versa (we would know what floral would be present in a given area if we know said mineral came from that region).

  • To throw a classic piece of game history into the mix, in The Settlers series of games you trained geologists and sent them out prospecting in order to work out where to site your mines. Is geology/prospecting perhaps going to be a trainable skillset?

  • I'm curious about how animal habitat displacement will occur, or atleast, what the requirements will be for certain affects to occur in regards to them 'moving in' or getting 'chased out' or particular areas. I.E. i'm a woodsman surveying a potential site, while strolling through the forest i happen upon a fox den near a set of trees i might want to harvest at a later date.

    <b><i>Will my walking through the area either</i></b> <b>A:</b> <i>cause them to defend their home? (attack me)</i> <b>B</b>: <i>chase them away with my intrusion (thou if we're working on young vs adult version of fauna i don't see how a mother would abandon her babes) but they return after i leave,</i> <b>C</b>: <i>chase them away entirely to find a new area (example being i touched a birds eggs, now the mother leaves them for dead/abandonment), </i>or <b>D</b>: cause no reaction.
    If <b>C</b> or <b>D</b> then would it take multiple trespasses to occur before they get the hint that humans are invading, or will it take the death of one to deter the rest from trying to live in the area?

    I know these are going to be significant challenges coding wise, but i was curious which route would be the tendency or if it would be a mix of them across the board for the different fauna present in ECO.

    Another question i wanted to ask is <b>how are these 'zones' or fauna habitats initially determined?</b> Will it be on tree per squar foot of forest floor, (i.e. a thicket of maybe 10 - 25 trees would be sufficient for a fox family to deem it livable) or would it go farther in that <b>A</b>: they would need a close by food source, <b>B</b>: a sustainable water source, and <b>C</b>: sense of security (i.e. the amount of trees/shrubs in area).

  • @SketchBookGames yes! Player skills is actually a huge part of the game. You specialize in skills, and are limited in how many different skills you can have, thus you are forced to collaborate with other players of different specialties, and thus emerges an economy (BTW Ultima is my favorite game of all time). Skills raise based on how well fed you are, so theres actually an important reason to eat good food in this game, and it ties you to the ecosystem where your food comes from more.

    @eat_those_lemons @jonasdk that would be great, we have a pretty nice generator based on Perlin Noise but basing it on reality would be interesting.

    @cr4zyc4t & @Jesthar I like that idea, and we can use the skill system as well. We want to make gathering data from the simulation a part of the gameplay and that could be another aspect of it.

  • @Jesthar These are good questions, and its something we're planning to develop further. I'd pretty much like to do everything you talk about, prioritizing the easiest and most visible ones. A huge part of designing the ecosystem is cherry picking the things that affect gameplay the most (they are visible to humans, affect humans, and are affected by humans). Results in the ecosystem simulation for its own sake is definitely cool too, but prioritizing the ones that tie into the other systems will give us the most bang for our buck. I think your ideas on habitat are great along those lines.

  • @Jesthar - I loved that game (version II is my absolute favorite). I really liked the way you had to explore and seek out resources. Spent so many hours building settlements with that game. Though I always which a world was more persistent and evolving. Very keen on seeing how Eco turns out in this respect.

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