I see an interesting looking slider called Topography.
This is very cool, looking forward to playing with that. Will this feature have a number value that can be repeated if we find the “perfect” setting?
Some other games have a choice between a random number, or a player-entered “Seed” number that is used by the game to calculate many of the terrain and deco choices for a custom experience.
Players will find their favorite seed numbers to achieve the perfect balance of land-to-water, Mountains-to-flat, etc. Then, they can post on forums how the different numbers affect the game’s look. Its a lot of fun to put in significant numbers like birthdays, or 8675309, etc.
That was exactly the idea when I first started Gaia. It was feasible at first because the maps were only 2 by 2 km and generation time used to take around 5 minutes (already too much). But after I made the maps 64 by 64 km, it would take more than half an hour to generate the map and nobody got time for dat haha.
So now the base terrain (ground and grass) are not random anymore, but chosen from the topography list. Those are terrains that I design myself instead of being fully random.
It is definitely a trade-off. If you look at Subnautica, its very obvious the quality of the custom-designed world. Small details, unique places, nothing is duplicated. There’s no way a random generator can match that.
Games like Empyrion that have the seed number have some generic look to the terrain. They have started a hybrid system now with some custom design mixed into the seeded parts.