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 Continental Drift

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pentomid
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PostSubject: Continental Drift   Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:01 pm

Since we're striving for a realistic experience here, we want every planet during the multicellular stage to have moving continents, correct? (unless the planet is tectonically dead (in which case it might make the conditions for complex life impossible (Could be wrong but I digress :P))).

So what would be the best way to implement continental drift without it being painfully obvious to the player that the world is moving around them?

I'm concerned about problems like this happening.
Suppose a player nests and evolves their creature in a certain place, say the middle of a plain. If the game moves continents while the player evolves generations, and that plain happens to lie on a fault line. It is possible that the game starts creating a mountain range and the player hatches his/her new creature suddenly on top of a mountain that wasn't there before.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:17 pm

Actually, we might have to skip continental drift altogether. If we store planets as only a seed and generate them each time the player gets close, Implementing continental drift would be plain impossible. Explicitedly storing each part of the planet would allow for an easier implentation of continental drift, but that would force quite small planets.

Actually, we still dont understaund how continental drift works completelly. What forces are involved, and how they interact. 

Said that, my vote is to not simulate continental drift at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:04 pm

Daniferrito wrote:
Actually, we might have to skip continental drift altogether. If we store planets as only a seed and generate them each time the player gets close, Implementing continental drift would be plain impossible. Explicitedly storing each part of the planet would allow for an easier implentation of continental drift, but that would force quite small planets.

Actually, we still dont understaund how continental drift works completelly. What forces are involved, and how they interact. 

Said that, my vote is to not simulate continental drift at all.

 I agree with this for now, but I think drift changes wouldn't be too difficult to simulate- take a selection of surface points, then move them to the side, lift them up, or push them down. This is simple in concept, but the logic to it could potentially become very complex. Essentially we would need to generate a drift seed as well to select which section change at what time.

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Inca
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:54 pm

We could try and implement it during the pre-space stages when there is only one planet to deal with and then stop it when there are more planets? Might be more practical that way?

Other than that, its probably not practical then.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:33 pm

Inca wrote:
We could try and implement it during the pre-space stages when there is only one planet to deal with and then stop it when there are more planets? Might be more practical that way?

Other than that, its probably not practical then.
This is probably the best way to do it.
During the aware through to industrial stages of the game you are constrained to one single planet and plate tectonics would be a great way to implement variation.
Once you're out in space you got so much else anyway, that plate tectonics and continental drift isn't needed.
One thing that is a problem with this though, is what about god mode? When you can play as the organism of your choice on a planet of your choice.
Will the plate tectonics be enabled during the period you're playing organism mode and then stop when you pop back out?

Either way, I think continental drift is a must almost!
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Inca
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:20 pm

Erm I hadn't thought about that. I think we'd have to stop it in god mode as you'll be dealing with lots of planets so it might not be necessary to have it. Or maybe you could turn it on and off for planets, so you can have it on your planet, and not others? Could work?
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Dalroc
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:27 pm

Inca wrote:
Erm I hadn't thought about that. I think we'd have to stop it in god mode as you'll be dealing with lots of planets so it might not be necessary to have it. Or maybe you could turn it on and off for planets, so you can have it on your planet, and not others? Could work?
Yeah that could work.. But people will probably forget about it and will end up with hundreds of planets with tectonics that is chomping up the memory.
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Inca
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:32 pm

Maybe impose a reminder when you leave a planet and have more than 10 planets with continental drift enabled. Then you can disable if you want, or leave it if your comp can handle it.
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Dalroc
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:41 pm

Inca wrote:
Maybe impose a reminder when you leave a planet and have more than 10 planets with continental drift enabled. Then you can disable if you want, or leave it if your comp can handle it.
Hmm.. That sounds more like a god tool..
I think that would be a little to much control for a non-ascended spieces!
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:46 pm

Continental drift is currently too difficult to simulate with our concept. Merely suggesting the idea is easy, but unless someone can come up with a sound mathematical/programming explanation of how it could fit into the game, it's a no go.

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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:52 pm

Yeah I should've considered that Nick, I can't see that be implemented properly.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:00 pm

NickTheNick wrote:
Continental drift is currently too difficult to simulate with our concept. Merely suggesting the idea is easy, but unless someone can come up with a sound mathematical/programming explanation of how it could fit into the game, it's a no go.
I can understand that ridges, volcanoes and mountains can be hard to generate through plate tectonics.. But just the drift of static continents? Where they come in touch and separate again, to encourage speciation? That doesn't sound like it would be to hard to implement, but I am no programmer! ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:12 pm

I suppose, but we should coniser the actual benefits of that in game before we decide if it should be implimented, because I don't really think it will add much if it is just movement of blocks of land around that don't really impact anything.
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Dalroc
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:19 pm

Inca wrote:
I suppose, but we should coniser the actual benefits of that in game before we decide if it should be implimented, because I don't really think it will add much if it is just movement of blocks of land around that don't really impact anything.
Hmm, I find it fascinating, even if its just static continents. See animals cross over to land masses that have been isolated from them earlier and letting the player explore a new continent could be cool. Also adds some dynamics for wars and stuff later on.
But it is true, this should be kept low prio.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:47 pm

Dalroc wrote:
I can understand that ridges, volcanoes and mountains can be hard to generate through plate tectonics.. But just the drift of static continents? Where they come in touch and separate again, to encourage speciation? That doesn't sound like it would be to hard to implement, but I am no programmer! ^^
That is why it is important to have experience in game development, programming, scripting, or the like, because any idea can seem simple to implement, but as one of our coder's posted not too long ago on this very thread, it would be next to impossible.

I agree that it would be a cool feature, but something you forgot is that it would actually have to be terminated at the onset of Awakening, not Space, because the time scale in Awakening slows down to the point where evolution, continental drift, and other long paced natural processes are no longer simulated.

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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:29 pm

In my opinion (if we'd implement this) we should work with as many preset values as we can while keeping it realistic enough. So my suggestion is the following:

First, the continents are randomly generated (shape and height), and also the directions of their movement are random. Some continents will collide and some will move away from each other. If they collide, mountains will be slowly generated (first small hills, bigger hills and so on) in an predefined area (maybe 10km away from the connected edges).
If the continents move away from each other, a rift will be slowly generated.
I think continental drift should be implemented as a "turn-based" system:
Every generation would be one turn. But we don't want that your creature suddenly sits on a mountain, so the height-difference should be limited (maybe 1m a generation?).
The mountains and rifts could be made like biomes in minecraft, with seeds.

What do you think?

By the way, sorry for using always the same words and terms, I'm still learning this language, so if you don't understand something, I'm sorry.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:20 pm

We all know the idea behind continental drift, as you explained, but that is not a clear and specific system to implement it.

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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:29 am

It will take alot of time to develop this game, so lets not forget that gaming technology will drasticaly improve meanwhile. There will probaly already be easily implementable system of continental drift sooner or later.
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PostSubject: Re: Continental Drift   Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:52 am

The same can be said for any game feature, but until a system is given, its a no go.

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