So today I’ve done a bunch of things. First, I’ve made the regions slightly smaller. This has had a lot of positive effects. Previously they averaged about 1km by 1km; now they’re about 700m by 700m; small enough that you can comfortably stand in the middle and see all the way to the region boundaries in each direction. But better, the same number of monsters in the world (about 650) looks just about right, now that they’re crammed into a smaller space!
Second, I brought back the “subregions” concept, where each region is divided into lots of smaller regions. Last time I tried this, those smaller regions had full terrain definitions, and blending between those terrain definitions was painfully slow while building the terrain. I’ve simplified that a lot, so now the subregions only specify a height, and that height is blended between the subregions. It gives the terrain a nice non-uniformity, I think. (If you view the full-size screenshot, you’ll see some blue vector lines; those are showing the borders of the subregions) But more than that, I’m wanting to try using these subregions as quest zones; the player doesn’t actually create the quest zones — instead, he merely configures what should be in them and then has quests send subscribers into them.
Third, I fixed a number of terrain bugs, the worst of which was causing subtle incorrect behaviour at the north ends of regions, and some wasted CPU time everywhere else. I also fixed a problem where a region boundary passed within 100 meters of a heightmap border, but didn’t cross that border; it left a nasty gap in the mountains. That’s now fixed as well.
Next step is going to be placing NPCs, and then the quest-making interface. Hope to get most of that done tomorrow. Crossing fingers!