Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 3.33.59 PMUpdate on the previous post.

This is a view of (almost) a full game map, the size of World of Warcraft’s Kalimdor and Azeroth smashed together.  The camera is about 10 kilometers up from the ground, here.  My AI test area is in one of the zones visible at the bottom left corner (but, relatively speaking, is so small that its buildings are not visible in this screenshot).  The base terrain repetition problems I mentioned in my last post are even more starkly obvious, here, with the same little sandy area repeating in a very obvious grid-like pattern.

This view is a 1/64 quality map, compared against what you see in all previous screenshots of MMORPG Tycoon 2.  That is, this map uses one vertex for every 64 which you’d see in other screenshots.  Which means that I can draw each zone using far less data from this view, than I do when zoomed in closely.

The big problem with this approach is that my process of building these zones requires taking a full-resolution copy of map data, for the terrain mesh builder to work from.  And copying these huge chunks of map data around takes a surprising amount of time.  To make this behave acceptably, I’m going to need to make the game understand how to copy map data more efficiently.

Then I’ll need to set up MT2 to maintain a 1/64, a 1/16, and a 1/4 scale map in addition to the normal full-scale map, and to switch rendering between those maps based upon how far back we’ve zoomed.

Another issue I’ve run into is that from this far away, the z-buffer precision is very low, and I get a lot of bad clipping problems between water and ground (when water is visible).  There are some tricks I can use to get around that;  I’ll look into those once the rest of this stuff is dealt with.

While the map looks ugly right now, I think this is actually quite a promising result.  Looking forward to really filling this out!