Dev Blog- Colonial Sea Trader- New Biomes, lighting, price indication

I was able to accomplish a few things that I have long wanted to do this week. The key update was to overhaul the biome system considerably, converting a large number of code constants in to a config file. I’ve also played with the seasonal shader model a bit, and gave an indicator of the price system.

Each tile is assigned a Biome. The easiest way to see this is via the colors, as well as the tooltips that show up when you move the mouse over the biome, which will give the name. I have long wanted to assign biomes to the ocean and islands, which are used to figure out what resources are produced in a given location. Each plant, for instance, has a preferred biome. While I was at it, I also changed the moisture parameters to better balance the desert areas. In the end, this is what I ended up with.

Note the random “Tropical” seas that are lighter in color. I also added biomes for lakes and islands, so that northern islands will be different colored then other locations. I’m still going to do some tweaking, but that will come later.

I also spent time to set these up to be extended easily. While I haven’t yet set up most of these files to be modable complete, I have things set up such that they can be easily converted to a modable design. Things like new goods, ships, biomes, world generation parameters, and even goals will be able to be set up via some light modding, although I might not have how to do so well documented, at least at launch.

Another change you might notice in the above image is the top and bottom parts of the map are darker. I’ve added a system to take into account the lighting based on the axial tilt. To accomplish this, I did some tweaks to the shader. See it in action below.

Lastly, I wanted to give some kind of an indicator if a price is good when you are at a trading post. I’ve indicated “Red” for a bad price, “Green” for a good price.

As you can see, this particular port has cheap goods, which makes selling anything for profit as difficult. It will judge the prices against prices that you have actually seen, so be aware!

This week I’m planning on making the camera into a perspective camera. Just to give you an idea of what it will look like, here’s a snapshot of the progress. I’m also going to manage the biome localization, and possibly start working on the real world map.

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