Nextgen Space MMO Game - Procedural Galaxy with Billions of Stars - Seamless Planet Landing - Twitch Based, Skill Centered Gameplay - Own Ships, Buildings, Cities, Space Stations, and Even Planets - Sandbox Style Gameplay. You Decide How You Play, Not a Class System.

Report content RSS feed New terrain engine

In the past two weeks Flavien Brebion (also known as infinityAdmin) has been working intensively on a new terrain engine for Infinity. The previous terrain engine had one big disadvantage: wherever you go on the planet, you see the same kind of terrain features, the same sort of hills, the same shape

Posted by Betelgeuze on Aug 18th, 2007

In the past two weeks Flavien Brebion (also known as infinityAdmin) has been working intensively on a new terrain engine for Infinity. The previous terrain engine had one big disadvantage: wherever you go on the planet, you see the same kind of terrain features, the same sort of hills, the same shape of mountains, etc... Basically, it makes anything under the global heightmap level extremely repetitive and boring.

In the new terrain engine, InfinityAdmin has been experimenting with Ridged Perlin noise. The main interest with Ridged Perlin noise is that it generates mountains and shapes that don’t look the same everywhere on the planet, and mountains that look ridged. Erosion cannot be implemented on procedural planets, but ridged noise gives a pretty realistic aspect to the mountains, so while it's not perfect it's definitely a major step towards a more realistic terrain.
Another function is the infamous "terrace" effect. It acts by splitting the altitudes in "steps" and changing the shape of the terrain (sharper or smoother) between those altitude steps. This gives a canyoning / terrace effect that is pretty nice to see. Of course, this effect is also affected by the global parameter, so that you don't find terraces on all mountains on the planet.

Enough talk, here are some screenshots showing off the new terrain engine:

New terrain engine 4 New terrain engine 3
New terrain engine 2 New terrain engine 1

The terrain you see on the screenshots are not hand sculptured by a level artists, they are procedurally generated by the engine. Keep in mind that this is still work-in-progress and that we only use one texture for the terrain at the moment.

Future work on the terrain engine:
- Real terrain texturing (at the moment, only one texture is used).
- Experimenting with craters.
- Terrain morphing in real-time, mostly for debugging.
- Horizontal displacements, might form cliffs and overhangs.
- Use diamond square for the very high frequencies .

For more information about this subject check out the Development Journal on the Infinity forums.

Post comment Comments
xtsnic Aug 19 2007 says:

Bloody Good

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SgtJman Aug 18 2007 says:

Simply Marvelous

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migb Aug 18 2007 says:

Very nice indeed

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RogerRamjet Aug 18 2007 says:


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Capital88 Aug 18 2007 says:

That's really amazing! Once the terrain map is generated, how do you go in and tweak it manually? This engine is really shaping up...must be quite the chore though, I hope we see this engine/game at some point in our lifetimes hehe!

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formerlyknownasMrCP Aug 18 2007 says:

I'm wondering if you guys plan on using parallax mapping on that terrain. Because it'd be really awesome to blow chunks out of the environment :D
Just an idea ;)

Those environments look amazing for what is procedurally generated. Keep on tweaking ;)

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Deja Aug 18 2007 says:

great job, it looks so good

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Giddamon Aug 18 2007 says:

Uber cool shots!

Hope I don't need a Cray XD1 to play this game ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
TKAzA Staff
TKAzA Aug 18 2007 says:

looks real :D 10/10

+1 vote   reply to comment
laserpanda Aug 19 2007 says:

This is amazing. It even puts the terrain in FSX to shame. Good Job.

+1 vote     reply to comment
drunkill Aug 19 2007 says:

Wow, very shmick there, nice progress report. Continue with the great work guys.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SinKing Aug 19 2007 says:

Hell!!! How can this mod/game be possible at all? I don't understand how you manage to blow me away all the time and with every other news roundup.
This is a significant improvement over older shots and videos about the terrain. It looks much more realistic and has more depht than the older shots did. I wonder how far the part of flying around on planets goes. You will be able to build bases there, won't you? And outposts, so you can claim the planet for yourself...

Will there be some kind of intergalactic court in Infinity, which deals mainly with the ownership and property rights of people, who have their own planets? Or will things like these all come into existance in the game? It would be so cool to start out with nothing, rush into a huge chaos - like a civil war - and then see how the stronger forces put down the other armies and instal a system to bring justice to the galaxy.

I hope your engine is able to deal out more than pretty GFX, but seing the lot of care you put into this great, great mod, I'm sure it will be able to do almost anything.
Looking forward to this in 2008 and I'll also have ready one uber-computer to be able to play it on highest settings!

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Hunt77 Aug 20 2007 says:


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D3VIL Aug 21 2007 says:

Very nice, keep at it, this is gonna be a beast of a game! Forget WoW!

+1 vote     reply to comment
mavman Aug 21 2007 says:

Always very impressive!

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