Author Topic: Let's Design a Terrain Sculpting Tool  (Read 2429 times)

It's become apparent to me that post-maps Blockland is a bit overdue for a proper terrain sculpting tool. That is, something to aide in the development of cube- and/or mod-ter-based terrain. I would be interested to hear what you guys--especially those who build terrain with cube and/or mod-ter--think such a tool should look like.

Features
  • Works on standard cubes
  • Operates in free-cam mode
  • Extend and indent terrain
  • Adjustable selection size
  • Adjustable selection shape: square and circle
  • Modes
    • Heightmap: extend and indent in the up and down direction, like most terrain editors
    • Multi-angle: extend and indent in any direction
    • Sphere: add and cut spherical selections of terrain (erosion)
    • Coloring: color bricks spherical selection
  • Trust compatible. Only people you trust can edit your terrain
  • Preferences
    • Change max selection size for extending and indenting
    • Change level of trust needed to modify another player's terrain: Full, Build, or None
    • Change tool permissions: Host only, Super Admin only, Admin only, and Everyone
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 11:32:51 AM by Platypi »

I think the main hurdle would be trying to design something that would work well for different styles of terrain building, if such a thing is feasible.


can't you do this with ptg?

can't you do this with ptg?
I'm certain they want something more interactive, plus PTG's ability to let you specify values is still pretty limited.

Something like this is totally possible, though not something I'd personally have the skills to make. Main challenge honestly would be doing the client-side calculations to translate mouse position values into positions on the brick grid. A potentially much easier solution would maybe be something where you have to aim your camera directly at the grid position you want to modify, but that seems kinda half-assed.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 11:41:33 AM by Pecon »

why hasnt someone thought of this before jesus

why hasnt someone thought of this before jesus
People have, it's just no one wants to put in the work to accomplish it.

Main challenge honestly would be doing the client-side calculations to translate mouse position values into positions on the brick grid. A potentially much easier solution would maybe be something where you have to aim your camera directly at the grid position you want to modify, but that seems kinda half-assed.
Couldn’t we use part of the script from MissionEditor, or am I mistaken?

Couldn’t we use part of the script from MissionEditor, or am I mistaken?

this could work

Couldn’t we use part of the script from MissionEditor, or am I mistaken?
Not a bad idea but I am going to bet that the functionality will not work

why hasnt someone thought of this before jesus
I'm sure they have. But the math is really complex, so few would want to delve into it. As I mentioned in another thread, I've been working on a tool for trench digging that involves similar maths. So I've scratched the surface of what this might take. Pretty much a bunch of vector math, scratch paper, and headaches. But I think it needs to be done, nonetheless.

I'm certain they want something more interactive, plus PTG's ability to let you specify values is still pretty limited.
Exactly.

Something like this is totally possible, though not something I'd personally have the skills to make. Main challenge honestly would be doing the client-side calculations to translate mouse position values into positions on the brick grid.
This is actually really easy to do with raycasting and containers.

Couldn’t we use part of the script from MissionEditor, or am I mistaken?
Perhaps the tool could have some MissionEditor-esque GUI. But I doubt the code from the actually MissionEditor would translate over that well. Perhaps we could create something that converts heightmaps to bricks. That'd probably be pretty simple (simpler than an in-game tool). But I think we would all prefer we have a tool that allows for the creation of caves, something that heightmaps don't facilitate.

I could see a third-party program potentially being a good solution. It would have more flexibility than an in-game editor, and rendering bricks in it would be considerably faster than loading them in-game. Plus, I bet converting a mod-ter map to a cube map would be a lot easier and faster. Hell, I bet there's already a few softwares out there for map creation that we could re-purpose; just convert their map files to BLS files with mod-ter or cube bricks. Anyone know of any good, open-source map/landscape editors?

why hasnt someone thought of this before jesus
I'm sure they have. But the math is really complex, so few would want to delve into it. As I mentioned in another thread, I've been working on a tool for trench digging that involves similar maths. So I've scratched the surface of what this might take. Pretty much a bunch of vector math, scratch paper, and headaches. But I think it needs to be done, nonetheless.

I'm certain they want something more interactive, plus PTG's ability to let you specify values is still pretty limited.
Exactly.

Something like this is totally possible, though not something I'd personally have the skills to make. Main challenge honestly would be doing the client-side calculations to translate mouse position values into positions on the brick grid.
This is actually really easy to do with raycasting and containers.

Couldn’t we use part of the script from MissionEditor, or am I mistaken?
Perhaps the tool could have some MissionEditor-esque GUI. But I doubt the code from the actually MissionEditor would translate over that well. Perhaps we could create something that converts heightmaps to bricks. That'd probably be pretty simple (simpler than an in-game tool). But I think we would all prefer we have a tool that allows for the creation of caves, something that heightmaps don't facilitate.

I could see a third-party program potentially being a good solution. It would have more flexibility than an in-game editor, and rendering bricks in it would be considerably faster than loading them in-game. Plus, I bet converting a mod-ter map to a cube map would be a lot easier and faster. Hell, I bet there's already a few softwares out there for map creation that we could re-purpose; just convert their map files to BLS files with mod-ter or cube bricks. Anyone know of any good, open-source terrain editors?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 07:30:49 PM by Platypi »

Here are some freemium, free, and open-source heightmap editors I've found:

NameFree StatusSupportLast Updated
Terragen 4FreemiumWindows, Mac2017
L3DTFreemiumWindows2016
GeomorphOpen-SourceLinux2016
Artifex Terra 3DFreeWindows2014
EarthSculptorFreemiumWindows2011
Lithosphere Terrain GeneratorOpen-SourceWindows, Linux2010

I'm not 100% sure about the "Last Updated" field for all of them. They are approximated for some. Also, I unfortunately can't find anything that doesn't use heightmaps.

why hasnt someone thought of this before jesus
the thing is, no one really had the need for terrain sculpting tools before jesus' time, or even for a long time after.
if that's the way you swing, then i *suppose* you could say god used terrain sculpting tools.

the thing is, no one really had the need for terrain sculpting tools before jesus' time, or even for a long time after.
if that's the way you swing, then i *suppose* you could say god used terrain sculpting tools.
You cheeky bastard.