I’m thoroughly back into the swing of coding now and have been making significant progress on 0.6 this week. Today’s update is therefore very screenshot-heavy, and focuses on four things – market districts, farms, towns and settlements.
Market districts are now finished. They generate a large number of shops, a warehouse for each of those shops (each of which will have a key located somewhere, or in someone’s possession), and an auction house and a currency exchange (the ‘+’-shaped building and the octagonal building respectively), though I am still figuring out the exact mechanics for auctions. They can now also handle rivers and various road layouts correctly, and all the shops spawn with shop signs on them so you know (assuming you can deduce the meaning of the symbol!) what kind of shop it is. Here’s one without a river and with the warehouse districts quite spread out…
… and here’s one with a river. Note that only the largest roads are turned into bridges for crossing the river, and due to the placement of the major roads, the warehouses are clustered in the upper-left corner.
I’ve also taken the graphics for shop signs out of my graphics file and integrated them into the game, as well as finishing off a few final signs I hadn’t sorted out (like those for auction houses and currency exchanges). Each market contains a lot, but you won’t be going back-and-forth to the same district over and over; once the story is implemented and you know your objectives, I wouldn’t expect you to visit the same market more than a couple of times at the most, but therein lies another strategic decision about returning to the same market for an item you couldn’t afford last time, or pushing onwards. Anyway, with this graphical integration you can now look at the shop sign and get a symbol depicting the use of that shop, as in this screenshot with the player wandering around a desert city:
I’ve finished farms. All graphics for crops and fruit trees are implemented, the generator is now more varied, farmhouses and other appropriate buildings spawned (which will one day be connected to the “sidequest” generation – perhaps a wanted criminal is hiding out in one?) and a few remaining bugs with them have been fixed. Farm generation has also been tweaked a little to make things more appropriate for different terrains and climates, and I’ve started to put in the appropriate data structures required for later handling things like animals in climates where crops might not grow so readily. Needless to say, farms are not exactly a core part of the game, but I think it’s important that even tangential parts of the world are highly detailed. So many fictional worlds (games and otherwise) fall apart on their unexplained aspects, and it’s hard to imagine empires being sustained without some kind of food source…
More progress on hunter-gatherer settlements. They now spawn with an appropriate kind of building material for all their buildings. The settlement below is built from stone, but these materials include wattle & daub, wood, stone, mud bricks, blocks of snow (in polar regions), and many others. In the middle of this settlement you can see the house of the Wolf-Chieftain who ruled this civilization, the town hall (the long building), and also a ‘?’ within a walled-off area. I’ll be talking more about that ‘?’ next week, since as long-time players know, a ‘?’ is always something that can be viewed and read – an inscription, a shop sign, or in this case, a standing stone.
Lots of progress on towns. They now spawn actual buildings rather than lava placeholders (though I am sure some will be saddened by this news), doors spawn everywhere needed, shops now spawn (there’s only a very small number with a limited potential set of shops that can be chosen upon generation), and various other important buildings like town halls, barracks (if the civ is sufficiently militaristic), taverns, small graveyards and the like also generate. One of the things I need to work on next is getting religious buildings to generate, since each civilization’s religion will have a unique generated layout for its churches (or abbeys, chapels, basilicas, mosques, rectories, pagodas – whatever term that civilization prefers). I’ve also handled towns that spawn at the end of a road or spawn on no road at all (very rare), as those were causing a few issues with generating appropriate road patterns when there was no “core” road pre-existing on the map grid to go by.
I’m now going to renege slightly on my promise from last week to “never predict the next update”, and state that the standing stones mentioned above will definitely be included, though beyond that I’m not sure what else. Possibly some graphics, or another city district if I’m feeling like it. I’ve been doing a lot of draft work on paper to think about how docks and upper-class housing districts are going to generate, so it’s possible one of those will be coming next. Anyway, thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!