Generating Exhumed River Channel

Generating Exhumed River Channel

I recently did some work in generating rivers in a 2d game. Revisiting this work to create an exhumed river channel, I decided it might be fun to revisit how to generate it to make the channel look more realistic. Instead of using a drunken walker, this is a more expensive but interesting map generator:

  • Start by generating 2d simplex noise where
    • less <0.6 is floor
    • rest is walls
  • Generate terminal lines at each map exit (north, south, east, west). Shuffle those lines and randomly choose a start and end location for the river based on two of

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Generating Cliffs for 2d Game

Generating Cliffs for 2d Game

Source code available on github here.

A recurring problem in 2d games is how to represent depth. In isometric games this is easily solved but in discretely top-down games it's harder to solve. After doing a lot of research I fell onto a simple idea: do the best you can insinuating the depth and leave the rest to the imagination. Here's the algorithm I used to create 2d top-down cliffs:

  • Create a small map of perlin noise and a wide map of perlin noise. Add the two together and give the large map a weight of 3 with the small

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Generating 2d Rivers

Generating 2d Rivers

Rivers are really hard to generate for 2d top-down games for multiple reasons:

  • Rivers primarily form based on heightmaps which are hard to display in top-down
  • Displaying fluidity when working with sectors or grid-based rendering can be complicated, bresenham's line algorithm only goes so far to make things look smooth
  • naturally occurring mechanisms of nature have numerous factors in play that caused them to exist. Simulating all of these factors isn't reasonable.

I was able to make relatively decent 2d rivers using a few techniques.

  1. Started by having terminal points where rivers can start/stop. Primary start positions might be

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Pigeon Hole Stepping v2

Pigeon Hole Stepping v2

I had originally written an article on how to implement PHS here. Having found the maps generated slightly redundant I decided to take another look. Here are the steps taken to successfully generate a more realistic "town." It's essentially a drunken walker like Diffusion Limited Aggregation mixed with a hallway constraint that mimics the large part of PHS.

  1. Start somewhere in the middle, add this and all possible directions up to a certain dynamic length (I used a standard deviation of 1.4 with a mean of 5, ) as nodes: [{x,y,direction},...].
  2. We will be looping until all nodes

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