Devblog Update #32: The Plains are forming!

This last month has been a flurry of activity, though not all related to this game project. I stepped back for a few weeks, as my wife and I welcomed our third and fourth kids. Twins! Thankfully all our kids have been pretty good sleepers, so we’re doing alright. Having grandparents come to help for a few weeks is nice as well.

But now I’m back! After a lot of thought and tons of experimentation, I have come up with a method of creating sky islands that I’m happy with, and thus, the Plains of Epheroth are born.

I apparently am not particularly good at making organic-looking coastlines. I never have been. A friend of mine and I made a board game similar to Risk growing up, and the continents I drew looked… not particularly natural. The previous version of the Plains reflects that. It was basically a rounded square, cut up into pieces as “naturally” as I could think to do it.

This new method of constructing islands I’ve come up with solves all that by using easily accessed heightmaps. I’ll be making a post next week covering all the steps involved to take an island from heightmap to full scene in Unreal with World Composition and level streaming.

There are still lots of visual changes to make. Toning down the brightness/saturation of the distant grass, adjusting some shading, adding bits hanging down over the sides, some trees, etc. But the overall island composition is done, and I’m very happy with it.

It’s nice to have an actual map I can start to place landmarks in. Planning where different puzzle or story elements will go, and all that. 🙂


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