Withwind Devlog #4 – The World of Withwind

Ahoy, and welcome to the next devlog for Withwind!

Skirting past an iceberg, a very icy sign you’ve reached the far north.

Last week was a busy one, resulting in this devlog being pushed back. But for good cause I hope, for now I’ve got quite a bit to show off regarding the world of Withwind!
As always I’ll start with the main topic and then move onto the week in review.

Let’s get to it!

Withwind was always envisioned as a procedural sandbox. This is ultimately due to the sheer scale (10km2 at time of writing) and replay-ability I desired to keep the game interesting. With it, every new game will present you with a unique world, ready to be explored, expanded, exploited and exterminated. (The 4X)

The procedural sandbox can be thought of three parts: the archipelago, the entities that inhabit it, and the systems that govern it. All are very much under active development, and certainly topics of future devlogs. Today I’ll give an early look at Withwind’s procedural archipelago .

The Archipelago

Showing off new procedural cliff-sides, and improved texture blending between sand, rock and grass.

Archipelagos have always been a favorite ‘map type’ of mine. Be it Age of Empires, Civ or Transport Tycoon, if it has an archipelago option, I’ll pick it. There’s something appealing about numerous isolated islands waiting to be discovered and connected, and perhaps even… conquered. So an archipelago was the natural choice for Withwind!

Early on I decided on perlin noise as a means to generate the archipelago. In layman’s terms, perlin noise is a deterministic function that can be used to generate seemingly random yet natural looking imagery. It is used in numerous games, a notable example being Minecraft. What’s more, a seed value is all that’s needed to regenerate an identical world. Making it possible to play a friend’s world by simply sharing a number.

Islands are core the gameplay of Withwind. Each one generates goods, contracts and characters for captains to utilize. To interact with an island the player must locate and dock at a port, larger islands may have multiple, others none at all. More on that later.

A snow-capped island, seen through clouds with the Spyglass.

Each island within the archipelago is impacted by two core things: The governing faction and the climate.

The governing faction, which can change hands, will have some control over what goods get produced. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the initial plan is to have various buildings that can be constructed, and once complete, be visible on the island. For example: a banana plantation or a lumber mill. The available buildings will be dictated by the climate of the island.

The climate in Withwind is determined by the latitude, just as with Earth. The further north you sail, the more snow and icebergs you’ll run into. Not only is the geography affected, but the species of fish and marine wildlife you’ll encounter will change too. Though your crew might not appreciate the cold.

The ocean isn’t home to just vessels…

The procedural archipelago generation has come a long way, but there’s still work to be done. Trees, foliage, buildings and more interesting ports are a few things to lookout for in the near future!

Week in Review

A lot of focus on visuals was made this past week. The addition of wind streak particles and a wind indicator provided a subtle way for the player to discern the wind direction. Initial Clouds system was also implemented, with plans to expand this.

I refactored the terrain shader to allow for height-blending between textures, which can be seen in the various screenshots above. A huge improvement on the original look. Terrain generation was also enhanced with the addition of cliffs, icebergs and snow to add more variety to the world.

I also implemented recipe items, which when bought can be used by crew to craft other items such as food, tools and supplies. To complement this I added the galley and workbench which must be used when crafting items of certain types.

Viewing a Recipe for Bread. Also visible is the new workbench.

And that’s it. As always – thanks for reading, seadogs!

2 thoughts on “Withwind Devlog #4 – The World of Withwind

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