Topographic Map-Feature

Request small changes or additions in functionality.

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Chris_92
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:21 pm

Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Chris_92 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:54 pm

Disclaimer #1: Wall of Text incoming! Sry, I tried my best...
Disclaimer #2: I actually asked this on Facebook so I'll quote my question here.
So fellow builders, how do I create topographic maps easily?
I got inspired by this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lCbxMZJ4zA&t=138s

Drawing in climates will come later however. Important right now is the map he shows around 2:15-2:20 in the video, where you can see a basic topographic map. Thats what I'd like to achieve.
What I did so far: I created a map and drew in currents and winds. After this, I made seven different colour-presets in a new theme in the "Region"-tool. Opacity is about 60%, as 100% simply doesn't look good in my opinion. Now I'd like to draw in the different heights, starting from low to high.
My main problem however: It requires a really huge amount of work to look good, being rather tedious to create as well. And eventhough the map I'd like to achieve doesn't need to be extremely accurate, it's still very hard. Honestly, I'm not sure how to start....
So any advise to make things easier is more than welcome :)

I don't want to use any features like mountains, only region tools (to give it a flat, "global-map" feel).
Feedback:

Disclaimer #3: I'm no programmer, only a user of this awesome tool. I therefore can't guarantee that my idea will make any sense or can be implemented. I just want to share my thoughts :)

I spent my evening yesterday detailing a mountain range on one of my newly created continents. In the end I had around seven differently coloured layers and more than 30 regions (big and small), which I all drew by hand. It does look good I'd say but it's very tedious. Adding, removing ore changing position of a layer also changes all the colours (as I use around 60-70% opacity), not to mention that I alyways have to rearrange all layers if I want to change something. Not ideal....

I therefore thought of a tool that might make it easier and is already included into the program in some form. And behold, I think I found something: When you draw an ocean, a lake or something similar, you can modify the shoreline within the properties. If I wanted, I could draw in 7 levels of shorelines or even more, as well as their reach within the sea, lake etc. I created. Now what if I take this possibility, make it available for the region tool? Together with the ability to define the colour of every level separately it will do the job of topography just fine! :)

Now, theres only one problem with this method: The levels always have the same distance to each other and the center will always be in the middle. If you think in terms of topography, this would mean that every height on this world will always be highest in the middle and inclination is always the same. Now think of a mountain-range in real life, with cliffs, valleys, higher and lower points etc. Doesn't really fit, right?
One way to change this might be the possibility to change every level via the "Edit Shape Tool", as you can do with continents, regions and areas already. This way you could change every position of every level anywhere you want. It's a bit tedious again, but it offers the biggest amount of flexibility and ways to play with :)
A friend of mine also suggested that it would be awesome to define points or lines within an area and tell the program to make the levels you create "warp" around those points with definitions you can add before. Speaking with topography again: Imagine drawing a circle and adding seven levels to it. Now you define two points withing the circle and say that the levels should form around those two points and not the center of the circle. Now I define the levels with different colours and I got a ring-shaped area with two peaks (or anything else, depending on how I define which height has which colour).

Again, I don't know if this works, just sharing my thoughts. And sorry again for all the text, it's a bit hard to explain...
Please tell me (and the developers) what you think of this and suggest own ideas as well! :)

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Kanchou
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Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Kanchou » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:08 pm

Chris_92 wrote: I therefore thought of a tool that might make it easier and is already included into the program in some form. And behold, I think I found something: When you draw an ocean, a lake or something similar, you can modify the shoreline within the properties. If I wanted, I could draw in 7 levels of shorelines or even more, as well as their reach within the sea, lake etc. I created. Now what if I take this possibility, make it available for the region tool? Together with the ability to define the colour of every level separately it will do the job of topography just fine! :)

Now, theres only one problem with this method: The levels always have the same distance to each other and the center will always be in the middle. If you think in terms of topography, this would mean that every height on this world will always be highest in the middle and inclination is always the same. Now think of a mountain-range in real life, with cliffs, valleys, higher and lower points etc. Doesn't really fit, right?
One way to change this might be the possibility to change every level via the "Edit Shape Tool", as you can do with continents, regions and areas already. This way you could change every position of every level anywhere you want. It's a bit tedious again, but it offers the biggest amount of flexibility and ways to play with :)
A friend of mine also suggested that it would be awesome to define points or lines within an area and tell the program to make the levels you create "warp" around those points with definitions you can add before. Speaking with topography again: Imagine drawing a circle and adding seven levels to it. Now you define two points withing the circle and say that the levels should form around those two points and not the center of the circle. Now I define the levels with different colours and I got a ring-shaped area with two peaks (or anything else, depending on how I define which height has which colour).

Again, I don't know if this works, just sharing my thoughts. And sorry again for all the text, it's a bit hard to explain...
Please tell me (and the developers) what you think of this and suggest own ideas as well! :)

Thank you so much for the feedback!!

We are currently working on that exact tool/option for the region tool, so the timing is perfect :). Our original idea had less options than your suggestion, but we'll try to incorporate your ideas into the new mode/style for the regions.

For having more than one peak, I think it that would happen "automatically" simply by creating holes in the region (either subtracting or merging with regions shaped as the "holes").

Hoping to have this functionality with the next release or the one right after. Looking forward to your feedback on what we implement :)

Thank you!

- Alejandro
Alejandro S. Canosa
Three Minds Software

Chris_92
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:21 pm

Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Chris_92 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:50 pm

Kanchou wrote:
Thank you so much for the feedback!!

We are currently working on that exact tool/option for the region tool, so the timing is perfect :). Our original idea had less options than your suggestion, but we'll try to incorporate your ideas into the new mode/style for the regions.

For having more than one peak, I think it that would happen "automatically" simply by creating holes in the region (either subtracting or merging with regions shaped as the "holes").

Hoping to have this functionality with the next release or the one right after. Looking forward to your feedback on what we implement :)

Thank you!

- Alejandro
Awesome! :D
I don't know if all my details are necessary but at least beeing able to colour every level of those maps seems quite essential. How would you show the difference in height otherwise? Anyway, I really look forward to this tool, it will surely make drawing big topographic maps way easier :)

Just a small question: How long do you think it's going to take you? I'm asking because I'd stop my map if a release is near. If not, I'll just rework when the feature is implemented. Please don't feel stressed, take all the time you need :)

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Kanchou
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Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Kanchou » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:59 pm

Chris_92 wrote: Just a small question: How long do you think it's going to take you? I'm asking because I'd stop my map if a release is near. If not, I'll just rework when the feature is implemented. Please don't feel stressed, take all the time you need :)
We are notoriously bad for our estimates, it always takes us a bit longer than we think :). I'd say end of this month or early August.

We have multiple new cool features coming with our next release so we may need to push it back if we run into issues during regression testing.

- Alejandro
Alejandro S. Canosa
Three Minds Software

nDervish
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Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by nDervish » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:33 am

Kanchou wrote:We are notoriously bad for our estimates, it always takes us a bit longer than we think :).
That applies to every programmer I've ever known. :D

It's bad enough that I've seen it suggested that you should take your best estimate, double it, and increase the time unit by one step. So, e.g., if you think it will take three hours, give it six days, or if you think two days, estimate four weeks. Although I've never done that formally, my experience has been that it's often eerily accurate...

Chris_92
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:21 pm

Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Chris_92 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:17 pm

Kanchou wrote:
Chris_92 wrote: Just a small question: How long do you think it's going to take you? I'm asking because I'd stop my map if a release is near. If not, I'll just rework when the feature is implemented. Please don't feel stressed, take all the time you need :)
We are notoriously bad for our estimates, it always takes us a bit longer than we think :). I'd say end of this month or early August.

We have multiple new cool features coming with our next release so we may need to push it back if we run into issues during regression testing.

- Alejandro
No worries, I will not quote you in a month and demand that you bring the new update :lol:

Acutally, I feel a bit stupid for asking the most annoying question ever. Anyway, thx for your efforts. I'm looking forward to the update :)

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Kanchou
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Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Kanchou » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:28 pm

nDervish wrote: That applies to every programmer I've ever known. :D

It's bad enough that I've seen it suggested that you should take your best estimate, double it, and increase the time unit by one step. So, e.g., if you think it will take three hours, give it six days, or if you think two days, estimate four weeks. Although I've never done that formally, my experience has been that it's often eerily accurate...
Yep, guilty :D. We are actually OK because of our dev experience outside OWM for actual dev estimates. Regression testing always gets us though, and takes way longer that we hope.

By the way, Linux early access should be ready within a week or two (for real this time :D). I know you've been waiting for Linux so send us an email if you want to be in the early access group (if you aren't already in early access from prev releases).

- Alejandro
Alejandro S. Canosa
Three Minds Software

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Kanchou
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Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Kanchou » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:29 pm

Chris_92 wrote:[
No worries, I will not quote you in a month and demand that you bring the new update :lol:

Acutally, I feel a bit stupid for asking the most annoying question ever. Anyway, thx for your efforts. I'm looking forward to the update :)
LOL. Don't worry, we've been on the other side too while eagerly awaiting a game release or a much needed patch ;).

And it's a fair question - we just need to get better at estimating!

- Alejandro
Alejandro S. Canosa
Three Minds Software

Chris_92
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:21 pm

Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Chris_92 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:01 pm

Kanchou wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:29 pm
Chris_92 wrote:[
No worries, I will not quote you in a month and demand that you bring the new update :lol:

Acutally, I feel a bit stupid for asking the most annoying question ever. Anyway, thx for your efforts. I'm looking forward to the update :)
LOL. Don't worry, we've been on the other side too while eagerly awaiting a game release or a much needed patch ;).

And it's a fair question - we just need to get better at estimating!

- Alejandro
So, how is the status on this feature? I thought I‘d ask you after a couple months :)

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Kanchou
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Re: Topographic Map-Feature

Post by Kanchou » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:31 pm

Chris_92 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:01 pm
So, how is the status on this feature? I thought I‘d ask you after a couple months :)
Engine changes are finished, UI changes designed and "approved" but not done yet. 50/50 if it makes it to the next release. Really hoping we can get it in...

- Alejandro
Alejandro S. Canosa
Three Minds Software

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