What is This?
The Eden project is a collection of systems for creating open galaxy space games in game engine called Unreal Engine 4.
From a sea of countless stars in the galaxy generator, to an infinitely variable planet generation system, to procedurally generated biomes down on the ground and an interactive city builder called Metropolis, the Eden project will let game devs to create a massive play space for their game to unfold in.
The Galaxy generator in Eden lets you design the shape of your galaxy with splines. This gives you the freedom to create a spiral galaxy like the one above (you can clone the splines radially) or something more exotic like an elliptical or even irregular galaxy.
The galaxy above contains about 180,000 stars… which is of course way less (by many zeroes) than the actual number of stars in an actual galaxy.
Because of this I’m upgrading the galaxy system so that each star is a star sector that you can zoom in on, and each one of those will use the procedural star field which can have hundreds of thousands of stars in them (much better).
The Planet Map system in Eden procedurally generates a design for a planet based on user specified settings. These planet designs can then be randomized indefinitely by changing a property called their “seed value”.
The planet designs are generated by breaking the planet up into tectonic plates and letting them smash up against each other, then calculating the way the global air currents and ocean currents interact with the resulting terrain features to procedurally assign biomes in a SEMI scientifically accurate way.
Doing things this way gives you the best of both worlds <DAD JOKE ALERT> as far as procedural generation goes. You can fine tune your design as much as you like, then automatically generate as many variations of it as you need.
Procedurally Generated Biomes
So it turns out that generating purely random mountains and hills for a flat terrain or even a spherical planet surface is not actually as difficult as you might think. Where it get’s really tricky is when you try and figure out how “fit” more detailed features like rivers or cities and such to that random terrain.
In Eden, I’m taking a different approach.
Instead of starting with complicated terrain and trying to fit to it, I build my terrain AND my finer details out of simple shapes that fit together much more easily. Then I use procedural noise to distort and warp these patterns together to give them that interesting chaotic look that nature has.
Metropolis is my system for generating urban layouts, based on the same approaches as the biome generation described above.
It uses tetris like shapes to let you build a library of street patterns.
I’m still implementing the data structure for this so I don’t have any pretty pics to show off yet 🙂
When can I get it?
I’m working towards have a minimum viable product available by the end of 2021.
I have a backlog which outlines the key features I’d like to implement between now and then on the Eden Backlog page.