Map generation on a sphere, part 1

I ran into a showstopper with mapgen4. It unpredictably "freezes" in the sense that inputs have no effect, even though both the map generation and rendering are running. I'm taking a break from that for ProcGen 2018 - 9 days to work on a procedural generation project.

I decided to play with procedural map generation on a sphere. I've long wanted to try generating entire planets instead of flat maps. See this project and this project to get an idea of what I'm wanting to learn how to do.

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Mapgen4: river representation

I've reached the point in mapgen4 development when I just want it to be over. So I'm cutting all remaining features and am focusing on finishing. Most of the remaining work isn't interesting enough to blog about so I'm going to describe the river representation I started using last year. It's worked very well for the needs of this project. Take a look at the rivers in this screenshot:

Rivers are binary trees

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Mapgen4: outlines

Usually when I make a map generator I focus on the underlying algorithms and data. The data will be used by a game project, so the visuals are meant to be informative and not necessarily pretty. For this project I wanted to make the output pretty. I previously blogged about the unusual projection I'm using for the graphics. It allows you to see the rivers and coastlines top-down but see the mountains from the side. There are two other interesting graphical tricks I'm using to make the maps prettier.

Non-photorealistic shading

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