A few points based on the discord discussion:
I think what we’re really trying to do here is to teach a computer how to draw nice patch maps when given planet variables. I think this is an interesting project because it needs all of our skills to be pooled to produce something really good. It’s got to look nice (art team), respond to the changing planetary variables smoothly (programming + theory), a computer needs to have a list of rules from which it can draw the map (programming + theory) and it needs to have good gameplay (gameplay = everyone). I think we’ve got the potential to make something pretty great which is better than anything any one of us could produce so thanks everyone who is contributing, I think this is a cool process.
I like your thoughts goro about working out a grid pattern for how to layout patches, that’s the sort of thing we need to do, have a list of rules from which the map is drawn.
Re geography I think it’s helpful to detach from the idea of geography as that actually gives us a lot of freedom. I haven’t had time to prototype this yet but I think one idea that might look great is if we start in the middle of the map, put down a region (rectangle maybe). Then iteratively we can put down a new region near those already placed and connect it with lines to those that are already there, such that the lines don’t cross. This means it will grow kind of like a snowflake or something which I think could look really good.
On reflection I like the idea of vertical stacks of ocean patches because of the marine snow , as you were saying Naro. The main energy source in mid ocean patches, where it’s too dark for sunlight, there’s no H2S source and no iron will be debris falling from above, so having the patches in a stack makes computing this really easy.
I also wondered about maybe different thicknesses of connection? So some region to region connections are really easy to cross, shown as thick lines, (maybe between two close regions of ocean) and maybe some are hard to cross, shown as thin lines, like into an underwater cave with a narrow entrance. Might add some interest to the flow of species. Maybe when you move some of your pop to the new patch less of them make it through a thin connection. Anyone have thoughts about that?
Here’s an example of what a growing map might look like. I put some 45 degree subway lines in, not sure if people like that. (Looking at it again it’s not such a good example as if red is abyss and green is tide pool then they definitely shouldn’t be connected, but you get the idea.)