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Generate continent-scale geological structures according to the east-west axis


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One of the major features of Vintage Story is its climate system, where different sorts of biomes are arranged according to latitude, which both improves verisimilitude and allows players seeking to obtain new biological resources to be able to predict where to travel to find them. Unfortunately, the same verisimilitude does not appear to exist for geological resources, at least not to the same degree, and likewise a major roadblock for many players is being able to locate new ores or types of stone. Additionally, many roadmap features are blocked by the lack of a realistic hydrological model, such as waterwheels, which depend on flowing rivers, and sailing ships, which depend on oceans; moreover the simplistic hydrology again detracts from verisimilitude and limits the ability of players to locate resources dependent on rainfall. 

I propose that an elegant solution to all of these issues would be thus. In the same manner as players travelling north or south will move from polar to boreal to temperate to equatorial climates, I propose that players travelling east or east will move from oceanic to coastal to inland to mountainous landforms, with players typically starting inland. I will not attempt to exhaustively map out the design, as I'm sure the VS team is more than capable of doing that themselves, but as a rough sketch, I would posit a design where a prevailing wind is determined by an area's latitude, and terrain height as determined by longitude produces dry or wet areas according to the rain shadow for that latitude. Stone types, and thus the possible ores, would be generated according to the geological type of the area, combined with erosion patterns derived from the patterns of wind and rain. The existence of this sort of slope from mountain to coast allows for the implementation of flowing rivers, though I am not prepared to offer a technical solution in that regard. The new system, then, of realistic geology and hydrology, could be crossed into biome generation for additional verisimilitude, and the existence of oceans would allow for both age-of-sail gameplay and game elements specifically tied to exploring or even crossing the ocean e.g. ores or loot needed for the final progression to the Steam Age that are found only undersea.

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