Firstly, I've submitted this as a thread without any text. My bad. Now that's out of the way, I can now go in and boast about this new(ish) piece of technology we're going to be rolling out for our gaming and mapping routines for Fight or Flight.
We haven't yet fully laid out the mechanics behind the game, or details as to whether it'll be turn-based RPG or live 2D action. All we know is here is the basis for some of the more complicated map and traversal logic in the system.
Let's start off with the basics. The map software starts off with a simple single-tile noise map. The software in turn blows the map up and generates a double sized image from that, and applies more noise filters. This continues until the map is about 4 billion units square (not that we've ever got the server fully up to that size!) As you can see the squares change colour based on two attributes: Firstly, there is this H (height) value, and W (Aridity / Wetness). The amalgomation of these values along with (hopefully) other noise maps will outline what will happen in these squares. This sample picture isn't the best as it seems to be in the middle of some 500 square unit green of varying lushness (probably a forest or marshland to be)
The detailed squares can be seen on the left, the larger scale map can be seen on the right. Maybe I'll produce another picture once I've travelled around this map a bit. The right image shows my progress regards moving around the map and traversing the landscape (which for our pre-alpha test is merely "point and you arrive")
The second thing I want to boast about is the N value. You can see where I'm standing with the big "ME :D" icon, and non-playable characters are marked as black squares with NPC on them. N is the smallest number of squares that the player has to move through (only moving horizontally and vertically i.e. one diagonal square counts as two) to reach that square from the current standing position.
Note however, the player cannot move through NPC squares. You have to go around them. So that if you travel north, all squares increment by one as you get further away from the player. (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) However, heading west, there is an NPC that has to be got around. (The numbers now read 1, X, 5, 6, 7)
It may not seem like a huge thing, but mark my words this sort of pathfinding algorithm is quite easy to say "do" but a lot harder to say "program"! To that end, note the second NPC standing in the east. Not the square to the east of the second NPC that says "n=13". To get to that square, our software has done compound pathfinding. Which is nothing short of a miracle.
Just thought I'd share our progress. Maybe this is something we'll see released in 2015!!