Re: [nbos] [AS3] Saving Fractal Terrain maps
Juanma Barranquero
Sat Nov 3rd, 2012
> Your own statements paired with the Dubai one should suggest to you some
> ways that this place could have become inhabited, not as an oddity but as a
> course of the natural cycle of things.

I'm not short of ideas about how humans could inhabit strange places;
there are humans in Antarctica right now. That does not make it
common.

> So perhaps your 'wierd' planet was first inhabited when it was a tropical
> paradise, and the people were too stubborn to leave when things started to
> get lousy and the environment started to tank... perhaps they're trying to
> rectify the problem and haven't yet. Perhaps they will be the next 'lost
> civilization' in your campeign world and have archeologists flocking to them
> to see how it actually happens in real time.

Again: I don't lack ideas. We're talking, I think, about the algorithm
that AS uses to assign initial population, and whether it is totally
random or it uses some heuristics that I cannot see. Also whether it
should be configurable (cue comment: "you can write a plugin to
generate population to your liking". Yes. Yes, I do.)

> Actually this is somewhat different than what you've been saying. Was it
> what you were /meaning/ to say? You have mentioned rivers, but that has very
> little to do with the overall suitability of an area for habitation. Yes,
> water is important but it's not the only factor.

Fresh water is the single most important factor on Earth (where air is
a given, and food sources pretty common, if not always abundant). But
my point, what I /mean/ to say, as you put it, is not about Earth, is
about the mentality of colonization. People will live *everywhere*,
but they will *preferently* look for better suited places. No one in
history has chosen a poor place to establish a colony when a better
one was empty and available.

> The nomads in the dry steppes of central asia.

The nomads in the dry steppes of Central Asia have spent centuries, if
not millenia, getting out of the steppe to conquer warmer, richer
places.

> Given that the creator of the generator's theories on how humans chose
> places to colonize and the purpose of the generator disagrees with your
> general take on the issue, of course it's going to seem odd to you.

If I'm not mistaken, it's not that Ed's theories disagree with mine,
it's just that he's chosen to allow random variability to spice up the
generated sectors.

> Also, realize the
> generator can't read your mind. It can't know what your specific intent for
> this sector is.

You seem to miss that *my* intention, *my* mind, is irrelevant. Forget
my sector, my campaign, my opinion. You start AS, make it generate a
random sector, look at it, and there are planets that the very same AS
consider "hospitable" (some of them quite nice, indeed) and they are
empty; and there's population in places that *AS* (NOT me) considers
barely habitable, or sometimes not even that. If that happens 1% of
the time, OK, it's random variation. If that happens 30% of the time
(it's a figure I just pulled out of the air, but I don't think it's
too far out), well, then I will live with it, but the generator acts
in a way that I can only describe as "weird".

> A generator that is
> designed for broad appeal and inspiration (which the default is) needs to
> consider and account for these circumstances since it can't KNOW what things
> you want in your world, it has to offer that kind of possibility.

On the contrary, a generator designed for broad appeal should do the
most reasonable thing, and let the customization to people who really
wants or needs extraordinary things.

But, honestly, I think we've already reharsed arguments and positions
are clear. I now know how AS works in that regard, and the next time I
use it to build a sector I will be keeping an eye on it and will
customize sector data to death. As I've said, complains aside I love
AS.

Juanma
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