Re: [nbos] [FM8] FM8 Wish List
Sat Mar 29th, 2008
*chuckles* most of the people I have talked to don't want to think
that much about the geology of their world. ;) They want a tool like
the existing 'wind erosion' and 'water erosion' tools, that apply
everything to the whole planet. That requires much more complicated
algorithms and longer processing times. The mountain raising can be
done, to a limited degree with the 'elevation' tools, but it gets much
to soft curves, and the erosion tools make much too straight lines and
look very artificial. Even craters aren't absolutely featureless
circles, there's always some warping, cracking, and faulting wherever
it hits. They don't want to think "well I've got a fault here so I
need this side to go up and that side to go down… and do it over
1000000 years and ". Which means the computer must do the thinking
for them, which means higher processing times and longer calculation
waits. I may not be able to write the code but I do understand the
basic principles and what slows things down. And the issue is
balancing something that looks realistic (which means you can't just
ignore the geology side), and doesn't take forever to calculate, but
the more realistic it looks the more data points there are by
necessity. The more data points there are, the more calculations
become necessary. The more calculations that are necessary the longer
it takes to calculate. A certain amount of slow down is inevitable.

For my part I want a middle ground. I would like tools that can
duplicate specific effects of techtonics. That is, a mountain
building tool that actually builds realistic mountainous terrain
instead of nice smooth round mountains. Rivers that you can actually
set a width for rather than a proportion, possibly a canyon too to
'carve' narrower trenches. Basically I'd like to be able to
manipulate the internal parts of the continent and the oceans with a
little more detail. A glacier tool might be interesting, but how
would it work? Would you want the view of the glacier while it was
advancing or present? Or the valleys, lakes, and moraines it creates?
A lake and canyon tool would do the latter part.

This is 8th grade earth science, if I was after full geology I'd be
asking for a program that takes into account the underlying substrata,
all hot spots, variable extension and subduction rates, and the
stresses of different rock types as they're being subjection to shear.
I'd want algorithms that take into account plastic deformation,
elastic deformation, creep, and high pressure solid rock flow, but
that's a little bit extreme. ;)
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