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The material on this site is owned by Samuel Penn, and any queries should be directed there. Most of the material on this site is licensed under CC-BY-SA.

blog:20170525_icosahedrons

Icosahedrons

A while back I wrote a mapper for the Traveller SF universe. By mapper I mean mapping every planet and moon in that universe. I went through various methods of generating world maps (aiming for quantity and descriptive accuracy, rather than quality), eventually settling on Icosahedral maps for simplicity.

These are similar in style to the original Traveller world templates, but using triangles rather than hexes for the internal grid. Basically, the Icosahedron (a twenty sided solid) crudely approximates a sphere, but is easier to flatten into a 2D map. Each of the twenty faces is a large triangle, and in turn I split these up into smaller triangles.

The last iteration of that code hardcoded splitting each face into 4 rows of smaller triangles. I got sidetracked for a few years after that, and now I've started looking again at re-writing things from scratch. I've started with the world mapper, and now have a basic generic framework that allows me to generate maps of any resolution. Those shown here start at 5 rows/face, going up through 8 rows, 12, 24 and 48.

The larger the number of triangles, the better the end result should look, but the harder it will be to auto-generate a consistent world map.

I'll probably start with gas giants, since I only need to create cloud formations. Barren ice or desert worlds are a bit harder, and Earth-like worlds are the hardest. As before, I'll want to be able to generate a textual description of the world alongside the map, so simply creating a random fractal map (which most world generators do) isn't the easiest option, since they're hard to describe.

blog/20170525_icosahedrons.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/25 18:09 by sam