Honours Blog #20 – Modding Process: Rivers & Revamping Corvuria

Haven’t posted in a while but I’ve done quite a bit since the last post so I have a bit of a backlog to fill!

 

Shrinking Corvuria

One of the places I’ve not talked about is Corvuria, which draws a lot of inspiration from Transylvania and the Carpathian Region: a large mountainous shield with vast unforgiving forests, plains and marshland.

As such Corvuria served as border between the Dameshead Region and Sarhal (the southeast) and I had a large unforgiving swamp taking up most of the place. A deadly location felled and dissuaded many armies that tried to march across to reach the other side.

 

However I realized that Corvuria would be a massive country in the map but have very little depth to it in terms of provinces as over 3/4 of it would be barely hospitable marshland!

(Left) Old Corvuria, (Right) New Corvuria

Therefore I ended up moving the mountain shield border down and shrinking the marshland (known as Daravan’s Folly) by about 1/3, this ended up with:

  • -a smaller marshland but still served the purpose of being a deadly crossroads region
  • -a (slightly) smaller Corvuria on the map which makes it more reasonable with its actual strength as a country
  • -more space for Escann (Eastern Cannor) meaning more space for Greentide-related action and countries! (probably the most important thing here)

 

Rivers Process

With the modification of the Corvurian region I also needed to change the rivers that flow throughout the province, so here’s a look at the process surrounding that.

As mentioned before you have to be pixel-perfect with the rivers as well as having to stick with the specific color index required by the game.

(Left) Rough Rivers, (Right) Refined Rivers

When I place new rivers I usually have it overlayed ontop of the terrain map. This is so I can use the terrain map as a reference to influence the flow and direction of rivers, for example: rivers flow from high ground so they start at mountainous regions (the white bits) and they always flow to the path of least resistance, meaning that we have to avoid any hilly terrain and the like (the dark green bits). In addition to that I use the rivers as the border of the Daravan’s Folly marshland.

Process

  • 1. My first step is usually drawing a rough outline of the river paths, not caring about being pixel-perfect but just to have an overall feel of where the rivers are going and where they cover

 

  • 2. After that I zoom in and go into detail to refine it all, enforcing the 1-pixel-width rule (as they won’t be registered otherwise) and adding the various connectors for converging rivers (the red pixels). During this time I also change river depth using the different colors available (darker blues means thicker and deeper rivers).

 

  • 3. Then I load up the map to see if they appear – if they don’t then its either:
    • -a portion of the river is 2 or more pixels wide, not adhering to the 1-pixel-width rule
    • -a portion of the river isn’t connected properly (no corner/diagonal connections!)
    • -a red/yellow connector pixel isn’t properly placed
    • -a green source pixel isn’t in place (rivers need 1 green pixel to just tell the game “this is where the river starts”, a huge river with 7 smaller ones connecting to it still only needs one at the start of the huge river)

 

 

 

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