Tropical Enclave Work In Progress

Tropical Enclave Work In Progress
Tropical Enclave in early stages

The blog has been quiet, but I have been busy lately. Aside from work on the BlakOpal site, there has been a fair amount of mad science. I’ve also been working on a new tutorial or two to join the ranks of How To Send A Gift, How To Change Gender, Using Substances, and others. I wanted to take a minute to show you a Tropical Enclave work in progress teaser.

This project has been pushing along for a little while. I’ve been tinkering with my Tropical Enclave here and there during breaks and down time in other projects.

Procedural Meets Painterly

Tropical Enclave Work In Progress
Early Rough Stages of Tropical Enclave design.

After beginning with a couple rough sketches, I dove into MapMagic to work on creating a natural terrain that I liked. While that excellent tool can be used for everything from creating and texturing the terrain to placing trees and other objects, I only wanted to use it for the basic terrain shape. For everything else, I wanted to take a more painterly approach.

After getting it to a place that I liked, I exported my finished heightmap and used that to create a Unity terrain. Next is what I call the 30,000 foot view. paint in very large broad strokes to block out the basic textures (which bits are sandy, which bits are rocky, etc). I added a couple large white tiles where I want to have parcels.

Tropical Enclave Work In Progress
Aerial view of Tropical Enclave region (in its earliest stages) in the Unity Editor.

Things are coming along nicely, and now it’s time to come down from the 30,000 foot view and come in a little closer. After toggling off the water, I spent time working on the underwater contours, adding rocks and barnacles.

With the smaller islands I can dive right into a closer view, but on the larger islands I typically go through with a few passes as I fine tune the terrain textures as well as the terrain shader settings. Unity’s standard terrain shader is alright, but with tools like CTS I can get much better looking results.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Tropical Enclave work in progress teaser. I still have a lot of work to do, but thought I would share this little glimpse of where things are at.

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