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Wiz

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Hello and welcome to another Development Diary for Europa Universalis 4. A few weeks ago I talked about old features that didn't end up as we wanted, and specifically I wrote quite a bit about Random New World. I also said that I was trying to find the time and resources to redo the feature and that if we did, there would be another dev diary about it.

Today, I can announce that we are in fact remaking Random New World, and so, as promised, here is a dev diary about it.


A Few Disclaimers
- The remake will be released free to anyone who owns Conquest of Paradise. It will fully replace the old Random New World mechanic.
- There is no target date for when we will release the remake. Next major patch (1.14) is reasonably likely but not guaranteed.
- We are far from done with the remake, so the screenshots I'll be showing are very much WIP and nowhere near final quality.


A Whole Random New World
For a detailed breakdown of what, exactly, when wrong with Random New World in the first place, please read the June 18th dev diary. Suffice to say that our design goals ended up clashing with each other, resulting in world generation that felt weird and unrealistic, and lacked in any real variation.

When discussing how to remake Random New World, we tossed a few alternatives around, and ultimately ended up choosing between two. The first was to have pre-generation in the launcher, where the player would generate a RNW that could take all the time it needed and would then save locally to their computer, able to be played and shared with others without having to do any additional generation in-game. This alternative was ultimately deemed infeasible because we didn't want playing with RNW to be something that required 10-20 minutes of preparation and because the existing RNW code was not suited to be retooled like this, meaning it would require a very large time investment.

The method we ultimately settled on was to remove the landmass generation from RNW, and replace it with a system we call 'World Tiles'. In this system, the New World is divided into an 8x9 grid, with each square in the grid being an area roughly the size of the British Isles. This grid is then filled in with 'tiles', which are hand-crafted pieces of terrain. Tiles can be of varying size, one tile might be a group of islands occupying a single square, while another might be a super-continent covering a 6x6 area. The tiles define the shape of the landmasses and provinces, while terrain and climate is generated according to latitude - the same island tile can be either a frozen rock or a tropical paradise depending on where on the map it ends up. We plan to release this system with at least 100 different tiles, and modders familiar with map-making will easily be able to make more (without changing the checksum), so you should not lack for variation.

Playing with RNW will be done largely the same way as before, with the exception that the generated world will now be saved on generation, meaning that it will take a little longer to start a RNW game for the first time, but loading saves with RNW should be almost as fast as loading a regular save with RNW disabled. Players will also be able to see the unique seed of their generated world and re-use that seed if they want to play in the same world again. In multiplayer, the host will send the RNW to the clients along with the save game.

In addition to the actual terrain generation, there are a number of other things we want to improve with the new RNW to make it more fun and immersive.

These are issues in the old RNW we plan to address/avoid in the new one:
- Naming of provinces and seazones. Instead of simply reusing the same provinces, names should be randomly (and appropriately) generated, meaning you don't get an ocean seazone called 'Lake Titicaca', and don't have the bizarre experience of finding California on the north pole.
- Generation of countries. Countries will have randomly generated names and flags, and country spread will be improved so you don't have giant clusters of migratory OPMs.
- Variation in province count. Instead of always finding a RNW of approximately the same size as the old one, you will now find everything from all-island RNWs to supercontinents, making the process of discovery far more interesting.

The below is all merely ambitions, and none of it is guaranteed to make it into the RNW remake:
- Ability to set parameters for your new world before generation, such as province and native density.
- More variety in what you can find besides just world layout, for example there might be a small chance that the natives you find are actually more technologically advanced than you are.
- Being able to set the Nation Designer to start you in a random location in the RNW, which options such as whether you are OK with starting on an island all by yourself.


Screenshots - Work in Progress




That's it for today! If you have questions, feel free to ask, and we'll likely post more screenshots of the new RNWs when we're getting closer to final quality.
 
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Wiz

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Is it possible to have one massive continental agglomeration as in the real world or are the zones always seperate?
You can make tiles of any size, so some RNWs will definitely have America-esque supercontinents.
 

glaivemaster

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Honestly this looks much better. In one way, it's a shame that there will be the ability for landmasses to repeat (in the sense that you'll have seen one in a previous game) but I think that if the option is between that and a solid, straight line of a continent, this is going to be far preferable. And it looks to potentially introduce that "find anything from a series of tiny islands to a huge mega continent" idea that we were originally told and never quite delivered.

I like the idea of natives being a bit more random as well. Is the plan that natives might be given a random techgroup, so that you can go over and find Western level or Native level or anything in between, like Muslim and Indian level?

Will definitely give this a shot once it's out.
 

Chewy Yui

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May finally play with random new world when this gets updated!

Really like the last screenshot, and it all sounds promising! Thanks P-Dox
 

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This looks good.

I haven't played with RNW in a long time--the shape and oddness of the generated stuff threw me off.
I'll definitely give it another shot after this goes live.


I do have one question: I noticed in old RNW games that some trade nodes only had a handful (sometimes as few as 2 if I'm remembering correctly) provinces in them.
Are trade nodes "fixed" and just include provinces in some area? Are they generated dynamically based on the generated tiles? Something else?
 

M0rdred

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Looks great! I hope that the province count in general is increased over the current version though, this is one of the things that stopped me using random new worlds lately. It just felt tame compared to the more competitive, smaller provinces of the "real America" we enjoy at the moment, where more powers are able to get in on the colonial game.
 
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