Inspiration Time: World Building

A large complaint both personally, and from the players is the world/map. Current major issues with system now:

  • Sometimes a map can just be desert or non-desert biomes or very small ratios of either.
  • Lack of persistence with your map – travelling or swimming to a new one erases your old one.
  • Sometimes islands can be too big or too small in general.
  • General lack of attachment and immersion to your map due to being able to spawn a new one easily.
  • Lack of proper or forced variety.

If you have been playing Wayward for awhile, you will know that the world map has gone through some pretty crazy changes during development. Through part of the alphas, the world was infinitely generated as pieces or chunks but lacked a lot of detail or maintainability and had many of the same problems above. Next was the static map that while properly designed and balanced, lacked a lot of depth most people come to expect from roguelikes. The next iteration was what you see now. A large set of biome-centric islands with caves underneath (using pseudo z-axis).

Let’s take a look at some inspiration for another new system to address the top issues.

Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress Map


I love the variety in Dwarf Fortress worlds. Although Wayward technically has more realism/variety in the tiles themselves, the world itself looks more cohesive and varied in environments. Using this map I get all sorts of fun and crazy ideas on how to fix the current system. Let’s take a look at some more:

Ultima Ratio Regum

Ultima Ratio Regum Map


This world generation from the upcoming roguelike, Ultima Ratio Regum is also quite beautiful. Kind of like a nicer, more biome-realistic version of Dwarf Fortress.


Minecraft Map



What, you didn’t think I’d forget about the big “M” did you? Minecraft has some of the nicest world generation out there for sure, especially for what it’s aim/purposes are – creative sandbox goodness while sometimes not being too caught up in the realism (although it’s getting better and better in that regard).

Upcoming Resolutions

  • Generate a full world (instead of just islands). Roughly 2-3 times larger than current “maps”.
  • Have guaranteed environment diversity and biomes. Swamps, tundras, forests, jungles, deserts, etc.
  • The world is the world, no swimming off to another part or travelling away – this new big world is yours, and yours for good.

Here’s just a few sample Wayward maps (as of Beta 1.0) just to give you an idea on what your maps are looking like now.

Actually, it’s a good starting point for what I need to do. I still love the look of some of these generations, it’s just too bad that they are so random sometimes.

Expect these changes and more coming up soon!

17 thoughts on “Inspiration Time: World Building”

  1. I am excited especially with the larger maps including more biomes and variety as well as larger size. Will this be in the upcoming Beta1.1 or some release after that? Will different biomes include unique animals or mostly just unique resources? I like the idea of never being able to leave the map edge as that does get frustrating for players — on the other hand, it would be nice in this case if the Bull Boat works in teleporting you to a brand new generated map (With a confiirmation warning! And keeping anything in inventory but losting any items in the “old world”) so people don;t ever reach the point oof feeling they have “exhausted” all possibilities — you can pack up your best supplies and using those and your retauned skills, start fresh again in a New World if you feel you have run out of exploration possibilities…

  2. First of all, I like the game, been playing for hours, etc. Still needs a lot of improvement.

    I’m kind of wary about having larger maps, (with continents?) and having villages, towns, and cities. This would probably significantly change the premise and story (granted, it is very scanty right now) – the story that you’re stranded (on an island archipelago, like those in the pacific), and then you need to create your own stuff to survive. Access to cities especially would be weird – and towns and villages would probably need to have some kind of foreignness to them.
    (Similarly I’d be worried about having tundras – unless you happened to be sailing with an arctic exploration crew?)
    In summary, much of the charm, to me, is the “stuck on islands” premise.

    For resources, I think it would be nice to guarantee a certain amount of trees, rocks, and sandstone, perhaps by rejection of worlds which are like that desert map.

    I think your third major issue, about island size, is not a problem right now. In the real world, islands are all kinds of sizes – like Hawaii, Malaysia, Australia… I guess gameplay-wise, it would be hard to keep track of a large island – on the other hand, that may lead to more exploration of that island.

    An in-game system of mapping might help too.

    • Interesting comments. The story as it stands right now is actually mostly placeholder, but who knows, I may continue with it.

      I still plan to have smaller groups of islands or archipelagos in the new map generation, but I would also like a large land mass in each map as well – guaranteed.

      In-game mapping would be a must if this system went forward.

  3. I’d really like to have a way to go to a “new world” and then come back – have maybe coming back be a function of your cartography skills?

  4. One thing that might be interesting would be the ability to make custom maps. You make a bitmap file with the resolution being how big you want your world, and the different RGB values being the different materials. Of course, this would be best with a “campaign editor” for scripted events. That way, you could, conceivably, make a zombie survival map. 😀

    Just a random idea.

  5. Certainly, this is probably one of the biggest things you need to work on, but my gut tells me it is also something that will always need some refinement/retooling as the game becomes more developed and complex.

    In other words, I wouldn’t aim for parity with these other games, just get it to a point where it supports whatever the current version of the game is. For now, that probably just means making sure that most/all needed resources are available in some amount, and making the maps a little larger.

  6. Count me in the camp that likes the idea of isolated islands separate from the “civilized” world of towns, ports, etc. A guaranteed large island per map or a guarantee of all resources available somewhere in the generated world would certainly make things easier and help with the learning curve as the game stands right now. But to me, these characteristics of the game play world depend on the design objective of the game.

    I found the game via Fark, and it was described as a hybrid of a rogue-like game and a survival/crafting game. To me, a rogue-like game gives players a world that you have to “beat” – either you meet the win condition or you die. Here, you would want a system that is diverse enough to allow for success no matter what is generated. A slider for world difficulty could give added challenge for expert players as well as increased replayability, especially if win scores are going to eventually matter.

    If it’s meant to be more of a survival or world-building game, then the player should have the ability to control his/her environment. By that, I mean that if you can’t do what you want where you are, you can leave and look for a more desirable locale. That could be by leaving the map and generating a new one, or swimming/sailing around in the one giant map until you find a new home. You could also solve some of this problem by allowing for more ability to alter maps (putting sand/gravel in deep water, etc.)

    If it’s meant to be both, then it’s a matter of finding the balance that you (the gamemaker) are happiest with.

  7. One other change, that I don’t believe I’ve seen mentioned yet, would be guaranteeing that treasure locations mean a map provides enough unique landmarks that the treasure can actually be found. A couple of my treasure maps have been solid dark blue.

  8. I like this concept. The idea of growth and skills in a survival concept game.

    Some major things about the game that SHOULDN’T be PART of the game (yet).

    – Story:
    *reason: mainly because it would change the gameply drastically to something very open-ended to a a very narrow way of playing. There should be a STORY mode and a SURVIVOR mode. (Survivor being the open-ended type of this game)

    Weight is a big issue. a bit of tweaking should help. Meat should weigh a little less. Especially cooked meat Like Raw (has more blood = more weight) 1.0 then cooking = 0.5 weight.

  9. I love this game so far
    – Will harder monsters generate on deeper cave levels, or far continents?
    – Will it have magic spells available? (Magic class… right now you can be warrior / archer)
    – How about Main cities populated by NPCs, you can trade with them, you can rent houses, castles, and you can decorate them with bought furniture and special items dropped by monsters. ( Tibia Online alike )


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