This map has been on my mind for a while now.
I finally settled in on a location, and today I started making the terrain.
Again I am using a real-world location with 1:1 scale satellite photos.
This time however I am also using 1:1 scale height maps taken directly from USGS data
Compare the above in-game images with the Google Earth image below:Large image
The first image there is after about 6 hours of work.
First I collected all the USGS data on the area I was interested in.
Then following 4k1R4's guide with a few improvements I imported the height map.
I color corrected the satellite photo for in-game use and imported it.
The imported height-map is accurate but has stair-steps throughout that REALLY increase the triangle count. It took about an hour of flying around the map smoothing everything out.
Next come lots and LOTS of painting in the detail textures to match the existing rock.
To learn how to do this check out this thread:4k1R4's Heightmap Video Tutorial. Making 1:1 scale maps...
My map location is in Zion's National park in Utah, a place I have visited a few times on vacation.
There are a many reasons why I choose this location:
-It's not another tropical island.
-Some of the ICMC Maps have shown that a desert terrain can look great in the engine.
-I have my own reference photos to use from my visit.
-It is a huge dramatic landscape.-
-Since it's a national park there are very high quality publicly available satellite photos and heightmaps of the area.
This is an image of the satellite photo. No tiling issues, minimal shadows.Large image
It is higher res and much quality then Google Earth. For example on google earth half the area is summer, the other half is winter. Google Maps link
But the full size photo is exactly 1 pixel= 1 meter resolution.
Below is a 1:1 zoom of the red box above (See the large image link for the 1:1 zoom)Large image
Height map:Large image
And here are some of my own photos from my visit there to give you an idea of the end-goal:Large imageLarge imageLarge imageLarge Image
Initial Map Goals:
-Based on 1:1 scale, real-world terrain and height-map data.
-Map where player transverses the same areas in both normal and combat situations.
-Lots of interactive idle details. Background animations, AI talks to you and each other.
-Interactive Puzzles and challenges (logical, and physical)
-Player is not special forces military
-Tag-based trackview sequences that can happen anywhere.
-Health and suit power is not auto-regenerating.
-Suit powers are enabled slowly over the course of the map.
-Lots of voice acting
Also, while much larger, the goal on this map is NOT to be bigger and longer then Castaway was. (But no promises)