'Worlds' is a simulator intended to recreate human history all the way from its origins in alternate world settings

Current features:

  • A 2D cell-based terrain generator that creates continent-based worlds with semi-realistic temperature and rainfall patterns. Biomes, like deserts and forests, are assigned to each cell based on its specific climate. Some world generation parameters can be configured manually.

  • Humanity starts from a single cell and spreads all over the world, adapting along the way to the diverse environments.

  • Populations in different places grow and evolve, diverging socially and technologically over time under the influence of environmental factors and interactions with other cultures.

  • Population groups can join and form basic political and territorial entities (polities). Each which might in turn develop its own language and culture.

  • Multiple map modes and overlays that will allow you to observe how human groups differ from each other on multiple aspects, from population densities to cultural attributes and technological advancements.

  • You can take over polity factions and have some level of influence on events that happen to them.

Planned features (see also roadmap):

  • World Generation:

    • Add oceanic current. These will have an effect on climates, fishing and maritime routes.

    • Add drainage basins that will give raise to, rivers, aquifers and associated biomes.

    • Add geological/planetary events: volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, climate change, etc.

    • Add more customizable world generation parameters, templates and modding.

    • Add the ability to import custom world maps and population/polity setups.

    • Add support for bigger/smaller worlds.

  • History Simulation:

    • Add more production activities like fishing, herding, crafting.

    • Add cultural values to societies which will influence how different human groups behave, evolve and interact with each other.

    • Add more abstract cultural identification/separation mechanics (art, social customs, sports).

    • Add cults/religions which might expand and influence societies.

    • Add population centers (villages, towns, cities) to which populations will migrate and where more complex production systems (industries) can evolve.

    • Add a more robust agricultural system where different crops can be planted and harvested, and different animals can be domesticated and exploited.

    • Add to polities more complex politics, different forms of government and different social structures (ie. clan systems, caste/class based societies, egalitarian societies).

    • Add diplomatic interactions between polities: conflicts, treaties, alliances, etc.

    • Add trading routes between cities and polities.

    • Add modding for cultural attributes, political systems and events.

  • User Interface:

    • Add the ability to zoom into regions/polities.

    • Add more and improved visualization overlays and views.

    • Add data graphs and a history log viewer.

    • Add a 3D globe view.

  • Music/SFX:

    • Add basic UI sounds.

    • Add a procedural music generator that creates music tailored to individual cultures.

  • User/Player Interactions:

    • Improve a player's ability to take control/influence individual polities.

    • Add the ability to 'time-travel' to arbitrary periods in a world's past without the necessity to load a save.

    • Add an in-engine timelapse viewer/player.

Screenshots

Worlds User Guide (ver 0.3.x)

NOTE: Not up to date with version 0.3.2

Generating a new World

To generate a new world, you can select the 'Generate New World' option on the start up menu (startup screen) or the main menu (main screen)...

start_menu.png

On the next dialog you can replace the seed value to generate the world. Worlds generated using the same seed value will be identical to each other. You can then either select 'Generate' to start the world generation process using only the given seed, or you can choose to use a custom heightmap by checking the “Use Heightmap Image…“ box.

generate_world.png

If you choose to import a custom heightmap the dialog will show some new options:

generate_world_heightmap.png

Here, you can use the “Select“ button to open a file selection dialog with a list of available heightmap files to use. If you want to add more heightmaps to the list, please add image files to the “Heightmaps” folder within the “Worlds“ location on your system. The files must be in commonly used image formats (.png, .jpeg, .tiff) and of size 400x200 at least. Preferably grayscale.

Once you have selected a particular Heightmap file to load and it has shown correctly on the image preview, you can proceed to generate a world using it by clicking “Generate“.

Loading An Existing World

On the main menu, you can choose to load a previously generated world by selecting ‘Load World‘. By doing so, you will be presented with a file selection dialog:

Select a file from the list and then the “Load“ button to initiate the load process and begin playing with the loaded world.

If you want to add saves to the list, please add your world save files (.plnt) to the “Saves” folder within the “Worlds“ location on your system.

Editor Mode

Once you generate or load a new world, you will presented with an option to play the game in simulator mode by clicking ‘Start Simulation‘ or edit the world by clicking the ‘Edit World Map‘.

mode_selection.png

Upon entering editor mode, a toolbar with a selection of tools that you can use to modify the map in different ways.

editor_toolbar.png

Here’s a list of the tools available:

  • Scale Terrain Altitude:

editor_toolbar_scale.png

This tool can be used to scale down, or ‘flatten‘, the altitude of all cells on the map. This is specially useful to adjust maps generated from heightmap images.

  • Set Sea Level Offset:

editor_toolbar_sea.png

With this tool you can set the base sea level, values lower than zero will move all terrain cells upward, while values greater than zero will do the opposite.

  • Set Average World Temperature:

This tool will offset all cell temperatures around the temperature given here.

  • Set Average Yearly Rainfall

Like with the ‘Set Average World Temperature‘ tool, all the cell rainfall values will be offset around the average yearly rainfall.

  • Altitude Brush:

editor_toolbar_alt_brush.png

This tool will activate a circular highlighted area controlled using the mouse that will modify the altitude off all cells within that area. The ‘Radius‘ slider controls the size of the area. ‘Strength‘ determines how much the cell’s altitude will change with each application of the tool. Negative strength values will actually decrease the cell altitudes. The ‘Noise‘ slider will influence how much noise will be used to influence altitude changes. Finally, the ‘Flatten Mode‘ checkbox will alter the tool behavior so that instead of increasing or decreasing a cell’s altitude to an arbitrary value, it will try to make the cell’s altitude match that of it’s neighbors. When flatten mode is active, the noise slider is inactive and strength slider will only accept positive values.

  • Temperature Brush:

This brush control works pretty much the same way as the altitude brush but it only affects cell temperature values. The ‘Enable overlay when using this brush‘ checkbox determines if the Temperature overlay is activated every time this tool is active.

  • Rainfall Brush:

editor_toolbar_rain_brush.png

This brush works the same way as the temperature brush, only instead for cell rainfall values. The ‘Enable overlay when using this brush‘ checkbox determines if the Rainfall overlay is actived every time this tool is active.

Simulation Mode

Once the world generation process is finished, a new dialog will appear letting you set the initial human population and the point of origin... 

If 'Select Location' is used, you'll be able to pick a point on the map where you want your initial population group to appear. Selecting 'Random Location' will let the game pick a random suitable location where the initial population will start. If you choose 'Cancel Placement', no initial population will be set and the world will remain static for the rest of the game. You can save this world and later add a population to it after reloading it.

General Interface

General Interface

 

  • Infobox

Infobox.png

The information box, located on the top left corner will display contextual data about the world. You can display here information about specific points of the world by left-clicking on different locations on the map. The information displayed will be contextual to the currently active overlay (see 'Overlays' section).

  • Views

Clicking on the Views button will bring up the Views dialog...

Selecting a different view will change how the world map is rendered on screen. For example, here's the 'Coastlines' view:

coastlines_view.png
  • Overlays

The Overlays button brings up the Overlays dialog...

overlays_menu.png

Each option on this menu (or submenu) activates a different data overlay that will be displayed on top of the map. Only one overlay can be active at a time, and the active overlay defines what kind of information will be displayed on the infobox. Here's an example of the Population Knowledge Overlay active:

population_knowledge_overlay.png

Some overlays, like the one above, will show on the top right corner an additional menu that will allow you to select a particular type of data, like 'Social Organization Knowledge', to display.

In addition to the overlays, it is also possible to active/deactivate additional data to be displayed on the map from the overlay menus like map activity (highlights map cells that have been recently updated) and active sea travel routes.

  • Time Flow Controls

The time control bar on the bottom left corner of the map allow you to set how fast the game simulation can run. There are seven speed levels, from 1 day per realtime second to 1000 years per realtime second, plus an 'Unlimited' speed level where the simulation will try to run as fast as allowed by the CPU. Additionally, the simulation can be paused using the pause button on the bar's right.

Time flow can also be manipulated using the number keys 1 through 8 on the keyboard and the -/+ keys. Pressing the spacebar will toggle pause on the simulation.

  • Notifications

Some events in the game will trigger notifications to appear on the bottom right of the map. Some notifications will allow you to center the map view on the location where the event happened. Each notification will disappear after a few seconds. But can be manually closed by clicking on top of it.

 

Interacting with the world

In 'Worlds' it is possible to focus and take control of individual polities and factions. To do so, activate either the 'General' or 'Polity Territories' overlay, then left-click to select an active polity on the map. A panel with the name of the polity will appear on top of the Time Control Bar:

select_polity.png

There will be two buttons, 'Set Focus' and 'Guide Faction'. The 'Set Focus' button will let you get notifications specific to the selected polity. You can set focus on multiple polities using the same button. A focus panel will appear on the top right for each focused polity:

focused_polities.png

Clicking on the 'Unset Focus' button on any of them will remove the focus from the specific polity.

The 'Guide Faction' button on the polity panel will bring up a list of all factions currently active within the polity. By selecting any of them, you will take over the faction and will have to make choices that affect the destiny of the faction through Decision Events.

The following is an example of a decision event that can appear every now and then as long as the you guide a faction:

The game will pause and remain paused until you make a choice. Hovering over the options will show you the possible consequences of each option. The Resume Speed button on the bottom right corner will let you set the speed at which the game will return once an option is chosen.

To stop guiding a particular faction you can either select to guide a different faction or click on the 'Stop Guidance' button that appears in the guided faction panel that appears to the left of the Infobox:

 

Other

  • Saving/Loading Worlds

To save or load a world open the Main Menu:

The 'Save World' button will open a simple dialog where you can set the name of the save file. By default, saves are named after the seed used to generate the world plus the current world date. All save files are stored within the 'Saves' folder in the 'Worlds' installation path.

The 'Load World' button will bring up a list of all saved world files located within the 'Saves' folder. The load process will start automatically once a save is selected by clicking over it.

  • Exporting Map Images

It is possible to export an image of the current world map as .PNG file by opening the Options Menu and clicking on the 'Export Map Image' button. The following dialog will appear:

The default filename will include the world seed, current date, and information on the current view and active overlay used to generate the image. All images will be exported to the 'Images' folder within the 'Worlds' installation path.

  • Fullscreen and Windowed Modes

To switch between Fullscreen and Windowed mode, open the Main Menu and click on the 'Settings' button. Then check or uncheck the 'Fullscreen' checkbox.