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Building Worlds in Otherland

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Source: Otherland: City of Golden Shadow, Page: 34

Renie tweaked up a few details, placing a sun in the sky above the filigree of branches, carpeting the forest floor in grass and small white flowers. When she had finished, she spread her hands in a little flourish. "See, you don't even have to do all the work-the machines tidy up the details, angles and length of shadows, all that. This stuff is easy. You've already learned the basics-you'll be doing this yourself in a matter of weeks."

Our Thoughts on this Quote

This level of content creation in a virtual environment, whilst sounding fabulous, is exactly where world building should be at. Rather than ask the designer to place every aspect meticulously his/her self, if you have algorithms operating, even on a dynamic, interactive world behind the scenes, all the little details can adjust themselves in real-time.

For example, instead of creating 20 tree models and planting them in place, create 20 tree species, each following a rough template, plant them, then age them. The result would be many unique trees, placed by hand, or placed as seeds scattered parabolically to the virtual wind. Grown from seed, these would each assume a potentially unique shape, solidified as models after the fact.

Likewise to populate the forest, rather than choose each animal by hand, select from a list, and scatter them. Even the builder does not know then where each will be found. Simple, effective, and extremely immersive.

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About the Book 'Otherland, Volume 1: City of Golden Shadow'
By Tad Williams
Produced By DAW Books

The first book in the Otherland Saga, City of Golden Shadow serves as an introduction and ground setting book that enriches and deepens the later works. Among the many aspects of life in this near-future world it depicts in detail, is an advanced virtual reality technology.

City of Golden Shadow introduces the basics of total immersion VR technologies, slightly further ahead than those of William Gibson?s Neuromancer. It delves into all the possible uses for such technology in stunning depth and detail, yet it does so in such a way that the pace of the plot never slackens.
Click here for full review of Otherland, Volume 1: City of Golden Shadow

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