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Thread by @ptychomancer: "I love maps & their promise of fractal discovery. I love procedural generation and the aesthetics of the unauthored. Where do these two […]"

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I love maps & their promise of fractal discovery.
I love procedural generation and the aesthetics of the unauthored.
Where do these two loves intersect? Generated maps.

I am the procgen map admirer. These are my favorite map generators and the folks who create them.

👇THREAD👇
To start with, you can't talk about map generation and not mention @redblobgames. His HTML5 generator is the gold standard.
The quantization of the map into hexes. The beautiful terrain iconography. They partition the gestalt into something explorable in discrete steps, one story at a time.
.@redblobgames's generator's pencil sketch style (which was stumbled upon accidentally) produces the most visually stunning generated maps I've seen.
Here's his map generator.
redblobgames.com/maps/mapgen2/
And here's his wonderful blog post about map generation.
redblobgames.com/maps/terrain-f…
Really just check out his whole blog.
redblobgames.com
Next: the continents of Dwarf Fortress (@Bay12Games) were the first generated maps that truly blew me away. They're the most artful use of ASCII I've seen and the biggest influence on the visual style of Caves of Qud.
The rich ANSI greens evoke unbounded lushness. The landmasses teem with jungles that ride right up to the coasts. These are wild, untamed worlds.
Absolutely support @bay12games for their lush jungle continents and a hundred other reasons.

patreon.com/bay12games
Next up is the amazing work of @mewo2. Here's his fantasy mapmaking bot that reproduces the whole atlas aesthetic.
Those imaginary place names are abnormally good, right? Martin wrote a generator that produces names from a consistent set of generated morphemes.
His writeup on the language generation is wonderful.

mewo2.com/notes/naming-l…
A "real" fake map aside: as research for @unchartedatlas, Martin collected maps from across fantasy and science fiction and made a bot that tweets them out every couple hours.

twitter.com/mythicmaps
Now we get to city maps and @mewo2's equally stunning @metropologeny. I love how tiny neighborhoods of rectangular order are concatenated along the sinuous paths of nature.
Let's do more city maps. How about @watawatabou's crisp, clean medieval fantasy city generator. I love the sense of urban concentration these produce.
His interactive generator is the best I've seen. It feels like playing a city simulator.
watabou.itch.io/medieval-fanta…
Of course Oleg built a 3D visualizer for his medieval cities. Of course it's just as stunning. watabou.itch.io/toy-town
Support Oleg's medieval cities: watabou.itch.io/medieval-fanta…
Support Toy Town: watabou.itch.io/toy-town/donate
Check out Olelg's itch.io page: watabou.itch.io
We're back to the world-scale and @Enichan's generated pixel continents for her game Shards of Immortality. I dig the use of lighter blue to indicate shallow coastal waters.
.@Enichan's pixel maps really illustrate the allure of fractal discovery. Like: I want to learn about the politics of the prosperous river kingdoms in <img1>, but I also want to read about sheep lineages on the island meadow of <img2>.
Support Eniko: patreon.com/sharkhugseniko
Buy her possession-based roguelike, MidBoss: store.steampowered.com/app/561740/Mid…
Check out the progress on Shards of Immortality: kitsunegames.com/games/shards/
.@ESAdevlog's generated islands almost look like meteorological maps. I haven't seen another generator that imparts such a sense of dynamism.
Here's the (open-source) generator with height, temperature, and rainfall sliders.
hempuli.com/blogblog/archi…
Visit Arvi's site: hempuli.com
Wishlist Baba Is You: store.steampowered.com/app/736260/Bab…
Finally, I want to shout out @GridSageGames and the research he did for Cogmind's map tech. There's a certain juxtaposition of order and chaos that emerges from long-lived human edifices, and these maps really nail it.
Josh also uses cellular automata to produce natural, cavern-like maps, which envelop the more ordered spaces.
In 2014 he wrote a wonderful series of blog posts about map generation: gridsagegames.com/blog/2014/06/p…
That's it! That's all the procgen map admirer has to share... for now. Reply with your favorite map generators and creators and I'll rt them.
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