Eventually, I would love to see highways and byways. Long road trips to different biomes and places. The possibly nuked and overwhelmed city of Boston. The Atlantic Ocean. The Appalachian Mountains. Or maybe the trip to Disney World like I mused about many months back. Of course, all procedural as a twisted rando nightmare versions of what the US would be.
Now, I have heard such distances would be crushing. Sheer load sizes. Crushing even monster gaming rigs.
Or would it?
Out in the wild, what is the largest area have yall explored? How did your computer hold up?
My guy Rob Keys drove his vehicle, the Sun Wave, east for years, covering 423 over-map chunks, with quite a bit of snaking north and south along the way to get past obstacles. He was up to 35 million turns when I decided to retire his save. (Due partly to some minor nuisances, like his collection of weird, semi-useless, and often dangerous artifacts all turning into inert junk, but the big reason was suffering map corruption and errors due to an “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-a-bug” which is still sitting on the tracker) The save is close to 2 gigabytes in size, and I can’t say performance was bad.
The usual performance stuff applied – don’t sleep over a lab or in a city, it slows things down; try not to have too many items around, etc. It certainly took longer to load than other saves, but most of the map doesn’t have much going on, so it really didn’t seem to affect performance all that much versus other saves. I don’t think CDDA has much trouble with large maps.
At first, I remembered the games of my youth. Crossroads, one of those “type in your own game” programs in Compute’s Gazette could handle dozens of creatures all shooting each other and fighting each other. Ultima 5 could handle many NPC all with their own routines. All on below 64 K and a processor a small fraction of the power of even the cheapest throwaway prepaid smartphone of today.
Then I remembered. Crossroads did not have Z levels, hundreds items on top of items worn and condition, and it’s reality bubble was only the screen. Ultima loaded into city maps and combat maps. It was not seamless like CDDA.
The artifact issue, I remember. I also never have personally seen corruption issues, but have seen some of my youtubers I watch experience it and read stories on Reddit and here talk about it. All of them were from experimental, it seems. So there is that.
Massachusetts on game scale is 1337 overmaps. With just basic terrains (fields, forests, water) it is around 130 MB unpacked in JSON (and about 10x smaller when gzipped). This comes from 4GB database with more detailed overmap data that includes roads and land use code data. Adding land use code data for terrain generation can make overmap file at least twice in size. If you could get and transform geodata for whole USA resulting files would be about about 350 times larger.
Actual overmaps in a save could be much larger - I’ve seen overmap files 5 MB in size unpacked.
Map level would be procedurally generated, so no need to store anything before you actually visit specific map. Single map could be not that big in size (10-100 KB unpacked), but single overmap is 32400 maps, so it adds up pretty quick in a save. Put map memory on top of it for each visited map and that would end up with a lot of storage.
I do remember Kevin (or some other contributor) talking about plans on making the CDDA map aka New England real-to-life, at least when it comes to the layout in order to get a sort of non-randomness when it comes to map gen. Though I think the context would be more of judging the coastline than anything else.
If you understand my explanation anyway, but I imagine it’ll be like project zomboid where people have an encyclopedic knowledge of the map (oh I got plopped in X area on the Y map, I should go east to go to the Z) and I imagine that being the same for CDDA.