Painting Zones

We’ve been hard at work on the internal colony management prototype for High Frontier.  The video below does a quick recap of building (as of version 0.09), and then we switch to the internal view, and show off a couple of new features.

The first thing to notice is the sidewalk; we’ve built custom sidewalk/road/path code that can smoothly conform an arbitrary path to the curvature of any habitat.

The second thing to notice is “painting” the zones.  We’ll have several types of zones — agricultural, commercial, residential, and possibly industrial — which determine what sort of buildings appear.  (Normally you would zone empty space, and buildings would appear later, but in this demo we’re just zoning around existing buildings.)  The video shows the transition between “street” mode, where you can drive around the colony with a first-person view, and “work” mode, where you can use the mouse to interact with objects and designate zones by simply painting them.

This approach lets you make zones of any shape and orientation, which is a good thing since we can now support roads of any angle (possibly including curves).

What do you think of this approach to zoning?  Would you prefer to see something like more like other city simulation games?  Or do you have an idea for an even better way to handle it?  Whatever your thoughts, feel free to chime in below!

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