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Share your height maps!

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I've been eyeing OpenRCT2 for a while but this feature is what made me finally try it out. I think it has a lot of potential to attract new people via small scale real-word geography they know with rides based on places and events. With some imagination Venice could be represented by a Boat Hire, Niagara falls can be a River Rapids, etc.

Well I tried my hand at the southern tip of South America. The mountains came out great, but the lowlands are all flooded because the pixels are too dark and too similar to the ocean. (yellow lines are roughly the actual coastlines)tMNASx0.png

I'll try later to use some image editor to make everything lighter except the sea.

Anyway, this gave me an idea for a feature in the map generation process: "paint by height".  You know how you can set the tiles as grass/sand/rock/etc? It would be useful to be able to change the ground type en masse depending on it's height. So for example if I wanted snow capped mountains I could turn to snow all tiles with altitude 45 to 50, and rock from 30 to 45. The game would do the bulk of the work and then the user does the finishing touches. It would come handy not just for height maps, but for anyone creating any map.

I made a mock-up for the interface:


Edited by Gareth
fixed images
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@Gareth ... Cool that your using HeightMap and your paint idea is good. Although I personally would never use the paint option and here's why. I typically have multiple height ranges on a map and for the most part, the different heights represent different textures as well, so an all encompassing paint tool would literally have me painting over areas that I do not want to paint over. As far as using the option for general slam dunk maps, it would be quick and easy. But again the time it takes to paint areas (and at the same time, become more familiar with the map) is not worth the time to find out I painted areas I did not want too. I'll say again, good idea.

On a lighter subject of HeightMaps, I am getting close to releasing the official grey scale spectrum (to the members of this forum only) that literally carves the maps perfectly. Each grey has a specific cut height and depending how the highs and lows are valued you get better than great representation. ATM it consists of a 64  grey pallet with each shade contouring a 2 step height value. I will also provide my opinion as to the editor that works the best with least amount of mumbo jumbo.  

First tip: Always edit in pixels

Second tip: Keep it simple, the more shades you allow to shape, the less you map will represent.

Third tip: Do all the map editing in the grey scale image, then import. If you need the further edit you map, try to edit the image first and re import. Remember, It takes minutes to edit your image and import compared to hours of shaping and then you realize it was a waist of time...


Lots of trials and errors... that's all :D




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@Gareth Great to hear you're enjoying it! :) You can try setting the lowest base height to an odd number, which is just below water level. Then any non-black pixel has a much higher chance to get on or above sea level.

While I do like your surface paint tool idea, I think this is best implemented as an optional plug-in (not supported yet), instead of being in-game for everyone, since only a small portion of the players will be using it.

@Wuis Here's the direct links:



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Yeah the embed feature had messed up my images, thanks for re-linking

I agree that the idea is on the plug-in territory. Once this game has a scripting engine/API it will really open up a bunch of possibilities and would make it easier to contribute to the project for us plebs who know some code but find the C ecosystem a little too complex.



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  • 3 months later...

Sorry to bump an old thread.... but this is super cool looking. Anybody ever try taking out realistic landforms from this website:


Meant for Cities:Skylines, but looks like it could be super fun!


EDIT: On second thought, this seems like it takes huge areas as opposed to what is needed for OpenRCT2. I wonder if there's a way to pull data off of topo maps.

Edited by saxman1089
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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Teaser (the greyscale would give it away as it's from a map and has the names on!) It lost a bit of the river (top left/ middle left) and I'm slowly adding the water manually- making water features is sloooow as you have to shape the banks (in this case the ones the height map missed) then add the water, then fix any messy hills and cutaways you've made in the process- the mountain tool's not much help- if anyone has any timesavers for rivers/lakes I'd love to know!


Something I'm working on based on a real location....



Edited by RollerBoaster
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