Various degrees of terraforming

In almost every game that is being played on one of our servers there is a terraforming, TF for short, rule in place. However it is up to debate on what is considered to be low, medium or high terraforming. Via this blog I want to give you some insights in the various types of terraforming that we use.

Low terraforming

When in a game is chosen for low terraforming, then this implies that you have to work with the terrain as much as possible. The image below shows an example.
Low terraforming

The way the network looks is more important then the overall speed of trains or network throughput in general. Instead of flattening the sides of the mountain, bridges are constructed to keep tracks as level as possible. This type is often chosen in eye-candy games and is recommended to keep in mind during any game.

Medium terraforming

The most used terraforming style and also the most unclear one in ways of what exactly is medium. With medium terraforming you don’t flatten mountains to suit your building needs, but you terraform those tiles that are needed to obtain fluent networks that will not slow down trains.
Medium terraforming

In the above image several tiles have been lifted or lowered to have a fluent rail road.

Medium/ low terraforming

For the exit of the station several tiles have been raised so that trains travel at the same height and can easily merge on the outgoing tracks.

High terraforming

By far the most easy rule that is around. Also known as “free terraforming” and it allows you to terraform to your needs or pleasure. So you are free to flatten that mountain in order to build your station or network.

High or free terraforming

“Coop style”

Not really to be a terraforming rule, though it distinguishes itself that for mainline tracks steps are created to climb a mountain. We don’t go around or make a steep climb, but we make steps so that trains have to climb only a single tile at once. Every step should be around 4-5 tiles long before the next rise comes. The rest of the landscape is left untouched as much as possible.

Coop style terraforming


So now you have a general picture of the different terraforming styles we use on our servers. Remember it is not a rule cut out in stone, but a rough guideline to terraforming.

More info: Wiki: Terraforming

5 comments so far

  1. ODM May 27, 2009 16:32

    Nice to see it clarified a bit.

  2. Leo Petr May 27, 2009 16:55

    Could this be enforced programmatically? Say:
    max_height_diff: 2 +/-

    The game would then store the heights of each tile at the start so that terraforming would only be allowed in the range relative to that.

  3. tneo May 28, 2009 06:47

    That could be done, but would limit game play quite a bit.

  4. dihedral June 2, 2009 07:21

    wow tneo, that is a great post – loved reading this 🙂

  5. Petert August 18, 2009 12:04

    Yeah, keeping in mind the guy that uses free terraform in regular games ;).

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