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I want to create a terrain/world map for my 3d game.

I want a huge map. For example, ill make it in Blender or generate from a heightmap. Then I plan to divide it in chunks so I can load/unload and show/hide them when needed in the game.

If I want to remake the map, then I will have to divide it in chunks again, and again spend time on placing world objects on the terrain. I'm not sure that is the best way.

What approach is optimal here?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you expect you want to remake the map? Once populated, what reason do you have to change the terrain? \$\endgroup\$ – Bram Jan 20 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think is good idea to divide terrain more and more to small paces. Also, put in your mind what engine you will use to carry your idea. CryEngine is great for making terrain landscape. check it. \$\endgroup\$ – Omer Jan 20 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could spend all of your days trying to make your game "optimal" but I think it's better just to make something, even if it's not perfect. If you have to remake the map then you might consider taking the time to do that when required. You could easily spend twice as much time making a terrain editing system that never gets used. \$\endgroup\$ – Jay Jan 20 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bram because it will definitely need improvement at some time, or expansion, or something like that. It is good to be scalable. \$\endgroup\$ – lxknvlk Jan 21 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Omer why do you think dividing terrain in chunks is a bad idea? Do you want only users with supercomputers? \$\endgroup\$ – lxknvlk Jan 21 at 17:16
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The most versatile, reproducible approach that scales well, would be to both generate and populate your terrain procedurally.

It may be a bridge too far to place everything using code, but things like rocks, vegetation, even roads, could be done procedurally. And maybe leave the high level stuff like buildings, towns, etc, to hand-placing?

If terrain needs to be regenerated with a different seed, populating basic stuff on it will have been taken care off.

As a bonus, you could generate the chunks on-the-fly, so you don't have to store them on disk.

Look for articles on the term 'procgen' to get inspiration. Since you want, in your own words, a huge map, you probably don't have enough level designers helping you populate it anyway.

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