So I have most of the object placement systems in place now; you can now place objects within the world (although there aren’t many objects yet available), and they’re stored in a useful manner. The final missing piece is needing the game to throw away the renderable geometry for structures once the camera goes too far away; currently, all placed buildings keep their geometry in memory, instead of throwing it away and re-building it when the camera comes back close to them again.
Anyhow. To get an idea of scale, and what placement of large, potentially city-sized objects was going to be like from such a low “human’s eye view” perspective, I set up the early-stages procedural geometry generator to give me simple cubes. The one in the image above is a pretend-town that I just placed (okay, I’ll confess that the game thinks that it’s a graveyard, as I haven’t yet hooked up the unlocking of other building types in the UI). The town shown here is actually quite small, compared to most MMORPG towns; perhaps about the same size as an outpost like Ratchet in WoW. It’s only 60 meters by 60 meters, and is 10 meters tall. With such a (comparatively) small town being so massive on screen (and therefore difficult to place exactly where you want it), it looks like the player is definitely going to need a more aerial viewpoint for placing these things, and probably for landscape features as well.
Luckily, I was sort of expecting that, and already have plans. Although I think I’m going to work on procedurally generating individual buildings and other structures first, before putting my cunning plans into effect. ;)