So I decided to use my existing “road” functionality to handle terrain placements; in the same way that you can place roads to link together buildings, you’ll be able to place “terrain strokes” (todo: find a name for these that doesn’t suck) to adjust the terrain in various areas.
This had some advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that roads already work within MMORPG Tycoon. In fact, they’ve been working from a single codebase since version 1.1; the same old 2D GUI code for placing and editing them works just as well in 3D.
The biggest disadvantage is that it means I had to make some big adjustments behind the scenes, to make sure that players don’t try to walk on “terrain strokes” as a shortcut to their destination. In effect, I needed to add a “type” to roads, the same way that buildings have different “types”.
And since I was adding that “type” anyway, I thought, “why not do a quick and dirty bridge?” So here it is; the very first gravity-defying bridge I built after putting in the code. There really aren’t any brains to this first revision of bridge code; it travels from one building to another, and just ignores how high it is above the ground. There’s currently no logic for adding supports or a graceful arch if it’s travelling between two buildings at the same height, or for keeping players from trying to climb onto the bridge in the middle of its span, etc. That’s all stuff for milestone 2 or later.
In this case, the bridge is travelling up into the region borders. In the final game, you won’t be able to do that; the region borders won’t be able to be built upon, except for a special “mountain pass” building (or terrain type, perhaps? Must think about that.) which will open up the impassable border between regions, and allow subscribers to travel from one region to another. In the final game, roads (and road-like objects) won’t be able to enter or cross region borders. (In milestone 1, nothing will stop you from doing it, but it’ll be likely to crash if you do!)