In the run-up to the presentation at the NEoN festival in Dundee in Scotland, we have made The Endless Forest extra pretty. Almost all of the vegetation of Phase One has been implemented in the Unreal remake. But not quite in the same way as in the Quest3D original.
In Quest3D we used a feature called Nature Painting to plant trees and flowers in the forest. Unreal Editor has a similar feature but it doesn’t work with the way we have set up the tiling that is required to make the forest endless. So we had to come up with an entirely new strategy.
After retrieving the final versions of all the 3D models and textures from our old archives based on hints to file names left in the old game code, we carefully examined the layout and distribution of the trees, plants, logs and rocks in the original game. And then we used a combination of deliberate placing and random generation to create a forest in Unreal that feels similar.
An interesting side effect of the procedural method used for distributing foliage is that it is very easy to change the density of the forest, even while the game is running.
Not that we want to implement this right away as we are keen on replicating the original game as faithfully as possible. But this does open up new possibilities for the future.
Thank you to all the people who have donated to make this remake possible. We’d love it if you could join them since we have sadly grossly underestimated the effort this remake takes. Also thanks to all those who faithfully contribute to the monthly costs of the server.
If you happen to see us in Dundee during the NEoN festival, do come say hello!
If not, see you in The Forest!
—Michaël & Auriea.