Planet LOTUS

  • We want to provide a special experience when driving in the mutliplayer: The Planet LOTUS! This is the possibility to drive beyond your own map.

    1 One planet?

    Well, no. There are two planets / worlds.

    1.1 Main idea, challenges for developement

    The idea of Planet LOTUS is, to combine several maps in your multiplayer session. To reach this point, there are some requirements:

    1. The postion of all maps has to be defined
    2. On the same position can't be two different maps
    3. Two maps has to be positioned next to each other without a gap
    4. At the transition point the maps should match it's scenery
    5. It would be nice to have nearly the same quality for the maps

    1.2 Conflicts

    The main conflict is the answer for the question, what to do, when maps overlap each other.

    As written before two maps can't have the same position. So we need a concept to handle these conficts. So the first step is the splitting between singleplayer and multiplayer maps. When you build sinlgeplayer maps you don't have to look for these restrictions, because the singleplayer maps are not allowed in Planet LOTUS.

    2 The concept!

    2.1 Positons

    We decided to place all maps you can build even in the singleplayer mode on world coordinates. This implies a position for every map and a relative position to other maps. Espacially when building semi real or real maps you can rely on real distances and directions. This requires the usage of the world coordinates by the creators of the maps. We provide a simple function to add the openstreetmap. When you build a real map, we expect, that you use openstreetmap or similar aerial view. When you build a semi real map, we recommend you to use openstreetmap. This ensures the right position to other maps and the easy build of the transition point to other maps.

    2.2 Two worlds

    In fact there are two types of map creators. Some map creators want to build a map based on their fantasy. Other map creators build the reality into LOTUS. These concepts collide, but we want to satisfy both types of map creators. The conclusion is to give all possibilities we can provide to the map creators, who create maps based on the reality. Also we don't want exclude maps out of the multiplayer mode.

    These are the reasons to create two world, where you can build on: a real world and a fictional world. Both worlds are separate to each other. You can't drive from the fictional world to the real world and the other way round. The advantage of this is that both worlds don't collide.

    3 Fictional world

    In the fictional world there are no prerequisites to build a map, because there may no reference to the real world.

    3.1 What does it look like?

    The height at the transition point between two maps should be the same. This is why we use DEM files also for the fictional world. So the base of the fictional world is the same as for the real world. You can select the surface you want, in the moutains, even in the ocean. They are in the same position as in reality. We decided to hide countries and cities, so you chose the base for your map only on the surface type.

    3.2 How gonna position conficts be solved?

    The fictional world is not only fictional but also very big, when you want to chose a part of it for your tram or bus map. If the map is fictional, it doesn't matter where you want to build exactly, right? We think, you can handle the conficts in the fictional world on your own, so basically: be quick to get your piece of the map.

    4 Real world

    There is a huge difference from the fictional world to the real world. We want a minimum quality and reality for the add ons based on the real world. In the past we made the experience, that some add on developer have an other definition of reality and quality.

    So there may be the question in the future what to do, when a map with a lesser quality is blocking the space for further developement. We don't want to negate the new map, but we also don't want to kick out the old map.

    Because of this we set criteria a map has to meet, when aiming at the real world access. If this map has the criteria fulfilled, there is no need to add a new map at the same position.

    The criteria is written here: Quality guidelines

    To ensure these quality guidelines we have to check the map before adding it to the real world. This means, that not everyone has access to the real world by default, but can be set by us.

    5 But what if...?

    5.1 ...with semi real maps?

    Small fictional additions are allowed when building a real map. When there are further adjustments not based on the reality the map can't be placed on the real world. This means the map should be moving to the fictional world. Basically the DEM files are the same, so you can build your semi real map as you want with the real terrain and so on.

    5.2 ...I want to build a real map, but I have no access to the real world?

    Every map even in the singleplayer is based on the real world coordinates and the DEM, so we can move the map between the worlds. The method is the following:

    At first you start with a fictional multiplayer map. When reserving the tiles you can switch the map to the same as you would use for the real world to set your tiles correctly. Afterwards you share your plans and progress with us. You might use the forum Planet real for further approach. Please read the pinned topics.

    5.3 ...I want to build a real map, but the area is blocked?

    Of course it may happen, that the area you want to use is blocked, when you want to start with a map. You can contact the user, which is blocking the area to coordinate the building of the map in some way.

    If you and the other user have different views on building the map you can contact us, to build once upon the blocked area.

    Please do not start your map somewhere else!! There are three disadvantages: The first thing is, the openstreetmap will not work, the terrain based on the DEM is horribly wrong and we don't allow those maps to enter the real world. We can move the map only in east-west direction. ;)