Unknown Worlds Entertainment reckon they’ve hit on a new genre with Subnautica. As far as we know it’s a machine made up of RPG mechanics, creation tools, submarines, and weird fish. While the game is still a ways from alpha, UWE are already letting you try out somet of the game’s tools for free.
You can install the terrain generation tool for free and give it a spin.
“The Subnautica Terrain Test is a tool that allows users to create procedural, underwater, semi-realistic terrain,” write UWE. “A programmer can write a terrain generation algorithm, edit it, and see the terrain change in real time.”
Usually procedural generation tools require you to enter seed values and lines of code outside of the game and recompile before you can see the effect. Real-time updating and generation is an exciting prospect, particularly if it’s something that will carry over into the final game. It would be exceedingly cool to see players reforming the world’s terrain on the fly.
The Terrain test has several objectives
Allow anyone to create prototype terrain for Subnautica
Get feedback on what kinds of terrain work best
Explore the limits of procedural terrain generation algorithms
Test performance and stability of Subnautica terrain rendering
“Right now, the Terrain Test has full basic functionality,” write UWE. “However, we will regularly update it through Steam to improve its ability to meet the above objectives. These updates will add new features (Such as Steamworks integration), functions (Such as stat tracking), and fixes (Let's be honest, not everyone will be able to run the Terrain Test perfectly, first go!).”
You can install Terrain Test, for free, through Steam. Also, UWE have published a guide to using their tool.