This week I decided to split the chunkDistance setting into horizontalDistance and verticalDistance. The chunk distance setting affects how far the player can see in the world. Technically, it determines how far from the player the world is drawn. With this change I can draw more of the world along the horizontal plane. This gives the player more visual landmarks and makes traveling long distances easier. If the draw distance is only around 100 meters or so it’s easy to get lost. Since there’s a limit on how many chunks I can draw in the world before gameplay starts to stutter, being able to set a shorter verticalDistance is helpful.
Since I won’t be able to set a sufficiently large draw distance any time soon, I’m working on adding a dynamic map that can be brought up by pressing “m”. A map will make the short draw distance less of an issue. The ultimate goal is to have a mini-map always on screen, but a map dialog is sufficient for now.