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Creating a world map

I am in the process of developing a truly open world game where the map is about the size of Earth’s. I am trying to create the map but I have no idea how to do it. Well, I have an idea for a method of creating the map, but no idea on how to actually execute it.

IDEA: The world is an earth-sized planet that has randomly generated environments. It has a diameter of 3959 sq mi. I want to make the actual map on a sphere so that it will be realistic. My concept of putting a map there involves creating the actual sphere and all of its polygons, then unfolding it to create a net. All the location data will now be on that 2D map, like coordinates. With this approach, I would have a 2D map of the world with zero distortion.
In short, I want a net of a huge geodesic sphere to serve as the 2D map of the world without having to put the entire thing on a sphere, because that might be too much. How do I do this?

If you have procedurally generated environments what is the point of having such a large world? :rolleyes:

The same question could be asked of No Man’s Sky, but the reasoning behind my answer is this

  1. Creating the world would be easier. If I just created individual assets and let the algorithm place them, it would be easier to create giant worlds than if I created all ~200,000,000 mi² of world. I could devote more time to mechanics.
  2. To add a sense of difficulty. Somebody would have to work on their own to finish the game, instead of following a step-by-step tutorial.

Oh I read the vice versa of your question

Quite simply, I really like open world games and want a giant world to explore.