What am I missing to create good playable terrains?

Hello everyone,

I’ve been wondering for months what am I missing to make a good playable terrains. I’ve tried whatnot tools like World Machine, L3DT, Vue and so on, but all I’m getting is just good background landscapes. The latest thing I got in “nearly playable” variant was this map:


I had finally got fairly good game look inside the engine but there’s just not enough flat areas to put key points like some kind of outposts or villages or something like that. Roads are really hard to add because of the gigantic slopes. And overall there’s just not that much of variety in height to give the players the cool “look at the city from above some hill”.

I’m really interested in how do game developers make the terrains for games like Fallout 4, 3 and New Vegas, Rust or that The New Z game. It has been bugging me for quite a while and I’ve spent hours and days even researching material that could help me create something good and playable, but all I find it just some quick scenes where they hand sculpt the terrain.

I know that after you get your terrain inside the engine, you definitely do some manual sculpting to fit your level needs, but I feel like I am not even at the point where I’m happy with the actual shape of the terrain to start building the world.

I’m really open to any suggestion on what could improve my playable landscapes.

Best regards,

This guy here is using very simple and plain terrain and it turns out really nice. Indeed it is a question of manual sculpting after getting some nice landscape in WM2.

Thanks for all your tips guys! I’m going to try this method with some simple small terrain.

Best regards,