Terrain in Games

Computer games have featured terrain since the earliest 3D graphics.  However, representing the real world has not been a priority; they are usually "fantasy" worlds.  Even when the real world is the subject, an extremely limited area or view of the world is used, with no geographic framework.  Even worse, technology is usually created for a game and discarded or lost soon after.  Nonetheless, because so much time, energy and money has been spent in the game world over the years, it is worth looking at their terrain.


If we consider all game-oriented software libraries with terrain features, there are far too many to list (thousands?), and new ones appear very often.  Here are some historical examples:


See also: Terrain LOD: Regular-Grid Engines

See also: Traditional implementation of terrain in games (1995-2002)

Back in 2004, an approach which didn't take off: Using Game Engines for Architectural Walkthroughs.