After much consideration, much frustration, and much time, I have redesigned the terrain system. Instead of players choosing to raise or lower the ground, now they create “bricks” which can be stacked on top of each other. These are hollow spaces which can be explored, and enable players to craft as much of the 3D space as possible… battle everywhere!
This has a few benefits compared to the old system, the most important of which being that the line between types of space is blurred. There’s no distinction between natural or urban terrain. It’s entirely up to the player, creating the terrain becomes part of their strategy. And because the space is hollow, this should allow many different tactical opportunities for all players on the map.
I really wanted to make a terrain system inspired by a children’s playground, with lots of places to explore in three dimensions. I feel like I’m close to delivering that experience, which will be really unique for the RTS genre.