Author Topic: realistically small overworld  (Read 11093 times)

puddinhead

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realistically small overworld
« on: May 03, 2014, 03:50:52 PM »
One design issue that I have been kind of stuck on for a while now is the size of the overworld map. I want it to be small, but not too small.
I'm not the biggest fan of how other games deal with this. Angband just has an ugly wall around the town.  Adom has mountains that you can't climb.
Most are completely underground. Others just have an invisible wall.
The way I am dealing with it now is with a fairly small island for the overworld. This allows for everything to be stored together
and I dont have to chunk the map up for speed. I like this method, but I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on the subject.
Other ideas I have are:
a post apocalyptic city with rubble blocking the way
floating island with void around it
the same way with the islands, but there are ports and you could travel to other islands. kind of a chunk system, but more simple

any ideas would be helpful.
thanks  :)
 

Rickton

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2014, 09:12:59 PM »
There are no boundaries, the game just occurs on a really small planet. Reaching one edge wraps you around to the other.
Trapped inside a fantasy theme park or nature preserve with really tall fences.
The area is surrounded on all sides by unfriendly nations with strict immigration policies (or quarantines). Alternatively, the country the game takes place in is a brutal dictatorship that doesn't let anyone leave, ever.
The player is bound to something in the area. If they stray too far, they die (or black out and wake up back in town).
The area is a wizard's pocket dimension, enclosed by a reality bubble.
The area is surrounded by untamed forest/swamp/desert. The player can leave, but all that's out there is endless boring (or dangerous) terrain.
The area is surrounded by fog. The player can leave, but it's impossible to see anything out there, and there's nothing really to see anyway. (With fog, you can also do the "walk for three miles out but when you turn around somehow you make it back after only ten steps" thing, or even get so lost that you ended up wandering back to where you're supposed to be anyway)
The surrounding land is home to wild and dangerous beasts the player could never hope to defeat. Straying too far into their territory is asking for quick death.

You could also have different obstacles on different sides. The ocean is to the east, a mountain range is to the north, a canyon is to the west, and a wall is to the south.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 09:19:23 PM by Rickton »
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Krice

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 10:34:19 AM »
The size or more like scale of the map doesn't matter that much, because the scale of tile based game isn't realistic anyway. The common mistake I think is make levels big and boring. It looks like the game world is big, but it's actually just stretched and most of it is empty. Some games use different rules/scale for overworld map (Ultima-style), but I don't know if it's really needed in a roguelike game. I really hate ADOM's overworld with ridiculously fast food consumption. It says "realistically" in the subject, but just forget it. You can never be realistic in a tile based game. Just relax and try different scales for the overworld.

Endorya

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 05:53:37 PM »
I truly understand your pain as I always try to conciliate realism with mechanics myself. Rickton's first suggestion is actually my favorite one. Make it a small planet with looping edges.

This is from my ongoing project where the terrain is made seamlessly so the player can travel between edges:


The solution of having a pangea type land with dangerous beasts lingering about the sea preventing the player from transposing it, is in my humblest opinion, the perfect way to deal with you problem, assuming you don't want looping edges. I would definitely use this last one for small world maps. If you don't want beasts being the excuse then make the sea itself being the excuse; it could have strong currents and whirlpools making it impossible to cross. Go a step further if you must and use science to explain it: the sea floor of your world is composed by deep trenches and large mountains causing these strong currents and whirlpools; you don't even need to resort to fantasy or super-science to find a realistic explanation.

[EDIT]
I forgot to mention. The looping edges mechanics that I have in the above map have some particular behavior. In order to simulate the planet's poles, your character won't spawn in the south pole by going all way up to the north pole. Instead, you will be spawn on the "other side" of the planet; your character will just warp horizontally by half of the maps's total width.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 08:06:32 AM by Endorya »
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Krice

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 09:20:07 AM »
Is that map from a real game? How do you fight the boredom in navigating such a large area?

Endorya

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 10:01:37 AM »
Is that map from a real game? How do you fight the boredom in navigating such a large area?

By having consistent content, appropriate game play mechanics and not forcing the player to visit every tile to beat the game. There is no region or local exploration with the exception of exploration sites such as caves, ruins, cities and alike. The game has exploration and events as main focus so there is "always" something happening. There are also portals for fast travelling with a nasty cooldown to keep exploitments at bay. The fun is actually found during the exploration process.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 11:27:16 AM by Endorya »
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Krice

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 10:09:34 AM »
Sounds like a theory ready to fail. Is it a playable game already?

Endorya

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 10:25:23 AM »
Sounds like a theory ready to fail. Is it a playable game already?

Well it can fail, temporarily, as I have the power to change everything about it. But this is usually how it goes, different concepts are expected to fail and no matter how bad or good you do something you will always have someone enjoy it and hate it.

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain

Regarding its playable state, imagine a robot having most of its small parts manufactured needing just to be assembled. The bigger parts are either in schematics or in raw materials.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 03:50:47 PM by Endorya »
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Zireael

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 02:17:44 PM »
I like your overmap, Endorya. Any place I could grab your game?

Endorya

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 02:42:12 PM »
I like your overmap, Endorya. Any place I could grab your game?

Unfortunately the game is still far from being complete, only small chunks of its general functionality is implemented. I might have a pre-alpha in 1 - 2 year from now, since I usually only have the time to work on it during weekends and also due to the project's massive size.

At the moment I'm building the game's anatomy system that living beings will bear. It will feature skin, fat, muscle and bone to keep track and understand how deep and fatal wounds can be for each body part, fingers included. It will also simulate all internal organs present in our bodies giving it the possibility to recreate accurate internal bleedings and penalize the creature's body functionality as realistically as possible. It is freaking complex. Anyway, I'll do a post about it once it is complete. It is already 70% done.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 09:17:11 AM by Endorya »
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Krice

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 09:41:51 PM »
At the moment I'm building the game's anatomy system that living beings will bear. It will feature skin, fat, muscle and bone to keep track and understand how deep and fatal wounds can be for each body part, fingers included.

So it's like URR, but more serious?

Endorya

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 07:31:06 AM »
At the moment I'm building the game's anatomy system that living beings will bear. It will feature skin, fat, muscle and bone to keep track and understand how deep and fatal wounds can be for each body part, fingers included.

So it's like URR, but more serious?

I think it is more like dwarf fortress, anatomy wise.
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Slash

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 01:10:48 PM »
I like your overmap, Endorya. Any place I could grab your game?

Unfortunately the game is still far from being complete, only small chunks of its general functionality is implemented. I might have a pre-alpha in 1 - 2 year from now, since I usually only have the time to work on it during weekends and also due to the project's massive size.

At the moment I'm building the game's anatomy system that living beings will bear. It will feature skin, fat, muscle and bone to keep track and understand how deep and fatal wounds can be for each body part, fingers included. It will also simulate all internal organs present in our bodies giving it the possibility to recreate accurate internal bleedings and penalize the creature's body functionality as realistically as possible. It is freaking complex. Anyway, I'll do a post about it once it is complete. It is already 70% done.

You world map looks good, and I agree with your idea of not forcing the player to transverse the huge world, just keeping it there for the explorer bunch...

Beware your anatomy idea though, many have walked that path, and it will lead you nowhere, that just doesn't make a fun game.

Quendus

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2014, 03:00:49 PM »
Butbutbut it's the only way to make my game realistic!

Endorya

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Re: realistically small overworld
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 03:41:47 PM »
You world map looks good, and I agree with your idea of not forcing the player to transverse the huge world, just keeping it there for the explorer bunch...
Thanks. Yeah, I have thought a lot about the map size versus the game play versus boredom. I honestly think I've got it right but it still needs being tested naturally.

Quote from: Slash
Beware your anatomy idea though, many have walked that path, and it will lead you nowhere, that just doesn't make a fun game.

The main reason for this anatomy system is to track down damage so that damage descriptions can be detailed; boy I do love the way Dwarf Fortress describes events. The reason for having a realistic organic internal system is because each body part can be used as ingredient to create powerful potions, among other things. It everything goes well, this Sunday I might post some screenies of the editor I'm developing where I'm setting up the game, anatomy wise for now.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 07:36:23 PM by Endorya »
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