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Development => Mechanics => Topic started by: maximinus on March 28, 2009, 02:24:34 PM



Title: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on March 28, 2009, 02:24:34 PM
Hi all

I'm starting to write some code to deal with maps. According to our current design (http://wiki.parpg.net/Proposals:Game_engine_rules#Interfaces (http://wiki.parpg.net/Proposals:Game_engine_rules#Interfaces)) we need 2 maps - basically a global world map and a local map.

Anyhow, I'm just posting here to get some feedback about what the maps need to represent. I have a reasonable idea, we need a 'ground' layer and an 'objects' layer; the size of the ground layer tiles is fixed by the the graphics, but the resolution of the objects layer could vary.
But, nothing is set in stone yet, and all can be varied; I'd just like to know if anyone has any ideas. Please note that I'm posting in the game mechanics forum; I'm looking for game ideas, not code ideas. Fire away - any comment is good!


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on March 28, 2009, 05:08:09 PM
The global map is pretty well defined, look in the graphics section.  It's huge though. (1000 km^2 I think, maybe 1500).

The local maps we were just chatting on IRC about...   Probably on the order of 500-1000m square -- to handle long range rifle fire.   If the artists panic, maybe 300-400m instead.  70px diagonal square tiles, 1x1m.

I think further discussion should be in "Graphics". 


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: eleazzaar on March 29, 2009, 12:18:06 AM
but the resolution of the objects layer could vary.

What do you mean by that?  Different pixel resolutions, or or object that take up a varying number of tiles?

* Did we decide to abandon the idea of non-faked elevation?  It would be cool, but add a ton of work.


The global map is pretty well defined, look in the graphics section.  It's huge though. (1000 km^2 I think, maybe 1500).

Actually if we go with the episodic content, then there is no need to show the whole map at once.  Presumably any particular episode will take place in a subsection of that area.  The "map" may be nothing more than a convenient graphic, that an episode can grab a piece of to act as the graphics for it's map.


The local maps we were just chatting on IRC about...   Probably on the order of 500-1000m square -- to handle long range rifle fire.   If the artists panic, maybe 300-400m instead.

It would be good to allow large maps, but i don't think they should all be the same size.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on March 29, 2009, 02:44:34 PM
but the resolution of the objects layer could vary.

What do you mean by that?  Different pixel resolutions, or or object that take up a varying number of tiles?

Sorry, I'll make myself more clear. The resolution of the graphical ground or floor tiles (atm) is fixed, 1 tile = 1 meter. However, you can have several layers in fife, so if, for example, the 'objects' layer was twice the resolution of the ground layer I could have four objects each in a different place on the same ground tile. So the size of the ground map would be 4x4, whereas the object layer would be 8x8 but they fill the same size space.

The global map is pretty well defined, look in the graphics section.  It's huge though. (1000 km^2 I think, maybe 1500).

Actually if we go with the episodic content, then there is no need to show the whole map at once.  Presumably any particular episode will take place in a subsection of that area.  The "map" may be nothing more than a convenient graphic, that an episode can grab a piece of to act as the graphics for it's map.

+1. At the moment, unless we start procedurally generating large map areas I don't see the global map as representing anything too complex. Of course things may change, but it's easy to add code later. Best not to start with tricky stuff,we can get the basics working and then build on from that.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on March 30, 2009, 03:20:43 AM
* Did we decide to abandon the idea of non-faked elevation?  It would be cool, but add a ton of work.

I hope not.  I think it's at least as important as weather, etc.    Where do you see the additional work load having a great impact?


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: eleazzaar on March 30, 2009, 04:10:16 AM
* Did we decide to abandon the idea of non-faked elevation?  It would be cool, but add a ton of work.

I hope not.  I think it's at least as important as weather, etc.    Where do you see the additional work load having a great impact?

Code and graphics and AI.  Unless of course, FIFE already supports elevation?


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on March 30, 2009, 05:49:24 AM
Fife only seems to support one level of height, however each tile does have a z value in the map files  ???


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on April 21, 2009, 02:36:16 AM
After (much!) experimentation I cam to the following conclusions. You may disagree, which is fine, but please post a valid argument as to why (and I would genuinely like to know).

The local map (that is, the one you will be looking at most of the time) will be built up of the following layers. The first one is the first drawn, and the last is the last drawn:

1: A ground layer, that contains all base ground tiles and graphics.
2: One or more transition layers which hold all the tiles needed to render the tile transitions. These tiles are generated by the computer, so you don't need to fiddle with the editor.
3: An objects layer, which holds all of the object graphics that can be moved.
4: The blocking layer, which contains the PC, NPC's and all blocking items. It is possible to set a tile here as blocking after the map has loaded, so we can have blocking, moveable objects.

Builidings will of course be bigger than one square; the engine will automatically split the graphic up into several different squares and then put them together again in the game.

When you enter a building, we actually cheat and move to a seperate map which is the interior of the building (this saves an awful lot of work such as removing roofs and blocking walls).

And finally, I don't really like this for some reason but it's sure easier than the alternative for now:

You are able to rotate the map to change your world-view (as in the rio demo). This increases the graphics space by 4x!! However, the alternative is that spend a lot of time drawing and erasing all of the things that cause gfx blocking (like say, when the PC is behind a big building).

Code status is that the transition tiles utility is 95% complete (it only renders for grass tiles now, but really I'm only waiting on better tiles and more gfx from the gfx dept).
Code to split buildings into individual tiles I will start today.
The rotation code I will add to the current demo very soon (should be very easy, since this is supported by Fife).

This means the map class code should be complete by the middle of next week. I hope to update the current code so that it shows a building which you can walk into and out of.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on April 21, 2009, 04:10:48 PM

When you enter a building, we actually cheat and move to a seperate map which is the interior of the building (this saves an awful lot of work such as removing roofs and blocking walls).

All buildings?  What if they are really small?  So we cannot shoot to the outside from a building?  This seems like a very large restriction...

[/quote]


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on April 21, 2009, 05:27:44 PM

When you enter a building, we actually cheat and move to a seperate map which is the interior of the building (this saves an awful lot of work such as removing roofs and blocking walls).

All buildings?  What if they are really small?  So we cannot shoot to the outside from a building?  This seems like a very large restriction...

I'll be strictly honest here and say "I'm not too sure". I'm currently in the process of implementing such a building and then we can see fully what the options are. One of them, of course, could be 'we move to another map that is *almost exactly the same* as the first map - except for the building internals - so we could preserve shooting outside of the building.

I'm not in the business of reducing the options available to us but I am in the business of getting the game written. But I see your point. Give me a week or so and you should be able to try for yourself in the latest SVN  ;)


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on April 22, 2009, 04:45:23 PM
Well it turns out I can 'cheat' quite a lot, and I don't need to split up the tile graphics for a simple building. Now I have this up and running in SVN  8)

(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq100/hengdi/building.png)

You can walk around this image but not into it. Excuse the awful graphics but that's why I'm a programmer!


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on April 27, 2009, 01:01:15 PM
Hmm I would favour buildings that you can enter without loading a separate map. It's possible to implement it by splitting up the buildings (and larger objects in general) into tile-wide pieces.

Furthermore we should consider to rather leave out the extra blocking layer and let all the blocking happen on the object layer. The FIFE pathfinding code supports blocking of objects anyway via the blocking attribute so we don't need to add extra blockers for every object on an extra layer.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on April 27, 2009, 01:30:18 PM
Hmm I would favour buildings that you can enter without loading a separate map. It's possible to implement it by splitting up the buildings (and larger objects in general) into tile-wide pieces.

Mmmm.... well I was thinking that this new map would be amazingly similar to the previous one and would essentially just be a patch used to 'cheat' a little. When I've finished splitting up the building tiles you'll see what I mean (and actually, so will I, since it's all in my mind right now).

Furthermore we should consider to rather leave out the extra blocking layer and let all the blocking happen on the object layer. The FIFE pathfinding code supports blocking of objects anyway via the blocking attribute so we don't need to add extra blockers for every object on an extra layer.

This is now how it is handled.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: egalor on April 30, 2009, 07:48:52 AM
BTW, will there be a fixed number of tiles per one map? If so, which number exactly?


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on April 30, 2009, 08:29:27 AM
It's the usual non-answer for this sort of question:

TECHNICALLY, you are only limited by the size of the machine RAM, so you can have really really bug maps if you like.

However, debugging those big maps would hard since we have a so-so editor (that is based around the needs of FIFE, not PARPG), and the base map format is a massive XML file that is not user-friendly.

I think I also saw something in the FIFE forums about the engine not scaling up very well. But then again, nobody on the team has done any real tests yet.

How big were you thinking anyway?


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: egalor on April 30, 2009, 10:45:31 AM
Actually, as for now, I'm not prepared yet to tell how many tiles per map would be best. However, in order to start doing map sketches I will need some sort of scale as a first thing.

And secondly, will the maps be multi-levelled, like in Fallout?



Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on April 30, 2009, 02:30:36 PM
There is no elevation concept like in Fallout egalor. Elevations were just little hacks to get multiple maps into one map file and they don't really provide any advantages. For now we can assume that different "elevations" of a map (e.g. different levels of a skyscraper) reside in different map files and are magically connected to each other via some C++ or Python code.

So when you change the elevation, a new map will be loaded, similar to how it was handled in Fallout (though the elevations resided in the same map file in Fallout, but it does not really make a difference in this context).


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on April 30, 2009, 02:37:44 PM
Yep, that's right, maps are flat.

It MAY be possible to crowbar in some neat tricks to make it *appear* that we have some elevations, but I wouldn't rely on it right now. On the other hand, we should be able to have 'cover' with different heights. But the PC will always be at the same height.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on May 01, 2009, 01:36:54 AM
I don't see how you are going to have a passibly realistic game in SWEDEN without hills.  I suppose it doesn't literally matter whot he engine handles it - but maybe it's a exercise for the graphics dept.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 01, 2009, 02:52:28 AM
I don't see how you are going to have a passibly realistic game in SWEDEN without hills.

Agreed. But this is a limitation of the FIFE engine I'm afraid. To be dreadfully honest, I'm not that impressed with the feature set of FIFE. I mean it works, it's stable, it seems reliable but for building a game it still leaves a lot of work to be done (I'm not saying I could do better though - I appreciate it's a lot of work and too easy to complain!)


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Gaspard on May 01, 2009, 08:21:06 AM
indeed more stress to the graphic department I'd think:

(http://mikesrpgcenter.com/bgate2/maps/ar1100.gif)

this is a map shot of a location in Baldur's Gate 2. It's the Umar Hills. As much info as I have conjured up over time about the Infinity Engine then that didn't use any real elevation either - it was all the visual tricks of the graphic departments.

So - in this map you're basically "climbing" onto a huge overlook in the NW corner of the map on top of which is a building (Valygar's Cabin). You can approach this directly from the south (note the stone slabs like steps) or from the east (also some stone slabs that look like steps). And well - this map has a very concrete 'hill' plus the high rocky outcroppings which mainly just act as visual candy.

Some more realistic impact could essencially be coded into the game in the fashion of blocking certain tiles etc. Like label tiles in a certain way that when you shoot arrows from a tile that's labeled 'low terrain' to a tile that's labeled 'high terrain' or 'hilltop' you do less damage or the % of a critical miss would be higher. Although that's more into the mechanics' dep. alley


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 01, 2009, 01:26:07 PM
We could store a z value for each tile easily, so I'm happy to leave the rest of the problem to another dept!  :P


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Lamoot on May 02, 2009, 02:25:58 PM
As far as elevation goes, it can be faked rather well, even using the Disciples 2 method (not exactly called that, but the best example at our wiki. The approach in this game is not developed to the fullest, since the cliffs are too straight to really feel natural.

http://wiki.parpg.net/Disciples_2

Another game which used the same method is Out of This World and here the illusion is rather convincing.

http://www.elitesoft.de/uploads/images/39.jpg

http://www.elitesoft.de/uploads/images/25.jpg


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Gaspard on May 08, 2009, 07:34:59 PM
quoting barra from http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=161.0 (http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=161.0)

We're still puzzled if you should be able to enter buildings without a map switch or if the interior of buildings should reside in a separate map that gets loaded once you enter the building. Both approach got pros and cons: separate buildings are easier to handle when it comes to graphics creation and programming; in case of buildings that you can enter without loading a new map, you will need to worry about z-ordering and blocking as well as proper splitting of buildings (in several one tile-width wall pieces) to work around that.

On the other side buildings that you can enter without a map change provide some additional gameplay depth. E.g. You could fire from the inside of a building through the windows of it at somebody who walks around outside. That would also work the other way round.

Anyway my thoughts concerning the 'open' buildings vs the separate-map buildings:

When you look at Baldur's Gates and Icewind Dales then you can definitely make some awesome eye-candy more easily with separate maps, but then then the possible tactical approaches to infiltrating buildings (sneaking under windows/listening behind closed doors) and combat (shooting through windows or sneakily sniping a tavern patron from a house on the opposite street during the fraction of a moment when someone else opens the door to enter/exit) etc are cut down in number.

But when the 'outside' map is flexible and interesting enough and actually offers various types of cover and obstacles for tactics then a separate map for buildings wouldn't be too bad, or what ?


---

Has it been decided what the scope of this 'PARPG demo' is going to be ? I remember from earlier discussions that it's not going to be a large thing consisting of various or too many different locations. But has it actually been decided on how big is it really going to be ? How large of a map, how many buildings, a range of how many NPCs etc ?
 
If not then here's a thought/minor proposition that came to me, oddly when I was reading that post by mvBarracuda:

How about loosely designing one minor location in some detail, a village or an urban suburb perhaps in which the demo took place ?

As people are trying out modeling buildings and characters already then this design(-document) might include a semi-detailed map of how and where buildings/trees/hills etc would be distributed including a few inhabitants of the place. As of yet the background story and mechanics are not wholly in place - so this would be a sort of playground for the programmers and graphic artists, but instead of being a hodgepodge of buildings and scenery it would be an orderly game map already.
As the story engine gets developed and scripts added the demo location would slowly start coming to life and various aspects like combat and sneaking/running/skiing can be tried out. When 'finished' it would be something like the demo for Van Buren was - not necessarily part of the final game, but still in the game world and showing off what the game's got to offer.

The location should be relatively independent from the game world (so the writing department could work on the storyline and world history etc entirely separately) and .. um.. flexible ? I could not come up with a better descriptive word :/

An area which has a shoreline or a river (to try out how water and ice could look and work), trees, buildings, debris, snow, a hill or two etc - various scenery that the player could theoretically interact with and use in combat situations/moving around the place which would all be used in the final game.
A character or two that inhabit the place that in due time would get personalities and roles and could give the player simple quests that involve the scenery of that specific map or maybe even another location that you would access by 'travelling to' on the World Map (to test and try that out, also). (dumb quest example: "Could you fetch me some dry coal from the coal-house a bit further away from here - you'll get to it by following that path over there which leads over the frozen river, watch out and try not to fall through the ice though...")

A separate thread for this kind of location's creation could be started in the General Discussion or Writing subforums.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 09, 2009, 08:15:48 AM
How about loosely designing one minor location in some detail, a village or an urban suburb perhaps in which the demo took place ?

That´s kinda what is happening right now. But you are right, it´s very loose.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Dave Matney on May 09, 2009, 03:04:10 PM
I would suggest a combination of both styles, if it's not too difficult to code.  The Baldur's Gate style allows for some huge-seeming levels without having to worry about actually programming in the rules for multiple level buildings and basements. (Or caves, mine shafts, whatever)  I can actually see the shipwrecked submarine scenario benefiting a lot from this method.

On the flip side, I always thought it was annoying in BG and IWD to have to load a map just to enter a single-level shop, then reload the city map when I left.  Especially when playing BG-Tutu, which threatened to crash every time it loaded the Beregost map.

Oh, and the reason that those early Black Isle games were such eye candy is that every map was developed as a single tile (I actually seem to remember reading that some of them were even hand painted) first, then they laid their grid system over it and assigned where the player could and couldn't walk.  Then they worried about buildings and trees and stuff.  (Just to ask, is this an option in FIFE?)


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: eleazzaar on May 09, 2009, 06:24:35 PM
Hmm I would favour buildings that you can enter without loading a separate map. It's possible to implement it by splitting up the buildings (and larger objects in general) into tile-wide pieces.

I don't understand what function slicing the building graphic into strips serves.  Is that simply the method to remove obstructing walls so you can see what is behind, if so, surely there are other possible methods.


There are two distinct issues here that are getting confused.

1 * Weather indoors are part of the same contiguous space with outdoors.

2 * Weather the game must load the map when moving between the inside and outside.


Besides the two scenarios discussed, it should also be possible to load an outdoors area and all the interiors of buildings in that area in one chunk, so that while the interiors are presented to the player as separate "maps", there is no loading necessary while moving inside and outside.



Has it been decided what the scope of this 'PARPG demo' is going to be ? I remember from earlier discussions that it's not going to be a large thing consisting of various or too many different locations. But has it actually been decided on how big is it really going to be ? How large of a map, how many buildings, a range of how many NPCs etc

At this point any such decisions would be arbitrary.  IMHO the demo should be released when we have enough stuff done well enough to give an idea what the game is supposed to be like.  Nobody can predict exactly how well or how much different parts of the game will be done when everything passes the "good enough to be a demo" threshhold.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 11, 2009, 04:00:13 PM
Has it been decided what the scope of this 'PARPG demo' is going to be ? I remember from earlier discussions that it's not going to be a large thing consisting of various or too many different locations. But has it actually been decided on how big is it really going to be ? How large of a map, how many buildings, a range of how many NPCs etc

At this point any such decisions would be arbitrary.  IMHO the demo should be released when we have enough stuff done well enough to give an idea what the game is supposed to be like.  Nobody can predict exactly how well or how much different parts of the game will be done when everything passes the "good enough to be a demo" threshhold.

Mmmm..... there shouldn't be a demo release.

WHAT! Of course there should be a demo release, I hear you say. and of course I agree. But these are not contradictions. I believe in release early, release often, so we always have the newest and best code in SVN. Building a demo would just divert attention away from other jobs. We just update code slowly and carefully, all of a sudden we will have a little demo. Just don't concentrate on 'THE DEMO' as such. We're not a games company  ;)

When it looks good, we bump up the version number and let barra make more noise about it  :P


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on May 11, 2009, 04:07:05 PM
Oh, and the reason that those early Black Isle games were such eye candy is that every map was developed as a single tile (I actually seem to remember reading that some of them were even hand painted) first, then they laid their grid system over it and assigned where the player could and couldn't walk.  Then they worried about buildings and trees and stuff.  (Just to ask, is this an option in FIFE?)
You could get such large background images working with FIFE in a number of different ways but there are no plans to go down this route. That would mean abolishing the tile approach and more or less handpainting the whole background. You would need to have experts in the field to make it look good and to me it's simply not worth the effort.

Most important point: tiles are reusable so you're way more flexible this way.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 11, 2009, 04:32:04 PM
Oh, and the reason that those early Black Isle games were such eye candy is that every map was developed as a single tile (I actually seem to remember reading that some of them were even hand painted) first, then they laid their grid system over it and assigned where the player could and couldn't walk.  Then they worried about buildings and trees and stuff.  (Just to ask, is this an option in FIFE?)
You could get such large background images working with FIFE in a number of different ways but there are no plans to go down this route. That would mean abolishing the tile approach and more or less handpainting the whole background. You would need to have experts in the field to make it look good and to me it's simply not worth the effort.

Most important point: tiles are reusable so you're way more flexible this way.

Custom painted maps look cool but are much more work. And a bugger to edit later on. I actually thought of this a few weeks ago pro the cons outweigh the pros by quite a margin, especially for a project like ours.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Dave Matney on May 11, 2009, 04:40:18 PM
Oh, and the reason that those early Black Isle games were such eye candy is that every map was developed as a single tile (I actually seem to remember reading that some of them were even hand painted) first, then they laid their grid system over it and assigned where the player could and couldn't walk.  Then they worried about buildings and trees and stuff.  (Just to ask, is this an option in FIFE?)
You could get such large background images working with FIFE in a number of different ways but there are no plans to go down this route. That would mean abolishing the tile approach and more or less handpainting the whole background. You would need to have experts in the field to make it look good and to me it's simply not worth the effort.

Most important point: tiles are reusable so you're way more flexible this way.

Custom painted maps look cool but are much more work. And a bugger to edit later on. I actually thought of this a few weeks ago pro the cons outweigh the pros by quite a margin, especially for a project like ours.

Good to know.  It's possible in the engine, just not realistic for this project.

I think the main reason I ask is, looking at other FIFE projects, it seems like FIFE is limited to 90 degree angles as far as ground textures go, unless the graphics guys decide to build angle tiles, and then you have to worry about whether the PC can walk on those angles.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on May 11, 2009, 04:43:04 PM
FIFE's geometry system is actually pretty flexible. You can have all kind of rotation, tilt and zoom but you're of course responsible for providing suited graphics for these kind of camera settings.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Dave Matney on May 11, 2009, 05:08:56 PM
Cool.  I guess I can only take things at absolute face value, since my super limited knowledge of HTML, Java, and Pascal only allow me to single out what is and isn't comments in a code language I don't know.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 11, 2009, 05:25:25 PM
Pro-tip: Comments often start with "I wish...", "TODO:", "This code shouldn't work....", "WTF?" or "Will fix later".


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on May 11, 2009, 06:44:02 PM
To get an idea how the system works, you could check out the geometry_twister.py script that can be found in the FIFE trunk (trunk/utils). In case you got Python installed, simply doubleclick on the script to run it.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on May 12, 2009, 04:31:49 PM
Quote
When you look at Baldur's Gates and Icewind Dales then you can definitely make some awesome eye-candy more easily with separate maps, but then then the possible tactical approaches to infiltrating buildings (sneaking under windows/listening behind closed doors) and combat (shooting through windows or sneakily sniping a tavern patron from a house on the opposite street during the fraction of a moment when someone else opens the door to enter/exit) etc are cut down in number.

This is  of moderate importance to me, but it could perhaps be tabled for a later date.

Quote
But when the 'outside' map is flexible and interesting enough and actually offers various types of cover and obstacles for tactics then a separate map for buildings wouldn't be too bad, or what ?

My concern is that people will use map edges to "reset" combat by running into buildings.




Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Gaspard on May 12, 2009, 04:43:34 PM
You mean shoot-and-run / hit-and-flee ?

Couldn't this be coded into the game in such a fashion that when you are in combat and you leave an area for less than a certain amount of time (or another requisite) then when you return you will actually be at a disadvantage (it is automatically the enemy's turn, etc ...) so that you wouldn't run off a map every time you feel you might need a tourniquet. You would need a good reason or a good tactic that would outweigh a serious drawback.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 12, 2009, 06:14:00 PM
You mean shoot-and-run / hit-and-flee ?

Couldn't this be coded into the game in such a fashion that when you are in combat and you leave an area for less than a certain amount of time (or another requisite) then when you return you will actually be at a disadvantage (it is automatically the enemy's turn, etc ...) so that you wouldn't run off a map every time you feel you might need a tourniquet. You would need a good reason or a good tactic that would outweigh a serious drawback.

Fully agreed, shoot and run tactics we should be able to punish via the code.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: eleazzaar on May 14, 2009, 05:01:34 PM
Quote
But when the 'outside' map is flexible and interesting enough and actually offers various types of cover and obstacles for tactics then a separate map for buildings wouldn't be too bad, or what ?

My concern is that people will use map edges to "reset" combat by running into buildings.

A legitimate concern.  If go with the third option previously suggested:
Quote from:  eleazzaar
Besides the two scenarios discussed, it should also be possible to load an outdoors area and all the interiors of buildings in that area in one chunk, so that while the interiors are presented to the player as separate "maps", there is no loading necessary while moving inside and outside.

I.E. interior maps should be generally considered submaps of a larger (generally) outdoors map.  Even though the player is just being shown one map or submap at a time, combatants could still be active, and follow the PC through a door, as long as it it part of the same map/submap complex.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Gaspard on May 14, 2009, 05:53:20 PM
Quote
But when the 'outside' map is flexible and interesting enough and actually offers various types of cover and obstacles for tactics then a separate map for buildings wouldn't be too bad, or what ?

My concern is that people will use map edges to "reset" combat by running into buildings.

A legitimate concern.  If go with the third option previously suggested:
Quote from:  eleazzaar
Besides the two scenarios discussed, it should also be possible to load an outdoors area and all the interiors of buildings in that area in one chunk, so that while the interiors are presented to the player as separate "maps", there is no loading necessary while moving inside and outside.

I.E. interior maps should be generally considered submaps of a larger (generally) outdoors map.  Even though the player is just being shown one map or submap at a time, combatants could still be active, and follow the PC through a door, as long as it it part of the same map/submap complex.

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Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: maximinus on May 14, 2009, 06:09:14 PM
The way the code is going this sort of stuff is possible since the map on the screen is only a view onto the world data. That doesn't mean it's easy, just that it's possible, so rest a little easy for now  :P


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on August 17, 2009, 03:31:01 PM
I would like to put the map layout topic back on the agenda.

Do we plan to stick to the indoor areas as separate maps approach or would we rather like to switch to the Fallout approach and move at least the ground floor of buildings to the outdoor maps?


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: b0rland on August 18, 2009, 06:53:58 PM
As I understand from above discussion, Fallout approach with merged indoor/outdoor maps is generally considered somewhat better. Reasons: avoiding maps reload; ability to shoot through the door/window. However nobody really has a good idea of how this can be implemented based on FIFE. Maps "patch" sounds easiest, but there may be unexpected pitfalls.

Based on just the above, I would suggest implementing houses as a separate map FOR NOW and reconsider it after several minor iterations. I.e. not include it into Milestone 1 or even Tech Demo 1 and concentrate on making the "game" otherwise playable. It doesn't seem like we'll have to scrap too much of the code if we decide to upgrade to Fallout approach later on.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on August 18, 2009, 08:46:17 PM
without looking at the FIFE code...  It would seem to me that what you need is for every "building with a roof" an extra layer to draw (which is the roof).  By default, the roof is drawn.   It's only "windowed" (not drawn) when a PC/Player camera is "in" the room.

So, as long as FIFE has the understanding of drawing two "objects" on top of each other, it seems relatively straight forward.  If, on the other hand it does not have such "layering"... it's going to be much harder.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: mvBarracuda on August 19, 2009, 11:48:08 AM
FIFE supports layers just fine Zenbitz, so there is nothing FIFE-related that stops us from following a Fallout-like map layout approach.

Btw.: did you manage to get FIFE / PARPG running on your Mac Zenbitz? One of the new programmers worked it out and it looked like, while it surely takes some time, it's not that complicated as thought. Might be worth giving it a try again at this point, considering we got a Mac guy on the team now.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: Kaydeth on August 19, 2009, 02:30:24 PM
I skimmed through the discussion and really didn't see anything concrete about why indoor separate maps would be that much easier.

In my opinion this should be more of a decision for the mechanics/graphics departments. I think us programmers can adapt to either decision. I'm going create a Trac ticket to investigate the feasibility of removing a buildings roof and we'll see if we can scrap a prototype together.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: zenbitz on August 19, 2009, 11:04:19 PM
Well, from Mechanics perspective, I find it vastly more "tasteful" to have people in buildings able to shoot out into open areas.


Title: Re: Map layout etc...
Post by: GarmGarf on September 11, 2009, 02:04:22 PM
It would also make certain quests and day-to-day mechanics flow better with NPCs being able to walk out of buildings and such.