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Author Topic: Combat / World / Map thoughts  (Read 4360 times)
zenbitz
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« on: April 19, 2011, 12:07:13 AM »


It has not gotten much support - but I thought that some of the FO like RPG combat flailings could be solved with a "tactical" map zoom level.
While wasting time on RPG codex I came across this replay:
http://rpgcodex.net/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=58325

Ignore the cheesy JRPG graphics - but I still like the idea of 3 "map" levels (Travel Map - basically a 2D "map" and trip planning interface), "Interaction" Map i.e., free move "real time ish" isomorphic map (ala FO / PST / Arcanum) and "Battle Map" which would be a GENERATED battle map where tactics reign supreme!  (And also some influence from non-combat skills like negotiation and bluff).

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 10:18:19 AM »

First problem, so called "World map" let you plan your route pretty roughly, in FO this was pretty much a random events generator rather than travel planner.
Second problem is our current scale of graphics is crappy. It would be cool strategical map if little bit smaller, and for tactical map - those image with 3D view and hex grid displayed in the linked thread say better what I have to say.
Now I don't quite know how mindful was decision about the scale of things. This is pretty much original fallout scale for displays that were at most 1024x768, now this is minimal size (1024x600 maybe), and most of hardware has those specs higher.

I said it few times already, and I can say it once more: if there is a need of 3D artist doing stuff here, I can learn, but it will be like three months I will spend out of project, learning blender, and I will not be good at it afterwards. So, at least until now, I have decided to do 2D stuff which I'm good in without training. Plus, re-rendering assets we have now is a damn lot of job. Plus, we still have unsolved issues with pre-rendered shadows, and I'd be really glad to fix it with single re-rendering rather than re-rendering all graphics over and over. Finally, I'm afraid that after coming back from this learning I will find the project happening in  France and Switzerland, with only PC being normal guy, and all around being crazy. Kids shooting to sheep, cannibalism everywhere, human fat used to make soap, nazi camps operating again, pagans with antlers all over, mutants and all this childish gore stuff, as both our beloved writers seem to like more than any sincere story. And no single line of speech more in the demo.

My idea would be rather having:
1. "travel" map with level of detail comparable to 1:50 000 to 1:100 000 map (so "very detailed"), that you plan your travel on in detail, on or off the track, and you still may got lost
2. location map, that would be available for some of designed maps (to move fast inside settlements and omit running from place to place and loosing time)
3. and "tactical" map, more zoomed in than now - for fights, dialogging, exploration, looting, all this stuff we think is normal game.

But this is only IF we would like to re-render all graphics. With current scale - world travel map and walkabout map seems to fit together nicely, and there is no need to change those or add anything to it. But it IS harder to play, less realistic, and, like 90% of indie games - it looks, to say it kindly, retro. After all, the scale we use fits nicely with having tiles at all.

I even thought to have no "city terrain" at all. We could instead display a fullscreen "wallpaper", maybe even animated, showing the location and just list somewhere a list of possible actions: locations to go to, persons to chat with, eventually switching to fight mode when player screws something, explores fresh ground, needs to solve a puzzle, whatever makes need to walk around. It does more sense to me than just wandering around the city for an hour, loosing 1h of real time to do something that could be solved in 5 minutes. Betrayal at Krondor used similar approach, just remove "point and click" type of game from it and add those event lists.


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BobBobson
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 11:27:45 AM »

Finally, I'm afraid that after coming back from this learning I will find the project happening in  France and Switzerland, with only PC being normal guy, and all around being crazy. Kids shooting to sheep, cannibalism everywhere, human fat used to make soap, nazi camps operating again, pagans with antlers all over, mutants and all this childish gore stuff, as both our beloved writers seem to like more than any sincere story. And no single line of speech more in the demo.


Hey, Q - this probably isn't the place to discuss this, and it's off-topic, so maybe we can chat about it on IRC or via PM, but just to quickly say; I'm a bit shocked to read this jab from you. I think Rowan and I (hopefully he won't mind me speaking for him as well here) have made it pretty clear that every single writing concept that's come up so far has been pure brainstorming; that's why they've been discussed here on the forums and elsewhere, and that's why everything that's been written up is nothing more than a 'proposal', to be agreed upon by all of us, as a team, whether we keep it or discard it.

Some of the ideas both of us have come up with are outlandish - probably too outlandish for the tone of the game - but that's how we get the tone right, by trial and error. And we certainly wouldn't have the arrogance to insist on any story element or changes without making sure everyone was happy with it. It's all just ideas, suggestions, and sketches, and it's possible that I've completely misjudged your tone here, but if you dislike some of the concepts, I'd really much rather you brought them up in the relevant threads or in IRC so we can discuss them as team-members; making a sarcastic third-party commentary on our work in an unrelated thread isn't helpful, and it isn't respectful. If there's an issue - let's talk about it.

As to writing in the demo - I'm sure we can transfer our energies towards getting quest content/dialogue together if that's the current aim.




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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 12:01:06 PM »

I like the three map ideas, although I was kinda looking forward to having fights in villages that would just break out, rather than having the PC suddenly transported to another map to duke it out. While I can see the benefits of changing to a generated map for fights in the bleak and boring tundra, I think it would kinda spoil fights in areas where there's lots of interesting approaches to the combat, such as sneaking around a firelit camp, dropping your foes one by one.

I concur with Bobson on the bit he replied to.
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 12:52:31 PM »

Oh, come on guys.

With every bit of your work I'm not comfortable with - I've already commented all of those. And it's me to push forward for preparing the tools that you will be using, last time when I did it (reminding of content creation tools) was yesterday. I prolly should put more Cheesy and Wink so that the tone would be more clear, so it's all my bad.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 09:13:43 PM »

I think I like the travel map to be a MAP.   Like a real person would really look at if he was trying to go somewhere.

So early in the game PC has some hand scrawled map  with stuff like "town this way", "big tree", "avoid this area - bears".  It would only cover a very small area of the world map.
So this is quite different from the standard "black out the parts you haven't been to yet".

The next level of map is an actual ROAD map (see attachment).  This would be of a larger area - ideally I would use real maps but we could fake them too.  So there would be one for finland, one for sweden, etc.   The player (or even NPC) could write "notes" in red pen on the map - circling areas of importance or hazard.  You would be able to zoom in and out on these.  Having a map reduces your chances of getting "lost" - as long as you stay to the roads.

The third level of map - would be like USGS topo maps - these are what you want if you want to go cross country rather than following old highways.  Obviously these shouldn't be GREAT detail (or they would be gigantic - but it should at least LOOK like fancy topo maps of the country side.)

As for 2D/3D graphics.  It all seems equally impossible at this stage since we have no active artists.   However, generic battle maps make this actually easier.

I would actually prefer the "battle map"  and the "location map" to be the same - but I think the scale will not work properly at all.    Weapons will be able to shoot way off the screen and such.



* Map South Sweden.JPG (43.42 KB, 348x325 - viewed 329 times.)
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 11:06:52 PM »

I don't think the long range nature of weaponry should matter. Shooting way off screen is perfectly reasonable and hammers in the idea that gun are good to have. Thrown weapons would have less range, obviously. I think accuracy should play a much bigger part than range, since this will make the combats feel up-close and grittier than rifles at 100 feet. Obviously whoever's got the longest gun is well prepared for an open fight on the snow, but not as well prepared for a shoot out in a town.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 11:24:18 PM »

100 feet = ~30m = 30 hexes.   At 72 pixels/hex that a huge screen (>2000 pixels).  And that is well within effective _pistol_ range (50m).
Rifles have 5-10x that - even without scopes.   Maybe I am making too much of that however.
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 11:18:26 AM »

But even shooting off-map, not only off-screen can be "sort of simulated", right? Just a matter to prepare a table where on 1-99 nothing happens and at 100 - bigr bear will get a little wound and will become really angry Wink

2000 pix for a scrollable map is not THAT much btw. If you will look at other games, there are some valuable solutions ready for even bigger scale, UFO series has been already embraced here.
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p_gwriter
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 05:29:50 PM »

some related ideas of mine:

A. GUI


A.1 "Fog of War" on Local Map

Upon entering a Local Map PC only sees nearby NPCs (unless they are on PC's party)

This mechanic limits player's knowledge, making combat tense and encourages PC to explore/scout the Local Map
Also, see B.1 Stalk, below, as part of the idea.

A.2 Faction name in HUD

This is basically just a NPC naming convention. NPCs will be named according to their faction e.g. Red Guard Sniper, Mensk Acolyte, Mensk Leader.
PC can see these names through HUD.
The PC can discover which NPCs are "unique" through Talking with them.
If an NPC is unique, their Proper Name will replace their former name e.g. Mensk Acolyte becomes "Konstantin Ekk".

NPCs can be differentiated through their names, even if using the same model, thereby reducing the total amount of art assets required.

A button/key can be used to toggle the names so as not to clutter the screen.

A.3 "Here Be Dragons" on Wilderness Map

Unexplored parts of Wilderness Map could be either blank, or denoted with "Here Be Dragons" markings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_be_dragons

(got this idea while talking with eoc and Beliar in the irc)

these notes may or may not be correct. PC may go to the area and find something entirely different. Some locations will given by NPCs, some are written right from the start.

A.4 PC Body Temperature Guage

Displays info about PC's body temperature. If too low, PC dies.
I seem to have seen a screenshot with this feature but i can't seen to find it again. Maybe I was dreaming.


B. Object and NPC interaction

B.1 Stalk

Player right clicks on an NPC and selects "Stalk"
If Stalk is a success NPC will not be obscured by "Fog of War" on Local Map no matter where NPC is
This allows PC to know where target's location without getting into trouble
Time limit and Number of NPCs that can be eyeballed is determined by PCs Stalk skill vs target NPCs' points
Does not work if there is no "Fog of War" feature. See A.1 above for more info

Possible quests where Stalk can be used:
Follow/Stalk NPCs - PC has to find NPC hideout, PC is guarding NPC
Sneak around NPCs - PC has to steal something, PC plans to ambush, PC avoids combat

B.2 Foxhole

Player right clicks on Snow Tile and selects "Dig"
Snow Tile becomes a hole where PC can temporarily take refuge from cold
PC only requires bare hands to dig. items can speed up digging ex. shovel, pick(?).

For quests, PC can use foxhole(s) to escape cold temperature to get to a location

One GUI alternative is right clicking on an item in the inventory and selecting "Dig." But I discourage this. If PC has lot of items the activity becomes manic. and not all items can be interacted this way.

B.3 Survivability Probability Index

PC is shown a probability of surviving based on current stats, food and NPCs on immediate surrounding area. will appear from 0% (certain death) to 100% (safe)

If PC is hungry, in combat, in enemy terriroty, has shortage of food or facing cold temparature, the percentage will drop

As one of the gameplay elements is to survive, it's good to alert the player that something is wrong. It is left to the player to find out how to increase this probability. As other guages are provided. Can be resupplying food, talking with NPC companions on "what we should do", distancing themselves from hostile NPCs and etc.


---end

suggestions are welcome.  I'm not hijacking this thread. Only I feel these suggestion can affect the current discussion.



« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 05:52:13 PM by p_gwriter » Logged
zenbitz
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 09:38:13 PM »

Well, it's a bit of a hijack but there are some cool ideas in there.

I think "Body Temperature" was an idea in the beginning - but the issue is that it generally "Breaks" the game.  Either the PC is dressed warmly enough to survive, or he dies.   There is no tactical decision to be made "should I wear less clothes?"   And if you clothes get destroyed or stolen - then either it's a quick trip to the "mall" (trade shop) or you just die.    The exception I was thinking about for "flavor" was that the PC would essentially be ALWAYS prepared for "standard weather" (even arctic like conditions) BUT there would be extreme conditions that he would have to "prep" for - with an analogy "The Glow"'s high level of radiation in fallout.  Although hopefully less trivial.

Hmmm other points too - maybe they should be split off in different threads...  Appreciate the contributions though.
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p_gwriter
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 07:17:48 AM »

Well, it's a bit of a hijack but there are some cool ideas in there.

I think "Body Temperature" was an idea in the beginning - but the issue is that it generally "Breaks" the game.  Either the PC is dressed warmly enough to survive, or he dies.   There is no tactical decision to be made "should I wear less clothes?"   ...

Yeah, I should have posted my stuff on separate threads.  Wink

About "Body Temperature"; it gets too cold that clothing doesn't matter anymore (so no need to deal with clothing). Tactical decision would involve in getting PC out of a particular location.

For example Day and Night cycle can be set such that some nights, outdoors can be really really cold and spells certain death or semi permanent alteration to stats. PC then has to postpone whatever activity outdoors. This can get boring so PC has the option of "fast forwarding" time by Taking a Nap indoors.

Sometimes PC has to endure to get to a location. This location is constantly visited by freezing temperature. Along the way there may be "safe spots" like cabin or caves. PC might also be given the ability to dig holes on snow tiles for shelter.

Temperature gauge is the way to tell PC that it's getting colder, so PC has enough time to plan where to go/what to do.


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