Author Topic: Design Notes: Continents  (Read 4051 times)

Offline x4000

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Design Notes: Continents
« on: November 30, 2011, 07:19:13 PM »
Among the other major changes upcoming for the game are going to be "continents" for the game.  Each continent will feature exactly 25 levels' worth of terrain, and a single overlord and (for now) one settlement.  There would also be 0-n human outposts that are somewhat lesser than a settlement on many continents.  These would have NPCs living there, and let you do some settlement-like things, but they wouldn't have a settlement management screen among other limitations compared to a full settlement.

Each continent will be floating in an endless ocean that you can't directly venture into at all.  The first and last 5 levels of each continent will overlap, as well.  So the first continent will have region levels ranging from levels 1-25.  The second continent will have regions spanning from levels 20-45, and so on.  Overlords will become exactly on the 20s, so level 20 and level 40 and so on, which is important for fitting in properly with the new missions system.

Given that leveling will actually happen slower in the new missions system that is noted in another thread, there will be more time between overlords and thus more time on each continent.  Our goal is about 1.5 to 2 hours of gametime per core mission, at least half of which will probably be spent outside the mission on side missions and other things that prepare you for the mission.

The last of the core missions on a continent will always be to kill the overlord, and that's the one core mission that won't be binary (you just get the one mission to complete).  Once that mission is complete and the overlord is defeated, all of the new core missions will take place on the next continent, and then the next one after that, and so on.

Individual continents will be able to have their own flavors and styles, which should be really interesting.

PORTS
--------

On each continent will be a single port tile in the edge of the endless ocean.  Going onto that tile and "entering it" will initially just take you between the first two continents.  Later, it will bring up a menu that lets you travel between any the available continents directly (your ship can go to any continent directly on the open seas).

DISASTERS ON CONTINENTS
----------------------------------

If you've been building up a settlement on one continent, of course you don't want to just leave it completely behind.  So you'll still be able to complete side missions on that continent basically ad infinitum.  Problem THERE is that the region levels are fixed and beyond a certain point there is no challenge or interest left.

Rather than just having your settlement (and that whole continent) go fallow, there will instead be various disasters that will happen, changing up region types and putting much higher-level regions in place of some of the older stale ones that get destroyed in the disaster.  Don't worry, it would never destroy your town or any other key locations (overlord keeps, etc).
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Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 09:28:09 PM »
Sounds excellent.  Two cosmetic things:

I hope that there will be some kind of animation for water travel, and it will be possible to see one continent from another, to create a sense of shared space rather than just the feeling of warping into a new world.  If you ever played Secret of Mana 2, they had a nice one with some epic music.

Will continents have names?  More to the point, can one be named Murdoch?

Offline Olreich

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 09:36:32 PM »
Continents separated by a lot of sea are preferable to world-of-a-continent. This way, you can create a ship sprite and have it travel through the ocean, or zoom out over this vast sea that shows many continents move over the new continent, and then zooming back in to the destination (like Google Earth does).

Offline FallingStar

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 09:41:01 PM »
Appreciate the continents, since it should lead to a more refreshed world feeling after overlords are killed, which was perhaps my biggest worry about long term games in the old system (and after killing a good number of overlords so far, the pesky guys).  I like that the old parts of the world aren't forgotten even if you're not on them; really important in keeping that one world feel rather than some sort of auto new game having occurred.  Anyways, wanted to be sure I gave a big thumbs up to this, as its not something that seems huge at first glance like some of the other systems, but really should make a nice difference.

Offline Dizzard

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 02:05:08 AM »
I like the sound of this.

One thing I've noticed about tile generation is it looks very hap-hazard. The landmass doesn't look like any landmass I've ever seen.

So maybe the adding of continents will give more structure to the land.

Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2011, 02:16:10 AM »
By the way, does this mean the end of sea tiles, or will they be part of the explorable area of a continent?  I've been really looking forward to turning into a fish, but I wouldn't mind if that was restricted to shallows and flooded caves.

Offline c4sc4

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2011, 03:53:44 AM »
So, how would this effect existing worlds?

Offline x4000

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2011, 11:13:53 AM »
I hope that there will be some kind of animation for water travel, and it will be possible to see one continent from another, to create a sense of shared space rather than just the feeling of warping into a new world.  If you ever played Secret of Mana 2, they had a nice one with some epic music.

I had not been planning this, and you'll know why if you look at this thread: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9542.0.html

Though, I was thinking about this more last night and this morning, and I think it does really make more sense for the continents to all exist in the same "world coordinate space" so that you can literally travel to them.  I'm debating whether or not you should just directly drive the boat, like in FF1, or if it should be more of an automated travel thing, like in FF6.  And if you're driving boats around like in FF1, then eventually there's a desire for airships to make travel even faster, haha.  Which wouldn't be a bad thing either, really.

Thoughts from anyone on this?  Having to manually drive the boat would up the travel time, but I'm thinking that would happen in a good sense.

Will continents have names?  More to the point, can one be named Murdoch?

DEFINITELY they will have names, it will be really a relief to have discrete named groups of super-regions in the game and continents are the right fit.  Maybe the first one will always have to be named Murdoch. :P

Appreciate the continents, since it should lead to a more refreshed world feeling after overlords are killed, which was perhaps my biggest worry about long term games in the old system (and after killing a good number of overlords so far, the pesky guys).  I like that the old parts of the world aren't forgotten even if you're not on them; really important in keeping that one world feel rather than some sort of auto new game having occurred.  Anyways, wanted to be sure I gave a big thumbs up to this, as its not something that seems huge at first glance like some of the other systems, but really should make a nice difference.

Thanks for that!  And glad you like it, I think it would be a really big positive change for long-term players as well.  Very curious on your thoughts on this thread, though, given your comments here: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9542.0.html

One thing I've noticed about tile generation is it looks very hap-hazard. The landmass doesn't look like any landmass I've ever seen.

So maybe the adding of continents will give more structure to the land.

Maybe... it's hard to say for sure if we even want to do that.  Because the haphazard nature IS something we want to maintain to some extent (this world was smashed together from multiple universes of the same multiverse that all shattered from some past event, so stuff is defacto a bit scrambled and broken).

By the way, does this mean the end of sea tiles, or will they be part of the explorable area of a continent?  I've been really looking forward to turning into a fish, but I wouldn't mind if that was restricted to shallows and flooded caves.

Good question: these would remain the same as now.  The "deep sea" tiles that your boat could go into would not have region levels and would not allow you to walk into them at all.

So, how would this effect existing worlds?

Whatever is in the existing world would be the first continent, unless it was too small to be the first continent, in which case it would be expanded to the right size and THEN would be the first continent.  Obviously with your world, no expansion is needed. ;)

Then new continents would go on from there, basically.
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Offline TNSe

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2011, 11:16:37 AM »
Do the continents have to exist in the same "Time". After all, it seems like time has been rather mixed up, so in theory, each chunk could contain infinite amounts of continents, and you could travel through time worm holes to get around.

Combine that with doing things in earlier timelines affecting later timelines and you got some seriously messed up gameplay.

Offline x4000

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011, 11:28:51 AM »
Do the continents have to exist in the same "Time". After all, it seems like time has been rather mixed up, so in theory, each chunk could contain infinite amounts of continents, and you could travel through time worm holes to get around.

Combine that with doing things in earlier timelines affecting later timelines and you got some seriously messed up gameplay.

Not the direction we want to go, story-wise, I'm afraid.  In the game there is really only one "now" in terms of time.  However, the "now" is comprised of pieces of spatial and temporal locations that vary very widely, but all are from various universes of Environ in a single multiverse.  Whew.  If that makes sense.  "Time travel" isn't something that we intend to have be possible in this game, but there's been this implicit kind of time travel in the 4D shattering and reformation of the world that was originally Environ (the 4th D being time, for those not up on their sci-fi or alternately theoretical physics).
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Offline zebramatt

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011, 11:29:32 AM »
I hope that there will be some kind of animation for water travel, and it will be possible to see one continent from another, to create a sense of shared space rather than just the feeling of warping into a new world.  If you ever played Secret of Mana 2, they had a nice one with some epic music.

I had not been planning this, and you'll know why if you look at this thread: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9542.0.html

Though, I was thinking about this more last night and this morning, and I think it does really make more sense for the continents to all exist in the same "world coordinate space" so that you can literally travel to them.  I'm debating whether or not you should just directly drive the boat, like in FF1, or if it should be more of an automated travel thing, like in FF6.  And if you're driving boats around like in FF1, then eventually there's a desire for airships to make travel even faster, haha.  Which wouldn't be a bad thing either, really.

Thoughts from anyone on this?  Having to manually drive the boat would up the travel time, but I'm thinking that would happen in a good sense.

Driving the boat would definitely be preferable, for sure.

Offline TNSe

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2011, 11:33:36 AM »
Not the direction we want to go, story-wise, I'm afraid.  In the game there is really only one "now" in terms of time.  However, the "now" is comprised of pieces of spatial and temporal locations that vary very widely, but all are from various universes of Environ in a single multiverse.  Whew.  If that makes sense.  "Time travel" isn't something that we intend to have be possible in this game, but there's been this implicit kind of time travel in the 4D shattering and reformation of the world that was originally Environ (the 4th D being time, for those not up on their sci-fi or alternately theoretical physics).

Aww thats too bad, yet comforting. Coding this and keeping track of it when procedurally generated would be a real mess ;)

Offline Olreich

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2011, 11:51:34 AM »
Driving the boat sounds fun, but would need some sort of map so that you know where you're going, and don't just get lost out at sea.

Offline x4000

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2011, 11:54:46 AM »
Driving the boat sounds fun, but would need some sort of map so that you know where you're going, and don't just get lost out at sea.

I think we could make the names of all the continents show up at the edge of the screen when you're on the boat.  Kind of like how boss names do when you're in a fight with them.  I'm not super keen to add a minimap to the world map, but some sort of navigational aid definitely would be needed.
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Offline Dizzard

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Re: Design Notes: Continents
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2011, 01:20:31 PM »
Driving the boat sounds fun, but would need some sort of map so that you know where you're going, and don't just get lost out at sea.

Sounds Wind Waker. I really liked Wind Waker (except that part where you had to find the triforce pieces)

It would be interesting to occasionally have a storm event happen while travelling to a continent and you would end up a small "uncharted" island of regions. Sort of like a bonus continent.