Author Topic: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth  (Read 10558 times)

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2011, 03:43:28 PM »
I agree with FallingStar that it does make sense that the Valley Without Wind that we're all striving for does really exist. Maybe if we combined that with bluddy's idea, and every so many continents the NPCs actually FOUND this valley.... But wait, the cataclysm has brought out MORE landmasses, and the citizen of those now need to be brought to this valley. Thereby making the Valley Without Wind sort of like a trophy room with all the NPCs we've saved.

Offline Dizzard

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2011, 04:54:03 PM »
I agree with FallingStar that it does make sense that the Valley Without Wind that we're all striving for does really exist. Maybe if we combined that with bluddy's idea, and every so many continents the NPCs actually FOUND this valley.... But wait, the cataclysm has brought out MORE landmasses, and the citizen of those now need to be brought to this valley. Thereby making the Valley Without Wind sort of like a trophy room with all the NPCs we've saved.

Sounds very interesting. So it would be like a safe haven among all the chaos. Some continents would have "valleys without wind" and others (most others) would not...so the settlements/outposts in those regions would be volatile and unsafe so they would need to be evacuated to the rare but stable valleys. Perhaps eventually entire continents would fall apart (even resources/overlord/settlement tiles) and it would be your job to transfer what you want to save to these (would there be more than one?) valleys. It could be like the town building location management system now but on a larger world scale.

I'm not really sure about falling stars' A0E3 idea, turning settlements and npcs into "trophies" that are hidden away in the background doesn't seem like a very good trophy to me. I'm supposed to be happy with getting a trophy but I wouldn't be happy with my settlements and npcs getting locked away in a display case.

As for what X4000 said about the regions surrounding settlements half sinking into the sea and turning into mud regions. It does seem like the settlement is being left behind in this really rubbish location where the whole place is barren and nothing exciting will happen. I think I'd sooner move the entire settlement tile or even just move the settlers to a new continent.

As for the decaying of continents lore wise, you could always bring out the dark illari we've heard about in the deep.

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2011, 05:00:29 PM »
Reading the great ideas here made me think of the new Battlestar Galactica, and how Earth was dangled in front of us several times until the real one was found. Based on Chris's clues about how parts of the plot are procedural, what if the existence of the Valley is randomly determined? In some games, we could think that we found it, only to find out (in some really painful way) that it wasn't the panacea we were looking for. In other games, it could be found fairly early on. Other games would drag on forever without finding it, and our citizens would become more and more cynical and unhappy as a result. We might be driven to doing more and more desperate things (quests). In some versions, the valley could sometimes be revealed to be 'in our hearts' (cheesy but you get the idea). In other games, the valley is so twisted that its power, once unleashed, completely shatters the continents.

It's just an idea, and I think that this point is not necessarily a big one as far as the game is concerned, but it could insert a fun little element.

Offline Dizzard

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2011, 05:05:31 PM »
Reading the great ideas here made me think of the new Battlestar Galactica, and how Earth was dangled in front of us several times until the real one was found. Based on Chris's clues about how parts of the plot are procedural, what if the existence of the Valley is randomly determined? In some games, we could think that we found it, only to find out (in some really painful way) that it wasn't the panacea we were looking for. In other games, it could be found fairly early on. Other games would drag on forever without finding it, and our citizens would become more and more cynical and unhappy as a result. We might be driven to doing more and more desperate things (quests). In some versions, the valley could sometimes be revealed to be 'in our hearts' (cheesy but you get the idea). In other games, the valley is so twisted that its power, once unleashed, completely shatters the continents.

It's just an idea, and I think that this point is not necessarily a big one as far as the game is concerned, but it could insert a fun little element.

It would be fun, but I think it goes against one of Arcens "Immutable Design Goals".

Quote
4. Players will never have to start a new world in order to try out a new feature.  All new features will be available as in-game choices in any world.

If the above idea was included, people would be inclined to create a world, play it for a while, realize it must not have the "true" valley and then create more worlds (in a cycle) trying to get a hold of the true valley.

Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2011, 01:13:33 AM »
I agree with Dizzard about being unhappy to see all the areas I've made safe eventually being destroyed.  How about a few different end states for different continents?  Some could sink --- which would be an unfortunate catastrophe, but others might have a happy ending --- say, being domesticated into un-adventurable farmland.  Memory-wise it would be equivalent to mud flats, but I'd be happier to have "This place is free; there is nothing for you to do here, glyphbearer" rather than "Sorry, all this land you saved sank into the sea" as at least a possible outcome.

Offline x4000

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2011, 09:20:16 AM »
I like that a lot!
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Offline Dizzard

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2011, 01:18:18 PM »
Doesn't it just fly in the face of what you were trying to achieve inside buildings though? Like having each door lead somewhere even though you wouldn't want to go in every room. (the destroyed ones)

It seems like a similar situation with these un-adventurable farmlands/mud flats. They would be like doors that just happen to be locked.

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2011, 03:05:31 PM »
I agree with Dizzard. To me, seeing a tile I did something in and not being able to access it is worse than destroying it. The interesting thing about the tile was being able to enter it. Not being able to access the tile all of a sudden breaks the illusion that the map represents a continuous world.

Additionally, a huge map with thousands of tiles is a drag in any game. Even strategy games suffer from maps that are too big and unwieldy. In Civ, you can barely keep track of what's going on in the later turns. So I consider it fortunate that space constraints have forced a trimming mechanism. Those tiles have to go! I don't care too much what the mechanism is.

Here's another idea I just thought of. What do those jumbled up tiles from different time zones suggest to you? A variation on Tetris or Bejeweled, anyone? It sounds a little crazy, but what if you had a mission in one of several tiles. Solving the mission would return the tile to its proper timeline or something like that -- it would disappear. The remaining tiles would then move in to occupy the missing space -- space and time are collapsing in on themselves. If you manage to line up and clear several tiles in a row, you get special bonuses. One of your subgoals (which you don't have to care about too much) is to return every tile to its proper time. A macro puzzle game mechanic also ties in well with the concept of infinite worlds -- Bejeweled can go on forever.

This wouldn't be the main mechanic, but it would take care of making the map constantly shrink while allowing you to see more and more interesting places. Also, settlements that were far apart could be brought closer together. And it really suits the LOOK of the map. The map really looks like jumbled up puzzle pieces.

I have no idea how to tie this to the wind or overlords, but I'm sure some more thought could allow for that too.

Offline FallingStar

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2011, 07:11:25 PM »
I suppose everyone will find different things satisfying or disappointing no matter what happens, just since getting rid of some of the old data has to happen, but everyone gets attached to different things.  I'll put out there what it is for me, maybe it'll give an alternate solution (or insight).

On the most fundamental levels, for me "satisfying" breaks down to a few points: 1) I want those old continents to have a meaning to my present character (other than being stepping stones to where I am now)   2) I'd like to feel like I changed something in those continents, allowing me to rescue/save them . .  and now the people are happy and such, or at least can be moved somewhere they can be.  3) I'd like something that I could look back at and generally remember the interesting decisions /tough bits that I chose that made that continent feel like an interesting journey.

There are some things I don't need to feel satisfied.  What I don't feel like I need is something that lets me go sightseeing again . .I'd hope the new continent has plenty of interesting areas that I don't need to see old ones again specifically (or I could backup my world if I really had to see them).  I'm not attached to the trees in that first chunk I ever entered much more than I am of the layout of the first AI war map I started.  Also since I'm not really building things like Terraria or Minecraft, I tend not to care about specific regions.  I guess if there's a section with a lot of items I shrunk/ restored for decoration I might care, but that's probably my settlement and so perhaps those are the only regions I really care about.  There might be a few "cleanup" duties I might want to do (ie rescue the discovered stranded people I haven't shipped to a settlement, kill those last vortex pylons) but it wouldn't bother me if there was an auto cleanup feature to do that stuff.

So for me, long term, there actually does come a point where I don't want to feel like disasters are befalling those old parts of the world anymore or missions come up where I need to do something to save them or my first continent will be doomed.  As I typed, I wondered if the new mission system might help make a "resolution" sort of phase for old continents.  Your decisions through the journey of completing that continent and the choices of which missions to take would ultimately lead to different outcomes / permanent static states for them to wind up in someday (or determine what you could rescue, etc).  To me it would hit my three desires.  The final states could give various bonuses long term, it would feel like I guided it to a satisfying outcome (or at least one I chose, and not something foisted/forced on me), and since the final state is based on my choices it would remind me of how I got there - especially if there was some sort of text based journal/ log of some of the events.

Anyways, its more thoughts on the elements I'd want to have than necessarily a solution, but thought I might toss it out there.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2011, 08:40:54 PM »
Maybe if there was a big map of all the continents I'd "saved" that I could look back at, sort of like the world map in World of Warcraft.  I couldn't actually visit, but I could see all the places with rough borders, settlement names next to their dots on the map, maybe towers and such.  Maybe other exploits noted.

Offline Olreich

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2011, 08:46:51 PM »
Garbage collection. If I haven't visited a chunk in a hundred levels, I'm sure to have forgotten everything about it (unless something special happened there, like a core mission). So, if I don't visit something for 100 levels, you can garbage collect the chunks in that region, and then leave them as nothing but a seed (as the cpu has time, spawn this to another thread when a player levels if you're an optimization junkie). This way, you can cut that linear rate significantly, as once you hit level 100, you can start culling regions the player hasn't been to in forever. You could even do it for settlements that are lost and forgotten, just keep what you need to generate it on disk. This dodges the re-gen + updates problem. Because if it generates something new, the player won't know, and probably won't care, especially if it preserves more continents for cross-continent interactions.

Lore-wise, you can chalk it up to things coming into that multiverse flux you already have with multiplayer. I don't know how specifics would work, as I'm still rather fuzzy on AVWW lore.

I dislike the idea of losing entire continents or adding mini-games/continent shrinkage too. But, this won't solve the problem, just extend it. I could go with eventually losing really really old continents, but they would have to be so old I don't even remember that they exist because they are only seen at the bottom of long lists. I would prefer something like Hearteater's suggestion of a type of map that includes those old continents you lose, but in a vague manner.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2011, 11:13:42 PM »
It would feel far more enticing if my world was improving over time, if there was incentive to go back and look at the things you had done for various areas, rather than wrecking all the effort I put in.
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Offline Olreich

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2011, 11:59:37 PM »
Could there be any way to create a diff system like in version control systems that could track incremental changes (to save time on backups)?

Offline Dizzard

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2011, 11:41:05 AM »
I was making another long response to this, pressed the wrong button and then lost what I had typed. So I'll make this shorter.

1. The idea of "Sorry there's nothing more you can do here" regions/settlements bother me so much. I can imagine just thinking "BAH!" every time I looked at one rather than feeling like I achieved something good.

2. The only reason I don't like the idea of losing regions isn't because I want to go back to them, but because of the realistic vision they create of a landmass. If they disappeared it would be strange having all my settlements cooped in together in some sort of haven continent.

3. Which leads me to my idea. How about eventually condensing groups of similar regions/tiles into one mega region? So say for example there was a 3X3 group of ice age tiles....eventually this 3X3 group of tiles would be "merged" so that it would still look like a 3X3 group of tiles (on the main map) but would essentially be a 1X1 tile. No matter which of the 3x3 tiles you enter you will always be directed to the same region. (and it would say so somewhere)



So in this way you're sort of blurring the lines between connected (and similar) regions. The individual regions that were there before can be discarded. You are still able to visit these new super regions but you'll be visiting one for the entire block instead. (and there could be new special surprises in these super regions.

This way you get to keep the image of the overall world, but each attached group of similar regions only lead to one group of nodes. Sort of as if they fell in on each other. (functionally but not visually)

edit: I can't help but feel there's a major flaw in my idea though, I'm in the middle of creating a png image to illustrate my idea....but something seems off.

I think I know what's wrong, this idea assumes that there are more than one regions that have been entered by you before in this grouping of similar regions. If you haven't entered any of them or if you've only ever entered one of them. There isn't much difference. :(

I suppose if you tried a different approach the similar regions might not have to be connected but instead be within a certain radius. So all similar regions within that radius will fall into each other and all lead to the same region nodes. (but keeping the consistent image of the main map)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 12:01:13 PM by Dizzard »

Offline Canisaur

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Re: Brainstorming: Curtailing Infinite World Folder Size Growth
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2011, 12:02:01 PM »
I agree with FallingStar that it does make sense that the Valley Without Wind that we're all striving for does really exist. Maybe if we combined that with bluddy's idea, and every so many continents the NPCs actually FOUND this valley.... But wait, the cataclysm has brought out MORE landmasses, and the citizen of those now need to be brought to this valley. Thereby making the Valley Without Wind sort of like a trophy room with all the NPCs we've saved.

Sounds very interesting. So it would be like a safe haven among all the chaos. Some continents would have "valleys without wind" and others (most others) would not...so the settlements/outposts in those regions would be volatile and unsafe so they would need to be evacuated to the rare but stable valleys. Perhaps eventually entire continents would fall apart (even resources/overlord/settlement tiles) and it would be your job to transfer what you want to save to these (would there be more than one?) valleys. It could be like the town building location management system now but on a larger world scale.

I second (third?) this.  You can keep the settlements that you care about by moving them while letting the game "garbage collect" most of the regions.  Maybe this could be linked to the Illari?  Certain (rare) settlements' Illari would have the ability to create a permanent "valley without wind" after you destroy the overlord, others would need to move to a more stable continent.

Here's another idea I just thought of. What do those jumbled up tiles from different time zones suggest to you? A variation on Tetris or Bejeweled, anyone? It sounds a little crazy, but what if you had a mission in one of several tiles. Solving the mission would return the tile to its proper timeline or something like that -- it would disappear. The remaining tiles would then move in to occupy the missing space -- space and time are collapsing in on themselves. If you manage to line up and clear several tiles in a row, you get special bonuses. One of your subgoals (which you don't have to care about too much) is to return every tile to its proper time. A macro puzzle game mechanic also ties in well with the concept of infinite worlds -- Bejeweled can go on forever.

I kind of like this idea, and it could even tie in with the "rare stable continent" idea.  I'm not sure how well it would tie in to the current backstory, but returning tiles to their proper timeline would be an interesting side job, even if it only increments a score counter or something like that (regions saved vs regions lost).  Rather than letting the unstable continents be destroyed, you could work to "return" as much of it as possible before that happens.  It would return whole region groups as you completed missions (ie. a 3x3 ice age group rather than each individual ice age region).  I suppose  this might get tedious after a while though.