Quantcast
Game Design Theory- Blobber world building - RPGWatch Forums
|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Game Design Theory- Blobber world building

Default Game Design Theory- Blobber world building

December 16th, 2015, 23:50
I thought it would be interesting to have a thread about designing a blob based world for an rpg. I have had some time to sit down and think of ways I would like to change the way they have been done in the past to make them more modern, ie using a bit more computing power to provide a better overall game experience.

I am not a programmer, well at least not anymore and my skills were decidedly average then. This is just some brainstorming for fun as I like designing in general and I hope this will get some discussion going.

Now, we have seen a resurgence with blobbers to an extent with M&M, Eliminage Gothic, Sword and sorcery and grimrock as well as some others I am forgetting. But we really haven't seen anything that wasn't done before.

What I was thinking about for my first thread on this was talking about general overworld game design.

In my mind it would be interesting to have a over world akin to what we saw in Bard's tale 2 back in the day, but lets take that and make it more interactive. Lets add some variables to each land section to allow changing seasons and weather.

Now, you may ask why bother with that? I think it adds the ability to make the game much more immersive in the fact that you have more variables to consider for combat, magic and gear.

Now lets slow this down a bit and think about how this would work. I was thinking of graphing a world out by tiles, which is an obvious choice for this type of game because you step from tile to tile. Now, you would need to generate a rather large overworld to give it a believable feel. Imagine a world akin to an ultima that is well thought out and tiled like this. This could work and I would want to make this a bit more complicated then a static map.

I am going to draw a basic tile layout for a small area as an example…each X will be a tile like this:

XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX

There you have a basic tile layout now, lets add some (T)trees the same layout and a couple of mountains(M)

TXXTXXTXM
XXTXXXXMM
TTXXXXXXM
XXTTXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX

Ok I think you get the basic layout of a tile map…but that's not all I was thinking. I was thinking what if we added seasonal information to each tile. What if it is summer then it is green….the fall yellow and winter it changes to snow. It is important that this not only be graphically represented but also actually show stat differences. For instance if there is snow, the characters better have a cold resistance greater then the cold damage of the area or take damage, also, if they are wearing heavy clothing then perhaps it affects their to hit rolls.

Looking at this it would be a lot of manual entering to get a word that would change with the seasons but I think it is doable with a global variable for time that the game would use to check against when loading those segments.

This does not have to be limited to snow either, this could also work in the opposite to allow for spreading desert.

So that's great, we have a world now that has snow, tress and mountains. Sounds pretty boring.

This is where the next stage of the design would take place, such as towns and dungeons. I have some ideas for those but I thought I would throw out these ideas to see if anyone is interested in talking general game design.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#1

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

December 17th, 2015, 12:18
Looking forward to reading more of your ideas…
lostforever is offline

lostforever

lostforever's Avatar
SasqWatch

#2

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 2,617

Default 

December 17th, 2015, 23:33
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Looking forward to reading more of your ideas…
I'm going to post more…I have a lot more ideas. People feel free to add ideas and brainstorm…this is basically for fun.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#3

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

December 21st, 2015, 16:35
OK, so we have the basics to develop a simple overworld map. It would have to be laid out in a grid formation in my estimate to allow for trees, mountains and lets say water.

Now, this could be even further manipulated to allow each hex to be given a seed value that the system could use to allow the user to easily manipulate the weather conditions and variables over a large area instead of each individual tile.

For instance, say you had a forest that you wanted to be gloomy all the time, you could set all that forrest tiles to a number so that every tile in that forest would now be gloomy. It wouldn't require any extra work for the programmer to change all the tiles and would allow a uniform approach to the area. This I would could biomes but created for a blobber. This is more of a modern gaming invention then say what we found in Bard's tale.

I also look at having large areas sharing a similar variable allows the programmer the ability to change the world conditions and allow for not only weather but also over all world changes with a greater ability then with static low value tiles.

Tiles I think should have a number of variables that allow greater access to differing options such as temperature, visibility and time. This allows other calculations greater accuracy in figuring out to hit and other values in order to bring a detailed stat heavy game.

This is huge in the fact that I believe that for this style of rpg there needs to be a evolution in what is offered. It isn't and shouldn't just be a new map that we accept as a gameplay update. Why not have a living world that you can step through?

I believe once you have a believable world that you can use as a stepping stone into your story then you really have something new, something that a lot of people will flock too.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#4

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

December 23rd, 2015, 02:06
I notice I get people checking this out, but I have no idea if they are interested or just clicking it out of curiosity.

Any feedback would be appreciated so I know I'm not just typing for the sake of typing.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#5

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

December 23rd, 2015, 02:40
I've been reading it, particularly since I've been chipping away at my own "blobber" for some time now. Some days more so than others. I plan to release it about the same time that the sun degrades into a chunk of coal the size of my fist. You might want a sweater, since it'll be a little nippy.

I would add that you add a little 'depth' to a map by not having simply flat water you essentially walk on (see M&M 3 or Wizardry 7), with maybe a chance to take damage/drown. In mine, you can dive, and there are seperate maps for the underwater regions of the map. With a few things to explore for and discover. Mountains are done in a similar fashion, with climbable slopes leading to a different "layer" of the map.

It's a lot of work, with each map having potentially dozens of exit/entrace points to multiple maps.

Another thing about classic "blobbers" that gets me, is that most of the maps are nonsensicle when looked at in comparison to their purpose. Just look at the massive and sprawling 3 level Sewers in The Bard's Tale: Tales of the Unknown. Maps should have some logic to their design, based on what they're supposed to be.

Wizardry 6 and 7 are actually pretty good for this, as is the Might and Magic games. Even in the Bard's Tale games, the cities are fine, it's the dungeons that seem to be simply random passages and chambers.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#6

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

December 23rd, 2015, 17:02
The flat water issue was corrected in legend of grimrock where if you walked into water you would drop down to the bottom…it worked quite nicely. This wouldn't even be that taxing for a system to handle to be honest…it's not like you have to worry about memory etc.

Now, as for the maps that are nonsensical I total agree with some maps being just a crazy mishmash of rooms and hallways. It would be nice to have a bit more realistic ideas, but you also have to be careful in not making it to realistic as it would bring about boring maps that would be pretty predictable. I think a game like Arx Fatalis(not a blobber) did the maps well and made it both somewhat realistic but also interesting. That's the key though, you have to find that fine line of what is and isn't.

I didn't get into generating a world map with randomized placing of trees and shrubbery to provide a quick way to layout the different tiles. When I say randomize, I don't mean the map itself but the tiles that are say forest/mountains etc.

For forest for instance it would have multiple trees and shrubs to add to the image that the player would see in front of him.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#7

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

December 23rd, 2015, 17:06
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I notice I get people checking this aut, but I have no idea if they are interested or just clicking it out of curiosity.

Any feedback would be appreciated so I know I'm not just typing for the sake of typing.
I'm interested but have nothing intelligent to contribute.
I haven't coded since Basic so while I appreciate the theory, the practical eludes me.
Keep going, its interesting.
Wisdom is offline

Wisdom

Wisdom's Avatar
Seeker
Original Sin 2 Donor

#8

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 900

Default 

December 23rd, 2015, 19:19
I didn't say the system would have a problem with water layers, but that in a true 2D engine, it would be a lot of work. Sort of how Ultima 6 handled the maps. Each water tile would have a map transition point to tje underwater map. The sinking on a failure to swim is also relatively simple.

I'd have more to say but typing on a cell is a pita.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#9

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

December 23rd, 2015, 20:02
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
I didn't say the system would have a problem with water layers, but that in a true 2D engine, it would be a lot of work. Sort of how Ultima 6 handled the maps. Each water tile would have a map transition point to tje underwater map. The sinking on a failure to swim is also relatively simple.

I'd have more to say but typing on a cell is a pita.
Yeah I hear you, I rarely type on devices

You wouldn't have to do multiple maps on newer game engines…why not make a cube level, x and y axis with multiple levels per map. So for instance you could have the underwater areas, like they were handled in Legends of grimrock as well as multiple level layers up. This would allow you to make some interesting underwater areas as well as cliffs and stuff.

Now, when thinking about the world map you could for instance say ok we have an X and Y axis for multiple layers. Say 100 by 100 by 10(for depth 5 down and 5 up) giving you a 3d map in a blobber world.

Interesting to think of it this way. I would also like to have it streaming the level instead of loading chunks, and why not as payers are taking one click steps anyways it wouldn't be much of an issue…though I am not a programmer.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#10

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

December 24th, 2015, 01:17
Hmmm. I hadn't thought about that. Then you'd just need different floor tiles defined, with 1 being water and requiring a swim check to stay on top of, etc… Might even make for more interesting map design.

As far as streaming, do you mean loading tiles out in a radius from the player as they approach them?

I've been designing maps in chunks, mostly for ease of reference, but I kinda like the idea of a seamless world, like in Ultima 6.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#11

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

December 28th, 2015, 11:14
I have some change of season plans in my game… not sure if I'll have enough budget to realise it though. I have built several version of each tiles graphics, so if the season change.. for example the trees can be without leaves….
GothicGothicness is offline

GothicGothicness

GothicGothicness's Avatar
SasqWatch

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,775

Default 

December 31st, 2015, 18:26
I have to ask if the scope of the story really requires supporting seasonal changes in game mechanics and graphics? For mine, the events would canonically take place over a two week period. So season changes aren't necessary. I do realize that some might spend three years on time in-game, but those are edge cases, and I don't have the budget for that.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
Last edited by azraelck; January 1st, 2016 at 16:40. Reason: Because cell phones suck for typing…
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#13

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

December 31st, 2015, 22:09
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
I have to ask if the scope of the story really requires supporting seasonal changes in game mechanics and graphics? For mine, the events would canonically take place over a two week period. So season changes aren't nevessary. I do realize that some might spend three years on time in-game, but those are edge cases, and I don't have the budget for that.
I think the only reason one would do the seasons is to create a believable world like Ultima 7 did…I think having that as the base of the game creates a better overall story to be honest.

This of course is also dependent on the scope like you said, like if you only had a month of game time for the actual story then weather means nothing.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#14

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

January 1st, 2016, 16:40
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I think the only reason one would do the seasons is to create a believable world like Ultima 7 did…I think having that as the base of the game creates a better overall story to be honest.

This of course is also dependent on the scope like you said, like if you only had a month of game time for the actual story then weather means nothing.
I understand making a more realistic world, but in most cases, the time frame of when the player characters are acting is rather short.

One of the biggest issues with an indie title (and many AAA's as well) is drawing back ideas that would exponentially increase the cost.

I really want to have two combat modes, for example. A top-down tactical mode and a Wizardry-esque standard mode. But the tactical map would literally double the art requirements. This is much like seasonal changes, which would quadruple the art for outdoor areas.

Now, that isn't to say I am not preparing for that to come in in a later game using the same engine. I am, with the full intention to reuse as many of the assets from 1 as possible, to cut costs and allow adding in a tactical combat mode.

As far as weather, I've been thinking of applying a filter over the standard graphics, giving them a bluish-grey tint and then displaying rain sprites over everything for rain. Something similar, more grey I guess than blue, can be done for snow. Fog can be a simple "wall" graphic that appears a tile away, but moves with the player (and depending on if you have a setup like M&M3 and World of Xeen with monsters being visible, could even make for some tactical options in combat). I really don't want to have to manually redo every wall, floor and object to account for rain if I can help it.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#15

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

January 1st, 2016, 23:24
Interesting idea for rain.

Now, this tactical mode you are talking about I have seen something that may work from another game.

I can't remember the name of the game I think it was a space rpg….but it was a dungeon crawler when in dungeons and it had a grid to layout your party and see where monsters are.

This worked because it didn't change the art requirements for actual combat but added another layer for the actual combat. Something to think about.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#16

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

January 3rd, 2016, 16:34
What I am referring to is a combat mode like in the old goldbox games. Top down view point. Since I am using a true 2D engine, rather than 3D, I can't just shift the camera up. All of what passes for my art is hand drawn, so i'd have to redraw everything.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#17

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

January 3rd, 2016, 17:20
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
What I am referring to is a combat mode like in the old goldbox games. Top down view point. Since I am using a true 2D engine, rather than 3D, I can't just shift the camera up. All of what passes for my art is hand drawn, so i'd have to redraw everything.
That would put a lot more requirements for art…just look at the old gold box games, I believe the graphics suffered due to that. Those games didn't even compare to other games in the rpg world for graphics at the time.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is online now

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#18

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,339

Default 

January 3rd, 2016, 19:49
Well, they suffered for art because they were originally designed to go on all the populat computers of the time. So the art had to work for the C64, Apple II, etc, as well as the DOS machines of the day (which weren't exactly graphics powerhouses). So they had limited memory to work with, both in RAM and conventional. Then they also used the same graphics and engine through at least 13 games, running from 1988 (IIRC) all the way to 1993. So they pushed them well beyond the point of needing replacement.

While they may graphically be limited though, out of all the first-person crawlers I've ever played (which is a lot), very few can come close to the Gold Box games in how engaging the combat was. I had to stop playing The Bard's Tale recently because it was boring, literally hitting A three times, and casting the same two spells on my casters. TRZP after the fight and off we go.

In fact, most of the old crawlers no longer appeal much to me. I can still play Champions of Krynn (for example), despite it's graphics, because the combat and other gameplay elements work so well. Wizardry 7 is much the same, as is Might and Magic III and World of Xeen. Most others I don't bother with anymore.

This is why I'm redesigning several core parts of the system now. I'm trying to find an engaging combat system without going the full tactical route. Even though I intend to add it in later. The reason being is I want to give the option of tacical or a simpler turn-based mode to players. Basically a quick combat, rather than set piece battles which would take longer to run. But if quick combat isn't fun and engaging, then it's not worth doing.

A totally top down game would probably be better in style, with the graphics shared and it being easier to set up NPCs' positions and such (see Ultima 6 and 7). But I like the perspective of the first person dungeon crawler much better (don't ask me why).

A modern game of the same style shouldn't have the same limitations, as memory is cheap (I just bought 16gb of RAM for my next PC build, as well as a cheap nVidia with 4gb of DDR5. I think it would be impossible to build a 2D game which would use that much memory). So any restrictions are pretty much budgetary on my part (my ability to draw is limited to straight lines, as long as you don't expect it to keep straight). Any drop in quality would be on part of the developer, as it's up to them (and by them, I mean me) to set a standard and keep to it.
--
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
azraelck is offline

azraelck

azraelck's Avatar
Angel of Cookies!

#19

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: In the Middle of Nowhere
Posts: 2,076
Send a message via AIM to azraelck Send a message via Skype™ to azraelck

Default 

January 4th, 2016, 13:59
Do you have anything to share about your project Azraelck ? Just curious as to what it is….
GothicGothicness is offline

GothicGothicness

GothicGothicness's Avatar
SasqWatch

#20

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,775
RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Game Design Theory- Blobber world building
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 19:11.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch