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Anthrage

Terrain and Gameplay Possibilities - Q for Jon O'Neal

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So as someone who has spent many many hours modeling and animating in various programs, going back as far as the original command-line based POV-Ray on my trusty Amiga 500 and eventually a 4000 with a Toaster, I pay special attention when Jon speaks. When he talks about the new environments he's worked on or the world building tools he's using, or what Unity or things like Gaia allow him to do, I am more than listening casually. A huge part of the game's heart, more than may be obvious, originates at this level.

Recently Jon has shown off the new environments and the graphical enhancements that will be deployed soon, some of the new tech as well as new designs for areas such as the beach-head. In the new beach-head he showed us the great rock archway you see below:

rock_arch.jpg

 

This got me thinking about the art/design - gameplay loop, and how terrain or world features such as the above can not only impact but create gameplay, and then how what players do with these features can feed back into the design stage when it comes to world-building.

Two examples came to mind. Imagine such a rock archway that spans a canyon, like this one here:

canyon_bridge.jpgThen

canyon_bridge2.jpg

And if the voxel-based destruction of things is used in this context, it would be possible to destroy the span, changing the possible pathway through the terrain, and how one can get from one part of the map to another. In another variation, it could instead be a hippo-style build site, a Bridge that you can construct or destroy. This is world-design influenced gameplay, and it's something I wonder about - how much of this might we see in Crowfall, has Jon considered these opportunities, and how much a part he has in creating these map features & related gameplay?

I can see it now - a mesa with high Rank Resource nodes that can only be accessed once you build a bridge, and the conflict that would result as groups try to build it to gain access or destroy it to deny access. Given how some resources or raw materials will be required to craft some things like runes etc, building such a bridge could be a natural quest-type activity, and content for those players not entirely PvP focused. Some interesting possibilities, I hope ACE takes advantage of them.

This is world-design influenced gameplay, and it's something I wonder about - how much of this might we see in Crowfall, has Jon considered these opportunities, and does he realize how much a part he has in creating gameplay opportunities? I don't know how much license he has, but there is definitely opportunity here.

Edited by Anthrage

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3 minutes ago, srathor said:

How about a boulder arch, breakable with picks. ;)

Sadly i think the voxels as terrain is gone. Sure some of the walls have them, and the boulders and trees as well, but the world is not at all destructible for the skin of the land itself. 

I think an arch or bridge could be done with the current iteration though.

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I like it.

The Romans were pioneers in using engineering for warfare. Even with the terrain static like it is I'm sure many crows have melded the terrain of their EKs with their fort pieces to make some really interesting murder boxes, I know I have.

Even if the terrain is not destructible there is nothing stopping them from making bridges and the like. They could even push the blueprint through the cash shop as far as I'm concerned. 

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24 minutes ago, corvax said:

I like it.

The Romans were pioneers in using engineering for warfare. Even with the terrain static like it is I'm sure many crows have melded the terrain of their EKs with their fort pieces to make some really interesting murder boxes, I know I have.

Even if the terrain is not destructible there is nothing stopping them from making bridges and the like. They could even push the blueprint through the cash shop as far as I'm concerned. 

Indeed. The Romans, especially under Caesar, in some of his earliest campaigns, against the Celts for example, used field fortifications not only tactically but even for effect - it was a form of psychological warfare in a way. I love the idea of making recipes or blueprints for these things cash-shop items. Perhaps they could be reach-able through training in an Engineering Skill Line, but you can just buy it to get it sooner for example - one-use as opposed to knowing the recipe and it being multi-use.

It's funny that we have been caught up in some elements of the game or it's gameplay for so long, that sometimes we forget there is so much more that can be and likely is coming. Any one of the many possible manifestations of this element - bridges, walls or towers - would generate gameplay both up and down stream. Lots to be enabled here. 

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True, thanks for reminding me of another possibility =)

I hope they will do something like that, would be awesome if the terrain influencing could be done in so many ways, I imagine some really funny digging going on,eventually.

As long as they only sell blueprints, I guess that could be ok. Makes for a steady idea, I think.


30705266ee.png

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6 hours ago, Muta said:

Gw2 Edge of the Mists wvwvw had this very concept. Was a fun strat. Hope Ace could implement this in some how. 

That's right, I had forgotten about that - thanks.

I have no idea if Jon will see this, I couldn't find him on these forums to tag him and was unable to locate his Twitter account. Hopefully some kind soul - @Pann perhaps - will point him to it. If for no other reason than for him to get his props as a fundamental contributor to CF gameplay. :)

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I definitely see this happen ... someday. 

They already solved most of the technical problems for this task with siege perilous. Such a stone bridge would just be something like a placeable and destructible tree or stone (harvest tools) or wall (weapons).

Assuming that, one day, we might also have (at least small) caves and tunnels or even just deeper holes in the ground, placeable rock formations could also be used to disguise an entrance or a hideout - or just to build a more barbaric looking stronghold. 


2W1ZHpA.jpg

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Sounds doable. It would just be a special keep piece.

Since we are at it it would be interesting to see some basic fortifying pieces that could be used at any place. Nothing too big just something to exert some field control.

I am talking about things like those used IRL. A well placed wood spikes barricade, a well positioned log (stone) drop trap that could trigger a AOE dmg (FF possible of course). There should be more possible ideas too...

Just make them take some time to build and limit the quantity of those in a given area (otherwise people will overload the server by being jackasses) and you are done.

Worth trying IMHO.

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On 10/7/2017 at 5:35 PM, Anthrage said:

So as someone who has spent many many hours modeling and animating in various programs, going back as far as the original command-line based POV-Ray on my trusty Amiga 500 and eventually a 4000 with a Toaster, I pay special attention when Jon speaks. When he talks about the new environments he's worked on or the world building tools he's using, or what Unity or things like Gaia allow him to do, I am more than listening casually. A huge part of the game's heart, more than may be obvious, originates at this level.

Recently Jon has shown off the new environments and the graphical enhancements that will be deployed soon, some of the new tech as well as new designs for areas such as the beach-head. In the new beach-head he showed us the great rock archway you see below:

rock_arch.jpg

 

This got me thinking about the art/design - gameplay loop, and how terrain or world features such as the above can not only impact but create gameplay, and then how what players do with these features can feed back into the design stage when it comes to world-building.

Two examples came to mind. Imagine such a rock archway that spans a canyon, like this one here:

canyon_bridge.jpgThen

canyon_bridge2.jpg

And if the voxel-based destruction of things is used in this context, it would be possible to destroy the span, changing the possible pathway through the terrain, and how one can get from one part of the map to another. In another variation, it could instead be a hippo-style build site, a Bridge that you can construct or destroy. This is world-design influenced gameplay, and it's something I wonder about - how much of this might we see in Crowfall, has Jon considered these opportunities, and how much a part he has in creating these map features & related gameplay?

I can see it now - a mesa with high Rank Resource nodes that can only be accessed once you build a bridge, and the conflict that would result as groups try to build it to gain access or destroy it to deny access. Given how some resources or raw materials will be required to craft some things like runes etc, building such a bridge could be a natural quest-type activity, and content for those players not entirely PvP focused. Some interesting possibilities, I hope ACE takes advantage of them.

This is world-design influenced gameplay, and it's something I wonder about - how much of this might we see in Crowfall, has Jon considered these opportunities, and does he realize how much a part he has in creating gameplay opportunities? I don't know how much license he has, but there is definitely opportunity here.

Great write up, and thank you for appreciating the update that is coming and all the hard work that is going into it. (We're working our tails off)

To answer your question. Yes . 100% I thought about having some of(not all ) the big none harvestable rocks or a giant bridge connecting one area to another. Think the giant bridges from Hammerstone (from our kickstarter video) . They would be destructible for just the reasons you described . Todd and I have talked about this a lot. (We always loved the idea of smashing a bridge to prevent crossing or to drop on someone). No promises before launch.

 

Fear not though...I WILL have my destructible troll bridge crossing!!!

 

-Jon


Jon O'Neal, Lead Environment Artist, ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.
Follow us on Twitter 
@CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, jonnycab said:

Great write up, and thank you for appreciating the update that is coming and all the hard work that is going into it. (We're working our tails off)

To answer your question. Yes . 100% I thought about having some of(not all ) the big none harvestable rocks or a giant bridge connecting one area to another. Think the giant bridges from Hammerstone (from our kickstarter video) . They would be destructible for just the reasons you described . Todd and I have talked about this a lot. (We always loved the idea of smashing a bridge to prevent crossing or to drop on someone). No promises before launch.

 

Fear not though...I WILL have my destructible troll bridge crossing!!!

 

-Jon

i had a thought when discussing this on the community discord.

would hippos that create short 'tunnels' either underground or through rock e.g. mountains etc be possible - if it was as simple as a 'press F' to use sort of deal?

e.g. secret passages or areas that are only accessible by building, controlling or destroying such POIs [or just a handy/sneaky shortcut]

Edited by Tinnis

caldera_forum_banner_wings.png

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14 minutes ago, Tinnis said:

i had a thought when discussing this on the community discord.

would hippos that create short 'tunnels' either underground or through rock e.g. mountains etc be possible - if it was as simple as a 'press F' to use sort of deal?

e.g. secret passages or areas that are only accessible by building, controlling or destroying such POIs [or just a handy/sneaky shortcut]

An excellent example of how terrain relates to gameplay. Controlling a bridge or tunnel would be a significant advantage, and quite frankly, at the moment at least, would be fought over - even now - more than the Forts or Keeps. Use the throne control-point based claiming tech and the wall gate hippo tech - building and F-porting - and you've got yourself some serious content to fight over. I'd spend time on that to cut down on my travel time through a mountain or across a canyon...

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1 hour ago, jonnycab said:

Great write up, and thank you for appreciating the update that is coming and all the hard work that is going into it. (We're working our tails off)

To answer your question. Yes . 100% I thought about having some of(not all ) the big none harvestable rocks or a giant bridge connecting one area to another. Think the giant bridges from Hammerstone (from our kickstarter video) . They would be destructible for just the reasons you described . Todd and I have talked about this a lot. (We always loved the idea of smashing a bridge to prevent crossing or to drop on someone). No promises before launch.

 

Fear not though...I WILL have my destructible troll bridge crossing!!!

 

-Jon

Thanks. I should tell you that parcel design is big part of game-play for us even in pre-alpha - this weekend I'll be holding the Dorval Hill Pit Fighting Championship in this terrain feature here:

dhpfc3.jpg

 

And Caldera has been holding weekly events on this parcel they've been using as a Colleseum. It is a nice elevated and open grassless area - it's on display in this video:

 

 

Rest assured that your hard work has not gone unnoticed, and we are putting it to good use! :)

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On 10/7/2017 at 4:35 PM, Anthrage said:

I can see it now - a mesa with high Rank Resource nodes that can only be accessed once you build a bridge, and the conflict that would result as groups try to build it to gain access or destroy it to deny access.

Love it!

Makes me think of bridgemen from the Stormlight Archives.

f33bd13ca843731862c2946775b8dd6c.png


Nazdar

Proud member of The Hunger

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15 hours ago, Nazdar said:

Love it!

Makes me think of bridgemen from the Stormlight Archives.

f33bd13ca843731862c2946775b8dd6c.png

 

Glad I'm not the only one that had this thought; I love that series; the warfare on the Shattered Plains would be a fun thing to play out in Crowfall. 

 

On topic, thanks for posting this Anthrage. I haven't been excited about terrain in an MMO since Warhammer Online; very much looking forward to playing around with the different parcels and seeing how they will affect the combat.

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@Anthrage

with regards terrain the two most memorable group fights i've had recently revolved around fights in unsual parcels - in this case the dense forest of the 'Grove' and the winding passages and heights of the 'Canyon'!

+

AND using the grove forest to bait people into an ambush....

 

Edited by Tinnis

caldera_forum_banner_wings.png

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In terms of terrain for me falls around the idea of how it affects guild army warfare stratagems. Currently in 5.2.10 it's more or less a visual obstruction to see over even a small hill, like the one near Mining Outpost. I've noticed this when I've used my Duelist Rat to Tunnel fly my way up onto the Mining Outpost building. A group at the base of the hill won't be able to ever see a group running up and over it. When they do they will be ran up on, possibly Dizzy Downed, stunned, and probably lose the fight.

I am not sure if Blair and Halash have had conversations regarding ranged attacks getting any sort of range increase from attacking from an elevated position. That might be interesting way to make terrain positioning actually important for a guild army's engagement. I think Age of Conan had this sort of mechanic but I didn't play the game to know how the terrain played out in any kind of PvP experience. Perhaps in this game range advantage from elevation would be a terrible idea. It's a thought to think about though!


OS_Sig3.png

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@TinnisFull disclosure, when preparing my post I was preparing the media I would use and for a few minutes there I considered using your canyon hunt custom thumbnail for my reference to the canyon and bridges, but I ended up overcoming my laziness and got in game and took a screenshot myself. :P

Edited by Anthrage

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