Outerra forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Outerra Tech Demo download. Help with graphics driver issues

Pages: [1] 2 3 4

Author Topic: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank  (Read 6195 times)

Occams Razer

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Freelance Graphic and Game Designer, 3D Artist
Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« on: February 04, 2020, 09:56:12 pm »

Outerra Anteworld promises to be big, both spatially and in scope. While the engine handles the former, the latter relies heavily on good game design. Not only will the game need to be programmed to handle all the systems in play, but they will also need to be balanced and paced properly to result in a coherent and satisfying product.

Now, we as the community can't develop Anteworld, but to gauge interest and generate discussion, I'd like to know what it is that the community hopes to see come about in specific. What kind of game do you want to see? What features do you want to see, and what don't you? Is online play something supplementary to the main game, is it coop-enabled, or is it an online-only title, รก la MMO RPGs? Is there an objective that the player is striving for, or is it a choose-your-own path kind of thing?

Some ground rules and disclaimers:
  • This topic isn't addressed to the devs, nor is it a question about their plans or capabilities. This is more for community discussion about game design theory, though naturally devs are welcome.
  • This topic is in regards to Outerra Anteworld specifically. Other ideas you have about games that could be made in Outerra, say with a neolithic or medieval setting, aren't relevant to this discussion.
  • This is purely discussion and theory. Don't take anything discussed as impending, even if you like the sound of the idea. Conversely, don't be taken aback or claim plagiarism if an idea you come up with is used in the final game. For all you know, the devs may have certain ideas planned as-is.
  • Complaints about the lack of Anteworld progress are not germane.

Now, for those who aren't familiar, the narrative premise of Anteworld is that human colonization of distant planets became possible in the distant future, but when colonizers return to Earth from a distant star system, humanity at large seems to have vanished. So there's your starting point.
Logged

fly77

  • Outerra Master Modder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 04:16:26 am »

Hi Occams Razer
It seems that 2020 will be an important year were more focus of modders and developers will be placed on the gaming side of outerra rather than ever more detailed graphical upgrading of the world rendering engine.
I come from flightsim and I like a lot the "choose your way" approach of simulators. Still there should be challenges you encounter and requires some kind of skill to accomplish what you have choosen to do.

I know the orignal idea of an outerra game was this Anteworld concept where you find a world empty of civilization...or maybe with only some remains of ancient civilization . That would be more interesting than a purely virgin planet..giving also a touch of history/story to the whole thing...and it could for instance suggest places where it is convienient to build new cities !

Then there was that idea that you could build your settlements, cities and that it would be all shared online by all players..like all were playing in the same world. I still I wonder if all this is realistically achievable. If it is it would be great. So just for the sake of discussing it , suppose it is.

Then it appears it would be like a planet-wide multiplayer city-skyline kind of game, where every player builds its detailed 3D model cities..that probably need some kind of "life" as well, at least in the form of some simulated economy. In that case the terrain and rivers/seas should have their importance in facilitating setting up a new town like it is for instance is in songs-of-the-eons (https://demiansky.itch.io/songs-of-the-eons) .

Then as players come into conflict wanting to occupy the same spot with their cities..there need be some "battle modus" (either military or economic or political or all of them together) to decide who will get the "rights" to build in a certain place. So it will need some "strategy game" programming as well. Trade should be also part of this to promote player collaboration. So the planet will also need resources modelling, with each place having specific resources or lacking them so that trade makes sense.

As the world is empty initially it will be peacefully watching how different towns pop up around the world. As more players join to build new cities at some point conflicts and/or cooperations may arise and we will be able to see which players or player teams get the upper hand..so nations of player teams may rise, occupying certain places, and combat will start.  That's how I could imagine this "Anteworld" concept.

Finally there should be possible a "voyager/explorer" modus for players that just want to travel around this world without having any intention to build their cities. Eventually these players can signal resources to other players and get bonuses for successful collaboration with other players so that they "can make a living" in a wild and hostile anteworld

All this seems very very ambitious ..and maybe not possible at all...but as we are here just to "dream" lets do it :)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 05:44:39 pm by fly77 »
Logged

Occams Razer

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Freelance Graphic and Game Designer, 3D Artist
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 01:57:13 am »

I'll admit on the online/single-player spectrum, all of my favorite formitive games of late have been single-player (STALKER and Subnautica in particular leap to mind), so I'm biased toward that conclusion. It generally requires fewer resources, the product can continue to be used after servers are taken offline, there's no need to perfect anti-cheat, and modding is much easier to support. I agree that online play is preferable, but for personal reasons I'd limit it to client-client connections with a dozen or so players, rather than client-server connections with ~2000.

To me, one of the bigger challenges for the game is defining the gameplay to best make use of the engine's features: your typical FPS doesn't need 100 square kilometers of play space, let alone a full-scale planet. But your typical RTS or city builder doesn't need centimeter-level detail and individual blades of grass. Even with aircraft, single-unit gameplay probably can't use a worthwhile portion of the space provided, and traveling from one region to another would take horrendous amounts of time without fast-travel or time skips.

My idea is that the player will, after establishing their initial home base around their randomly-positioned colonizer ship, discover a network of teleportation gates. These would allow the player to move to wildly different corners of the Earth without needing to travel there in realtime. As these gates can only facilitate transport of people and small vehicles, it's not always a perfect shortcut, but should allow the player to move to remote locales without taking away agency, or making the player too mobile early on.
Logged

Jagerbomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 02:06:50 am »

Land vehicles is what I'm most keen on and I've never been one for using fast travel (unless maybe I can't stand the idea of doing a straight return trip in a game).  Hell... a bit a go I took some roadtrips in the dang tatra through a couple/few countries in the game (actually traveled to airports as well because they couldn't be reached by road from where I started each trip).  Still would like to see more of those buildings, though.  Sadly, evening sunlight still tanks my framerate and I suspect buildings will be bad.  :(  But I want them a lot.

Gonna really need GPS routes though.  I was using Google Maps on my mobile device as best as I could, lol.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 02:13:42 am by Jagerbomber »
Logged
"Perhaps this speaks to some larger trend within society today...  A prevailing desire on the part of indie developers to recreate the entire world into one where you can charge more than $15 for your game design degree coursework." - Yahtzee ;) :P

bomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 523
  • newbie
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 04:20:21 pm »

An interesting question Ocam,

I understand your focus on Anteworld (as a question) ......what's it gonna be...

But I never thought it was going to be anything, least of all a game... it's more bait to modders, to entice them onto the hook.

I'm an Online player of combat flight sims, WWII bomber crew experience being my thing.... I also have a slight hankering for tank and submarine crewing... the theme here is that I like having multiple people talking to each other on intercom in a single vehicle... A Friday night, a bottle of red wine and a good chat and experience as we all crew a B17 to Schweinfurt can't be beaten to my mind.. (it's not for everyone I know).

But Outerra mods have the ability to be something to everyone... the trick to my mind would be to link them up such that although separate mods catering to their own fanbase of players within a genre, there's a cause and effect link.

Lets just say that I'm not a great fan of the 'Total simulation' but instead a more focused approach that satisfies the player of that particular mod and doesn't leave them thinking 'well it's ok, but there's too much... this that and the other getting in the way'

Outerra does have a great future... I hope they revolutionise the online gaming industry by engaging 110% with moders..

that's my 1 pence anyway
Logged
"If anyone ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me - it's all balls" - R J Mitchell

inactive

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 71
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 07:49:30 pm »

I honestly hope if Outerra's going to have multiplayer, that there's both singleplayer and multiplayer options. For multiplayer, it can be like Blockland, where a player can host their own server and password it or make it public. If possible, the mods that the player are using can be downloaded to some cache file also like Blockland, as opposed to making all of the people who join said server download all of the mods being used.

As for players themselves, I think the playermodel customization should be like a mix between Garry's Mod and Saints Row.
There can be 2 options:
1. The player can customize a character and change their clothes/look/hair/skin color/eyes/etc similar to in Roblox/Saints Row/GTA Online.
2. The player can import a model, similar to in VR Chat or Garry's Mod.



Another thing is placements of objects in the game. Yet again, like Blockland (and also Garrys Mod), object placements (and hopefully some day vehicles) can be saved to a file, and cleared, and loaded again at a later time by the player. (like if i wanted to make alternate versions of some city) A thumbnail can be displayed on the save file, and if possible, show the mods it uses and the bounds of the save on a map (pretty much a box around where all the objects on it are)


Next up, it'd also be nice to see weapons in the game. Guns, melee, etc. As well as tools, but i think these are obviously going to come anyway, so.

Last but not least, while likely not possible yet, it'd be cool to see AI in the game, and have animals in the forests, people and cars on streets, trains on rails going by at random, boats sailing up a river/ocean, etc.




Logged

wibblywobblytime

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 06:31:55 pm »

It'd definitely be cool for city building. Like, I genuinely lose sleep thinking about how much I need this.

You wouldn't have the whole world accesible at the one time, but you could fly to a place in the world and 'choose' that region (like a big big square) and build your city there.

Something so many city builders lack, that only Simcity 4 really did to its max potential - region size. Not neccesarily map size, but the ability to really stack up towns and cities from different parts of a continent and have them all exist together, just as a visual thing. To know that more exists than just the tile you're working on.

With an Outerra based city builder, you could have your main city in some continent, fly up high in the air to see it from up there, then fly down to another valley many kilometres away to start building a satellite town. Then, the sheer joy of creating a winding highway to connect them, creating a train network to join up all your little towns and hamlets and satelite cities you've made.

So it's less about map size, (CitiesXL and Cities Skylines both had pretty big maps) and more about the *world* being there, being on earth, being on this continent, being in this region. Makes such a difference. No other game does it to it's biggest potential.

Outerra already has the ability to handle thousands of roads and buildings, so it's definitely capable of handling a city to an extent, and the road-building system is quite good.
Just watch this video Cameni posted and tell me it wouldn't be possible to take it a step further with much bigger selection of models, a few more road types, and connecting those buildings to a population :)



 So it's definitely the most interesting long-term possible 'game' for me. I know so many people would appreciate and lust over. The idea that you could work on your region for many many years, slowly working your way over the continent to other places.

To deal with the challenge of rendering multiple cities, when you want to fly up to see them all, I thought of a solution. I'd say every half hour or so, the game takes low res aerial 'pictures' of each population center from 1k up, 5k up, 10k, 100k etc. And just stores them. So that when you fly up above the corresponding region and want to see all the city growth together, it can load in those aligned pictures underneath the atmosphere, without rendering a single little building.

This is SO possible. I know traffic logic and RDI is a pain in the ass to figure out in a realistic way, but that's barely the most important thing to me. I really just want to do what Outerra can already do, but with various road types, various house and building types, a few ways to draw parks (the way CitiesXL handles parks is great). Not to mention Outerra already offers zooming down to street level, walking around the beautiful natural world with bird sounds and wind. Imagine doing that but you're surrounded by neighborhood houses with laneways and parks, a suburban train line nearby.

The most immersive, grand-scale city builder of all time.
Logged

wesleyibruce

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2022, 11:53:01 pm »

I like the ideas here. I think the technology exists or can be created to deliver more than one type of game in the world at the same time. Though in the game may be the wrong term. Layered on top of the world may be better.

I'm a would be game designer but world building is a pain. Having something like the Outerra engine as the world would work wonders.
I suspect game play should be served by external light servers holding a reference point in Anteworld and a catch mesh and all the build items relative to the reference point. Add a genre selection option so it finds all the builds matching your genre and play style and if multiplayer is allowed you see the other players. [A catch mesh is the unmodified ground mesh moved down 2 cm so if something does not load you don't fall though the world. My pet peeve in star citizen. ]

Items on your build are interactable, if set to be, but not movable or destroyable.

I like survival games. To do them we need a file to get the biome details, ground/ rock type, and decorations (buildings and road). Then a search function turns up pick able resources with tools expanding those resources. Spawning the resources on the terrain may stress the computer. Its an extra step that may not be needed. I have wanted to do a game where the player starts with nothing and survives but has an exotic range of environments to do it. Outerra has that world. It has 90% of the data.

However the end game for a survival game is generally a morph into a base building, ship building or social sim game. That results in clutter. No draw clutter is an option. Setting your builds to be visible only to friends and guild would work.

Those that like big varied combat could allow see all builds/ clutter. That makes the world more interesting for a fighter, bomber, tankers, etc. In this context clutter is cover. Or builds may be seen by genre. Note: battle damage may be a tag on a build that effects combatants but not the build. I.e. cover, concealment. reduced armor. reduces movement speed. This means people can battle though your decorative or survival build with out mattering to you if your off line.   
Having an autoclean up on craters, trench works, wrecked vehicles for non combat players would reduce conflict. That could be a log in setting that would make non combat players happy while "allowing" full use and abuse of their builds and battle space when they are off line. While your on lone I can see ways on battle shielding builds as neutral civilian/ UN locations. Your build becomes impassable and un targetable.   

Outerra sails to the edge of game engine limits with some terrain. Northern hemisphere trees do double duties as southern hemisphere trees eucalypts, acacias, etc. Adding trees, bushes, rocks, resources needs some magic, better compression or early load tests to see which biome folder is loaded. That's planned. One pass changes from zipped files. However that needs to be probably client/ game side not changes to the engine. 

I'm probably a little over ambitious. I'm not expecting anything fast. I know I'm commenting on an old topic.       
 

 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2022, 11:57:21 pm by wesleyibruce »
Logged

fly77

  • Outerra Master Modder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2022, 02:38:49 am »

I like the ideas here. I think the technology exists or can be created to deliver more than one type of game in the world at the same time. Though in the game may be the wrong term. Layered on top of the world may be better.

I'm a would be game designer but world building is a pain. Having something like the Outerra engine as the world would work wonders.
I suspect game play should be served by external light servers holding a reference point in Anteworld and a catch mesh and all the build items relative to the reference point. Add a genre selection option so it finds all the builds matching your genre and play style and if multiplayer is allowed you see the other players. [A catch mesh is the unmodified ground mesh moved down 2 cm so if something does not load you don't fall though the world. My pet peeve in star citizen. ]

Items on your build are interactable, if set to be, but not movable or destroyable.

I like survival games. To do them we need a file to get the biome details, ground/ rock type, and decorations (buildings and road). Then a search function turns up pick able resources with tools expanding those resources. Spawning the resources on the terrain may stress the computer. Its an extra step that may not be needed. I have wanted to do a game where the player starts with nothing and survives but has an exotic range of environments to do it. Outerra has that world. It has 90% of the data.

However the end game for a survival game is generally a morph into a base building, ship building or social sim game. That results in clutter. No draw clutter is an option. Setting your builds to be visible only to friends and guild would work.

Those that like big varied combat could allow see all builds/ clutter. That makes the world more interesting for a fighter, bomber, tankers, etc. In this context clutter is cover. Or builds may be seen by genre. Note: battle damage may be a tag on a build that effects combatants but not the build. I.e. cover, concealment. reduced armor. reduces movement speed. This means people can battle though your decorative or survival build with out mattering to you if your off line.   
Having an autoclean up on craters, trench works, wrecked vehicles for non combat players would reduce conflict. That could be a log in setting that would make non combat players happy while "allowing" full use and abuse of their builds and battle space when they are off line. While your on lone I can see ways on battle shielding builds as neutral civilian/ UN locations. Your build becomes impassable and un targetable.   

Outerra sails to the edge of game engine limits with some terrain. Northern hemisphere trees do double duties as southern hemisphere trees eucalypts, acacias, etc. Adding trees, bushes, rocks, resources needs some magic, better compression or early load tests to see which biome folder is loaded. That's planned. One pass changes from zipped files. However that needs to be probably client/ game side not changes to the engine. 

I'm probably a little over ambitious. I'm not expecting anything fast. I know I'm commenting on an old topic.     

amazing considerations...so glad to have you here...someone like you who has actually understanding of how games are constructed....I'm just a simple modder and have no idea how a game can be constructed....but this is something that I'm very interested in.  As a start I created a ultrasimple small game "snowball game" that you can find here in the forum ( https://forum.outerra.com/index.php?topic=5020.msg49763#msg49763) you can try it out and/or have a look at the code...maybe I /we can improve on it. I'm very much interested in constructing something more professionally ..still keeping it ultrasimple.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2022, 02:41:59 am by fly77 »
Logged

wesleyibruce

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2022, 01:47:45 am »

I am not strictly a game dev. I have dyslexia so while I know what the codes doing; if you hand me a page of code my head explodes with in 5 minutes. It actually hurts to read!
I also see game designers making work for them in many case by by making changes to the game world then the changes could be to an empty in the game world. The over designed elevators in star citizen are a case.
Ideally a game in Anteworld should be a set of empties that you interact with so major changes to the engine are not happening around you.

There is no reason why a game can't be a chain of mods. That's how Minecraft developed.
Logged

fly77

  • Outerra Master Modder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2022, 04:16:38 am »

I am not strictly a game dev. I have dyslexia so while I know what the codes doing; if you hand me a page of code my head explodes with in 5 minutes. It actually hurts to read!
I also see game designers making work for them in many case by by making changes to the game world then the changes could be to an empty in the game world. The over designed elevators in star citizen are a case.
Ideally a game in Anteworld should be a set of empties that you interact with so major changes to the engine are not happening around you.

There is no reason why a game can't be a chain of mods. That's how Minecraft developed.

I see. OK.  Mysterious concepts for me: " an empty"  what's that ?  "chain of mods" how to understand this ? here we're doing mods of vehicles, planes, boats but they are each separate from each other.  "chain"  = Trying to establish links between mods (what kind of links)  ?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 06:36:14 am by fly77 »
Logged

wesleyibruce

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2022, 10:42:40 am »

Ha Now I see the typos in my own post.  :facepalm:
An empty is an bounding box with out an object or texture. It can be interacted with in the game. It can be a bounding box that detects a player and triggers an event. Its in blender, unity and unreal but different games give them different names.
A chain of mods is something in minecraft modding where mods depend on each other. It allows more flexibility and more specialization. Smaller modding teams use it. It also makes debugging easier. I.e. In minecraft there is a farming mod Pan harvest craft that other people have built on. with a kitchen mod; cooking for block heads, bamboo mods that add recipes and crops. Etc.
In minecraft the ore bodies; pistons; bamboo; and sea life were all once mods. Mojag hired the best modders.
In Arma 3 there is a mod that adds hunting the rabbits, skinning them and cooking the meat, another survival mod where you can cook other things that are just decorations in the base game. In the base game the rabbits are just a distraction. One mod adds a random killer rabbit from Monty Python that can take out whole platoons.   
Logged

fly77

  • Outerra Master Modder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2022, 12:29:08 pm »

Ha Now I see the typos in my own post.  :facepalm:
An empty is an bounding box with out an object or texture. It can be interacted with in the game. It can be a bounding box that detects a player and triggers an event. Its in blender, unity and unreal but different games give them different names.
A chain of mods is something in minecraft modding where mods depend on each other. It allows more flexibility and more specialization. Smaller modding teams use it. It also makes debugging easier. I.e. In minecraft there is a farming mod Pan harvest craft that other people have built on. with a kitchen mod; cooking for block heads, bamboo mods that add recipes and crops. Etc.
In minecraft the ore bodies; pistons; bamboo; and sea life were all once mods. Mojag hired the best modders.
In Arma 3 there is a mod that adds hunting the rabbits, skinning them and cooking the meat, another survival mod where you can cook other things that are just decorations in the base game. In the base game the rabbits are just a distraction. One mod adds a random killer rabbit from Monty Python that can take out whole platoons.



Very interesting ! Thanks !

Here is an "empty" mod, that activates a trigger flag. Please try it out and let me know if this for you is a valid example of an "empty"

download from here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NZgUpALWgsdjqRC_MKVP_GEo33VVZQ6G/view?usp=sharing

installation: click on self-installing empty.otx file

use: in outerra open scenery editor (F7 key) , under assets search for "empty", drag and place it in the scenery , in ufo mode move close to the "empty" cube
you should hear "tada !" sound and text on the screen. Activation occurs when at a distance < 2 m, for reactivation you need to move back by 1 m first



Logged

wesleyibruce

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2022, 07:59:32 am »

Yep fly77 you've got it but the box in games have too states and an additional property. One state toggles on visibility with it normally toggled off; on for builders; off for players. Secondly its generally detecting the player or vehicle but not collide. You can walk though it when it invisible. You still get the Tada. If you populate them procedurally then in visible mode they should not make a draw call if possible un less close or frame rates are really low or there in your forward arc of view. That way the game not tying to draw hundreds of things.

Then you can locally reference, spawn decorations, loot, animals, fish, etc. but with anything spawned have clean up line of code so it you leave the area time or distance it wipes the spawned stuff but not the empty. Other wise you will get a world full of junk and epic lag.

I finally got around to buying the full version. 
Logged

fly77

  • Outerra Master Modder
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
Re: Anteworld Game Design Think Tank
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2022, 07:53:40 am »

Very interesting. Now I start to see what "empties" are used for.  Yeh I can make them collisionless.  Also I  can make them invisible for players, while remaining visible when placing them in the editor.  For now I won't attempt procedural placement of empties as I am not sure how to meaningfully select locations for them by some procedure. Unfortunately in outerra so far the API has no easy way to detect local terrain type. That would be useful since forest animals should only be spawned in forests (there are unfortunately exceptions  :))  ) , people mostly in cities, cows only on grassy terrain, etc.. What is easily possible now is to detect water. So maybe I could create fish in lakes ...except that I have no good animated fish mod ready now. Birds would be easier as we have at least one working "Free eagle" mod  by andfly...he also made a lot of other very beautiful bird mods but I think they never worked in single bird mode..also it seems the flocks are broken.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2022, 09:23:00 am by fly77 »
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4