Movement and Exploration

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Crosmando
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Movement and Exploration

Post by Crosmando » June 26th, 2017, 10:14 am

Image
One thing I wanted to bring up, is about movement and exploration in BT4. For example in the above picture, there is a very obvious path, in the game will only the path be traversible? Like will you be able to move up off the path and go over the rocks, next to the trees and such? Might & Magic X for example was grid-based and movement was always along aligned paths, many people actually didn't like it because it felt restrictive, like the game was "on rails" (I don't agree with that but I understand where they're coming from), you couldn't move exactly where you wanted to go.

This isn't an issue I'm particularly invested in, but it's certainly something that people will care about.
Last edited by Crosmando on June 28th, 2017, 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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thebruce
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Re: Movement and Exploration

Post by thebruce » June 26th, 2017, 11:54 am

Yeah I'd been curious about that myself. Basically will the maps be the equivalent of having a whole lot of untraversible grid spots because the 'rail' goes from area A to area B, or will it be more like the wilderness where we have free movement with scattered blocks like trees (and each grid is an entirely arbitrary scale since a tree could take up 1/3 of an anormous city by the length of its walls :lol:)

In short, if we map, is it going to be pointless to map every 'step' because the environment around each 'step' is entirely esthetic? Dungeons, presumably, will be quite different (enclosed and cramped) than cities and forests and whatnot.

If we choose to hand map, will it more like a node-based free traveling maps from point to point, or will it still be grid-based without 'wasted' untraversible grid space? The fun of the mapping was discovering the structure and intuitively determining places to get to you haven't yet visited. Long trails in the form of rail routes will feel entirely frivolous to map.
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Re: Movement and Exploration

Post by ZZGO » June 26th, 2017, 1:12 pm

Ye olde Bard's Tale games were strictly grid-based, to the point of the manual telling you all dungeon levels (for I and II) are 22x22 squares. This premise would allow players to discern secret or important areas and perhaps divine the location of secret doors by looking at their grid map. If you had been to every square, you could be certain that you hadn't missed anything.

By contrast, games like Ultima III/IV/V or Dungeon Master, while grid-based, never expected or even allowed the player to reach every last point on the map. That made it harder to discern secret locations, though they did exist in these games.

Doom, then, basically did away with grid movement entirely. Though it occurs to me that it worked because it was a teal-time shooter. Had it been turn based, there would have been little if any point to its gridless maps.

Regarding Bard's Tale IV, I would expect a grid-based gameplay though personally, I don't think every last grid square needs to be defined and accessible. It worked really well in the Ultimas or Dungeon Master, and to me felt like a more realistic world more than "rails" in a perjorative sense. You could call a grid "rails" just as well. It's scope that matters, not the representation - how much world there is to explore, not how movement is abstracted.

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Re: Movement and Exploration

Post by thebruce » June 26th, 2017, 3:37 pm

There were levels in BT1-3 that may have had empty unexplorable areas. The goal wasn't to have every grid space explorable, but the grid concept allowed for it, and made mapping that much more fun.
I'm not against having grid spaces that are unreachable.
I'm for having a reasonably fun, productive, unfrustrating, unwasteful mapping experience ;)

Doom didn't need to be mapped because it had an automap feature (thankfully! because man, 3D)
BT with auto-mapping still needed to be mapped because the automaps didn't provide all the info about space content; it helped with quicker noting of walls & doors though. Which is why I don't want an automap feature that makes manually mapping pointlessly redundant.

** All we're hoping for from the mapping mechanic are levels that, as inspired by the classic Bard's Tale games, are reasonably worthwhile and rewarding to map as part of the dungeon crawling experience.

Levels that are effectively long rails of hallways between larger 'areas' become essentially pointless to map as they minify the grid structure as it pertains to mapping (it'd be like grid-snapping Doom). Snapping to grid in an environment like that for BT4 seems like a vestigial gimmicky leftover from the bygone era.
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Re: Movement and Exploration

Post by paultakeda » June 26th, 2017, 4:38 pm

Crosmando wrote: ↑
June 26th, 2017, 10:14 am
Image
One thing I wanted to bring up, is about movement and exploration in BT4. For example in the above picture, there is a very obvious path, in the game will only the path be traversible? Like will you be able to move up off the path and go over the rocks, next to the trees and such? Might & Magic X for example had grid-based movement and movement was always along aligned paths, many people actually didn't like it because it felt restrictive, like the game was "on rails" (I don't agree with that but I understand where they're coming from), you couldn't move exactly where you wanted to go.

This isn't an issue I'm particularly invested in, but it's certainly something that people will care about.
If the emphasis is dungeons and the overworld is just going from town to dungeon to town, then I couldn't care less about being restricted to the roads on the map. A dungeon could certainly be a forest in the overworld as well, but I expect there to be some sort of transition between it and the overworld.

Granted, Skara Brae as an overworld was pretty maze like and had its dangers, but one could just have all the towns like that, too, and the overworld is still town to dungeon to town.

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Re: Movement and Exploration

Post by thebruce » June 26th, 2017, 6:48 pm

I wouldn't mind walls were things like excessive height differences... like, as in the image above, you may not be able to go left or right, but you could find a way up onto the the hills; even if there's a grid space or two between the low and high. Walls don't always have to be "walls". Sort of like Doom going from Wolf's single-elevation to dynamic elevation yet still being a 2D map.
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