Author Topic: Ideas for exploration enhancement  (Read 3986 times)

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 12:36:54 PM »
I agree that exploration isn't the main part of the game, but it is a part of the game nonetheless, so why not polish it and make it more fun?

How about passing next to a door will give you a sense of whether there's something interesting through this door. You don't know what it is, but there's something there. That gives you a way to explore a large space without giving away what's behind this door or 2 doors down, so there's plenty of surprise left. And gravestones could still have maps etched onto them.

I also agree that objects are a more important thing to focus on right now. I place them under 'making procedural generation more interesting for combat' and I have several ideas there. Like a 'caution waxed floor' sign next to... a waxed floor that makes you slip around. Or a trolley that when hit by a spell with mass flies off and hits whatever's behind it. Anyway that's for another thread.

Offline x4000

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2012, 12:44:43 PM »
Having clues from the doors when you pass in front of them could work really well.  I still think that taking out the map in its current form would be a great way to really upend the current playerbase and reviewers, though.  Like it or not, that general mechanic of using the maps to navigate is pretty much how this works now -- there are certain things that we can't change right after release in particular.  Now isn't a time where we can just reinvent massive portions of the game, because players are getting attached to them in a non-beta format, etc.

That said, we do plenty of reinvention post-release.  AI War 4.0 was practically a complete re-imagining of that game.  We did lose some players who said they never wanted to upgrade past 3.x, but since 3.x was really stable and had been out for years at that point, that was their prerogative.  With AVWW it's far too early to rock the boat on that scale, which is why we were rushing so much prior to 1.0 to get everything as close to perfect as possible when it came to the broad strokes of what the game is and isn't.

Now is absolutely the time for refinement of what is already here and that works well, and shoring up of things that are here and that don't work well, don't get me wrong.  But that's a matter of degree rather than kind, I guess.  Removing the maps entirely or changing the basics of how you explore would change... everything! ;)
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Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 12:46:24 PM »
(Also, thinking we should move this to the brain-storming sub-forum to think it over).

Well, it never hurts to talk about it, though I agree with Chris, exploration improving atm is a low-priority "issue" compared to the other issues being discussed. But talking about it never hurts and we could figure something out along the way that could be cool.  I personally want to enhance it as well as I find the exploration engaging for the first time in forever and would like to see it even better.  But map-pieces, seems a bit iffy to me.

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Offline Dizzard

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 12:46:55 PM »
Maybe Boss rooms could be completely secret? (except in boss towers, lieutenant/overlords keeps obviously...)

I can understand how stash/gem vein rooms would need to appear on the map since people will be actively looking for them for often used items.....but what about those random boss rooms? They should be more like an unexpected trap or ambush.

Although I do like the idea of finding or interacting with clues, so the map of the area gets filled in as you move from node to node.

Offline bvchaosinc

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2012, 12:58:48 PM »
I think you might go far in making the exploration part of the game more fun by just making the dungeon map more interesting.  Right now it is basically a spread sheet, great for quickly finding information, but about as exciting as eating plain white wonder bread, for the 3 month in a row. 

Offline Hyfrydle

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2012, 01:03:02 PM »
I have a couple of ideas firstly why not incorporate the exploration mechanic into the spell mechanic. Have some kind of spell that can be crafted and allow scanning of buildings and caves etc. As it reaches higher levels it becomes more affective giving more accurate information.

The second thing is not labelling rooms on the map just colour coding that somethings there but randomising what to expect in the room so it could be good or bad.

Hope this is food for thought but I agree the exploration mechanic requires a bit of a tweak.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2012, 01:04:51 PM »
I think you might go far in making the exploration part of the game more fun by just making the dungeon map more interesting.  Right now it is basically a spread sheet, great for quickly finding information, but about as exciting as eating plain white wonder bread, for the 3 month in a row.

Personally, I like the idea, but, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how we might go about doing that. Did you have any specific ideas in mind?

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 01:09:18 PM »
Having clues from the doors when you pass in front of them could work really well.  I still think that taking out the map in its current form would be a great way to really upend the current playerbase and reviewers, though.  Like it or not, that general mechanic of using the maps to navigate is pretty much how this works now -- there are certain things that we can't change right after release in particular.  Now isn't a time where we can just reinvent massive portions of the game, because players are getting attached to them in a non-beta format, etc.

That said, we do plenty of reinvention post-release.  AI War 4.0 was practically a complete re-imagining of that game.  We did lose some players who said they never wanted to upgrade past 3.x, but since 3.x was really stable and had been out for years at that point, that was their prerogative.  With AVWW it's far too early to rock the boat on that scale, which is why we were rushing so much prior to 1.0 to get everything as close to perfect as possible when it came to the broad strokes of what the game is and isn't.

Now is absolutely the time for refinement of what is already here and that works well, and shoring up of things that are here and that don't work well, don't get me wrong.  But that's a matter of degree rather than kind, I guess.  Removing the maps entirely or changing the basics of how you explore would change... everything! ;)

I realize that there are limitations with what can be done right after releasing 1.0. I think I just couldn't identify specifically the map mechanism as something I didn't like -- before I just thought the space itself was too large and just accepted it as it is. But once I started thinking about it some more I realized that it was the lack of surprise from the automatic map exploration that was really bothering me. Unfortunately that realization took place this morning :)

Anyway, while releasing this kind of change now would seem like you're quickly patching up a fairly major game mechanic, doing so in about a month shouldn't be too bad, right? Especially because I do think it would contribute to player enjoyment. I'm not trying to get you to commit to this particular way of doing things -- I'm just asking if that timeframe seems more appropriate for this kind of change as it'd be seen more like you released the product, listened to fan feedback, thought about it for a month and then decided on this fairly major (ish) change. Object stuff can be done right now of course because that's adding more content to the game, which is seen as a positive.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2012, 01:11:55 PM »
I think you might go far in making the exploration part of the game more fun by just making the dungeon map more interesting.  Right now it is basically a spread sheet, great for quickly finding information, but about as exciting as eating plain white wonder bread, for the 3 month in a row.

Well, can you think of a "room connectivity" map system that can "look good", scale, and still be automatically generable for any arbitrary room configuration, as this is a procedurally generated game? That seems very difficult. That's probably why they settled on the "spreadsheet" look in the first place, because it scales well, is informative, and can easily be generated for any set of rooms and their connections that this game can generate, even though it may sacrifice a bit on aesthetics. (It may be that with a few additional restrictions on how the generator is allowed to connect rooms in a building/dungeon/cave/whatever may make a "nice looking", "traditional" dungeon map system feasible. Something to think about)

I have a couple of ideas firstly why not incorporate the exploration mechanic into the spell mechanic. Have some kind of spell that can be crafted and allow scanning of buildings and caves etc. As it reaches higher levels it becomes more affective giving more accurate information.

The second thing is not labelling rooms on the map just colour coding that somethings there but randomising what to expect in the room so it could be good or bad.

Hope this is food for thought but I agree the exploration mechanic requires a bit of a tweak.

I could go for that. Have a chance that a room might not be able to be fully identifiable until you enter it sounds like a cool idea. Some hint about whether it is probably a "good" or "bad" room may be helpful, but it wouldn't give any specifics until you enter it.

Also, "secret doors" that the "auto scout" cannot "search through" for the map until you go through that door seems like a great idea.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:13:54 PM by techsy730 »

Offline madcow

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 01:16:30 PM »
I think its not so much the mechanic of exploring that needs changing, but more cool variety in what you can find in those stash rooms.

Having some of the stash rooms (or making a new type of rooms called I don't know, challenge rooms or something along those lines) packed with even more goodies - but also tons of enemies, traps (of some sort), maybe difficult platforming would add more variety to what you find while keeping the same exploration mechanic.

Edit: I realize its easy to say more content, I know there's a lot already. I like the way exploration is done in AVWW, and I would love ways to see it even more interesting with unexpected surprises.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:18:28 PM by madcow »

Offline Hunam

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2012, 02:00:56 PM »
In order for exploration to be enjoyable the world needs to be fun to explore obviously. In my opinion the best exploration comes from the players desire to simply learn more about the game world. Right now exploration is basically going from point A to B while attempting to complete objectives, and while the world is vast and beautiful I never find myself just randomly exploring.

One thing that would make more want to explore more would be to just learn more about enemies. There are already many types of diverse foes in the game but they are not that interesting from an exploration standpoint (Of course, don't get me wrong, from a combat perspective they are quite interesting and fun to fight.) Maybe adding some type of spell that exist  for the sole purpose of learning more about the characteristics of enemies would add more depth to the world. This spell could pull up a window with basic things like appearance, behavior, (ex what it preys on etc.) and other random facts.

This could be taken further by just throwing in various creatures that don't do anything other than exist in the world. They could be common or rare depending on the creature. For instance, maybe some creature only appears when creatures from the lava areas begin to migrate into other zones. This would give me some reason to just explore to learn more about Environ.

Finally I don't know if this is even practical but the spell could pull up a detailed drawing of the creature in question along with the other info. I don't know if these could be submitted by the community based on occasional contest or whatever.

I guess the game that really got me thinking along these lines was Beyond Good and Evil and the photography element where you take pictures and earn points (or whatever) when you discover a new creature.

Also congratulations on the official launch and already creating such an awesome game! :)

Offline madcow

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2012, 02:06:36 PM »
Oh man, finding scrolls with monster info to go in a monster compendium would be pretty cool.

Or finding little monster hatchlings that you could tame (by just finding them), and then let them wander around your settlement.

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2012, 02:07:53 PM »
Oh man, finding scrolls with monster info to go in a monster compendium would be pretty cool.

Or finding little monster hatchlings that you could tame (by just finding them), and then let them wander around your settlement.

Ooo I like this idea, maybe with a spell that let us get a copy of the monster somehow. Similar to how the Shrink spell works. 

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Offline bvchaosinc

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2012, 02:11:42 PM »
Well I got some ideas. 

Ditch the mini dungeon map, push a key open a big screen blocking map.  Keep time running, but once a mob(or projectile) get so close to the toon (distance modified by combat difficulty) map auto closes.  So now their is some danger in rout planing with out the "Really my guy is just going to stand their looking at a map while the terrible slim monster dissolves his flesh!?" 

What really interesting about navigating is planing a rout and adapting to surprises along that rout.  This requires that land marks in the game be identifiable on the map and visa versa.  This also allow you to ditch the you are here marker, which in turn allows for getting lost despite having a fully defined map which can also be fun.

To do that you just need to string striped down versions of the chunk mini maps together.  Since your using the whole screen, you should be able to do that via the tried a true method of blue door in chunk A follow blue line to chunk F which will also have a blue door in it.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 02:13:43 PM by bvchaosinc »

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: Ideas for exploration enhancement
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2012, 02:15:56 PM »
Well I got some ideas. 

Ditch the mini dungeon map, push a key open a big screen blocking map.  Keep time running, but once a mob(or projectile) get so close to the toon (distance modified by combat difficulty) map auto closes.  So now their is some danger in rout planing with out the "Really my guy is just going to stand their looking at a map while the terrible slim monster dissolves his flesh!?" 

No, do not like. Based off AIW that did the same thing, people didn't like that idea do much.  And I don't like it either, it requires me to push a button at arbitrary placed and really breaks up the flow of the game.  I never liked it in other games that did it either. 

As for "adaptive routing", that's a cool idea in theory, but idk if that would work in this game. Hmm...
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