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Community Discussion Topics => Game Dev and Gaming => Topic started by: gemmboy on Oct 02, 11, 06:35:46 PM

Title: World Suggestions Suited To My Theme
Post by: gemmboy on Oct 02, 11, 06:35:46 PM
Ok, I'm one of the new developers here on the Hero Engine forums and I have some questions about my world design. I am making a world that can balance 5,000 player population per channel, which is different from the shard. Each channel, login, database, gameserver would need its own server as stated by the developers. I have 4 areas linked per zone, with a sub set of 15 areas linked into 3 instances. My design is for a post appocalyptic world, as I have saved my high fantasy idea for something else. My questions will be outlined with my vision in the second paragraph.

I want to create a world that is believable with out much limit to the players. My land mass is the size of a general continent, as the player travels around believably surviving and gathering resources and building stuff. The zones are pieces of the landmass, and divided up into Areas. Each Zone has 4 areas connected inside it, and additionally has 15 areas connected to "instances". My question is, how to block players in without building weird mountain ranges that seemingly block their path. I don't want to build tons of the world, nor do I want it totally open to explore. My theme wont allow such a generic theme park MMOG such as Eden Eternal or another linear game. I don't want to build areas the size of WoW maps, because general Rift and WoW populations are within 2,500 to 5,000 players per channel, not counting the numerous channels per shard. So roughly areas designed to handle 50-100 players per area if needed. I am experienced with the UDK, Cry3 and those work differently than here. The techniques for a MMOG are much different than a regular FPS or RPG. I can't always leave my zones with a solid wall of cliff, or some non swim-able water, or some drop off into a inaccessible desert. I can build human barricades for some maps, make some crashes and environmental destruction, but that will become repetitive and tedious to make it look believable.

So my problems are, I want a good boundary point for my game, but I want players to realize that the boundary point isn't some magical cliff they can't climb because I said so. I need to give it good reason. Another problem of mine is making my game seem open, but yet still linear in paths. I want to mix being able to explore with being able to still push them into their path. My game is NOT quest driven. I will be going over the game BASE design so you can better understand and respond with helpful answers to my post.

The world is dynamically driven. I need 4 sets of dynamically controlled events per area. It's simply if NPC invades area A, completes a series of objectives against the players, then Area A adapts and changes to the Dynamic Event. To prevent stress and overload per area, each event is randomly generated and can be player triggered by doing quests, or exploring and interacting with the world. The dynamics are on a cool down period so the server doesn't "burn" from handling too many process at once. The area will be reset after the cool down is completed, or players retake objectives for that area before the cool down. The AI has a decision engine, allowing them to eat, sleep, drink, react to players, give quests, interact with other npc, or actually do nothing. My world is simulated and is alive.

These boundaries need to be in good measure alongside the set exploration freedoms. I have a problem mixing the 2 together because everytime I do it ends up either linear, or to server stressed. I concluded that the Instance "Areas" dont load up unless activated by players, and they are on different servers. Some suggestions would be nice.
Title: Re: World Suggestions Suited To My Theme
Post by: HE-Cooper on Oct 02, 11, 06:47:39 PM
I'm not entirely certain what you are asking, but physical zone boundaries and the techniques used to create them really are the same for single player or massive games, so I'd look at what other games have done. Fallout 3 does a great job of creating the feeling of open world exploration while mixing geological blockades with arbitrary blockades like a pile of crushes across a road, or even just an arbitrary sign or saw horse with invisible walls. I think it's really about handling your players expectations. If you set the rules up and follow them most players will happily go along. "oh when the road ends I can't go further" or "ah this game uses water for all boundaries" "it's dumb that chainlink fencing means end of zone, but at least I always know when I see them".
Title: Re: World Suggestions Suited To My Theme
Post by: gemmboy on Oct 02, 11, 06:57:42 PM
I'm technically asking for some boundaries that would make players accept them better than coming to a wall of rocks in the middle of nowhere and saying "WHAT!?!"
Title: Re: World Suggestions Suited To My Theme
Post by: Rissa2002 on Oct 02, 11, 09:25:57 PM
well post nuke type wars means lots of fallout ie areas peeps will get sick and die in hence there is your bounderies.. make a border of taking damage per second a player stays in it till death... keeps folks inside your boundry and gives a good reason for it that ties into your theme..

second problem i read was not quest driven but a way to drive a player none the less.. have npc's or items give em clues for better gear not a quest in that you go kill 10 of these and return to me and i give you one of this type quest just a hey i heard these critters have parts that you can forge into this awesome thing and poof players will flock the way you want as a general rule..as a rule players will want to upgrade gear to be bigger and badder so you set the path to how they can get that way.. do i hear a whisper of if you build it they will come?
~shakes head~ nah must be to many movies..

good luck tho :)
Title: Re: World Suggestions Suited To My Theme
Post by: YS-Bill on Oct 03, 11, 07:50:23 PM
I'm technically asking for some boundaries that would make players accept them better than coming to a wall of rocks in the middle of nowhere and saying "WHAT!?!"

Realistically, some players will accept whatever boundaries you give them, and some will not.  What I mean is, in every MMO I have ever played, players try to find ways past the boundaries, and in a lot of the cases, probably most cases, they do find ways around them.

As far as appearance, all you can do is make boundaries that fit into your game, or the particular area of your game the boundary will be in to make them aesthetically pleasing.

Whatever you do, make sure that by getting past boundaries, the player won't have to sit and wait for a GM or whatever you will call your particular support people to come free them, because regardless of whether they got themselves stuck doing something they shouldn't have been doing or not, they won't be happy campers if they have to wait to be freed.

Good luck with your project.