Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Loach » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:49 am

Can someone put a link for the video? I can't see them when they're embedded in the thread.

I've always wondered how you guys would tackle the skybox and day/night cycle issue since Yellowstone is just vast, open space. Scripting the sun and moon to rise and set and having the lighting in the sky change is easy, making it work visibly with what's present is what's hard. You'd either have to model the whole terrain or find something along the lines of making the skybox landscape gradually melt into one another so it gives the illusion that the lighting within the game is making it look that way. But then there'd be things like clouds to worry about. :X It feels doable if you were to separate the landscape from the skyline and maybe have like, a shader, or something similar that's tuned to the lighting stages of the day/night cycle and then have the skybox with the actual SKY be its own thing (thus allowing for more dynamic clouds/weather effects I suppose), but that still feels like a stretch LOL.

Save for making up imaginary landmarks that can serve as high barriers to fix the issue it's a really tight spot LOL. At least there's security in knowing the game isn't set on a flat, endless tundra.

But either way, I'd sacrifice the baked terrain in favor of figuring out a good day cycle system any day; the way the ground looks at dawn and dusk with the bakemaps is somewhat jarring and distracting.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by SolitaryHowl » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:20 am

Fiske wrote:Can someone put a link for the video? I can't see them when they're embedded in the thread.

I've always wondered how you guys would tackle the skybox and day/night cycle issue since Yellowstone is just vast, open space. Scripting the sun and moon to rise and set and having the lighting in the sky change is easy, making it work visibly with what's present is what's hard. You'd either have to model the whole terrain or find something along the lines of making the skybox landscape gradually melt into one another so it gives the illusion that the lighting within the game is making it look that way. But then there'd be things like clouds to worry about. :X It feels doable if you were to separate the landscape from the skyline and maybe have like, a shader, or something similar that's tuned to the lighting stages of the day/night cycle and then have the skybox with the actual SKY be its own thing (thus allowing for more dynamic clouds/weather effects I suppose), but that still feels like a stretch LOL.

Save for making up imaginary landmarks that can serve as high barriers to fix the issue it's a really tight spot LOL. At least there's security in knowing the game isn't set on a flat, endless tundra.

But either way, I'd sacrifice the baked terrain in favor of figuring out a good day cycle system any day; the way the ground looks at dawn and dusk with the bakemaps is somewhat jarring and distracting.
Here's the direct link to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ8aA5E98p8

I hope they can make the day/night cycle work, but not if they have to sacrifice other (more important) aspects of Tower Fall to do it.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Ecliptic » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:58 am

The waterfall is beautiful, I can't wait for my wolf to visit it! And wow, I've been one who was looking forward to day/night cycles and I just realized that it's a lot more difficult in WolfQuest than in other games. And with the cycles, you'd also have to worry about if elk and moose are going to despawn when time changes or not, as well as the sounds (an owl hoots at night, but birds and all sorts of ambient noise are apparent at day). I'm not too upset about the fact that there won't be day/night cycles; after all, a player can sort of make its own by sleeping every now and then.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by PearlyReborn » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:22 am

Ecliptic wrote:The waterfall is beautiful, I can't wait for my wolf to visit it! And wow, I've been one who was looking forward to day/night cycles and I just realized that it's a lot more difficult in WolfQuest than in other games. And with the cycles, you'd also have to worry about if elk and moose are going to despawn when time changes or not, as well as the sounds (an owl hoots at night, but birds and all sorts of ambient noise are apparent at day). I'm not too upset about the fact that there won't be day/night cycles; after all, a player can sort of make its own by sleeping every now and then.
I feel like they can do it, but it would take a lot of time and effort that they don't have at the moment because they're focusing on making Tower Fall. So, my conclusions on this are "Probably not for a while, but maybe later?"

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Arctic Female » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:53 am

Video looks amazing. Anyway, I'm not an expert in these, but I know what Dave means.
It's nice to read suggestions from other WQ players and tips on how to improve the game, but it's easier to say than done, and every day wolfquest.org gets the bug reports and they should still be sorted out. That is what I assume.

Why don't you just add? is a simple question but new emotes, actions, animals, etc. need to be done and encoded, they are not finished, and make a check that everything works as it should, and those bugs/glitches.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Shiverdam » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:24 am

I've pondered a little and decided to offer my input on the day/night cycle.
What if it was just the same system we have now, but automated? That being that the screen goes brown/black, with the popup "Day/Dusk/Night/Dawn is coming!" But it's set on a timer rather than being manually selected.
Additionally, if this were to be implemented, include a toggle for automatic time progression. I imagine the feature would slow down some systems, especially on multiplayer, like if the game host had time set to "automatic progression" but some other players lag during the night setting or something.
Just a thought! I think it would be super cool to have to deal with whatever challenges different times of day impose without being able to avoid it entirely, like daytime lending itself to greedy scavengers eating all your food and nighttime offering a break from those pesky ravens, or waiting for the cycle to switch into dawn/dusk for optimal moose hunting time.
In turn though you would have to disable the despawning of prey animals when the time changes. I've been in a multiplayer game many a time wherein I'm hunting an elk and the host decides to change the time of day; it causes everything to despawn!

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by PearlyReborn » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:41 pm

Shiverdam wrote:I've pondered a little and decided to offer my input on the day/night cycle.
What if it was just the same system we have now, but automated? That being that the screen goes brown/black, with the popup "Day/Dusk/Night/Dawn is coming!" But it's set on a timer rather than being manually selected.
Additionally, if this were to be implemented, include a toggle for automatic time progression. I imagine the feature would slow down some systems, especially on multiplayer, like if the game host had time set to "automatic progression" but some other players lag during the night setting or something.
Just a thought! I think it would be super cool to have to deal with whatever challenges different times of day impose without being able to avoid it entirely, like daytime lending itself to greedy scavengers eating all your food and nighttime offering a break from those pesky ravens, or waiting for the cycle to switch into dawn/dusk for optimal moose hunting time.
In turn though you would have to disable the despawning of prey animals when the time changes. I've been in a multiplayer game many a time wherein I'm hunting an elk and the host decides to change the time of day; it causes everything to despawn!
That actually sounds like an excellent method of doing it, sort of like how when it changed from day to night in WOLF there was a little cutscene?

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by SolitaryHowl » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:35 pm

Shiverdam wrote:I've pondered a little and decided to offer my input on the day/night cycle.
What if it was just the same system we have now, but automated? That being that the screen goes brown/black, with the popup "Day/Dusk/Night/Dawn is coming!" But it's set on a timer rather than being manually selected.
I think that would be jarring if it cycled that way, though, and would actually take away from your immersion rather than add to it.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Shiverdam » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:43 pm

SolitaryHowl wrote:
Shiverdam wrote:I've pondered a little and decided to offer my input on the day/night cycle.
What if it was just the same system we have now, but automated? That being that the screen goes brown/black, with the popup "Day/Dusk/Night/Dawn is coming!" But it's set on a timer rather than being manually selected.
I think that would be jarring if it cycled that way, though, and would actually take away from your immersion rather than add to it.
I'm not sure. The way it is currently is pretty jarring; you have to stop what you're doing, click what time of day you want, wait for the changeover, then wait for the stretch animation to finish before you can get back to what you were doing.
Honestly it would run the same way it does when you're just a guest in multiplayer. When the host changes the time of day, the guests don't have to lay down and wait. You can just keep playing, and this idea would work the same way.

Instead of it just happening unexpectedly (because not everyone is going to keep track of how much time has gone by), there could be a countdown in the top right corner that tells you how much time you have until the next change that you could also toggle on and off. If not a full-blown ticker, perhaps just a popup that says "1 minute until dawn!" or a countdown from 1 minute appears.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Loach » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:54 pm

Having a pop up every time the day and night shifts could potentially be worse than the system we have now, in my opinion.
Reason being is that right now, changing the time of day is optional, so you can pick what you prefer and not have to encounter it. It sucks that it doesn't change on its own and feels like time is frozen even though you progress through large chunks of wolf life when playing, but it gives you a freedom to decide how you want to do things. Whereas if it were automatic and kinda shooed you into the next state, you would get notifications of time shifts a total of 4 times every in-game day. That'd be like having a clock that always chimes its obnoxious alarm every 6 hours and no matter what you do (short of throwing it at the wall and breaking it) could stop it. It's got the potential to get intrusive and annoying quite quickly.

The way the current timestates change seems more a chance to let the game load properly than anything else (it's gotta load those bakemaps when you switch, after all). I personally wouldn't want to be fighting a bear while defending starving pups only to get a blip saying I have 60 seconds before it's high noon and wonder what i'll be facing after the transition, in the technical sense. (Would the game be able to load the player and bear properly when their behaviors are being interrupted? Would the time shift mess with where the bear should be based on time and despawn it? Would one of my pups be dead because the game put a halt on everything but didn't halt the threat of the bear when the screen fades for a transition? How many minutes would a state of the day last to begin with? 5 minutes? 10? Which would be too long or too short? Just so many things...).

Okami had a nice little transition where there'd be a cutscene from day to night and night to day and have a little sound effect, but that could get annoying since again, WQ has 4 times of day with unique lighting and traits, not 2. RIP dev team this is such a high wall climb in the obstacle course of dev life.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Phasoli » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:57 am

I have to agree with not implementing this sort of day-night cycle. When I first read the idea, I thought, "Yeah, that solves that problem!" But then I thought about running into a transition screen while hunting, fighting a predator, or defending a pup.
Fiske wrote:Having a pop up every time the day and night shifts could potentially be worse than the system we have now, in my opinion.

The way the current timestates change seems more a chance to let the game load properly than anything else (it's gotta load those bakemaps when you switch, after all). I personally wouldn't want to be fighting a bear while defending starving pups only to get a blip saying I have 60 seconds before it's high noon and wonder what i'll be facing after the transition, in the technical sense. (Would the game be able to load the player and bear properly when their behaviors are being interrupted? Would the time shift mess with where the bear should be based on time and despawn it? Would one of my pups be dead because the game put a halt on everything but didn't halt the threat of the bear when the screen fades for a transition? How many minutes would a state of the day last to begin with? 5 minutes? 10? Which would be too long or too short? Just so many things...).
I have to agree with Fiske here...

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by loboLoco » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:54 am

Fiske wrote:Having a pop up every time the day and night shifts could potentially be worse than the system we have now, in my opinion.
Yeah, I don't think that's a viable solution.

We certainly haven't given up on the day/night cycle yet; the point of this blog entry was that it's not as simple as it looks and may or may not work given the particular constraints of our game.
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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by InfinityHowls » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:13 am

Thanks for sharing updates, btw, I love that rainbow.

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Phasoli » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:52 pm

loboLoco wrote:We certainly haven't given up on the day/night cycle yet; the point of this blog entry was that it's not as simple as it looks and may or may not work given the particular constraints of our game.
Thanks for the confirmation. Hopefully it'll work out!

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Re: Game Design Challenges: Why don’t you just add…??

Post by Loach » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:54 pm

loboLoco wrote:We certainly haven't given up on the day/night cycle yet; the point of this blog entry was that it's not as simple as it looks and may or may not work given the particular constraints of our game.
It's definitely never simple, but where there's a will there's a way! Hopefully a method that works both on PC and mobile devices without sacrificing too much will be figured out. I'm eyeballs deep in pre-prod for a course and I already feel like I'm creeping to a level where I might want to pull out my hair, but this situation with the day/night cycle sounds really frustrating.

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