|sun + black hole = fwoosh!|
|This is a thread to propose and discuss core principles which should influence or direct the design of Twilight.|
This isn't necessarily for ideas (although some principles may be difficult to explain succinctly), but we can discuss possibly allowing or disallowing things which may go into a bit of detail.
- Twilight is a game of peaceful exploration.
- The player should not be able to engage in combat or destroy planets/moons/stars/etc. (Diverting or destroying asteroids which are on a collision course with a planet might be OK)
- Twilight should run on older computers and ideally also ones with integrated graphics
- The game should generally follow the felysian physics of Noctis IV
- The player should be able to explore planets - either by landing and walking/running around, or taking down the ship or a pod to fly above the surface.
- Unlike Noctis IV, Twilight should use odds of having particular planet types around particular star types WITHOUT having any strictly forbidden - some would be extremely unlikely, so someone could eventually find one. Also, there should be no cap on number of planets, just rolling to see if the system gets one more planet, until the roll comes up 'no' (Different star types would have different odds).
Something to discuss: Should players be able to land on extremely hot or cold planets, or other unsafe (no atmosphere, toxic atmosphere) ones? What if the ship can send a probe down instead, and the player controls the probe in a first-person fashion instead of going down personally? (They could still land on felysian worlds in person) This would also allow catastrophes or incredible conditions (like those at Venus' surface) to destroy the probe without harming the player.
Should we forbid intelligent life and especially space-faring life in the game, besides player and NPC stardrifters? Or should we leave open the possibility of maybe someday having civilizations in the galaxy with randomly generated ships and such which the player can observe and possibly communicate with?
|written by Puck on Mar 21, 2008 20:09|
|Alright, here's a few more I'd like to throw out:|
- Absolutely as much as possible, everything should be procedurally generated. Ideally we should create a game that even surprises the developers once in a while.
- Twilight should maintain the feeling of solitude presented by the previous Noctis games, all multiplayer features (including the guide) should be strictly optional with no internet connection required to play the game.
- Addendum to point 3 of Shadowlord's post: The file size of the finished game should be kept to a minimum..
- As an exploration game, Twilight should facilitate exploration and cataloging. In example only: maps, video recording, easy guide access, and so on.
That's a tough question, but I definitly like the idea of probes. I don't really see any reason why landing on these planets should be forbidden. In fact, it could make for some of the most interesting screenshots/discussion.
|Should players be able to land on extremely hot or cold planets, or other unsafe (no atmosphere, toxic atmosphere) ones?|
I'm going to say yes. It's an absurd amount of work for something that, in my opinion, will only take away from the feel of the game. Of course like anything else I won't object to it as long as it's optional.
|Should we forbid intelligent life and especially space-faring life in the game, besides player and NPC stardrifters?|
|I'm mostly going to talk about the feel of the game in this post.|
On the topic of intelligent life other than Felisians, I would say no as well. Placing intelligent life in the game suggests interaction. Noctis is about exploration and discovery, without direct interaction. I believe that this passive nature should be maintained.
I believe that there should be plenty of subtle hints at the possibility of other intelligence. The intrigue of this possibility has inspired many Noctis players for quite a while. In the discussion forum the topic was mentioned fairly often, and I believe that that aspect of intrigue is very core to Noctis.
In Noctis IV, you get an overall feeling that there is some sort of intelligence there, that's just out of view
NocT should maintain the overall feeling of Noctis IV (if it weren't for that amazing feeling, we wouldn't be here, now would we?). Since the possibilities are all but endless, we should seek to enrich that feeling, and give it even more depth. NocT will ideally feel as if you've taken the immersion of Noctis IV and cranked it up as far as it can go.
When I'm done with a Noctis playing session, I want it to take a moment for me to readjust to reality, because I've become so immersed in the Noctis universe.
I personally think that exploration should be done by the actual Felysian, rather than through some probe. Noctis already allows you to do some pretty unreal things, so exploring extreme environments doesn't feel out of place. Protection from excessively harsh environments could be explained as having something like a personal vimana shield. We can't die from falling from any height, and I can't imagine we'll drown from staying underwater too long, so why should extreme temperatures or pressures be a problem?
|Something to discuss: Should players be able to land on extremely hot or cold planets, or other unsafe (no atmosphere, toxic atmosphere) ones? What if the ship can send a probe down instead, and the player controls the probe in a first-person fashion instead of going down personally? (They could still land on felysian worlds in person) This would also allow catastrophes or incredible conditions (like those at Venus' surface) to destroy the probe without harming the player.|
I don't really like the idea of having direct contact with advanced NPC civilizations. I'm all for having ruins of alien civilizations though. It might also be neat to encounter things like UFOs on rare occassions. If intelligent civilizations were ever included, they should be extremely rare. I would say to leave the idea open though, as I can think of interesting things that could be done with it, that wouldn't necessarily detract from the experience. Some peaceful, semi-advanced species could have simple villages and temples. I don't think it would be good to encounter villages of NPC Felysians or other similarly advanced species though, since any interaction with them would be very limited.
|Should we forbid intelligent life and especially space-faring life in the game, besides player and NPC stardrifters? Or should we leave open the possibility of maybe someday having civilizations in the galaxy with randomly generated ships and such which the player can observe and possibly communicate with?|
I like the probe idea, as long as it doesn't restrict the freedom of exploring yourself that Cryo mentions. As I see it, landing the whole ship or a cupola, just to have a first glance of a sector and quickly check if you like it for exploration, can have as an alternative to send a quick probe and look through a small TV screen from your ship, the smaller the TV the better, even B&W, with snow noise and all, which is even more mysterious. Of course, one can always shove the prove and personally go fron the start, whevener one feels doing so.
|I personally think that exploration should be done by the actual Felysian, rather than through some probe.|
|written by Megagun on Mar 22, 2008 10:23|
|As far as possible intelligent life goes: we'll have to determine 'intelligent'.|
Either way, in my opinion, should the following be possible ('critters' does not mean non-intelligent creatures in the text below):
Critters walking around - yes.
Critters walking around and moving/hunting in herds - yes.
Critters walking around, hunting using tools (spears, etc) - yes.
Critters walking around, hunting using tools and living in small towns / groups (in buildings) - yes.
Critters living life in bigger towns ('cities'), depicting some form of intelligence and social interaction - yes.
Critters living life in (huge?) cities, spread all across the world (meaning 'dominant lifeform' on a planet) - no.
Spacefaring critters with at least one 'home' as described above, and perhaps some colonies in their own solar system - no.
Now, as far as probes go, I had them in mind for Noctis IV CE somewhat, too, in that you'd be able to send one from anywhere to anywhere else (costing you Lithium grams, ofcourse) and that the video 'speed' and quality of the video of the probe would depend on the distance between you and the probe..
Also, I think it'd be neat if you would be able to drop them somewhere, leave them there and later on come back and 'collect' their data (wind speed, position, atmospheric conditions, more useless scientificish data, pictures, etcetera). Perhaps you'd even be able to 'share' probe data with anyone else, through some wikilike interface and noctistwilightprobe://2365465635 URLs. This way, instead of posting screenshots, you can post Probe data, which can then be 'read' ingame.
Additionally, you could make probes more 'robust'; give them a supply of Lithium Grams for their Vimana shield, and have them on a planet somewhere. If too much 'damage' occurs, the Vimana Shield will activate until it runs out of Lithium Grams, at which point the probe can be destroyed.
In other words, I think that probes would make 'sense' if they allowed for more data-gathering and a better GOESnet interface, and if they were more robust than the Playercharacter.
Playercharacter should probably be invulnerable, with a vimana shield, and if the Li+ grams for that shield are depleted, and damage occurs, 'redness' (as in NICE fallingdamage), and if even more damage is dealt to the player, it will 'black out' for a few seconds. This way, we can somewhat make clear why players are 'invulnerable'. Also, probes would get more usage then. If players want to see any catastrophic event in 'real-time' with their own eyes (no probe usage), they could land their Stardrifter and safely stay inside it, watching the event occur. This way, people will find themselves somewhat more bound to their Drifter (for example, red flashing light on the 'in-eye' HUD as you explore a planet on foot warns you of an incoming meteor strike. You rush towards your parked Stardrifter to be able to see the event with your own eyes, and so then you would 'not die')..
Ofcourse, if no probes are implemented, the playercharacter should probably be invulnerable by means of an 'infinitely-powered-able' Vimana shield.
Sorry for the way-too-indepthness of this post. Kind of not as 'core principles' as this thread is supposed to be.
Some further points:Noctis: Twilight should be made with ease-of-moddability in mind from the start (if we do not go for a No-deriviations style license), in that any noctis-specific stuff could be ripped out easilly. This way, IF someone wants to make a mod to Noctis:Twilight, they can do so and easilly place their mod inside their own universe, thus not defiling Noctis' universe. (Universe here does not mean galaxy).
|I agree that a probe could probably be implemented in a way that it would add positively to the game. However it is used, though, it shouldn't be some sort of complex uber-gadget. Despite how daunting the Noctis IV menu was at first, it was very simple to use once you understood it. This "simplicity of function" should be kept in the game. If things start becoming too specific and involved, Noctis could lose that feeling of.|
1.Simplicity (or at least ease) of function. Noctis should not be a game in which you have to perform many complex tasks. Player functions/abilities should be implemented in an elegant fashion, maintaining the scientific and analytical "Felysian" feel while not making the player go through lots of tedious effort to do menial tasks.
2. Time spent between stars/planets is important to a certain degree. I believe that it's important enough to note here. Travel should have about the same feel as in Noctis IV. In Noctis IV, moving between planets and stars has an "easy" pace. I feel that we should avoid going for a "sense of speed" in travel, and instead go for a "sense of journey" or whatever you might like to call it. In short, no super-crazy earthquake-momentum star-streaking insta-travel (unless it is optional, as in a dev-mode tool or just a special player option).
The focus is on what we are traveling through (the Noctis galaxy), not how super-fast we're going. I'm not, however, saying the ship should be slow.
3. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the way the current Noctis Stardrifter computer menu works. The way you use the menu just by looking at it is very elegant and adds a lot of immersion to the game. I'm not sure if this is core by other's standards, but I think it is very important and should be used because, first, it is elegant and rather easy to use, and second, it is original and immersive.
|└> last changed by Sylverone on March 23, 2008 at 05:32|
|I think another core principle should be|
OpenGL is needed for platforms other than Windows, but it might have problems on some Windows installations than run better with DirectX.
- The game should run on both DirectX and OpenGL, the player being able to select either one or the other.
For the graphics engine, this means either Irrlicht or Ogre; it would rule out Crystal Space. Pity, because it has features interesting for this project, such as a folliage generator; though perhaps some of their ideas can be cannibalized from their sources.
|I'm not sure if this should go here or the brainstorming thread, but this place might be a bit more appropriate. I'd like to suggest a more or less core design principle:|
Within the basic parameters of the game (a game of peaceful exploration where you fly around in star systems and land on planets), no playing styles should be forced on the player.
More specifically, stuff being suggested like "Kilroy was here" signs, the naming of landmarks and animals species, etc. should not be mandatory. If someone enjoys the whole "masively multiplayer exploration" thing, great, more power to them. But some players might prefer not to partake in it, and they might prefer to preserve the galaxy (in their personal copy of the game) in a state of "clean slate", where they can really feel like the lonely explorer of an empty galaxy. All these signs and already named species and the like would completely break the immersion for such players, so I think there should be a way of turning them off. Now, this is pretty easy in Noctis IV, where all you have to do is not download the GOES updates; but since there are so many suggestions of real-time / automatic updating for this fan project, I think this issue is something that needs to be considered from the get-go.
|Perhaps you've just never explored areas that have not been visited before. The NIV galaxy was big enough to to go roughly any random point in the galaxy and encounter a large chunk of unexplored galaxy.|
As I understood the documentation, the NIV galaxy had an "implicit" updates to the centralized guide with delayed final commits to allow the ability to cancel some of the changes.
I don't like the idea of "clean slate" playing. I've always seen Noctis as a single player game with "others" out there (even the initial download always had named stars, planets, and guide notes). Really the only way for me to consider Noctis as a single player game, is by removing the GOES console (since that is the multiplayer aspect).
In reality, if some players don't want guide updates, they can always just use a firewall to prevent the updates from occuring. But I think the updates should stay automatic.
|sun + black hole = fwoosh!|
|I think it wouldn't be terribly difficult to include an option to disable automatic guide stuff - requiring people to use a firewall to block them would be annoying to users who don't want them.|
|If there is an option to disable automatic guide stuff, then it should disable GOES completely not the automatic guide stuff. I don't think you should be able to disable the GOES and still be able to use the guide, since the guide is basically the purpose of GOES.|
Edit: Oh, I don't see why it would be annoying. "Do you want to allow Noctis Twilight to access the internet?" No.
|There should be an option to disable online updates. While having realtime updates to the guide is a great feature, and definitely something we should include, there are many times when you might not be able to, or want to access the internet. If you're playing on a computer that's not connected, or are on a dialup connection and don't want to tie up the line, you should still be allowed to name things and write comments. There could even be an in-game menu option to enable or disable global GOES access. When disabled, you would still be able to write comments, but they would be stored in your offline cache and flagged as not being integrated with the main database. The next time you allow it to connect, those entries can be uploaded and integrated with the rest.|
The offline cache will also allow you to view others guide entries that you've previously accessed while online. If connected, it would check whether changes were made since the version you have was cached, and download updates as necessary. These would be accessed on a per system basis, so you would never have to download content that you didn't intend on viewing. There might also be the full database available as a separate download, for those who always play offline but still want access to the guide. The downloadable copy might be updated once every few months, and could be downloaded and simply extracted to the cache folder. If you want a 'clean slate' at any time, you only have to disable global GOES and delete your offline cache.
As far as the game's interface goes, I think it would be best to keep game-specific settings out of the simulation unless they can be explained in-game. Something like global GOES access seems like an option you might find in your ship's interface. Other things like screen resolution, level of detail settings, and control options do not, and could negatively effect the immersiveness of the game world. In Noctis IV there are not really any settings like that to change, so we're left with an immersive interface where the ship's menus control ship-specific settings. Twilight will likely require more options to make better use of a wide range of hardware, but configuring them might be best left to an external utility. Likewise, when starting the game, you should immediately continue from where you left off, without having to navigate through some startup menu.
|I never said that there shouldn't be a cache; in fact it makes perfectly logical sense, we could even keep the whole inbox/outbox commands to allow deleting/changing of names and comments or downloading them. However, if you want to disable the automatic updates*, then it should disable goes.|
* Automatic updates should only be initiated upon startup and occur in the background if the user wishes to download the stated XXXkb. I was thinking of more of a SVN style update, each commit gets it's own unique revision number. The client then maintains the current guide revision in the cache and only downloads the updates it needs (most of the processing can be done server side to minimize bandwidth).
|I don't really like the idea of having the client download all available guide updates when the client starts. It's a waste of bandwidth, and could potentially take a long time for anyone on a dialup connection. It seems as though it would work better handled like a forum database, where only the updates you need are downloaded, as you request them, unless you decide to download everything for offline use. Why should one be forced to download tons of content that they're never going to read? Guide entries will likely be much longer and more detailed than those in Noctis IV, since we will be providing a better interface for writing them. It would also force us to be more restrictive about what new things we are able to include in the guide. For example, it might be possible to read travel logs from individual users, complete with low res screenshots that are stored server-side. If we force all content to be updated when the client starts, one might potentially be forced to sit through dozens of Megabytes of updates just to get their guide updated and be able to comment.|
I still see absolutely no technical reason why disabling automatic updates would need to disable GOES either. What could it possibly hurt for one to write, store, and retrieve comments and names without having an up to date guide? When they do eventually submit them, they will be checked against an existing record for that planet or system, and if there are naming collisions, the one that was uploaded first would be the one that's counted in the central database. You could even make note of subsequently submitted names, under a list of aliases. That way, one could still find their planet even if they gave it a different name than someone else, which would typically be a very rare occurrence anyway.