teilasblog on Designing Worlds: How to creat… Farelle on Designing Worlds: How to creat… Shelby "Falcon509" S… on The Double-Edged Sword Of… teilasblog on The End Game game….. Torsten Schneider on The End Game game…..
Follow me on TwitterMy Tweets
- June 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- November 2017
- September 2017
- June 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- August 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- November 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- October 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- February 2013
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
I love this! Allison Reid is going to talk about the social classes during the medieval time, starting with the peasant. If you like this, please go to her website and give her a much deserved Like.
Now that I’ve gone through all the labors of the months, my first-of-the-month posts will shift focus to something new–social status and occupations. We’ll start with peasants, who were at the bottom of the social scale. They had limited to no voices in feudal society, might not be allowed to own property, and led rather difficult lives.
While we tend to lump “peasants” all into the same category, there were really 3 basic types of peasants, with important differences that distinguish them from one another.
Serfs were just a step above slaves, bound to the land on which they provided manual labor for a lord. In addition to working in the fields, they might also do things like work in the mines, forests, or maintain roads. Serfs were not permitted to leave the lord’s land (or purchase their own) and might be sold with it like property. Marriages between serfs…
View original post 263 more words
I am currently working on a world terrain for a game we are making. This is one of my favorite parts of game development and design. In a previous job, I made maps for a game with a relatively large world. Their original map was horrible and very unrealistic. It drove me crazy so I asked to remake the maps, trying to make them more realistic. As this was some time ago, we had some major restrictions so I had to work around that but today, it is much easier to make worlds that look and feel real, and obey the laws of nature.
A couple of gripes I have had with maps, some in AAA companies’ games although even more in indie games, is the way lay of the land, the way rivers flow and transitions between different biomes. For example, rivers do not divide, they flow into each other. Deserts exist due to specific conditions, such as in a rain shadow, on the leeward side of mountains or in specific latitudes, with very specific conditions.
While you can get away with this in a fantasy game, as many say to me about anything they want to justify, but why do that? Many of your players will not notice, but some will. And once that one person starts complaining in your forums, others will notice too.
So..while working on a new game, I went searching for some specific information for story development. I found some information from a novelist who was talking about World Building. I felt happily vindicated when his first lecture on geography talked exactly about rivers and coastlines and other geology/physics forces that form landscapes.
I know nothing about coding but I have a master’s degree in geology, with my specialty in geomorphology which is the study of land forms and the process which form them. Now, the tools out there are not yet capable of making terrains that are 100% realistic. Some try, like World Machine and World Creator, which, by the way are my go to tools for terrain creation. World Creator stand alone is one of the best and they are adding simulation which should go a long way it making terrains more realistic.
But…my concern is the map you create, the one that you build your terrain upon.
Rivers: Rivers start from high, and flow to low areas. So start your rivers in the mountains and then have them join up at lower levels. This creates a water basin or watershed. Everything within that basin flows together eventually, and as the rivers and streams join, the river becomes bigger until it runs into the sea. All rivers go from the high elevation to other rivers and/or to the sea. The only exceptions are where humans have artificially changed the flow, such as in a canal. Remember, a river always tries to find the shortest route to the sea. It does not flow around east and west and then go to the sea, it heads for the sea. Higher ground will affect it’s flow, and often you will see rivers that flow around a hill or between two hills. There is a lot more complexity, such as how glaciated areas affect rivers flow, or karst topography (cave systems), or unique systems where softer sediments are exposed in mountain building. But that is a different post.
Here is an example of multiple river basins that flow into the Mississippi river.
Hopefully that helps. Some folks ask me about deltas, which sometimes occur when the rivers flow into the sea. Very specific conditions much occur in order for deltas to form.
The three major conditions are the river must be carry a large load, meaning it must have the capacity to carry a log of sediment, such as sand or silt.
The river must be flowing slow enough to allow the river to drop the sediment in the river’s mouth. This also means that the river is in a flat area, not a steep slope. A river that flows from coastal mountains steeply to the sea will be moving faster and not have time to drop it’s sediment before it reaches the coast.
And where the river joins the sea must be shallow, either a shallow sea or a shelf that extends outward for some distance. This keeps the sediment from simply flowing down the slope and dropping in the ocean.
I am simplifying my explanations because honestly, the only important thing here is to look at your map, the relief of your map and think about how you want it to look. Remember, it is the illusion. Your map and resulting terrain do not need to be 100% realistic, and that is impossible unless you run a complex simulator.
But…you can make sure your rivers go from high to low. I have seen so many maps where the rivers go from sea to sea…crazy! They drive me batty, honestly. Unless your river is a man made canal or you use some sort of fancy magic, then this would not happen.
If you use deltas, place them in a proper place. Delta’s are one place where rivers do divide. They do this because they are in a very flat area and as the river tries to find the shortest path to the ocean, it constantly changes as sediment blocks it’s path.
There is a lot more I could talk about.
Lakes, how streams flow from lakes and where they should be positioned
How other factors affect river flow
Coastlines, how to make them realistic
Different types of mountain building
Deserts, where to place them and why
If this is something you are interested in, let me know. If it is dry and boring and you do not care, then that is okay, I am sure you will let me know.
Anyway, just trying to find some way that I can give back the community. So hope you enjoyed if nothing else.
P.S. I also posted this on the Unity forums. 🙂
Here is an article about immersion that you might enjoy! Read and comment below if you wish and make sure you press like for the author on his site if you enjoy the article.
Thought you would like the latest from Allison D. Reid on Medieval Monday! The video she included is fabulous!
Well, sometimes life just throws you a curve ball and in this case, in the form of a hurricane track. The past week has been harrowing to say the least.
When we realized a hurricane was coming our way, we did what all Floridians do in such cases, we went out and bought lots of canned food and water. We live inland, so felt pretty safe, but prepared just in case.
Irma just kept getting stronger and stronger, some monster storm that threatened to swallow our state like some great demon. When the track moved to the east coast, a loud sigh of relief could be heard across the western half of Florida. For several days, we felt concern for those in its path with that vague feeling of superiority because WE were not going to be badly affected.
Plywood shutters for the windows were made and put aside, just in case. We ordered a generator….because power might go off. We helped my mom box up her precious photos to bring to our house as her roof was not in good shape.
Then….everything changed. The hurricane was headed up the west coast….winds would be higher but still off shore, then it crept eastward again, right over our house. Now things were serious.
Plywood on every window, blocking our lovely sunny days and creating eternal night. Every item that could be a missile in high winds moved out of our yard and porch and into the garage. It was too late to trim our trees and cut down the dead one in the backyard, nothing to do about that.
I became locked to Weather Underground’s hurricane blog, watching the path, the strength, staying up every night to watch the models run and read the analysis of the data. I have my graduate degree in geology and my research actually involved hurricane erosion and over-wash, so I had at least some idea of what all those graphs and models were showing me and it was not pretty.
A storm of epic proportions headed toward us. It threatened the entire state with category 5 winds, flooding on the coasts, and a lot of rain. I spent each day fighting down the panic. Could our house survive this? Would a tree fall on our roof? What about my car? And most of all, what about my family? Would we be able to keep them safe?
We thought about leaving…and looked online for hotels. Since the east coast, now relatively safe, was evacuated, everyone came inland, millions of people. Hotels were full up through Tennessee. Gas was in short supply and many cars had been abandoned along the highways when they ran out of gas. A 4 hour trip was now 12 hours.
So…we decided to “hunker down”, that great term that simply means, shelter in place. Now the sailboat was brought into our porch, the hot tub filled with water to use for washing. We filled everything we had with water.
My elderly mom and her elderly dog plus her 2 cats were moved into our house along with my son’s friend, who was alone in the next town. 7 of us, 6 cats total and 2 dogs. Nerves were frazzled, personalities conflicted, elderly dog peed all over my floor. 😦 Very stressful….
Tropical force winds hit us and we could hear the whistling and howling through the plywood windows. I think the wood dampened the sounds to some degree, but as the winds because stronger, the fact that we could not see what caused the big thump on the roof was disturbing. I felt trapped in this big box with no way to see what was on the other side. It was like some movie where the zombies are outside battering on your house to get in and you could only hide and wait for them to leave.
Rather than continue up the coast as expected, Irma took a turn inland and headed toward Orlando. We thought maybe the worst was over. But she took another turn. By this time, we had lost power. We started up the crank radio and listened to a local report of the hurricane. The announcer told us the worst part was to come, 100 mph gusts, go to your safe room! Now, Florida does not have a lot of houses with interior rooms, so our safe room was the laundry room, a narrow hallway. We gathered all the cats, put them carriers, put chairs in the laundry room and waited to see if the wind picked up.
Turns out, we were in the very center of the path, and this meant that after some over 90 mph winds for a very short time, we were in the center of the eye. We went outside to see the perfect calm. It was eerie. The eye wall to the south was gone, weakened by the movement over land. My friends to the east were battered by the very nasty eastern eye wall, but the storm was over for us.
So at 2 am we went to bed and had the best night’s sleep we had had in many days. We slept late as the plywood made the house very dark. We woke and ventured outside to see our neighbors picking up debris. The sun was trying to shine, limbs and green leaves were scattered everywhere, on the roof, in the grass, and on our cars. A couple of large limbs had fallen but no damage. The dead tree did not fall.
We survived the eye. A category 5 hurricane that tore apart the Caribbean islands, killing people, destroying houses, and leaving devastation behind. Cuba was probably the island that saved us when a landfall occurred and Irma brushed over the northern side, weakening somewhat. The Florida Keys, a delightful place to visit, full of quirky personalities and great bars was very badly damaged. I am sad. Sad for all those who suffered. Flooding was horrible along the coasts. Only Tampa and the northwest seem to have been spared.
I feel very fortunate. One turn either way, across a state that is no more than 150 miles wide, could have made all the difference. It reminds me that even when we are lucky, we really do not know when that line will come our way.
As for the game, our trailer will not be done before Unite. Unfortunately, the week of prep happened as we were getting ready to capture the video and we are just too emotionally and physically exhausted to believe we will get it done in time to get it to the composer for music. So, since we want to do it well, we will continue to work on it and have it after the conference. I think it will even be better. 🙂 Plus, we will come back from Austin with great new ideas, new contacts, and feeling much less exhausted, I am sure.
In the meantime, we will try to get out some gifs, mini-videos, screenshots and concept art that we had ready for the trailer.
Thanks for sticking with us!
A team member sent me a link to an interesting article release this week by Larry Everett on Massively Overpowered which I thought was interesting. I posted a response on the forums but thought I would re-post here. I am still gathering my thoughts on how to find a solution that would work in a game like ours, which is designed to attract role players of all kinds, but that will require some team brainstorming so will have to get back to that.
Here is my comment:
I too have had a similar experience with role play drama and it caused me to leave the game.
I have role played in games for many years, both online and pen and paper. My experience has been overwhelmingly positive and the vast majority of role players are there to have fun, are not mentally deranged, and do not take it all too seriously, just like the vast majority of PvPers are not violent psychopaths.
Anytime you get a group of people together you are going to eventually have drama. I know a guild of PvP gamers who are constantly infighting, so much so that their guild is failing badly. I have friends who complain about the drama in their church, or their academic institution. It is a huge part of human nature and our need to socialize, belong to a group, etc. Drama simply is a part of life everywhere.
Back to role players..one of the biggest problem is that there are so many different types of role players.
There are Casual role players, who stay in character but otherwise just play the game. There are what I call more Hardcore role players who not only stay in character, but separate player knowledge from character knowledge, and the Intense role players who write pages of bio and expect everyone to read them as soon as they meet your character so you can become part of their story. They are more apt to blur player and character knowledge by sending “tells” to defend their character and let you know how wrong you are.
I once played a SWG Emu game and when looking for a group of role players, I found a what appeared to be a nice group. Eventually, it became evident to me that this was unlike other games I had played. Not only did I get the “read my bio, you are totally not getting my character” tells, but had a very nice guy who was studying to be a minister try to save my “real life” soul. I stuck around too long, left angry and disgusted.
Unfortunately, there was no where else to go, which is true of many games out there, especially one like this without a role play server. So I left the game. Now, I played on an unofficial rp server for SWG (the actual real game) for many years and never had any issues. The majority of folks were casual or hardcore, we all got along, and if there was drama, we could easily go find other individuals or groups who shared a similar play style. I also found that the vast majority of non-roleplayers would join in with us sometimes and really enjoyed our role play. This to me is the perfect setting for a role play scenario. It is FUN, not stressful or at least not any more stressful than another other social game.
Sadly, many run into those Intense groups which do not suit their style and suddenly all role players are dramatic, mentally ill, or perverts. This is no better than labeling every PvP player as violent, anti-social, and cruel. There will always be the fringes and the goal here would be to find a place to play where others share your style and/or are mature enough to respect your style may be different from yours before you get to the point where you are so traumatized that you leave the game.
Respect and maturity are certain part of the answer. But even among adults, there are always those who are less mature for a variety of reasons. I think part of the solution must be that the role play guilds/groups need to be open about their style of play. They must make that clear to new members when they join in the role play, and they need to use “tells” to remind each other that this is supposed to be fun.
Visit the link above and let me know what you think.