Map Standards: Terrain Effects - Page 2

Map Standards: Terrain Effects

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Warlord Zsinj
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Post by Warlord Zsinj »

Its just some map makers will consider different things different trerain. Because map's dont use the same textures, sand will look different from map to map. Of course theres nothing to stop people hovering the mouse to find the name of the terrain, but if you want to be able to know things instinktivly then you would not do that.
Hence the standards are not entirely specific, and are meant as guidelines, and mention how units are affected, but only give suggestions as to values.

If I am playing a snow map in which kbots are slowed down more than vehicles, and then play another snow map, I should reasonably be able to expect that the same result is there. The values might change slightly, according to the map makers balancing preference, but the same idea is there.
Otherwise, if similar looking terrain affected units completely differently at the discretion of the map makers, not only would it be impossible to pick up and play maps, it would become incredibly confusing for all players. Imagine trying to remember whether it was Painted Desert or Desert Triad which kbots where faster than vehicles, because the designers had done whatever they thought best...
As a forinstanmce, someone may have sand in there map which looks, to most, like wet sand, due to the lighjting. But the map maker may have put it down as dry sand (which lets face it acts nothing like wet) and then, confusion follows.
Firstly, this is getting far too specific. The standards would give a suggestion for how units should be affected under the "desert sand" heading, not all the different types of sand. But this isn't a result of having standards, it would occur if the standards were not there too, but to a worse degree, because there would be no control at all.
As a map maker, if you change how the terrain effects units, you can't do it randomly, just as you wouldn't place the metal patches randomly. You have to visually explain to the player why this terrain is different from that, and why that terrain affects a unit differently.

If you placed wet sand next to dry sand, and they looked almost exactly the same, and there was no explanation for it (such as being next to water or something), then you aren't fulfilling your role as a consciencious map maker.
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Zoombie
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Post by Zoombie »

I think the terrain type's could be more easly covered in brode stroke's with

Flat
Rough
Broken
Severe

Flat cover's grass, sand, snow ext. Great for tracked and wheeled vehical's to travel accros

Rough cover's rocky, uneven terain, broken crysteles ext. K-bots can get around faster then vehical's here

Broken cover's severly rough terrain. THis can be marsh's, huge mounds of toffy whatever

Sever cover's DEATH! THis is acid, lava, ocian's and anything that will be rediculusly hard to traver's with out the use of sepcilized units.

There could also be mountainu's, but i think that is already implemented. haveing less terrain type's make's it easyer for the player and if they are general rather then sepcifice then the map maker wont be tied down. YOu could say a patch of dence crystals is Broken, while a light marsh is Rough and a desert is a Plains. You would of course be free to modify the terrain value's so that they are satififed.

The mouse over could be like this

"Sand: Rough
-20 to vehical's"

or

"Lava: Severe
Damage all"

or

"Ociaen: Sever
Ships only"

ext
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Delta
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Post by Delta »

Zoombie wrote:I think the terrain type's could be...
...
This seems more intuitive as the guidelines/terraintypes are more general
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Samoa
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Post by Samoa »

Has anyone mentioned the use of the tooltips? That little extra box in the bottom left of the screen that typically tells the players selected units statistics. If this hasn't been changed in the latest version, I don't believe it says anything when a unit is not selected, other than the position and elevation of the mouse pointer. Why dont we give statistics on the terrain that the mouse pointer is hovering over when no units are selected? Seems like a good idea, another use of a previously un-utilized space.

I agree with Warlord Zsinj, this topic is mainly about just setting up some guidelines for terrain types, no specific values. If specific values were made i t would most likely take some of the fun out of both playing the game, and making maps. It would just be a good idea to set up guidelines, like sand effects kbots more than tanks, or marshes effect tanks or than kbots, while hovercraft are generally uneffected.
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Warlord Zsinj
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Post by Warlord Zsinj »

Zoombie, I think your suggestion is a little too vague, while what aGorm is concerned about is too specific.

The guidelines would need to be specific enough to cover most of the common terrain types that people will see, so that all sand and snow maps will affect units similarly (respectively). They would be vague enough that map makers would be able to make up new types of terrain to their wish, as well as having the ability to make variances (such as, light snow, heavy snow, ice) as much as they want, and would be able to adjust those snow values according to what they think best suits their map (for example, they might not want units to be very slowed down on a large snow map, as that would take units too long to get anywhere, so they would use the lower end of the scale, but keeping units affected to the same level).

As another aside:
Is it possible to sink units slightly when they enter certain terrain, such as Snow, Sand or swamp? I think it would look rather nice. Obviously units would sink more in snow (perhaps up 3/8ths), less in swamp, and only a little in desert. Hovercraft would still sit above the terrain. Possible? Not possible?
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Guessmyname
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Post by Guessmyname »

What about roads?

It would be good if units travelled faster on roads

EDIT: except for hovercraft
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Warlord Zsinj
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Post by Warlord Zsinj »

Yes, roads would certainly be one to gain from the adjustments.

Do you risk taking the road, which is the faster unit path for units, but is the obvious route, and will likely be strewn with defences/mines?


Anyway, seeing as there appears to be no more opposition to this, perhaps we should begin to discuss what terrain types should be included in the standards, and how they should be affected, so far, I think the following are fairly standard terrain types, which will appear in many maps:

- Grass
- Dirt
- Desert Sand
- Snow
- ice
- metal
- mars (same as Desert Sand?)
- marsh
- forest
- archipelago (same as Desert Sand?)
- Roads
- moon

Can you think of any others? Remember, the terrain listed in the standards should be quite vague, so that there is enough room for designers to breath, so to speak; and they should not be rare terrain types, but those which commonly come up in maps.

How do you think the ones I listed should affect units?
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Min3mat
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Post by Min3mat »

i reckon that hovercraft should be disabled or something on mars since the gravity is weaker if they lower the output of the hover field i bet the engines are directly connected and therefore it has to slow/stop besides theres no water on mars maps and they are really unneccessary!
ooh and i really like the different types of water, current, calm, whirpool etc in that blue water map! could that be made official?
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Guessmyname
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Post by Guessmyname »

There is / can be water on Mars maps. Ever heard of GOW?

I think it would be cool if you modified the vehicle's brake rate on ice.

Sort of 10% speed increase, 50% brake rate (and accelleration? hard to start up a vehicle on ice) decrease to make vehicles and tanks slide about a lot

And what about units having a chance of getting imobillised in marsh or bog or deep mud (whatever you want to call it)
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FireCrack
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Post by FireCrack »

Dont froget about hardness for each material type, a tiny bit OT but still quite imporatnt

Desert sand:
...
Hardness:Extremely Low


Terrain types (appending to zinj's list) (mars, moon, desert sand etc are all now one)

- Grass (the normal default)
- Dirt (Similar to grass, softer though)
- Sand (Vehicles are slowed more than kbots, wich are also slowed, hover is about normal speed, very easy to crater)
- Snow ( Similar to sand, but harder(theres somthing under it :D), mbaye kbots slwoed a bit more, hovers slowed a fair amount here)
- ice (Hopefully a brake modifier will exist in future spring versions, poor aceleration, normalish speed, dont crater well at all)
- metal (Nearly impervious to damage, quite fast for about everything)
- marsh (vehicles inornately slow, kbots somwhat slow, hovers unhindered, quite soft)
- Roads (All go quite fast here, a bit softer than metal)
- Stone (solid hard surface, slower than road or metal, but quite fast)
- Rocks (uneven brocken rocks, nearly impassable to vehicles, Kbots have a slight slowdown, hovers slowed a bit, medium hardness)
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Doomweaver
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Post by Doomweaver »

If we are going to do this properly, then we need to get one thing strait - do KBoT's have similar dymanics to humans? If they do, then here are some things to take into consideration.

As a surface becomes easier to sink into, i.e. sand versus rock, vehicles suffer more than people. Have you ever tried to walk on soft sand? Now try to ride your bike through it. It is FAR easier to walk. Converserly, bikes are much faster on the road than your feet are.

Steep hills affect KBoT's far less than vehicles. Ever tried to walk up a 60 degree slope? Pretty tough, eh? Now try and ride up it. Pretty effing impossible, eh?

Uneven surfaces affect vehicles far more than foot traffic. Just imagine a field of 10cm wide cubes (or even 1m wide). Foot traffic can get past it, albeit slowly, whereas the vehicles are absolutely wrecked.

So from this, we can basically generalise that:
Vehicles are faster than KBoTs.
KBoTs suffer from slow downs far less than vehicles.

Well I propose that this be a standard. It could just be generally accepted that Vehicles take twice the speed loss of Kbots, and we can have vehicles sped up to compensate for this. Hovercraft complicate the matter in a way, and I have some suggestions for them, but how about having a direct link between KBoT speed lost and Vehicle? Then just have an F-something button to toggle into a map that lets you see the slowdowns in each area, like the metal map, and you can apply that information to all your ground units.
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aGorm
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Post by aGorm »

Then just have an F-something button to toggle into a map that lets you see the slowdowns in each area, like the metal map, and you can apply that information to all your ground units.
Doomweaver you genious why hgas no one thought of that?! That solves all the problems, if people can see a visible represntation of how things slow down over laying the terreain, it negaights the need to make all grass act like one thing all sand like another. Because anyone can quickly toggel it on and check, and they will soon see what slow down occourse on what colour terrain!

Also, I agree that in most situations tanks slow down more than a k-bot would, the exception would be where the larger surface area af the tank would stop it getting bogged down, but the k-bot would sink due to small feet.

This just keeps getting more complicated im sure.

aGorm
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AF
AI Developer
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Post by AF »

min3mat, hovercraft ride on a cushion of air, the reduced gravity should mean theyc an float higher meaning they become more unstable aerodynamically, thus hard to control, they can alreay go much higher on earth, but they become uncontrollable. The only real difference though is that they'd become faster but harder to use in low grav environments.
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mongus
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Post by mongus »

good idea zjin, trhow us a map to get the feeling of it.
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bobthedinosaur
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Post by bobthedinosaur »

i think there should be some terrain type vehicles might have less of a slow modifcation than hovercraft
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Zoombie
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Post by Zoombie »

Hmmm how about:

Rode: +Everything but Plane's and Hovers... and ships
Grass: N/A
Ice: Slippery Hard
Snow: -Vehical's
Rocky: -Vehical's
Dirt/Mars: N/A
Metal: Kindof like rode's, but less so
Swamp/shallow water: -Vehical's and K-bots, but less so for the bots
Underbrush: +Vehicals (can simply drive throught the underbrush)
Deep Water: Impassable
Acid Pool: DAMAGE!
Lava: DAMAGE!


That should cover pretty much everything a player could see. And the idea of a button that make's a colour overlay is, in fact, a geniou's one. Perhap's it should replace the hight map... I never use the hight map, but dose anyone else.
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Doomweaver
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Post by Doomweaver »

aGorm wrote: Also, I agree that in most situations tanks slow down more than a k-bot would, the exception would be where the larger surface area af the tank would stop it getting bogged down, but the k-bot would sink due to small feet.
aGorm
In real life I don't think this is ever the case. I mean, in snow humans experience less of a slowdown than vehicles, same as mud, same as sand. So I think it would make sense if

1. Each unit has a 'slowdown' tag.

2. Each section of map has a slowdown tag, as currently exists, plus a hover-slowdown tag, which also exists (i think :?: ). Basically, I am saying intead of having KBoT, Vehicle and Hover, just have two, ground and hover.

So an all-terrain KBoT would have a low 'slowdown', as would a tank. A vehicle with wheels would be a lot faster, but have a higher slowdown. All units, when calculating their slowdown, use 'unit slowdown'*'terrain slowdown'. Hover units, on the other hand, use 'unit slowdown'*'hover-slowdown'.

It would just make the ratios more aesthetically pleasing - otherwise, one map will have KBoT's affected less by sand than vehicles, while another will have affected by sand them more. That would plain suck!
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Warlord Zsinj
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Post by Warlord Zsinj »

BAH! I wrote out a long bloody post, with all the standards thus far, and then lost it when my computer crashed. GRAH!

I'm too bloody annoyed to redo it now. I might do it later. Maybe.
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Doomweaver
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Post by Doomweaver »

Can you give us the gist on what it was on?
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aGorm
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Post by aGorm »

In real life I don't think this is ever the case. I mean, in snow humans experience less of a slowdown than vehicles, same as mud, same as sand. So I think it would make sense if
River mud....

I live a stone throgh from the River Thames neart rhe estry. You tred on the mud ur sunk to your waist in less than a second... (I would know.. :P ) and to get you out they lay down planks which have a greter surface area (Actully since then they got iflatables, but same principle) which there for dont sink, even with you and anotyher couple of people on them. Traks on taks give a similare surface area advantage...

(OK so the tank weighs a ton compared to me, but in relation to a k-bot, theres actully less differance than ud think.)

aGorm
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