Open World Encounters - Large and Small

Discussion in 'General discussion' started by Pighead Elderberry, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    Open World Events/Encounters

    I don't know which game was the first to implement this well, so I won't try to credit any game for doing it first. I (and a few others) have spent a lot of time with Firefall from their first days, and they have some good examples of this sort of Open World Content, so I will steal some examples from them.

    The way I see it everything you 'encounter' in open world from one Giant Rat to an entire Alien Invasion is some sort of 'Open World Encounter' - and what we players want is (as always) variety in them and most importantly within any given class of Encounter.

    For those in Firefall now or on PTS it is things like the Bandit Campfire, the Chosen Patrol, the Aranha Nests, etc. (more later)

    One Possible Example for Genom (using Genom lore)

    DIGGER HIVE ENCOUNTER (likely you guys are already working on this now)

    For example, in Genom right now, we have spread around the world currently (as of tonight) Digger Hives which are a bunch of small dirt mounds like ant mounds in a cluster. We walk by them now, and nothing comes out. If we walk near them (or shoot them) and then a mass of Diggers comes out - Presto! We have our encounter.

    My obsession with randomness and variety means that for any of these instatiations of this class of encounter, it is always going to be different. Every time we walk by, it will play out differently, even though it is the same Digger Hive and we are the same player.

    It may be 3 Diggers that come out. It may be 5. It may be on rare occasions 15 and a Queen Digger, all sorts of different Diggers (Acid, Spitters, Miners...). Ideally this also scales dynamically with the number of players around AND with the level of the player. Sometimes it will be easy. Sometimes is will be very very very hard.

    Using the Level concept, I would love it if for this example, the hive is a 'Level 5' hive which spews out Level 2-6 Diggers - BUT if a level 4 character goes by it all alone it may only spew out 2 or 3. If a Level 8 player goes by the exact same hive, or 4 level 4 players, then it might spew out 10 or more. One time it might be a mass of Level 2 Diggers that are a big swarm because it is FUN for us players to smash small bugs! One time it might be fewer Level 6 Diggers to give us a challenge of fighting a small number of more powerful enemies.

    The point is - I LOVE VARIETY!

    VARIETY CAN AND SHOULD COME IN EACH AND EVERY INSTANCE OF EVERYTHING IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!

    While it is nice to create all different events (Diggers, Hounds, Trogs, etc. etc.) - it is NOT required to have variety! We can have huge variety in just the one Digger Hive Encounter that will keep us busy for days.

    I suggest this because it is not only good for me as a selfish player who craves fun, but also because it is low overhead do make happen in code. It is pretty easy to make the above Digger Hive Encounter - you reuse the same assets you already have (the kinds of Diggers and the Digger Hive) and you just code in the variety in terms of the number and types of Diggers being randomized for each instance of the Encounter.

    This saves having to make any brand new assets, and it means that we greedy players get this kind of variety right from the start.

    Then, more types can be added with different enemies, different dynamics, different spawn mechanisms etc. etc.

    Whatever you want to call these events/encounters they are super important for Open World as far as I see it.

    This is one more topic that deserves at least one dedicated discussion topic.
     
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  2. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    OPEN WORLD ENCOUNTES - SPAWNING THEM | PLAYER DISCOVERY OF THEM

    One thing that also is very important to me in Open World is that content explains itself and is clear from its own visual and audio broadcasts what it is and where it is - with maybe a note on a map we can call up if we want.

    This is very important to me! I personally do NOT want the beautiful Open World you are creating filled with text, flat color markers, path markers, and visual garbage! [I say this a lot on FF Forums]

    Ideally any and all Open World Encounters are CLEARLY EVIDENT TO THE PLAYERS just by their very nature.

    Using the Digger Hive example, how do we know it is there? We know it because:

    1) When we get close enough to see it there is a big pile of holes in the ground!

    2) When we are moderately far way, there are noxious gas clouds from the Acid diggers floating up into the sky

    3) When we are quite far away, we see periodically flying Diggers or Miners shooting up into the sky and popping like flares

    4) We HEAR the distinct noise of the Digger Hive activity inside

    The point is here - WE SEE AND HEAR THE DIGGER HIVE FROM FAR AWAY, MEDIUM, AND CLOSE UP BECAUSE OF THE SOUNDS IT MAKES AND WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS VISUALLY IN THE 3D WORLD.

    We do NOT need a big fat red marker smeared all over the screen to point to it! We do NOT need giant markers all over the screen telling us to kill the Diggers that come out! We know to kill them!

    We are walking in the world. We hear a sound (of a Digger Hive) to our left. We turn and look to the left. We see a digger shoot up to the sky (like a flying termite to mate). We see a cloud of Digger Acid go up into the sky. We KNOW there is a Digger Hive over there to the left - and we run over and attack those Diggers!

    My greatest wish is that the Open World is full of these sorts of encounters that announce themselves with sounds and visual effects that bring the world to life and give us the loads and loads of fun of stomping them into oblivion when we run over to them (or glide/drive to them in the future).
     
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  3. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    I see now that there are raiders around the small camper truck in/by the cave.

    That to me is 90% of what I would call an 'Open World Event' or 'Encounter'.

    We have

    1) Spawn location for more raiders (the camper truck)

    2) Raiders outside

    3) Visual - the camper truck and raiders

    If it would be possible to make them have a fire on a BBQ, a welding torch, anything to make smoke and light, then we have the longer range visual and night fire glow (could just be lights in the windows) to advertise to us players that there is a Bandit Camper Encounter here.

    I think you guys are already doing 90 to 95% of what I am talking about when it comes to spawning and encounters both.

    Here, you have the Bandit Camper. An absolutely perfect place from which to Bandits appear during the Encounter. You can make the windows glow at night, or make a fire, or whatever to make a clear visual signal from far away that there is a Bandit Camper Encounter in a location. It ALREADY is clear from medium to close!

    Same goes for the Digger Hives, you have the 3D hive object, you have the Diggers. All that is left to do is have it appear that Diggers come out of the Hive when more Diggers spawn during Digger Hive Encounter.

    I know that this is just an aesthetic layer to having the Bandits already all there, but that is what makes a virtual world come alive.

    So - is it possible to just have an animation to have the Camper door open and more Raiders come out during combat?

    Then all you have to do is code a random number of Raiders to come out, and bingo, we have a winner!

    Then when we start to shoot up the Bandits outside the camper, and unknown number of them will also come out of the Bandit Camper door during the Encounter.

    Done. The Bandit Camper Encounter is done.

    You are 95% there or more right now - so I think you are thinking exactly the same things I am already.
     

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