Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
MossStone

Plausible Zone Limits

This topic is 3795 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm designing a game that I want to be set in a single city, roughly the size of one of the Assassin's Creed cities. The basic story is that the leader of the empire has died, and the council has split into several factions. While the council argues amongst itself as to who will rule, the rest of the empire breaks down into civil war, with external threats attacking the borderlands. The players aim is to gain followers and restore order to the city. My current idea for preventing the player from escaping the confines of the city, is to have the city be on an island in the middle of a great river. The council will, just before the beginning of the game, destroy the bridges that lead to the city. Their reason for doing this is to prevent the civil war that is running through the empire from spreading to the city, thus protecting their interests (safety, wealth, luxury, etc.) My goals were to have this to feel like the capital of an Empire (like Rome in the HBO TV Series) but without letting the player explore the rest of the Empire (which is limited due to my own ability and resources). I intend for my current idea to be implemented like in GTAIV and FarCry, in that there is a massive body of water instead of a hard wall, with a character's endurance limiting how far they will survive away from land before drowning. I'd like to make confining the player to a certain location feel as plausible as possible. Does anyone have any suggestions for improvement? How would you deal with creating a plausible barrier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Martial law + boat patrols that would kill you on sight? What about pirahna's? Hmmm or sharks could work too. Just have a giant shark come up and munch on your legs as you sink into the ocean.

Also do you really need a reason to put an invisible barrier up? Most games do that and if you make it clear that you can't swim just kill off the player if he goes too far into the river.

Another slightly more plausible thought would be make the river a vast fast flowing river atop a cliff with a waterfall. Then when you start swimming you "can" swim but you won't make it to the other side before you fall off the edge of the cliff and die. The trick here is making it wide enough that they can't swim past the current in the center. Also making it so the edges of the water aren't that fast flowing (sortof like a normal river). You could even add in a bit of a cliff towards the lower half of the river. That way it is unscaleable and could allow your river to be smaller.

Depending on your setting you could make the river a moat of sorts and add in a mythological beast that protects the rivers (basically the pirahna / shark idea :P).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Need more information.

1. What era is it set in?
2. Can your player POP climb?
3. Can your player jump very high?
4. Can your player fly?
5. Can very tall structures be stood upon?

If it's pre-modern, you'll be somewhat limited in your choice of plausible boundaries. It's pretty easy to create them in settings that are modern or later, depending on how maneuverable your player is. For example, two tall buildings with a dumpster, pile of trash, wall, fence, or parked car between them can create a barrier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm aiming for a non-magical fantasy, with ancient rome being the model for what technology is available. The player should be allowed to climb certain surfaces (as in Assassin's creed) that would be reasonable for someone to scale in real life. Jumping height will probably be restricted to a foot or two, and flight will be impossible. Anything should be possible to stand upon.

The overall aim for character movement is that anything that a human could do, the character should be able to do (with the same limitations ie stamina, strength). Also NPC's should not be used as a factor to limiting travel, as the game centers on converting NPC's to your faction.

I like the idea of a waterfall and a fast flowing river. The suggestion of having it so that the current at the edges isn't as strong is also good. Ideally the player should see anything that may result in permanent death, and if they make moves to prevent it they should be able to survive (swimming back to the safety of the city before the current takes them off the cliff).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The gates of the city could also be closed due to several armies belonging to different factions camping outside the city. The council is preventing any army from gaining access to the city or any communication from within the city, as this will give faction an advantage over the rest.

The gates will be opened again once a leader has been decided. The decision is agreed unanimously by the whole council, even though they may be at each other's throats, they know the risk of an opponent's army entering the city before his/hers army does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by MossStone
My current idea for preventing the player from escaping the confines of the city, is to have the city be on an island in the middle of a great river. The council will, just before the beginning of the game, destroy the bridges that lead to the city. Their reason for doing this is to prevent the civil war that is running through the empire from spreading to the city, thus protecting their interests (safety, wealth, luxury, etc.)


Okay that seems quite illogical unless the city was under siege. Which might make a better "wall" anyway. Leave the bridges in place but with a massive hostle army just off shore that actively prevents anyone from leaveing except noted merchants for tradeing purposes. The army(s) would only need to hold ground pending some sort of political resolution to the war, peaceful surrender, or somesuch.

If you destroy the bridges then you seal off the flow of goods (food, clothing, wealth, luxury) into and out of the city...its internal economy collapses, generateing an irate mob set to overthrow those in charge and anyone else they percieve as a threat...not real safe. Not something logical if you are going for a sense of realisam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Make it so that the only situation in which someone visits the edge of the world is to see what's at the edge of the world, then handle that situation. In other words, take the following three steps.

1. Make the visitable area of the world large enough that there's a wide border around everything the player would conceivable want to visit. This includes seeking tactically optimal positions, trying to find shortcuts and buried treasure, etc.

2. Make the area around that visitable, but annoying to get around. Water which is slow to swim through, mountains which are difficult to climb, etc. Make it implicitly clear through the design that they will receive no reward for this exploration.

3. If/when the player gets through, display this message: "You know what? Fuck you. If you don't want immersion or suspension of disbelief, that's fine. The trees you see here are made of triangles, and you're actually sitting in your living room fiddling with a button-covered plastic widget. Congratulations on these hard-sought revelations." Then teleport them to the middle of the map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If your city is to be a capitol of some sort then it would only be expected that the Civil War will involve that city; it is only a matter of time. Capitol cities are huge/obvious targets for civil wars, and the only way I see this happening is if there was some sort of technological achievement placed around the city protecting it to which went wrong due to the empire coming asunder, thus isolating the city from outside contact, for a length of time. Like your humongous river (beyond your swimming ability) or a giant wall (beyond your climbing ability) to which would require the appropriate warmachines and organization to overcome it, to which due to the civil war, isn't available for allocation from either side of the war, at least not for a while, which would then give you ample game time to play whatever it is that you are to play. You could say as well that in your setting no enemy nation has ever been able to breach such a fortification thus giving it more credentials.

Physically isolating the city will indeed trap supplies from going in. For example, if your city relied on distant farm towns of the empire to provide for its food, physically isolating the city will starve it to death. So if you were to physically trap your city from outside interaction, then there will have to be some sort of countdown timer before the food runs completely out and/or the military of one side finally crosses over that physical barrier to claim the city as their own (or burn it to the ground). Perhaps claiming the available remaining food supplies in the city would be one of your top priorities as you are trying to raise your "party" to establish some organization in the city.

Since your setting is non-magical fantasy, I would think that would do the trick. There is an awe factor (the immense physical barrier/fortification), and the realistic consequences you want to explore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Sneftel
3. If/when the player gets through, display this message: "You know what? Fuck you. If you don't want immersion or suspension of disbelief, that's fine. The trees you see here are made of triangles, and you're actually sitting in your living room fiddling with a button-covered plastic widget. Congratulations on these hard-sought revelations." Then teleport them to the middle of the map.

Heheh. I think you're looking at it the wrong way. Players that find their way to the edge of the universe aren't trying to turn the game world inside out. Discovering what happens when you do certain things is a huge appeal of every game. The only way to avoid finding the game's limitations is to restrict yourself by self-imposed limitations, and there's usually no reason to do that.

For your advice example, it wouldn't be far-fetched for players to believe that designers might be testing their tenacity to cross such an insane boundary.

I think it's a simple deduction. If players CAN get somewhere, a lot of them will check it out. And the more interesting the game is, the more likely that is to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Heheh. I think you're looking at it the wrong way. Players that find their way to the edge of the universe aren't trying to turn the game world inside out. Discovering what happens when you do certain things is a huge appeal of every game. The only way to avoid finding the game's limitations is to restrict yourself by self-imposed limitations, and there's usually no reason to do that.

The message wasn't entirely serious. [smile] The main point I wanted to make is that preserving immersion is not critical when players are testing the limits of immersion. Oblivion, for example, displayed the message "You cannot go this way. Turn back." or suchlike, and then just clipped the player to the edge of the map. And this was fine, because then you knew what happened, and you turned back. And of course the only reason you were there was to see what would happen, because you'd been trotting along barren plains for a mile or so with absolutely no points of interest appearing on your compass. On the other side of the spectrum is Mass Effect. On one planet, I drove a little too far in one direction to avoid a mountain, and despite it being only a hundred meters or so from a mission objective, Joker informed me that I'd "gone past the operational area", and moved me elsewhere. "Operational Area"? What the hell? I'm the commander and I'll drive wherever the hell I want to, scanners be damned. The immersion was there, certainly, but it didn't do any good because its clever hidden wall mechanic was in opposition to its Mountain Climbin' Mako game mechanic. I wasn't testing the limits, I was assuming they weren't there because there was no apparent reason that they should be there. Hence the two-pronged approach which I'd advise: Make the walls unnecessary, and don't bother hanging ornate excuses on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!