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Drigovas

Confusion caused by physically impossible environments.

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Quote:
Original post by Drigovas
The reason I'm doing it is because I am attempting to make a procedurally created play environment that is generated at run time from the game's current state. "From the game's current state" pretty much boils down to this generation tool running during game play, and the play environment is likely only partially created at any given time.


Does that mean the map can change DURING play time? Thats quite cool. Surely if that is the case, inconsistent environments could make sense, in this quantum-physics-gone-mad dimension then these rooms can exist in parallel - that could almost be the basis of the game, that things don't need to obey all the rules of physics.

For those who don't know what Quantum physics is, neither do I, but it basically means that unless someone is there to see something (flatten the wave) the thing only exists in a world of probability, there is a 1% chance that it has wandered off to the other side of the universe. It doesn't make any sense, and I don't claim to fully understand it, but it would nicely explain things like that.

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Quote:
Original post by thk123
Does that mean the map can change DURING play time? Thats quite cool. Surely if that is the case, inconsistent environments could make sense, in this quantum-physics-gone-mad dimension then these rooms can exist in parallel - that could almost be the basis of the game, that things don't need to obey all the rules of physics.
It won't change, it will just be incomplete. Once the map is discovered, it is fixed and unchanging. I would just be putting off the decision of what is where until it is actually observed. Thus there wouldn't be an expectation of inconsistency unless I actually tell the player 'this map isn't going to make sense'. The hope is to avoid that.

Anyway, back to the primary question that I am still puzzled with, which is a formalization of the process of fooling the player into believing that a spatially inconsistent environment is in fact perfectly normal. The idea is to come up with a number of constraints that are looser than true physical accuracy, that can simulate correctness to players who are not looking for such artifacts. I'm hoping for a discussion of slight-of-hand of sorts. Thus why I am here seeking the advice of people who are more proficient with design than myself.

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Well, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with it if you recognize and compensate for side effects.

For example, any player with even the slightest sense of direction is going to wind up feeling disoriented. But, you could address this thematically, handwave the inconstancies away by explaining that the tunnels are "magic", use the 'lost' and 'disoriented' feelings as thematic elements in your game. Instead of allowing them to detract from your atmosphere, build them into it.

Once you've done that, the player will accept and even benefit from the disorientation ... ultimately adding to the immersion.

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Well, I am still wondering how you will hide anything at all when a player looks at a map. And some of these solutions will need one badly just to get around.

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Sorry if you said this straight out, but I'm not clear - do you *want* to have inconsistencies, or do you feel like you'll have to live with them? Cause I don't think preventing them in the first place is an impossible task. You just might need to generate one step further (e.g. reserve at least a little space for all the doors off of the hallway you just generated, even if those doors are never opened). If you do open one of the doors, you can generate a full room, though it might end up being a closet because other rooms/halls got generated around it.

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Want inconsistencies? no.
Quote:
Original post by snak
If you do open one of the doors, you can generate a full room, though it might end up being a closet because other rooms/halls got generated around it.
Which actually precisely encapsulates what I want to avoid. The idea is to not end up with a bunch of closets. If my algorithm says to itself 'boy it sure would be neat if I could put an armory room that is 13x12 feet here, and fill it with all kinds of goodies, but I only have a 10x10 foot block..' I would like it to be able to say 'looks like I can get away with it anyway without the player noticing, so I'll just put a 13X12 foot room here anyway!' instead of 'guess I'll have to put another broom closet'. The idea is to find design-optimal configurations, and discover a looser set of constraints than total physical correctness around which I can place design-optimal configurations. There will be plenty of design-optimal configurations that I place without violating physical correctness, but in the cases where physical constraints would force me to make decisions that are not design optimal, I would like to know to what extent I can sort of fudge the rules, and get away with it. [Getting away with it being the main goal]. To look for instances in which the constraints that are imposed by physical correctness can be replaced by a looser set of restrictions that would allow me to generate interesting stuff that would not have other wise been generated, while still not totally killing the feel that the world is something that is reasonably real.

The goal that originally prompted the starting of this thread was to discover these looser constraints, and to formalize them in such a way that I can implement my algorithms with them, rather than with strict consideration of 'correct' environments.

To answer the 'map' question, I am not entirely sure about how this would work. Not every game needs a map, and some maps may be limited in the distance they let you see [which would then impose an additional constraint that an inconsistency cannot occur within X distance from an observable point, thus resulting in a map that always looks consistent, with the limited portion of it that you can see at any given time]. This is still very much a nebulous idea in my head, and I haven't started coding at all. I just want to hammer out the details, since it seems like there are some pretty exciting prospects here that I would like to explore if I can figure out how everything should piece together.

Sorry that this whole thread so far has pretty much turned into me repeatedly clarifying my question. Maybe I am just not explaining it correctly. My brain must be stuck in the technical forums....

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What about, to avoid them, making sure that doors are X distance away from each other... Would that not be the easiest solution. As for the map, just have a halo style motion sensor which only shows enemies.

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Re: Drigovas

Suppose you don't want polygon shaped rooms or rooms with angled entrances. You want the rooms to be smallish 13x12 feet and rectangular. You want sleight-of-hand tricks:

o Place the doors of the rooms such that there is no position in the room where the player could see both doors at once.

Ex:
Suppose you are in room A and you are creating a new room B that will be inconsistent, position the A-to-B door such that a player standing at A-to-B door cannot see any physically inconsistent sections of room B, and there is no position in room B where the player can see the A-to-B door and the inconsistent section at the same time.

You could do this using walls inside the room, bookcases, shelves. Use a different shade/color or dimmer of light before a door to suggest that the doors are far from one another and to draw the attention away from the door itself.


Another idea:

o just make all the rooms darker and make the items brighter, so that whenever a player goes into a room, the attention is on the items.

o Have doors that automatically close themselves

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(I think I've gone off on a tangent from your original idea but...)

Haven't we all come accross some story where the hero in some maze eventually discovers that the maze continually changes configuration? Who needs spatial consistancy if the gameplay is strong? If I found myself in a world that changes its spatial configuration with changes in my line of site (let alone just being generally inconsistant) then I will likely come to the conclusion that I'm in a dream world of some kind or on some sort of etheral plane of existance. I say, reality is highly overrated. Make the player feel as though he's falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole and is less and less likely to ever find his way out again.

One thought about maps. If you want to provide a way for a player to return to a "room" and you're good with the whole dream world explanation, allow the player (or do it for him) to make a mental note of a room (like the armory you mentioned) and if the player wishes to return to that room maybe it could be selected as a destination which is either reached immediatly or in the X number of steps that the player traveled away from the room. When you reach the destination, the room may or may not have the same configuration and contents as when the player was in it the first time.

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I don't understand why you can't just push it forward. If you're generating this stuff as the game is being played, then the parts you're generating are straight ahead of the player's path. If you need a 13x12 area, then isn't it as easy as pushing it forward enough to fit? Or in other words, there should be nothing "in front" of what you're currently generating. Only "behind".

I haven't entirely been following along, so ignore anything that's already been addressed.

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