Society of Dungeoneering and Cartography - By Royal Warrant

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aartemis, Aug 13, 2018.

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  1. Aartemis

    Aartemis Avatar

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    Greetings Avatars!

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    By Royal Warrant of Lord British, I would like to re-introduce the Society of Dungeoneering and Cartography (Or SDC for short). A couple of years ago, our Society helped in introducing many people to building dungeons using the Unity Engine and downloadable assets from Shroud of the Avatar. We embarked on a journey to help @Chris and the devs create dungeon maps to populate underground areas of Novia. Although we never reached the point where our maps could integrate with SOTA, we did forge many ideas and concepts along with building a repository of knowledge and helpful ideas that can be used by others to create good Dungeons. For this, we earned a Royal Warrant from Lord British December 2014 (Viewable in Game at the Bastion's Point Public Crafting Pavilion).

    With the Player Owned Dungeons now coming into the Shroud in the near future, Our Society would like to re-affirm our intent to work with the SOTA community and share the knowledge, and ideas we began so long ago. I remember talking about this "dungeon in-game editor like we have for PoT's" with Chris way back when, and really it is hard to believe that this is actually going to be a part of the game now. I just can't thank them enough for this great sandbox opportunity in SOTA!

    The SDC is not an in game guild or affiliation, but simply a group of individuals coming together to create fun content for Shroud of the Avatar. We have no requirements, and simply want to bring together players who want to share concepts and ideas for better content building. We base out of Bastion's Point where we have a number of members and large public crafting center for use in building Blueprints and other dungeon assets. We are also located near a good amount of higher end content for gathering resources needed to build those assets. However, being part of the SDC needs to have no connection to the town in-game. :D

    Over the next couple of weeks as we prepare for R57 and the Dungeon Entrances, we will start rolling out some of our archived information here on the forums in this thread for all you new dungeoneers to review.

    You can also join our Discord (#sdc) via Bastion's Point's Server at: https://discord.gg/brMbZPA

    Remember, we are not asking anything of anyone, we are just hoping to build/continue a repository for great ideas and guidelines for creating your own Player Owned Dungeons!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  2. Aartemis

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    Some of Richard's (Lord British's) Standards on Dungeon Building:


    Richard’s Guidelines Section:

    1. A good map is more than beautiful, natural, and rewarding.
      1. A good map has flow, pace, and sense of discovery.

      2. A good map has a classical storytelling rise and fall of tension, as well as payoff.

      3. It is not merely an even distribution of resources and creatures in a natural environment
    2. An indoor space has logic

    Some VIRTUE quest / tests for you to Riff on from Lord British:
    1. Fascist state thugs come to take away a long time friend, do you Courageously speak up at own peril, or let them take friend, to live and fight another day.
    2. A town is sacrificing a young woman to appease the local dragon. Dost thou allow this to go on, Courageously free the girl & fight the dragon, risking wrath on all! Hedonistic Society sacrificing to their pleasure.
    3. Money owed you, is dropped by the debtor, do you keep what is honestly owed you, or Lovingly return it whole.
    4. Thou doth see an emaciated beggar stealing food. Do you Compassionately] let him go, [Honestly] have him arrested.
    5. A suicidal worker is lying to keep their job, do you Honestly call them on the lie or let it go or Compassionately let it go, for fear of his suicide.
    6. Man is dying of fatal & painful injuries. Slit his throat, or let him suffer.
    7. Vision of your unborn child is that it will save humanity, but childbirth will kill the mother… choose end pregnancy, or allow birth
    8. You fall in love with a married person, and they you, do you follow up, or pass
    9. A stranger stands before certain doom in front of dragons fire. Allow them to die, risk self to save them.
    10. A person verbally abuses another… do you stand by, or intervene.
    11. You will hang for murder and your family suffer greatly, unless you name another to die. Do you save your family by naming an innocent?
    12. A king of old, stole half thy family lands. Today that Kings descendants barely eek out a living on those lands, as you do on the half that remains. The chance to reclaim the land now exists. Do you Honestly run them off, or Lovingly share the land
    RichardGarriott, Thursday at 10:36 AM

    Richards Rule of 4's when building out spaces:

    Be sure to plan out the exploration and discovery. I give the team this rule of 4's.
    a) There should be approx 4 clearly defined "stages" of story, exploration and combat.
    b) Approx 4 places your progress is blocked until you solve something: Discover the secret door, unlock a door, blast open a passage, lower a drawbridge, open a portcullis.
    c) Discovery of the key/code/method to pass that very clear block, should exist in the earlier passages, often with 2 clues, of a second way to pass.
    d) There should be NPC's or Books, or other writing, that advise or deepen the story in each of the about 4 zones.

    Aart's Note: By using Richard's 4x Rule, you can start on a sheet of paper, and come up with concept for your dungeon space. Before simply putting block after block up, decide before time what you are actually building - it will guide you as you build out each part!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  3. Proteus Tempest

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    Excellent.

    Lord British's college of dungeon and quest building.
     
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  4. 2112Starman

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    May be a good time to ask the dev's once again for a "fog of war" feature for dung maps. Would be nice if it reset when someone left too.
     
  5. Aartemis

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    A Dungeon Building Example:

    One of the projects we worked with @Chris on was the population of some underground "travel maps" which were to be used under many of the locations under the Perennial Coast. One that I worked on was the Catacombs under Solace Bridge (You know where that Elf is with the little girl? That was a Catacombs Entrance *idea* there). I'll post my initial design documentation so you can see how we went about it.

    Remember, at the time the idea was to build some small dungeon maps that could be used as alternate travel. Here were Chris's notes as reference:

    Sewer/Catacombs/etc - Travel Exploration maps


    These maps make up the majority of the maps we’ll be starting the SDC on. They do not have to specifically be sewers but they should make sense with the areas they connect. Most have 3 or more exits, usually one to a city or scene and 2 or more to other sewer catacombs.

    Examples of existing maps of this type of scene can be seen in game in the Ardoris Sewers, Soltown Sewers, and Solania Catacombs.

    Some general rules for them:

    • Travel time from one entrance to another should not exceed 2 minutes! These things are meant to be short cuts, not long cuts! Creatures along the way are fine as players can probably just run or sneak by
    • Keep them small! We want fast creation times and fast load times! Remember, that someone here is going to have to go spawn these things and do the decoration!
    • They don’t have to have a story but they should still make sense on a basic level. Don’t just throw together random rooms without any purpose. Think about what each room is when making it. Some of that may not be possible without decorations but feel free to write up text describing each space to guide us in decorating
    • Pay attention to expected travel paths and make sure there are at least 3 or more elements of at least minor interest along the way
    SOLACE BRIDGE CATACOMBS

    Theme: Undead - Skeletons (and Zombies)?.

    Lore: Continuing down from Solace Bridge, I would like to pull the same theme into these catacombs - undead. My plan is to make a couple larger rooms with more of a ruins + catacombs rather than just “Room to Room Crypts”. I will take care to make sure the quick travel time is maintained.


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    The Solace Bridge Catacombs are a very dark and eerie place. Without torches it would be pitch black. No light enters and the halls themselves seem to absorb what light the torches do put off. I would suggest having some of the stock torches start “unlit” to force the issue.

    Story Option: While building out the Dungeon I had this idea of a trail of papers that spoke of a young adventurer (or child if we are going really dark) that got lost in the catacombs. Different chambers had more clues and story detailing the lost child's “stay” within that chamber and eventual need to move on (run) because of the undead. The story concludes in the rear crypt chamber where we find the “child” is nothing but a crafty assassin who left the notes as bread crumbs to lead unknowing adventurers to their demise.

    The Catacombs are made of of two chambers, the Main Chamber and the Rear Crypt. (see below:)

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    [​IMG]


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    Rear Crypt:

    [​IMG]

    I thought this would be a GREAT starter Catacomb by simply making a very cool looking place with Lower level undead that can be an option for players who like to fight underground as opposed to above!

    The travel passages are close enough together that a veteran will move quickly through the catacombs, but the for the beginner it might take a while to find the secret doors. I use a technique of “drawing your eyes” away from the secret door by pushing the light a little farther down the hall and teaming it up with crypt alcoves (with planned shiney’s in it) to distract the novice player. I plan to place a “clue” (book, body, etc) book near once of the farthest secret doors so new players can “learn” the trick as to how to locate the travel passages and apply that to the other two.

    Chambers:

    I made use of the Chamber prefab to create little rooms in the main chamber. I thought this could be used for a roaming skeleton patrol (run when they go in) or perhaps simply moving the encounter inside so as not to rush the player with mobs in the main room.


    [​IMG]


    This Travel Map / Catacombs has the illusion of being a big place because of the use of wide open space, 2 stories and stairs. In reality from side to side it’s only about 30-35 blocks of running room from exit to exit!

    I tried to keep the “maze” vertigo at a minimum by making short passages which terminate rather quickly while still giving “sparkle” to look at (decorated alcoves, tomb rooms to search).

    This map is also easily expandable to many more exits as the future underworld is developed.


    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Aartemis

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    Now obviously this little dungeon never came to pass, but you can see in Unity how each of the blocks are put together in order to form a complete dungeon. The Hall is "block", the steps are a block, platforms are blocks as are the walls in the larger rooms. By combining these together you can get the idea of how your dungeon can be built.

    I have not taken the time to count it up, but we're probably talking around 100 points for this dungeon above. Not sure how they are going to count the larger rooms, but I think I'm close.
     
  7. Anpu

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    You can *kind of* do this now with maps, if they have discoverable POI. You can select force refresh, and that will clear POI on a map, so you can discover the points again. Obviously, a real fog of war would be nicer though.
     
  8. Aartemis

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    OK, Lets talk about dungeon parts!

    We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves because the dungeon editor we get in Shroud will be much different then working in Unity. For one, we will be working 1st person (per se) or at least from our Characters point of view. It also sounds like some of the dungeon pieces we have worked with will be combined or have closed in walls to prevent us from falling out into the dark emptiness of a void. :D Only after selecting the add-on wall target, and choosing the next block will the game remove the wall and allow passage into your next block.

    Still, by way of Chris's video and comments, we can extrapolate ,much of the basics we are going to see by using the tileset they give out in the asset packs. I don't know if we will get multiple biomes at the start (i.e. Dungeons, Sewers, Mines, Caves, etc) but for the most part they work pretty much the same, so lets look at basic Dungeon Blocks. Mainly this is just to stimulate conversation and thought about dungeon building.

    The Dungeon Hallway: A "rectangular room", Two long walls (left and right) with a short wall capping each end (forward and back). These can be combined to create very long straight hallways. It sounds like Chris wants place options on the halls for Lights (Torches), Cobwebs, etc.

    Alcove Hallway: There is also unique hallway they have with Alcoves on either side to place decorations like skeletons or books/potions, etc. They also help break up the monotony of the same block over and over.

    The Archway: I don't know how they will do this one, because in unity, its a transition piece that goes between hall pieces. Maybe as we use the interface to add rooms or more halls, one option will be the type of Archway (if any). Archways are also the places where Doors, Portcullis and such are typically added into.

    Corner Hall: A direct turn left or right. Don't know if we will have to have a Left Corner and a Right Corner or just a corner that can rotate and be either via Q&E.

    Three Way Intersection: This is your typical hallway with a another hall intersecting to the right or left. Aart's Design Note: I sometimes like to use a Three Way intersection in place of a corner hall because it gives you a little place off to the side to put decorations like a chest, sacks, or crates. It also adds additional interest.

    Four Way Intersection: The Intersection of two hallways that continue on in all four directions. Again, this can be used with walls to add interest.

    Large Steps: These steps are as wide as the normal hallway tile.

    Small Steps: These steps are much thinner, like doorway size. Shroud doesn't use them a lot. Maybe there are a few small halls in Ravensmoore iirc? They dont play will with the 3rd person clipping and zoom so I'm not sure if we will see them or not.

    Ok, those are the basic pieces in the Unity asset pack and for the most part, the initial generic blueprints minus rooms I would think. The unity asset pack contains some basic rooms, like 2x2 and 3x3 but what might see instead with the Shroud editor is a bunch of prebuilt rooms the Devs made with the room parts. At this point I can only guess that the rooms might rotate between connection points letting you choose where you want it connected to your hallway.

    Again, archways and doors will need some sort option system in the designer to make it seamless to the dungeon builder. There are also assets like freestanding steps and pillars, and platforms that hopefully can be placed in the room once you get in there.

    I am really looking forward to the tools they give us to build our dungeons. Its probably going to be hard to match the flexibility we got in Unity to use Floor tiles and Wall tiles and make any type of room we could imagine. Still, this is a major step forward and in time I think there are endless possibilities as to the types of rooms they can create for us to craft!
     
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  9. Aartemis

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    Since a lot of what to come is speculation, as the Devs are working hard to make this editor a reality, lets move a bit to the left and talk a little about Player Dungeon Logistics and how they benefit us.

    First Question Dungeoneers: Are you going to charge for entrance into your dungeons?

    At first the answer might seem simple, but lets think about this a bit. The current thought is that dungeon encounters will more risk, for less reward. Basically saying you fight in a T5 zone but get T3 or T4 XP/Loot.

    So creating a dungeon with stocked encounters and nothing else is going to be a place where an Avatar goes to explore, but as time goes on, just like in our game play now, players revert back to the most profitable zones they can play in. Well that won't be player dungeons unless the designer adds their own loot to those encounters. So now as a crafter I am building gear and stuffing inside chests to get players to come play my dungeon. For Free? This is where I think some thought will be on the designer and the player... How can I make my dungeon interesting, re-playable, and worth the time both to craft and stock. From a player standpoint, why do I want to keep coming back? Is it worth paying a COTO to play the dungeon if I know I get some good player made gear in there? Don't want player gear? What DO you want to see as a reward - Some Ore? Gems? What makes it more worthwhile then XP per hour?

    Lets Discuss!
     
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