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The New Overland Map - A Prettier Way to Kill Immersion

Discussion in 'Release 7 Feedback' started by prospereau, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. By Tor

    By Tor Avatar

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    Agree. The dual scale map was a necessary good, not evil. It's starting to look like a modern day Ultima now. Love it!
     
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  2. prospereau

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    Thanks for the explanation Chris, and the visuals really do make me go all soft and gooey. I shall refrain from unleashing my opinion and dubious sense of humour then until I see the final version. I do love you guys deeply and would gladly agree to be your plaything if it wasn't for the fact that my wife would emasculate me, the children would run off and join the circus and the cat would ignore me (no change or loss there then).

    Other than the Overland map I am a hopeless fan boy and in awe of the speed of development and quality you're turning out.

    DF.

    P.S. Would it be weird if I put a picture of your team up in my bedroom?? :eek:

    .
     
  3. docdoom77

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    Not for you, buddy. Not for you. :p
     
  4. Bow Vale

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    I liked the cloth map and was sad it went. But this release with the new map i can start to feel not just see the world. The scale they have at the moment makes the small island feel like an adventure in itself and there's nothing really on it at the moment. The night and day transition on it is a surprise for me and overall for a first showing i am very happy with. I think when we get it all fleshed out the main island as well then this map and scale will be epic.


    There is a few things in this release that tell me we have moved up a notch, and the map is one of them.
     
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  5. mike11

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    @Chris - re:trees: Is there a way to perhaps show forests as more a dense forest rather than a collection of singular trees?

    Part of what I don't like is that showing the individual trees makes things look a bit goofy because, well from that height and perspective you would not see individual trees but rather dense foliage..

    Also, the layout of the villages - they seem to even spaced as if done so on purpose therefore not at all realistic. I would really try to reference some islands from the Caribbean as references (or any other part of the world) so that the layout and geography has more naturalist feel to it.

    Roads - look like they were done in less than 2 minutes.
     
  6. Bubonic

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    i think that's because they were. A last minute quick photoshop hack to help people navigate.
     
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  7. Lord Lonn

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    [​IMG]
    I think it's ok this was an early pic before the roads shown up
     
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  8. abovenyquist

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    Definitely. They're going to have to do a ton of work to optimize that.
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer Ambassador

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    It was more like 5 minutes. :p Actually, we have a real plans for how to make roads work, I just didn't have the art I needed. It's on the list for the next release and they should look much cleaner. I usually manage to sneak most of my programmer art by unnoticed but I agree, the roads were less than stellar.

    We'll get the real solution in for R8.
     
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  10. Duke Death-Knell

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    I like the new overworld map. OK, it's a little slow to load but it's still a leap forward
     
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  11. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer Ambassador

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    BTW, too late to patch it now but I realized the slowness people are seeing is because the trees are getting baked into clumps in the build process. The result is fewer draw calls but LOTS of unique geometry. If we do a patch tomorrow I'll get that fixed up for you guys. Trivial fix and I'm betting it won't hurt frame rate much to switch them to dynamic batching.
     
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  12. By Tor

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    Have no fear, Chris is here!
     
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  13. Poor game design

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    Chris rocks.
     
  14. Borg

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    They are using Unity's terrain tool, creating and optimizing this map will need a lot of time.
    I have my doubts here, I sincerely think using terrain tool is not the best decision.
    Anyway being positive at least the one creating those overland maps will master using Unity's terrain tool.
    (I wish you good luck)

    Btw a stupid question, its only me, or sea water is black???
     
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  15. abovenyquist

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    Unity's terrain tool is another of those things where it feels like the Unity devs got it to around 75% and then got bored and never got around to finishing it yet. They have a lot of that sort of thing. (Must clarify I do love, love, love Unity... but it has its quirks.)


    Yeah, they need to spiff up the shader there.
     
  16. smack

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    Thanks for the explanation, Chris! Question though: wouldn't you have to do this for all scenes in the catacombs? As there is no "underworld map" that you travel on, wouldn't the entire catacombs beneath Novia be completely stitched together?

    Also, over time would love to see more overland scenes getting stitched together where it makes sense for story and artistic vision or technical reasons. Perhaps the capital city of Brittany will have its adjacent towns stitched together? Or the multi-part city of Ardoris that is separated by bridges if it can't be contained entirely in one scene? Wouldn't be ideal to be forced to the overland map just to move one hex over and drop back into the adjacent scene again.
     
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  17. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer Ambassador

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    Just to be clear, we are using Unity's terrain tool BUT only for the final rendering. The map is not made by hand but generated through splat maps and numerous splat map overlays. I would love to be able to brag that I was so masterful an artist that I could hand paint a perfectly blended coastline and transitions to mountains but sadly I'm a tech guy. This map, aside from the 3 blobby islands off the east coast and the road, were generated by a tool from data with a bit of help from Stephen Daniele, who painted the original height map that I started with.

    I used the Unity terrain tool exactly zero times in the construction of this overworld. Also, before settling on this approach, I tested the same system on a map 16 times this large to verify we could seamlessly scale up through the use of blended, tiling terrains with adjacency defined so they LOD correctly along the seams. Borg, I know you have suffered through using the Unity terrain system as I remember you always creating some of the best maps during the scene challenges but no worries, I got this. :)
     
  18. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer Ambassador

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    Smack, all these ideas are possible. We will definitely have scenes that span more than one hex and will we will not force you back to the over world between them. We already have the systems in place to chain scenes, as we do in any dungeons scenes now where you go to a map that leads to the dungeon. We will definitely be doing this where ever Richard and Tracy's story demands it. Also, we don't do it currently but we have the tech to force players to drop down to scene view at any time before crossing a hex. For instance, if you approach a mountain pass, from one side, we can force you into a scene and put you at one spot and then only let you actually enter the hex on the overworld if you exit that scene from the other side.

    So for a simplistic example, we can have a river that can only be crossed at a bridge. Trying to cross the bridge forces you into a scene with a river and a bridge with an encounter at the bridge. If you exit the scene on the side you entered, you end up back where you were on the overworld map. If you cross the bridge and exit on the other side, you end up in the next scene on the overworld.

    Tons of options and as we get closer to the "crank our map and story content" stage and further from the "get base systems and combat working well" stage, we'll probably be putting more and more to use.
     
  19. Oakwind

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    The map would be much better if you could walk around and find new things to do like in ULTIMA 9 or ULTIMA X. It was so much fun living the game to its fullests. moving my guy around a map is not like playing in the game . I want more adventure

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  20. Lord_Darkmoon

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