World Maps: The Minimum Expectations of 21st Century RPGS

Discussion in 'Release 4 Feedback Forum' started by DNA Cowboy, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. DNA Cowboy

    DNA Cowboy Avatar

    Message Count:
    107
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    18
    What can we expect from Shroud's World Map?
    Ideally a 3D isometric hex-based, fully rotatable and zoomable map with animated waves on oceans as well as seas and lakes, tall grasses that wave in the wind, carts trundling along while brisk winds send clouds scuttling across the sky and the weather looks like rain....
    Wait, I see foraging spots, with icons for ore, wood and herbs, there in the distance are hand-drawn towns, cities, landmarks and dungeons all marked out in runic script covered by the fog of war until you, the intrepid explorer discover them.



    (World map developed in 2009 for a 2010 release.)
    Milzer78, Eriador and smack like this.
  2. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

    Message Count:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    3,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
  3. DNA Cowboy

    DNA Cowboy Avatar

    Message Count:
    107
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I love the second one :)
  4. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

    Message Count:
    3,269
    Likes Received:
    5,892
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I think you would get a lot more interest if you drop the sarcastic 21st centuray RPG's bit. Not the first time you have used it either.
  5. Andri

    Andri Avatar

    Message Count:
    28
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    3
    It'll be great if we can actually get a persistent world instead of a world map, but yeah I know it's not possible with this kind of budget.
  6. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

    Message Count:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    3,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    They should do another Kickstarter and see if there is a demand for this and if they can manage to get the money for improving it.
    twofoldsilence likes this.
  7. DNA Cowboy

    DNA Cowboy Avatar

    Message Count:
    107
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    18

    What?
    I wasn't being sarcastic at all, I suggest you reign back your hostility before it gets you into trouble. I used the reference in both threads to start a debate on what we want from the game after spending time in R4, this is nothing more than a feedback operation in the form of a forum thread.

    For your interest I LOVE Sota and wish it the very best considering I've been waiting patiently for it for 15 years and have spent a considerable sum in supporting the game. Essentially I feel it is my right to bring about debate as to what we the investor would like to suggest implemented and your telling me to shut up isn't going to stop me rather the opposite.
  8. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

    Message Count:
    3,269
    Likes Received:
    5,892
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Um? I didn't tell you to shut up...I said that the 21st centuray rpg bit sounded sarcastic. Now, what you did was a bit hostile. It's everyones right to bring up ideas, just when you make it sound like it isn't in the 21st centuary then people will read what you said in a different light.
    Time Lord, Khloec, Ragnabrock and 4 others like this.
  9. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord

    Message Count:
    752
    Likes Received:
    6,823
    Trophy Points:
    130
    Gender:
    Male
    Obviously the negative map feedback has taken us a bit by surprise and we'll be discussing options before the next release. I will point out that comparing us to Civ 5, with Civ 5 as the minimum bar is a bit rough. For Civ 5, that map IS the game. It is where you spend most of your time. They spent all their time on polishing that map. For us, it is merely a travel mechanism where you will spend maybe 10% or less of your time. For us to invest the same level of effort that Civ 5 or Ages of Wonder did, just honestly does not make sense. Also, technology wasn't the limiting factor for their map but rather content and polish so what year it came out doesn't matter much.

    Due to varying scales of characters, cities, and other elements in the over world, we felt trying to be realistic on the over world was just weird. Instead we took a quick pass at trying to make it feel like the paper map will feel. This was done as a last minute switch but internally we all liked the look.

    Chris
  10. Carlin the Druid Archer

    Carlin the Druid Archer Avatar

    Message Count:
    588
    Likes Received:
    2,049
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New Britannia
    I think the over land map had potential once it is polished up.
  11. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

    Message Count:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    3,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi Chris,

    as one of those who do not like the new map at all I want to explain the reasons for not liking it. For me and I think many other fans the overworld view is some kind of substitute for exploring the world. As SotA won't feature a mono scale map the sense and feeling of exploring the world can only be achieved by walking around on a zoomed out version of the world as was shown in the first videos. The first version of the overland travel system created the impression of exploring the world and it felt immersive and alive. With the new map, there is no feeling of exploring a world, just moving around a flag on a map.
    I am sure many fans would spent much more time than 10% in the overland view and explore the world when it looks and feels like a living world. I was looking forward to roaming around in this zoomed out 3D view, which should tell you that you did a much better job with this view than you obviously intended if someone saw the overland view as much more than a travel mechanism.
    Also at least for me the extreme change from third person perspective to the stylised map view just rips me out of the immersion, it seems to break the flow of the game.
    But as others have suggested, the new map view would work as a map that you open in the game to see where you are and/or as a means to fast travel.
    I hope that you reconsider your decision and bring back the exploration aspect of the world back into the game with a zoomed out 3D view.

    Thanks.
    Cabrens, Milzer78, Mishri and 8 others like this.
  12. Kaisa

    Kaisa Avatar

    Message Count:
    452
    Likes Received:
    889
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Gender:
    Female
    Yeah the zoomed out 3d view was so much better. I do understand the argument Chris is making about scales. I do understand it was probably hard to make everything look "right" But I think many of us would rather have the old 3d map even if some of the scale was a little off. I think it would still look far better then what we were shown this release.

    I don't agree either that people will only spend around 10% of the time on the overhead map. I mean it is the only way to travel hex to hex right? I mean someone looking to gather materials could spend a lot of time in that map going from hex to hex for instance. Not to mention I think if they add stuff like fog of war people will have to spend a lot of time in that map in order to discover new land.

    I agree that it would work for a fast travel system and a basic map. Otherwise it just does not work.
    Ragnabrock and smack like this.
  13. DNA Cowboy

    DNA Cowboy Avatar

    Message Count:
    107
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    18

    Chris, first of all it is so kind of you to comment in the thread.
    Moving on, the reason Civ 5 was brought up is because Richard Garriott compared the forthcoming SoTA map to Civ5, here is the article where he is quoted as saying "The visual benchmark for the world map of Shroud of the Avatar - the zoomed out top-down view - is Civilization 5. There isn't a visual benchmark for the over-the-shoulder action view, but said "we believe our engine is capable of creating scenes at the highest possible levels of visual quality".
    We the fans thought that's what we were getting; a zoomed out 3D view because Lord British said so.

    Finally, can I ask what exactly happened with the previous iteration of the World Map and why did it go so wrong?

    Thanks in advance.
    Cabrens and Ungoliant like this.
  14. Gorkon

    Gorkon Avatar

    Message Count:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    This right here is what I believe is the crux of the issue, and why frankly, all the complaints about the look of the world map are misplaced. The real issue is the function of the world map. Given its function, the world map should take closer to 1% of the players' time, not 10%.

    Instead of comparing to turn-based strategy games (however tempting, thanks to the decision to use hexes rather than a square grid), the proper comparison should be to other games that use the map as a travel device. The obvious one for me is Guild Wars and its sequel. Importantly, in Guild Wars, you're never required to use the map unless you desire to travel long distances or between continents. Thus, it doesn't matter how wonderful the map is, as long as it give places a good orientation on where one place is compared to the others . And even when you use it, it is instant, and you don't have to slog through the mountains yourself, bored to tears as you wait for yourself to traverse them. JRPGs at least have a reason for you to do so, and that is random encounters. Accordingly, however, much more attention is lavished on the map in those than it is here. Thus, this really should be more like Guild Wars where map travel is instantaneous.

    There is one other aspect of Guild Wars which you would do well to copy to reduce the frequency of going to the world map in the first place. And that is the ability to walk from one hex to the next without ever interacting with the world map at all. As in, you should be able to walk from the Southern edge of Owl's Head to the Northern edge of a road hex. This would also increase immersion, as now it almost feels like the world consists of many little pockets rather than being one cohesive whole. The only issue with that solution is the fact that Generic Forest Hex #124 is identical to Generic Forest #578. There are obviously not enough resources to make each individual hex unique and interesting, given that the whole world is composed of them. However, it should be possible to at least fill in and give character to hexes that people are likely to travel in between points of interest; say, the road between Owl's Head and Kingsport, or the mountain pass leading to the catacombs.

    TL;DR: The problem with world map is that it currently over-used due to a couple of unfortunate game mechanics. Ideally, the map should never be shown automatically, instead only showing when explicitly called up by the player, likely when going to places too far to comfortably walk or when desiring to know their current location in the world. Otherwise, you should be able to smoothly walk from one hex to another, with no interruption from the map in the first place. If you are using the map, you likely know exactly where you are going and are not having fun watching your representational icon slowly move from one place to the next. Thus, the travel should be instant, further reducing your time spent on the map. With both of those changes, the map really would be simply for travel, and its look would have greatly reduced importance.
    Xaronzon, smack, licemeat and 4 others like this.
  15. DNA Cowboy

    DNA Cowboy Avatar

    Message Count:
    107
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I am sorry but I disagree, my first pledge was Explorer, Cartographer that will give you some idea on how important exploring and the World Map is to me, I wanted to write books in game on my travels visiting various areas, landmarks and game-world locations then make them available in all good in-game SoTA bookstores that the player could pick up.

    Perhaps I am being vain but I wanted to pen books like HOW THE WEST WAS by Yuclydia from Ultima VII (This tome of history tracks the geography of Britannia from the early centuries to more recent times. The included maps provide a level of detail never before seen in a work of this nature. In addition, the short chapter on the once-important virtues reveals their source from the broader tenets of Truth, Love, and Courage.)
    Or BROMMER'S BRITANNIA by Brommer (Betwixt the covers of this atlas is a detailed description of the entire continent of Britannia and the nearby islands.) so with this in mind you can imagine what a terrible blow it was to see the World Map for the first time, I believed it to be some sort of mockery not what is meant to be the foundation for what will be the games premier navigation device.

    For an rpg like SoTA that has in its dna the Ultima's I - IX it MUST have a World Map reflective of those games, remember the maps in Ultima, the explorer and exploration were as one, your party traveled the fully-realized world map seamlessly from place to place.
    How on earth could we decades later not demand similar? Has game development gone backwards?

    Look, for whatever reason the devs decided to go over for the shoulder third person rather than isometric 3D subsequently I believe they are realizing only now what that entails for a fully-3D World Map the problem is the fan-invester is going to demand nothing less.
    twofoldsilence likes this.
  16. Seir

    Seir Avatar

    Message Count:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    1,537
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bailey, CO

    I like the look as well; what I'm hoping for is an animated transition from in world play to over world where the player pulls out a map, looks as it and then it zooms into the hex map. That way, it's as-if I'm looking at my cloth or paper map.

    I think it was just a bit of a shock and a direct transition from gameplay to paper map was a bit much for most.

    I love the look and feel of the overland map; reminds me of Indiana Jones & Game of Thrones.
  17. Margard

    Margard Avatar

    Message Count:
    1,595
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The isthmus of Podo and Kodo

    Incorporating Hex to Hex instant travel goes against current design goals ... Please do not incorporate this

    Please stick to your design decision - this approach has a lot of promise

    BUT please bring back the mini avatar and if its feasible - wasd control of the figuring
  18. Akro

    Akro Avatar

    Message Count:
    454
    Likes Received:
    766
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I guess the problem is backer expectations. You showed a semi functional map early and now you pop up a skeleton of a map system without almost any of the features presented early. People reaction maybe should not be a surprise.

    Its like in R5 you present a combat system only with typical "meh" mmorpg bars and timers with tanks, healers and Dps classes.
  19. G Din

    G Din Avatar

    Message Count:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    1,587
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male

    I should have backed that game...

    Never even heard of it before.
  20. DeftAvatar

    DeftAvatar Avatar

    Message Count:
    135
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    18
    To be honest, I'd prefer to navigate the "unpolished" prototype map than a "polished" version of the new map.
    _

Share This Page