computer games dev-process games design programming Unity3D

World-exploration game, done differently

Inspired by Markus / @notch, and how he got MineCraft going in the early days, I’m live-prototyping a game idea I’ve been thinking about for ages. It’s about exploring a landscape … where cities affect dungeons, and dungeons affect cities.

(this is stress-relief for me, an “evenings and weekends” project. By day, I’m helping Schools teach children to program, but that’s HARD (no investors, lots of costs – at the moment, I get paid nothing))

Play in web browser here (very early prototype!)

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 12.31.23

July 2014

Current build focusses on the “City building” interface. Initially, you won’t be building cities, you’ll be building small camps / trading forts, etc. So this lets me play with the interface, the scale, the rendering, etc. Make sure it’s fun.

Create something – but take screenshots! Because there’s no “save” yet. Super-early prototype.

Long term gameplay

  1. Explore a huge landscape in FPS
  2. Any location, “create a camp”, and it switches to the isometric view you see in current demo. Build yourself a home/fort/etc.
  3. Fast-travel between locations, but this triggers “random encounter” events … or run between locations manually.
  4. Turn-based / DungeonMaster style dungeons are randomly generated near to each camp. Explore the dungeons for resources and to level-up.

Unlike e.g. Skyrim … when you find an interesting location, you can’t fast-travel to it. You have to build a camp next to it, and fast-travel to that. But your camp can be overrun/destroyed/stolen while you’re away.

So … you’ll be building (and maintaining) a lot of bases around the world. I want to be sure that base-building is easy and fun, even after you’ve done it lots of times already, before progressing with the rest!

(I’m trying to make it “repeatably fun” by having the landscape HUGELY affect your base design)

5 replies on “World-exploration game, done differently”

Meh, I hoped that unity’s browser plugin was compat with linux by now .

As someone who enjoys both open-world and turn-based combat, this has tickled my fancy. Will check it out next time I’m around windows.

“unity‚Äôs browser plugin was compat with linux by now .”

Ugh, that’s horrible, sorry. More likely: something I did wrong with the build-settings?

At the moment, you’re not missing much :). It’s only very basic grid-based base creation, albeit on arbitrary landscape. Think “Desktop TD, but over hills, mountains, seas, etc”. And there’s only a dozen props you can place so far :)

EveryOneCanCode link is lacking first-level domain bit.

It sounds very ambitious, what is the absolute minimum viable product?

@Den – LOL, thanks. I’ve had almost no sleep, and ill today. Brain totally not working, I posted it without really seeing what I was looking at.

MVP is a great question. Probably should be a new blog post. I have split into these segments:

1. dungeon exploration + fighting/dieing = FPS

2. dungeon generation = rogeulike / diablo-like algorithms

3. city exploration + interaction with specific buildings = 3rd person (I want people to think of cities as “a big vague place” rather than a small area you run around in FPS)

4. landscape exploration + location selection = ???

…I’ve had various ideas on this, sketched screenshots, none worked great. Temporarily, I’m assuming FPS run-on-landscape, as a “lowest common denominator” / MVP.

5. “city+dungeon” inter-relationship = behind the scenes logic + visible GUI to show you “what changed in the dungeon b/c of your actions in the city” and vice versa

6. city-generation (and editing/building) = 3rd person (related to 3 above)

I then looked at those in terms of MVP, and I built:

1. random dungeon generator with some cool novel things around the player character (I did this a year ago, showed a few people, but didn’t launch it)

2. city editor (the subject of this blog post)

Doing that revealed that:

1. …it’s working fine. I even have AI + mobs in there, was quick. No more MVP challenges. Leave it alone for now!

2. …city-building is a lot more fun on a non-flat landscape. So I changed my desing a bit. Also, it BEGS for your city to get “attacked” in Tower Defence style. Feels a bit soulless and empty otherwise.

So … as a result, my next MVP-challenge is “get TD part of city-building working”. I will be making it a very basic TD – probably little or no tower upgrades – just enough to MVP it, and then pick my next challenge.

PROBABLY that will be: “roam the landscape, choosing new city locations, finding dungeon locations”. That would tie it all together into somethign that’s pretty much an MVP build.

It would suck in plenty of ways, but give people something playable while I go back and start adding the interesting behind-the-scenes game logic, stuff around dungeon/city interactions, persistent events, etc.

> More likely: something I did wrong with the build-settings?

I’ll see if I can get it working on my computer at home – it’s entirely possible that I’ve done something funky with the laptop I use at work.

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