oh my goodness, those markers for interesting things on the map looked amazing!
also, glad to see that the edge of the world is being worked on
Wow, it’s great to see Stonehearth evolve over the years into the map game it is today.
Map games always live on. Always
Is the spine of the world made of copper and gold! Miners HO! Very good artwork, absolutely a creative way to address the issue.
Wow that’s just beautiful
And I love the Civilization IV map style style fog of war
Now I have to find the Poyo constellation on the real sky next night
I would love to see heaethstine constellations
Really loving the way you’re sharing these ideas with us, team Radiant! This is exactly the kind of conceptual journey that attracts me to in-progress games; and for me it makes playing the finished game so much more rewarding when I know where it’s come from and how all the cool features started out.
One idea which jumped out at me when thinking of an atlas/book of maps is the idea of fold-out maps or a “pop-up book” – the kind that has extra figures stuck onto the pages so they fold out when you open that page. I reckon that could be an option for presenting the info on unexplored areas. As the player gets close to such an area for the first time, the illustration pops up to vertical, alerting the player that something is in the area. It then settles back down to a flat image, a reminder that there’s something to be aware of there without it being so distracting as the pop-up.
I very much prefer that iteration where the land spills down the side towards the edge of the map, although I think that keeping it all “above the page” is the best option. That way, the page itself can form the bottom layer of the world, letting the player know when they’re digging as deep as they can – any further and they’d dig through to the next page! To explain why they can’t simply do that, perhaps the lower-world-limit could be another map, showing lava tunnels and monster lairs and deep abysses? All the kind of things that would cause even the most intrepid miners to turn back.
I also think that, once caves and dungeons are added, they’ll provide enough interest at the edge of the world to break up big rocky areas. In fact, I reckon that the rock added around the edge of the playable area could be “faked” – only the top couple of layers actually match the terrain, below that it’s a generic set-piece so as not to give away the mysteries underground. After all, if a massive cave leading to a dungeon was revealed by the edge of the map, that would spoil the surprise… but if the map edge showed caves with monsters in them, without actually connecting to the game-space, that would let players know that these kinds of things exist underground and to be wary of them. It also allows players to view those “monsters” as another kind of wildlife, not just existential threats – the “fake” monsters in the map-edge setpiece can be animated with familial actions (nuzzling, sleeping beside each other, scratching against the wall, and cute non-threatening actions like that… maybe some “baby roars” and checking their claws to remind the player they can be dangerous too). So, it works a little like a zoo exhibit; allowing the player to see these monsters in their natural setting before they’ve been disturbed by mining activities. This may prompt players to avoid aggro-ing the monsters underground; so it would be a case of the story/lore directly informing a beneficial gameplay choice.
The first thought that came to my mind when the video discussed how to transition the landscape into book form, particularly for water, was bookmarks. There’s a point where the water is replaced with a cloth bookmark, hanging down over the pages at the width of the water.
I’d also say that transition off the edges sight-wise should be the desk the book is resting on- on three sides, random objects (maybe a stack of books to the East or West, writing implements and a light source to the North, maybe one of those nice leather desk mats they sell) and on the fourth, after a bit of space, the edge.
For caves and the like I wouldn’t worry too much about them unless they’re Hearthling-made. Keep all naturally occuring caves and dungeons at least one grid square in from the edges, and leave those bare stone with perhaps the odd bit of ore, color variation, or clay to keep things interesting. Only open up the edges if the player digs there, and then, it’s just open and available to see into from the right angle.
I don’t know that I’d do much with icons for any creatures in unexplored areas or ‘forgotten’ areas. Geography, sure. Trees, rocks, something for the building types (doesn’t have to be every single thing, just generics- a ‘hostile people’ house, a friendly house, a mausoleum or miniature graveyard), water, and elevation indicators. A switch to sepia tone to indicate something’s being forgotten while keeping the 3D models would make a good intermediate replacement until it transitions to the flat page.
You know, I honestly think I’d be okay with a giant floating pizza box as it is today. Glory to the pizza box.
Seriously though, as I said in the blog comments, do whatever means less work for the team. If optimizations make it possible to support more z-levels, I’d love to see that happen (and have a roughly cube shaped play area floating in the void). It wouldn’t feel restrictive in gameplay terms, and it would be clear this isn’t the whole world.
What you have is fine right now. I never felt there was a problem with the end of the world. Mostly, like discussed in both videos, I fear there will be additional gameplay features to work out due to any of these edges of the world implemented. Stick with what you have, and worry about the polishing of tone later.
This reminds me of the old (amiga) populus and powermonger games … wait didn’t I mention this before??
An old idea came up while watching the video, … waterfall … maybe some other has posted a similar idea but I did not find anything usefull …
Waterstone and Blackstone.
A Waterstone creates water and a Blackstone destroys water as fast as the Waterstone creates it.
There are natural stones in the world which the game would use to create waterfalls or rivers which flow out of the map and the “alchimst”(herbalist tier 2) could be able to create those stones, which need a looooooooooooot of resources.
Which would crafting those stones feel like you have crafted something important and not like another chair etc…
Yeeeeees I love the book/mapbook idea! Also love the ‘here there be monsters’ outer edges.
Now that I’ve seen that constellation I’ve gotta build a telescope for my hearthlings…
And every time we visit new worlds/elemental planes, the page flips ? I vote for popup markers, btw
Were there any comments on planned world size? I guess in the future the performance will be optimized so a bigger city/map will be no problem (?).
Item idea: a magic crystal ball, that does show glimpses of incoming meanies, which are yet hidden in unknown territories. Maybe, one could buy such a thing from a travelling merchant.
I like the “book of maps” idea, where the world is inset a little from the edges (and only on one half of the open book). And I don’t see any issue with digging down into it; after all, the world pops up above the page, which is essentially equivalent (think about those worlds in the lower/later pages; surely they pop up above the surface, which is the equivalent “problem” of digging down from a higher/earlier page).
I imagine it like a pop-up book, where the third dimension only really exists when that page is open and that world is active and “real;” the rest of the time it’s imaginary, like a story in a book (and like the flat, unexplored/inactive areas of the map).
Hey there @paulthegreat, welcome to the Discourse!
Do you mean we are living in a 2D Holographic world which only appears 3D when under the influence of an observer! I think you are pulling our strings LOL.
Or maybe he’s just twisting our 'branes?
because “strings” -> string theory -> M-theory, and the quantum mechanics phenomena which only happen when there’s an observer…
Hey, I’m just trying to interpret what the Stonehearth devs are rendering, and make that logically consistent (with itself; it doesn’t have to be logically consistent with the real world, because in many ways the game isn’t). That seems like the simplest explanation for how 3D worlds can fit on the 2D surface of a page, within the context of the game.
I was just kidding around @paulthegreat, it was just interesting how your example closely tied with the debated Holographic Universe theory. Based on string theory and quantum gravity. I had just read an article about an hour before I had seen your post.