Why does Elemental need a cool looking world?

By on April 6, 2009 6:15:36 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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We mentioned in a previous entry that Beta 0 of Elemental will be able to be played on a cloth map.  Now to be clear, not all of the game elements will be able to be handled so abstractly. But enough will be that the basic game could be played on the cloth map.

But some users have emailed me asking why even bother having the zoom in map? And the answer is that a game, in our opinion anyway, is greater than the sum of its parts.  What we hope to make special about Elemental is that each game is YOUR world.

What do we mean by that? Well, at the cloth map level, you’ll be able to label the world as you see fit. Give deserts and swamps and forests names. It’s purely cosmetic but it’s about making the world yours.

When you zoom in, you’ll be able to see the effect you’re having on the world.  At the start of the game, the world is dead. You (and your competitors) are bringing it back to life after the Cataclysm. And how that world evolves depends on your actions.

The way we explain Elemental to some people is to ask if they’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons. If they say yes, then we tell them that Elemental is the world you played D&D in except instead of being a party of adventures, you’re the sovereign of the kingdom that those adventurers were playing in – but the world is still just as rich and interesting as it was before. And to convey that, we have to let players get in close to see and care about that world.

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April 6, 2009 6:23:40 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

With the graphics we've seen, it certainly will look both cool and unique. The artists working on Elemental are really good at that.

 

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April 6, 2009 6:26:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

  Art detail is always good.  So its hard to ever say that it doesn't make the game better.  But I would hope that the changing world (say an evil soverign's regions begins to shift to bleak hellish lands) would also indicate some strategic value.  So the art isn't just an effect of the world but an indication of a real changes.

  For example.  A wild forested region could begin to be harvested by nearby cities as they advance.  Particuarly good rulers could see the forests transform into elegant glades which provide even more food and resouces.  Particuarly evil rulers could see the forests transformed into withered, haunted places where creatures spawn.  Some of these creatures could be dangerous to everyone, the ruler included.  But they might also allow new units for the evil ruler to command.

  So Im hoping that in allowing us to make the world our, it goes beyond the art.  That we feel a strategic impact from these changes and the world we create is unique in appearance as well as function.

 

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April 6, 2009 6:58:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds  great...  thanks for the update.

 

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April 6, 2009 7:13:06 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

It needs to look cool otherwise it may as well be that playable spreadsheet people see some 4X games as being.

Naming the rivers and forests sounds like a good idea. It may seem less good an idea when you're trying to name them all on the largest maps available.

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April 6, 2009 7:16:23 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Can't wait to bring in fantasy from the subcontinent! (India)

 

Asura rises!

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April 6, 2009 8:41:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, this is great news about the whole D&D thing!  I always have wanted to play a round or session (or whatever its called) of D&D but I just haven't seemed to grip the whole idea behind an original and true RPG! For some reason I just can't seem to get the gist...   I don't care if people think Im a nerd, I love the idea of it all and it makes me super happy to hear Thanks for the update, Brad!

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April 6, 2009 8:43:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

that's pretty sick frogboy, i never knew the land would change based on your alignment. but does that also mean the land will change based on which element you choose to use the most?

anyway thx for the update

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April 6, 2009 9:17:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why does Elemental need a cool looking world?

To give artists something to do while you program the AI, of course!

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April 6, 2009 9:30:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lemme guess:

Right Picture:

Basic human ranch.

Left Picture(clockwise from upper right):

Watchtower/fortress, potter, basic & advanced market, (farm?)houses, military tents, store-houses.

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April 6, 2009 9:30:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game Dwarf Fortress has been brought up several times in the Elemental forums, as it sounds pretty sweet.  But one of the reasons I won't be getting into it is because of the graphics.  I'm not one to require the greatest and best, but I'm finding it too hard to go back to the 1980's again, even if it has superior map generation, character creation, history, etc.  This isn't meant to bash the game, but to reflect my gaming preference- I think it would be great to model after and get ideas from it.

I think havin the Beta 0 will be great to test the game mechanics.  Once those are solidified and we give feedback, that should make incorporating graphics to represent the ideas much more fleshed out.  I can't imagine how crummy that would be for an artist to create something that's cool, only to have it scrapped because it no longer fits into the game mechanics.  This is likely why artwork takes place near the end, but it's also my understanding artwork can be quite inspirational and set the tone for things and further ideas.

Good post, Brad, and thanks for continuing to pump out those updates!

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April 6, 2009 10:27:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So far, all of the graphics I have seen have been absolutely amazing! These included.

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April 6, 2009 10:36:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Graphics looking good. Keep em coming!

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April 6, 2009 11:01:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting RisingLegend,
I don't care if people think Im a nerd, I love the idea of it all and it makes me super happy to hear Thanks for the update, Brad!

...aren't we all nerds here lol?

--Anyways, Keep the info coming, I can't wait for beta!

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April 6, 2009 11:53:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

The way we explain Elemental to some people is to ask if they’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons. If they say yes, then we tell them that Elemental is the world you played D&D in except instead of being a party of adventures, you’re the sovereign of the kingdom that those adventurers were playing in – but the world is still just as rich and interesting as it was before. And to convey that, we have to let players get in close to see and care about that world.

This remembers me so much to the Birthright Campaign Setting from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons:

The setting based on the world of Aebrynis on the continent of Cerilia, in which the players take on the role of the divinely-empowered rulers, with emphasis on the political rulership level of gameplay.

It was a very nice setting and the rules for goberning countries, guilds, magic colleges,... were great. I wish Elemental captured some of the feeling of that game, that would be a dream come true

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April 7, 2009 1:31:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To me the cloth map has that Lord of the Rings kinda feelin to it. Im a big fan of the LOTR.

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April 7, 2009 4:08:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Flashbacks a la Gal Civ II in 3, 2, 1...

Winty: "So I need to send my troops to protect City03. The better route would be through River02 and Forest04, altough Mountain01 would be slower, it would be also safer thanks to my Keep02 in that area..."

Obviously, it not just (and only) about the "looking cool world". It's more about the feeling of such world (while looking cool if possible ).

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April 7, 2009 5:49:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why does Elemental need a cool looking world?

I've got another answer to that question : if it does not look cool (say, like galciv which was not so fancy) my girlfriend will not play it. And this would make me sad

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April 7, 2009 6:12:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vicente,
This remembers me so much to the Birthright Campaign Setting from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons:

I LOVED that game!  Played that one to death. 

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April 7, 2009 8:39:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The graphic as to be nice. It's like when I look at my girlfriend, I know she is very intelligent but on  top of it she's really nice to look at which makes her a lot more appealing.

 

The game is similar. I could play it but if it,s nice on top of it, man the game will be a lot more fun!

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April 7, 2009 11:53:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ah, the only catch is my world of D&D has wildly different governments based on region, rather than just kings or magical sovereigns.   My current game has a merchant league acting as the main system of power (at least until the PCs go north to the country of vega.  I'm not sure what system of government I'm going to employ there).   So this can't be MY world...  unless you can create neutral factions that are represented by things like theocracies, merchant legues, and other types of communs.

I suspect this zooming feature in Elemental might be one of those features that raises the bar for the entire genre.  (i.e. after it is done, hardcore fans will demand it from almost every large scale strategy game)  But we'll see.     certainly makes the mod options off the bat insane.   I can't wait to see.   (I'm more excited about the non-zooming beta thoug, because I'll have that 1st.)

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April 7, 2009 12:10:40 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting landisaurus,
ah, the only catch is my world of D&D has wildly different governments based on region, rather than just kings or magical sovereigns.   My current game has a merchant league acting as the main system of power (at least until the PCs go north to the country of vega.  I'm not sure what system of government I'm going to employ there).   So this can't be MY world...  unless you can create neutral factions that are represented by things like theocracies, merchant legues, and other types of communs.

I suspect this zooming feature in Elemental might be one of those features that raises the bar for the entire genre.  (i.e. after it is done, hardcore fans will demand it from almost every large scale strategy game)  But we'll see.     certainly makes the mod options off the bat insane.   I can't wait to see.   (I'm more excited about the non-zooming beta thoug, because I'll have that 1st.)

I know one of our goals is to have the Elemental engine be moddable to the point where modders could make what you just described. I don't know if it'll be that way out of the box but I know that's the intent at some point.

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April 7, 2009 12:54:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,



What do we mean by that? Well, at the cloth map level, you’ll be able to label the world as you see fit. Give deserts and swamps and forests names. It’s purely cosmetic but it’s about making the world yours.


I'm a little confused. Will we be able to label during the game or during the map customization process? I think it would be weird to be able to label geographical locations during the game. I understand the whole "making the world yours" concept...but I want the world to be for everyone. That includes common names for forests, mountains, rivers etc.

Maybe I just read this wrong...Can someone enligthen me? Thanks

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April 7, 2009 12:59:42 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Both. For pre-built maps you can put labels before game and share with everyone. Although they might decide to rp their game in which the empire renames a valley or mountain.

In game will be you deciding on labelling specific points on a map, if you feel like or had a very interesting moment there that deserves it to be remembered!

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April 7, 2009 1:16:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"At the start of the game, the world is dead."

Given the above quote, I am curious how the following quote might be accomplished? Even an Evil ruler requires resources, such as proper Wood and edible Food stuffs for his Kingdoms people...

"Particuarly evil rulers could see the forests transformed into withered, haunted places where creatures spawn."

I do like the DnD analogy as well. As a past DM, creating those worlds is the best part, well other than the occasional party ambush... lol

 

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April 7, 2009 3:39:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting CapnWinky,

 




What do we mean by that? Well, at the cloth map level, you’ll be able to label the world as you see fit. Give deserts and swamps and forests names. It’s purely cosmetic but it’s about making the world yours.

 

I'm a little confused. Will we be able to label during the game or during the map customization process? I think it would be weird to be able to label geographical locations during the game. I understand the whole "making the world yours" concept...but I want the world to be for everyone. That includes common names for forests, mountains, rivers etc.

Maybe I just read this wrong...Can someone enligthen me? Thanks

Do you mean in the campaign game? In that case I could see map labeling being turned off (or perhaps you just can't edit the major landmarks or maybe you can only edit terrain under your control).

Outside of that, I absolutely love the idea of being able to mark the map with atmospheric names that reflect the experiences or flavor of the area.

 

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