Re: Procedural generation based on land terrain texture grid
Posted: 02 Apr 2019, 23:12
Could this be used to generate the landmass for the rest of Tamriel that is not yet covered by TR / PT ?
For the most part I can suspend my disbelief about the distances (stupidities such as there being a smugglers' cave 3 metres from Seyda Neen notwithstanding), but I don't disagree that locations could be spaced out a fair bit more (not orders of magnitudes more, mind).Chris wrote: ↑02 Apr 2019, 18:52For me, it's about creating the perception of a large world. Unlike later games where people don't seem to recognize things that happen 5 feet outside of town (or worse, when two warring "cities" are a few minutes' walk down the main road), in Daggerfall places feel appropriately separated. It also helps with the representation of time; Daggerfall's able to have a more realistic day/night cycle where inns and such matter because you can't just stand around for a couple minutes to pass through an entire night (cities would also close at night, making you either camp out or break in by climbing over the walls).
Diseases can have more progressive effects that start negligible and get worse over time, whereas trying to do that in later games would require making them super-viruses or something since you're never more than a couple minutes away from some place with healing. Daggerfall's fast travel was also unique in that it required deciding whether you wanted to go recklessly, getting to some place a few days earlier but without healing and possibly at night (when the shops, if not the whole city, are closed), or cautiously but get there more rested and during the day (when places are open). Plus it would cost money, since you'd be staying at inns along the way. Timed quests are also a thing, giving the sense that the world doesn't revolve around you (if you don't do it, they'll assume you died or gave up, and write it off as a loss or send someone else), you can't dawdle since it takes you time to get places. You can fail almost any quest this way, which plays into the regional and faction reputation system, creating more dynamic interactions between you and the NPCs.
There's also the fatigue system, where instead of measuring how winded you are like the newer games (and where everybody seems to be out of shape), in Daggerfall the time scale allowed it to represent how tired you are throughout the day (and without giving you narcolepsy like mods for the later games do). More strenuous activities, like running and fighting, wear you out and make you a bit more tired the normal. If you run out of stamina, you pass out, and if you pass out in an enemy-filled dungeon, you die.
I have to balk at the phrase "personal touch" being used in relation to Daggerfall's quests and quest givers. There is nothing personal about walking into a randomly named tavern, talking to a randomly named publican with absolutely no unique dialogue, personality or any distinguishing features whatsoever, and being given one of two dozen cookie-cutter quests telling me to fetch a random item from a random dungeon for his randomly named paramour. As you mentioned, guild quests are even direr. I might have been the only person to receive this particular permutation of this quest in history, but that's about as personal as receiving spam mail addressing me by name.Chris wrote: ↑02 Apr 2019, 18:52I feel the opposite. When I walk from one place to another in Morrowind (or Oblivion or Skryim), it shows how much of a theme park it's designed as. I don't get a sense of scale or the same sense of adventure when it takes a minute or less to walk to my destination.
In contrast, I get a sense of a more personalized adventure when I get to decide where I go and what quests to take on, because there's literally hundreds of towns and hamlets, and a few dozen cities, in several regions, and each place having a bunch of potential quest givers (excluding guilds). Or even when there's a fixed quest (i.e. the main quest), several stages can have the target location be randomized, still giving it a personal touch. Skyrim plainly shows how that kind of personalized randomization doesn't work with a smaller game world, as you're often sent to a place you've already been (discouraging exploration).
I can't agree. You could give Daggerfall the prettiest scenery graphics can afford you, and it wouldn't be explorable in the same way Morrowind is. My enjoyment in games like Bethesda's is being able to walk in any given direction and find something interesting, be it a pilgrim, a shrine, a highwayman, a tomb, a shipwreck or whatever else. Daggerfall is barren not just because most places seem to be placed in the middle of an unending, featureless expanse, but because there's absolutely nothing of interest outside of the blip you travelled to on your map until the next blip. Combine that with a land scale vast to the point of it being so laborious to travel between the closest locations that most players never even attempt it and the exploration really is as shallow as a guided tour.Chris wrote: ↑02 Apr 2019, 18:52Daggerfall's biggest drawback was the available technology. The low resolution and view distance made trekking across the wilderness all but impossible, but those things have long been overcome in game engines. While increasing the view distance in a game like Morrowind can show you just how small and fake the world actually is, in Daggerfall it can instead let you see its grandeur. Better terrain generation algorithms can also create prettier scenery and vistas, encouraging exploration even if you don't run into a dungeon or something.
I can too, to a point. I still like these games, after all. But if given the choice, I'd much prefer a larger world for what else it can offer.
Except with Daggerfall you don't heal or rest by waiting (your stamina still slowly drains, and diseases progress). And Oblivion didn't have open cities or anything. Try waiting around in a town you're wanted in, or in Daggerfall City prior to a certain point in the MQ. I believe in towns and hamlets there's also a risk of wilderness spawns at night (though I may be wrong).The day/night cycle was completely inconsequential in Morrowind but Daggerfall's wasn't actually harsher than Oblivion's: the only difference in waiting around was that you had to wait in consecutive 4 hour periods (so just more menuing)
It still added to the sense of being in a world. It took time to get between places, and that time implied cost. Also, there were blessings and guild perks you could get that affected travel time and cost (get the blessing of Akatosh, the god of time, and travel time is reduced). It could be better, sure, but it was better than not being a thing at all, IMO.Choosing to travel recklessly/cautiously might have been interesting if you could be ambushed by random encounters as with sleeping outside of towns in Morrowind, but as it was in Daggerfall it didn't add much to the game. Ditto for staying at inns, whose cost is negligible past the first hour of play.
Without the large world, the travel mechanics and timed quests would feel out of place. Having to spend money to stay at inns doesn't make sense if it takes you less than an in-game day to get somewhere, and timed quests become ridiculous if you have to do them in a couple hours.The timed quest mechanic was reasonably lenient and essentially just meant that you only did one quest at a time in Daggerfall, which wasn't a problem, as there was no reason to ever juggle multiple quests. It would be rather different in a game like Morrowind where you stumble into quests in the process of doing other ones, and I imagine it would be both interesting and frustrating.
In any case, I don't think any of Daggerfall's systems necessitate or are even enhanced by a gargantuan overworld.
It becomes personal when it's a choice you get to make. Don't like the Daggerfall region? Do quests in Alcaire instead. Don't like Wayrest? Live in Sentinel and avoid doing anything for anyone in Wayrest. Quest givers' personality and dialog may not be unique, but it is varied. In one instance they may not like you and not give you a quest (depending on your reputation with the area). In another, they may never have had a quest to begin with. In another, they may have had a quest but gave it to someone else by the time you asked. And in another, they may give you a quest... one of several dozen types. The quest itself may or may not even be possible for you to complete as you are depending on where it sends you, creating a different outcome which has a different effect on your reputation affecting how others in the area react to you (and if your reputation gets bad enough you become infamous throughout the entire region, no one will talk to you, and you'll get regularly attacked by bounty hunters). It's a different experience creating a different story for your character.I have to balk at the phrase "personal touch" being used in relation to Daggerfall's quests and quest givers. There is nothing personal about walking into a randomly named tavern, talking to a randomly named publican with absolutely no unique dialogue, personality or any distinguishing features whatsoever, and being given one of two dozen cookie-cutter quests telling me to fetch a random item from a random dungeon for his randomly named paramour.
Different regions are different factions, which you can have different reputations with. Different regions also favor different gods, so if you go to the Glenumbra Moors, for example, and aren't a follower of Mara, you may have a harder time finding a temple or knightly order devoted to your patron deity.And in reality it wouldn't have mattered one iota if there were only one region in Daggerfall instead of 20 or whatever. Most players never visit any province they don't need to in the story, and there's absolutely no reason to, as there's nothing that distinguishes one from another apart from some being grassy and others being desertous.
Subjective. While I agree on the exploration bit, that wasn't an insurmountable problem. Like I said, what was holding Daggerfall back the most was the available technology; the short view distance and wilderness generation would've improved with time and greatly helped that. As it is, I don't feel Morrowind really capitalized on exploration anyway because it too suffered from a short view distance, plus many things were hidden such that you can't find them if you didn't already know where to look for them, and the things you could find on accident were of little consequence because they had little to offer and weren't attached to anything.On the other hand, Morrowind and later titles never captured the thrill Daggerfall has—the level design particularly—but exceed in other respects: the lore, the quests, the atmosphere, the landscape, the exploration. etc.
Again, not an insurmountable problem. Directly comparing Daggerfall and Morrowind like that is apples to oranges given that Morrowind was 6 years after Daggerfall. If someone took Daggerfall, adhered to its design principles and added another 6 years of development, it would make progress. Give another 4 years of development (Morrowind to Oblivion), then another 5 (Oblivion to Skyrim), and you won't end up with the same '96 Daggerfall, it will be greatly improved.My enjoyment in games like Bethesda's is being able to walk in any given direction and find something interesting, be it a pilgrim, a shrine, a highwayman, a tomb, a shipwreck or whatever else. Daggerfall is barren not just because most places seem to be placed in the middle of an unending, featureless expanse, but because there's absolutely nothing of interest outside of the blip you travelled to on your map until the next blip.
This doesn't generate landmass, just places object instances. I haven't given much thought for procedural land shape generation or textures generation. Having also land shape and texture map generation is a nice idea though.
I was also thinking of image to heightmap, and image to texture map importing. This would be a great feature! Using 3d meshes sounds quite a bit more complex, but maybe it also could be done somehow... Maybe casting a grid of rays to query heights and converting them to heights? Still, parsing through bitmaps is likely a lot faster.
Few years ago I heard about plans to integrate TESAnnwyn utility into OpenCS, but there is no any progress, as I know.