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Up Topic General / Feedback and Ideas / OC getting modular - rethinking construction and production
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- - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 17:00 Edited 2011-02-01 16:38
Well, I suppose I shall throw the second stone into the pond after Ringwaul hit the target already.
I hope I'm able to express all my ideas properly, it's English at last :). Should I fail in it, I'd post in the German forum, hoping for someone to translate it afterwards.
Actually the idea came some days ago (as always, some minutes before falling asleep...) but I haven't found the time to post it until now.

So, what to think about the Subject above?

Brief Description:

Modularity: My idea is, that the production/construction lines in OC will be modular, meaning each building/item could look/work different, depending on how you build it.
Entering Buildings: I hate the idea of a clonk standing before a castle and grabbing it (Clonk humps castle?!?). I would propose a system basically first mentioned here, but with some differences.
How to build: I think in OC the "press down and wait"-sytem is outdated, we should come with something fresh. How about placing the carriers (German: St├╝tzbalken, Grundger├╝st) in a pattern and styling it afterwards?

A little more detailed:

Modularity:
I think someone already proposed it for items, but I would go a step further and say: Everything you can somehow "build" in OC should be modular and combining it with other items/buildings would create something new. Of course, the top-most items in this "Combining-Tree" can't create something greater BUT because of the community-driven development that is a big part of clonk, it should be made possible to combine even these.
And yes, I know this is difficult to realize, but it would be a fresh new way of seeing Clonk and it would clearly define the autonomy of OC.

Entering Buildings:
There are huge discussions on the forums about how to manage this topic and we all know the balancing issues that came with the way of handling this in the previous games of the series.
I already said I'm not a big fan of PeterW's idea, because I can already see Clonks standing in front of a big building and "grabbing" it. That would be ridiculous. Only to cite PeterW himself: It would be like "reinventing Clonk - and killing it in the process."
So I thought about it sometime came to a solution and saw, that it was posted by pluto already, but with little differences and limited to castles.
My idea: Every building should be accessable, not like in CR, but with some kind of layering. It basically works with 2/3 layers, you enter a building and the inside of it gets visible (for fluidness I would include a small fade inside-outside) and the fog of war surrounds the walls of the room, except another of your Clonks stands e.g. in front of the building or a door to the next room is open. We should even go as far as including windows to the walls and compute the FOW throughout the layers, so you can spot enemys from the inside, but also from the outside (the indoor-Clonks should then have an alpha-value of 50% so that they can be distinguished from Clonks standing on the outside), to make "shoot-arrow-through-window" possible.
If we could realize it like this, the hiding indoors problem will be solved, because meele WILL be possible in buildings.
The 2nd layer also has to allow "buildings"/minor structures to be placed (e.g. the anvil, wall tapestry, in general customization) which leads me to my second idea

Building:
I have rather complex ideas for this, all of them in a state you could call "alpha". (nerdexpressions ftw!)
The keyword is, as it is with all of my ideas in this thread, modular.
I will explain my ideas with the example of something simple, let's take a wooden hut.

Step 1: You need construction blueprints of the modules you want to use. So this would be "blockhouse" in this case. As it is a rather simple one it is available from the start, although (!) the map creator can turn it off, if he likes to. Well, until now it's like in CR. But here comes the difference: When you pick your hammer and stand at the position you want your hut to be, you press "e" and the "hammer menu" appears. It basically consists of 2 sections, in the first there are all the building materials you carry, in the other all blueprints you researched, sorted by kind. If you don't know the blueprints by heart, you click on it and it unfolds in a seperate window. Now you click on the building material you need, in this case a log, and your cursor gets that log, that you can place within a certain radius around your Clonk, at any pixel you want, with the restriction that it has to touch the ground (right, it's a building after all...). You can rotate the log with w/s (vertical), a/d (horizontal) and q/e (diagonal). After you placed the first log you pick your second one, but this time it moves snapping to a grid, that is relative to the position of your first placed material. The blueprint is also gridded and shows how to arrange the materials. After you are done you click the button "done" in your building menu. If the construction is valid (within the researched blueprint) the sign in front of the construction changes and you come to step 2. If it is invalid, the structure crashes and all materials fall to the floor (maybe a loss of 1/10 and at least 1?).
This would make no sense, if that was all, because it would be basically the old system with a repetetive manual construction. BUT this isn't the cool thing about it. As the gridded space around your material is only limited by the nature around it, you can continue contructing after you have added all the needed materials for the "blockhouse". Want a second room? Just continue and place a second blockhouse, not doubling the connecting wall. But you would need a door for this etc. (I know it is hard to program in the first place, but blueprints and possibilities can be added step by step by the community developers).
Also there need to be multiple possibillities for one blueprint. You can do a wooden floor or a floor consisting of clay (German: Lehm), there are wooden roofs and roofs consisting of hey etc. (rhyming power!)

Step 2: Now that you have your rough building standing, there's an optional step available, customization of your building. I don't relly know how this should look, but individual buildings would be really cool. Maybe there could be a spray gun to color your walls or different floors etc.

Step 3: You all know this step. The computer calculates how the building will look (would be hard to program with all the possibilities, I know) and you swing your hammer. The question is: Auto-build (arrow down) or holding the left mouse button?

Step 4: It has to be possible to expand a building. I have no idea how this could work, maybe holding the hammer, pressing "e" in front of a building, menu appears ("expand/change","destroy"), you come back to step 1 and are able to add/change something, click "done", the valid parts of the building are left standing, the others fall apart, and in step 3 only the necessary parts are rebuild. Maybe.

Phew, that was a mass of ideas and it took me >2h to write it all down, so I hope at least something of it goes into the game :)

Edit: Because a lot of people asked why the system would be more fun, I'll try to point this out:

The construction system:
1) I hated how every hut, house etc. looked the same in CR/CE/CP. When you needed to get a lot of points for settling, you had 10+ stone houses or other buildings in a row just to reach the goal. With the modularity system you would be able to create a building that really looks like one and gives as much points as your row of huts/castles(the building-like ones). Like the old castle sytem (the modular one) with outer walls and a real difference between outside and inside.
2) If you define a building not as "type of building" but as hull, you can assign different behaviours. For example: You build a stone building with a funnel in the roof. If you place a forge under it and throw iron and coal in the funnel, clean iron will be produced, but if you place a generator under it and add a wire, it'll produce energy. And if you add another room with a funnel to the building, you could produce iron on one side and electricity on the other, in the same building. If you add a tube to the ironforge, you could automatically transport the iron to your base after the process etc.
You could compare it to redstone in MC: A simple mechanism, but you can construct complex ones with it.
3) The system isn't necessarily slower than the old one and in Meele you don't have to build complex buildings if you don't want to.

The building system:
This really is obvious: Indoor fighting! Running though an individually styled building (not necessarily a castle!) and fighting each other with agile Clonks, I can't imagine something more fun! There could be doubled-sized hall modules, staircases etc. that would make it worth constructing for meele. I also like the idea of lockable+destroyable doors.
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Parent - - By Newton [de] Date 2011-01-29 18:08
Uh. Why?
Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 18:23 Edited 2011-01-29 18:44
This is VERY unspecific, can't answer a qestion if I don't know what it means...
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Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-02-01 16:40
If you meant: "Why would this be more fun?" then look at the "Edit" at the and of my post.
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-02-01 17:14

>1) I hated how every hut, house etc. looked the same in CR/CE/CP. When you needed to get a lot of points for settling, you had 10+ stone houses or other buildings in a row just to reach the goal..


Your attempt to solve the problem would not really solve the reason for the problem (having to build the same building more than once) but would only camouflage the really annoying procedure of building the same stuff over and over again. I think we should try to get rid of goals that promote having to do the same repetitive thing again and again.

>2) If you define a building not as "type of building" but as hull, you can assign different behaviours. For example: You build a stone building with a funnel in the roof. If you place a forge under it..


That actually sounds interesting. To rephrase it: You want to have a lot of small "buildings" (anvil, forge, camp fire ("kitchen")) that can be arranged like the player wants but have some requirements (forge needs a funnel - or at least sky above it.
I think that is quite similar to my suggestion with the "castle". The "castle" would be the hull. It would consist of walls/towers/doors the player can arrange as he wants to (plus additional elements for weird and interesting shapes) and the buildings would be freely placed in that "castle"-hull. The only difference would be that with a "castle", the whole base would feel somehow like a real base (since everything is visually linked)
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-02-02 12:21
Another difference would be that these "hull" buildings can be entered, they exist in a second layer of the game, so "indoors" is realistically seperated from "outdoors" (but clonks can switch between them though doors and arrows/flints also through windows - sniping action ;) ).

You can arrange the base the way you like, so if you wanted to you could also link everything together in a single "manor house" (Herrenhaus). Or you can build a lot of small huts with different functions, defined by the kind of interior machines (which you could also build outside, but are easily destructable).
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-02-02 17:30

>Another difference would be that these "hull" buildings can be entered, they exist in a second layer of the game, so "indoors" is realistically seperated from "outdoors" (but clonks can switch between them though doors and arrows/flints also through windows - sniping action ;) ).


Having the castles in another layer is an interesting idea that we actually already discussed at some point - I don't know whether we got to a conclusion, though.
While it is interesting, it also has some disadvantages.
Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2011-02-02 19:55
Wasn't that more about having the castle parts have a top-face so you can't tell from outside what's happening inside?
Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-02-02 20:30
The idea of buildings (not especially castle parts, that's true) that are in a different layer was also discussed already (or at least brought up). I don't like it too much myself, though. :)
Parent - By ala [de] Date 2011-02-03 02:10
The conlusion was: It's too much work.
Parent - By Newton [de] Date 2011-02-02 03:12
Yes, that's what I meant.
Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2011-01-29 18:16
I agree that we might want to think about other ways of building stuff. Having your Clonk just standing around for a long time surely doesn't sound very fun.

But on the modular stuff, I have to echo Newton: Uh, why? Please tell why this should be fun, it isn't obvious to me.
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 18:27
Like my answer to Newton: I can't answer your question b/c I don't know what it relates to. And that's exactly why I originally splitted the topics...

"The modular stuff" is the main idea of my thread. If I press Strg+F and type in "fun", the word only appears in your post.
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Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2011-01-29 18:45
Okay, here's a more specific version:

> Everything you can somehow "build" in OC should be modular and combining it with other items/buildings would create something new.


Uh, why? You just say "it's cool", which doesn't convince me. What sort of gameplay do you enable? Any interesting ways to combine this with what we have? Sorry, I see you put quite a bit of effort into this, but I don't understand it at all.
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 19:18 Edited 2011-01-29 19:42
Well, this was just a proposal of a basic sentence we could use for creating the settlement mode.

If this is too abstract for you, I can make some examples:
1) The one I already described very detailed is the idea for construction. There are a lot of "modules" (logs, stones, but also more complex ones like doors, windows etc.) you can set them together to building-modules, set these thogether to even bigger/more complex buildings.
2) Already mentioned in another thread: The wind bucket (was it a bucket? Dunno) could be combined with e.g. a flint+sulphur to make a flamethrower, or with water to make a fire extinguisher....

You know Minecraft? This game has a simple complexity in it with it's combining system. But the biggest complexity in this game really is the fact that the player can literally build anything out of simple blocks, and thats what's really cool and makes Minecraft interesting. Why is MassEffect so interesting? Because the player has a choice, maybe not in creativity, but in his actions. A lot of games are cool because the player has or (more often) thinks he has an unlimited amount of possible choices.
Why is the gameplay in FFXIII so...mediocre (hell, not the story!!)? Because the levels are like tubes.
A good done modularity most of the time means more variety in a game and thats cool.

I will post some graphics of how I imagine the construction system. Well, forget the graphics, maybe draw+scan will work. xD
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Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2011-01-29 20:16
Ah, that's where you're coming from. Oh well, Minecraft's crafting system works reasonably well as there are only very limited possibilities with 3x3 blocks. Yet it is very laborious and not self-documenting.

Just so you know where I am coming from: I want to design a settlement mode that is compatible with playing in competition - be it against other players or against the clock. Otherwise we might end up with two incompatible parts living in the same game. The free-wheeling settlement mode is more of an afterthought for me. As I said in another thread, players will find ways to be creative anyway. But this is not the design focus.
Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 20:36
Right, I haven't really thought about the speed of the system. But I think it only takes slightly more time to build like this especially when you take into account that you would be free to construct your base the way you want to.

It's a system to finally get away from that ... what do you call them in English, construction kits?
Right, you could use the hammer, but that would be the same in green minus 25 Clunker.
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Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 20:46
To the design focus: YES IT IS!

If you want to make a game with lasting gameplay fun, then it is the designers task (and should be his focus, too) to make the game-mechanisms encourage creativity, and not to create something fix and ask the player to do something creative with it.
If the engine doesn't support a lot of things/creative things, the content won't, too. Or only spare.
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-29 21:31

>If you want to make a game with lasting gameplay fun, then it is the designers task (and should be his focus, too) to make the game-mechanisms encourage creativity


No, that's not true. That would imply that the key to a fun game is giving the player creative stuff. And that is not how it works - because otherwise some of the top-games at the moment would be a lot less fun than MSPaint. Because you can be very creative in MSPaint but not in some ego shooters!
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 22:41
Most of them do not have lasting gameplay fun. Do you play ME, DA:O or the COD:MW2 Campaign more than 10 times? You don't. It only seems like lasting gameplay fun, because there is so much content in it.
Now, how long do you play Minecraft Singleplayer? 100+ hours? Is the amount of content comparable? No. Why is that so? Because of the creativity of the Player and the supporting game structure.
Well, multiplayer is a little bit complexer, but also improved by peoples creativity.
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-29 22:54
I could not construct my buildings out of single parts in Age of Empires or The Settlers or Cultures or even NetHack - but I could use endless creativity in MSPaint.
Giving the player more ways to use his creativity does not mean throwing everything into the game we can think of ;)
Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 23:06
Well, didn't mean to say that.
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Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2011-01-30 00:39
Be careful there. The most-played games are probably stupid shooters with zero creativity on top of jumping or shooting a fraction earlier. What would we learn from that?
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-30 09:17
People aren't creative...
But there are a lot of folks that are (>5.000.000 Minecraft players in <year)....
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-30 10:16

>But there are a lot of folks that are (>5.000.000 Minecraft players in <year)....


I don't know your source, but I am sure that there are more WoW players. ;)

What we want to tell you is that putting in possibilities for the player to show his/her creativity does not automatically lead to a better game and is not the only way to make games.
I think we will have a lot of possible creativity for the player in OpenClonk - but we should put that in where it makes sense :)
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-30 13:50
Then post a better idea ;)
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-30 13:58
I am pretty sure I did post an idea that at least I consider to be better ;P
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-30 17:14
I believe you, but a link would be useful xD
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Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-30 20:15
Oh, very well-conceived and detailed....
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-30 21:04
What is your question?
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-30 22:01
No question, this was a little bit sarcastic ;)

I meant the detail in your post compared to mine above. Because what you suggested is not really a concept.
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-30 22:02
No, what I suggested is an alternative to your suggestion. :)
Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-31 15:46
I think as long as it is not more specified, you can't really count this as alternative, only as rough idea.
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Parent - - By Ringwaul [ca] Date 2011-01-30 20:09

>but we should put that in where it makes sense :)


Like, in the modding aspect where it's proved the most successful? ;)

That is the real creativity of Clonk.
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Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-30 20:17
The problem is, that the modders can't change the engine. So the programmers have to provide the possibilities.
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Parent - - By Ringwaul [ca] Date 2011-01-30 23:03

>The problem is, that the modders can't change the engine.


How is this a problem? In what way is the OpenClonk engine restricting? That it is specialized for 2D platformers with pixel-landscapes?
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Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-31 15:40
Well, you are thinking a little too general. Are you in engine programming of Open Clonk? Because you can't say that an engine specialized for 2D platformers with pixel-landscapes automatically supports all necessary moddings if you are a little bit into "thinking like a programmer".
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-31 16:04
Nothing you said in this thread would need engine support. If you need something specific just make a post on the forums and with a bit of luck someone will implement it. :)
Parent - - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-02-01 11:09
Really? You don't need engine support for a complete new settling system and can program it in C4-Script? I can't believe that...
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-02-01 17:16
This is an unfinished clone of Age of Empires in C4Script for Clonk Endeavour. With birds-eye perspective and fancy stuff like that.
If you could even do stuff like that in Clonk Endeavour, implementing a simple settlement concept should not be any problem in OC - and as I said: If you have any specific requests you can still go to the forums and ask the developers. You could not really do that in Clonk Rage ;)
Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-02-02 12:24
Or I could implement it myself and ask for pushing it into the repository xD.

But I'm not (yet) good enough in C++ :(.
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Parent - - By MM333 [at] Date 2011-02-02 15:14
Hi, thanks for posting this and sorry for this little off topic post, but i just got a little bit nostalgic, when i pressed the link :) Damn thats a long time ago and i forgott how much fun it was to play with the clonk engine and see whatever you can get out of it. (although my programming skills where quite limited at that time ;)

I observe the progress of OpenClonk quite a while and i have to say, i like where its going!

Again sorry for the OT, but i will post a (hopefully) more constructive Post in this thread right away ;)
Parent - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-02-02 17:31
Haha, hi :)
Well, maybe you will find the motivation to start a similar project for OpenClonk at some point! ;)
Parent - - By PeterW [gb] Date 2011-01-30 23:44 Edited 2011-01-31 00:34

> But there are a lot of folks that are (>5.000.000 Minecraft players in <year)....


Uhm, where's that statistic from? According to this, we have just about 1 million that bought the game.

(fixed the link)
Parent - By Gurkenglas [de] Date 2011-01-30 23:54
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Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-31 15:45
1) I thought in Alpha-times (last time I saw the number it was something about 700.000 bought games
2) I accidentally enlarged the number by 10^1 :)

But it doesn't matter if it's 1.000.000 or 5.000.000, it's more like: WOW, 1 million?!? Normally indie games can be really happy if they are played by >10.000 people in their whole existence...

Especially if there are that many bugs in it. xD
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Parent - - By Otoma [de] Date 2011-01-29 18:52
I like the Idea to modify buildings. And also building in Steps. The Modulatity Idea is not bad also, in Minecraft it worked good.

What I really dont like, is that there are items, you cant find/create but only buy.
Parent - By Profpatsch [de] Date 2011-01-29 19:19
Well, me neither!
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Parent - - By Zapper [de] Date 2011-01-29 20:31
I think the "modularity" of your base should be defined through the arrangement of castle parts you can build.
My proposal would be: give the buildings standardized size (to fit in front of castle parts) and give the players background castle parts to construct. The whole base would still be very modular with doors, towers and stuff - but not in the building itself but rather in the layout of the whole base
Up Topic General / Feedback and Ideas / OC getting modular - rethinking construction and production
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