Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Dev Log #55: Global Map

Discussion in 'Underrail' started by Styg, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Styggender: ⚧ Stygian Software Developer

    Styg
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Serbia
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    Hi guys,

    While our development is mostly focused on the expansion there are a couple of issues that we wanted to address before its release as we think that they will greatly influence the experience of playing the DLC as well as the base game.

    First of these is the global map. This was a contested issue since the alpha versions and is probably the most frequent complaint we get from the people that have a positive view of the game as a whole. Some people may be wondering if the global map was something that was originally planned for the game and, truth to be told, I don't really remember (original plans for the game were laid almost 10 years ago now), but knowing myself I would probably implement one if I had the (time) resources that I have now. Back when I was at it alone I had to cut corners in both content and feature departments, and map is a bit of both really. Later, when the game has grown monstrously in size, even though I then had the time to add new features, a good amount of geographical inconsistencies made sure that there was no quick and easy way to produce a quality map, but instead some major rearragements were going to have to be made.

    But anyway, now that we got around to doing this, here's how the map implementation looks like (new players be careful, there are minor spoilers).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We're going to have separate maps for different depths and some maps for the bigger urban areas. We've only gotten around to SGS, Lower Caves and Lower Underrail so far, but here's how the full list will probably look like:
    • Lower Caves (includes Junkyard and Hathor)
    • Upper Caves
    • Lower Underrail (includes Rail Crossing)
    • Upper Underrail
    • Black Sea
    • Foundry
    • SGS
    • DC
    Core City and Institute will not be included, at least not initially, because reasons. We are, also, not going to be making any maps for "dungeon" areas and such (like GMS) unless they are part of geography of existing maps (such as Depot A being part of Lower Caves by being an extension of Junkyard).

    As you can see on the screenshots, maps will (usually, but not always) record and display what useful (or not so useful) creatures and plants you've encountered there as well as other points of interest (merchants, doctors, certain quest objects). These will not be updated after the initial encounter and do not always represent the actual state of the map, but are rather meant to be used as useful auto-notes for harvesting organs and plants and such. They will typically not record robotic and human enemies. You can also add your own notes to the map. A lot of static features of the map will also reveal themselves as you explore the map so that you won't automatically know, for example, if there's a power generator on that map immediately after entering.

    The map will be available in the next updated which will be released sometime before the DLC which is going to be released when it's ready. But on a serious note, I do hope to release a new update on the experimental branch at least in the near future so you guys can play with all the new stuff that we've added over the months and we can finally get this huge pile of patch notes off of our shoulders (and replace them with bug reports).

    Anyway, let us know what you think about the inclusion of the global map and about this particular implementation. In the next dev log I'll probably be talking about another important, but probably less impressive, change to the base game that we're working on.

    Cheers.
     
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  2. epeligender: ⚧ Erudite

    epeli
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    Now would you look at that, it's as the parrot predicted :M
     
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  3. Sykargender: ⚧ Arcane

    Sykar
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    Cool, just avoid shit like quest markers and let us only see maps of areas which we already explored.
     
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  4. Poosgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Poos
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    been looking for an excuse to play again; cheers styg
     
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  5. Latelistenergender: ⚧ Savant

    Latelistener
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    Dropped all my parrots into a barrel.

    :desu:
     
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  6. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughtergender: ⚧ Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    I liked the lack of map, there was a sense of discovery in going around the tunnels, just me and a notebook, maping the world out. Make me feel like a explorer
     
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  7. Poosgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Poos
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    true that, but im sure im missing a lot of shit in the early game areas; the early onset of alzheimers doesnt help

    on the upside; it may cause some fence-sitters to buy the incline
     
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  8. Iluvcheezcakegender: ⚧ Learned

    Iluvcheezcake
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    Infinitrooooooon! First page news here! :o

    Hell its on the Watch :/
     
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  9. Florian Gheorghegender: ⚧ Savant

    Florian Gheorghe
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    Fantastic news!
     
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  10. YES!gender: ⚧ Hi, I'm Roqua

    YES!
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    I know this is late and will not happen but it would have been neat to have to buy or somehow acquire hand drawn maps in game. Like someone tasks you with finding a cache and gives you a partial map of the lower caves to find it.

    Is having a bunch of map pieces, with maybe some inaccurate information as nice and easy as having an automap? No, certainly not. But it could be pretty neat if implemented well into this game specifically. I don't think most games have the right mechanics to have a system like that be anything but a huge annoyance and detractor, but it may have been a pro for this game.

    I didn't think not having a map was a big issue, but between no map and having a map I'll take the map every time so dobro dahn or mere menges or whatever.
     
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  11. Black Angelgender: ⚧ Savant

    Black Angel
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    With custom notes, no less! Thank you Styg :love:

    Just like the way I imagine it. Not telling the whole picture, only pieces of the puzzle.

    So minor suggestion: for 'dungeons' like GMS, I'd suggest really, really old maps that resemble a blueprint or just plain piece of paper with notes scrambled it in, stashed somewhere in the area. Kinda like maps in Thief:
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    And because it's really old, it's not entirely reliable and only give vague description of what the area looks like. For example, there's a hole in GMS which leads to a cave network, but the map shouldn't tell you about it.

    As for maps of settlements like Core City.... I suggest it's about time those Core City/Foundry Plans oddity have some usefulness? I know that would mean you have to reconsider the use of oddities in general, but hey, this idea might give you a better idea ;)

    Also, I agree with The Brazilian Slaughter that lack of maps really added a lot to exploration, so I hope this global map won't be handed to you on a silver platter, and you have to really work on it with the purpose of making it easier for backtracking.
     
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  12. moldgender: ⚧ Novice

    mold
    Joined:
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    2
    I also enjoyed exploring without a map. The worm labyrinth was the only bit where I got frustrated and drew a map.

    One of my favorite moments in my first playthrough was when my low level sneaky character got stuck in a situation where my explorations had taken me to an area where I had no hope of surviving combat and trying to go to a previous area I discovered I had been stalked by a murderer who'd kill me in one turn. Had no earlier save to go back to either. So my only option was to push forward into unknown and try to get through areas swarming with hostiles. I think the adventure would have been somewhat less thrilling if I'd had a map and some sense of where I was and where to go.
     
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  13. cioxgender: ⚧ Learned

    ciox
    Joined:
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    Good stuff, not really necessary for veteran players but it's a great addition for new or casual players that helps the game's image. It sounds like you need to explore to actually activate areas in the map so the exploration feel shouldn't be hurt too much.

    You said you don't want to add a map for towns like Core City or the Tchort Institute, IMO this is an opportunity because a map like FO1/2 that allows you to get quickly to places like merchants would be a lot more useful than a traditional map for them anyway, would help veterans and casuals alike.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Anthedongender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Anthedon
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I'm firmly aboard the map hype train. Now work faster :argh:.
     
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  15. TwinkieGorillagender: ⚧ does a good job. Patron

    TwinkieGorilla
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    Oct 19, 2007
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Hey Styg when are you guys going to stop jacking each other off and get this expansion out?
     
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  16. Twiglardgender: ⚧ Learned

    Twiglard
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    Wish we had larger sectors and faster area transitions. That pointless small sector in Core's merchant level.

    Transitions could load in the background after changing the map. Then the transition would be immediate. Once it happens, cache connected sectors again.

    Just take my fucking money already.
     
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  17. cioxgender: ⚧ Learned

    ciox
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    Yes but I think that's even less likely to happen, messing with "perfectly fine" levels, but maybe it's not true.
     
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  18. Twiglardgender: ⚧ Learned

    Twiglard
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    Anticipatory level loading could go in though. It's an optimization without the need to mess with game data.

    Styg?
     
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