What kind of areas do you want to see ingame?

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What kind of areas do you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by bgivenb » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:20 am

Greetings, my name is Given Borthwick, and my job is creating the terrain and outdoor environments for Frontiers.

From my experience, the most exciting part of playing an open world game is exploring; nothing is more satisfying then stumbling upon some hidden ruin in the forest, or climbing to the top of the mountain that loomed in the distance. Discovery makes a game feel more engaging and fresh.

So on that note, while there are already plenty of great ideas for game areas already in the works, what kind of area would you like to see ingame?
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:30 am

You know, something that I've found oddly absent from games is an earthquake with a discernable source... I know that probably sounded odd (and vague) so let me explain.

Imagine if you would a more or less "dormant" fault line. The fault goes for some distance, little more than a visible ridge on the surface. However, if one were to follow the fault to its center one might be astonished to discover that it begins to widen, the two continental slabs of land coming further apart (but still joining together at a certain depth, so a "V" shaped formation if you were to see a cross-section of it, I hope that makes sense). In other words, it gets wider and deeper but it is not quite bottomless...

At a certain point one would need to cross a bridge to get to the other side safely, and lo and behold, there are a number of such bridges! Caves carved into the sides of the fault's "canyon" open up like so many pores in the earth itself. Is that lantern light coming from inside some of those caves? People are actually *living* inside the fault line? People say the fault has been inactive for years... but... I suppose some squatters are more apt for risk-taking than others.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:34 am

If you're looking for a more vivid picture of that concept, you might want to look up "Skirk Ridge" from Magic: The Gathering lore. It isn't a fault line or anything (if I recall correctly) but it has goblins living in the side of sheer cliffs and such, which as a kid was a pretty cool concept to me. I always liked the idea of people literally living "on the edge" if you'll forgive the pun.

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(A sample image of Skirk Ridge)
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by bgivenb » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:45 am

Hey, great idea! I will certainly take that into consideration. Not sure about the fault line (that's a pretty major land feature), but I like the idea of areas carved into sheer cliffs
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:56 am

bgivenb wrote:Hey, great idea! I will certainly take that into consideration. Not sure about the fault line (that's a pretty major land feature), but I like the idea of areas carved into sheer cliffs


Yeah... I thought the fault line itself could be problematic... I decided to just post the idea unfiltered for the sake of offering multiple possible ways to handle this. Thanks for the reply!

Another thing I have to say is I find the open nature of this project to be very much refreshing. Imagine if we had this kind of input on the Elder Scrolls games? You guys are collectively making me feel like a kid again.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by DWMagus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:58 am

XenoReaper wrote:If you're looking for a more vivid picture of that concept, you might want to look up "Skirk Ridge" from Magic: The Gathering lore. It isn't a fault line or anything (if I recall correctly) but it has goblins living in the side of sheer cliffs and such, which as a kid was a pretty cool concept to me. I always liked the idea of people literally living "on the edge" if you'll forgive the pun.

Image


(A sample image of Skirk Ridge)


Another example I think of what you're thinking of would be Mesa Verde. If that's the case, I second it!
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by bgivenb » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:00 am

Mesa Verde! I love it. This would be pretty awesome in one of the desert areas
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Railboy » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:32 am

Hell yeah. Here's a very, very, VERY rough alpha test I did before Given was brought on. (He'll probably slap me for posting a screenshot with such hideous texture stretching, haha!)
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by bgivenb » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:38 am

(*slap!) :biggrin:
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Railboy » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:45 am

bgivenb wrote:(*slap!) :biggrin:


:pardon:
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Vance » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:12 am

I would like to see some sort of a swampy environment myself.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. :)

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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:12 am

Railboy wrote:Hell yeah. Here's a very, very, VERY rough alpha test I did before Given was brought on. (He'll probably slap me for posting a screenshot with such hideous texture stretching, haha!)


Nice! May the dream be realized!
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Merla » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:37 am

Vance wrote:I would like to see some sort of a swampy environment myself.


Me too. Probably with a village where the houses are connected by wooden bridges and the mist wafts so you can't see the village till you nearly stood inside it. The Gothic series had in the first 2 games really great swamps.

I would also like a mine on the side of a vulcano where miners and blacksmiths try to get the ore in constantly fighting with the growling mountain.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Gazz » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:44 am

Just random locations? Maybe a few.
Since you don't want large-scale features like fault lines you're getting sights & locations in no particular order...

  1. In a mountainous region there is a crevice.
    A large tree has fallen across it and people have worked it into a bridge.
    It's dead now but the roots and branches are still mostly present so there are ramps up to it on both ends.
    The topside of that "bridge" definitely has the bark worn off. Or there might be planks.

  2. The Cave Behind The Waterfall
    It's terribly cliché but every game needs one. =)

  3. A tree has fallen against a hillside and someone hollowed out a bit of hill and used the tree as the base of a roof.

  4. A river is parted by an island.
    On one leg of the river, a sandbank has lead to the creation of a natural dam of... whatever the river brought there.
    It looks precarious but you should be able to get to the island...

  5. There is a village with a tall but dead tree in the center of the village square. Most of it's branches have been cut off, presumably for firewood.
    The houses around it have numbers painted on their side.
    These are hour marks. It's the biggest sun dial ever.

  6. Some partial roofs are sticking out of a lake. A landslide changed the course of a river and village quickly turned into a lake.

    There would also be a dry and grown-over riverbed nearby. Maybe with an old bridge over what is now merely a depression in the landscape.

  7. A dragon cave.
    Well, it's not actually a dragon in there but the acoustics in there distort and magnify the breathing sounds of some animals sleeping in there so the nearby villagers are convinced that there be dragons.

  8. A village with a pigeon problem. The roofs are nearly white. Why can't these flying rats go elsewhere?

  9. An abandoned mine shaft. Might just be a vertical hole in the ground. Used to be boarded over but that was long ago.
    Nothing of value down there unless someone tossed in a few coins for luck. Just broken animal bones from the unlucky ones who fell in.

  10. In a swampy area, a house has actually sunken halfway into the earth. Guess they didn't pay attention to foundations.
    The floor level inside is the same as outside. They didn't build it on a concrete slab so only the walls have sunken in. =)

  11. The village Fool's Rock got it's name from a sizable boulder of fool's gold that they had been displaying in the village square.
    It had been stolen long ago so only the name remains. (Why the hell would anyone do that? And how without anyone noticing)
    (Did you know that the german term for fool's gold literally translated is cat's gold?)

  12. 3 houses are standing in a row. The middle one is much smaller.
    There is a rope bridge connecting the 2 houses on either side.
    There has to be a story behind that...

  13. A boulder is completely covered by a thick "fur" of moss while this moss doesn't occur anywhere else in the vicinity.

  14. In the woods there is a grown-over ruin that's little more than a pile of rubble by now.
    The only noteworthy feature is a statue that looks like a pig holding a horn or trumpet in front of it's face.
    Whatever it was holding has rotten away now. Was there a cult around a musically gifted pig?

  15. You find a large, flat, perfectly round stone plate. It has to have some significance because it's clearly not natural.
    There are no structures around it, no markings. It's a stone plate.
    (You asked for locations, not their meaning. Tee hee hee!)

  16. In a mountainous region a stone slab has formed a natural aqueduct that a creek is flowing over. You can pass under the creek where the earth below the slab has eroded away.

  17. On a tanner's house you see animal skins tied to frames.
    These are window shutters.
    If the wind blows against them, they form a much tighter seal than wooden shutters would.

  18. At the end of a valley a now-dry river had long ago tunneled through softer rock.
    If the wind blows strongly enough, it is playing the biggest flute ever.

    Or you could just have a howling (hollow) tree in an "evil" forest. Same principle. =)
    I would expect legends about a dead general calling his armies to battle or something like that.

  19. Priests carving ice statues from a glacier for some midwinter's celebration.
    That way they have an excuse to throw another party when they have all fully melted.
    (I was about to go get some ice cream so...)

  20. A small landslide has resulted in a house now standing at a noticeable angle.

  21. In a mountain pass a long forgotten potter had created a simple mosaic of glazed tiles on a cliff face, advertising his wares.

  22. Part of a city wall is sagging because the foundations in this area gave away during the last and very wet winter.
    It's a touchy subject with the lords of that city because it looks terribly sloppy.

  23. Someone built a house in some temple ruins, actually including statues as part of his walls.

  24. A hole in the side of a hill opens into a small cave filled with water.
    A natural cistern like that would make it a good rest stop for travelers / caravans.

  25. The dragonmouth cavern.
    There is methane slowly leaking into this cave from below. The ceiling is somewhat loose and contains bits of flintstone.
    Once in a while pieces fall down and hit a piece of metal. Very rarely a spark is created and ignites the "dragon's breath" that shoots from the cave mouth.
    If you go in there, you probably suffocate. Curious explorers are how pieces of metal get in there from time to time. =)

  26. A large boulder somewhat resembling a human skull.

  27. A small waterfall from a fast-flowing creek flowing through the air before falling. Much like if spewn by a natural gargoyle.

  28. A river contains some boulders that form natural stepping stones.
    In some cases people have laid planks between boulders that were a bit too far apart.

  29. Fishers living on an iceberg that has floated into warmer waters. It's melting, of course, but that takes a good while.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by gad » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:21 pm

Hard to suggest stuff, so many great ideas already. Would be satisfied with them honestly. I'm partial to extreme areas, super chill & super thrill. Since I think the chill areas are gonna be covered greatly, I want to focus on my other preference. As they tend to lure you in with beauty but destroy you if you aren't careful. But are super rewarding once you find what you need there and get out. I won't be too specific as I have no idea how viable these are to design with your current limitations/goal. I hope you intend to add areas that are so unforgiving you parish quickly but are possible to get through.

+ Jungles w/ quicksand and other troubles. Maybe some Pitfall type situations.
+ Extreme Arctic
+ Desert Oasis, desert areas. (like the Sahara)
+ I almost said Sci-fi but after seeing Vance's picture I realized I mis-labeled my idea in my mind... that is exactly right.
+ You didn't mention weather, and I don't know if you mentioned this in another thread (Tons of info on forums now), but extreme weather areas could be cool. Blizzard, sandstorm, hurricane, tornado alley etc.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:20 pm

Here's an idea that is both foliage and terrain-based, courtesy of my father.

An area based around a massive Banyan tree would be unique and quite memorable.

Image

I think the largest in the world is a square mile, or something? It's essentially a one-tree forest. I believe Hawaii and India are two places where these are known to grow- could be especially cool if there were mist or fog or something obscuring your sight (or perhaps the many branches/roots of the tree itself)
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by DWMagus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:42 pm

@XenoReaper. Cool!

As for my ideas;

I've always been a fan of raised Aqueducts. Make a city or an outpost where they use them quite a bit. A raised Venice might be asking too much though. :D

Along the same lines, a lava duct as well. Living in a volcano is dangerous, but the locals have found a way to pipe (uncovered for aesthetics?) lava to the village for different uses. Maybe inside the arctic cold area that gad suggested as a way to keep warm.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:33 pm

DWMagus wrote:@XenoReaper. Cool!

As for my ideas;

I've always been a fan of raised Aqueducts. Make a city or an outpost where they use them quite a bit. A raised Venice might be asking too much though. :D

Along the same lines, a lava duct as well. Living in a volcano is dangerous, but the locals have found a way to pipe (uncovered for aesthetics?) lava to the village for different uses. Maybe inside the arctic cold area that gad suggested as a way to keep warm.


I second both of these- especially the aqueducts!
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Delphis » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:42 pm

How about a crystal cave? The entrance is somewhat hidden, maybe an underwater entry from a river or lake. Inside you have beautyfull, bluish glowing crystals on the floor and hanging from the cave ceiling. The cave is quite large and a little bit spooky. Maybe someone told you about that cave becaue he wants some parts of these crystals for a special amulet or a ring.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by bgivenb » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:44 pm

So many good ideas! The aqueducts are something I have been wanting to do already :D
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Merla » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:39 pm

XenoReaper wrote:
DWMagus wrote:Along the same lines, a lava duct as well. Living in a volcano is dangerous, but the locals have found a way to pipe (uncovered for aesthetics?) lava to the village for different uses. Maybe inside the arctic cold area that gad suggested as a way to keep warm.


I second both of these- especially the aqueducts!


I like the idea with the village in a arctic region with a volcano and the villagers use a aqueduct-like construction to use the lava as heat source. They could also have hot springs and probably something like greenhouses ;)
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:00 pm

Merla wrote:
XenoReaper wrote:
DWMagus wrote:Along the same lines, a lava duct as well. Living in a volcano is dangerous, but the locals have found a way to pipe (uncovered for aesthetics?) lava to the village for different uses. Maybe inside the arctic cold area that gad suggested as a way to keep warm.


I second both of these- especially the aqueducts!


I like the idea with the village in a arctic region with a volcano and the villagers use a aqueduct-like construction to use the lava as heat source. They could also have hot springs and probably something like greenhouses ;)


Quest: Determine what's wrong with the local aqueducts. You arrive and realize the villagers forgot to mention something- they're actually LAVAducts! Nice one.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by DWMagus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:38 pm

XenoReaper wrote:Quest: Determine what's wrong with the local aqueducts. You arrive and realize the villagers forgot to mention something- they're actually LAVAducts! Nice one.


:thumbs:
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Gazz » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:49 pm

One way to transport lava from A to B efficiently (what the hell for?) would be a bed of molten metal such as lead or tin.
That's generally used when producing perfectly plane glass windows. ("float glass")

For our purpose of transporting lava it has the advantage of minimal drag and the lavaduct not being in direct contact with the chemically quite aggressive lava.
Granted, it would do bad things to your breathing apparatus - but no more so than the lava itself.
Work safety certainly isn't foremost on your mind when you apply for a job as assistant lava plumber.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by SignpostMarv » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:22 pm

I'd like to see someone growing a hedge maze :P
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:31 pm

Gazz wrote:One way to transport lava from A to B efficiently (what the hell for?) would be a bed of molten metal such as lead or tin.
That's generally used when producing perfectly plane glass windows. ("float glass")

For our purpose of transporting lava it has the advantage of minimal drag and the lavaduct not being in direct contact with the chemically quite aggressive lava.
Granted, it would do bad things to your breathing apparatus - but no more so than the lava itself.
Work safety certainly isn't foremost on your mind when you apply for a job as assistant lava plumber.


Son of a... now we know why Mario shoots fireballs. He's a *lava* plumber. You know, Nintendo shouldn't be so modest about their mascot. Why not just tell us the truth to begin with? Is it because lava plumbers still have a stigma attached? It's 2013 for frig's sake. Lava plumbers should be accepted in society just like anyone else- just don't ask them about their hazard pay. It's never enough.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by TrackerTaz » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:41 pm

bgivenb wrote:Mesa Verde! I love it. This would be pretty awesome in one of the desert areas

Sounds good to me !! I like the idea

Railboy wrote:Hell yeah. Here's a very, very, VERY rough alpha test I did before Given was brought on. (He'll probably slap me for posting a screenshot with such hideous texture stretching, haha!)

Yes I like what you have done....
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by upsurper » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:34 am

I just want to a giant sandstone potato.
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by XenoReaper » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:06 am

upsurper wrote:I just want to a giant sandstone potato.


You know, you make a good point. One has to wonder how/if Lars is going to make a potato reference in Frontiers. Or perhaps he could make several of these "Easter potatoes" for our amusement.

I have been inspired. I will be getting the book kit- perhaps I'll make one where some random genius/madman believes that the Obex are actually sentient potato-kin or something like that (I posted the original idea in the "Obex" thread).
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by oznewhaven » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:30 pm

I love some of the fantasy location that have been put forward, but sometimes, taking inspiration from the real world can be equally amazing, so a mix of both would be great:

PETRA: A city built within a canyon: Very mysterious, usually you don't see it from a distance, until you litterlly stumble upon it
Image

Chapel of St. Michel d'Aiguilhe, le Puy-in-Velay, France: You can see it from afar, a chapel (but could be temple of small castle) perched on a rocky outcrop
Image

Ciudad Perdida, Colombia: Ruined city overgrown by vegetation:
Image

Machu Pichu, Peru: Lost Town on Plateau:
Image

Hidden Beach in Marieta Islands, Mexico: Looks like a world gen gone wrong. Apparently to get inside you have to swim underwater through a tunnel:
Image

Sunken paths o/ Bocage or holloways: Road which has over time fallen significantly lower than the land on either side, there are plenty where I live in the UK: For exploration they are great as you can't see out of the lane, unless there is an opening in the vegetation:
Image

Crevasses in Mountain terrain: Slippery (Would involve changing the physics of snow/ice) terrain, where you could slip and fall into oblivion:
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More to come...
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Lolologist » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:47 pm

upsurper wrote:I just want to a giant sandstone potato.

With worshippers! A whole cult!
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by SignpostMarv » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:00 pm

Lolologist wrote:
upsurper wrote:I just want to a giant sandstone potato.

With worshippers! A whole cult!


One exists in the real world already:
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Hot Fire » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:06 pm

I would like to see an ancient ruined city with a bunch of underground catacombs that all have been overgrown by the surrounding vegetation. Think it would make for some cool exploration
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Iloru » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:42 pm

Personally, I'd like to see a rocky cliff area next to the sea. Something that you really have to work your way down carefully, and then at the bottom a hidden beach or cove with a series of caves to explore. Perhaps something that gets partially (or wholly) submerged during high tide. All sorts of fascinating rock or mineral formations could end up in there!
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Re: What kind of areas to you want to see ingame?

PostPosted by Zolana » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Something kind of like the jungle temple at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark?
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