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Immersive gameplay feedback (allied, competitive and neutral agents ) & cohesive layered world generation


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Ever since TFC, Sevtech and other tech-age-traversing mods, I was really bugged by these 2 things:

  1. No story or overarching goal, no direction; no-one to compete with, no-one to share/compare the progress with, no-one to learn or to steal from; => no motivation to do anything beyond hording and acquiring new-whatever. Building new stuff for the sake of building newer stuff, while fun for a-while, eventually gets boring and the feeling of all-is-pointless starts to prevail. I was trying to reflect onto whats and whys --- what exactly is missing from vanilla minecraft, or these great mods, that makes me feel this way, and I think the answer is fairly simple: the emptiness comes from a sad realization that whatever goal you choose for yourself there's no-one in the entire game-world who could appreciate it (and/or your struggle to get it). Basically, a conquest game starts to feel shallow, when immersion is broken by actors not being able to achieve (to compete to achieve) things you want, --- or in other words, when there's no economy simulation going on (no shared vision of goals and what they cost).
  2. While you could find very interesting proofs of concept like Millénaire, the cohesive world generation is another thing. It always felt wrong the game (minecraft in this case) generates terrain on the fly in a non-cohesive random and messy way. We have villages, but where are all the roads? Where the travelers, convoys, caravans and such? What would it cost to pre-generate meta-layers of the world, like climate-zones, habitable and non-habitable zones, roads and towns (just relative positions with no geometry what-so-ever) and actually generate the geometry and actors when the player gets there (while still being able to reason about them even if they wont)? The closest successful world-gen with roads I can think of is Lost Cities, but I'm not sure whether it achieves that via meta-layers, or it's just very clever reflective, but still random, world-gen.

* Basically, the conquest game like minecraft seem to have no vision on how to scale its gameplay beyond hording.

One could argue, that multiplayer is the ultimate answer to these issues, but the counter-argument to that would be in acknowledgement that every player in a multiplayer-setting would have to force themselves to consolidate with other players in order to form competitive economies --- and for those to form you would still need some kind motivators (something extremely rare and useful? something to transcend to prestige and reputation?)... and there's no telling how many players do you need before the overall economic struggle would seem sustaining?


Like, did it ever bugged you, that in order to progress through the tech-age-traversing mods (or even in vanilla minecraft/terraria and such) you have to deal with menus, upon menus, upon menus to find all the recipes you able to craft from an item, to find the entity you have to craft them with, to find a pattern in which you have to lay the items you have, only for the cycle to continue anew with each new shiny thing you'll get. Sometimes it feels like you spend most of your time in the crafting menus or on Wikipedia, rather than in the actual game. Even doing the most basic stuff (like finding and cooking food, or forging metals) could be challenging because how particular and obscure the recipes/block-behaviors are. 

Wouldn't it be way cooler and way more approachable if a game-world had an entity you could simply observe to learn all the mechanics from? An entity with the same'ish goals and restrictions you could could compete or live along with?

It doesn't have to be sophisticated, it simply have to be somewhat aware.


What's the VintageStory stance on this? Would we be able to expect these issues being addressed in some near future and in what way? I know there's some kind of story in VS and villages are one the road-map, but what exactly you envision for you product so far?


What do you people think of this? Is this the direction you want to see VS go?


Thank you, VS-team, great product so far!


Edited by Novado
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  • 1 month later...

On the topic of 'cohesive layered world generation' I can concur what Novado hinted above about the LOTRmod for Minecraft. I've played that mod for many years now and done most of the biome info for that mod's Wiki, so I know quite well how the mods author pulled it off. There aren't many other Minecraft mods, if any, who can match the world generation depth and versatility the LOTRmod has developed throughout the years. I would definitely recommend for VS to have a good look at that, including the world generation option that creates a procedurally generated (by default Third Age Middle-earth ofc) world guided by a pre-coloured map where each colour represents a high level biome ID to be generated. Additional layers are all determined procedurally, like biome variants and other features like (NPC inhabited) structures, flora, fauna and non-structure bound NPCs. I'd see opportunity to create more varied 'layered' world generation than presently embedded in the LOTRmod, but goign by similar design principles.

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