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Auto-climb one block


Derle
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Hi!

I have started the game for a few days and I find it very addictive.

I'd like to suggest, if I may, a quality of life improvement that I discover in the Free voxel game voxelGarden that consist and being able to auto climb one block without the need to press jump.

As the one block difference on a one block span is the smallest possible natural inclination it makes sense that it should be walked and not jumped. It makes the game smoother are there is no need to tap space while traveling and  more coherent as the character would stop jumping every few second. (But arguably less video gamey) .

Thank's you for your amazing game.

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I agree that this would be a nice addition. Preferrably configurable though. This has been introduced in Minecraft as well. Some people use the 'auto-jump single block steps' but others really don't wish to use it.

Possible alternative, or just as a neat related addition, could be to add slabs for all sand, gravel, grass and stone blocks and use them in world generation. Especially on relatively flat terrain this will then result in much smoother terrain that can be walked and sprinted on without having to jump every full block step. This principle was used in the LOTRmod for Minecraft to make roads that are generated by the mod much more easy to travel on foot.

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The thing about the auto-jump in Minecraft is the fact that it's an auto-jump in the first place, and it's freaking annoying =P

Minecraft mods have gone the "step assist" route long before Minecraft officially did (starting with Thaumcraft 2 IIRC, way back in the days where singleplayer and multiplayer MC where still different platforms), and they usually do it without an auto-jump. They just let you walk up that block as if it was a slab. And that is generaly far more palatable to a far larger number of people than the unexpected jumping animation.

Still, I agree that it should be configurable, or perhaps related to special boots you can wear ("Sturdy Hiking Boots", made from leather). Because even with non-jumping step assist, there are still moments where you don't want it - usually while you're at home. Can you imagine the frustration of trying to work on a smithing anvil, and repeatedly and accidentally auto-stepping up onto it while trying to readjust your position to better get at those last few pixels? It would suck hard. It's also a problem that has existed in Minecraft for as long as step assist has been a thing, and the chief reason for why step assist generally comes in item form (or at least with a hotkey toggle if it's a feature of an integrated armor set like from Pneumaticcraft).

Given the choice between forced always-on step assist and no step assist at all, I'd rather keep jumping manually while exploring the world.

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Half-height dirt and sand would be very interesting and make Vintage Story different from other one-meter-block games for sure. Unfortunately it doesn't come without issues.

For example, VS is already a game that heavily restricts your inventory size in the beginning. And now instead of three soil types plus one sand type per stone variant, you have twice that number of blocks? Even If you allow direct crafting of one into the other, that's a bit awkward at best.

You could make it so that dirt and sand (and perhaps snow as well) do not have full blocks at all, that only slab blocks exist, stack to 128 (instead of 64), and the world generation works with that. However, then you have to account for the fact that currently, mobs cannot spawn on anything that isn't a full block. And that apparently the game cannot handle combining two slabs in the same block space the way Minecraft can (at least I have been unable to make it work for me).

And, independent from it all, if water still comes as full blocks, how do you make sure that shorelines generate correctly? And so on and so forth. It's a very deep rabbit hole. It's the kind of decision you'd probably make before you even begin writing the engine.

As such, I doubt it will happen, and introducing some item-bound form of step assist would be far quicker.

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It can be done. Mevans, maker of the LOTRmod managed to pull it off for the roads generated with his mod. I don't see why it wouldn't be possible for larger terrain generation tasks. Matter fo smart coding, finding fitting preconditions and getting sequences right.

The inventory argument isn't really valid imo. Players have to continuously make choices and going by what is planned for the game, that won't be getting easier anyway lol.

I'd not opt for an alternative with blocks consisting of two slabs. That would just create excessive instance load and be very impractical anyway, as you already indicated.

From a coding and overall game development pov, I'd consider to make slab gravel, sand and dirt only generate on altitudes above the base water level and some maximum height above that (possibly just 5 to 10 blocks, or 8 as that is a magical number 😁), just for the sake of creating smoother landscapes on lower altitudes. So, it will be fit for purpose without causing excessive crap. From a realism pov that would be justified as well. It makes sense geologically as wind and downfall flatten the surface, especially on larger, lower lying plain-like terrain.

Edited by AlteOgre
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On 4/18/2020 at 11:48 AM, AlteOgre said:

It can be done. Mevans, maker of the LOTRmod managed to pull it off for the roads generated with his mod. I don't see why it wouldn't be possible for larger terrain generation tasks. Matter fo smart coding, finding fitting preconditions and getting sequences right.

The inventory argument isn't really valid imo. Players have to continuously make choices and going by what is planned for the game, that won't be getting easier anyway lol.

I'd not opt for an alternative with blocks consisting of two slabs. That would just create excessive instance load and be very impractical anyway, as you already indicated.

From a coding and overall game development pov, I'd consider to make slab gravel, sand and dirt only generate on altitudes above the base water level and some maximum height above that (possibly just 5 to 10 blocks, or 8 as that is a magical number 😁), just for the sake of creating smoother landscapes on lower altitudes. So, it will be fit for purpose without causing excessive crap. From a realism pov that would be justified as well. It makes sense geologically as wind and downfall flatten the surface, especially on larger, lower lying plain-like terrain.

I don't see how this would work with grasses, flowers, crops, bushes and trees - or anything else currentlyfound +1 block above a natural terrain block such as soil, sand or gravel.   The result would be either plants "floating" 0.5 metre above the ground, or else 50% of the terrain would be without plants.

It's fine for roads in the LOTR mod but you couldn't make a whole landscape this way.   And given that the beauty of the natural landscape is one of VintageStory's best features, that would be a shame!

Some possible options:

-  the entire game engine is based on half-slabs instead of blocks, so the y-coordinate is measured in units of 0.5 metre (therefore anything which should be a 1 metre block is made of 2 half-slabs).  This would need a re-code from the ground up, but it could add some new and interesting flexibility - and it would solve the current problem of slab placement, you could also have 2 different half-slabs one above the other in the same 1 metre space.   I'm not sure how mining would work - let's say you still want to mine in 1 metre cubes, it would need to break 2 half-slabs when you mine, but which two?

-  auto-jump (yuk - I always turn this off - in my base for example I want to move around 1-block items on the floor, not jump on top of them)

-  an auto-step up 1 block which maybe only works if you are sprinting?   I like this idea.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing those thoughts. That's some more 'thinking opportunity'. 😁
The plants issue is a good point. And yes, the gorgeous scenery is one of VS's unique selling points so it would be a pity if that were to go to waste. Recoding base block height could indeed do the trick, but I wonder if the potential benefits would justify the trouble and (performance) cost. Also, sand and gravel don't have high chances of grass or other plants growing on them and if only to a maximum of half of the top blocks in any terrain would be grass slabs, one may compensate for the reduced plant coverage by tuning the chances of plants growing on full blocks, and finally, sand, gravel and grass slabs could come with (a) variant(s) with grass half a block high on top of it, so as part of the block itself. So, it may actually lead to an 'acceptable' result, even though it may not be 'ideal'.

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