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Author Topic: Random thoughts...  (Read 7759 times)
pspeed
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« on: September 18, 2014, 09:57:49 PM »

I've been thinking about Mythruna a lot lately.  Between the books that I've been reading and playing Minecraft PS4 with my kids, it's been forefront on my mind.  I'm still not quite ready to work on it for various other reasons... but I'm really itching to these days.

Before my Williamsburg vacation, I started reading the Skystone series by Jack Whyte.  On the surface, it's a bit of historical fiction describing a way that the King Arthur legends might have really happened.  It's fiction but it rings true and that makes it more entertaining.  At any rate, the first two books deal heavily with community building and they are both laced with plenty of smithing/forging as the protagonist works towards creating Excalibur.  The timing of the books was pretty perfect for me because I'd just gotten finished reading the Codex Alera fantasy series which is heavily based on the Roman Empire.  The joke explanation is that it's "what if Romans had Pokemon".  Anyway, the community building aspect in the Skystones series was interesting too and fell right inline with the one day we spent at Colonial Williamsburg.  You talk to the wig maker and he tells you how he supplied the blacksmith with the wig he uses.  The blacksmith was making chains for a plow harness for one of the other residents... and of course both of them were wearing clothing from the guy who makes clothes, and so on.  The self-sufficient interdependency was very interesting and somewhat inspiring.  I had built such dependencies into my own town modeling but I think I didn't quite go as deep as I could have.  I will be thinking on this in days to come.  (Highly recommend both series, by the way... Codex Alera is more fun, though.)

Minecraft is a complete other story.  It inspires me in the opposite way, almost.  I've been playing with the kids and we've been having a lot of fun... but I often think "How would this be different in Mythruna?"  Sometimes I have to undo some of the circular logic to finally come to the conclusion that a certain aspect will be different-better and not different-worse to the game I want to make.

For example, mining.  I've been spending a lot of time whump-whumping block after block of stone.  Partially to harvest stone and partially to find the little bits of iron ore that might be scattered about.  In Mythruna, this will be done completely different and on the surface it seems like it would be less fun.  Straight up pick-axe mining on this scale would take forever.  Whacking your pick-axe at a block, chipping it away an 8th or a quarter at a time... if you want spoils.  And the hunt for iron might be much more random, to boot.  Any rock might yield some amount of iron ore but the corollary is that you can't predictably see it either... even if it in fact might be more plentiful than in Minecraft.  On the other hand, if you just want to harvest stone then you can use your builder wand and take it all blocks at a time.

This feels like it would be entirely too tedious but then I have to remind myself that my goals are completely different in Mythruna.  Why am I doing all of this mining anyway?

For literally _days_ in real time, my son and I have wanted to go explore a nearby temple/dungeon thing but we'd like some decent armor first.  Seems reasonable.  But this is why I spend hours strip mining the land under our base.  Whump-whump-whump-whump.... craft some more pick-axes... whump-whump-whump.... all because I want armor.  I spend forever trying to find a few blocks of that precious iron-ore.

In Mythruna, I'd just buy some armor... and my son and I would have already cleared said dungeon.

Mining itself will be a craft.  Almost a mini-game for those who intend to really harvest some rare stuff (gems, minerals, etc.).  It gives me a nice opportunity to have some real mining skills that one can acquire, different tools for different jobs, and so on... all while making it more profitable to dig like a real miner would and not hollow out a whole mountain just for a dozen blocks of iron ore.  You will have to pay attention to what you are doing, etc..  Perhaps as you take out a chunk of rock with your pick-axe you see a green glint in the light.  You then pick around that area to avoid shattering whatever gemstone might be there... potentially following up with some finer-grained tools.

Anyway, it's just a different game.  I have fun playing Minecraft but I constantly have to remind myself that mere surface comparisons will not be enough when I want to compare some future feature.


For this past week or so, I've been getting back into coding in general.  During and after my vacation, it was about two weeks where I didn't touch any Java code at all... let alone gaming projects.

Right now I'm trying to push Dragonfly Odyssey a little farther along.  It has some things that I will be able to use either directly or foundationally in Mythruna.  This weekend I hope to start prototyping some AI stuff if I can get past the UI animation design I'm working on.  Time is fluid and mostly not my own... so we'll see.  I want to finish this game badly for a lot of reasons... but if it ends up bumping into the "large block of time" availability that I need for the Mythruna networking, then I will likely shelve the game for a while.

The thing is, it lets me experiment with lots of stuff in the meantime, but on a much smaller scale.  Simple AI, water placement and some simple water physics, terrain paging, better sound management, basic creature animation, and probably some other things I'm forgetting... all have direct ramifications on Mythruna development.  And many of the systems that I've added or open sourced have already superseded Mythruna's systems in many ways.

So there is that.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 10:02:55 PM by pspeed » Logged
Rayblon
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 12:23:55 AM »

Glad to see you hyped up to code. Can't wait to buy Dragonfly Odyssey when you finish it, either. Smiley

I really love your mining concept, too... but there will still be visible ores on cave walls still, right? Speaking of excavating gemstones, imagine finding this while mining.
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 01:46:11 AM »

Glad to see you hyped up to code. Can't wait to buy Dragonfly Odyssey when you finish it, either. Smiley

I really love your mining concept, too... but there will still be visible ores on cave walls still, right? Speaking of excavating gemstones, imagine finding this while mining.

I think a buddy of mine went to some similar places while caving in Costa Rica.

re: Mining, whether you can detect rich rock is probably a skill and/or ability.  Either way, there is a mineral vein layer that runs (fractally) through the world and will be rich in various things.  You will always be better off digging the "mineral layer" blocks you see now.  The problem with the Minecraft approach (for my game) is that if you have a diamond block then that implies there is a whole 1x1x1 meter cube of 'diamond stuff' and that's a bit imbalanced for Mythruna.  Also, it means that I have know all of the minerals of a world up front and/or if I release new minerals tomorrow then your existing worlds will be hobbled by not having them.  Add to that the vagueries of the fact that two different miners mining the same brick might not get the same stuff from it (in real life) based on their skill level and you start to have a recipe for it better to just be a random drop.

All that being said, things like iron and other metals may be a special case.  Mining ore (where a lot yields a little) is considerably different than mining gems and precious metals.  In real life, you can see iron rich rock with your eye from really far away... so I will probably do something... tinted rock, slightly different texture... whatever.  Either way, for any random block of stone in the world you may randomly get bits of metal ore.  And if I'm clever, if you find about 10% iron ore in some block then it might also be consistent for surrounding blocks, ie: not entirely per-block random but per-area percentages.  Something like that is considerably easier to generate, easy to update, and easy to have affected by skills and/or magic in the area.  I could even have dead spaces where magic has sucked all of the good stuff away or areas that represent creature-cleaned rock where a Viserrack has been through and stripped all of the minerals.

Whatever happens, the relative yield of 'getting stuff' from a single block will be based on how long it takes to process that rock.  I mean, not how long the player takes but how long I end up making it take writing the game.  In other words, the more tedious I make drilling out a single block, the more stuff you will get from a single block, overall.
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ebag51
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 02:57:26 PM »

Nice to know you have been thinking up mythruna ideas Paul. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 03:16:29 PM »

Paul! Paul! Paul!

Quick! Quick! Quick!

I just thought of an idea!

Alright, after reading your post, I had this amazing idea for mining! I always thought it would be cool if you took out chunks of the block, as opposed to the whole thing... but you already mentioned that, so I think you have the right idea there. I also had this OTHER idea... when you mentioned 'mini-game' with mining, that sparked a plug in my internal circuits. What if... mining, had a little bit of the element of fighting in it!?

You should actually control each swing, just as you would with your sword. You can pull back your swing, then bring it down on the rock hard to take out a lot of pieces (And get to the ore quicker) if that's your goal. You might end up doing damage to the ore, however, if you do it that way. If you take more gentle swings (Or even a tough swing) an reveal a pocket of ore, you might want to slow down each swing and chip around the ore. The more intact the ore is, the more 'quality' it will have. Of course lower-tiered tools might make more common mistakes, AKA your swings will be wobbly, or maybe even just forcibly miss, damaging the ore so you can never get that perfect vein. I can even imagine this with special rare minerals and gems, that grow in rare formations, so you have to carve them out carefully without shattering them (Which as you said, which gave me the whole idea in the first place.)

And who says a miner can always get what they want on their own? There might come a time when a pickaxe just isn't good enough to trim the last pieces around and ore, which will force said miner to move the rough ore to some jeweler for more precise carvings. Also, blacksmiths buying these ores off these miners might not want such pure materials for their practice... sometimes they just want lots of ore to practice with.


You could go in a lot of directions with this... and not just with mining. Imagine sitting on a loom, spinning gold! What kind of magic and skills would that require? Stitching together strands in a simple, yet fun, way to create clothing.

Even designing armor might be important... forget forging it, but blueprints are important! Some heavy-armored knights want want loads of plating and very little joint movements. Perhaps a horse-riding knight would prefer better movements with their limbs, to control their blows better.

Even archery could be improved. Pull back the bow... and aim. Who's heard of aiming with a bow in a game? And I don't just mean right clicking for a zoom effect. I mean swiveling it around to line up the shot.



I have tons of ideas for Mythruna, and you do too Paul. I've said a lot of this before, and you've come around telling me you already had that in mind, and either want to go with it, or have thought of an even better idea. Mythruna has very many possible outcomes, which I think it should embrace. The biggest problem I have with games, is how straight forward they always are. Very few games give you lots of choices. But not all of them.

Minecraft gives you the option to go Thunk-Thunk-Thunk out ores in a game, or strip mine effectively and safely down at 12-y. Or you can dig out lots of sand and smelt it in tens of furnaces to make a giant glass dome. You even have lots of fighting going on everywhere you look, with a little bit of difference in how you fight each mob. That's what makes me love Minecraft as much as I do, and that's also why I don't want to play it as much as I used to. I've done all that. There's nothing to improve, and there's no new skill to learn. I've mastered the statistics of the game, and see the numbers floating around every possible action.

Guilds Wars 1 and 2 had a little bit of freedom with classes. You could become a warrior and choose which weapons you like best, master which skills you believe to be the strongest, and dye your armor with that 10 coins of platinum you saved up. You could become an illusionist once you're bored, and learn new skills. You even get to do different quests and learn different stories. But eventually you get caught back up to the same story line as the warrior (In GW1 that is.) Eventually, you're doing the same things no matter where you turn. The game is old now, and I have to move on to another game.

Battle Field 4... kill, level up. Kill, level up. "You've unlocked a new attachment!" Kill, level up. Enough said, right? Oh, and there's vehicles. It's fun for awhile, until everyone else in the game has maxed out equipment and 1-shot you around every corner.

I believe Mythruna has the chance to make it a game with many different choices. Give the players the choice to play any type of play style they want! You can go adventuring and building, like in Minecraft, and become independent. You can live a simple life inside of a castle-setting, and mingle with other players or NPCs. Master handfuls of skills, each acting as if they're a whole simulator in themselves. Become the hero who tamed the Dragon by feeding it their bones... then burned down the castle as the Dragon realized you tricked it into eating it's favorite chew toy. I want Mythruna to become the game of choice, where you can do loads of different things. This is the direction I see Mythruna taking, which will make it stand out from other games, and make it very popular for a very long time.



(Wow. I think I repeated myself several times in that. Forgive me if I'm too lazy to read over it and correct that. :3)
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pspeed
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 09:13:21 PM »

How you describe weapons and swinging a pick-axe is essentially how I would like it to work.  Use the mouse to swing the sword where you want... let the physics engine figure out how hard and where you actually hit, etc..  It may be impossible but I'm still going to try it.  If it is impossible then a lot of other things change... because weapons/tools/etc. won't get to be so customizable anymore.  I'll have to limit it to specific tool templates.  Otherwise, if the physics works then you can make whatever odd thing you want as long as you have learned the different types of swings and the sharp pointy bit (or flat heavy bit) hits where it's supposed to go and the contact is right.

Coordinating the mouse movements with the animation with the swing with the physics engine is going to take every bit of skill that I possess... if it works at all.

Aiming a bow, I'd like to be similar to how I have designed using the spokeshave to carve a bow... and there are probably other things that will be similar.  I still have to work through the controls but essentially in both cases you end up controlling two points somehow.  With the bow, it amounts to the front and the back of the arrow... line both up along what you are sighting to shoot straight kind of thing.  For a spoke shave it amounts to the top of the blade relative to the bottom of the blade... so how deep and flat a gouge you are carving versus simply smoothing and shaving.

Whatever happens, if I want the system I'd like to have, then I need to boil down all tool usage into more general control schemes that can be applied to whatever crazy contraption that a player makes with very few hard-coded things.  That's a very tricky thing but it creates a lot of freedom if I can make it work.  Stabbing, swinging, poking, stretching... that kind of stuff.  With consistent feeling control schemes.  For example, holding ctrl always means you are manipulating your left hand and otherwise you are manipulating the right hand.  So aiming a bow may involve juggling movement between the left and right hand... perhaps with each hand throwing the other off a little and you have to learn to anticipate that for faster aiming.  (Overshoot right with the left hand so that when you move right with the right hand it comes back to center or somesuch.)  Strength and dexterity or whatever can then play a part in how unstable your actions are relative to the strength of the material or the length of the draw.  Even after I (maybe) get the physics to play nice, a lot will depend on 'feel' in the end.

I've hesitated to post about much of this too publicly because it may be impossible and I don't want to get anyone's hopes too far up... but it's my big goal.  Much of the other systems depend on this.
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Rayblon
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 11:03:35 PM »

I've hesitated to post about much of this too publicly because it may be impossible and I don't want to get anyone's hopes too far up... but it's my big goal.  Much of the other systems depend on this.

Everything's possible Paul! Other than infinity. Infinity isn't possible yet.
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 12:06:53 PM »

I like the idea of overshooting with the bow. It kind of reminds me of a mechanic in a mod for Minecraft called Terrafirmacraft. With blacksmithing, you have eight options, each with varying degrees of movement. Four of them move a red and green arrow right, while the other four only move the red arrow left. You also have three 'goals' you have to get... meaning you have patterns you have to follow to get the weapon you want... Hit Button1 first, hit button 3 three times before last hit, last hit button 7. It's a pretty neat mechanic I have yet to try yet (Because it takes so long to get to that point), and makes the mod really fun. It is absolutely my favorite mod for the game, because it adds lots of mechanics like this that all make learning them challenging, yet productive. I still have yet to master the art of tasting food. :3

I can see a lot of amazing things happening in Mythruna... and we all believe you have the right stuff to get it done! I can see in my own head how some of these mechanics would work.. I admit I don't how to program, but I think I've seen enough of it to understand what Mythruna is going for, you can pull off. I think I've seen some of these mechanics scattered throughout all of gaming history, even. The hard part is perfecting it, which shouldn't be hard considering you're:

Paul, The Future-Creator of Future-Modern Gaming in The Future! (To be known as Modern!)

You've got it Paul. We all believe in you. And none of us will hate you for not bringing in X feature... unless X feature is all of them. Then we will hunt you down and lock you up in a nuclear-safe room with a computer, and food. Even the door will be removed. But no worries! You should be able to do it. *Laughs manically*
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Rayblon
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 12:13:59 PM »

I think he's being serious. ._.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 12:55:42 PM »

I think he's being serious. ._.

Yeah, and he's been to my house before.  Shocked
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Rayblon
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2014, 01:40:22 PM »


Yeah, and he's been to my house before.  Shocked

When a Stranger Calls, leave the house immediately.
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2014, 03:52:19 PM »


Yeah, and he's been to my house before.  Shocked

When a Stranger Calls, leave the house immediately.

Heheh... he and his family are no strangers.  Though they didn't make it to my party this year so... Wink  (inside ribbing)
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Michael Musgrove
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2014, 06:51:15 PM »

I wish I made it to the party, we'd be programming all day every day, and you'll tell me my code is wrong and sloppy. :c
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Rayblon
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2014, 08:03:42 PM »

I wish I made it to the party, we'd be programming all day every day, and you'll tell me my code is wrong and sloppy. :c

I'm sure you wouldn't be the first. Tongue
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