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Natural boundariesd (Forums : Level Design : Natural boundariesd) Locked
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Mar 27 2013, 12:08pm Anchor

I'm currently creating a rather huge open environment and ran into a problem that needs to be fixed before I can continue.

The question is: How do I stop the player from running away, when it's an open environment that has to have two openings?
I want natural boundaries. No invisible walls or messages like "You are leaving the game area. Turn around or you will die!", since those are annoying and kill the feeling of a truly big, open world.

The typical answer would be mountains, cliffs, rocks, rivers, lakes or to make it an island. This is not the problem here. The problem is that since I have a road going through the map I get two openings in my boundaries. It would make no sense for the road to begin within the boundaries or end within them, since it would be a road that's starting somewhere in nowhere and isn't really going anywhere.

So far this is the situation:
In the south I have the ocean. Then I have cliffs like those to surround the player somewhat like an upside down "U".

The cliffs have two openings, where the road goes through. The second one is not the problem, but the first one is, since the game is starting there and the player could just turn around right away.

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Mar 27 2013, 1:10pm Anchor

Man made structures or other things such as fences toll ways .... towers.

A toll way I believe is the ideal solution as it goes with the road.

It would be easier to come up with something if I knew what I was dealing with perhaps leave a screenshot of the area to help give a better understanding.

Edited by: ENP

Mar 27 2013, 2:33pm Anchor

I wanted to avoid that. The terrain is being modeled as if no man has ever been there before. I want an authentic environment and add the road afterwards, so I can build it around the environment to make it "flow" with it rather than cutting trough it. I hope you get what I'm trying to say.

I think it's better if I post a few pictures here, since it should be easier for you and others to help me then. That being said, there is enough space so you have as much freedom as you wish.

Okay, here you go.
This is still very early and therefore low-poly. I will subdivide the plane further once I've got all the major stuff in place. Detailing will start afterwards.
Low-Poly Terrain

As you hopefully can see, I have quite some space.


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ShiftedDesign Levels are my thing
Mar 27 2013, 7:02pm Anchor

Uh, a rock slide?
Rocks are generally an easy environmental blocker.


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SinKing bumps me thread
Mar 27 2013, 10:45pm Anchor

Make the player speed increasingly slow as he aproaches the borders of the map. According to the teachings of Zeno, a frog will never reach his goal, if the length of his jumps is shortened by half each jump:'s_paradoxes

I guess most players would turn back at some point.
Also - this would be a real world application for ancient philosophy ^^

Edited by: SinKing


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Mar 28 2013, 1:55am Anchor

What about a simple steep incline? Fallen tree? Rock slides, like mentioned above, are a good idea too.

Edited by: Warner

Mar 28 2013, 2:45am Anchor

Thanks for the input so far.

Rock slides are one possibility.

A steep incline wouldn't work, since the road leads the player into the area and my question is how I stop him from using the same road to leave the area again. If the road is so steep, you cannot walk it up, how are you supposed to drive it down in the first place?

I'd prefer the rock slide over the fallen tree though.

@SinKing: Now that's what I call a creative solution. :D
Since the player shouldn't see that no progress is being made, there are two possibilities. A fog or a tunnel.
The fog becomes stronger the more the player goes in, and once you cannot see where you came from, you get slowed down.
Alternatively you go through a tunnel that just goes on and on and on and you'll never reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

This sounds like the best (and coolest) solution so far. If no one comes up with a better one till I get back home from the university, I'll go with it.

Again, thank you guys.

SinKing bumps me thread
Mar 31 2013, 5:34am Anchor

Sounds good, TheSniperFan. Glad I could help you. I'm also happy my 2 years of philosophy studies at university weren't in vain! Obviously, it helps when designing games ^^


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Mar 31 2013, 7:04am Anchor

Are you really surprised?
The difference between a dudebro game with poor story that will be forgotten the day the sequel is out like Gears of War or Call of Duty, and games that are considered masterpieces for their story like Half-Life or BioShock, lies in those subtle things.


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