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So we've been rabbiting on for ages on how big the game world is in Malevolence *cough*infinite*cough* but what have we shown??? O_o

Posted by CumQuaT on Mar 8th, 2012

Before we begin, don't forget to ask any questions you want answered in the upcoming Q&A post in the comments below!


So we've been rabbiting on for ages on how big the game world is in Malevolence *cough*infinite*cough* but what have we shown??? O_o

Well, in this very short blog update, we have a present for you! It's the very first view of an entire world section in the game! This isn't looking on the actual 3D world in-game, it's a graphical representation of the world data that generates the world around the player. You'll see something a bit like this on your in-game map though:


Basicallty, blue is water, brown is desert, green is tablelands and the grey areas are the icy regions. Looking forward to exploring it? We sure hope so.

It's still looking a little fractally at the moment, which we're working on (we don't like this because it's not actually generated using fractals >_<) but let me just give you a sense of the scale that we're talking here...

See this inland sea?


That sea, my friends, is roughly the size of the entire in-game world of Skyrim. Mmmhmm. We're not lying. And remember, this image is only showing a small fraction of Malevolence's in-game world of Ahkranox. The game world is INFINITE. It goes on forever.

So once we have this linked into the 3D engine (which will be soon), keep a look out for many more screenshots like this:


So ponder that fact when you get the game and you're sitting in a fishing boat on the Sea of Skyrim ;-)

Post comment Comments
KingHeftig
KingHeftig Mar 8 2012, 7:16pm says:

You guys are a constant inspiration to indie devs everywhere, (or should be anyway), keep up the awesome work.

+8 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 7:39pm replied:

Awww, thanks KingHeftig! We just can't wait to get out of this 2D nonsense and back into the 3D goodies!

Also, don't forget to add any questions you have ready for the upcoming Q&A post!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Surrealness
Surrealness Mar 8 2012, 8:09pm says:

Hey! Great work on the game so far, really big fan! (:

How is your team working on an infinite world that we all will want to explore? Such as, how much variety in landscape and gameplay will be present?

Good luck on the project!

+3 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 9:19pm replied:

Thanks for the praise! :D we've added your question to the list for the Q&A post we're putting up soon!

+2 votes     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Mar 8 2012, 8:41pm says:

Just wondering on trees, do you have any way to make them are bunched together? It would be nice to have a really thick forest, having to step over the large thick roots between trees as light hardly filters through would be awesome. Though I have never seen a game do that.

Also, can I climb trees and will there be patrols I can ambush if I can?

+2 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 9:21pm replied:

We do have forest algorithms! But due to the grid-based nature of movement in this game, the trees can never be too close together as it would make it impossible to walk through them :(

You can't climb trees in the game, but there will be all sorts of patrols and encampments to be able to find and attack!

+2 votes     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Mar 8 2012, 9:22pm says:

Aw man, sitting in a branch, bow in hand, hitting the patrol walking by would be awesome. A lot more stealthy to. Come to think of it, has any sort of stealth been implemented?

+3 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 9:45pm replied:

Yep! There's a full stealth/sneak/assassination/lockpicking/thievery system in the game :)

If this is popular enough we'll be doing a sequel, which will be real-time and smooth moving, like Skyrim, but still infinite. In that version we may add the tree-climbing :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Mar 8 2012, 9:50pm says:

Real time? Excuse me if I have missed something but I thought the game was real time and smooth moving?

+2 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 10:26pm replied:

Nope. Check out some of the gameplay videos. It's an homage to old classics such as Might & Magic, Wizardry and Eye of the Beholder. The movement is grid-based, the gameplay is turn-based, but it's set in an infinite world with modern graphics. Have a look at the gameplay video example on the main page :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 10:48pm replied:

That being said, however, we've spent a lot of time perfecting the engine so that it feels and plays like a real-time game :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Deathscreton
Deathscreton Mar 9 2012, 1:25am replied:

I'm a fan of turn-based, and a fan or real-time. What ever you have, I swear to god I'll bad it down with my keyboard and enjoy doing it.

Keep quality work like this coming. I hope to enjoy spending the rest of my years never finishing your game because I'll be too obessed trying to map the damn thing out on grid paper. x.x

+3 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 9 2012, 3:15am replied:

hahaha thank you! Perhaps when we release the multiplayer expansion we can go questing together!

+1 vote     reply to comment
FullMetal358
FullMetal358 Mar 8 2012, 9:59pm says:

Wow so there is a lot of water will there be things like boats I mean if that dot of water alone is skyrim sized it would be pretty scary to swim it

+2 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 10:26pm replied:

haha yes indeed. Port cities will have docks where you can pay for rides on cargo ships to other towns. Via the waterways it's possible to travel HUGE distances!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Expack
Expack Mar 8 2012, 10:28pm says:

"See this inland sea? That sea, my friends, is roughly the size of the entire in-game world of Skyrim."

That statement alone should be reason enough for anyone - including Bethesda Softworks - to officially join the WTH (What The Heck) Club. In other words, congratulations on such an astounding achievement!

Also, out of curiosity, did you happen to base at least part of your procedural generation method off of a fractal generation method? If so, I'd imagine there's either a bit too much residual fractal code left in your method, or you could just need to tweak some settings (given how you've hinted at your procedural generational method's significant complexity, tweaking it properly probably becomes a nightmare!).

+2 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 10:31pm replied:

Actually there are zero fractals used! It was quite a shock to load up a world segment and see it look so fractally! We have our own system that simulates tectonic movements... We're still tweaking it though, so it should end up looking better lol

+3 votes     reply to comment
Tseng
Tseng Mar 9 2012, 10:05am replied:

Why should Bethesda join the WTH club lol.

Bethesda Soft already created procedural generated worlds, long before these guys even knew what procedural worlds are and Bethesda stopped it for a reason: procedural worlds, quests, npc generation tend to be very buggy and you have less/no design control.

Which is the reason that all Elder Scrolls games starting with Morrowind, are "hand designed" instead of procedurally generated, as it's much easier (and better) to tell a sophisticated story, which is... well not really possible with procedurally generated worlds.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Expack
Expack Mar 9 2012, 11:47am replied:

That's why there's hybrid models, my friend. In other words, have it such that you can define certain points in the procedurally-generated world such that you can have hand-built town/city/locations at said points. Given as the procedural generation method Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox uses is predicable - meaning the same stuff will appear in the same spot every time - I would imagine this would be easier than it sounds.

While Bethesda Soft may have stopped making procedural worlds for the reasons you stated, that doesn't automatically mean trying to tell an epic story in a procedural world is impossible - it just means someone hasn't found a way to work with or around the inherent problems.

Also, I'm going to let CumQuaT respond to the rest of your statement.

(P.S. Glad I could make you laugh, Tseng!)

+1 vote     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 9 2012, 8:00pm replied:

Bethesda made arena and daggerfall using very limited procedural generation. It was basically just handling the placement of trees and rocks in the wilderness within a limited area. Not very inspiring. They never pushed the envelope in terms of generating quests and dialogue procedurally like our game is. To think that you can have a sophisticated story in a procedural world is just backwards thinking. We're telling you now that it CAN be done. Just because no-one else has done it right yet doesn't mean that it can't happen. That's just closed-minded thinking. Once upon a time someone told Thomas Edison that the idea of walking into a room, flicking a small switch and flooding the room with light was a ludicrous notion. Look what happened there!

+2 votes     reply to comment
[FH]Gorgutz
[FH]Gorgutz Mar 8 2012, 10:39pm says:

I have never been so impressed. This is AMAZING work, and I love how this is turning out. I really can't wait for release! :D

+3 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 10:47pm replied:

heh, neither can we! hahaha thank you so much :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP
formerlyknownasMrCP Mar 8 2012, 11:13pm says:

Keep up this stream of PR and you'll go a very long way. This is exactly what should be on ModDB, so keep us updated and I doubt you'll have any problems come release. You're doing a great job.

Also good to see your debugging process.

Lol I love how you managed to get an ocean to be bigger than Bethesda's game world. I think you'll be doing enough to convince them that their new "Hand Made" approached is inheritantly flawed compared to what they were doing in Daggerfall/Arena. I'm really glad someone is at least showing us why Tiled based systems are always more enjoyable over hand made ones- you can make it so much larger and add much more variety, whereas when people customize each area by hand they usually end up copying and pasting assets anyway (which is tedious and just leads to having to make compromises on Time and Scale). Rest assured all my games will use a tile system should I ever release them, Civ4 proved to me how powerful they can be. (by Tiled I mean the Biomes you're using, since those are basically templates- its not disimilar to the older tiled based games)

Good work. This is definately going to turn a few heads in the industry.

+5 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 8 2012, 11:19pm replied:

One can only hope! It's comments like this that lets us know we're on the right track! The dream is to have this game allow us to make games full time, but the sad fact is, unless Notch or Penny Arcade gives us a plug, it probably won't happen. Still, it doesn't deter us! We're making this game simply because it damn-well SHOULD be made! :D
And if it proves popular enough, after we've made a few expansion packs, we'll be doing a sequel that is free-scrolling, real-time and still infinite, just to show those AAA companies what a determined team of indies is capable of! :)

+4 votes     reply to comment
Expack
Expack Mar 9 2012, 7:05am replied:

Not to inflate your ego, but why should you need a plug from them? They started out from a similar position as you, made a good product, and got out lots of word-of-mouth. Lots of those people liked what they saw/read, so they perpetuated the word-of-mouth, it got to major and minor reviewers...etc.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 9 2012, 7:31am replied:

Indeed! But when no-one understands your product at first glance, it's hard to get people to take the time :( a prominent public figure saying "hey guys, this is awesome!" is all it takes!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Deathscreton
Deathscreton Mar 9 2012, 1:29am says:

I do have a question, and I couldn't seem to find it. Which is weird cause I can't be the only one who has asked this but, will there be any type of multiplayer support? And if not, why? And if there is support, how will this work?

+2 votes     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 9 2012, 3:16am replied:

There will be! But it will be in the first expansion pack. However, we're only going to be making expansions/sequels if this first one is popular enough. So here's hoping!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Andinout
Andinout Mar 9 2012, 6:13pm says:

I have a question and sorry if it has been said before Can we buy land,ships,mounts?
and if the world is persistent can wars start with lands?

Also if possible more info on the Persistent World
Please.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 9 2012, 8:04pm replied:

I'll add more about this in the upcoming Q&A post, but basically yes, you'll be able to buy houses and land to live in and store your stuff. No, you can't buy ships, however you WILL be able to travel by ship. No mounts in this one though, it's just too complex using the turn-based system. But if this version is popular enough we'll be making a real-time, smooth moving sequel (like Oblivion) which will have mounts.
We're working on the war thing, as we've had a few people mention to us that it would be cool, but we're more leaning towards small skirmishes and raiding parties attacking villages. Already you'll be able to find gutted towns/villages that were thriving the last time you visited, but as for actually being there when it happens, that's something that we're still working on...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Andinout
Andinout Mar 9 2012, 10:05pm replied:

cool thanks for the info.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Expack
Expack Mar 10 2012, 12:07pm replied:

In regards to mounts, couldn't you simply make them act like equipment? Since mounts would presumably follow their owners around, you could justify having mounts weigh nothing in inventories, and you could impose a limit on the number of mounts you could have with you at any time (in my mind, one per character). Also, you could make it that they act like a sort of shield, taking x percent of any damage you would receive whenever you are successfully hit. I know this is a ludicrous solution, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 10 2012, 8:28pm replied:

Hmmm... An interesting notion... But I think that people won't respond well en-masse to having a mount that they can't see or have affect their movement at all... Perhaps some sort of bag of holding?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Expack
Expack Mar 10 2012, 9:39pm replied:

Well, you could have 'equipped' mounts not only change the player's speed to a fixed amount, you could also have the mounts change the character's model to a sort of hybrid model (i.e. the mount is on the bottom, with the player as the rider model). Also, because the player probably won't appreciate having to dig through their inventory to find their mount, I'd say that the mount should have a reserved, always-visible spot in the inventory. The hybrid game Mount & Blade: Warband actually allows the player's mount to be stored as an inventory item.

However, I don't know what you mean by "bag of holding", so I can't comment on that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CumQuaT
CumQuaT Mar 11 2012, 8:16am replied:

Oh, sorry... Dungeons and Dragons staple. It's a small, nondescript burlap bag that is actually MUCH larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Like Mary Poppins' bag. However, it doesn't get any heavier when you put things in it. So this small bag can actually carry whole suits of armour, a few weapons, a dozen potions, and still only be half-full!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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