Post news Report RSS Fragment’s Moonrise | #20 Open World Design in an RTS, Part 3

Part 3 of our Open World System, in which we go into our Waypoint and Home Base design.

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homeBase


Welcome to our twentieth blog post!


Before we begin, we first would like to say thank you- the support and feedback has been fantastic as we’ve been doing these posts. We’ve been going strong for 20 weeks in a row now, and we hope to continue on forward.

In this post, we conclude the chapter about our Open World system, so if you missed Part 1 or even Part 2, feel free to click the respective links and check those out. We’ll be continuing on from there.

In this one, we want to talk about one key aspect about the “Real Time Strategy” genre, and that is one’s Home Base.

For, in any RTS, especially this one, assembling your Structures for advancing your race is pivotal for expansion. In this particular game, your Home Base serves as your pivotal point from which you discover and explore the world from. It emphasizes all our various RPG-related elements for advancing your army further. And it, at a fundamental level, serves as a base point for building your army as it stands. We did some blog posts about how our current Structures will function, so you can check those out here with the Structure Overview, and also here with our Research, pt 2 post.

As such, there’s some important topics we must discuss in regards to the persistence of Time as it relates to the Home Base.

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To start off, Player’s Home Base is separated from the world as a whole. This is done deliberately. Its set as its own “Node” in our node system for some important reasons we’ll go over shortly.

The first reason is in regards to the computer and processor’s resources. One early design we wanted to do was to have both the “Active Map” and player’s Home Base map be loaded together, so while player is out exploring, they can quickly swap back to their Home Base, do whatever needs to be done there, then get back to the fight. This design is not only resource intensive (especially as Player creates more Structures in their Home Base), but also largely unnecessary. Smoothing out the parts between exploring the world and interacting with one’s home base can actually be done in a much smoother and better fashion, more befitting gameplay, and easier on the CPU. We’ll discuss what design we’ve decided to go with a bit further down in the blog.

The second reason is it allows Player to have a safe-haven, and to establish one solid base point to conduct their exploration from. If we didn’t dedicate one explicit Map to just Player’s Home Base needs, then Player would have to build it into the Maps themselves, which, on the surface could be quite intriguing seeing as how you can build and establish anywhere, ends up being a disinteresting design. Placing structures anywhere would mean you’d have to travel there just to use them. Which means that Player would most likely end up just picking one spot for their major structures anyway. So why not give them a dedicated Map?

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The result is that we went with a combination of the two: your major structures can only be built within your Home Base. However, there are miscellaneous structures that can be built anywhere. The catch is is that if you ever leave this Map, those misc structures will be destroyed by the environment. Meaning your only persistent base is your Home one. The remaining pseudo-bases are merely there to establish a small place to rest before going on to more exploration.

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The next area we need to talk about is travel. Exploration is key, but establishing a connection across the world is pivotal for easier and smoother navigation.

waypoint


The first is the Waypoint- a simple Structure construct-able by the Player anywhere in the world. This allows for Player to create teleportation points anywhere they desire- destroying them and moving them elsewhere as necessary. The only drawback is the amount that can be spawned- they are in limited quantity, so choose carefully where they will be placed. They can always be destroyed and placed elsewhere, so keep that in mind at all times.

Waypoints allow for transportation between each other- simply put, Player’s army will be teleported to that exact spot in the world the Waypoint was placed.

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In addition, there is a static Home Waypoint placed within Player’s Home Base. This allows for a dedicated Waypoint to be used to transport across all other Waypoints.

This coupled with Player’s inherent Ability called Homeport, and Player has easy access across the world as they need.

The Homeport is what we briefly mentioned above in regards to the Active Map/Home Base Map. The Homeport is very straightforward- Player is allowed to cast this spell at any point to immediately return to their Home Base. After doing so, Player now has a new, temporary “waypoint” added they can traverse to. However, this is temporary because when Player returns to their Home Base, do what they need to do, then look to go back into the world, if they don’t use the Homeport and decide to go somewhere else, the Homeport is redacted. Meaning Player must Homeport back Home, then Homeport back to the world in order to return to that specific spot; they can’t Homeport back Home, go somewhere else, then expect the Homeport to still be there when they get back- its a single use spell. This allows for Player to have an easy method of getting back to their Home Base and returning back into the world, without it being too abusable.

This concludes our Open World System. Progress on it is going great, but there’s still a ways away before all features are implemented, tested, and ready.

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Thank you for viewing our post! Support and interest for the project has been rapidly growing ever since we began posting here, and we're incredibly grateful for all the wonderful feedback so far! We hope this project interests you as much as we love developing for it, and please look forward to more updates coming in the very near future!

If you’re brand new, consider checking out our trailer and overall description of the game here.

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