ID:642823
 
Isometric icons have been around for... what... a year? But I have yet to see a game that actually uses this isometric feature. Falacy keeps complaining about Flash not being in yet, well if no one used the previous game update of isometric map view, what are the odds that a lot of people are going to use Flash? ... Ok, personally I think the odds are very high since people actually want Flash. But that doesn't change the lack of an Isometric game, which I personally feel could be very desirable.

So I got to brainstorming about what kind of isometric map I could make. So I had to think, "What would be a benefit of an isometric map view?" My answer? Buildings. In fact, the appeal might be incredibly similar to that of MineCraft. Unless you play MineCraft to be hardcore, you probably build stuff in it.

I also thought... maybe just building wouldn't be a good idea. I mean, yeah... building is cool and all. But that's just another building game. That's no fun! Even MineCraft had enemies... So I propose we add in enemies that are constantly out to destroy your house. But this is going to be a multiplayer game, might as well add classes right?

So now I'm down to a game like this.

1. Open Map - Mobs can go anywhere and everywhere
2. Classes - For PvP and possibly some other kind of appeal. Maybe even add a story to the game.
3. Dungeons - You go into dungeons to collect materials to create your house.
4. Buildings/Maintenance - Zombie apocalypse is upon us! Every night zombies will claw at your door. The more people "living" in the house, the more zombies that spawn towards that house.

Which means now I need to come up with consequences for house destruction (or make it impossible). Perhaps when your house is destroyed, you have to seek out someone willing to let you stay with them? Perhaps a safe house for anyone without a house? Should you even start with a house?

Discuss.
I do believe BYOND could use more isometric games. At least one or two good ones would be nice. Anyway, that being said this seems like a good idea, but a little too similar to Minecraft. It needs to grow beyond that similarity.

Perhaps rather than simply building things with blocks, there are additional shapes, and better than that you could have that be for people who want to be more creative; while others could construct preset buildings over time. Basically, anything you build, preset or not, should have a construction time and material cost.

The construction times should be minimal, of course, perhaps low amounts of time per piece. I.E: 10 seconds for a pillar, 30 seconds for a wood wall, etc. Times need work, but you get the idea.

Anyway. That's just to change up building. Another good way to separate it from Minecraft I believe would be to focus more on adventuring than building, which is the opposite of Minecraft. Adventuring is worked on a lot, but secondary there. Why not make dungeon size vary, and have some bosses for example? Heck, if the world isn't generated as you go, which I am doubting it would be, there could even be preset areas, cities, etc, but you can tear down things and modify things as you see fit.

Obviously, if you go tearing down a NPC's house, or similar, you might get in trouble or receive negative reactions, etc. These are just a few thoughts off the top of my head to get discussion started.

The main point is that the general idea is good, but too close to Minecraft, so lets expand on it, individualize it, and make this into a good and unique concept that could become a successful game.
I like the different shapes idea. I was trying to go a way of "Adventuring is fun, and after you adventure, you come back to your KICK $#@ HOUSE and do something with the loot." I just get the feeling that I'm hitting a stone wall here. What's the point of going into dungeons? Kill bosses. For items. For resources. To make your house bigger.

I need something that creates a truly wonderful, interacting world. Something I'm missing... Or maybe the simplistic nature is what would make it a good game.

Edit:

I think the main questions I need to ask here are What is the point of classes and What is the point of building

The two features are sort of slapped together right now, there has to be a way to make them connect.
A lot of the best games actually turn out to be simple. Examples of that are all over. For BYOND there is NEStalgia, a well designed but fairly simple game, and for indie in general we have Minecraft which is very simple but flexible; top that off with an oldie like Diablo II which seemed complex but really it just kept you playing with the same game and similar content over and over.

That being said, I can see ways to work with your idea as well. For example lets say the player starts with a house, this house has health, and can be gradually improved, repaired, damaged and so on. If it is destroyed, you're going to have a much tougher time surviving, or building anything new; so you have to try to get someone to let you take refuge with them.

Of course, then the player won't want to stray far from their structures right? That's no good, so why not make dungeons be the best way to gather valuable equipment and resources for defending your structures? Perhaps materials for an arrow shooter, or for making a good sword, and so on. Other locations, like caves, ruins, and such could also be added in for gathering new materials you can refine into better building materials to strengthen your place.

This makes it a lot more about building and survival, though, which makes it the same type of game as Minecraft; so it's pretty debatable. I guess it just depends on how similar you are okay with it being, and where you want to take the game. Even if similar ideas are used, it doesn't make it a copy, countless games are similar to a previous concept; so it's ultimately up to you which idea route you want to pursue.
An isometric display is nice because you can portray elevation better. But, if you do have elevation on an isometric map, turfs can obscure the player's sight of other turfs. If your game is going to have players building things, I'm guessing it'll have elevation.

There's nothing wrong with making a game that's similar to another. Minecraft is a popular game so it's often used as a point of reference. If you make a building game, people will say that it's "like Minecraft" whether it has dungeons and character classes or not.

The problem isn't that the game might bear a resemblance to Minecraft. The problem is that if it's like Minecraft you might be inclined to copy gameplay ideas from Minecraft than to come up with your own ideas. Not that you're lazy, it's just natural. Minecraft is a good game and if you're trying to make a similar game, you can't pretend that you don't know how Minecraft works.

If you want to make your game different, just change the setting and differences will naturally pop up. If the game takes place in a different environment (a science lab at the bottom of the sea, a space station, a post-apocalyptic city, etc.) you'll come up with different types of items, building materials, enemies, and environmental hazards. If you have a generic environment with generic weapons (ex: swords), it's going to end up just like Minecraft.
Well said FA. I'm probably gonna go for a post-apocalyptic, recreate the world kinda deal. After I finish patching up Wizard Wars for public testing, I'll try to flesh out a notepad for this game.

On another note - How well do you think having 3D players would work in this game? Would it be difficult to come up with the interaction?
Isometric maps don't play nice with big icons.

For example:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The red is the player icon and the blue is a big icon obj. Map layering gets screwed up in isometric mode when you use larger icons. Just something to be aware of before you start an isometric project.
Is that an issue with perspective vs. object height or is that just an issue altogether?
It's an issue altogether with big icons taking up multiple tiles. When another icon moves into the tilerange of a big icon sometimes this layering issue will occur. Sometimes it won't.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Thanks for the heads up.
FA pretty much nailed it. I meant my examples to be pretty generic to show the ideas, but even in them you can tell Minecraft was on my mind; really proves the points mentioned.

I like the sound of post-apocalyptic, though. That could be pretty interesting. I'd like to see what kind of materials, items and such that would lead to. If remants laying around were made use of, maybe a pipe, or an aluminum bat would be a starting weapon, hah.

Anyways. That does seem like a pretty serious problem, there, depending on how well someone can work around it. I hope that doesn't put an end to this idea, though. It could just be that the lack of people using isometric has left a few bugs unnoticed, or on low priority; I'd like to think if it gets in the way that much then it would be fixed pretty quickly.
I'm not giving up. Gonna write up the notepad for it. If you wanna come talk to me about things you'd like for me to note or just have in the game, you can find me on Chattie.
In response to Lugia319 (#11)
I'm glad to hear that. This seems really interesting, and like one of few games I'd actually give a try. I would join for further discussion, but I'm doing multiple things right now so I wouldn't be able to focus enough.

All I really want to ask for it, for right now, is variety. My biggest issue with Minecraft besides rendering bugs has always been that it has taken it so long to get a decent amount of block types and materials; so if this game is anything at all like Minecraft it needs plenty of variety.

Feel free to contact me on pager if you ever want to discuss anything, or share any updates about this project though.

Will do, adding ya.

Also, I'd like to put it out to everyone else to feel free to contact me if you'd like to put forth suggestions. If I'm on chattie, I'm on BYOND. (Just don't come on and expect an immediate response)

By the end of tomorrow I'll put up the notepad for suggestions and start working on it.
In response to BrickSquadron (#8)
BrickSquadron wrote:
It's an issue altogether with big icons taking up multiple tiles. When another icon moves into the tilerange of a big icon sometimes this layering issue will occur. Sometimes it won't.

The only time I've had layering issues is with objects on the same tile. If you have a raised bridge and a player walks under it, the layering can be incorrect. But, with just tall walls it's possible for layering to be correct. I think it's just a matter of how you draw the icons (pixel offsets may cause problems too). For example, in the Pixel Movement library's isometric demo, there are some layering issues but not the type you're showing.

Toddab503 wrote:
I like the sound of post-apocalyptic, though. That could be pretty interesting. I'd like to see what kind of materials, items and such that would lead to. If remants laying around were made use of, maybe a pipe, or an aluminum bat would be a starting weapon, hah.

I agree. It's a little different from a pure building game because you'd be heavily using what already exists. Instead of having complete control over how the landscape is modified you have to work to adapt existing structures.
In response to Forum_account (#14)
Forum_account wrote:
The only time I've had layering issues is with objects on the same tile. If you have a raised bridge and a player walks under it, the layering can be incorrect. But, with just tall walls it's possible for layering to be correct. I think it's just a matter of how you draw the icons (pixel offsets may cause problems too). For example, in the Pixel Movement library's isometric demo, there are some layering issues but not the type you're showing.

Nope, it's a well documented issue.
http://www.byond.com/forum/?post=121180
http://www.byond.com/forum/?post=94842

It's even in the map_format section of the reference.
One important warning about using big icons in isometric mode is that you should only do this with dense atoms. If part of a big mob icon covers the same tile as a tall building for instance, the tall building is moved back and it could be partially covered by other turfs that are actually behind it. A mob walking onto a very large non-dense turf icon would experience similar irregularities.

In one of those posts LummoxJR did suggest a workaround using overlays, but I never tested it.
This is what I came up with last night.

Title: Rebuild

Story:

You are one of the few survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Zombies still plague the Earth, but you have managed to fortify a small inn. Supplies are limited, it's up to you to go out into the dangerous post-apocalyptic earth and gather resources to maintain your existence.

Gathering resources during the day is safe enough if you go in small parties, but every night, the zombies attack in a huge swarm.

Defend your safe-house at any cost! For if you fail...

Description:
To Be Added

Gameplay:

- Open map for building
-- Buildings may be destroyed

- Players collect resources during the day to create a bigger and better house

- Money is no longer useful in this world. Trading is done with resources. Each resource has a value associated with it. To buy resources, you trade resources with equal or greater value.

- Dungeons will be scattered about the map.

- Upon death you drop all resources

Resources:

Buildables:

- Sand
-- Primary Use: Refined into glass, glass is used for aesthetics. Primary component in medpacks.
-- Refine: Glass

- Clay
-- Primary Use: Used as an adhesive between surfaces.

- Reeds
-- Primary Use: Shelter

- Wood
-- Sticks
--- Primary Use: Object creation
-- Logs
--- Primary Use: Shelter
--- Use: Fuel
--- Refine: Boards

- Stone
-- Primary Use: Shelter

- Copper/Tin
-- Primary Use: Weaponry
-- Refine: Bronze

- Iron
-- Primary Use: Weaponry/Shelter
-- Refine: Iron
-- Refine: Steel

- Salvageables - Low value
-- Rusty Pipes
--- Primary Use: Shelter
-- Shattered Bricks
--- Primary Use: Shelter
-- Shattered Cinderblocks
--- Primary Use: Shelter
-- Rotted Boards
--- Primary Use: Shelter

- Coal
-- Primary Use: Fuel
-- Use: Fuel
-- Use: Refining Iron

- Growth
-- Vines
--- Primary Use: Bindings


Food:
- Animal Meat
- Eggs, Milk
- Berries
- Salvageable Supermarket foods

Classes:

- Engineer
-- Reduced build times
-- Larger pack
-- Skillset: Increases defensive capabilities, Utility Skills

- Medic
-- Creates Medpacks and Antidotes
--- Medpacks heal Hp, Antidotes cure poison
-- Skillset: Heals, Resurrection, Assasination

- Brawler
-- Higher Defense
-- Melee Skills Higher
-- Skillset: Increases offensive capabilities.

Skills:

- Skills are learned every few levels. Skills cost Spirit Power (SP). You gain SP by attacking things (Your spirit cannot be fired up

if you do not fight!).

- Engineer - Weapon: Hammer
-- Focus: Tools
-- Equip: Armour (Self target)
--- Temporary boost to Defense.
-- Tool: Smokebomb
--- Tosses smokebomb
--- Smokebombs confuse zombies
-- Tool:Spiketrap
--- Tosses a spiketrap
--- Spiketraps harm anyone who tries to walk over them
-- Tool: Augment Weapon (Self target)
--- Temporary boost to Offense
-- Concussive Blow
--- High damage. Player must take a short rest afterwards
-- Tool: Barricade
--- Creates a barricade that completely walls off an area
--- Barricade can be broken
--- Only usable indoors
-- Tool: Pit trap
--- Immobilizes zombies
-- Thor's Might
--- Creates a huge damaging shockwave. Stuns zombies.

- Medic - Weapon: Ranged
-- Focus: Healing
-- Tool: Small Medpack
--- Heals for a small amount (Self target)
-- Snipe: Aim (Self target)
--- Temporary boost to Offense
--- Prerequisite for all Snipe skills
-- Tool: Antidote
--- Cures zombie poison
-- Tool: Tranquilizer
--- Decreases attack speed and movement speed of a zombie
-- Snipe: Kniess' Fury
--- Damages and immobilizes zombie
-- Tool: Medpack
--- Heals target
-- Snipe: Headshot
--- High damage on a zombie. Insta-kill for many weaker zombies
-- Tool: Resurrection
--- Brings a player back from death if started before they respawn

- Brawler - Weapon: Blades
-- Focus: Fighting
-- Iron Skin
--- Passive: Increases defense and offense
-- Heavy Swing
--- High Damage. Chance to stun target
-- Quickstep
--- Temporary boost to attack speed and movement speed
-- Wild Swing
--- Low Damage. Attacks multiple zombies. Can attack same target more than once
-- Meditate
--- Consumes all SP
--- Sit still and meditate to regenerate health rapidly. Stop meditated when attacked
--- Usable only in combat
-- Parry
--- Temporarily allows you to greatly reduce damage
-- Blood Fury
--- Temporary boost to Offense
-- Gorak's Fury
--- Very high damage to a single target. Player must take a short rest afterwards

-- Note:
--- All Tools are prepared out of battle
--- Snipe skills have a longer delay to account for focusing on target
--- Consider: Trading of tools, but if you are of the wrong class, have a chance to screw it up and hurt yourself
--- Consider: Tool creation costs no SP, it costs resources. Tool usage costs SP. This is to prevent being able to rest (for free) in the safe house, recover all SP, and just keep creating tools for "free".
---- I have not considered SP cost because I don't know the scaling of the game yet

Any comments/suggestions? I'm going to do a few isometric tests, see how much an impact this issue is going to be. My main concert is floors. Going up and down floors.
In response to BrickSquadron (#15)
BrickSquadron wrote:
Forum_account wrote:
The only time I've had layering issues is with objects on the same tile. If you have a raised bridge and a player walks under it, the layering can be incorrect. But, with just tall walls it's possible for layering to be correct. I think it's just a matter of how you draw the icons (pixel offsets may cause problems too). For example, in the Pixel Movement library's isometric demo, there are some layering issues but not the type you're showing.

Nope, it's a well documented issue.
http://www.byond.com/forum/?post=121180
http://www.byond.com/forum/?post=94842

Those are both marked as "Not a bug".

You have to be mindful of where within the icon the image is drawn. If you go outside the diamond-shaped part that'd be the floor of the isometric tile you can have layering problems. There are ways to draw icons that'll lead to layering issues and there are other ways that don't. The pixel movement library has a demo that uses tall isometric icons and it doesn't have the problem you're talking about.
Yes it's not a bug, but it still doesn't make it any less of an issue with isometric mode. I've experimented with ways that don't cause layering issues in isometric mode and it was too much of a hassle for me to cut up icons and position them on the map. I'll try LummoxJR's suggestion on using overlays as a workaround instead and get back to you on how that works.
Can you post the icon that's causing the problem?
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