Technical Wishlist for editor

Talk about creating Grimrock 1 levels and mods here. Warning: forum contains spoilers!
Nyast
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Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Nyast » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:45 pm

Hi devs ( hi Petri ! ),

First of all, congrats for that fantastic game. I'm very excited by the opportunity to create new dungeons/adventures. I myself have a development background so I'll keep it straight to the point with a few explanations for the motivation behind each feature. I guess most of it shouldn't be too surprising :)

Note that I'd be happy if you didn't release a full level editor GUI, but just provided access to official tools to extract/compress .dat files, change the startup dungeon and an sdk with a couple docs/tutorials. I'm definitely not scared of working with lua scripts to create a dungeon. But I guess it's out of the question, so assuming a full editor:

Assets customization

Importing new dungeon tilesets including:
- wall sets
- decorations 3d models ( like statues )
- interactive mechanisms ( 3d models on which you can attach click triggers )
- monsters ( new art, but also customize monster statistics, select predefined type of attacks )
- items ( new 3d art + inventory icon, customize item statistics.. )
- ability to create custom shaders and assign them to any of the assets above
- sounds/music

Custom rendering

Support for basic outdoors rendering:
- skybox (could be a 3d model that is moved every frame at the camera's position. If not possible, a static 3d model located at the level's center, but with a custom shader that disables fogging/shadowing/lighting)
- changing ambient lighting parameters
- creating a sky/sun light
- changing fog parameters (that way we can fade to gray/blue fog instead of black fog)
Note: most of what I ask above could probably be done with custom shaders too, so as long as you allow us to create custom shaders and assign them to assets, we could work around any limitations)

Custom geometry drawn in lua:
- ability to render custom geometry with lua calls, typically textured quads. This would allow to simulate things such as a water plane ( motivation: I have in mind a sewer level where the bottom of the ground is covered in mud ).
- render some quads to simulate some special effects like lightning/rain ( ex.: dungeon master 2 )

Custom GUI:
- ability to create a textured full-screen quad displayed over the top of the viewport
- ability to pause/resume typical gameplay when such quad is displayed
Motivation: simulation of simple cut scenes, or special points of interests ( ex.: inside a tavern ) like it was done in Ishar.
- ability to spawn some text and buttons on top of this screen
This can also be used to simulate simple NPC encounters. Ex.: you find a dying man, a picture shows up and a text explains that you can either save him or let him die, with two yes/no buttons at the bottom.

I'll complete this list when I find more ideas.

Thanks!

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Dynosaulo
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Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Dynosaulo » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:22 pm

Nyast wrote:Support for basic outdoors rendering
Well, I know you didn't ask for opinions, but I have to say I disagree with you here.

I don't know what the devs are planning for the official expansions, or even if they even are going to exist, but I do believe the game was deliberately made to feel claustrophobic, with no sign of the outside world. And I like that. I believe making this kind of support now would be a lot of effort towards something they were trying to avoid from the very beggining.

I think the dungeons created with the editor should have the same feel of the original game. A mod I don't know, but dungeons, being they levels to the same game, should feel like the same game.

Just my 2 cents.

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Patch
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Patch » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:39 pm

Dynosaulo wrote:but I do believe the game was deliberately made to feel claustrophobic, with no sign of the outside world.
That's simply conjecture.

If you look at the world map, it's clear that they put a ton of work into that alone. It would seem silly to put that much work into a world, and then limit your self to exclusively indoor, claustrophobic, settings.

It could be that they stuck with an indoor setting for the initial release, to help limit their scope, so they didn't get overwhelmed. Working inside of a box to start with is a lot easier than opening up the entire universe to work within.


Personally, I'd love to see outdoor environments. It would open up a lot more opportunities to create stories (boxes do have limits).

Theta has been talking about it a good bit. We've been thinking that if we can't get a 'true' outdoor environment, we could at least try to fake it, like this.

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Dynosaulo
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Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Dynosaulo » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:06 pm

Ok, probably I expressed myself badly...

I do think that the underground setting is kind of the point of the game. And, let's face it, outside environments never look good (or even right) on these kinds of "square-based" games.
The only hope I see is some kind of "ceiling-less maze". Or windows.
But of course I would love to see outdoor environments. But I believe that if it happens, first they will release an expansion containing said environments, then they will make them available on the dungeon editor. Plus, releasing an expansion first makes it so any user-created dungeons will fit with the game's feel.

Anyway, I think that their efforts seem to be steered towards finishing the editor. So it probably will be released with the already existing assets.

And about the rest of the map, maybe everything will happen indoors... who knows...

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petri
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Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by petri » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:13 pm

Man, that's a long list! Custom rendering and outdoor rendering are unfortunately out of the scope of the dungeon editor. The plan is to get basic dungeon editing features working first and then worry about other things.

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Patch
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Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Patch » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:22 pm

petri wrote:Man, that's a long list! Custom rendering and outdoor rendering are unfortunately out of the scope of the dungeon editor. The plan is to get basic dungeon editing features working first and then worry about other things.
Huzzah! From the lips of the gods, to the ears of us peasants!

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Dhauntyr
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Location: United States

Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Dhauntyr » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:06 am

I'd imagine most people just want to get a basic map out there at least. That would be the main aim. Outdoor rendering sounds advanced, but outdoor-like environment doesn't to me. There were areas in the temple that looked like pillars of light shining in from what could have been a sky. Anyone remember the "AD&D Unlimited Adventures" editor? I know it's very old. We'll see.

Gudadantza
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Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Gudadantza » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:50 am

A simulated outdoor environment? Fake exteriors? No idea how it would work with the actual lightning and FOV. It worked on old games because of the lack of real lightning, and an exterior was the same as an interior but with wider block spaces and and of course a sky.

But Who knows :) Maybe.

paxed
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:51 am

Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by paxed » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:57 am

Gudadantza wrote:A simulated outdoor environment? Fake exteriors?
I guess all we'd need is a "skylight" (possibly with iron bars in front of it), and a fake exterior block, which would look OK from distance. Imagine seeing "the outside" in the distance... with iron bars in the way, which just cannot be opened.

(In other words, those "outdoor" environments aren't meant to be reached, they'd just show glimpses of it...)

Nyast
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Re: Technical Wishlist for editor

Post by Nyast » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:45 am

I think you're over-reacting with this "outdoors rendering". As I've explained in my post, I'm not asking for direct outdoors rendering ( like a terrain engine or stuff like that ), but for a few features that would allow to "simulate" outdoor dungeons like the swamp, forest or city levels you could find in Lands of Lore, Dungeon Master 2, Ishar, etc.. Technically those levels are no different than underground dungeons, but the lighting/shader settings are a bit different.

If we get skybox and custom shaders support, we can probably do something half decent. No need for more advanced stuff.

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