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[Game mechanic] - Environment Usability

What track(s) would You like to hear in WftO? (multiple options)

  • "This is my place and these are my friends"

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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01. Intro
I... thought about Dungeon Keeper successor... that game will be deep and dark like in a real dungeon.., that will have as dark as game sense of humor.., has many capabilities - defenses will clearly be more significant... Treacherous plans.., brilliant strategies.., cruel assassinations.., labyrinths of traps.., very heavy and dark sense of humor - everything that will extend the game, moves imagination and creativity.
Now I'm standing with a thing - what could really distinguish War for the Overworld from Dungeon Keeper series? Maybe do something with game environment?

This topic is about several and probably controversial solutions how the environment in game could be used by us in WftO how could give us more capabilities in devising new strategies, attacking enemy, defending and securing our dungeon. I'll try to show my ideas simply, that if will be implemented could be sometimes very significant in passing the game and... will have a special functions. I recorded this CD for you that will tell you about it all.

01. Intro
02. How capacious are your lungs?
03. There is a hole in the wall...
04. Something hanging over my head...
05. A danger in the dark depths

Bonus Tracks:
06. This is my place and these are my friends
07. Exodos

02. How capacious are your lungs?
"Calm water always runs deep"
― Stephen King
Imagine battles in old catacombs, almost 80% of map is in the water, ancient ruins full of neutral creatures or... a big adventure where if you want to have an advantage over the enemy you have to... wade through the water, and the best under the water...

There was one thing always annoyed me - water... magma... were 1 cm deep... in the underground we had puddles not water tanks etc.
So I though about to add levels/depth into the game that could be a nice, little variation, but can be decisive in many part of the game.

This pic perfectly fit with something that I would like to present here:

The yellow line let us indicate the water level in Dungeon Keeper (shame, shame...)
A few meters away we have lower levels of the water. We could add a few levels of water/magma for the map. Not as many as these are on this picture, but adding 3 more underwater levels will be enough.
Now, there is an important thing - this levels would NOT be for all minions. Only minions that have an utility named 'Underwater breath' could dive into a depth. Other creatures that don't have this utility could have an utility named 'Swimming' - so they are able to swim on the water surface. Some kind of creatures could just float on the water with their utility to 'Fly' or 'Levitate'. If a creature doesn't have any of this utility it seems that it just can't swim (I wonder how bile demon could swim :D)
So know we have 3 levels:
1. Water surface - creatures can swim on the water surface, but cannot dive. Can fight with creatures that swimming on the 2nd level
2. Deeper level - creatures that has underwater breath can swim here only - this is a level where creatures from 1st level can fight with creatures swimming on the 2nd level
3. Bottom - creatures that has underwater breath can swim here only - creatures from 1st level cannot see (unless they have a special skill that will see enemy's unit under the water) or fight with creatures swimming on the 3rd level - so here you can easily sneak under the water being not noticed and destroy enemy's dungeon by surprise!

My another idea is that creature could have a special bar or something like that (blue flower around level circle?) where we will have shown a lung capacity (like a in GTA SA).
I though about a special room - let it name swimming pool - that creatures could practice swimming that will raise this capacity (even there could be a chance that creature that don't have underwater breath, but swim just on the swimming pool surface (to make it more happier - swimming pool could be a nice substitute for a temple that made our creature happier in DK I) could learn underwater breath - of course if a creature is able to learn it - this can be a special option for all creatures).
It could look like this object:
or it could be connected with a room where minions (not only on the evil site) could have entertainment and can learn swim
Swimming pool + hot springs :D
I think it could be fair. Game is boring if end too fast ;)

If it comes to a magma - only creatures that has got utility to 'Swimming in magma' could swim in the depths of magma or magma surface - this utility couldn't be learned by other creatures.

Now in game we could have another ground levels, not only just flat surface. In the underground? It couldn't be...

03. There is a hole in the wall...
"Genius or fool, you don't live in the world alone. You can hide underground or you can build a wall around yourself, but somebody's going to come along and screw up the works.”
― Haruki Murakami - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
We built powerful dungeons, but the enemy can expect surely one thing - traps on the ground. So, why don't add something not only that will 'grow out of the ground', but will scare victims from a wall?
This is something that I loved in Tenchu 2 game - pikes, arrows, gas streaming out from the walls.
How could it work?
First wall defenses couldn't be put on the ground, but only 'on the wall' (but it is a very strong point to talk about - if we will have one trap per tile, doesn't matter what kind one defense is it could be now other) and it could look like here:
Now see that wall traps are unusable if there is a big area, not a small corridor.

Dialog - (P) Person, (M) Me:
P: You think that could be easy to destroy them by workers that could dig this wall?
M: Yea, but wall defenses for compensation could be stronger than any kind of ground defenses. If you want to rescue Your traps You have to kill all that imps ;)
P: Ok, but if enemy is a hero and don't have any workers I could dig all walls without problem and I'm safe, right?
M: Right... (This is supported by this that wall should be invincible), so there is a quest for mapmakers to make them hardly secured.

One of additional thing is to add an utility named 'Eagle eye'. With this utility your minion that have it could avoid or even (with a small % chance) disarm traps (but not destroy, just turn off the trap - in total... disarm could be a minion's ability).
What is more creature with this utility could see hidden life beings or defenses and have Trap Sight Radius that will be very helpful to find hidden defenses in the ground or in the wall or underwater creatures.
Even wall defenses could be seen they should be a very small, like a tiny hole for arrows or gas etc. that will be a real difficult for a player to break this defenses easily.

04. Something hanging over my head!
"The air changes the color of things there. And life whirs by as quiet as a murmur...the pure murmuring of life."
― Juan Rulfo - Pedro Páramo
My Carnivorous Maw http://subterraneangames.com/threads/defense-carnivorous-maw.529/ met with a fairly large support here, but there was a one, controversial thing - how to make it work?

P: A ceiling defense? Living trap?
M: Yes babe, it is a life trap and... it is now hanging over your head!
P: Aaaaaa! <munch, munch>
M: Oh my... Good bye Eddie! Now I'll take your preacioussss.

Ekhm. Ok, so now I would like to show You how ceiling trap could behave and how could they look like.
First problem is different shape of ceiling like here:


As much we dig as it is higher and higher. So if we want to put it on our ceiling game should have a very low ceiling or we have to just make one level of map that all ceiling defenses will on this level looks good and be usable.
First we can put it only on ceiling and this possibility to put it on ceiling could display like here:

What's more, every trap could have something like prolongation. It will starts from the highest point of the map and will ends on the bottom of the air space:

'Top of the WftO' - this is the highest level of the game, we can say it is out of the game, nothing is living or working here.
'Defense area' - is is an area behind Line B which is the highest 'touchable'/visible plane/point in the game. Defense area is empty space and has shape depending on that how big/open is an area under the line B (everything higher than this line we couldn't see and touch because of not passable textures put in here).
'Wall' - area of the game
From this place ceiling trap starts - it can be showed like a chain that is hanging from this point or living, long, but narrow part of living defense.
'Line D' - is a line where all ceiling defenses ends its construction... Line C is the lowest plane that can game ceiling have. From Line D to Line B we can see this trap - how much we can see of this trap construction depends on ceiling's height.
'1' and '2' are just a examples hoe could ceiling defense look like on different high of ceiling plane.

What could be an alternative for it if we wouldn't see defenses like a long, hanging thing?
All ceiling defenses could be hidden on it's top, behind a small doors, cage or dark hole, so for example → Carnivorous Maw is not visible it it is in standby, but if someone will stay under this defense Carnivorous Maw in a split second jumps out of the hole and grabs victim to CM maw. IMO it could be better solution. So this hole/doors etc. should be visible always on the bottom of Line C - at the end of the ceiling high - looking at it from the top.

Now we could making not only ceiling defenses, but the other ceiling things/decorations etc. in game map editor ;)

05. A danger in the dark depths
"I can see what you see not
Vision milky, then eyes rot.
When you turn, they will be gone,
Whispering their hidden song."
― from Halls of the Blind - Diablo I

I think this is the most controversial thing... but I want to present it to You.

Do You know Assassin's Creed or I.G.I Covert Strike, Tenchu? There was a 'visibility factor' that give You chance to avoid enemy's sight. Why something like this wouldn't be in the game which action is placed in the underground?

Ok, but how?
Every creature could have it's own 'visibility factor'. It won't be a skill or utility, it is just a thing that exist in real world. You are in dark place - You are harder to being spotted by the enemy.
In DK we had torches, lighter and darker places. These things could have influence to see the enemy easier or harder.

Battles in the dark could have influence on minions accuracy, dexterity. This is not very hard to implement I thing.
Moreover minions that will have a skill like this in DK I that You can unhide hidden creature could have better eye and could spotted the enemy much easier than creature that doesn't have this skill.

Now sneaking, treacherous and assassination could be a very nice and evil strategy that player could take.
You Dungeon and your ways to it should be very good illuminated to not being attacked from surprise. ;)

06. This is my place and these are my friends
"A faithful friend is a strong defense; And he that hath found him hath found a treasure."
― Louisa May Alcott
This is an idea that I took from... can't remember, but it's all comes not about happiness, but morale - so in short and simple → creatures that like fire are stronger in fire place, creatures that are 'night hunters' are better in fighting in dark places etc., more minions in the group will have an influence to morale's level for other creatures.

07. Exodos
"Hey, nothing grows to the sky. There will be a successor movement. Right now it's nascent."
― Peter Brimelow
I could open this topic as a topic with your ideas of using the environment, to make a suggestion that idea could be implement, is worth of thinking. So be free to thinking about something that could be very useful and could spice up the game. Enjoy! I hope my suggestions will meet with approval :p

Thanks to this Environment Usabilities we can choose one or more strategy from several (except this we took before, in DK):
- Assassin Strategy - we can use the light, vision, shadows, darker and lighter places
- U-Bot Strategy - we can use underwater, just water to strike powerful attack, being faster than enemy
- Defense Planner Strategy - we can use several combinations of traps to make our way to Dungeon very hard to reach
- Good Point Strategy - we can call minions that will have the biggest influence in some vary points in game. It could give us a big advantage in the game.


Dwarven Worker
Nov 9, 2011
Some of them would complicate the games mechanics somewhat. I'm mainly talking about the darkness mechanic. When you think about it, how do you communicate to the player that darkness is affecting their units stats, such as dexterity? one of the only real ways you could do it is through text or some sort of informative message. However the reason you have to do such a thing is because it isn't obvious at eye value that this is what should be happening.

So if I had to take the darkness mechanic, and readjust it, I'd do this:

I'd make darkness hide your units. Hero units could look directly into a dark area, and not be able to see what is within, unless they are within a very short range. I'd then give some darkness based units advantages in the dark, like an ability that allows them to wait for a passing enemy and "Backstab" them for big damage.

I would however not touch enemies fighting effectiveness in these scenarios, as it's a hard thing to communicate visually and being able to do that is important in a game where there is so many units to keep track of.

Of course my own take on the darkness mechanic wouldn't be perfect, it's from the top of my head and lacks any testing from a development standpoint, so a lot of problems are most likely not obvious straight away.

Disregarding this, I enjoyed reading your suggestions and hope to see more with this amount of effort put in (Especially hand drawn diagrams, love me some crude diagrams!)
Likes: Ben Chandler

Ben Chandler

Impassibly Cool
WFTO Backer
Jan 23, 2013
I like the darkness idea with the readjustment. When it's dark, you're not worse at anything.. you just cant see!
*unless you eat your carrots
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