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Medieval Engineers: Developer Diaries - Episode 6

Discussion in 'Change Log' started by Drui, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Drui Keen Update Guy KeenSWH Developer

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    Summary
    The 6th episode in our new series of behind-the-scenes footage and developer diaries has been released! This week Lukas, Keen Software House game designer, talks with Tim Toxopeus about the plant system in Medieval Engineers.
    The plant system allows us to fill the planets with lots of plants and trees. The change essentially makes the plants state machines, meaning they can change from one state to another based on passing time or actions the player takes.
    For example, this enables us to have forests that grow, or to make a fruit tree with apples. If a player gathers the apples from the tree, it will change state and become a tree without apples. The player can cut down the tree, and it will become a stump, or can leave the tree alone and apples will grow back.

    This system can be extended beyond just apples trees. For example, we can reward exploration by placing piles of rubble for players to come and loot - kind of like secret stashes. Or we can have a bush where a player gathers berries one time, and take sticks the next. We even used this model to place sticks and stones in the world, so that wherever a player spawns, they can use the materials around to create their first stone axe.
    The system will force players to think more about long term versus short term reward in the game. If they're just passing through an area, they might take everything - even the roots of bushes. If they plan to stay there for a longer time, they will probably leave the plants in a state to continue growing.
    The system will have very little effect on the performance of the game. The entire feature is fully moddable, and you can even add your own new flora to an existing world without breaking the save.

    We also wanted to address concerns about the decay system we previewed last week. The system will not work as quickly as shown in last week's video - it was sped up for the demonstration. The decay system is completely moddable, so you can make it as slow as you'd like. Based on feedback we received from the community last week, we decided to look into making a world setting for disabling certain aspects of the decay system.
    Finally, we hope you enjoy this installment of the Medieval Engineers mini-series!

     
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  2. RayvenQ Moderator Moderator

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    Nice!, although I think you meant to say Rubble rather than rubber :p
     
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  3. CptTwinkie ME Asst. Producer KeenSWH Developer

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    It's the accent
     
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  4. Ed Frost

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    very well... Good to see this, since it can also be used for farming.
     
  5. CanOmer

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    How does claim system work?
     
  6. RayvenQ Moderator Moderator

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    I'd imagine it's like ownership for things like in SE, but it covers and area (kinda like the station bounding box when you place a new station in SE so it'd cover a cube of area with the claim stone in the middle. I may be wrong though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  7. Stori3D Past Productions

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    I really like the idea of the plants regrowing, and the multiple uses -- from berry, to sticks, to roots if you want to rip them up. I especially like the choice of taking out everything useful if you're just running through, or letting things regrow organically if they're near your home base. Great tactical use for battles -- destroying an enemy's ability to re-grow their own resources is a nice touch! And I -love- the upside-down house and the new block there at the end.
     
  8. Scorpion00021

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    These are all of the things I have been hoping to hear for the future of the game. It really makes the game seem more like a living breathing entity with mechanics in place that extend beyond the physics engine, which makes the game more than just a neat physics engine. The game has a good ways to go, but I'm glad that I am finally seeing these elements of gameplay take shape. Great work guys!
     
  9. Ed Frost

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    sounds like the guild claim system of life is feudal
     
  10. Scorpion00021

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    Ah, right. Good mention, Ed. Aside from the short clip at the end, I never saw anything in the video about the claims system. I did have a few questions on it:

    -Will there be larger claim blocks in the future for claiming larger landmasses at once? Maybe like a huge statue that requires exotic resources for the largest?
    -How will overlapping claims be handled? Will it be "first come, first serve" on land, or will overlapping regions become contested?
     
  11. Ed Frost

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    in life is feudal you can upgrade your monument, basicly the center of your claim, the higher lvl the monument, the more demanding it gets, so to keepup with it youll need to give it high value stuff.
    every lvl monument has a certain growth points quota before it can be upgraded again, this means that itll grow slowly before you can upgrade it to th next lvl.

    overlapping claims are handled in a way tht the highest lvl monument, and the highest growth points, in case same lvl monument, pushes the other back.

    if Itll be the same as in ME, who knows.
     
  12. Jecandy

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    Seasons please!!!!! Please please seasons. It seems like this plant system would allow you to have fruit trees change state in a certain season, to allow for harvesting. Wheat farms too, so you can have a 'just planted' state, several 'growing' states, and then a 'harvest' state at the corresponding months during the year. Then you have to store up the food in barrels and containers for the winter. This seems like something you guys could definitely implement without too much difficulty, and would add a HUGE aspect to game-play AND realism, AND survival aspects of the game. It could be balanced so that once you have a steady food supply/enough farms to last a while (possibly AI to do the planting and harvesting for you) the player doesn't have to worry about it and can focus on other aspects of the game. It could also be entirely disabled by a world setting for those who don't want to have to worry about preparing for winter. Just something to consider!
     
  13. Ed Frost

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    The way i interpeteredjebdkendj(stupid word) is that the whole planet could basicly have a state system, to swich between seasons. So only thing would be a check for plants to make sure it aint "freezing" if that boolean is false, meaning its sunny, its gonna grow, if the boolean is true, meening freezing, itll check again in x-tics. You can add prticle effects tied to states, maybe temperature... But....


    here is where i dislike seasons... It needs temperature.... That meaning keeping an eye on your body temp... Meaning less focus on engineering.
     
  14. waterlimon

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    Im not sure why theyre adding the ability to disable the decay system?

    If that actually was a realistic option, the decay system itself would be completely unnecessary (as the only reason it exists, is to prevent eventual death of the world due to ever increasing lag).
     
  15. Merandix

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    Ooh, okay, this sounds awesome! I like where this is going. This is also going to make farming rather fun :D Because I gathered it WILL be possible for roots or berries to spawn new bushes over time?

    Also, I have to honestly admit the planets horizon is LESS horrible than I thought (though still pretty bad).

    Would you guys care to shine a little light on the decision to go with spherical planets beyond 'sharing code' with Space Engineers? Or is that literally all there is to it? Because, and I know I'm close to whining at this point, I still think that having mini-planets in ME sort of beats the point of having a planet. Because, from my non-programmers programming logic... being on a spheroid screams 'pi'... and pi seems like an expensive number to do gravity-calculations with... in a game that has essentially no use for said calculations above having a flat map with fixed gravity and gravity direction. From a resource standpoint, it seems kind of wasteful and expensive to run calculations that are more complicated than necessary for gameplay.

    Anyways, planets or flat map, it still looks pretty good :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  16. Speshal_Snowman

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    I'm not so sure, you don't know what they were thinking, don't just widely speculate!!! :p JK :p :p
     
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  17. Harrekin

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    Just out of interest, but why would one float/double be more expensive than another to process?
     
  18. Deepflame ME Producer KeenSWH Developer

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    Code sharing with SE is definitely one of the bigger reasons. A lot of time is being spent into making the planets look good, this benefits both of our games now, effectively doubling the programmers' and artists' time value. For a smallish studio like us that's incredibly valuable. Additionally, it simplifies future work because we don't have to account for two different gravity systems, world sizes, etc.

    The old worlds also worked on a fixed-grid system. This prevented you from building under all kinds of angles. Since we have planets now we had to rewrite this system, and as you could see in the dev diary.. I think 3 weeks ago? we can now build castles that follow the natural outline of the geographic features.

    Finally, the way planets are structured allows us to implement certain systems, like the claim system we will be explaining next week. This wouldn't have been as easily doable on the old worlds.

    Computing the gravity vector on a sphere does not involve pi, it's still pretty simple math. There is no pi involved, the direction to the center of the planet in ME is the negative of your position, since the planet is centered around 0,0,0. Admittedly, it's a little more involved than having one single gravity vector everywhere, but it's not really a performance issue. :)
     
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  19. Merandix

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    Heh, awesome, thanks for the explanation. Stubborn Frisian that I am, I'm still not entirely convinced on the use of roundness, but hey, if it ultimately is important on such a level to have code-uniformity. I guess there's not much point in asking or arguing about it anymore. I probably can't resist here and there, but just ignore that :p

    No pi involved... on roundness... blasphemy...

    Oh well, no pi involved is still better than no pie involved... and if that latter one really is true, you guys have a lot of good plans for ME, and deserve pie already.

    This above proves that archaeologists' logic doesn't apply to programming.

    And that probably also answers @Harrekin , to me it just feels as if having a changing gravity vector requires more system resources than having a fixed gravity vector. It's not the only issue I have with planets, but I guess I'll have to live with it.
     
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  20. Ed Frost

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    wooh... Looking forward.... Any sneakpeaks for fellow dutchmen?
     
  21. Harrekin

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    Mmmm....

    Pie.

    On a serious note, here's hoping we get the new planet plants and stuff in SE too :D
     
  22. Cetric

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    Nice idea, about apple trees providing food and regrowing fruits, woods and decisions about keeping the plant or sacrificing it for construction material. Now modders will provide us with different fruit tree sorts, cherry, pear, walnuts... could mean various nutrition content, too.
     
  23. CCRazool

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    This all sounds super exciting! I can't wait to recreate all of my favorite D&D castles, towns and dungeons on the face of a planet.
     
  24. Stori3D Past Productions

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    Will there be an option for an extra-extra-large flat world? Or if we want a big flat terrain will we just shave off the edge of a round world?
     
  25. Deepflame ME Producer KeenSWH Developer

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    This is currently not planned, we want to move away from the legacy maps, as all the main future features will depend on the planets being present.
    You can make a planet nice and flat though by making the heightmap all the same colour, the only effect would be a curvature.
    So if you want to mod in a large planet for your historical recreations and set the heightmap to be flat then you are able to do so. :)
     
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  26. Stori3D Past Productions

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    Thanks Deepflame. The logic makes sense, and that's a good workaround. I still may play with slicing a large flat section through the edge of a planet too. Will be interesting to see how the code feels about that ;)
     
  27. Mr Engineer

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    been meaning to watch these videos. The decay state really sort of gives a good RPG element to it. I like that.