New Level Series Ideas

Anything to do with Drakan level editing and modifications, post it here! Also this is the place to tell us about your new levels and get player feedback.

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De Profundis
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New Level Series Ideas

Postby De Profundis » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:23 pm

So, I still have interest in creating some kind of level single player level series before it becomes impossible or before there are no more Drakan fans lurking about to play it. I have been playing with ideas and testing some things here and there and I think I'm going to break it down like this:

The gameflow will mostly revolve around a central hub, similar to how Drakan TAG had you coming back to Surdana frequently, only I would compare it more to Assassin's Creed 3 where you have a "home base" that you can build upon and expand with people and houses/buildings and you can return here anytime while you play the main story.

The main story itself can probably be completed in a few short hours if you skip all the side content, and it will (MAYBE) be done in a non-linear fashion, where you can play at least several different main story parts in whichever order you wish.

The side content is tied in directly with expanding and building your village. You can find and help people throughout the game that will join you community and provide you with skills/resources to access side-quest areas. I sort of stole the idea from Dragon Age Inquisition, where, for example, you might come across a broken bridge that you cannot cross, but with bridge materials provided to you by a community member, you can repair the bridge and access the area.

If you want to get the most powerful weapons and armor, ALL side content will have to be completed (and perhaps even affect the ending). Some unique items will require puzzle solving to get and the hints and clues to solving these puzzles will be found in the form of books you can read when you come across them or conversations you can listen in on. All of this is done essentially to extend game time without having to continuously design new areas.

It will also be primarily all ground levels, but with side content that features dragon riding, simply because of the nature of how it's designed (mostly to save time making this thing and because I'm not as good as I'd like to be). I plan on making the environments as unique as I can with what I have, in that they will hopefully be different from the environments in OOTF. I want to have large open areas that are explorable instead of the winding tight areas of the original. I've been downloading landscape photography like crazy to get ideas for how some areas will look.

I am looking for other ideas and/or input, questions, etc. Not everything I'm playing with may work out, and there may be more that I haven't thought of yet. Let me know what you'd like to see, as long as it can be done, I suppose.
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Re: New Level Series Ideas

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:13 pm

Sounds very ambitious - given the limitations with the level editor it's gonna be hard to get all that in. There's some good ideas and it is possible to get some sort of RPG elements into the game. Assassin made a level series a while back that had a sort of level hub system, skillpoint system and being able to purchase items from shops in exchange for gold. I like your idea of large open spaces to explore especially now that newer machines can handle it. The only snag is the fog / view distance and even with it disabled there's the issue of pop-up graphics. If that can be solved then great.

Have you got an old machine to do the level editing on as I'm sure the editor has major problems with newer operating systems?

Looking forward to anything you are making.
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Re: New Level Series Ideas

Postby De Profundis » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:55 pm

I mentioned the fog distance when Outlaw asked about it and the thing I thought I may be able to do is creating a sufficient amount of landmarks to be visible at any given time in the open areas. I actually hadn't considered people who may have the fog disabled. I may have to test it out.

As for the HUB, building the village will actually be done through a series of hide/show triggers which is most easily done with the building materials set as keys that simply toggle what you see, or perhaps use stomp to swap things around.

I have considered using a barter system, or rather stealing what Assassin had done, but i'm not wholly interested in it as a mechanic for this because I actually fear the amount of time it might require to implement. I hadn't even thought about a skill system either and I don't remember how that worked in Assassin's level.

I have a four year old machine running windows 7, but it has a lot of power in it and the editor works like a dream if you discount the crashing it does when viewing animations and stomp sequences. I'd like to have a cinematic series here, but how much may depend on my frustration levels.
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Re: New Level Series Ideas

Postby mage150 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:45 pm

I mentioned the fog distance when Outlaw asked about it and the thing I thought I may be able to do is creating a sufficient amount of landmarks to be visible at any given time in the open areas. I actually hadn't considered people who may have the fog disabled. I may have to test it out.

As for the HUB, building the village will actually be done through a series of hide/show triggers which is most easily done with the building materials set as keys that simply toggle what you see, or perhaps use stomp to swap things around.

I have considered using a barter system, or rather stealing what Assassin had done, but i'm not wholly interested in it as a mechanic for this because I actually fear the amount of time it might require to implement. I hadn't even thought about a skill system either and I don't remember how that worked in Assassin's level.

I have a four year old machine running windows 7, but it has a lot of power in it and the editor works like a dream if you discount the crashing it does when viewing animations and stomp sequences. I'd like to have a cinematic series here, but how much may depend on my frustration levels.

Where are you at? Is this something you are still working on? I'd love to see if we could work on it together.
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Re: New Level Series Ideas

Postby De Profundis » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:57 am

Oh, it's still something I'm planning on doing. I was messing around with a lot of ideas in some small test levels that I threw together, but haven't started the actual maps yet, simply for the fact that my home is in the middle of renovations and my computer has been disconnected since March. I wasn't planning on tackling it proper until after summer when all that stuff is out of the way.

My knowledge of design is pretty much nil, so you would be way above me in those terms, but I have come up with a few tricks here and there to do things much quicker than it would have taken me years back when I was fooling around before. For example, I would landscape my layers with my water textures as ground layers set at a certain height and mold everything around that, THEN come back later, mold the water to the floor shape I want, add another in between layer using the "blue" floor as a guide. It sounds dumb, but it literally saves me tons of time trying to line things up. It has disadvantages, like having to more or less toss out underwater caves as a usable idea, but with my limited knowledge and time, I have to just say screw it and not use them.

I also had the idea of having cave entrances transition to their own levels for the sake of not having to plan too much for cave landscapes within other levels, unless they're just tiny caves. I haven't actually messed around with having such a huge number of back and forth transitions though and i don't really know yet how all the positioning works, particularly with Dragons involved. That was all for other experiments when I'm ready.

If you could help out with some of these things, that would be pretty cool. I had you on Facebook, but I'd have to see if i still do. That could be the fastest way to communicate.
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Re: New Level Series Ideas

Postby mage150 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:49 pm

I really never tackled the STOMP editor as much as I wanted. While I was working on Joaxin I was learning the cinematic portion which it seemed a lot of people liked. I suppose if the tools work smoothly, there is a lot of work that can be done to make something interesting. I haven't played through the games in a while, so I will be doing that before I even think of touching an editor :lol:

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Re: New Level Series Ideas

Postby De Profundis » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:54 pm

STOMP was something I played around with a lot back in the day, so I actually knew how to use it really well. I was big on Metal Gear and stuff like that, so it was something I wanted to nail. I used to have a list of trigger/message numbers and what each thing did in STOMP, but it's long gone and I'll have to relearn some of it. That's assuming I can actually use the stomp editor to the degree I want to. It was the one aspect of the editor that didn't always work so well. There were also a couple of buildings that look invisible in the editors 3D window, but they can easily be worked around. I'll likely play through the games again as well. Could get some ideas out of it.

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