Tavern Developer's Journal #4 - A living open world
29-12-2015, 13:19, (This post was last modified: 29-12-2015, 13:21 by bartold.)
Developer's Journal #4 - A living open world
Creating the total immersion has been one of the fundamental goals of Gloria Victis since the very beginning of development. This implicates a need of an open world – a really open one, without loading screens or invisible barriers at every turn. A world which would be as much believable and alive as possible. For this reason the world of Gloria Victis will be implemented as a seamless, homogenous structure, giving the players a chance to visit a quite realistic recreation of medieval Europe and Middle-East.
The world in Gloria Victis will offer various lands to discover. Regions will differ by specific landform and weather. Occurring flora and fauna will depend on locations, as well as the architecture being built by the people inhabiting them.
There will be four main lands. Midland is a commonwealth of Logres and Wenedia, two kingdoms separated by the massive range of Eagle Mountains. Logres consists of various regions: sunny or rainy, fertile or unpleasant, growing or pillaged by Ismirean raiders. Wenedia’s lands are mostly covered with primeval forests, where the ancient pagan cults are still strong.
Azebs inhabit the Zenith Empire, a magnificent desert realm on which the sun never sets. Experienced travelers can tell where there is an oasis between sands, although even the nomadic tribes do not enter the Dune Sea unnecessarily. Most of the Azebian settlements are towns raised once by Sangarians.
At one time Sangmar used to be a powerful, cosmopolitan empire, but nowadays just Baalhammon is left – a delightful city, the only one that remained after the conquer done by the Azebian tribes, fighting for freedom.
Ismirean clans make a living in the furthest North, in a frigid and rocky Nordheim. Dangerous shores, unpleasant mountain ranges and powerful blizzards for ages prevented anyone from conquering this realm. On the other hand, Ismirs have been able to claim Styrborg, dukedom which lies in the northern coasts of Logres.
All of those realms offer various landscapes to see and locations to explore with no artificial barriers. Differences are visible in architecture as well – Ismirs and Weneds usually raise low, long wooden houses, while Logreans builders prefer towering stone constructions. In Sangmar and Empire of Azebia clay bricks are the most frequently used material, although the first ones used to cover the walls with gold ornaments.
However, signs of the recent wars are visible at every step: burnt villages and outposts, unsown fields and depopulated towns. This makes an opportunity for the increase of robbery and brigandage, which spread like a plague through the devastated realms. Groups of bandits, raiders, and even robber knights are slaying survivors and plunder their property to make a living in hard times.
An immersive world also requires characters that are acting and reacting properly. People in Gloria Victis will not stay in one place all the time but do their work, talk about the recent events and call guards when they see an enemy or a traitor coming close to town. Their appearance and workshops will be responding to their occupations as well – for example, a blacksmith will work in his forge, wearing a leather apron instead of a chainmail. The time of day for instance determines the behavior of NPCs, some retire to their homes to sleep and unscrupulous muggers will begin to prowl the streets.
NPCs in Gloria Victis will react to players’ decisions. Every action will somehow affect relations with the locals, which in return will influence the player’s reputation in the whole region. The righteous and helpful ones will be given great trust and asked to escort caravans or lead an army to charge, while players with bounties on their heads may be pursued or asked to join to rob convoys.
The lands in Gloria Victis will be graced by the presence of various seasons, as well as weather conditions. However, a day and night cycle, the changing of seasons and dynamic weather are not just visual effects, but they have a real impact on a game’s world, as in a real one. The players in Gloria Victis would plan their adventures in accordance with the time of the day, as well as seasons and weather conditions, much like how one would in real life – going to the desert in furs might not be the best idea.
Creating a credible and living open world is an important step in order to provide the Gloria Victis’ players a total immersion. It not only highly improves the experience when exploring various locations, but also allows to fully dive into the game’s atmosphere. And isn’t that the true meaning of “RPG” in MMORPGs?
PM Manager, Designer
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