[WIP] Custom Planet Type: Cliffs

Discussion in 'Work-In-Progress Mods' started by aevs, June 12, 2014.

  1. aevs

    aevs Post Master General

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    [currently outdated / nonfunctional]
    Get the current version on atom shell PAMM!
    Can also be found here on github: https://github.com/aevns/PA-Cliffs

    Please post feedback in this thread.



    The current version replaces the regular 'sandbox' planet type, because I haven't checked to see if server modding lets me create new planet types from scratch yet.

    Also,the mod includes 2 separate parts: one for the server, and a client part for use with the system editor.

    While I've already got my custom cliff planets working in-game, there's still something I need to address before I release a mod: what exactly should this planet type look like?

    Cliffs are definitely a central focus, but there's more to a planet than cliffs alone. Does it have water? Does it have lava? Does it have trees? Does it have mountains? How will the player be able to easily identify the higher and lower sides of a cliff? How frequent should cliffs be? What's the deal with airplane food?

    These are all questions I'd like to address before release, which is why I'm starting this thread looking for input.
    What would you like to see in this custom planet type?
    Last edited: October 9, 2014
    carn1x, ViolentMind, Schulti and 36 others like this.
  2. brianpurkiss

    brianpurkiss Post Master General

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    Woah. Now that is some awesome terrain features. Game changing terrain features that would drastically change gameplay.

    That would be amazing.
    Planktum likes this.
  3. doud

    doud Well-Known Member

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    :eek: impressive
    Planktum likes this.
  4. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    How it looks as it is looks perfect to me, please give me it, I'll love you forever. :D
  5. dms41319

    dms41319 New Member

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    This is interesting, but I have a few questions about said cliffs.

    Firstly, will all units be able to go up or down these cliffs? If no, then will the map generator automatically build ramps into these cliffed areas? If yes, then doesn't that kinda defeats the point of having a round map, if their is only one or two entrances into your opponents clifftop base, guarded by tons of t2 turrets that you can't even shoot at until your on top of them?

    Secondly, how will this affect the game's combat dynamics? Quite a few units fire projectiles that fly straight at their target unless something gets between them. In terms of cliffs, it would mean that units on lower ground wouldn't be able to fire at anything on top of the cliff, sight or not. But it would also mean that units on top of the cliff, wouldn't be able to fire at the lower ground units unless they were pushed right up to the edge of the cliff.

    I'm not trying to be a buzzkill or hater, I just think these questions need to be taken seriously, as this could have major impact on the already precarious balance of the game.
    PeggleFrank likes this.
  6. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

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    Nope, units use bones to aim, they can aim up or down as long as it's possible to aim at that target. If I placed a bot on top of the cliff it can fire down, by aiming down. The proof behind this is you can make any unit capable of shooting down aircraft.
    PeggleFrank likes this.
  7. dms41319

    dms41319 New Member

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    I'm not saying they can't aim up or down, I'm saying that you can move units so that buildings are between them and the enemy. All shots that the enemy then fires, hits the buildings and not the units. Similarly, sometimes, if your units are in a crater, and the enemy is not, the enemy will often end up shooting the ground, as it is in the straight line between them and the unit they are attacking. Cliffs could have the exact same results, but more extreme.
  8. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    Gorgeous work Aves.

    I'd say that, unless there's something stopping you, all planet types should have some cliffs, except perhaps moons. Though I must say that " volcanic with trees " catches my eye the most.
    PeggleFrank, brianpurkiss and igncom1 like this.
  9. aevs

    aevs Post Master General

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    I agree that volcanic with threes looks the nicest, and would probably add the most variety (since the two are otherwise mutually exclusive).
    Right now I'm stuck using a pre-existing mountain biome brush to create the cliffs, which means they look... out of place, on many planets. Seaside cliffs are also an impossibility, since there can be no brushes below the water level. I'm not planning to alter the base planet types yet because of this, and so that regular planets can still be included without modifications.

    They're basically groups of subtractive brushes which I'm trying to have follow the contour of the terrain at a specific height. Pathfinding treats them as it does any other pathable brush; if the slope is too steep, it is unpassable.

    With that said, there are definitely a few issues with pathing; the AI seems to handle them fairly well most of the time, but will occasionally mess up. Whether or not a cliff can be pathed over isn't always completely obvious when terrain is relatively flat in a location.
    There are a few other issues as well. Terrain height has to be quite high in order to get significant cliffs. It can also generate very messy results sometimes, because I'm working with limited tools to get the brush placement close to what it should be ideally (which would be using a brush with a flat base at 0 height, having a projection type that ignores terrain height but doesn't ignore planet curvature, spawning brushes exactly along contours, having cliffs at varying heights and locations, taking the slope of the terrain into consideration for brush placement, preferably having options for the terrain height algorithm to make the terrain it generates more suitable for cliffs, etc).

    There will be ramps wherever cliffs aren't cut into the terrain. The subtractive brushes won't be overlapping everywhere, so the places they don't are the ramps.

    The idea is to test its effects on gameplay, which is almost definitely going to include bottlenecks and the use of artillery. Round maps are cool, but no reason to exclude bottlenecks from the game entirely.
    That would also depend on the frequency of cliffs, which I haven't decided on yet.

    This is another area of gameplay I'd like to test. Artillery will certainly be more valuable, but all units do have some pitch control, and most have parabolic trajectories (even if they're usually at shallow angles). If you walk doxes right up the the base of a cliff, you shouldn't expect them to shoot over it though.

    Aye, that is more or less the point ;)
    Last edited: June 12, 2014
  10. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    wow. This is totally cool. Great work aevs!
  11. zweistein000

    zweistein000 Post Master General

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    Moons should have shallow and deep craters. Shallow ones work like they do now, deep ones work like they did in beta. But I agree. It feels like the terrain isn't as dynamic and game changing as we though it would be in beta.
  12. thelordofthenoobs

    thelordofthenoobs Well-Known Member

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    Still hoping for Uber to implement stuff like this themselves...
    zweistein000 and brianpurkiss like this.
  13. lapsedpacifist

    lapsedpacifist Post Master General

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    Wowzers, that looks awesome.

    Hoping we won't just have to rely on modding for some more funky terrain on planets, I still find the planets feel like marbles with the occasional obstacle slapped down rather than proper contoured and organic worlds.
  14. brianpurkiss

    brianpurkiss Post Master General

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    Suggestion: costal cliffs!
  15. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    PeggleFrank likes this.
  16. archmagecarn

    archmagecarn Active Member

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    This is a feature I've been waiting for ever since I started playing. I love the look of cliffs and mountains, or on moons- can't wait to actually play on them.
    ViolentMind likes this.
  17. aevs

    aevs Post Master General

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    I'd like to specify that seaside cliffs aren't exactly impossible; it's possible to have a deep brush placed right at the edge of the coast for them, but I'm not sure if there are any brushes in the files that could pull it off adequately and it's certainly not ideal.

    Oh, and I'm hosting an FFA in the PTE to test out the mod right now.
    Well, so long as enough people decide to join I will be.
    I can't guarantee it'll be very good, as I said before pathing is an issue because of the brush I'm using, but I figure it's as good a time as any to get some testing in.

    I'll update this post when/if the lobby fills up. Remember, to search for the game you have to enable modded games to show in the games list.

    EDIT: Done, will post again when I do another test.
    Last edited: June 13, 2014
  18. aevs

    aevs Post Master General

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    [snip]
    Last edited: June 13, 2014
  19. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    How did it turn out?
  20. aevs

    aevs Post Master General

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    Stuart and Gandalf showed up, gandalf had to leave early, killed Stuart at 13:30 since the A.I. was pestering him and his commander was left open... Not very eventful. Pathing's a bit of a problem, since the game thinks some non-path-able cliff faces are path-able (only a few, but it can still be a bit annoying if you don't check on your units occasionally). Not that I don't already get that problem in stable anyway...

    I'm gonna start up another match at 10:00 PM EDT (in 20 minutes). Same map, hopefully we get more people this time. I'm probably gonna spectate so I can see what's going on and if / where people are having issues.
    Last edited: June 13, 2014

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