Void Islands / Generation / Implementing New Biomes & Post Release Updates / End Game

ookasmcplookusookasmcplookus Join Date: 2016-10-22 Member: 223300Members Posts: 25 Fully active user
So there is a discussion going on in this other thread about adding biomes and it got me thinknig about how biomes could be added. I think something like this had already been suggested in that thread about the giant sub, but I would like to see the response the idea on its own gets with its own thread rather than buried in other thread discussions.

First of all, this is not something to be done in the near term. It is just an idea of something that could be accomplished after the game release to ease further content creation and integration.

The idea is that once you the player has got to the end of the game in the area we have at the moment (ie can build and launch the rocket) they are met with a choice. They can either call it quits there, launch and finish the game; or they can construct a large vehicle like the above mentioned submarine that has the capability of carrying around the rocket and venturing out into the void. First off, this means the player will have to be prevented from exploring the void without this vehicle before reaching the end of the game. I am still hoping for a large creature event to be triggered if they attempt to enter the void without this large sub, there are a multitude of threads already discussing this, including one of my own so not going to go into detail here. The void just needs something to stop players exploring it without the large sub.

The next thing, is that the large sub has a fixed amount of storage so that a player has to be wise about what resources they take with them from the main game area when departing into the void. In the void, rather than being a completely empty place, there could instead be dispersed areas where a small amount of biomes (3-9) are randomly / procedurally generated; which i will from now on refer to as void islands. You can think of the game at the moment as a very large void island consisting of most of the possible biomes. I say most and not all, because it is through these void islands that I suggest new biomes be integrated into the game. Of course the positions of the void islands themselves and there sizes / biome makeup would also be random with each new play through.

The large sub itself should require some pretty resource intensive method of refueling, also its fuel source will deplete as soon as the game detects arrival at a new void island. That is to say, the sub can basically travel without refueling until it arrives at a void island but requires refueling before once again departing into the void. I am thinking the fuel source would be of precursor origin and only found in the final precursor base of the released game and also in the deepest or trickiest precursor base of void islands. The precursor bases would replace the mechanic of wrecks on these void islands and perhaps provide random snippets of lore about the precursors or the planet; 1 base per void island could provide access to the teleportation network so that it could enable a possible method for getting back to the staring area or other void islands if you arrive at a resource deprived one; they could even contain precursor tech upgrades for bases / equipment / vehicles or blue prints for post release base part / equipment / vehicles.

I feel like this would open up a lot of opportunity to add further content to the game after it has been released. The dev team would not have to worry about new biomes messing up the current level design (resources, fragment locations, progression in general); they wouldn't have to worry so much about new equipment / upgrades/ vehicles fitting into the game; people would not have to worry about restarting their game every time a new biome is added (they just have to go to unexplored waters where it could then be generated).

It would give people more content after finishing the main game, the whole thing remind me of the sevii islands from pokemon.

It could provide new challenges each time a player arrives at a new void island: solar panels being ineffective because the terrain is too far down, and/or there are no heat vents for thermal, and/or no uranium crystals for nuclear, and/or the starting zone of the "void island" has reapers, and/or titanium only exists as a large resource deposit etc etc.

It could add replay-ability; player arrives at a void island without bringing the resources that specific island's challenges require. They would then launch their rocket to finish the game and start over to get a different layout of islands to try go further. There could even be some kind of scoreboard system associated to the whole thing where people see how far / how many islands they can get to. (I suspect people would just revert to a previous save but still, worth mentioning and maybe some way to prevent this could be found).

I feel biomes like the fabled arctic biome would have trouble fitting in with the current map because of the drastic change from a very tropical sort of theme to straight up ice. Also there is the matter of what fragments should be there, what resources and how to not make it feel too much like any other biome in these terms but still have something to give without breaking progression. Through void islands the arctic biome and many more like it could be made available without having to worry so much about these things.

It would sort of be a hardcore version of exploration and survival, where you try to go as far as you can, to as many "void islands" as you can, seeing as much of the end / after game biomes / content as possible.

Again, this is not something I think would happen any time soon, it would require an entirely new system to be built for terrain to be generated rather than handcrafted as it is now. The whole thing might just be infeasible, but to me if it can be done, it's worth considering trying to. I'd be interested to know what people think about this as some far off goal, and even how possible they think it would be to do (a devs input here would be great). Would this fit with the game and add to it? Should it be thrown into the deepest darkest pile of nope never to be discussed again? How would you improve on / change it?


  • subnauticambriansubnauticambrian U.S. Join Date: 2016-01-19 Member: 211679Members Posts: 847 Advanced user
    edited November 2016
    Just a quick comment- I love everything in this, it has taken the idea of procedural generation from something whined about to an idea that seems (to you and I, at least) to be feasible. My quick comment is just that maybe the sub wouldn't have to run out of energy each time it reaches a void island- this feature would enable the void island exploration to be more exploratory than challenge-based. What if the void islands were hard to reach, but the sub could be set up as a gigantic self-sustaining mother base? Then the process could become more about seeing the sights on the void islands instead of surmounting them like challenges. What do you all think? Should the endgame be more challenge-based, or more exploratory based? I think that ideally, a mix of the two would be optimal- maybe indirectly forcing players to visit the void islands through the threat of losing resources instead of directly sapping their sub power.
    Paleo/Bio nerd. Big fan of Subnautica, particularly the creature design.
  • ookasmcplookusookasmcplookus Join Date: 2016-10-22 Member: 223300Members Posts: 25 Fully active user
    I suppose either way could work, and I think either exploration focus or challenge / survival focus could be split between the different game modes. My only hesitation on purely being exploration focused is that there isn't really all that much to be explored. Maybe it could get to a point where there is an additional 20 biomes or something that only appear in the void islands but at least in its infancy I would suspect there to only be a few additional ones. That means all you would be exploring is stuff you've already seen but in different arrangements. I think it was rezca in the previous post this idea originated in that pointed out how something like this really doesn't add all that much value to a game and can in fact be bad for it (citing NMS). My response to this was that NMS somehow expected things looking different to add content. By having biomes randomized and the survival aspect still there you could end up in a situation where you arrive at a void island where say it only has a blood kelp, dunes and sea treader path biome makeup. This means the only way you are going to get titanium is by drilling large resource deposits in the dunes among reapers, the land mass would likely be too far down to spot from the surface or get back to the surface using a prawn suit. You would have to jump down with the prawn hoping that you'll land somewhere safe, hope you will be able to find someway to make and power a base (solar pannels probably won't work here) and hope you can do it before the prawn suit runs out of power and you basically run out of ways of generating oxygen. These sort of new challenges are what I expect to encounter from a system like I described. If you want to go for a mix of the two, perhaps as you explore the precursor bases at the void islands you can discover tech and upgrades that effect the large sub to make it more capable of traversing the void eventually shifting the game play to be more exploratory focused (a bit like how the game play is at the moment; survival at first with slow progression towards becoming almost entirely exploration based).
  • ookasmcplookusookasmcplookus Join Date: 2016-10-22 Member: 223300Members Posts: 25 Fully active user
    response posted here because the whole thing is derailing that other thread.
    DrownedOut wrote: »
    Randomly/procedurally generated terrain post-game is nothing I'll vote against, but this feature would be thoroughly uninteresting to me personally, so obvs I would prefer to see the Arctic Biome in the core gameplay where I'd actually come across it. I don't think it has to be immersion breaking either. Have it be completely surrounded by mountains so its water can barely interact with the rest of the ocean for starters and have the mountains contain cold traps to facilitate ice caves, which in turn interact with the enclosed water. Some suspension of disbelief would be required, but I think we're already doing that with the whole biome system.

    Yeah I suppose you are right about the suspension of disbelief already being applied when playing. I think most people seem to also be agreeing with you that; whatever content is added should be first added through the hand crafted method and integrated into the main area. Effectively that means there is not much room for there to be anything unique or new out on the void islands. I guess this is just one of those things that seemed like it could have been a lot of fun to a few but not for the majority. Does anyone know of any game out there that uses a hybrid generation system? ie, starting area is handcrafted but once at the end of that you have the option to explore generated content?
  • HiSaZuLHiSaZuL N.Y. Join Date: 2016-11-11 Member: 223803Members Posts: 210 Advanced user
    You just basically described No Mans Sky survival mode... which is toxic. Why? Because it completely craps on what NMS is about, exploring. Requiring more resources to build a tinsy upgrade in your multitool, then building New York city a few times over... that is stupid, it is not fun, it's masochism, tedious busybody work and it accomplishes nothing except for preventing you from actually enjoying the world. No, spending an hour to recharge one "lift off" DOESN'T fit into a game that only has exploring going for it. Just like waiting for 10 minutes for every 2 minutes of walking is NOT fun, nor is it fun not having any safe locations or being spammed by enemies that drop your health/shields in 2 shots and none of those even recharge on their own. No it is not fun flying in space in NMS, because you get 5 iron for every gigantic rock in space... but requires 200 to recharge... before you can even get 200 you are attacked by pirates that you can't escape... and masochism continues...

    Also mixing procedural generated world into static world... sounds like a bad idea. Disparity will be dead obvious... now if it was just randomized it would at least look like it belongs in the same game but amount of biomes and work into fitting them into "random" would be far beyond everything already done by light years.

    I'd rather they simply expanded hand crafted world that doesn't look copy pasted 2 hours later. I'd rather they finished and worked out main questions. Is this game viable financially to continue... do they want to continue.

    A good example of "random" part in a game with static world would be X series "Unfocused Jumpdrive". Granted it was always just a tad bit barren but it was easily fixed even by me and I know nothing about the coding they use.
  • andrewcandrewc Join Date: 2016-12-20 Member: 225231Members Posts: 62 Advanced user
    I appreciate your imagination on this idea... a bigger ship to take you to some other world does not sound native to what they have created here. No man sky inspiration?
    The current game is about giving you a under water experience with hand crafted biomes. I think after everything is stable they could work on expansions that add new biomes onto this world. I think procedure generated biomes would be very hard... I do hope for some randomness though. Like randomised crash sites etc. So that each game is different.
  • subnauticambriansubnauticambrian U.S. Join Date: 2016-01-19 Member: 211679Members Posts: 847 Advanced user
    andrewc wrote: »
    The current game is about giving you a under water experience with hand crafted biomes. I think after everything is stable they could work on expansions that add new biomes onto this world. I think procedure generated biomes would be very hard... I do hope for some randomness though. Like randomised crash sites etc. So that each game is different.

    I think that what you are saying is very true. As of right now, the game is a very handcrafted experience. While that does increase the quality (gotta be careful with that word now :wink:) of the game, it also limits how long it is. By long, I mean how long a player can play the game before they get bored and leave, or take a prolonged break. What this idea would do for the game is try to make it longer, to have something to keep the player playing after they've experienced all the story and biomes of the handcrafted world.

    andrewc wrote: »
    I appreciate your imagination on this idea... a bigger ship to take you to some other world does not sound native to what they have created here. No man sky inspiration?

    Additionally, it doesn't have to be an "other world" kind of thing. In fact, the appeal is more to expand the one world of the game. The concept of "void islands" merely makes it easier to expand the world, as it would be more difficult to add biomes onto the edge of the world. The void could be replaced with a barren dunes biome, too.

    Paleo/Bio nerd. Big fan of Subnautica, particularly the creature design.
  • somerandomsurvivorsomerandomsurvivor Join Date: 2016-12-28 Member: 225606Members Posts: 18 Advanced user
    edited February 2017
    So I do honestly like the idea. I've always found how the world is so... well flat, to be a bit bothersome. Having pocketed areas of safety from the giant sea monsters would be cool. and logical.. maybe have some UNGODLY big creature possibly just a bit bigger than your super sub ready to eat you alive if you try to go into the void.

    I personal don't feel that the procedural generation would be a good idea though... see No mans sky, or old Starbound for an example of how easily that goes sour. I think that what the Devs could do is create way more radically changing and unique biome groups using the void islands, maybe even giant land masses for some land exploration.

    Also, what could be the sign of completion of that area is administering the carer antidote to the area, immunizing the creatures there and maybe finding some Crazy precursor stuff.

    Imagine instead of some kinda out of place arctic biome near the edge of the one map we have like what would have to happen now, we get a whole chilled area where you get to see all the new cold biomes, like a place filled with ice chunks, ice masses to walk on, underwater tundras, Underneath glaciers with beautiful icicles hanging from the ceiling, ext. It would be some insane stuff to be able to freely create and design, and as you said, not worry about space. Suddenly wild ideas like an arctic biome or super carar corrupted biome or stuff like that becomes possible, and the devs can always just add more without fear of ruining what was already made. If its not to be a challenge, then let it be a sight seeing tour, it'd just be up to what the devs wanted to do with progression.

    The best part is the modding potential. Want to make your own "void island" mod it in, give the super sub a place to travel to... and being a modder myself... I can very much appreciate such a useful tool as to prevent awkward placement of potential mod biomes.

    EDIT: sorry for necroing this post btw, but this is just a really good idea and should at least be looked at as a way to expand the game without risking the current layout and hard work of the devs. I also wanted to give my 2 cents on the whole thing :3
    Did you hear about that secret agent James Pond? I heard he has a license tokrill and isn't afraid to use it. You have to sea it to believe it. I have a shell of a good time making puns
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