Good luck with an underwater game - you'll need it.

2

Comments

  • FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment San Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Super Administrators, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer Posts: 6,941 admin
    Willow512, you are officially, DA BOMB. What an imaginative and alluring post!

    That's the kind of feel we're going for. You hit the nail on the head.
    Charlie Cleveland
    Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
    TzudroNebuscelous
  • ResRes Join Date: 2003-08-27 Member: 20245Members Posts: 626
    edited December 2013
    I honestly don't believe that the atmosphere Willow512 described, *being done well*, is possible without a massive team for development and certainly not with a procedurally generated world.

    Even then, an exploration game for the sake of exploring in a video game is not really all that appealing to me, unless there's some "cool" gameplay elements that can be found as a result that gives a reward unlike anything that can be had via other gameplay elements. Granted... if I had an Oculus Rift.. I could see how the exploration part would be more fun.

    I also think ,that even using bioluminescence for deep sea, you will still have the claustrophobic feeling that will turn many people off.... unless you are very generous with the lighting and draw distance even for deep sea.

    edit: also, you know what makes exploring better? exploring with someone else.... please add co-play instead of single player only.
  • willow512willow512 Netherlands Join Date: 2013-12-17 Member: 190203Members Posts: 31 Fully active user
    Flayra, as they say... Shut up and take my money ;)

    Res... How feasable it is. I don't know. Depends on the team. I've seen single man teams create some incredible games. I don't see any incredibly hard problems.

    I think exploration for the sake of exploration is appealing to many players. It would appeal to me. I am one of those players who buys GTA only to drive around in the city ;) But I would imagine that exploration is done for science, and science is done for expansion. If you don't explore you don't spot new animals and plants that help you to expand and you don't find the resources you need to build your tools and base.

    Perhaps interesting gameplay elements would be the alien world equivalents of sharks and other predators. You'd need to keep them away from your farms and resource gathering fields. And of course protect yourself when you venture out.

    You mention claustophobia. I'm not sure to what degree that would crop up in such an open world. I know people enjoy exploring caves in minecraft and terraria which are much more claustrophobic. I can imagine fear when you leave the safety of shallow bottom to venture out into the open ocean when you know there's huge predators below you. But that's fine. I can imagine claustrophobia when you venture into caves.
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    "At a certain depth, water will turn into ice under the sheer pressures"

    I hate to be this guy but water under pressure does not turn into ice afaik. In glaciers there is actually flowing water underneath because it can not freeze because the pressure. Looking for link.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,466 Advanced user
    james888 wrote: »
    "At a certain depth, water will turn into ice under the sheer pressures"

    I hate to be this guy but water under pressure does not turn into ice afaik. In glaciers there is actually flowing water underneath because it can not freeze because the pressure. Looking for link.

    Where is the quote from?
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • Maxx11_v2.0Maxx11_v2.0 Join Date: 2012-11-18 Member: 172221Members Posts: 274
    .
    james888 wrote: »
    "At a certain depth, water will turn into ice under the sheer pressures"

    I hate to be this guy but water under pressure does not turn into ice afaik. In glaciers there is actually flowing water underneath because it can not freeze because the pressure. Looking for link.

    Where is the quote from?

    It's not from a Developer . Its a quote from willow512 "artistic vision" of an underwater game. You can find it at the bottom of the previous page. Its actually a fun read. Nice to see someone getting so excited about the project.
  • SteveRockSteveRock Join Date: 2012-10-01 Member: 161215Members, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer Posts: 486 Advanced user
    james888 wrote: »
    "At a certain depth, water will turn into ice under the sheer pressures"

    I hate to be this guy but water under pressure does not turn into ice afaik. In glaciers there is actually flowing water underneath because it can not freeze because the pressure. Looking for link.

    For the record, you're right, ice actually turns into WATER under pressure. This is why skiing and ice skating works.

    But then again, this is ALIEN water so it can do whatever the hell works best :)
    AurOn2TzudroKwisatzHaderachLumpN
  • willow512willow512 Netherlands Join Date: 2013-12-17 Member: 190203Members Posts: 31 Fully active user
    Hehe, allow me to back up my outrrrageous claims ;)

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/05/070517-hot-planet_2.html
    As it does in a swimming pool, pressure on planets increases with depth. Since the planet is thought to be primarily a water world, the pressure acts on the water.

    "Water has more than a dozen states, only one of which is familiar ice," Frédéric Pont, a study co-author from the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, said in a statement.

    "Under very high pressure, water turns into other solid states denser than both ice and liquid water, just as carbon transforms into diamond under extreme pressures," he added.

    So the bottom of the world might literally be a wall of impenetrable water ice harder than granite and hot enough to liquify metals, yet the ice would not boil or even melt under that pressure!

    I'm not certain at what depths water would actually turn into hot ice. It's bound to be more than hundreds of miles deep. I'm also not certain if this type of geology would allow for rocky seabeds at lesser depths in any real world since you'd effectively be speaking of mountains hundreds of miles high. And I certainly doubt that lifeforms would survive at those depths. But all the elements do exist in our own universe and are deliciously exotic. Perfect for a science based exploration game.
    Tzudro
  • Maxx11_v2.0Maxx11_v2.0 Join Date: 2012-11-18 Member: 172221Members Posts: 274
    willow512 wrote: »
    Hehe, allow me to back up my outrrrageous claims ;)


    So the bottom of the world might literally be a wall of impenetrable water ice harder than granite and hot enough to liquify metals, yet the ice would not boil or even melt under that pressure!

    How about invisible walls instead. Worked for Aquaman!
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    edited December 2013
    You guys should check out "Waking Mars" if you haven't already. It really captures the thrill of exploring an alien biome, but pairs it with a nice simple story that drives you to explore. Its the most compelling game I've played on a touch device.

    I'd really like something like that in subnautica. Exploring for it's own sake is great, but I'd rather be sent on a mission! Send me off to figure out how this alien world works! I'm reminded of "speaker for the dead" as well, where the plot hinges on figuring out how the aiens biology influences their culture.

    Maybe the previous mission told of some alien technology deep in the core that would end all conflict on earth before their radios went dark.
    Maybe mankind needs to terraform other worlds and collect exotic species for the purpose.
    Maybe we received a signal proving that there's an advanced civilization somewhere in the deep, but the inhabitants are so alien that determining who sent it and why is a great mystery.
    Maybe this planet will be shortly destroyed by a meteor impact, so the only hope for its cornucopia of life to survive is to be studied and sampled as thoroughly as possibly so it can be reconstructed after the apocalypse on another world.
    AlignKwisatzHaderachNebuscelousLumpN
  • SteveRockSteveRock Join Date: 2012-10-01 Member: 161215Members, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer Posts: 486 Advanced user
    Res wrote: »
    I honestly don't believe that the atmosphere Willow512 described, *being done well*, is possible without a massive team for development and certainly not with a procedurally generated world.

    Honestly, that's one of the biggest risks on this project. Can we pull this off procedurally and without an Ubisoft-sized team? We will have to navigate a space of art styles, technical approaches, and production methods in order to find one that works for us. We could well crash and burn, or we could pull off something truly unique and exciting. That's what small studios do best - take risks. So, hold on to your butts :)
    IronHorseTzudro
  • RaZDaZRaZDaZ Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167331Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 465 Fully active user
    I love the concept of water and the potential imagination it comes along with it. I'll give a basic example of a water scenario and I was just enthralled and amazed by the beauty of the environments and of course the massive scale - World of Warcrafts Vashj'ir. A basic example but one that shows the potential of this type of environment that a whole game around this concept sounds amazing.
    NS2 ID: RaZDaZ
    Old School AvP2 Vet
    LumpN
  • shonanshonan Join Date: 2013-01-28 Member: 182562Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 426
    If we are going to get stuff like this I'm confident the game will be great:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ljnf_Vybhs
    Steam Lagshop :: Natural Selection 2
    http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=4920
  • ObraxisObraxis Subnautica Animator & QA Lead, NS2 Person Join Date: 2004-07-24 Member: 30071Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, WC 2013 - Supporter, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 3,002 admin
    shonan wrote: »
    If we are going to get stuff like this I'm confident the game will be great:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ljnf_Vybhs

    While this is creepy, you have no idea how vile, warped and demented the mind of Art Director Cory Strader truly is ;-)

    If NS2 fails, follow my Nuke From Orbit Guide.

    NS2 Discord: https://discord.gg/0TKQwZWu7JEPeAgW

    Subnautica Discord: https://discord.gg/subnautica

    b1.seCarNagE1AurOn2Argosh
  • willow512willow512 Netherlands Join Date: 2013-12-17 Member: 190203Members Posts: 31 Fully active user
    SteveRock wrote: »
    Honestly, that's one of the biggest risks on this project. Can we pull this off procedurally and without an Ubisoft-sized team? We will have to navigate a space of art styles, technical approaches, and production methods in order to find one that works for us. We could well crash and burn, or we could pull off something truly unique and exciting. That's what small studios do best - take risks. So, hold on to your butts :)

    Procedurally generated life forms honestly aren't that bad. If you want to go the full blown artificial life direction where animals can grow multiple limbs depending on evolutionary pressures. Then yes, good luck to you ;)

    But the cheap ass solution in my humble opinion will be more than sufficient. Archetypes. If you have a bucket of say 15 animal and plant models, a bucket of textures (with or without parameterized shaders (color, reflection, luminocity) and modify their sizes. you've already got hundreds of animals and plants bodies without much issue. If you include level of detail variants you can use the model of a huge whale with many triangles for schools of small fish each with only few triangles.

    Add to that behavior modules that determine the creatures various behaviors. Fixed to bottom means the creature is attached to the bottom of the ocean and immobile. (It obviously cannot be combined with all shapes.) An agressive creature can display a threatening behavior or attack the player. For a free moving creature this will mean moving towards the player and attacking, for a fixed creature this means posturing and an attack if the player is in range.

    There's flocking behavior. Which causes the creature to spawn in groups and stick near that group.

    There's periodical behavior, like air breathing where a creature would periodically seek the surface of the ocean. Or bottom feeding, where it dives to the bottom to dig around in it looking for food. Or mating behavior where it will periodically look for a member of the opposite sex and fruitlessly attempt to court her with pointless gifts of flowers and boxes of chocolates in the hope of achieving a meaningless encounter that would have both partners split up the morning after, flustered and sticky, slightly embarrassed and hoping no one else saw them together.

    And then there's inherited behavior. If a fish eats a plant, it might inherit some of it's behavior, like that it glows in the dark. Or that it gains the ability to withstand higher pressures. Or it becomes more docile, or more agressive. You don't need to track what every fish eats. You only need to track inheritances on a species level. Fish A eats weed B so it always has trait C. The interesting bit here is that players can discover and use trait C for their own goals by observing fish A.

    Such a system would be easily expandable. And if you keep a map of behaviors that absolutely won't go together(Surface breathing fixed creatures). You could easily remove buggy combinations. And the best part is, if you start with 4 models (fish/weed/jellyfish/lobster) with one parameterized texture each you'd have an interesting start already. The rest is merely building on what you've already got.

    The challenge would be to getting fixed creatures to stay in one spot without having to remember them all, some kind of semi random position. And you'd want a way to keep track of the more important creatures (Tagged creatures or large predators) If an enormous lobster hangs out near your gardens. You'd like it to be there every time you look for it. Sure it might vanish after a few weeks. But it should be somewhat consistent. The player should see consistency in the things that are notable.

    Building any sort of game is a complicated business. I realize it's hardly as trivial as I might make it sound. :)
    Tzudro
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Posts: 8,191 admin
    edited December 2013
    I've spent an inordinate amount of time underwater in CryEngine games.. - even though it never had anything remotely to do with the rest of the game - simply because i was captured by the beauty and mystery..

    I can see myself spending hours (even if its slow paced) exploring, as long as its varied and interesting .. (which is the entire purpose for the underwater environment.)
    .
    00000.jpg
    babel2.jpg
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
    willow512AurOn2
  • ResRes Join Date: 2003-08-27 Member: 20245Members Posts: 626
    edited December 2013
    I might agree with you on those pics ironhorse if the draw distance on them wasn't so limited........

    edit: I went and looked where that 2nd screenshot came from ironhorse. It's from a mod called atlantis that never got off the ground and has very unrealistic "waves" or distortions underwater that would end up being nauseating after awhile.
    Post edited by Res on
  • Mr MoeMr Moe Join Date: 2009-12-17 Member: 69696Members Posts: 47 Fully active user
    shonan wrote: »
    If we are going to get stuff like this I'm confident the game will be great:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ljnf_Vybhs

    Looks like HL Alien Controller :P
  • BriareosBriareos Join Date: 2009-08-01 Member: 68329Members Posts: 5
    edited December 2013
    Oh, and it is BIOMES, not BIODOMES

    THIS. Must happen. Please?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XBEkmAa3Ck
  • SteveRockSteveRock Join Date: 2012-10-01 Member: 161215Members, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer Posts: 486 Advanced user
    willow512 wrote: »
    SteveRock wrote: »
    Honestly, that's one of the biggest risks on this project. Can we pull this off procedurally and without an Ubisoft-sized team? We will have to navigate a space of art styles, technical approaches, and production methods in order to find one that works for us. We could well crash and burn, or we could pull off something truly unique and exciting. That's what small studios do best - take risks. So, hold on to your butts :)

    Procedurally generated life forms honestly aren't that bad. If you want to go the full blown artificial life direction where animals can grow multiple limbs depending on evolutionary pressures. Then yes, good luck to you ;)

    But the cheap ass solution in my humble opinion will be more than sufficient. Archetypes. If you have a bucket of say 15 animal and plant models, a bucket of textures (with or without parameterized shaders (color, reflection, luminocity) and modify their sizes. you've already got hundreds of animals and plants bodies without much issue. If you include level of detail variants you can use the model of a huge whale with many triangles for schools of small fish each with only few triangles.

    Add to that behavior modules that determine the creatures various behaviors. Fixed to bottom means the creature is attached to the bottom of the ocean and immobile. (It obviously cannot be combined with all shapes.) An agressive creature can display a threatening behavior or attack the player. For a free moving creature this will mean moving towards the player and attacking, for a fixed creature this means posturing and an attack if the player is in range.

    There's flocking behavior. Which causes the creature to spawn in groups and stick near that group.

    There's periodical behavior, like air breathing where a creature would periodically seek the surface of the ocean. Or bottom feeding, where it dives to the bottom to dig around in it looking for food. Or mating behavior where it will periodically look for a member of the opposite sex and fruitlessly attempt to court her with pointless gifts of flowers and boxes of chocolates in the hope of achieving a meaningless encounter that would have both partners split up the morning after, flustered and sticky, slightly embarrassed and hoping no one else saw them together.

    And then there's inherited behavior. If a fish eats a plant, it might inherit some of it's behavior, like that it glows in the dark. Or that it gains the ability to withstand higher pressures. Or it becomes more docile, or more agressive. You don't need to track what every fish eats. You only need to track inheritances on a species level. Fish A eats weed B so it always has trait C. The interesting bit here is that players can discover and use trait C for their own goals by observing fish A.

    Such a system would be easily expandable. And if you keep a map of behaviors that absolutely won't go together(Surface breathing fixed creatures). You could easily remove buggy combinations. And the best part is, if you start with 4 models (fish/weed/jellyfish/lobster) with one parameterized texture each you'd have an interesting start already. The rest is merely building on what you've already got.

    The challenge would be to getting fixed creatures to stay in one spot without having to remember them all, some kind of semi random position. And you'd want a way to keep track of the more important creatures (Tagged creatures or large predators) If an enormous lobster hangs out near your gardens. You'd like it to be there every time you look for it. Sure it might vanish after a few weeks. But it should be somewhat consistent. The player should see consistency in the things that are notable.

    Building any sort of game is a complicated business. I realize it's hardly as trivial as I might make it sound. :)

    We already have a lot of these things in the game. Coding and animating the behaviors is probably going to be the bottleneck, so that's why it won't be "easily expandable".
  • joohoo_n3djoohoo_n3d Join Date: 2012-10-30 Member: 164703Members, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Supporter Posts: 216 Fully active user
    sorry...has anyone mentioned the importance of a (not a luminance texture) real-time sss shader yet? ...i mean, other than myself. oh how i dream of the day...
  • joohoo_n3djoohoo_n3d Join Date: 2012-10-30 Member: 164703Members, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Supporter Posts: 216 Fully active user
    edited December 2013
    ps. branching L-systems ftw
  • willow512willow512 Netherlands Join Date: 2013-12-17 Member: 190203Members Posts: 31 Fully active user
    SteveRock wrote: »
    We already have a lot of these things in the game. Coding and animating the behaviors is probably going to be the bottleneck, so that's why it won't be "easily expandable".

    Can't wait to see what you guys have come up with. :)
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    Whats wrong with underwater levels? I found the sunken frigate in Metroid Prime quite enjoyable (after getting gravity suit of course).

    How about instead of swimming we have thrusters like in Crysis or the aqua-jet-thing in metroid prime 2?
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


  • TzudroTzudro Miami, FL Join Date: 2013-12-31 Member: 191181Members Posts: 20
    edited December 2013
    I personally find it very refreshing to finally have a game focused on exploration as opposed to combat or story. I mean you can have a story, but it would be best I think if it were a sort of background thing as opposed to an invasive immersion breaking thing.

    Like if when you begin the game, your mission (if it is one) isn't even explained. It's just a thunderous send off from the space colony's citizens and a final "Be careful down there." from a person in a vaguely nautical uniform before they detach your sub aquatic vessel which plummets screaming through the atmosphere before plunging into the endless blue.

    You know you've been sent here. But why? Make up your own story.
    Reconnaissance for colonization? Sure.
    Military survey? Why not.
    Research expedition? Yeah.
    Ultra rare vacation? Cool.

    Even that's sort of irrelevant to me. It would be great if the game began with a door opening and you walking into the control room and just traveling into the deep.

    Maybe you start out at a huge dock where you get upgrades, then upgrade to a floating colony, until eventually you're either self sustained (my favorite) of there is a sub aquatic base you can go to for upgrades.

    I just hope it encompasses all kinds of seascapes, conditions, and life. I want a game I can just get lost in. If I want to build the biggest, baddest vessel, I can do that. If I wan't to reach the heights of technology and knowledge on this planet, so be it. If I want to make a comfortable little vessel and just cruise around the endless ocean for months just looking at stuff, perfect.
    SteveRockNebuscelousAurOn2
  • ResRes Join Date: 2003-08-27 Member: 20245Members Posts: 626
    That kind of game might be alright for a little while.... but would quickly get monotonous... most people would stop playing the game in droves.
  • TzudroTzudro Miami, FL Join Date: 2013-12-31 Member: 191181Members Posts: 20
    I disagree. I think the devs have the right idea, to make it really diverse and give it potential to be always changing, always new. If you like traveling in a strange place where everything is different and new, it will never end.

    People don't get bored of sports somehow (I don't like them at all). It's always the same game, just a little different each time with where the players go. That to me is insanely boring. But people keep watching it.
    Nebuscelous
  • SteveRockSteveRock Join Date: 2012-10-01 Member: 161215Members, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer Posts: 486 Advanced user
    Tzudro wrote: »
    I personally find it very refreshing to finally have a game focused on exploration as opposed to combat or story. I mean you can have a story, but it would be best I think if it were a sort of background thing as opposed to an invasive immersion breaking thing.

    Like if when you begin the game, your mission (if it is one) isn't even explained. It's just a thunderous send off from the space colony's citizens and a final "Be careful down there." from a person in a vaguely nautical uniform before they detach your sub aquatic vessel which plummets screaming through the atmosphere before plunging into the endless blue.

    You know you've been sent here. But why? Make up your own story.
    Reconnaissance for colonization? Sure.
    Military survey? Why not.
    Research expedition? Yeah.
    Ultra rare vacation? Cool.

    Even that's sort of irrelevant to me. It would be great if the game began with a door opening and you walking into the control room and just traveling into the deep.

    Maybe you start out at a huge dock where you get upgrades, then upgrade to a floating colony, until eventually you're either self sustained (my favorite) of there is a sub aquatic base you can go to for upgrades.

    I just hope it encompasses all kinds of seascapes, conditions, and life. I want a game I can just get lost in. If I want to build the biggest, baddest vessel, I can do that. If I wan't to reach the heights of technology and knowledge on this planet, so be it. If I want to make a comfortable little vessel and just cruise around the endless ocean for months just looking at stuff, perfect.

    I think you have the right idea :)
    TzudroAurOn2
  • SeldkamSeldkam Join Date: 2014-01-01 Member: 191213Members Posts: 801 Advanced user
    It'd be interesting if there was a way to find some small ... trinkets or something to expand the lore ^^ I'm a sucker for lore so wrecks or fallen cargo from such a wreck could provide some insight into what the world is like outside? :D Though IMO the most important thing is making the game FRESH every time there is a new trench, or a new reef. etc.
    NebuscelousSteveRockTzudro
  • COLSWEETOCOLSWEETO Join Date: 2013-02-26 Member: 183349Members Posts: 29
    Game sounds really interesting, can't wait to see some early screenshots/videos
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