Realtime Day/Night system?

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Do you think Allacrost should implement real-time day/night progression?

Strongly Approve
6
50%
Approve
5
42%
Indifferent
0
No votes
Disapprove
0
No votes
Strongly Disapprove
1
8%
 
Total votes: 12
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Roots
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Realtime Day/Night system?

Post by Roots » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:07 am

This is another one of those ideas that I thought of a long time ago, but I initially turned it down because I thought it would be too much work and not enough gain. But now with the new advanced lighting system we have available in the video engine, it seems not only feasible to do it, but it looks so good it would almost be a shame not to.


So my question is, when the player is roaming around on maps/the world/whatever, should time gradually change so we have a visible day/night cycle? One RPG that implemented this system very well (IMO) was Dragon Warrior III, long long ago on the NES. Sometimes you could only do certain things/visit certain places in the day or night, like sneak into an enemy castle, or visit a zombie town. It was awesome and I loved it.


But should such a system be put into Allacrost? Off the top of my head, let me make a little pros/cons list here to get this discussion started, because I think much discussion is merited.


Pros
- Player can appreciate our lushious lighting system much more than they normally could. :bow:
- We can expand the world of the game by requiring certain things to be done under the stealth of night, or certain NPCs only available to discuss with during the day, etc.
- I think using such a system would bring the game another step up in realism and the player would feel more immersed in the world of the game
- We could experiment with changing the frequency and types of random encounters occured in the same areas during different times of the day

Cons
- It would require a little (but not much) more logic in the game engine
- It would probably require a lot more sophistication in our data files and scripts
- There may be certain places we want the player to enter under the cover of night/day, for atmospheric purposes. (ie, we want the player to enter a kingdon in the dead of night to see it being destroyed to pieces by an enemy army). If the player is on the world map and tries to enter the town at "the wrong time", what do we do?



That's what I can think of for now. I definitely want to hear as many opinions as possible about this and get an idea of how strongly you all support such a feature being included in the game. In fact, I'll make a poll so we can keep a record of who supports what.
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Rain
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Post by Rain » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:06 am

Its a must!  Especially because Roos is the man and could probably do it with little fuss and maximum aesthetic awareness.  
Some events should be time specific as you say.  I.E. Certain enemies should only come out at night and certain items can only be taken at night.  Yes! This idea could also lead to some really cool infiltration missions.

This gives me an idea.  We should have a special town that is only visible at night and call it the village of the spirits...OK I stole that from Spirited Away.  Anyways, we could add some really cool visual effects and make the music really creepy... The inhabitants could be mysterious creatures that give you special items if you achieve certain obligations for them...
Sun up and sun down could really add a lot to gameplay!

I believe sun up and sun down should be as dramatic as possible.  With a change of colors from, blue, to yellow, to orange, to red, to purple, to so on and so forth.  The sound of wolves could be somehow heard during the nightime and a I like roosters crow could symbolize the arrival of morning. This could really add to more immersive environmental impact.  Maybe different music should play at night Vs. the day?  

If a player enters a town or place at the wrong time, possibly just have some guards cordoning off the area until it is the right time or have the character mention something about not being to proceed until the time is right.
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

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Roots
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Post by Roots » Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:52 pm

Hmm yeah, I'm with you on all that. :) Another good thing is that this system doesn't have to be ready in the prologue release (because we control the timings throughout that module), so we have plenty of time to integrate it and work out the kinks. ;)
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Post by gloomcover » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:18 pm

Yeah, I must say I love Dragon Warrior.  Moreso then all of your precious Final Fantasy that everyone keeps bringing up.  At very least it was fun to go into the same town at night and see how everyone had changed.  Suddenly that tough guy in the daylight is having a bad dream and crying for his "mommy."  I'm giving the seal of approval to a day night system.
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Post by Roots » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:15 am

One problem we might want to address (or ignore) is with the use of shadows. Obviously shadows change during the day, but this would be pretty difficult to do for us since this is a 2D game and we can't just project them off of 3D objects (we'd have to hard-code the shadow + time of day information into the map file itself). I think we should probably just permanently leave shadows at an angle, and maybe reduce the darkness/transparency of shadows depending on the time of day. :shrug: Any opinions on this?


While I'm at it, here are some other issues with the real-time system:

> Do we want time to progress while the player ie exploring towns and dungeons, or just the overworld? What about in battles?

> Do we want to only two (day & night) 'distinct' time periods where the state of the game changes, or do we want to mave more than that (+ morning)?
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Rain
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Post by Rain » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:41 am

Roots wrote:While I'm at it, here are some other issues with the real-time system:

> Do we want time to progress while the player ie exploring towns and dungeons, or just the overworld? What about in battles?

> Do we want to only two (day & night) 'distinct' time periods where the state of the game changes, or do we want to mave more than that (+ morning)?


I am thinking this...Dawn, Morning, afternoon, dusk, night, repeat.  I think some days should be cloudy and some days brighter than others.  I think we should give as many different looks as possible to make the environments appear more organic and inviting.

I think time should stop when you enter a town or dungeon. Mainly for the purpose that if we choose to have NIGHT, MORNING dependent scenarios, this will give the player as much time and flexibility as possible to fulfill certain needs of that scenario without worrying that the new day will annoyingly come about before certain obligations are fulfilled.  
Like in Breath of Fire 2, maybe we could implement a special spell to bring about the night or the morning more quickly, or have special pubs where the party can drink a few pints and wait so that time can 'naturally' elapse without having to wait 2 hours outside for the appropriate time to activate the scenario...

That sounded way more complex than it should've but I think you will get the point.
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

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Post by roos » Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:43 am

Oh wow... This whole thread somehow slipped under my radar, maybe this was when I was on vacation or something. Anyway I'll reply to it now...

Edit: At first I was 50/50 on this but after reading one of Rain's posts above I've changed my mind to a definite :approve:

As for shadows, I think we should just leave them as they are during the day/night transitions and see how they look. If it looks bad then I can tweak the transparency so it's dependent on the brightness or something. I definitely don't think we should vary the shadow angles though because that'd be lot of extra work.

roos
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