New version of ROCK RAIDERS - update

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Posted

Thx MADMAN for the video, I'd like to explain the problem, if you have a small drill that removes say 5pixels of rock, then you get a gap that is 5 pixels wide, if you need  twenty pixels to fit a vehicle through, then the player has to dig in four places wide to make a tunnel big enough to fit through. Imagine as he moves across to drill one of these 5 pixel sections, that he moves just 4 pixels across, that will result in the gap being only 19 pixels wide, this can happen anywhere down a long tunnel, or worse at a curve or bend, so when you vehicle tries to fit through it works fine for some distance then part of the way down it gets to a 19 pixel wide section and it will catch on the side of the tunnel by one pixel. Its probably not so bad for a small vehicle getting stuck in a small tunnel, but imagine you have a huge vehicle 500 pixels wide and it can't get through a tunnel because it is only 499 pixels wide, you will be looking at it and thinking it should fit through. Getting stuck is annoying and frustrating for the player, so its a better game design, to make gaps bigger than the sizes of the vehicles, so we standardize vehicles into set sizes, small medium or large, and only create gaps that are (bigger than) small medium or large, basically we dig out 'blocks' so paths line up, and the player doesn't get stuck - or at least it is obvious that they will, or will not, fit in a tunnel. In the video, you can see that the developers have coded it so you can't create rocks less than a certain size - the size of that pinnacle. That is their 'minimum block size' and any thing smaller than this 'explodes into rubble', this prevents thin slivers of rock being created, however the tip of that sliver in a tunnel, would still prevent a large vehicle getting though. its just a question of how small a block size you want to goto.


Currently the AI is served out on the first come first served basis, so the nearest Rock Raider, doesn't get the job, just the first in the line for new orders, I can see that checking the list of available orders and matching these with all the possible tasks, would improve the AI, these could be handed out more appropriately, and we should also add in outside influences, like monsters, so the nearest or best suitable will respond and then delegate their order back to the list for another RR. This is very possible. At the time, too many AI checks would have slowed the game down, but with modern processing power this would be easy.

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Posted

I can agree on that dig sizing issue. In Space Engineers, I'm always having the issue of not digging wide enough or the mesh just touches the area of building... it is annoying and I've ended up just building tunnels huge to avoid this issue when building.

 

How is the project progressing?

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Posted

... so I apologize again for the lengthy read.

Don't apologize, I like lengthy reads. It's cool to see somebody really discussing ideas like that. I don't really have anything to reply with at the moment (I haven't even really kept track of this topic in all that much detail, so I should catch up before replying with my own thoughts) but thanks.
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Posted

Good read. I totally agree about blocks. Tiles are the way to go (and the enemy of boats).

 

If the developers are looking for inspiration or proof of success of the stacked planes map system you (and others in this thread) suggested -- and please, don't lynch me for daring to mention its name -- Dwarf Fortress is a prime example. even if a game copies that system -- that's all it is, a system. Tiles are too generic and associated with too many games to bring about negative connotations when a player sees a game using them. Even if a game stacks planes on top of eachother, like Dwarf Fortress does, that in no way makes it a Dwarf Fortress clone (it'd need to add terrible ascii graphics and an atrocious user interface :). In all seriousness though, it'd need to do way more than to replicate just one of its countless systems -- Clockwork Empires, a 2D world system, is more of a DF clone than just a generic game with a 3D map system like DF's stacked planes ).

 

But I digress. All that's important on Planet U are sandwhiches and enery drinks crystals.

Yes. If there are not sandwhiches in this game, I will be severely disappointed in DDI.

 

Sandwhiches. And INFRASTRUCTURE for sandwhiches. Ooooh boy, whole complex daisy-chained interacting systems of sandwhich production mechanisms.

Route the input of one to the other, then link that there, and drop a few jugs of coffee on top for good measure. Don't forget Mama's secret family ingredient! Passed down through generation after generation.

 

Yes, Rock Raiders should be Sandwhich Simulator. Sandwhich Raiders. I like the name. Or maybe Rock Sandwhiches? Hmm...

Regardless, sandwhiches.

 

SANDWHICHES!!!1!

-------------------------------------------------------

Also, speaking of using stacked planes for a map, I went and dug this up:

An example implementation of what Polaris described.

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Posted

Interesting stuff, Polaris. I never really thought about the fact, that the system, that RR used was already pretty good and unique, but also expandable enough :).

I guess, that one solution for the multilevel stuff could be, that you would have two scroll systems. One for zooming in and out in a level and one system to scroll through the levels (e.g. one via the mouse scroll wheel and the other one via "CTRL and +/-", but I think, that customizable keyboard shortcuts are important, too). Although a small panel, where you can click on a level for fast access and/or for typing the number of the level could also be an option.

Depending on what you are doing more often (zooming in a level or scrolling through the levels), it's probably better to stick with the mouse wheel for the stuff within a level and using "+" and "-" keys for the travel through all the levels.

 

@addictgamer: Basicly the original game was about sandwiches. It just so came, that DDI had to use the license to make something about derpy miners in space, which were cursed to live as minifigs for the rest of their lifes, right ;)?

 

PS: Thanks for the Dwarf Fortress comparison / reference. That gave me an idea: How about: "RRU plays DF" ? I wonder, how long a fortress would survive xD.

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Posted

A large, logical, first post with hand drawn images to go with it?

 

O_O O_O

 

That was an enjoyable read Polaris

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Posted

Interesting stuff, Polaris. I never really thought about the fact, that the system, that RR used was already pretty good and unique, but also expandable enough :).

 

It was something that struck me when I was thinking about the direction of this future game. If you've got the name "Rock Raiders", and you intend on making a spiritual sequel, some things from the original have to carry over. Since they don't have licensing to use Lego figures, (or Minecraft elements for that matter!) there's only the gameplay system left to reincarnate. A "wall" system is where it's at!

 

Thanks for seeing eye to eye with me on this! I can only hope DDI does as well....

 

Also, Sandwiches FTW  :D

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Posted

I hope you stick around Polaris, because you've pretty much said what we secretly wanted but didn't know how to say it, and expressed it so coherently and impressively. That's a fine post. Please make more in the future.

 

Take note DDI, I think Polaris is right and you need to stick with LRR's form of gameplay. No one else does it the way LRR does.

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Posted

I hope you stick around Polaris, because you've pretty much said what we secretly wanted but didn't know how to say it, and expressed it so coherently and impressively. That's a fine post. Please make more in the future.

 

Take note DDI, I think Polaris is right and you need to stick with LRR's form of gameplay. No one else does it the way LRR does.

 

Thank you very much for the warm welcome! That means a lot, actually  :)

I fully intend to stick around and see this out. I wish I would have known about this site and community sooner because I think that everything you guys do here is awesome! Lego Rock Raiders deserves the cult following it has garnered because it was such a quality franchise, and I like to consider myself one of those followers.

I really wasn't sure what sort of response I'd get from fans of the series - mainly I was just spitballing ideas, but it's really cool to see that we all agree about most things. This is really important DDI! If we have all banded together under a general direction we would like to see this new game take, you should probably reflect this in your game - if you truly are making it for the fans, as the claim goes.

I haven't seen a post from DDI recently, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they haven't seen my first post yet - it would be really a shame if they just ignored it....

When it comes down to it though, I think I might be too late to this party. What I've suggested to DDI is something that is fairly different than their original intent and to go back on it now would be reversing progress. Only time will tell if I'm correct though....

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Posted

I know tiles are the way to go and yes i do want tiles, but there is a huge flaw in what Polaris just ranted about.

 

For starters, minecraft was basically a clone of Infiniminer, Minecraft is not original. So that rant didn't make much sense to me.

 

Tiles deserve to be in there because its nostalgic and sounds like rock raiders, and that blocks just don't feel right, why? Because minecraft and infiniminer did it so much it made me sick.

 

Tiles are there to stay, but still polaris, don't go around saying any blocky game involving mining is a copy of minecraft, because minecraft itself is really just a copy that includes more items and elements than Infniniminer.

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Posted

minecraft was basically a clone of Infiniminer, Minecraft is not original.

This is irrelevant. Minecraft is popular, that's what matters.

So that rant didn't make much sense to me.

…?

Tiles deserve to be in there because its nostalgic and sounds like rock raiders

*because they work and the simplicity of it makes the hardest part of making a custom map scripting the NERPS or whatever. It is questionable at this moment if you actually read Polaris' post.

and that blocks just don't feel right, why?

Because it is not possible to get a big bulky ANY vehicle, such as that the equivalent of a Chrome Crusher, through blocky terrain? I thought this had been established already.

but still polaris, don't go around saying any blocky game involving mining is a copy of minecraft, because minecraft itself is really just a copy that includes more items and elements than Infniniminer.

So what do I call all the Minceraft clones, then? The people who copy Minecraft do it with the intent of copying Minecraft; For all I care, they don't even know Infiniminer exists. (And they probably don't considering they were stupid enough to think they could get money from a Minecraft clone in the first place.)

 

The only similarities I see between Infiniminer and the other is the basic concept - Manipulating the environment and mining for resources.

 

I hope you understand what I'm at here.

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Posted

<snip>

TL;DR: If you think minecraft is a clone of infiniminer, refer to Flappy <$NAME>.

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Posted

For starters, minecraft was basically a clone of Infiniminer, Minecraft is not original. So that rant didn't make much sense to me.

 

You've missed the point by a mile... and while trying  to somehow point out a so called "flaw", you instead reinforced one of his points in your own post.

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Posted

Thanks guys, you've helped elaborate well!

MaelstromIslander - you're misunderstanding is valid! Let me try to explain myself better for you.

I know tiles are the way to go and yes i do want tiles, but there is a huge flaw in what Polaris just ranted about.

 

For starters, minecraft was basically a clone of Infiniminer, Minecraft is not original. So that rant didn't make much sense to me.

You are correct! Minecraft is not 100% original! In fact, if you look around these days, few things are  :P  Even the original Rock Raiders game wasn't all that original when it came out - but the biggest thing that you have to take in is the cultural impact of these titles.

Let me start with an example: I want to make a game that features blocks of different shapes and sizes that "fall" from the top of the screen and can be re positioned and rotated by my controller so that they fall into perfect rows at the bottom of my screen, and when they do so, they disappear. "But no", you say, "you can't do that! That's Tertis!". And you're right.

I guarantee you that Tetris was not the first game to feature moving blocks as its main gameplay mechanic, but because it is now so well established, its impossible to avoid. The difference between copying Infiniminer and copying Minecraft purely comes down to cultural impact. If you walked up to a middle aged man or woman on the street and asked them if they'd ever heard of Minecraft, chances are they'd say "yes!". Some might have kids that have it. Some might have meetings with other parents in the neighborhood discussing the addictive powers of said game! (This really happens!). If you posed the same question to the same demographic although this time asked about Infiniminer, you'd likely get some puzzled expressions. It's a much less popular game. This makes sense.

The sad reality is, even though Infiniminer, and many others, did it first, Minecraft did it best, if we only take cultural impact as our qualifier. It's not fair, but the bus has now left the station for any future game looking to jump on board the same band wagon - it's too late. Minecraft won. Just like Tetris did so many years ago.

 

I honestly hope this helped clear things up so you understand where I'm coming from better! We're basically arguing on the same side regardless though. This is just discussing the fine details  :)


 

minecraft was basically a clone of Infiniminer, Minecraft is not original.

This is irrelevant. Minecraft is popular, that's what matters.

I had a big grin across my face when I read this - you understood me 100% Car CrazeXVI!  :D

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Posted

Hi Polaris, I hadn't seen your post until now, but I think it is excellent, it makes a good argument for keeping the game in horizontal planes, in response, I would disagree that blocks make it Minecraft, as Minecraft was not the first and has not been the last, there have been many succesful games since that have, and do use blocks, however, the good news is that we plan to do a 'remake' of RR with classic horizonal levels, at least initially and then we will see how it goes for future expansion. I do like the idea of levels and ramps - this would be easy to identify which 'level you are on' and detecting the position of a vertical ramp adds another seeka nd find element to the standard game, this is just the sort of constructive concepts I hoped toget with getting more brains looking at the problems! thanks.  

 

P.S dont listen to people who say to keep articles short, if it is interesting and well written, people will want to read it, I think your article proves that.

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Posted

I would disagree that blocks make it Minecraft, as Minecraft was not the first and has not been the last

So do you plan to keep the blockness looking like Minecraft, which is what it looks like in the current images, or do you plan to make block tiles which work more like this here (Image of Blockscape) which are much nicer?

I'm curious because the current images which look like Minecraft really turn me off (and yes I'm well aware MC is not the first game to be blocky like that).

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Posted

The levels will look most like the original Rock Raiders, I can't yet point to a picture, and the site shows no pictures yet, because we simply dont have any levels designed or rendered. The level with what you call a minecraft level is on the site clearly stated as 'concept' if enough people like this then we will do a series of levels like this. I can see no reason why we can't have 'classic' levels to start with and then bring out an expansion which lets players design and play 'minecraft style' levels - lets get over the petty arguing, we can have both, and if you dont like a particular style then DONT PLAY THAT LEVEL !!! 

 

Being a producer on a game, is often (very often) referred to being alike to herding cats, as in "they all want to wander off in the direction they like" a producer has to pull the team together and give it a focus, it can't be done without the co-operation of the rest of the team, so it does require everyone at some point to man up, to put away their person preferences and realize  that the final goal, a finished game is what we are all after and that is what you all need to focus on, I guarantee that it will not be 100% of exactly what you want, or even what I want! but no game ever is because no two people like exactly the same thing. Embrace the difference, you honestly dont know if you will like it until its finished, and my experience is that people who HATE some detail in the concept, often end up loving it in the final game. So lets pull togther, focus on a finished project. 

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Posted

I can see maybe one problem with the classic and Minecraft game styles. They're different environments that you'd have to learn to navigate and  work in. Also on a designing stance, you want the game to be fairly standard all the way through. It's not bad to introduce new things into it, but to change the world it takes place in isn't a good idea I'd think.

No, keep it one way and stick to it. Less work for you and will make less problems in the end, both in coding and community

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Posted

Love this idea of a new game.... (that 2020 at the end of my username wasn't a random number). I have to say, could the storyline have something unique to it, like the name, "Rock Raiders", it could be a name for them being one of several mining clans in the future! (But it focuses on the Rock Raiders though...) Perhaps they were the only ones brave enough to go out that far to look for resources as well. And if a creative idea of why the grid-mining layer should be their, I have an idea for that! (This all reminds me of "Dune" for some reason....)

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Posted

Hi Stewart,

 

Great to hear from you! I'm so pleased that you were able to read my original post!

I must say, my original concern upon posting it wasn't that you may disagree with what I had to say, (which is your own prerogative) but that you would simply ignore what I had wrote. Understanding and responding to the meaning behind my message means a lot to me - thank you.

In terms of your response, it tickles me pink to know that you are considering using the horizontal plane mentality! All other gripes aside, that was the feature that I wanted to see most. I also agree with your thought process on starting with designing a horizontal plane map first, then maybe moving onto a more block based map once you have the basics finalized.

As far as I'm concerned, these are all good things! I will likely keep in touch and keep offering ideas and such, perhaps by personal message, and I wish you and your team all the best luck moving forward with your project!

 

Polaris

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Posted

Hey everyone, this is my first post here (made an account to download and try out a couple mods a while ago).

 

Sorry for the long, disjointed post, but I couldn't let this go by without putting in my opinion.

 

 

 

I have to 100% agree with Polaris' criticism of using blocks.  If I may, I would like to add a few points to the discussion.

 

I think that you are spot on in saying that, even if it's not true, using blocks will make this game look like a Minecraft clone.  And that's pretty darned important.  To be honest, I'm having a hard time imagining how a block-based Rock Raiders game would look different from Minecraft.  Sure, RR would have buildings, but Minecraft already has usable blocks like the crafting table and furnace that function in a similar manner.  RR and Minecraft both have monsters, different tools, etc.  RR would have vehicles, training/upgrading rockraiders, and the RTS elements, but I'm not certain that this is enough to differentiate it from Minecraft and the other MC clones that are already out there (especially if the RTS elements of the game are not deeply expanded upon).

 

My other criticisms for the block system center around the fact that RR is, at its core, an RTS, and in no way do I feel that a block-based system is conducive for an excellent RTS experience.

 

I know that the block-based world is attractive as it seems to more easily account for verticality.  I don't necessarily believe that this is true for a top-down RTS (even if you have the option to go into 3rd/1st person modes).  In a block-based world, the player would still need a way to navigate the top-down camera from level to level, and I think that it would be even more difficult to this without making the world painfully confusing to navigate.  In a plane-based (I think that is the terminology people have been using) world, all of the levels would be right on top of one another.  In a block based world, some levels would be on top of others, while other levels would be halfway between.

 

The block-based system is great for building things.  This seems to be another main reason for supporting it, as it allows members of the community to easily make levels.  The game Rock Raiders, however, is not about building things; it's about management and strategy.  Players do not need a building system to enjoy the game.  Furthermore, while the block-based system may be accessible for level designers, there's no reason why the plane (or tile or wall) based system would be any less accessible.  In fact, I personally would find it far less daunting to make a map with a set of horizontal tiles on several levels than blocks positioned all over a 3d world.

 

It's also worth mentioning that processing a world made of individual blocks is not exactly resource friendly for our computers.  Minecraft especially struggles with a poorly optimized engine, but I think that this is an inherent problem in a block-based system.

 

I like Polaris' system of tiered planes.  There can certainly be more ways to get between levels than ramps.  You could simply use a zip-line down a 1-tile space for individual rock raiders, ramps of varying sizes for land vehicles, or simply holes in the ground for flying vehicles.  Players could build damming systems for water vehicles, as well.  There are plenty of possibilities, really.  If this system were used, I would prefer that the ground of one level would be the wall tiles/unexcavated rock on the level below it.  Thus, if someone mined away that wall tile, then the floor above would disappear, potentially harming rock raiders or destroying buildings that were placed on it.  I'm not an artist, but here's a basic plan of how a 3x3 tile space would look between 2 levels in a few examples:

 

X (Floor), W (Wall), O(Open space between the upper and lower level)

 

Ex. 1  Upper    Lower        Ex. 2    Upper   Lower      Ex. 3    Upper      Lower

        XXX      WWW                   XXO     WWX                 OOO        XXX

        XXX      WWW                   XOO     WXX                 OOO        XXX

        XXX      WWW                   XOO     WXX                 OOO        XXX

 

I think that such a system would make the tiers feel more connected to one another, and it would allow for level design that made base planning and digging more challenging.  Anyway, that's just my 2 cents on the block-system vs the original system and that which Polaris suggested.

 

I do have a few other things to say.  I read over the story section on the new web site, and I have to say that I do not like this nonsense about androids.  I think that you should keep the Rock Raiders human (even if they are cartoony humans that bear a strong resemblence to the Lego minifigure).  I simply feel that their being human, combined with the ability to name them, makes the individual Rock Raiders feel more important and meaningful to the player.  I don't see any reason to change that, unless it somehow helps prevent copyright/trademark issues (but I suspect that it does not).  In fact, I think that the story should still be a bit more pressing.  I quite liked that the original Rock Raiders needed to gather enough crystals to repair their ship and go home.  Mining with androids in space for...profit?  Or even simply just for the heck of it?  I feel like this takes away from any chance at a compelling campaign storyline.

 

I'm glad that this game plans to carry over all of the core Rock Raiders features.  This is a good starting point, and the site seems to indicate that there are plans to greatly expand upon the content that is included in each of these features (like additional buildings, vehicles, creatures, etc.).

 

Here are some other features that I would like to see expanded upon:

 

The Rock Raiders themselves: This is probably a given, but I would like to see rock raiders that look different (clothing, ethnicity, gender, etc.).  Maybe even (since this is science fiction) different alien races with advantages/disadvantages, sort of like what the indie game FTL does.

 

More/Tiered Training Options: It would be nice to see some additional jobs the RR's can perform.  I would also like to see tiers in each ability, such as Driving I, Driving II, Driving III.  I think that this would add to the feeling of progression (which is definitely going to need to be expanded upon if the levels are going to be larger).

 

Fully Functional 1st/3rd Person: The ability to perform all individual rock raider actions from the 1st/3rd person viewpoint, although I get the impression that this is already on the to-do list.

 

Difficulty: This is critical.  While Rock Raiders is a great game (and rather difficult for a Lego title), it is still fairly easy.  Most of it is simply a time-sink to explore and eventually get the required crystals.  The only truly difficult aspects of the game are lava, slimy slugs, rock slides, and oxygens (And those last two are only a problem for the first few minutes of any mission!).  Off the top of my head, I can think of many ways to add difficulty.  (1) Limiting the number if RR's that can be called down in any mission (I think that something like this is essential).  Basically, you only get 8 Rock Raiders for level 1, and if any of them die, you cannot call down any additional RR's.  (2) Making Rock Monsters and other creatures much more of a threat.  (3) Requiring ore or other resources to train/upgrade RR's.  (4) Losing resources spent on a structure when it is destroyed.  (5) Time limits on some missions (although this is sort of a lazy one, it can certainly work here and there).  (6) Limiting the number of skills that a Rock Raider can be trained in (e.g. once a RR is a driver, explosives expert, and geologist, he/she cannot be trained any additional skills).  This would also go a long way towards making each Rock Raider feel unique and important.  (7) Additional Rock Raider needs beyond sandwiches (maybe sleep, medical attention etc.).  These are all just examples, obviously, and I am simply welcoming to anything that adds difficulty to the game.  Remember, this game is 14 years old (I think), and as such, the target audience is probably 14 years older.

 

On a side note, I really like the idea for multiplayer!

 

Sorry for the long post!  I just wanted to get some of my ideas out there. 

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Posted

I made a hovering vehicle.
It is rather small, and only carries 1 person.
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I also have a couple of questions:
1: What program are the models made in, and also, in what format are they saved?;
2: Are there any requirements for textures? (format, size, transparency, etc...) &
3: How do you leave a comment and make an account on the website?
 
I would also like to help the development in more ways than simple sketches, so I would like to hear a way of sending in stuff I make for the game.
 
I also have a few suggestions:
​1: Drill-able floors and roofs, this would be in place to more easily get to other planes.;
2: A machine that can dig vertically and horizontally (sketches being made). &

3: Make the website less messy.

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Posted

How many people are currently working on this project?

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Hello everyone, I just joined these forums. The original RR game is probably my most beloved one, and the first one I ever owned. It did make me a fan of everything geology, mining and industry in general. I have great memories from it. When I discovered there are plans for a RR2, I knew I had to join and help somehow to make it a reality. I hope to be of help: I'll do my best to explain the most visual parts.

 

I have red Polaris' long post on the previous page, and I agree with the majority of it. While I would enjoy blocks, I agree that today there are too many block-based games, and most are seen as Minecraft clones. Freeform offers more opportunities, looks prettier, and while I don't picture RR2 to be completely based on freeform (see below), I think the game could greatly benefit from some of its characteristics, as I explain below.

 

Personally, I think keeping the original RR layout -grid, mineable walls- and combine it with a layer-based structure would be both awesome and would enable a lot of gameplay. And I say this because there is a good precedent: Dwarf Fortress. That game has extremely simple graphics, but the whole world (and it is procedurally generated on each new game) is divided on many layers. Many of them. Players start on the surface and are free to dig, dig and dig to hell and beyond (literally), making their own tridimensional fortress by digging and building each level. Moreover, as expected, you don't know anything about what could lie behind a wall or a floor. And if you are smart, you can tunnel around dangerous terrain such as water-filled caverns if you carefully probe their extension.

 

I believe such a solution would be both quite original and fitting for RR2. There could be pre-made caves and even abandoned mines, but the rest of the tunneling would be made by the players. No part of the world would be known unless first discovered, and there could be geological scanners to help find stuff. Add to that some pretty fancy graphics, and you have awesome worlds which can be very large on all directions, with those elements that are mostly vertical showing up on several layers. Imagine Moria, from The Lord of the Rings. Remember that big, vertical hole in the mines? Now imagine watching it on several layers, as if sliced, fully knowing your miners did that! And with a Sci-Fi look!

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