Day and Night cycle

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Day and Night cycle

Postby youngneil1 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:03 pm

With the concept of time implemented (see other correspnding post in this sub-forum), a day and night cycle might be possible. As we already discussed somewhat, a map could be replaced against an alernate version based on triggering an event (e.g. scorched lands afer a wood fire). This could be used to repalce a day map for a night map- triggering event woudl then be not entering a field, but reaching a certain time point.

Additionally/or fog of war behaviour could be different in the night. Already explored map parts could turn black again for teh night and only the field next to the palyer would remain visible.

Any ideas how to do the best/most interesting night illusion?
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Re: Day and Night cycle

Postby Lurking Grue » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:15 am

youngneil1 wrote:Any ideas how to do the best/most interesting night illusion?

I'd say the best and simplest way to show this is to vary the range of vision for the player's party. During the day, vision is clear as long as there are no obstructions; during the evening vision range starts to shorten (to, say, 10 tiles) around the party; as the night falls it shortens even more (to, say, 5 tiles) and so on. This requires no extra maps for differing levels of light/times of day and would still get the message across quite clearly. In addition, this same mechanism can be used in dark dungeons and other places where the range of vision is hampered by darkness, fog, magical mist, etc.

Of course, with illumination the whole Line of Sight issue comes to the fore. I'm not sure how LOS is going to be handled in IB, but what I read from the task list gives me hope. It reads as if a form of active LOS is going to be implemented. With active LOS, I mean the engine calculates LOS for each and every tile moved and for every entity (NPC, monster, etc.) separately, so that e.g. if a creature moves behind a corner it can no longer be seen as LOS to it has been broken, etc. Most roguelikes have pretty good LOS systems in place, I would recommend Jeremy take a look at them if in need of inspiration.

As to the time of day and how it could be shown, in addition to differing levels of illumination and vision range, I 'd say a simple solution would be the best here (to reduce the work load on Jeremy). I'd suggest a small "time of day indicator" in the UI, like something as simple as in Ultima 5 with a sun and moon icons moving on a short bar at the top. It can be made prettier if wanted (e.g. a sundial like thingy), but bear in mind it needs to be customizable as a sci-fi game would look pretty silly with an ancient sundial on the UI, for instance.
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Re: Day and Night cycle

Postby youngneil1 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:34 pm

Showing time of day (as well as date like day, month, year) in the hud/gui would be really helpful indeed.

LoS would also be great to have - I suppose we then would need different types of non-walkable areas (e.g. pits would be non-walkable, but not block LoS). Also doors e.g. would block LoS while closed, but not while open. Much to consider then.

Shortening range of sight, even with clear LoS, when it gets darker sounds right to me. Perhaps one could even enhance the effect by laying dark blue layer (of varying degrees perhaps, depending on evening/night our) over the map (like perhaps with weather effects). So sight range would be shorter and things in sight would appear darker, too (we would have to test how such a blue/dark layer looks and feels in then end, might also feel unfitting/artifical, hard to say now).

As gimmick (and nothing more, so really not important) a party with a torch during night/in dungeon might even get a special version of the party icon, i.e. one with a torch. Just an ambience touch.
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Re: Day and Night cycle

Postby Lurking Grue » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:06 pm

youngneil1 wrote:Perhaps one could even enhance the effect by laying dark blue layer (of varying degrees perhaps, depending on evening/night our) over the map (like perhaps with weather effects). So sight range would be shorter and things in sight would appear darker, too (we would have to test how such a blue/dark layer looks and feels in then end, might also feel unfitting/artifical, hard to say now).

Yes, that would be good. How easy that is to implement, no idea. But it would most probably look nice!

youngneil1 wrote:As gimmick (and nothing more, so really not important) a party with a torch during night/in dungeon might even get a special version of the party icon, i.e. one with a torch. Just an ambience touch.

Not just strictly for ambiance. If illumination is modelled, having a torch or a lantern should also affect the range of your vision in the dark/during the night.
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Re: Day and Night cycle

Postby Pongo » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:07 pm

It would be great if this could be implemented fairly simply (the blue layer idea). There are lots of ideas where a day/night system would be useful. Obviously atmosphere is one, but also for modules involving certain types of undead etc (done particularly in well in BGII). Didn't PoR have a day/night system as well? Not sure it actually did much (probably just shut the shops), but I think it was there.
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Re: Day and Night cycle

Postby youngneil1 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:25 pm

Yeah, night could be much more than cosmetic and relevant for LoS range (as could be the weather, as Grue already pointed about, e.g. freeze, cold, etc). During night random encounter rates (in case random encounters would be activated for that map at all) could increase, certain monsters could be stronger at night, certain abilities or spells work better or even only at night, NPC schedules and shop opening hours would be affected, city gates perhaps closed, cerain herbs might only be pcikable at night, certain quests might require night time to be solvlable, special scrolls/letters only readable in moonlight... lots of potentially intruiging stuff seems possible.
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Re: Day and Night cycle

Postby Lurking Grue » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:49 pm

This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so you've been warned, but as much as I like "simulationism" and immersion, I'm of the opinion that without NPC schedules, a day and night cycle is mostly irrelevant. In other words, if a CRPG has a day and night cycle, it must also have NPC schedules. It surely does not increase my immersion to see a day change into a night, but nothing really happens except the lighting changes. The blacksmith is still crafting his wares and the apothecary still selling his potions 24/7/365, and there are people standing on the town square in the middle of the night, etc. If you don't have NPC schedules, you're much better off with perpetual day. (And you can still have darkness in caves and dungeons if you want to show off your fancy lighting effects. ;) )

AFAIK from reading "el Grande Task List of Senor Jeremy", we're going to have both in IB. Great! At least, that's the current plan.
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