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  • Level Paths and Dynamic Barriers

    I've seen a few questions recently about dynamic barriers, how they effect progression through levels and how open is the open world.

    I decided the best thing to do was to take an areal screenshot from the editor and create a little diagram to help explain what it's like.

    **SPOILER ALERT** sort of... I don't really think this is a spoiler, you're going to experience it all in the first 10mins of the game anyway and it will look totally different when you're playing. However, if you're super sensitive about spoilers, this map is an overview of the first area outside of town showing all of the potential paths through it, the dynamic barriers groups and the location of breakable doors / walls. If you don't want to know anything about this, don't read any further and don't click on the link.

    So, essentially, this map shows all the routes you can take as you exit town and wind your way through the first area, currently named "Lower Crossing". There are three different locations you can progress into and there are multiple different paths you can take to each. Some of the paths will be cut off by dynamic obstacles in different places during different play-throughs. However, there is always a way to circumnavigate the obstacles and get to wherever you want to go via a different route. Level Path Map

  • #2
    What's interesting is that I feel a greater incentive to want to replay an area like this when I know it is hand-crafted and I will see a different part of it next time. It dips into that sense of wanting to explore something that's "over the horizon", rather than generating a new random thing. It's like the latter loses it's value in comparison.

    I can imagine building the paths and nodes is a bit of a brain-workout. It took me a little while to look over the potential paths and make sure it was always possible to reach the various exits.
    Praise the sun!

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    • #3
      It seems random map generation thingy . It would be great and this mean everytime fresh gaming . I think very good
      Collector's Co-op Expansion Bundle user was here

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      • #4
        I have the same thought Roros.

        The development of the dynamic barriers is something that I think puts Grim Dawn well and truly above and beyond the randomising that Diablo 2 had. The maps still look coherent, there is still a sense of exploration and wondering what path exists around the corner, and it presents me with a choice of direction. There is no one true path to follow anymore.

        The white dots on the water.... will they be creature spawners too? Or is that a water effect?

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        • #5
          That promises some interesting pathing options in the game.

          The map looks pretty too

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          • #6
            I generally like the idea, but am unsure how this will play out in this exact example.

            So for instance if I want to go south and the second from left red obstacle is active, will I have to take the north east detour to get to my goal? Can you talk a little about whether retracing my steps back will be a hassle if I have to take the long road every time?

            Will the dynamic obstacles be destructible from the other side so once I circumvented them, so I can activate a shortcut?

            While I'm at it, will there be a waypoint / town portal mechanic like in Diablo II so make revisiting areas easier?

            I have great confidence in you to make this awesome, these are just some points I wondered about.
            Last edited by Cerno; 05-12-2012, 12:21 PM.

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            • #7
              Was wondering the same thing Cerno - I presume that the different coloured dynamic blocks are linked together to ensure that not all paths are blocked (since it was mentioned there would always be a way to get to each exit point).

              I like the idea that we could destroy a block in we can get behind it though.
              "Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight."
              proud owner of both a Loyalist and Patron Edition key.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cerno View Post
                So for instance if I want to go south and the second from left red obstacle is active, will I have to take the north east detour to get to my goal? Can you talk a little about whether retracing my steps back will be a hassle if I have to take the long road every time?

                Will the dynamic obstacles be destructible from the other side so once I circumvented them, I can activate a shortcut?

                While I'm at it, will there be a waypoint / town portal mechanic like in Diablo II so make revisiting areas easier?
                From what it looks like, and from what I have read in other threads, the red and purple obstacles are permanent fixtures, while the green are destructable. If you wanted to enter Wightmire, it is possible that you would have to go NE and take the long route and, from what it looks like, you'll have one of two possible paths into that area (which is pretty cool).

                Also, I would be surprised if GD does not have some form of waypoint system like TQ. As for town portal, I'm sure they'll come up with something story-wise that allows that feature as well.

                As for the random barriers themselves, I think this is a brilliant way to keep the game replayable without getting too stale/predictable. Once of my only complaints with TQ was that it was the exact same map every time. Hopefully we'll see the same barrier feature in many of the underground/dungeon/crypt areas as well.

                Keep up the great work Medierra & team!

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                • #9
                  The dynamic barriers could be put into greater use. Just imagine in one playtrough you're going down a normal path fight some monters no biggy, BUT in a seconde playthrough imagine that old way you took is blocked and have to go all around a longer and more difficult path that leads and ambushes and traps and all sort of level designer machinations. wow this feature leaves me more pumped up than I thought it would!

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                  • #10
                    There's definitely big potential with this. If done poorly it could just turn out to be mostly cosmetic and inconsequential, but if done right with some forethought and planning, could do a ton to change the dynamics of the environment and keep things fresh.

                    Love the look of the level! Can't wait to get in there and kill stuff!
                    http://www.theflyingmonkeyapparatus.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Counterbug View Post
                      The dynamic barriers could be put into greater use. Just imagine in one playtrough you're going down a normal path fight some monters no biggy, BUT in a seconde playthrough imagine that old way you took is blocked and have to go all around a longer and more difficult path that leads and ambushes and traps and all sort of level designer machinations. wow this feature leaves me more pumped up than I thought it would!
                      This exactly this!

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                      • #12
                        You can't destroy the barriers but generally they don't put you too far out of your way. In the case of wanting to get to Wightmire, you can also quickly get there through Hallowed Hill, which is just a little mini-area. There are riftgates (our name for teleport portals / waypoints) at the beginning of Wightmire and the Abandoned Waterfront. We've made them far more frequent than in Titan Quest because we want people to be able to easily revisit and replay areas they enjoy.

                        This is also just the starting area, some areas have even more extensive use of dynamic barriers and breakable objects. The farmland environment, which has tons of fields enclosed by stone walls has many different dynamic barriers and possible paths, which really change up how you progress through it.

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                        • #13
                          Dynamic barriers is one of the most innovative ideas I've heard. As I've read all the thread, something came up in my mind.

                          Dynamism is so nourishing that you can use it in such a way that different sets of dynamic barriers may be devised so that much more possible outcomes are available. By different sets, I mean the localization of the barriers.

                          With simple probability maths, (3,2)x(2,1) gives us 12 possible routes. If there are two sets of each (red and purple), that would double it. On average people can keep up to track of 8 different patterns at most. Any possible outcome value higher than 8 will keep most of us unaware of going the same route while replaying. A value higher than 12 would be sufficient for those with higher perception and faster memory.

                          You can either raise number of dynamic barriers, or the number of dynamic barrier sets, or dynamic barrier sets with different localization.

                          In order not to make players swirl around those barriers or sets have to be tested manually first I think. Otherwise, unpleasant routes may come out.
                          Last edited by oyalinkaya; 07-17-2012, 07:54 PM.
                          I wov, George Bernard Shaw, I'll be as irrational as one can be. Innovation and advancement shall be eternal...

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