I'm really loving this game and I've got some requests! My requests were prompted by Zep himself. He stated in his blog that the alpha build was released with the intention of allowing the game's development to be directed by the players. Right now there are a lot of things people are requesting that will be covered by the addition of character customization, enemy customization, and power-up customization. The first two features Zep has already said are in the works and I wouldn't doubt that power-up customization would be far behind those. I'm looking more towards features that would make the game's editor more robust. I think the best way to do this is to aim at emulating existing game's gameplay mechanics. If you can re-create popular games then you can use the engine's toolbox to create any kind of game you want. That's what voxatron should be: the ultimate mash-up/retro gaming/cooperative building/voxel game engine. I think a goal for Voxatron (and I also believe this is true for Minecraft) should be to emulate as many existing gameplay features as possible. If some people don't want these extra options they don't have to use them, but I would love to have them.
My personal vision (which is just a fun example) of what the official adventure mode can become:
You're the Voxatron robot in a action RPG-esque world that mixes the modern day urban/suburban with surreal Katamari Damacy like elements. There are streets, shops, and people, but there are also giraffes driving cars and aliens in the park (whatever!). The robot completes the game by going to various character's and locations in the game to play through minigame levels, possibly unlocking features/items/characters as they go. The robot can play the minigames by interacting with objects in the games “real” world like arcade cabinets, consoles, characters, and ordinary objects like bicycles and comic books. You interact with those objects, they ask if you want to play their minigame, you say yes, and then you're transported to a new level with unique gameplay elements. You beat the minigame and you're back in the “real” world with more areas and minigames unlocked. Beat the game by unlocking the big (difficult) final minigame.
-A destructible/indestructible toggle option for all objects in the editor.
This can profoundly expand gameplay and level development.
-A far enough "render distance" (or whatever you would call it) that we can't see the voxels being generated and erased.
I've read far enough back into Voxatron's early development to know that the "dispaly cube" style was a deliberate choice made by Zep. I think that the way the game world is displayed now is a great option (Think of entering a small house in an RPG and changing screens to a large interior with a black backdrop. Every RPG does this! Love it!) but I'd like further options in how the world is displayed. I'd also like the option to change the backdrop of the level itself from black (as it is now) to a static or animated voxel image (maybe even parallaxed?).
-Bounding blocks that separate a playable area from a non-playable graphical only area.
This could go a long way towards developing emulated/specific gameplay styles. To emulate Mario Brothers style you make your level run horizontally and limit the character's and enemies playable area to a very thin strip only a few voxels wide. Oldschool side scrolling! Just make an invisible block in the editor that's indestructible and passes through all existing models. They'd move through a 3d world but retain 2d gameplay that you could switch back to 3d in a specific area of the level just by removing the bounding block or replacing it carefully. You can also do a death collision block!
-Custom camera angles for levels.
Even if you limit this to just one alterable angle per level, the benefits would be significant. If you can make the camera angle rotatable in-game with no loss in speed and playability--do it yesterday (please!)!!!
-NPCs and dialogue trees.
Character's, signs, etc.
-Larger and more customizable level size limits.
It would be a blast to have a large enough level that you're not worried about hitting the edge. I'm all for making specific level areas with gateways to other levels as opposed to making the world one endless and open plane. That kind of Zelda gameplay is great! I just want bigger levels. :) You would also be able to make long, thin sidescrolling levels or any other variation you would need.
-“Actors” with specific platform, vehicle, and other gameplay functions besides enemy or NPC.
Platforms that fall when you touch them and then get back up. Platforms that spring you into the air. Block that push and pull. Spikes. Basically that stuff that modders have put into Minecraft, but MORE!!!
-Anything else that would open up further game mechanics and elements to the editor.
Just as I said before!
That's it for me. This is just my two cents! Take it for what it's worth! Can you guys think of anything else? Thanks!
P#3186 2011-11-06 01:29
P#3193 2011-11-06 02:39
The possibilities are endless and the rpg idea covers ground that is already taken by powerup, weapon and moster editors, but in any form, it would make the game much more enjoyable and also make the level creation much more chaotic and more difficult to balance.
Regarding your idea, it is a good one, but you can just make one map with flecks of woods and vilages and rivers and as you walk on a village or wood, you enter an arena, right? The only drawback now is, that you could destroy mountains in the big world map, but if you make this map only two voxels high, I do not see any problems.
Also you could draw a huuuge map and let people make the local maps, make it a community project, this way it could be epic quickly.
Either way, I think the dialog or any kind of a option for storytelling will be the most important addition. Great times ahead, surely.
P#3195 2011-11-06 03:04
I think if you expand the functionality too far away from standard Voxatron you lose the virtue of simplicity. And things like the single camera view, and the restricted palette feel like a deliberate restriction to me. It would be easy to change them, but if you customise too far you're going to lose that specific Voxatronny flavour. I think that within the scope of this project it's wise that the Voxatron level editor remains the Voxatron level editor, and not a general-purpose voxel engine.
Don't get me wrong; there's plenty that still needs to be added - the monster editor being top of the list - but I also like how all the maps have certain things in common.
P#3197 2011-11-06 03:07
Yeah, I completelly agree, but where would you stop? I agree about the camera view and I strongly agree about the color pallete.
But what about solid non destructible blocks? Npc's and dialog? Items? What powers can powerups have? What about script support?
It would be great if voxatron kept its identity, but as with all gradual processes, it is pretty difficult to see the precise line, what is too much.
Luckily, I am sure about Zeps sound judgement. Look at the game. The man knows what he is doing.
P#3199 2011-11-06 03:19
I'd personally like to see plenty of flexibility for item and powerup customisation for sure, and NPCs hopefully with the monster editor. I imagine that solid non destructable blocks would require changes to the basic structure though, as the scenery voxels don't have any material properties. I guess you could potentially make a custom actor to be your indestructable object if you needed one? Like a monster that is just a harmless block, with unlimited hit points.
P#3228 2011-11-06 07:45
If you know anything about how modding in Voxatron will work in the future please dish! Exciting!
@Anthony and Oldow
That's exactly it! (Also like those ideas Oldow!) Since Minecraft began its development and people began skinning and modding I thought that they didn't quite realized what they had. Minecraft is still a sword and sorcery game where people make giant player pianos and complex logic gates with simulated circuitry. It's kind of outgrown its genre and the modders are hitting their head on a ceiling. I understand the concern that Voxatron could do the same thing.
I don't doubt at all that big companies like Valve and EA have frantically been making their own player content creation games since the beginning of Minecraft's popularity. Now Terraria and Voxatron (not to mention straight-up derivatives like Fortresscraft) are making big money fast. As much as I love games like Voxatron I can't help but wonder what kind of AAA monster is lurking out there waiting to be announced.
My point is, there will probably be a big expensive game that has every feature know to man and menus that play like the Sims or Spore, but this isn't it. I specifically suggested bounding blocks, camera angles, NPCS, and all the rest as a very limited set of “bang for your buck” features. You shouldn't be able to upload mp3s for music and sound effects. You shouldn't be able to turn Voxatron in to a Real-Time Strategy game. What I'm suggesting is giving Voxatron all the tools it needs to recreate most 8 bit console games as well as a few 16 bit console elements. I don't think Voxatron is close to the feature list it needs, but it's refreshing that I can imagine the limit to that feature set.
What are some more of those bang for your buck features?
P#3231 2011-11-06 08:04
P#3235 2011-11-06 08:44
Very interesting... When I first saw the preview videos for Voxatron I told myself that if it came down to it I would suggest that the developer zoom in on the screen and tilt the camera up until the black disappeared. I'm hoping that even if there is a limit that it can be coded around. Minecraft modders have done some seriously impressive alterations that were thought to be impossible or at least impractical. Fingers crossed! (I realize some things like this just aren't possible, but I really don't know enough about it to feel too pessimistic.)
Also, not a coder by trade so game development, even with an existing engine, is not really an option. Thanks for the info though, I'm really interested in the development of these projects!
P#3241 2011-11-06 09:05
Thanks for the technical info, even if it is an assumption! I'd been wondering what engine this game was running on, since I don't really know much about voxel rendering myself. I didn't know if there even were any easy voxel engines like that out there; I thought that Zep might even had built an engine from scratch! I'll check out Voxlap, looks interesting.
P#3271 2011-11-06 13:09
I assumed that it was the voxlap engine because the console of the voxatron editor has the same name as the voxlap model editor: ''VOXED''.
It's quite interesting that this engine is built from scratch. Coming to think of it, the shadows and everything overall looks too smooth for it to be the voxlap engine.
P#3284 2011-11-06 14:34
I mean, we should avoid hard-coded behaviours as much as possible. Things like NPCs shouldn't need more than just the simplest custom actor and triggers activating some text. Both of which are features that I believe are already planned. No need for a specific mechanic for NPCs. Just make it general so it allows for multiple posibilities.
Also, I think the limits in the room size garantee that the memory usage is small and that level will be simple and structured, divided by rooms. If there's something I don't like in minecraft is how laggy it is, voxatron runs great on my notebook and I hope this doesn't change too much.
What I think nobody has said yet is that currently there's no way for a door to teleport the player in a specific position of a specific room (I mean, a position diferent from the single one set up for the room). Right now if you want the character to wander back and forth between rooms (something you'll need for sure in a RPG kind of game), you either have to make a copy of the same room for each entrance you want to appear next to, or just make the robot always appear in the center of the room no matter what door did it come from.
Also, currently it's not possible to teleport between different parts of the same room (the portal level, for example, has to use two copies for the same room to create the illusion)
P#3585 2011-11-07 22:13
Portal level creator here, turns out you can link new player spawn locations to item pickups. So I can place a diamond in front of portal A, and a robot in front of portal B, group them, and set the robot type to 'pickup'. That way when the player walks into the diamond at portal A they will respawn by portal B (which looks essentially the same as teleporting), which is a sort of quick fix for the problem (credit to Failbot for figuring that one out, -thanks buddy).
Now this doesn't fix your problem, BUT if global groups were introduced you could have multiple entrances. Failing that, I would like to see a new item type: red and blue diamonds, or 'entry' and 'exit' diamonds. Fairly self-explanatory, touching the red diamond teleports you to the blue one (which can be placed in different rooms).
In regard to the limited vision, I think dorino is right. However, it would be handy if there was an option to increase your field of view in the editor, -constantly dragging back and forth is confusing and disorienting (for me at least), and this wouldn't impact what you see in-game.
P#3609 2011-11-08 05:28
So I get the feeling that it's more than just a question of draw distance, it's a stylistic decision that everything in the game (including the HUD and menus) appears within this block of fixed dimensions.
Having said that though, the editor does break this convention, and yeah it would be handy to be able to view more of the scene in there, but no biggie.
P#3614 2011-11-08 06:42
P#3664 2011-11-08 18:20
I think the big question here is the limit of what Zep wants (which we should all respect, by which I mean not complain about). I've seen people requesting mini-maps, crafting (ala Minecraft and Terraria), chat, random world generation, team battles, first person views... Not a lot of what's been requested seems very likely to end up in a final game. We're all just spitting out one good idea for every thirty posted on the BBS (mine included). I think a good place to start this request discussion would be to have Zep explain a few of the limits, either technical or aesthetic, that he would firmly place on the game.
I think we need to improve the quality of our suggestions by working within the limit of what Zep sees as being allowable. If you don't like the idea of the game's development having limitations then get cracking on a mod! I would love the game world to stretch outside of the “display cube” but I doubt I'll ever see that outside of a dedicated mod. I can also see how many people would react negatively to the idea of questioning Zep like this. “Don't ask him to limit his vision!” or whatever. I don't think asking these questions is too unreasonable.
Based on the design that the game presents in it's alpha form, I'll make a few guesses here. I'm guessing that Zep wants Voxatron to remain an action-adventure platforming game. I'm betting that all of the development that goes into the engine in the near future brings us slightly better editor tools that will give us more of what we've already seen. I'll make some safe assumptions before these questions that...
-The “display cube” style won't change.
-The in-game camera setting won't change or be editable.
-Custom “Actors” that can be game elements like damage spikes, trap doors, disintegrating platforms, etc. will be a priority in the final game (this is probably a gimme).
-We'll get everything that's already been mentioned and don't have to ask for a thousand specific variations of the same feature. (Make a goblin enemy! Make a bat enemy! Make a gargoyle enemy! This is all covered by the promised enemy editor.) These announced features are customizable player models and enemy models. I'll even assume that custom weapons and power-ups, which haven't been announced, will be included.
-We'll get more features that are similar to what we've already seen. We have lava so we'll probably get some funky water and other similar features. More music, more atmospheric effects, etc.
Here are the best questions I could come up with. Without answers the quality of our suggestions probably won't allow for a lot of good feedback.
-Voxatron is a 3 button game. Move, attack, and jump. Can this ever change? Secondary attack, switch item, menu button, interact button...
-The power-up gameplay style doesn't allow for things like consumables that are inventoried or secondary weapons (like grenades or any number of other suggestions I've seen). Can this ever change? (I think this is the one feature that should get attention if nothing else does. The puzzle elements inherent to juggling multiple items and weapons alone expand the gameplay immensely.)
-The HUD only includes life, score, high score, and weapon information. Can this ever change?
-The weapons, enemies, and level dimensions are designed for a top-down action game. Will any vertical platforming, sidescrolling, or other styles of gameplay ever be a priority? (Basically, if you keep the display and camera the same, will you let custom level dimensions allow for more possibilities?)
-Will menus, dialogue, shops, currency, experience, persistent power-ups, equip-able items, or any other more complicated elements besides the sign seen in the official adventure mode make it into the finished game (without modding)?
-Will level size limits ever be larger?
-Will multiplayer, in any form, ever be possible?
I'm tapped out for now! What are some other good questions that are reasonably answerable?
If Zep has already DEFINITIVELY answered any of these questions please point me to the posting!
P#3707 2011-11-09 08:30
P#3788 2011-11-10 00:57
Read the vox.txt, we can now customise the look of the robot character :), per level.
This feature is not very discoverable, though. You have to use the 6th voxel bank and name the first object "_char", then the 11 first objects there would be the frames of the character animation.
I hope in the future you can do this in the actors tab, using a less obscure way that doesn't use vobs. And would be nice if it was possible to make the robot have custom graphics per room (so you can, for example, put him on a different uniform when he is on a miniquest of some sort, or rooms where you want it to look like he's mounting a horse or stuff like that but later unmount it).
P#3821 2011-11-10 07:28
P#3862 2011-11-10 13:53
P#3905 2011-11-10 21:51
So when new members visit Zep's BBS it wont look like it was spammed by a lot of people xD
P#4011 2011-11-11 18:53
P#4019 2011-11-11 20:27
Nice idea! I would tweak it a little to say that you can set a model to different kinds of sound and deformation schemes. I also think it should be flexible so it's not a particular color of block set to a material type, but the object itself. Make a clear panel object with white flecks to show it's glass and set its material type to glass. It can make a glass sound when damaged and instead of coming apart block by block the whole object will shatter when attacked. Make a lamp post out of two objects put together. One made of "metal" and another made of "glass." when the metal is damaged it both takes away blocks and DEFORMS the model, "stretching" it and "bending" blocks instead of just removing them. Really fun concept. Don't know how practical or possible it would be to implement. I would personally take a lot more light RPG elements in the editor before these kind of cosmetic things, but the idea is still golden! Material types? Glass, metal, rock, wood (breaks into large pieces) , BUBBLE! (white, semi-transparent, any collision deletes its voxels and its voxels slowly decay on their own), slime (can be passed through slowly). What else?!
P#4031 2011-11-11 21:31
Some things that would assist in creating puzzles:
-environmental hazards (an object setting that makes it deal damage, or the ability to make entire objects 'pickups', -i.e. objects as triggers)
-movable/pushable settings for objects (think those large stones in the pokemon series: http://www.psypokes.com/rs/maps/seafloor1.png)
P#4046 2011-11-11 23:39
-environmental hazards (an object setting that makes it deal damage, or the ability to make entire objects 'pickups', -i.e. objects as triggers)
I was imagining this a good idea along with some way we could 'de-trigger' or otherwise make platforms crumble as well as appear, Whether by time or trigger or even touch. I'd like collapsible bridges! X3
P#4059 2011-11-12 00:55
-Make it possible to place NPC actors and objects just outside the renderable area, laterally and vertically.
players could make some interesting effects with this.
Example: make it rain monsters and make it so the monsters don't just teleport in all the time
-Make it possible to create recurring events, like summon "x" creature types every "y" seconds until key is found
- make falling voxels capable of hurting and/or burying actors. this could used to create traps
on the note of material types, maybe they could react to different siturations
i.e Rock will not break from pea gun but will be damaged by blasters
Adamantium (or some other material) will not be deleted by lava
Ice slowly disappears when snow effect is off
Wood voxels float
P#4348 2011-11-14 07:43
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