Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead - Official Forums

Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead => The Drawing Board - Suggestions, Comments, and Future Plans => Topic started by: KA101 on March 03, 2014, 05:57:47 AM

Title: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: KA101 on March 03, 2014, 05:57:47 AM
Here's the shared dev vision for Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead.  It contains spoilers, for what that's worth, as it's kinda tough to discuss the world without them.

C:DDA Design Outline (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LhNpXGXmkPOxp_cp0-c9G7xqnihwApq-eZSa99exfcU/edit?pli=1)
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Zireael on March 03, 2014, 09:30:42 AM
THANKS for sharing this!
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: infectedmochi on March 03, 2014, 11:11:49 AM
Thanks for putting your time into this! A very good read, IMHO it could be expanded to include further development plans and lore (perhaps copy-paste from the lore thread with some simplifications?) but it's a good start.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Binky on March 03, 2014, 11:10:25 PM
Wow! I literally never thought that this would come into fruition and I am overwhelmingly pleased it has!!
Fantastic work and I completely agree with everything in there (as in, I think it makes coherent sense and fits with the initial vision as I knew it to be) and it's glad to have it written down.

Very interesting about the 'no items requiring precision machinery/advanced techniques', this is something that I very much wanted to see and I think it gives a great level of balance. It may need further clarification of what is and isn't allowed as I imagine many things will skirt the line - perhaps just adding a few more examples of things that are ok and things that aren't would be useful.

Really, again, great work and I think this will strongly help development.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Feckless on March 05, 2014, 11:34:26 PM
Bloody fantastic. That was a great read and I am all the more excited for everything you guys have planned.
It has been a great ride so far, and i can't wait to see what comes next. :)
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Bonevomit on March 06, 2014, 12:02:36 AM
Quote from: Casulclysm: Easy Days Ahead Design Outline
We neither need nor want competition for the “best” DDA player, and don’t even know how we’d define that.
No problem, obviously the best DDA player is me anyway. There's really no need for competition. After all, I don't want to humiliate any of you too badly.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Samscale1 on March 06, 2014, 05:51:32 PM
So it says that they player can help the fungus in future, would this also apply to triffids? And would it grant any major perks to the player?
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Bonevomit on March 06, 2014, 06:19:23 PM
So it says that they player can help the fungus in future, would this also apply to triffids? And would it grant any major perks to the player?
I like the sound of this.

Humans, triffids, and fungi all living in harmony.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: i2amroy on March 06, 2014, 06:37:26 PM
So it says that they player can help the fungus in future, would this also apply to triffids? And would it grant any major perks to the player?
I like the sound of this.

Humans, triffids, and fungi all living in harmony.
Well humans and triffids, or humans and fungi maybe, but triffids and fungi are natural deadly enemies of each other.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: GlyphGryph on March 06, 2014, 08:45:59 PM
If you look at the lore linked in the doc, Triffids and fungus ALREADY live in harmony (under the complete domination of the Triffid Heart, which functionally suppresses the spread of the fungus and its natural inclinations but uses it as a symbiote in limited capacity), and the Triffid will be more than happy to live in harmony with the humans as well! (So long as it has complete control over them and can find a use for them within the collective, the same way the earth trees live in harmony with the Triffids! The Triffids are just so inclusive and welcoming, so long as those it is welcoming are completely subjugated and their free will entirely subsumed!)

It is NOT living in harmony with the wild uncontrolled feral barbarian-like fungus colonies, though.

But this probably belongs in the lore threads discussions in the Library, the official threads there are a good resource, although everything in them is, of course, susceptible to change should we decide it better fits the design goals of the above document to change things, especially things that aren't actually implemented yet.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Goombah on March 07, 2014, 02:18:02 AM
... all of that sounds awesome. I look forward to the day NPCs and factions exist too. Insect Queen Mutation? YES PLEASE. Having my own hive would be awesome. xD
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Barzillai on March 10, 2014, 11:43:32 PM
In future versions I think acid puddles in acid rain should be an option that can be toggled on or off (they were removed for this version).

While some players may not have liked having their items destroyed, I'm getting irritated at all the wildlife corpses scattered about after every acid rain.

Plus it just makes acid rain that much more dangerous! :D

Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: pulsefrequency on March 11, 2014, 05:07:13 AM
first line in document: "We consider DDA ... low-intensity" LMBO i see it is defined further down but man... that was a laugh and a half, cata is anything but low-intensity imho hahaha thanks for posting i finally have found time to read it cant wait

" It should be just as possible to lead a slow and careful life in harmony with nature outside the cities as it is to make crazy laser-slinging assaults on superscience labs."
just as possible, perhaps, though hopefully not as easy. as long as the lore and reality arent butchered for the sake of "balance." real life is not "balanced.," nor is the zombie apocalypse right
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Kevin Granade on March 11, 2014, 08:36:36 PM
low-intensity means that the player has the option to manage encounters, unlike games where you are trapped in encounters once you engage, ambushed, or otherwise prevented from engaging on your own terms*.  if you dive into a town, yes you will be swarmed by Zs, but that's your choice, you can also proceed carefully or avoid conflict entirely.
*other methods include agressive hunger clocks, doomsday clocks or other time-based mechanics requiring you to proceed rapidly.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: pulsefrequency on March 11, 2014, 08:45:25 PM
yea after reading the whole thing i definitely get that, also a very interesting read, lots of stuff i didnt even know. looking forward to any improvement whatsoever to the NPC system and "Roving Hoardes"

i have always loved and preferred roguelikes for their strategic gameplay, as opposed to reflex or muscle-memory based. i also love the fact that with RLs, moreso than other genres, player skill, experience and knowledge, as well as general resourcefulness and intelligence play a huge role in gameplay experience

though i love me a good driver/racer or arcade shooter
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: SpaceKing on March 27, 2014, 02:01:56 PM
Nice to see your goals laid out. All I can say is please don't get rid of the goofy stuff; it makes the game colourful, even if you are going for post-apocalypse.

I'd say that the Growth and Survival stages are in full effect right now, but the latter two I haven't felt yet. Influence is a bit vaguely defined and seems more akin to Survival than its own stage the way you described it. With the term 'influence' I was expecting the beginnings of a community or following of NPCs. More than merely surviving, you begin to carve out your place in the new world; whether that be with the helping hand of a friendly band or the bloody berth of scorched earth. (I like alliteration). Somewhere between "I know how to survive" and "I am the mayor of Megaton".

Trancendance seems pretty accurate though; established bases, advanced science, all good fun. The term is interesting too; I'd imagine this as a whole new tier of personal enhancement. Either through your loyal followers, advanced tech, formidable arsenal or nightmarish form, turning you into some huge level of legendary badass. It'd be cool to cap the endgame with fighting the big bads of the apocalypse, like the Blob or Fungal Hordes. Boss-style encounters once you're kitted out enough.

Also I may be personally biased towards this, but being able to mutate your way to horrific perfection is always a fun prospect.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: i2amroy on March 27, 2014, 05:51:29 PM
Nice to see your goals laid out. All I can say is please don't get rid of the goofy stuff; it makes the game colourful, even if you are going for post-apocalypse.
Don't worry about that. At most we will probably be moving most of those items to an in-game mod type of thing, so that they are easily toggle able on/off for those who don't want them, but they will be remaining in the game.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: infectedmochi on April 03, 2014, 12:45:45 AM
Ummm... okay then. Yeah. I'll... think about that. ....Yeah.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Darkfirephoenix on April 12, 2014, 02:29:49 PM
Hrmmm.... I like the the Outline and I would really like a Faction system implemented as fast as it is possible (or am I reading it wrong?). And as far as I see my ideas aren't against the Outline that hard, (for question plese look in my thread: http://smf.cataclysmdda.com/index.php?topic=6068.0 (http://smf.cataclysmdda.com/index.php?topic=6068.0) and ask there) I would have to make only minor adjustments as far as I can tell. MAN! I really want the finished game, NOW! (where is my time-Machine?! :P )
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Hague on June 23, 2014, 09:44:37 PM
Okay, this is a thread revival, but I'm trying to be exactly clear on the theme here. The sense that I'm getting from the design outline is basically a cross of 28 Days Later, Transmetropolitan, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Am I missing anything else?
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: KA101 on June 24, 2014, 12:08:51 AM
Okay, this is a thread revival, but I'm trying to be exactly clear on the theme here. The sense that I'm getting from the design outline is basically a cross of 28 Days Later, Transmetropolitan, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Am I missing anything else?

Sticky thread is sticky, so feel free.

I'm vaguely familiar with the ideas behind 28 Days Later.  Never seen Transmetropolitan, and TMNT is something I played on the NES.  Can't really help you, sorry.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Hague on June 24, 2014, 01:22:47 AM
28 Days Later was zombies infected by a blood-borne virus. Not decayed, but rather people in a state of needless homicidal rage.

Transmetropolitan is basically: "High-tech, Low-life" The wonders of technology are great but the value of human dignity and quality-of-life are practically zero. Anti-heroism is the closest thing this world gets to 'hero' and nobody really cares about what day or time it is. It's basically all rampant victimization by authorities and the media that covers it up. Though, Transmet is farther in the future, but it's easy to see that the pre-cataclysm world is shaping up to be just like it.

As for TMNT, it's basically the premise of fast-acting body-changing mutagens. The Turtles themselves being a product of exposure to Mutagen. Also, the extra-dimensional invaders and space alien stuff :P
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: KA101 on June 24, 2014, 01:48:21 AM
28 Days Later was zombies infected by a blood-borne virus. Not decayed, but rather people in a state of needless homicidal rage.

Transmetropolitan is basically: "High-tech, Low-life" The wonders of technology are great but the value of human dignity and quality-of-life are practically zero. Anti-heroism is the closest thing this world gets to 'hero' and nobody really cares about what day or time it is. It's basically all rampant victimization by authorities and the media that covers it up. Though, Transmet is farther in the future, but it's easy to see that the pre-cataclysm world is shaping up to be just like it.

As for TMNT, it's basically the premise of fast-acting body-changing mutagens. The Turtles themselves being a product of exposure to Mutagen. Also, the extra-dimensional invaders and space alien stuff :P

Ah.

Zeds are an otherdimensional blob (as seen in the slime pits) using the bodies to get around.  I tend to think of mutations to non-zeds as happening more in the Parasite Eve line/timeframe, but I could understand how that might resemble the Turtles.  IIRC they were more full-body mutation rather than the piecemeal we have here.  (Instant threshold, more or less.)
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Hague on June 24, 2014, 04:05:30 AM
The mutagen had problems too. There were other, less successful applications of copies of the TMNT mutagen, if I recall, half-formed sorts of things, chimeras and the like.

Parasite Eve... takes me back to climbing the Chrysler building... only to be greeted by a relatively terrible ending :P
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Bumpkin on April 15, 2015, 01:41:52 AM
The doc says "No bad mutation chains because they're useless padding" but how would devs feel about one that was included purely for lore-reasons, to enhance the feeling of pre-Cataclysm dystopia? Something intended to work like Brave New World's epsilon class, a mutation which heavily gimps and retards you with literally no benefit ; but it comes with notes/documents scattered around the lab explaining that it was designed to create a sub-class of unambitious, short-lived, illiterate, borderline-retarded workers for the most menial labours? A class that would never grumble or protest or revolt against the ruling elites and waste precious resources being suppressed.

It obviously wouldn't have value to a player and I'm sure nobody will go around cooking Epsilon Serum, but it's inclusion could greatly enhance lore/atmosphere and remind people just what a pack of amoral bastards those pre-Cata scientists were. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: KA101 on April 15, 2015, 06:22:04 AM
Notes, sure, though that research would be spotty at best.  Actual mutations, no, because folks would be unlikely to take them.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Shoes on November 16, 2015, 02:22:43 PM
I searched "inventory" and "container", but that document has no hits. I know Kevin has some ideas developed for what he wants; assuming this document is still being maintained and pointed to as a content guide, perhaps something could be added in regards to that? I've also searched git and the forums, but the keywords are vague and a lot of stuff comes up.

I would love to say that I would work on it given a developed frame of ideas, but I think it would surpass my expertise :3
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: burgerpro on December 03, 2015, 06:51:31 AM
Will there ever be realistic landscape? Or everything will be flat forever?
I understand that it will require lots of work, complete rework of terrain generation, buildings, vehicles, npc and mob behaviour, but in exchange it will grant ability to make interesting vehicles (double decker bus, monster truck, giant robots, maybe even flying vehicles), grant ability to use landscape to hide/cover from enemy fire, make use of elevated terrain to scout/snipe enemies, design stuff with flowing water and lava, water wheels, etc etc etc.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Kevin Granade on December 03, 2015, 07:07:23 AM
3D map handling is being worked on, mostly by coolthulu.
Once that is fully working, many of the features you mention will be possible.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: ZoneWizard on December 16, 2015, 12:01:30 AM
3D map handling is being worked on, mostly by coolthulu.
Once that is fully working, many of the features you mention will be possible.

By chance anything like the current UnReal World game? It looks flat at first but gets pretty nice for stealth and archery.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: knightkat on November 18, 2016, 03:36:55 PM
Not sure if this is the best place for this question, but do you have any general design document outlining the underlying procedural generation techniques that are used? I'd also be interested in how the AI is implemented and the mechanics of the crafting system.

In terms of the crafting system I took a look at the data/raw/items section and was wondering if you were planning to implement any form of procedural system for that rather than an explicit list.

This is all just for personal interest more than anything.

Thanks,

KnightKat
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Kevin Granade on December 10, 2016, 11:43:25 PM
Afraid not with the procedural generation, frankly I wouldn't look to dda for a good example of procedural generatiin, it's all very as hoc and messy, there's not much in the way of solid theory behind it.
No plans currently to do any procedural generation of items, monsters,  etc,  it would be rather difficult to harmonize procedural generation with wanting to be representative of real world items.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Coolthulhu on December 11, 2016, 12:04:42 AM
It would be fine for crafted items, though.
For example, we have those kinds of spears: wooden (fire-hardened), stone, copper, knife.
For monsters, having templates like young, monstrous etc. would add some flavor to the game.

Due to lack of recipes, wool is pretty useless as a material. Allowing it to substitute cotton would actually allow making it useful.
Even if it was as simple as just generating a duplicate entry with cotton replaced by wool and tiny adjustments to warmth.

The items in the game are only as representative of real world as their uses are. If an item is made useless by game mechanics (but useful IRL), it won't be representative until it becomes useful. In this case, wool is useless because of limited recipes and mild winters.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Rising Star on July 17, 2017, 08:46:34 AM
So, hi. Just out of curiosity...how relevant is this roadmap now? As someone who's been playing the dev versions on and off for a few years, and I've been looking forward to the stuff past the basic Survival stage, like dealing more directly with stuff beyond zombies, maybe even getting to traverse the shimmering portals (or send in a drone, or something.) Or just more peaceful/non-combat interactions with the world, even, especially since NPC mutants are now a thing. Really, the thought of a gradual transition into a more fantastic game world is pretty exciting. Thanks!
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: Kevin Granade on July 21, 2017, 02:59:16 AM
Its still quite accurate (i just re-read it briefly) as far as our intentions for development direction, though some priorities have shifted (we dont have anyone strongly championing mutations or martial arts at the moment).
I'd have to spend some serious time to evaluate how soon specific features could be expected, and I don't have the time at the moment.
Title: Re: C:DDA Design Outline
Post by: End Transmission on July 31, 2017, 06:55:36 PM
"Low-intensity" is literally the dead last way I would ever describe C:DDA, but having read YOUR definition of it, I see what you guys mean.

I don't think the actual game is anywhere near there, because I've run 50+ experiments on trying to subsist peacefully in the woods that have ended with me being mauled to death by a zombie bear or smashed into chunks by a zombie hulk or had my legs melted off by acidic zombies in town looking for a gun enough of high enough caliber to prevent the former from happening or ripped apart by ants somewhere from point a to point b (I think you get my drift here) all of which is pretty fucking INTENSE, but I quite enjoy where the actual game is at, so I'll withhold my suggestions on how to make it "low intensity" in the sense you guys seem to mean it.

By the way, skimmed, did not read. Tried to avoid some of the spoilers while still getting a peek at the underlying design philosophy. Very interested in the world lore and how much of it can be learned in-game.