Playing with some digging ideas…

This week I have been playing around a lot in Photoshop trying to figure out the digging system of Optera. I have come back to this area of the game play many times in the past year or so. I have cycled through a lot of different ideas but I believe one makes the most sense.

Without going into too much detail I am playing around with the idea of a grid based system of various soil mediums. This will hopefully give the player a lot of freedom to create many nest types.

The idea is very early in its design stage but I have thrown together an image to help me visualize the concept.

digging_concept_silhouette

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7 Responses to Playing with some digging ideas…

  1. Zermat says:

    Great work man! I’n following every step of this incredible game always with excitement!

    Good luck 😉

  2. robin says:

    Nice work, this game is gonna be great and i love the idea of digging tunnels and stuff.
    I am curious whats next =)

    Good luck

  3. Kai says:

    Just my two cents:
    make out world 3D, but restrict camera to a horizontal plain. As camera moves horizontally, it should point slightly downward to the ground at a fixed angle alpha. the plain can be elevated or lowers as need, and alpha changes as elevation change according to a formula.
    Separate out world view and nest view. Nest view can be toggled by double clicking the entrance or pressing a nest icon in the tool bar. Make nest vertical 2.5D. Also let player design the nest and let the ants do the digging, restrict the nest design somewhat to make it look natural. For example, in the nest view, player can click a design button to toggle “nest design mode”. In this mode, the player can mark out areas to be excavated. Once the design is done, the player click “excavate”, and the ants will begin to dig(player can also order them to stop digging by click the “excavate” button again). Computer will take into account factors such as depth, chamber height, to determine the hatching speed of eggs or the efficiency at which many other in-nest tasks will be performed. Ants will also have trouble climbing shafts too steep. In this way, how good a nest design is will be reflected in gameplay.

  4. Cawdeen Cawdeen says:

    It seems we have very similar ideas. As an addition to what you were saying, I would also like players to be able to zoom in and out in all views. There will be a large variance in the size of insects and zooming will help players see the smaller ones. The nest view would zoom on the horizontal plane, while the outside view would zoom on that 45 degree angle you were talking about. I also plan on there being a 3rd “level” to the game world: players will be able to explore in the branches of all of the trees. This level would use a view style similar to the nest view. Concept art (created using game art) showing this layer can be seen on the “Media” page of this website.

    Nest management is still early in design so any ideas are greatly appreciated. I would like to incorporate temperature and humidity as a factor in egg and larvae health.

    Thanks for the input Kai.

  5. robin says:

    so… i know the game is still work in progress but when can we expect something like a alfa version or the full version to be released? i am looking foreward to play this game =P

    • Cawdeen Cawdeen says:

      I do not currently have a release timeline. I am trying to get the bulk of the concept and design out of the way before I begin forming a small team for the bulk of the development. When that time comes I will also be creating a forum so that Optera can begin to build its community. Interested parties should subscribe to the newsletter and check back regularly.

      I also am thinking about getting a prototype of one aspect of gameplay put together when I feel confident in the design of that part of Optera. This prototype would probably be publicly available to provide feedback.

      I am also looking forward to playing Optera!

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