Monday, 16 August 2010

Project 1 Day 4 - Clutterizer 2000

So much for a day of rest, though today was a few hours shorter - 3 till 9pm, not 1 till 9 (ridiculously long blog posts not included). Today's time was mostly devoted to completing Level 1's clutter pass. I started with a list of the rooms, listed by letters which reference their matching rooms in the original map layout, and each had a brief description with maybe a note of particular features I wanted to include. For example, the top three looks something like this:
Level 1 - Lit

(No 'A' because A is the exterior on my map)
B - Complex Approach - motorbike?
C - Hall & General Stores
D - Cave Approach - traps!

Then I went from room to room using a mix of OPALs and the Object Window to add in first big clutter (desks, tables, chairs, lockers) then small clutter (pencils, paper, bottle caps, weapons and ammo).

So what problems did I come across this time? Remembering when to use containers instead of statics. Static versions of cupboards, desks, chairs and wardrobes exist in the game world but cannot be interacted with in any meaningful fashion. To be take loot from these pieces of furniture, you have to use versions of them from the 'containers' list. Easy enough so long as you keep that in mind, especially as there are pre-setup versions of most containers appropriate to different locations: if you have a locker in an office, it's likely to have different contents to a locker in a military bunker so in the former you would place a Locker01Office (which holds some caps and maybe some pre-war money and a finance clipboard) while in the latter you would use Locker01Military (which might hold some ammo and a combat knife instead).
Level 1 - Unlit

It also became apparent that so many similar, 10x10 rooms with a door on the SW side adjoining the West Corridor was going to make for confusing and repetitive level design. The corridor itself was largely a mass of doors with no plain space. Something had to change, so the middle room on the North side was removed. This also allowed for a patch of dimmer light in the corridor, giving the other doors - especially the one leading to Level 2 - more importance.

It seems I like to spend a little time on appearance and a little time on mechanics. The mechanics learned today were related to traps. Another quick look at a video tutorial and I was away. Including basic traps in Fallout 3 is a simple matter of copy-and-paste from a cell called WarehouseTraps, where everything is laid out for easy viewing. Clearly someone or some people at Bethesda think a little like me because that's exactly how I'd set it up. (Easier living through laziness, yay!)

Bear-traps are just copy-pasted in and away you go. Same for grenade-bouquets. Trip-wire traps are only slightly more complicated: place the wire, place the swinging skill/engine-block/girder where it will hit the player and they're going to be left with a nasty concussion. Shotgun traps are fiddly, though, as the exact positioning of the pressure-plate and the shotgun itself must be refined through a process of testing so the player is hit if they follow the predicted path.

Containers and traps

Right, I think that's everything. Tomorrow... yeah, tomorrow I think I'll have to add in enemies and navigation points for them. Ciao!

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