3 Dimensions, 3 Paths Forward

We are going full 3D

The 3D Island Environment in process

After much deliberation and planning, we think creating the island environment and characters in full 3D is the way to go. We’ve looked at the pros and cons of a 2D adventure, a 2.5D world, and 3D, and determined it would be easier and better quality to make the jump to full 3D.

This brings with it its own unique challenges, but also allows us to develop a lot more incredible additions and features to the adventure game. Alongside this, it opens up the possibly of having automated environment generation for a survival mode, which will be the backbone of adventure mode.

The Anonymity Dilemma

One of the biggest decisions we have identified in making this game is wether or not to make characters customizable or automated from a select set. From the start of this project we boasted about allowing players to customize and create their own characters. However, when individuals join an adventure game and see other players they know (and possibly have played with before) this can lead to unfair disadvantages and advantages in such a social game.

3D Island Avatar Mock-Ups, which will attempt to survive the elements and eachother!

The solution we had developed was to make game matchmaking anonymous: players that elect to join a game get randomly assigned; however, this still wouldn’t solve all the problems of social relationships, especially if the player pool is small (20-50 players). Ultimately, a decision must be made between 3 potential options, or combinations of these options:

  • 1. The MMORPG Model: Players will be allowed to create a unique character, and play in Adventure games with this character. If they have negative or positive relationships with others in a game, that will work against them or for them. This is similar to the relationships that multi-season reality contestants experience. Players will also be able to invest in unique skills and visual upgrades for their character (add new clothing, tattoos, hats, etc). The class the character belongs to is chosen during character creation. The class determines what abilities the character will have. Playing with the character will increase the experience of that character.
  • 2. The Fresh Slate Model: All players will be assigned a randomized character when the elect to play an Adventure game.This guarantees no prior relationships unfairly effect the social outcome, and in game decisions and relationships develop a unique arc every time. This will mean players will build on their “profile” but unique visual attributes of their character yet won’t matter. No Character classes! Players will get either a completely randomized character for each game they enter into or possibly create a personal avatar at start of adventure with no inherent abilities. If we implement ability trees, every player gets access to the same ability tree (hunting, cooking, fishing, etc.)
  • 3. Hero or Die Model: Players choose a class before each game and creates a character of that class for that game, but the character gets destroyed at the end of the game (vote out = death!) or wins and is turned into a “Trophy”. The class determines what abilities the character will have. Playing with the character will increase the experience of the class of the character. This model of play is similar to the game “Hearthstone”.

We’re looking for you input on this as well, so please comment here, or join our general discussion on the Islands of Chaos Discord.

2 thoughts on “3 Dimensions, 3 Paths Forward”

  1. What if users can customize their avatar, but that isn’t the avatar that appears to other users? I.e., when I login and play, my character looks the way I designed it, but what others see is a randomly assigned character that looks nothing like the one I designed?

    1. We’ve thought about that as well (character masking) and it’s something that could be done. One concern with that, is how it may break down the narrative and conversation (What if a blonde haired character is shown to others with Red hair? And someone says,”Vote for the red haired person… can’t remember their name”).

      If avatars are custom and saved, showing them with different names (Name Masking) may be just as effective, since multiple users can create similar looking characters. That’s something we have debated as well.

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