New Overworld for story mode

New Overworld for story mode

Postby BryanQuigley » 04 Nov 2020, 21:46

[Started](https://github.com/supertuxkart/stk-code/issues/4420) just talking about tweaks, but we could always make a new overworld for STK 2.0.

A basic concept (art/idea by my son who loves supertuxkart) of using 4 islands with bridges connecting them. The bridges would only be passable (maybe drawbridges?) if you beat enough levels in the current island. This would also let the racer start next where they can see the final castle level, but not actually reach it.

supertuxkart-overworld.jpg
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby eltomito » 06 Nov 2020, 21:01

I kind of like the current overworld. Apart from the sentimental reasons, it's because you can drive wherever you want in it and explore its various areas which are styled after different tracks. It's cool to be able to drive somewhere and look around and look forward to when I'll be able to do the challenges there.

That said, I also like your idea of a closed-off section or sections that you have to earn access to. And bridges are always nice. For me, it would depend on the actual design of the overworld. I can imagine somebody making it look really stunning with different kinds of bridges (a Roman viaduct, a majestic medieval stone-and-timber drawbridge, a Himalayan-style suspended footbridge, etc.) but it seems to me the new overworld is a matter of a good Blender artist(s) taking it up and going for it.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby fracture » 06 Nov 2020, 23:22

What if instead of adding bridges and make each section (one grand prix with 5 tracks) the overworld was the same as it is now but the environment changed as the game progressed. Imagine a story mode in which Nolok is the ruler of a proprietary kingdom that wants to end open source software and invades the FOSS land. When the story begins, the overworld can be what it looks like now, but slowly transforms into a wasteland with ads and security cameras everywhere. I think that would be more interesting than the generic throwaway story mode we have now.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby eltomito » 07 Nov 2020, 16:54

forum: Shouldn't it be the other way around? Start with Nolok billboards and fences all over the place and make the landscape friendlier as you progress? But anyway, I don't think we need to hammer in the propaganda so hard :)
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby fracture » 07 Nov 2020, 17:05

eltomito {l Wrote}:forum: Shouldn't it be the other way around? Start with Nolok billboards and fences all over the place and make the landscape friendlier as you progress? But anyway, I don't think we need to hammer in the propaganda so hard :)


The billboards wouldn't advertise for actual proprietary products but made up shit like "Nolok OS" and "Nolok Browser" and "Nolok Antivirus". That way it feels more like we're being infected by malicious software rather than software that's simply nonfree and it wouldn't really be propaganda. I'd prefer starting with a friendly environment and have the landscape become darker as you progress reflecting the game's tracks getting harder after each grand prix, but if the developers wanted it the other way around, I'd be fine with it.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby FabianF » 07 Nov 2020, 17:31

On a sidenote, in a new story mode there should not only be races, but also challenges in all other game modes.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby fracture » 07 Nov 2020, 18:03

FabianF {l Wrote}:On a sidenote, in a new story mode there should not only be races, but also challenges in all other game modes.


Not a bad idea considering almost all the tracks are just normal race or time trials. Diversifying these challenges wouldn't be a bad idea.

Follow the leader - I think STK enterprise used to have this challenge but it was poor and needed to be replaced with a standard race. If the track is too hard then the leader would constantly crash and cause players to easily pass, but if it's too easy then there won't be much of a challenge because the leader never makes mistakes. This also wouldn't work on tracks with multiple paths like Cocoa Temple or Black Forest because there's no way of knowing whether a player has passed the leader in those tracks. STK Enterprise might be the best track for this, although Old Mine, Candela City, and Around the Lighthouse wouldn't be bad choices either.
Battle - could be used for a final boss battle. After beating Nolok in new fort magma he isn't done yet and you face him off in a boss battle in an arena based off fort magma. In the easiest difficulty, both the player and nolok have three lives each. In the hardest, the player only has one life and nolok has three. In SuperTux mode, Nolok could have access to infinite powerups but doesn't spam them.
Soccer - wouldn't work in a story mode
Egg hunt - not a bad idea but I don't know how this would work. Maybe Volcan Island could do this, and give users a time limit.
Ghost replay race - Cocoa Temple already has this but it's poorly implemented to where it's almost impossible to win on Expert
Nitro challenge - good for harder tracks or tracks with a lot of turns. Shifting Sands and XR591 both have this, although I think it should only be one lap instead of three. I think Minigolf would be a good track for this due to all of it's sharp turns and not having any alternate paths (other than the short two-way section after the moving golf ball obstacle).

The only other ideas I have are maybe have one or two tracks be played in reverse mode, and maybe add "Player Elimination" as a gamemode in which players who are currently in last place get eliminated every 10-20 seconds until there is only one player left (possibly replace follow the leader?).

I also think all the challenges should have a fixed amount of AI racers. 5 for novice, 7 for intermediate, 9 for expert, and 11 for supertux.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby FabianF » 07 Nov 2020, 20:05

Why would soccer not work?
Egg hunt: iirc addons mod has an egg hunt challenge already
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby fracture » 07 Nov 2020, 22:15

FabianF {l Wrote}:Why would soccer not work?
Egg hunt: iirc addons mod has an egg hunt challenge already


Because soccer requires different maps for that and won't work on actual tracks, unless you wanted to add in a few bonus challenges unlocked after beating Nolok one of which involves soccer.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby Sockstah » 08 Nov 2020, 13:33

I think the most important consideration for an overworld should be that it is fun to traverse. Just driving around on it should be enjoyable. It's not a racing game but Super Mario 64 is a good example for such an overworld. Another good example and a racing game one is Need for Speed Underground 2. Unlike Super Tux Kart the overworld in NFSU2 has to be designed to drive well because all the race tracks are contained within it but even just driving around outside a race is great.
I think an overworld designed like that is also important because it gives the player a sandbox environment to get used to the controls and features of the game. As such I think pretty much all the features you can encounter in races should be on the overworld: environmental hazards, speed boosters, large jumps, shortcuts etc.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby tempAnon093 » 10 Nov 2020, 04:57

Sockstah {l Wrote}:I think the most important consideration for an overworld should be that it is fun to traverse. Just driving around on it should be enjoyable.

Absolutely. The worst thing would be an overworld that is no better than a menu. It should be a world. It differs to the existing tracks by being open, rather than forcing you in one direction, and I think that's a good feature so long as there's enough stuff in that world.

One idea that shouldn't be much effort to add is having some players/karts animated in the world, like having Tux in their kart slowly driving around the map (basic tween animation) and Krita painting a landscape (animation already exists in Scotland track). Make the world look alive! Even simple stuff like the movable skull in the desert area add life, add a soccer ball too.

With scripting, it's possible to make collectables like the Easter Eggs in the overworld (example: secret ice-cream in Frozen Drive) which could be counted ("1/6 fish found!").

Sockstah {l Wrote}:I think an overworld designed like that is also important because it gives the player a sandbox environment to get used to the controls and features of the game. As such I think pretty much all the features you can encounter in races should be on the overworld: environmental hazards, speed boosters, large jumps, shortcuts etc.

I also agree. Of course there shouldn't be anything so hard it could stop a less-skilled player entering a map, but it does make it more interesting.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby tempAnon093 » 15 Nov 2020, 04:36

Would it be a good idea to add a battle mode map into story mode, or a soccer map?
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby FabianF » 15 Nov 2020, 07:33

Suggested that above already
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby Wuzzy » 09 Dec 2020, 21:21

To be honest, the current Overworld is not good. First, the graphic are very dated. The graphics were already dated when it first was created, and now it is WAY behind the quality of many tracks. Second of all, the Overworld is really just a glorified menu. You can drive around freely, which is nice, but that's it.
But my 2nd concern is a technical one: I believe the Overworld has blocked progress on Story Mode for years. Whenever a brand new challenge wants to be added, the Overworld must change. Nobody likes to do that. And indeed, the Overworld has barely changed at all. And likewise, the number of challenges was mostly constant. This means the Story Mode atm is pretty much set in stone and it's hard to add new challenges.

I wouldn't mind if the Overworld would be removed entirely and be just replaced with a menu. If that means that time can be freed up to actually improve gameplay, that would be great.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby fracture » 09 Dec 2020, 23:24

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:To be honest, the current Overworld is not good. First, the graphic are very dated. The graphics were already dated when it first was created, and now it is WAY behind the quality of many tracks. Second of all, the Overworld is really just a glorified menu. You can drive around freely, which is nice, but that's it.
But my 2nd concern is a technical one: I believe the Overworld has blocked progress on Story Mode for years. Whenever a brand new challenge wants to be added, the Overworld must change. Nobody likes to do that. And indeed, the Overworld has barely changed at all. And likewise, the number of challenges was mostly constant. This means the Story Mode atm is pretty much set in stone and it's hard to add new challenges.

I wouldn't mind if the Overworld would be removed entirely and be just replaced with a menu. If that means that time can be freed up to actually improve gameplay, that would be great.


I agree. The overworld should just be removed and there isn't really any reason to have one even if there's an actual story mode. Instead just add a few cutscenes for the actual story and have an actual menu of challenges.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby Magellan » 10 Dec 2020, 06:25

I agree. The overworld should just be removed and there isn't really any reason to have one even if there's an actual story mode. Instead just add a few cutscenes for the actual story and have an actual menu of challenges.


Hmm, I rather like the idea of the overworld. When I first played through STK, I did the story mode first, and IIRC the overworld served as a good place to learn how to do things like drift. I also think it is more motivating to do the story mode when you have this little area to drive around in and new sections to unlock and explore (it reminds me of Crash Team Racing on the PS1). I agree that the overworld could probably use a graphical update, but I hope the concept isn't removed entirely.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby KiyanTheBluePenguin » 10 Dec 2020, 11:41

Magellan {l Wrote}:
I agree. The overworld should just be removed and there isn't really any reason to have one even if there's an actual story mode. Instead just add a few cutscenes for the actual story and have an actual menu of challenges.


Hmm, I rather like the idea of the overworld. When I first played through STK, I did the story mode first, and IIRC the overworld served as a good place to learn how to do things like drift. I also think it is more motivating to do the story mode when you have this little area to drive around in and new sections to unlock and explore (it reminds me of Crash Team Racing on the PS1). I agree that the overworld could probably use a graphical update, but I hope the concept isn't removed entirely.


It's Weird That I'm Posting Here, BUT,
I Do Agree With Magellan.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby KiyanTheBluePenguin » 10 Dec 2020, 12:32

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:First, the graphic are very dated


I Believe The Overworld First Existed In 0.9.
I Remember 0.8 Not Having An Overworld.
So Yeah It's Kinda Dated.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby Alayan » 10 Dec 2020, 15:17

The Overworld was introduced 8 years ago with STK 0.8, was already looking poor compared to a lot of tracks then, and is looking terrible compared to everything else now.

An overworld that's flexible for addition and removal of challenge and that looks good might be ideal, but we don't have the 3D artists for it.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby fracture » 10 Dec 2020, 15:52

Alayan {l Wrote}:The Overworld was introduced 8 years ago with STK 0.8, was already looking poor compared to a lot of tracks then, and is looking terrible compared to everything else now.

An overworld that's flexible for addition and removal of challenge and that looks good might be ideal, but we don't have the 3D artists for it.


That's why you should just remove the overworld, which isn't needed even if there was a story mode. Even if you did have the 3D artists, they should be spending more time working on shit that actually matters like the actual tracks, karts, arenas, any cutscenes like the ending of a grand prix or anything in story mode.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby KiyanTheBluePenguin » 10 Dec 2020, 16:43

Alayan {l Wrote}:The Overworld was introduced 8 years ago with STK 0.8


God Dang It,
I Thought It Was 0.9 That Added It.
Erm Anyways.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby eltomito » 11 Dec 2020, 00:29

Actually, I like the current overworld. It has features from different tracks, a part on the sea, a section with palms, etc. To me, it's kind of exciting in an uncomplicated way.
If anything, I'd do away with the intro scenes which seem too basic and too long to me which makes them sort of boring. But the overworld It's cool.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby KiyanTheBluePenguin » 11 Dec 2020, 15:43

eltomito {l Wrote}:Actually, I like the current overworld. It has features from different tracks, a part on the sea, a section with palms, etc. To me, it's kind of exciting in an uncomplicated way.
If anything, I'd do away with the intro scenes which seem too basic and too long to me which makes them sort of boring. But the overworld It's cool.


I Agree.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby BryanQuigley » 24 Dec 2020, 19:36

Next iteration with some of the requested improvements - like other game modes.
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Re: New Overworld for story mode

Postby eltomito » 24 Dec 2020, 21:42

The more I think about it, the more I like the current open overworld as opposed to the suggested level-by-level kind of overworld. It's because it feels exciting to me when I can go somewhere and look around and see what it's like even though I'm not allowed to do the challenges yet, because I don't have the points required. The exploration element is fantastic also because it's the opposite of the main racing theme of the game. In races, you're going around a defined track as fast as possible. In the overworld, you go wherever you want as fast or slow as you want.

However, I think there could be, let's say, a draw bridge to a little off-shore island that only opens when you have a certain amount of points, because all the challenges (maybe like 4 of them) on that island require that minimum amount of points. It's another kind of exciting. You're looking forward to exploring that section and it motivates you to reach the minimum points required.

It could also be a gate that leads to a ramp up to an elevated high-walk section, a gate to a small walled section, etc. But I'd like these things to be exceptional sexctions rather than a guiding principle for the overworld.
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