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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
Improved Base Layout Map
By Robert Basler on 2017-01-20 01:16:48
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

One of the more common items of feedback that I received from the test weekends was that people would select a location for their base, then have problems laying out their base buildings because the terrain was too rough.

[Improved Base Layout Map.]

Previously Miranda had a contour map to help players select a location for their base. I was doing some work on the contour map when I remembered this Fallout 4 map and realized that a heatmap where good areas are blue, and bad areas are red might be more intuitive for new players.

The colours on the new heatmap range from red (an outhouse with standard foundations can't be placed there) to blue (a huge building with standard foundations can be placed there.) When players want to tackle rougher terrain, one of the upgrades that can be purchased are chassis with taller foundations that allow the buildings to be placed more easily on rough terrain.

Because the heatmap colors matter, I modified the coloured faction overlay so that instead of overlaying the whole square with the faction colour, it draws the faction colour as a thin border around the square.

If you liked the old map, you can still see it in-game.

I'm not done with improving base layout yet, but I think this is a good first step. What do you think?

By Kurt Ingleson on 2017-01-22 10:49:59
Homepage: email:
I think that heat map it is an awesome idea, i must admit during the play test i did struggle to put down buildings etc, one thing i would recommend is a good tutorial at the start of the game, i have seen games that had lots of potential come and go because people couldn't figure it out, just an my opinion but worth it i think for this awesome concept.
By Robert Basler on 2017-01-22 12:38:18
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I've been adding tutorial elements as I come up with them (red arrows on UI while playing, tooltips.) Eventually I plan to replace the "wall of text" on the layout screen with voiceover. Does anyone know of games with really good tutorial features? RTS games often use their single player campaign as the tutorial but that won't work for Miranda. WoW has its little exclamation mark tips as you play.

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