Ruin Design Discussion

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    General Specific
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    Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by General Specific on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:39 am

    Hello gentlemen—it is high time I made this thread, as ruin design is one of my favorite subjects.

    What is ruin design? Simple: dungeon design for a Legends game. In Legends, of course, dungeons are actually ruins of the Elder System which, apparently, is now reactivating as of the cliffhanger ending to Legends 2. This plot point, amongst many other various issues to take into content, will highly influence how the ruins will be designed for our new Legends 3 fan-game.

    Are ruins important for a Legends game? I certainly think so. In the main two Legends games, plenty of time was spent exploring those petrified, claustrophobic caverns of steel and other un-named materials. For me, they can be a lot better—they deserve to be better, as digging is a dangerous and capricious way to make a living, and much of the danger lies in the digging process itself. Life isn't easy being a treasure hunter—by making the life of a treasure hunter more interesting by making the actual exploring and hunting more interesting (and, by that, I mean ruin design as a whole), this game can be more immersive and, generally, more fun.

    This thread is an open discussion on what you think makes well-designed ruins tick—I have had many things to say about ruins myself!


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    MaestroMaharg
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by MaestroMaharg on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:57 am

    While some of the remarks I make for what makes a great ruin may be annoying as far as video-game conventions go, but beleive it or not, they're what make ruins great in my opinion.

    In my opinion, a great Ruin must meet the following requirements:

    -Short draw distances
    -Really creepy, foreboding music
    -confusing hallways and corridors
    -some sort of puzzle or new mechanic introduced in each new ruin.
    -The constant pull between "Should I take the extra time to go back up and save, or press on and see what happens, maybe Data will be there before the boss"

    That last one is especially important to me.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Adrian2040 on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:12 am

    Don't forget the occasional annoying traps!


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by OniLink++ on Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:32 am

    An occasional long, dark hallway, or sometimes a large, dark room where you can clearly hear the enemies but can't see them well. The dark room referring to Lake Jyun's Invisibots.

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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by PhantomKirin on Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:39 am

    I have an interesting thought. Why not make it so that the layout is designed to help the Reaverbots out in various ways, like allowing them to be deployed from a hole in the floor/wall/ceiling, which would allow for a surprise attack from them if you don't pay attention, or maybe some fake floors/walls/ceilings that some reaverbots can see through, but you can't, allowing them to burst through like the Kool-Aid man and try to attack the player? After all, the ruins are what the Reaverbots are defending, so it would make sense that the layout would at times be set in their favor, so that there would be a challenge involved in dealing with it, and coming out of it in one piece...
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by General Specific on Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:39 am

    @Graham: Those essentially form what we currently see in Legends ruins, aside from the Zelda mechanic of always introducing something new and applying it well to the design of the dungeon. Personally, though, the same ambiance we have right now can be executed with clever lighting of ruins—we could have light and shadow, allowing for greater depth to be conveyed, and have greater draw distance, allowing for more preparation for the player who's going up against a potential horde of nasties.

    @Adrian: Annoying traps are annoying, though. I want traps too, but we need to be careful in making them easy enough to see that we aren't falling into them willy-nilly.

    @Phantom: It should work both ways. There could, for example, be many places where a highly-skilled player could use Volnutt's tool-set to platform to higher tiers of a room or even sequence break to areas they normally couldn't access before getting a certain tool, but Reaverbots should definitely be able to pop out of the infrastructure and ambush the player. —We need to make ruins genuinely scary and unsettling, and one way to do that is to make the Reaverbots much the same.


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by megaman093 on Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:35 am

    A lot of good ideas here. I think the inclusion of a good numebr of puzzles would make the game a lot of fun. I also think it would be good to have several extra ruins/dungeons in the game that have rewards but are not necessary for story progression.

    The main thing that I think would make exploring exciting is being able to find out new things about the ruins and reaverbots as you travel through the ruins. The end of a ruin might have an old video of how the master system works or where reaverbots are created. Weapons and money are good rewards but it would be nice to have something extra. If the oldest ruins are opening up we should be able to find more than empty hallways and treasure chests like in many of the previous ruins.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Truner on Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:55 am

    I think a main "hub" ruin should be done like in the first Legends game. That one connected into the "dungeon" ruins and went through the whole city and the outskirts. Since the island is a digger paradise, we should make it that way.

    While I really like Zelda games, the ruins of Legends is something we can pack with puzzles all the way. On the other hand, making them interesting is also needed. I, for one would really like to see timed stuff like the beginning of Super Metroid. In a creepy ruin, you running because you're out of time... definitely would give a great feel to the whole game.

    What about the looks of the ruins?
    Should we make it tile-based like in the first to games or advance and go for the Legends 3 way of making it look believable enough? I myself think that the Legends 3 route really suited the game.

    And the last thing: Reaverbots
    I really think we should include every Reaverbot in the game. Even the one from Rockman DASH: Adventure to Save the Planet. This game will be the last in the series, gotta make it like that.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Edich on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:00 am

    I want acheological finds back. Say what you want about the Curator's damn voice, but I really like the added element of uncovering history and learning a bit more of the expanded world.

    It's also prime material for in-jokes and easter eggs.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Adrian2040 on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:19 am

    Remember that dungeons can't be too hard or too easy. We want people to be able finish the game, but still leave a decent challenge. We can just change some stats with difficulty options later to make thinks more difficult.

    Also, let's not make a dungeon where you can get lost for hours. *Remembers my first time going through the Ocarina of Time N64 Water Temple*


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by rekka_zan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:29 am

    MML always provide us with a dungeon map, so I think we won't get lost easily. And Roll is always there as Megaman's spotter Laughing
    Come to think of it, I wonder who'll do voice act for Roll...
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Maverinox on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:00 pm

    It would be cool to maybe connect some dungeons too, like in MML1. I loved that. I would like bigger dungeons too. As long as we don't make confusing paths, people shouldn't have a really hard time navigating them, plus the map makes it pretty easy to not get lost. I would like more 'hidden' items too--more holes in the walls/corners of a room.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Adrian2040 on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:03 pm

    We should improve Roll's spotter advice. She said mostly obvious stuff through both games.


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Edich on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:16 pm

    I'm really interested in doing the details like item descriptions, NPC dialogue, etc. to really exude charm and uniqueness.

    Witty or fun radio chatter is definitely something I'd like to write, along with the aforementioned archeological finds.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by HBV-05-E Raiden on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:24 pm

    For Ruins, we must remember that while some may look alike, others can look DRASTICALLY different. Most ruins in MML were largely similar, and the Main Gate was an exception, going from dark and foreboding to bright enough to blind you. However, even if ruins had similarities, they were all still fairly distinct. As was stated in another thread, ruins could be old facilities designed to fill specific roles. The Cardon Forest Sub-Gate had a Grinder in it, and the Lake Jyun Sub-Gate might have had something to do with water control or purification. Another thing to note is that the Key ruins from MML2 were more than likely designed primarily to hold the keys, and were given specialized designs to fend off intruders. We can see similar things going on in other Megaman games, with special facilities following a theme to fend off intruders, or facilities with special duties that have standard security systems.


    Last edited by HBV-05-E Raiden on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Maverinox on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:43 pm

    So, we should figure out the full story and such before getting into the ruin design. We need to figure out what we want the ruins to be, facilities, some kind of protector, or something else.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Maddey_Linqs on Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:05 pm

    I'm afraid mine would turn out to be like a Zelda-like dungeon especially after envisioning a "fire that switch on the wall" room.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by General Specific on Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:35 pm

    @MM093: Let's consider combat as well—in fact, I consider combat to be a big draw for Legends as an action-adventure game, making it more distinct from Zelda through much better combat and action overall. While nice reflex tests and quick puzzles would work with quick combat and quick pacing, slower, more plodding puzzles would be harder to pull off well and still feel like a Legends game. These games should emphasize exploration and treading through dangerous water—you want to get in, investigate everything, deal with the threats of the Elder System, and get out. Generally speaking, faster pacing of ruin exploration and combat will enhance the theme of the game, as well as allow the player to get back up to the surface sooner, even though he's still just as satisfied as he would be if he had to deal with long, puzzling puzzles.

    @Truner: A giant hub ruin, allowing you to head to the main ruins on each island in the Klickelan archipelago and find secrets in it, would be just the bee's knees for fans who really want the Metroid set-up back. Generally, for looks, we could very well go with both—adding in dilapidation in parts of a room takes time and effort. Retro Studios, when making Metroid Prime, had to work long, long hours to put massive amounts of detail in the game world they were making from scratch—if we don't feel up to it, a more standardized kind of look would be fine. Timed parts of a ruin are always something to consider—we could, for example, start the game with a timed run to the rocket, working your way back from the depths of Elysium to the main Shuttle Bay, where you'd then—just as in Metroid Prime, similarly—get attacked by a powerful Reaverbot and sacrifice all of your current gear (as of Sera's 2nd form boss battle) to escape. That's a functional plot point right there!

    @Edich: That would make for a great Curator side-quest, with the local digger's academy trying to dig deep into the history now being uncovered as the Elder System awakens. And yes: spotter dialogue could be a lot more interesting, with plenty of potential for character development and humor—that said, it's a subject for another thread and another time!

    @Adrian: Different difficulty levels are the most practical way to deal with accommodating for skill levels of each player—that said, we need to base this game on skill, not on luck, and make the player understand fully when it's their fault, not the game's fault.

    @Raiden: Essentially, you've caught on to my drift in my old thread. We still need to finish up story details, most importantly anything to do with the Elder System, before we can getting down to just what kinds of Elder System facilities would be the now-ruins the player would be going through—details details details!


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by HBV-05-E Raiden on Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:37 pm

    I believe that if we're gonna design some ruins, it might be best that we first get an idea of what the areas surrounding the ruins are like, and then we can get the ruin designs down. A desert got intense magma chambers, and a wooded area got tree and other plant roots sticking out from the walls.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by General Specific on Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:41 pm

    The areas we're talking about, really, are islands with some variations in climate, though nothing major—the islands of Klickelan generally won't be covering a large part of Terra to begin with, so major variations in climate would feel contrived and, well, have to be contrived through some story faculty. My preference for ruin settings is for them not to be related so much to the land as they are to the System—these were once Elder System facilities, and are now reactivating and thus becoming those former facilities once more, these now-ruins. The most I can think of in relating ruin concept to the land is how they would work in the System itself, and perhaps how they could relate to which part of the archipelago has this industry and that special part about it—at that point, though, just focusing on System relations makes more sense.


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by Truner on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:40 pm

    General Specific: what you wrote about my idea is exactly what I was thinking. Now that you mentioned Metroid, Other M was a pretty game. Even the darkest rooms looked good. Running to the rocket is also a great idea. Timed runs shouldn't be overused, but one or two cases would be fine, right?
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by General Specific on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:42 pm

    It shouldn't be overused at all, yes. Using the mechanic for select parts in the plot and/or just integrating a timing element into ruin puzzles would work to increase intensity, though.


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by ThorkellTheTall on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:20 pm

    Lake ruins invisible enemies.
    THE BEST.
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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by General Specific on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:23 pm

    They were frood, yes—sneaking up on you with such audacity and brashness, forcing you back up onto a higher tier in that big room as you desperately try to get away before making your next move.

    Those are the moments that make Legends, my colleagues.


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    Re: Ruin Design Discussion

    Post by HBV-05-E Raiden on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:36 pm

    On that note, I was thinking. Perhaps at some point in some ruins, where there's water, magma, or any other area things can hide in, what if there was a type of Reaverbot that jumps out suddenly and quickly to dive-bomb the player?

    Hell, half of the ruins' work are gonna be designing and placing Reaverbots for the place.

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