Alphyrion

Randomized item locations for infinite replayability

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11 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Interesting how many people seem to have modded Skyrim into some variant of "The Long Elder Scroll". I attempted the same, but eventually found things would take up too much time. I've also even been working on quite an extensive minecraft mod to accomplish a similiar game as TLD, but eventually declared that effort too much for my family life as well as probably futile to begin with.

I even implemented a timelapse mechanic similar to TLD, and breaking blocks, trees, or anything really in the game would cost you similar resources: calories and daylight, essentially, same for placing blocks. So if you were good you could dig 16 blocks of dirt in a day, or mine 4 blocks of stone, twice the amount of that if you managed to get hold of steel rather than iron tools. Trees were managed differently than vanilla minecraft does in that you break the entire tree for blocksOfWood times 1 hours of time, but I never quite got the algorithm right, so there was a bug where you would be presented with the option to chop down an entire forest in one go, but it would take you a few thousand hours :D

It had a crude implementation of random shelters (basically randomly spawning wooden huts not too dissimilar from how villages are generated), and loot was randomized as well as the landscape, of course. And that's where, at least for me, issues started cropping up. Sometimes I would not find shelter before I was exhausted or frozen. Sometimes I would find 3 huts in the immediate surroundings. Sometimes I wouldn't find matches (basically a retextured flint&steel), sometimes I would find 4 in a random chest in the woods. I'm not saying such a thing cannot be balanced. But it helped me understand greatly why loot tables were probably implemented in the first place.

Plans to mitigate this included to adjust the world generator to make sure that I have at least 2 huts in around 50 meters of where I spawn, and to do something similar to loot chests (which were my crude makeshift way to simulate random loot since minecraft does not allow placing objects in the world), but I sorta lost the drive to keep it going at that point. There was still so much to do, and it was a serious bugfest. But it tought me something quite important about TLD 😉

I'm in the process or reworking two mods that removes the cities and most npcs (everything but animals and the undead) into a single one. I figure I've got more than a few months of work ahead of me to make it stable, remove all the markers, triggers, redo landscape where cities 'were', rework pretty much the entire navmesh cell by cell, etc. 

 I will likely have to create new mods to alter the creature and weather since most people don't have a clue how to use Tes5 to remove master dependencies OR mesh incompatible mods to play nice together. 

I agree ~ modding Skyrim into a variant of TLD is work. I'm a fairly experienced modder and it took over 6 months to get a stable load order ~ and it definitely requires a good bit of Tes5 know-how. The biggest issue to removing the buildings/npcs/quests is that 99% of the available mods require the patch as a master. The two mods currently available to remove the cities and npcs require NO patch. Granted, just playing the game with no patch and only those two mods (and random start to bypass the beginning) is difficult all on its own. I wanted more lol … so I dove in and worked it until I got it more than just partially functional. There ARE a rather dedicated bunch of us out there working on this though. Mostly it's driven by a love of TLD ~ and making the potential a reality. Skyrim was created to be modded, and the amount of resources and programming to push the limits are phenomenal. 

My biggest issue is living in a tiny house and trying to cram three monitors (in addition to my husband's) onto a single desk (thankfully I know how to use wall space!!), microphones, external drives, etc. has been a challenge all by itself. My children are grown .. but I have cats *G* who love to assist me. I also have an overflowing and constantly filled swear jar! My grandsons play Minecraft, but so far I haven't … that might be a good thing since it could potentially unleash another monster *G* In any case, I will be uploading a final product (or three) to Nexus at some point. 

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10 hours ago, loriaw said:

I'm in the process or reworking two mods that removes the cities and most npcs (everything but animals and the undead) into a single one. I figure I've got more than a few months of work ahead of me to make it stable, remove all the markers, triggers, redo landscape where cities 'were', rework pretty much the entire navmesh cell by cell, etc. 

 I will likely have to create new mods to alter the creature and weather since most people don't have a clue how to use Tes5 to remove master dependencies OR mesh incompatible mods to play nice together. 

I agree ~ modding Skyrim into a variant of TLD is work. I'm a fairly experienced modder and it took over 6 months to get a stable load order ~ and it definitely requires a good bit of Tes5 know-how. The biggest issue to removing the buildings/npcs/quests is that 99% of the available mods require the patch as a master. The two mods currently available to remove the cities and npcs require NO patch. Granted, just playing the game with no patch and only those two mods (and random start to bypass the beginning) is difficult all on its own. I wanted more lol … so I dove in and worked it until I got it more than just partially functional. There ARE a rather dedicated bunch of us out there working on this though. Mostly it's driven by a love of TLD ~ and making the potential a reality. Skyrim was created to be modded, and the amount of resources and programming to push the limits are phenomenal. 

My biggest issue is living in a tiny house and trying to cram three monitors (in addition to my husband's) onto a single desk (thankfully I know how to use wall space!!), microphones, external drives, etc. has been a challenge all by itself. My children are grown .. but I have cats *G* who love to assist me. I also have an overflowing and constantly filled swear jar! My grandsons play Minecraft, but so far I haven't … that might be a good thing since it could potentially unleash another monster *G* In any case, I will be uploading a final product (or three) to Nexus at some point. 

I'm thrilled to see it!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys. Some of the latest posts have helped me to see better the challenges involved in randomizing loot locations. I think that adding as many loot tables as possible would indeed go a long way in achieving what I was hoping for, without thowing the game balance off, but as Lyttol says the novelty factor will depend on the number of new permutations.

The tension (not the negative type!) here seems to be between play-styles and preferences. Some are very attached to the knowledge they've collected and the advantage it gives them in game, and don't mind falling into set patterns as much, while I prefer a more varied experience. Those first few hours when we don't know where anything is are just magical.

In my case, I'm hoping that some form of item randomization can help me recapture that feeling of awe and fear, and I have a vague sense that it could help the game gain a broader audience. The idea is hard to put my finger on but I can't help feeling put off imagining how a newbie would feel watching a Youtube videos of TLD pros who can seemingly guess where the hacksaw or hammer are. It would probably put me off as a new starter. They might think "Oh you mean you can actually learn the environment to that extent?"

Edited by Alphyrion
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