Modding city layouts, roads and city terrain

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
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Khrome
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:34 am

Modding city layouts, roads and city terrain

Post by Khrome » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:48 am

I'm wondering, will it ever be possible to modify city layouts?

I'm thinking that it'd be neat if you could somehow add an 'override' for a specific block in a specific place, where you can then place a custom city block with buildings arranged manually. I think it'd be an awesome addition to the game if you could make Daggerfall feel more like a city rather than a random collection of buildings for example, or have little towns with inns and shops around a center square rather than having them randomly distributed across its area.

A problem would be to keep quests working in the same way though, i don't know if it's even possible with the way it was explained some time ago.

Adding to this, i saw this thread: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=689

Could it at some point be possible to create a similar override to terrain chunks, specifically city/town terrain? Adding height variations in towns and cities would go a long way to making Daggerfall feel a lot more modern than it actually is. An easy example would be to think of what Pelagiad looked like in Morrowind, with the street going up the hill and buildings alongside it. Obviously there'd be limitations to how it works as i can guess that buildings always need a flat piece of ground, but i think it would be neat if the ground around it could have height variations. With the increased view distance it would make for pretty cool vistas in bigger towns.

Lastly, and this ties in to both, roads. It was a project early on: viewtopic.php?t=49

From the topic i'm guessing this will be possible to implement, but difficult, and it'd have to work together with other enhancements. I was thinking whether it would be possible to, instead of replacing ground textures, overlay procedurally generated roads on top of the terrain instead? This way you could also do some blending regardless of the terrain.


These are just 4 am ideas. I (currently) have zero coding or other modding knowledge, but if this is possible (or feasible) for a beginner i may look at how all this stuff works, if it doesn't require Interkarma's direct involvement to make it even possible in the first place :)

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Interkarma
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Re: Modding city layouts, roads and city terrain

Post by Interkarma » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:40 am

Welcome to the forums Krome. :)

Currently the terrain is flattened down for the entire city area, but one way to work around this is just to build upwards with custom ground meshes. For example, if you are replacing 3x3 RMB blocks in the middle of the city with custom assets, you could build upwards with a new ground mesh and new buildings as part of the same asset replacement bundle. Many games use a blend of mesh and terrain data to create interesting vertical spaces.

It's not currently possible to swap out blocks this way, but that's not the most difficult part in any case. As you deduced, this would be making the quest system aware of any changes. There's currently no way of informing quest system that buildings have been added or removed, and player could be sent to a building replaced by the mod.

It's an interesting idea, but definitely something that would need to be explored in future once the game is more complete.

Khrome
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:34 am

Re: Modding city layouts, roads and city terrain

Post by Khrome » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:33 am

Am i right in assuming that a block always has x buildings, of which y are residences and z are shops?

Maybe there's an easier way for swapping blocks out if you keep those counts the same for a specific block. It would be more difficult for the modder but much easier on the game itself. The buildings could then have the same identifiers (if this is how it works).

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Interkarma
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Re: Modding city layouts, roads and city terrain

Post by Interkarma » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:27 am

It would definitely help to keep the building types and counts consistent for replaced blocks, but this would limit the freedom for modders to create truly unique swaps as the blocks are very heavily reused and reshuffled across the game world

Also, the high-level building information for quest system is not stored at block level - it's found at map level. It might be easier to inject entirely new designer locations rather than just mod individual blocks in existing locations. That way modders have complete control over location.

That doesn't mean it's impossible but it does mean that engineering time (maybe up to hundreds of hours) would be required to make it work correctly. That's no mean feat, and definitely not within my personal scope for this project. If someone was going to take this on, I'd much prefer they explore it when the game is more complete.

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