General Modding Ideas and Concepts

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
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General Modding Ideas and Concepts

Post by Daniel87 »

98% of Daggerfall is wasted potential of empty landscapes and repetitive, over-randomized dungeons.

The following is an unsorted list of ideas and open for discussion:

Why not add all sorts of facilities to the game?
I mean where are different goods produced like bakeries, slaughter houses, proper pig and cow farms, etc.

City Blocks with markets (where shops cluster) could be simply spawning 3x to 5x more NPCs at shop business hours creating the impression of a busy bustling shopping area compared to more quiet residential districts in cities, adding more diversity within a single city and improving the immersion a lot more.
Additionally a mod could place a Audio Player in market districts with busy crowd sound loops if the number of NPCs > 25 and slowly reducing volume with decreasing number of NPCs around.

I am currently tackling the landscapes to the limits what is possible right now.
Dungeons would be the next thing to improve. Like 100% cave dungeons, 100% ruin dungeons, etc.
Having these completely randomized Dungeon Blocks glued together looks ridiculous, kills immersion and makes every dungeon feel like the dungeon before, because one dungeon is big enough to recycle through all existing dungeon blocks several times over.

I think its time for a mod that limits down the palette of dungeon blocks used for each dungeon type or does this already exist? A mod that also limits the size of non-story dungeons and the range of enemy types per dungeon?

These things could improve Daggerfall manifold. More random locations in my wide and wild landscapes would also blow me away. I think there is already a mod on the way for this and I can't wait to see it together with my mod. Bandit camps, nomads, travelling merchants making camp, random ruins with loot in the wild, etc. The player needs a reason to spend time outside of cities, rather than fast travelling from A to B to clear another house from rats...

Another very important thing would be the human to NPC interaction. I know many people love Daggerfalls classic dialogue system, but there are so many ways how the interface could be improved. Think of the system used in Oblivion or Mass Effect. Imagine citizens having actual jobs and interests, love relationships with each other, children playing in the streets. Imagine a Sprite Randomizer System for faces to create unique characters all over the Iliac Bay.

There is so freakin much potential in this game that goes completely unused. Especially something like what I mentioned last: Randomizing faces (even in sprite form) wouldn't be that difficult:

- Take the standard NPC faces and split it into beard styles, face shapes, eye shapes, lip shapes, nose shapes, hair styles, etc.
- Photoshop 20 different colour versions of the hair, create 10 different beards in 20 different colours, etc.
- Let a simple mod puzzle them together. Every piece has a certain coordinate where it is placed to fit the basic face shape selected.
- Random colour ID is chosen and Beard/Hair are selected based on it
- The randomized face can now be baked into a PNG image. This can be either done in preparation and saved into a Textured2DArray added to the mod or at runtime on demand. In the latter case, it won't even need to be baked into one PNG picture and the single parts of the face can just be layerd ontop of each other with the right drawing order.

-> Thousands of different NPCs walking around, rather than millions of clones.
This mod could be utilized also as a Player customizer when starting a new game. After all, we are playing an RPG game here with heavy influence of D&D. Why not expand on player customization to support role play even further?
Even if the faces only appear in all their random glory when being in the dialogue window, for me thats still a huge improvement to immersion.

The NPC face in the dialog window could then also be used to display the NPCs position towards the player. (angry look, smiling mouth, etc).

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Re: General Modding Ideas and Concepts

Post by carademono »

DF Unity seems to be at a turning point where big new possibilities are opening up. I think it would be broadly helpful to categorize and prioritize exactly what we want to achieve. We might also take a page from successful mod projects for Morrowind through Skyrim by forming mod teams, as currently DF Unity mostly advances through the sporadic contributions of talented individual modders.

Here's my attempt at categorizing mod projects and potential teams:

Wilderness Overhaul
- Right now being tackled in amazing one-man projects by Daniel and Kamer. A mod team could focus on producing new assets (bunnies and squirrels! Diverse flora! New landscapes!), new wilderness-oriented quests, and gameplay types (hunting, survival). The wonderful road system we now have should also be supplemented with rivers and usable boats. A new weather system would be great too...
City and Town Overhaul
- A project to make urban centers less samey: new assets, blocks, building types, unique locations, elevation within cities, etc. Ports of Daggerfall is an example of a project within this category.
Dungeon Overhaul
- Add vast numbers of new dungeon blocks, dungeon types, overhaul dungeon procedural generation, create emergent dungeon quests (a la Ultima Underworld and Arx Fatalis) and dungeon gameplay cribbing features from dozens of roguelikes that have come out in the past 25 years.

Improved Combat Mechanics
- A la |3lessed's work
New Monsters
- Self-explanatory -- but these should be combined with new combat mechanics to produce unique and interesting encounters.

NPCs and Questing
NPC Diversity
- As Daniel discusses above, we need a lot more than 24 wandering NPC types, and it would be nice to break down the distinction between wandering NPCs and flats.
Dialogue System Improvements
- Hazelnut showed off a half-screen dialogue window that personally I'd love to see in the game. It would also be valuable to be able to better incorporate quests and regional dialogue, as in later Elder Scrolls entries. I'm a bit more agnostic about procedurally generating personalities for every NPC in the game, but if done well it could be really interesting.
More Powerful Quest Scripting
- Multiple locations, multiple choices leading to branching storylines, making everything as scriptable as possible. If questers can dream it up, they should be able to implement it. Quests are the heart's blood of Daggerfall and the way that we actually play the game.
Regional Quests
- Personally, I'd love to see large-scale, involved regional questlines -- at least one for each region in the game, for a total of 45. Aside from vastly increasing the storylines in the game, it would give players an incentive to explore every inch of the now much more diverse Iliac Bay.
- Someone's adding many of the books from Morrowind. Great! Could we have Redguards in Sentinel, please? Dark Elves in Wayrest? Better, more lore-friendly name generation? More diverse rumors and latest news from NPCs? Could rumors actually reflect changes visible in the game world?

Quality of Life Improvements
- A few recent examples here are Convenient Quest Log, Quest Offer Location, and the Minimap features.

Asset Development
- Last but DEFINITELY not least, all of these different projects would benefit immensely from the dedicated development of assets: monsters, flora, fauna, textures, buildings, 3d models, sprites, etc.

Just to reiterate, all of these different areas would be well-served by the creation of teams. Not only is it likely that groups of modders with complementary skills can progress much more rapidly than individuals, but it would also help prevent projects from dying out half-completed when individual modders run out of time or interest (as occurred with Trees of Daggerfall, Interesting Terrain, or 3d People).

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Re: General Modding Ideas and Concepts

Post by hfc2x »

carademono wrote:- Right now being tackled in amazing one-man projects by Daniel and Kamer. A mod team could focus on producing new assets (bunnies and squirrels! Diverse flora! New landscapes!), new wilderness-oriented quests, and gameplay types (hunting, survival). The wonderful road system we now have should also be supplemented with rivers and usable boats. A new weather system would be great too...
Ngl, this would be the most awesome thing ever. I've always wanted to see something that adds life to Daggerfall's huge (but empty) open world. Mods like Daggerfall Skyshards are a great starting point, making you want to go out in the open and explore to find stuff, but without animals, or settlements, or enemies, it's just not quite there yet.

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Re: General Modding Ideas and Concepts

Post by Cliffworms »

carademono wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:55 pm More diverse rumors and latest news from NPCs? Could rumors actually reflect changes visible in the game world?
Using the quest system, I can create an empty quest that's always running to which new rumors are attached. I've been writing and browsing other ES games for rumor ideas. Using strings, it's possible to replicate the generic rumors by adding random names to people mentioned in the rumors.

Rumors like things happening in the other provinces of Tamriel, bandit activity, plagues, local gossip (I hear the Baron is cheating on his wife), that kind of thing.

Unfortunately, I do not know how to have rumors affect the game world. The rumors about warring states and factions already in the game are simply filler and do not have effects. I wish! :)
Excuse the gloom.

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