I agree 100% with what you're saying. Daggerfall is in a unique position out of all TES games to really take its fantasy medieval simulator-esque style and push the envelope in all directions simulation. I think the term Verisimilitude should definitely be the driving force of where Daggerfall goes from here on out now that the Unity engine for it is nearing completion.Daniel87 wrote: ↑Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:36 pmI was actually thinking of adding a couple more stone>grass transition tiles and randomly picking one when texturing the terrain, so these ugly straight borders between different tile types disappear and get swapped out with more different variants. But here is, where this ridiculous Byte-system of Classic Daggerfall bites my butt.l3lessed wrote: ↑Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:21 pm Amazing and quite inspiring work sir. Wish we could have a larger texture table, so we could get granite to water transitions. Also, full 3d tree replacements would be stellar, but yeah, I get it, tons and tons of work to model and texture all the variants and get then optimize the whole thing.
All possible texture indices need to fit into 6-Bit. That is a possible maximum of 64 tiles, which also includes mirrored tiles, as these cannot be mirrored with the remaining two Bits of the Byte. Those Bits only rotate the texture by 90° and 180° (and together by 270°).
If it was not for this stupid limitation, I would have created a vast tile texture array, countless of gradients for more natural looks and then possibly would have expanded on different flora, such as water plants at river banks, countless more flowers, countless more trees, bushes, rocks, etc.
I would have tried to completely transform the landscapes of Daggerfall, opening the door for other modders to create sprite wildlife such as deers, wolfes, etc. making way for hunting mods similar to Skyrim, and many more possibilities.
98% of Daggerfall is wasted potential of empty landscapes and repetitive, over-randomized dungeons.
Here are some ideas I have for different small immersion mods:
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. Such a face could be baked together into a picture at runtime and even put on the real NPC model walking around with its different frames. Not sure how it impacts memory, but we live in 2022, not 1996. Should be doable.
I just gave Real Grass Mod and Distant Terrain a try in conjunction with my mod and I am very pleased with the result:
Just the Distant Terrain sometimes looks a little weird.
I will say though that the focus should probably be primarily on simulating a living world over graphical fidelity, and that 3D npcs and trees are not necessary to achieve this. They would certainly improve the immersion, but immersion is majority experience/gameplay loop, and one of Daggerfalls unique positions is that it can get away with having sprites for these things, allowing for more grander representations of realism elsewhere.
For example, I'd take expanding the variety of sprites over a few 3D models any day. That being said, if someone is able to make 3D models optimised for the game then that'd be cool too.