What about underwater?

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Luzur
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What about underwater?

Post by Luzur » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:24 am

So, im getting questions about DaggerUnity on the Codex forums, like this one:

"What I've been curious about with Daggerfall Unity is if it would be possible to make a swimmable ocean. (as in you can swim underwater). If I remember correctly one of the ideas the developers had was to allow the player to locate undersea shipwrecks.

The other beta ideas that didn't make it are I imagine less ambitious like the full on economy simulator."
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Interkarma
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by Interkarma » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:23 am

It's certainly possible, but would require a few change to terrain generation. Classic Daggerfall's ocean is really just a flat part of the heightmap textured as water. The player can never go below surface in classic, just kind of wobble around up to their armpits.

In order to allow true underwater exploration, a few changes must be made. Here's a high-level overview:
  1. Remove the terrain flattening step for ocean "terrain pixels". Allow the ocean terrain to plunge to suitable depth. Maybe even a change in scale or heightmap generation is in order to get nicer underwater areas.
  2. Replace the ocean surface with an appropriate water plane. Interface this with the swimming code currently only used in dungeons.
  3. Inject different flats underwater (seaweed, bubbles, corals, different rocks, etc.). There are a few candidates in the game files and the "grass & plants" mod is likely primed to do something interesting here.
  4. Ideally inject some random points of interest like sunken ships, ruins, fully underwater dungeons, etc.
Parts 1-3 probably aren't too challenging. I have already considered putting in the basics because I'm insanely-head-over-heels-in-love with underwater areas in games. Even just the very basics of underwater ocean exploration would add a little spice and give modders more to build on in the future.

Part 4 is where things get difficult. Doing this properly will take a substantial amount of time and is well outside of the scope for the core re-implementation, as Daggerfall does not have underwater ocean exploration whatsoever. You also need to consider retro purists who would hate for this to be in Daggerfall Unity by default.

Whenever there's a question of major changes like this one, my answer is always "do it like classic, anything else is a mod". But I might still add basic deeper oceans one day because I want to swim them myself. And mod creators need at least some of the basics done before they can build on it.

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Jay_H
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by Jay_H » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:45 am

Interkarma wrote:I have already considered putting in the basics because I'm insanely-head-over-heels-in-love with underwater areas in games. Even just the very basics of underwater ocean exploration would add a little spice and give modders more to build on in the future.
Agreed :) Just having a truly endless ocean next to a near-endless landmass, where people would later mod in rowboats and fishing, would be fantastic.
Try over 130 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

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Interkarma
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by Interkarma » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:58 am

I just popped up a quick poll to take the temperature on this through Twitter.

https://twitter.com/gav_clayton/status/ ... 8229050368

If this is overwhelmingly positive, I'll likely add basic underwater to oceans when I can. I don't want to get too distracted from the core gameplay, but sometimes it's nice to have a fun project on the side when the going gets tough elsewhere.

daggerdude
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by daggerdude » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:47 am

I don't do twitter but i vote no simply because there's no great reason to IMO. perhaps on the coasts or in lakes like oblivion or skyrim, but theres SOOO much coast and lake and too little benefit TBH. I'd focus on basics and let modders play around making a pirate mod or something and work on the water themselves.

daggerdude
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by daggerdude » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:47 am

also, good job on dungeon water allofich + interkarma, things are really coming together quite quickly!

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Feralwarlord
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by Feralwarlord » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:18 am

I also don't do twitter.
I vote yes to building a basic framework as a side project that a modder could build something more substantial off

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King of Worms
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by King of Worms » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:06 am

No Twitter account but YES, make oceans better and open for modding please :)

Narf the Mouse
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Re: What about underwater?

Post by Narf the Mouse » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:18 am

Eldritch, lightless depths full of horrors, dangers, treasure, and slaughterfish?

I think it really fits.
Previous experience tells me it's very easy to misunderstand the tone, intent, or meaning of what I've posted. If you have questions, ask.

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