Arctic/Desert Biomes

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Manti
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Arctic/Desert Biomes

Post by Manti » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:40 am

I thought about what the game currently lacks (apart from multiplayer) quite a bit, and I came to a conclusion that two aspects that are currently most „undeveloped“ are enemy variety and the environment. Now let’s get to the idea that has potential to solve both while being relatively achievable by the developers.

Biomes:
In my current state of mind there would be two new biomes apart from the standard one, arctic and desert. Both would come with extra effects on various buildings, transports, enemies. The biomes would probably have to be quite big areas, so the map isn’t too “patchy”. They may be at random locations or just the old “north is cold, south is warm” setup.

Weather:
Apart from obviously different ground textures, the idea of snow/sandstorms comes to mind. These would decrease visibility, possibly ground flying robots and shut down wind/solar power. Biters would probably choose to hide in such weather too. These storms would have to be quite local and very rare, since as far as my idea goes they are only a hindrance. Weather damaging buildings or the player is a very bad idea. Storms should be customizable in map settings. (Did you know that power plants working with steam generate more power the colder the outside temperature is? Termodynamics.)

Effect on buildings:
Now I wouldn’t even change the building textures for the new biomes, since sand doesn’t do THAT much and most buildings do generate enough heat to melt the snow. (Actually gradually melting snow around furnaces sounds good). Now take solar panels. These “should” in the basic biome fluctuate between 70-90% effectiveness, being worse in polar regions and better in deserts. Additional effects on transport may be a good idea, having snowmobile, dune buggies or train with ploughs is a bit of a stretch from dev point of view, but definitely feels cool. Much more effects on buildings could be done, but that has to remain subtle and not too game-changing.

Enemies:
Now there could be new enemies native to specific biomes, but that is again a bit too much work for now, so let’s do something for biters. (Although I would LOVE seeing sandworms in the game, which would mean changing the entire desert biome into a Dune-inspired thing, with rocky islands and everything) Apart from different textures for the new biomes, burrowing in sand/snow seems like a cool mechanic. There are many ways to do this, from having biters move slowly underground for certain amount of time after being attacked to having biters burrow on edge of defences to ambush or wait for certain amount of time/biters to do a bigger attack.

Extras:
Now there are many, many stretch goals to achieve with this, from different resources distribution, water abundance/temperature, enemy behaviour and so on. The final goal of this idea is to make the environment feel more diverse.

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Re: Arctic/Desert Biomes

Post by ssilk » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:46 pm

I like the ideas, especially about the weather.

One thing to mention: Cause solar panels made out of semiconductors (silicium...) they work the better, the colder it is.
Very cold weather but cloudless sky makes them much more effective than a hot dessert.
But for that the sun shines not so long in winter.

And another btw: The dust of such sandstorms is a big problem when you want to built solar farms in the dessert. How to clean the panels? You need very much water for that!

Not that it should be realistic, just my two cents.
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Re: Arctic/Desert Biomes

Post by Fact_3011 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:03 pm

I don't think so about solar panels.
Yes, because of the lower temperature there should be fewer resistance, but I think resistance that this is relatively small loss. The question is, why are desert regions hotter than cold polar regions? That is the case because of much more sun light. So photovoltaics are more efficient.

However, I like the idea of different bioms with actual effect on game play. To save some new images, there could be just some simple(but good) graphical overlays or changes in color output. Just make things slightly brighter and change color temperature. Very economical with GPU memory too.

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Re: Arctic/Desert Biomes

Post by Shaymes » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:59 pm

i think about frozen conveyer belts or frozen robots :) nwm
i like the idea about ice/snow biome :)
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Re: Arctic/Desert Biomes

Post by hoho » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:30 pm

ssilk wrote:And another btw: The dust of such sandstorms is a big problem when you want to built solar farms in the dessert. How to clean the panels? You need very much water for that!
No need of water to clear them. On Mars the nearly non-existent wind was good enough :)


Overall nice ideas though I'm not sure how to implement the massive amount of extra graphics without requiring several gigabytes of vram.

Manti
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Re: Arctic/Desert Biomes

Post by Manti » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:58 pm

Both arctic and desert should be fairly monotone. 2 ground textures should be enough for starters. Apart from that you have only weather on graphics, rest should be some fairly simple coding.

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