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Update

Just a quick one to let you know whats happening.

I’m currently working on the area between the Swamps, the Town and the Hunters Camp in Plantation House. This area is one of two areas on the island that i was never 100% sure about, a kind of transitional area that links several interesting areas together, but had no real interesting features. I had sculpted some cliffs here and planned to have a Radio Lan station set up on the top of the cliffs that players can come back to later, but since working on the Swamps and the Raptor Canyon, i decided to update this area and add some nice voxel caves and overhanging sections for the player to explore.

When players reach the Plantation House area, they will have the task of locating the passcode for the West gate that leads to the Town. An audio clue from Hammond and some physical clues in the hunters camp will provide players with the information they need to track down the passcode required to unlock the gate.

A landslide will stop you from entering the Town though, with the only other option being to pass through the Swamps and then on towards the Raptor Canyon. From here you will move onto the second Valley in Industrial Jungle and then at the end of this valley will be the North entrance to the Town. Entering the town will be a little different to how you did in the original game, I wont reveal how its done here, but once you are in, you will be able to enter the security room from the other side, and open the gate from the inside for easier access later on.

I have added a new road leading into the Town that starts near the entrance to the swamps and ascends the hills and then enters the Town from the West. There has always been a dead end road here in the Town, and it was here that the player would actually enter the town after clearing the perimeter fence. The purpose of this new road is to provide not only an alternative entrance to the town, bypassing the landslide, but to also allow access to the Radio Lan station on the hill, and also easier access to the West side of the Island. There is a locked gate on the Swamps side of the hills here, restricting access to the town. Players will be able to unlock this gate from the Town side though, so that during the second half of the game when your doing a lot of travelling around the island, you wont have to go all the way around just to reach the West side of the island.

I’m trying to unify the island as realistically as possible, so that when the time comes to do lots of exploring and backtracking in the second half of the game, players wont have to travel excessive distances all the time. Players will eventually have access to a vehicle at some point, but even then, its going to take you a good 20-30 minutes to reach the other side of the island, probably even longer once I’ve finished detailing the North end. This is if your able to make it there without crashing the car too, which is easily done!

Although time consuming, its really fun working on these smaller transitional areas, trying to make them interesting to explore. I’m trying to fill every part of the playable area of the island with detail and provide little hidden areas that players will only find if they take the time to explore every inch. I love being able to see an area in a game that looks sufficiently detailed, so you know that there must be a way to get there but you don’t know how, then its not till later on that you find yourself in that area, accessed from another location.

I think the days of super secret areas in games are long gone, with developers taking an almost elementary approach to puzzles and secrets, as if they doubt our ability to solve a real challenging puzzle. What ever happened to the puzzles and secrets that were so hard to discover that you never found them, and it wasn’t till you read about them years later in a guide that you actually knew they even existed?

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~ by newoldmate on 01/09/2012.

21 Responses to “Update”

  1. Will you include some locations from JP2 movie? Like the downhill with the trailer wreck at the bottom…

    • I don’t have any plans at the moment to include the trailers anywhere. My priority is a remake of all Trespasser levels and locations and fill the gaps with what i can from the movies and books. I’m not trying to replicate everything that has ever happened on Isla Sorna, only what i think is suitable and complimentary to the design and story.

  2. It’s one thing to leave clues or puzzles to lead to secret areas, it’s another to make the player “bump” every wall and object for something that may or may not be there.
    It really is rewarding to discover new areas and details.

    Also, 20-30 minutes to reach other side of the island? Hope you can repair cars with one arm lol. At least it’s very scenic from what I’ve seen and maybe some action by the wild life on the way.

    • Not quite sure i get what you mean. Don’t take things too literally and assume ill be placing keys for a secret door under a rock on one side of the island and the door on the other. There wont be any walk through walls or secret passages, this is a realistic game and all areas will be found through exploration. There may be some stuff like secret panels on walls, or an air vent that can be removed, but they will have visual clues that they are different. I do have plans to include so very difficult super secret puzzles, stuff that only the true hardcore players will find, but that’s because stuff like that is almost expected. Some of the hardest puzzles in Trespasser are truly diabolical, and i’d be surprised if some of them were found without any help or by poking around in the editor.

      As for the vehicle thing, again, don’t take things to literally. I simply mean, if you drive flat out across the island, with all the twisting and turning and obstacles to avoid, it will probably take take a good thirty minutes. If you crash the car, its going to take longer. I don’t mean that it will cause damage and you’ll have to repair the car.

      I would like to have some kind of vehicle repair element, but nothing complex. Perhaps just something like finding a new wheel that isn’t flat, or some other engine parts. Cars that are left for years will quite often have a tyre go flat, and i think it would be a good excuse for a little bit of work for players to do before they can have a car to drive. Finding keys and of course an appropriate car will be part of the task as well.

      I do plan on making the vehicle somewhat limited in its use, that way players are using it for specific tasks and not just bashing around the island in it. I want it to be an important tool, not just a convenience. I have a few ideas for this, but i wont get into that now.

  3. Are you planning on adding new dinosaurs to the game? Reskinned, or anything? Like the Spinosaurus or the Ceratosaurus? I think a reskinned Tyrannosaurus that looks like a Spinosaurus would be interesting, considering you could have the two fight. Also, what about weapons? Are you keeping all the originals, or adding new ones?

    • There will probably be some new dinosaurs but nothing confirmed just yet. There will be a few new weapons, some that never made it into Trespasser and maybe some from the books and movies. Again, nothing confirmed just yet.

  4. One thing I meant to ask: Are you fixing the dinosaur AI bug where they can’t enter buildings? I just would find it so much more thrilling trying to hold a raptor back by pressing myself against the door! Or seeing a Tyrannosaurus snap at me with his head sticking inside the warehouse!

    • Is hard to fix something that hasn’t been done yet. It is CryEngine – it’s Trespasser game. So far, like he said, there is no dinos at the time. From my knowledge it will be very hard to put a dino with animations and AI to the gameplay. Strong team of moders is needed for that. But making an island is a good start.
      Meanwhile I was wondering what level of details will the buildings interiors have? I remember there were few big building like this lab with super computer (I think it was level after the docks). Are you planing expand details in them, because this element was very lame in the original game?

      • Well I’m a pretty optimistic person and I’m not concerned or intimidated by any part of this project. There is no real reason why it would be so hard to get a dino animated and in-game. If you made a dino and made a whole batch of animations that matched what a korean soldier had, and then simply replaced the model, it would probably work. The behavior wouldn’t be right, and it would obviously require more work then that to work properly, giving it biting actions etc, but i dont think it would be hard, just time consuming. I think that’s where a lot of people fail is that they attempt to try something that’s “hard”, and because it does work the first time, they simply give up.

        No pain no gain, and if your not willing to learn and put in the hours required to get the results you want, you wont get anywhere.

        I can make textures, i can make models, i can animate (its been a while though) and if i sat down and spent the time required, i could learn the flowgraph editor and make a korean soldier behave like a dinosaur. It would take a long time, but if i applied myself, i think i could do it all by myself. This doesn’t mean i will, i dont have time to do all that when i have so much work to do on the island.

        What im trying to say is, nothing needs a team of people, but it does make it easier. I’ll assemble a team when i need one.

        As for your question regarding the detail in the Lab buildings. All you need to do is look at the work i have done so far to see that it’s pretty obvious that i have no intention of leaving certain areas and buildings void of detail.

        I’ll only be adding extra detail where its needed though. I think all too often, too much time is spent adding detail where its not actually needed. Also, my idea of detail is probably different to other peoples idea of detail.

        If you took those Trespasser buildings and gave them high resolution textures, normal maps and displacement maps, they would look very good staright away. You can then go and add models for light switches, light fixtures, office equipment and things like skirting boards and what not, but you don’t have to add lots of polygons for things to look good.

        Tessellation is something that a lot of people are getting excited over. I like that we have the technology to push all these polygons, but i would like to see more time and computational power spent on making them behave better, not just look better. The CE3 SDK forest level is a good example of this. We have the technology and graphical power to render a beautiful ocean and a nicely animated cascading river, but they cant take the time to make the two intersect properly, so we get a big line where they meet. Pay someone to spend a week writing a shader that will fix it, because a million tesellated polygons wont.

        Crysis1’s level of detail is still able to wow us today, and taking into consideration its development time, that technology is around 6-7 years old. Now look at Crysis3, and do you see a jump in visuals as obvious as the jump was from FarCry to Crysis? There are improvements, but not where i’d like to see them.

        A good example is to watch the video on youtube of the Luminous Engine. Its a clip that goes for about 15 seconds, and is of what looks like a person walking into an underground car park. The detail is not impressive, the lighting is so-so, it could probably be perfectly duplicated in HalfLife2. There is nothing too special going on, yet people went crazy over it. A lot of that is because of the motion of the camera. The head bob. Although our eyes automatically adjust for our bodies movement, when we see shaky cam style movement applied to our games, it suddenly looks more realistic because we associate it with real camera footage, so we think it “looks” realistic. Like lens flares, they may only affect camera lenses, but it helps things look real.

        A box made up of 12 polygons with normal maps and displacement maps, will look just as good as a tessellated box made up of 12,000 polygons, if the design, textures and lighting is right.

        So yes, the buildings will be improved upon, but the biggest improvement in detail will be in the placement of debris, objects, textures and lighting.

      • I didn’t mean to offend you – I’ve heard that CryEngine isn’t so friendly like UDK kit when you want to put ingame your own animations or scripts – so I suggested that might be hard – but not impossible.

      • That’s cool. UDK is a development kit and you can essentially do whatever you want with it, but you have to start from scratch. The sme with the CE3 SDK. A MOD for crysis is a little different because you dont have access to source code and you’re somewhat limited to working with what the game has. The advantage is, that i can use all the trees and models to get a head start. Otherwise i’d be still making trees and textures.

    • This was actually not an AI bug, but a deliberate design choice by the developers. When you create an object in Trespasser, a building, a box, a stick etc, it has a model for the object you see and an invisible almost exact copy of that model for its physical shape. Due to the dinos having issues with getting stuck and not being able to move around in the buildings (a raptor would probably have a bit of trouble navigating a house in real life anyway), the dev’s simply placed a large physics box over the whole structure, which stopped the dinos from being able to enter. If you get on top of a house in the Town, you will notice that the dinos actually hit the physics box before they come in contact with the house, this is because the physics box is a bit bigger then the house itself.

      You can simply remove these boxes in TresEd and the raptors can enter any building you want, but it will cause issues with smaller confined spaces.

      A while ago i was working on an overhaul of the Trespasser Town, upping the detail, fixing a lot of misaligned tress and objects, and adding back a lot of the culled detail like the footpaths and the good toilets etc. One thing i did was remove the physics boxes so the raptors could enter houses and i placed a raptor inside the church, so when you approached the front door, the raptor came bursting through and jumped in the air at you from the top of the steps. It looked really cool, but sometimes because there was a gap in the floor at the top of the steps where the physics objects were misaligned, the raptor would get its foot stuck and kill itself after tumbling down the steps. A glitch, but a very funny glitch.

      I actually like the occasional Trespasser glitch, seeing a raptor get its foot stuck on a box and tumble over, it adds a little bit of randomness and realism to its behavior. It makes them seem a bit more real when they are trip over on certain things, and not just a perfect 2 dimensional character.

      I have a lot of ideas regarding the dinos behavior, particularly movement and animation. I hope there are not too many limitations on what we can do and i can explore them, because i think it will make for a much more realistic experience if the dinos are prone to making mistakes.

      • That’s very interesting! Your concept is a very good one, I’ll give you that. I think you’re doing fantastic work, and you have my full, 100% support. Also, I do agree with you. While Trespasser may have not been the best game, it certainly had some entertaining glitches! Do you have any more pictures of the buildings you could post? Maybe some of the inside? I know the model for the church was very bland, but had an interesting layout, such as the broken floorboards. I’d like to see how you are bringing in the detail to an area that, while very nice and interesting, lacked details inside the buildings.

      • I haven’t started working on them yet. I will once i have got most of the island made and i know exactly what i want from them. I might decide later on in development that i want the church to have an additional room or something that ties into another puzzle elsewhere on the island. I would then need to change the model and update it, which is time i don’t have.

        I’m only concerned right now with making the island and filling it with as much detail as i can. And by detail, i mean rocks and trees etc. I want the island to be as realistic as possible and provide hundreds of hours of exploration, just as a real life island this size would.

        Once i have an island that is as realistic as possible, i can then start to make all the Site B specific content. And because im making temporary structures now, i can go back through and replace them with the real models later.

  5. Ah, okay. Well, the island is looking fantastic! Real quality stuff! Now, are you going off the Lost World Site B, or the Jurassic Park III Site B? Or a combination, or straight Trespasser? Sorry for so many questions. I’m just so excited about this project!

    • Well its a Trespasser remake with some elements from the books and the films, to fill the gaps.

  6. I saw somewhere that clicking ads helps raise revenue for you, is there any other way that people can help?

    • Hi, yes the ads will help raise some revenue, but i found out that its based on impressions, so you don’t need to actually click on the ads, which is great. Its going to be a few weeks before i have access to earnings reports, but from what i have read, i think its going to take a long time to raise enough money to be of any use.

      I have considered creating a Paypal Donation button, but im really not sure about it. I have had a few people ask about it now though, so i’ll have to give it some more thought.

      I’ll make a post about it soon if i decide to go through with it.

      Thanks.

  7. I just saw the recent news post on trescom and one of my first reactions to the screenshot was i must donate to whoever is doing this work.

    please set up something that would accept donations, I am sure that i can’t be the only one who would want to use it.

    • Hi, thanks for the kind words, but i cant take all the credit for screens like that. Its really quite easy to get good results in CryEngine, and all those lovely trees were made by Crytek for Crysis.

      I have thought about adding a donation button, but im really not sure about it. Part of me wants to do it so i can get some new hardware and speed up development, but i cant help but feel that donations are better off sent to charity’s that need it.

      Perhaps i can forward 15-25% of any donation received to a charity of my choice?

      I’ve had a few people ask about donations now, so I’m going to have to think about it and let you know.

      Thanks.

      • I know Crytek made the objects seen in that screen shot and the visual features/effects that allow it to look so good but the work you did with what you had is what made the shot so beautiful, i think the shots of Raptor Canyon prove that point.

        But i have to be clear, after being impressed by the first screen shot i then scanned through all the pictures in the thread starting with the island coming together i was just more and more impressed and after reaching the end of the thread i knew i wanted to donate, it was not just that one beautiful shot that made me want to do so, it was your work that had been posted as a whole.

        To some extent it’s possible to always think of a better use for almost all money we spend but we all try to find our own balance and if you really want to pass some on to charity i don’t think anyone could have an issue with that.

        I do not know if you have considered this but if not i would suggest you think of the hours of work relative to how much is donated as i am pretty sure that the work time would far outweigh any monetary rewards so i would suggest you would have worked hard for every cent. also using donated money to get faster hardware that would increase your efficiency seams more like investing in your project so i think that would make donators happy.

        I look forward to watching your progress.

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