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Author Topic: Area Design Inspiration  (Read 5809 times)

oryx

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Area Design Inspiration
« on: May 04, 2018, 10:12 AM »
When beginning to design a new area, where do you look for inspiration?

I often find myself reading favorite books. I love China Mieville. Sometimes I watch old movies that seem to fit the theme.

Hades_Kane

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 11:57 AM »
We largely stick to areas based on the games in our theme (Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger/Cross).

Sometimes I'm like "you know, that'd be a fun area to build" while other times its more of a matter of "we need this type of area for this spot" and then I search for something that fits (or build something original if it doesn't).

Occasionally there's been a concept, whether it be a story, quest, or even an interesting game mechanic, that I'll decide I want to work at, and then conceptualize an area around that.
-Diablos
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prochat

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 5:56 AM »
Find references and first, set up a geographic system: scale, overall view like lands, continents, etc.

Epilogy

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 8:18 AM »
I'm not usually at a loss for ideas, only motivation, and time.

The better ideas stick with me, and I refine them over time until I either discard them, or start taking notes. The notes often go nowhere as I work out technical details, overcome obstacles, and figure out if what I want is a good fit for the game. I also tend to use people to discuss ideas during the note-writing stage, though this is often fairly one-sided.

Whatever makes it past this stage properly usually makes it into the game.

UurdinCM

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 11:45 PM »
The most recent area I've built is a city with canals, bridges, overhead walkways, and the like.  I already had a background story in mind for the city, and various events I wanted to allow the player to experience there.  But for motivation and inspiration to keep me going over the long process of building, I found a great fantasy picture that I thought represented the area nicely and set it as my desktop picture.  Whenever I logged onto my computer, that great picture would help pull me into the world I was creating, sort of like a kick starter.

Molly

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 2:11 AM »
Since 4D is time-travel based, my inspiration comes from history, myth, books and films with connection to the 4 time periods that are our main themes, and I generally try to base the maps on the actual geography as well. For instance, Pre-historic is basically based on ancient Greece and Old Egypt, and the zone I am currently working on is Asia Minor, at the time of the Trojan War.

I also generally use the room descs to drop bits and pieces of the background story, instead of just describing the topography. I know that this is a bit unorthodox, but there are just a limitied number of ways you can describe a grass field, and many of our zones are grid based, with cities attached up or down from the grid.

We also have a very pretty looking graphical map, which can be downloaded as an app, and is based on the system that KaVir developed for Godwars II, and generously shared with us. The tile for each sector of terrain has a different colour and texture, which gives a very good illusion of the topography, so the need to describe it in words isn't imminent.

KaVir himself used another method for the room descs; he had a good builder write a number of different short phrases, characteristic for each sector. Combined with what the player himself was wearing and carrying, and their present posture - (sitting, standing, walking, sleeping etc.), the phrases formed the description of the room.
Molly O'Hara of 4 Dimensions
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secrete

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 9:01 AM »
I like to thoroughly research even tangential details and then take 4 years to finish an area.
Lorana of EoT

Littlewing

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 7:03 PM »
I just use my imagination - and try to keep it within the theme of the mud.

Jodah

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2018, 9:08 PM »
Depends on the last movie I saw.

Savvannis

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Re: Area Design Inspiration
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2018, 1:56 PM »
For me, inspiration for new areas is easy: I have a vision of the world I want our MUD to present to the players, even if it takes me the next 20 years to create it.  I have a website for the MUD ( http://BlackHandGaming.net/realms ), which contains a map of the world we are currently creating, along with a plethora of other information we are working on for our game.  That map is currently the desktop background on both of my monitors, and I am constantly working on ideas as they come to me.  I've lost count of how many areas I have in various stages of building!  When I'm not working on areas, I'm working on updating and modifying our codebase.