Poll

How many dungeons should we include?

Less than Five
0 (0%)
5~10
7 (50%)
10~15
7 (50%)
None
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Author Topic: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals  (Read 4847 times)

Darkelfguy

  • Administrator
  • Modder Emissary
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
  • Karma: +20/-0
    • View Profile
ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« on: June 17, 2015, 01:19:10 AM »
Now that we've started on town planning and Melchior already has the landmass pretty well far along, it's time to discuss dungeons and how many we should include.

Not only that, there's also the question of whether we should have dungeons that aren't associated with any quests as well as dungeons that are part of a quest-line (keep in mind, for players who like to explore, they enjoy finding dungeons and raiding them right away).

And there's the question of what types of dungeons we should include? Melchior already has a Daedric ruin added in, but what about Velothi, Stronghold, Dwemer, Smuggler, and possibly other types of dungeons?

Now personally, I love dungeons, and as those of you who've played through my mods know, I like to use a combination of environmental and written story-telling to give each dungeon a purpose. I think we could do the same here without necessarily adding a quest for each dungeon, just a little sprinkling of story-telling here and there.

Of course, dungeons are probably the most time-consuming and draining aspect of interior design, and getting them just right takes a lot of work (unless you're using GenMod to randomly generate dungeons of course). So I'd like to hear everyone's suggestions on what types of dungeons to include, how many, and overall size and design for these dungeons.
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

HangHimHigher

  • Community Assistant
  • **
  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 03:22:34 AM »
I would be leaning towards a smaller number of physically larger, higher quality dungeons, rather than diverting our efforts into heaps of little dungeons.  If we finish them and we have time for more, well, we could always just add more!  I also think that it would be nice to have dungeons which, as you mention, are atmospheric without having overt quests, partly so that quests from "the surface" could occasionally involve the player dipping into these to retrieve X item or whatever (which would make less sense if the caves were already a bandit den or something).

As for the actual design, I really like the idea of a vast, airy cavern which is sort of like the region around the Old Mournhold Battlefield -- big, spacious and desolate, with entrances to smaller cavern complexes dotting the extremities.  However, I'm acutely aware that I don't have much to offer in the interior design modding side of things, so I don't want to throw out grand ideas which other people then have to slave over, so please feel free to disregard!

Fulgore

  • Outlander
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 04:53:45 AM »
What HanghimHigher said. Also I think we could mix tilesets like, for example, a cave that leads to a daedric or dwemer ruin. Oh and about caves: is there a consensus about using cave tilesets or can we just cobble together rocks and boulders to get what we want? It would be more work to do a dungeon this way but we would have much more freedom.

Istreddify

  • Modder Acolyte
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 03:27:31 PM »
Oh and about caves: is there a consensus about using cave tilesets or can we just cobble together rocks and boulders to get what we want? It would be more work to do a dungeon this way but we would have much more freedom.
I'd leave this to the modder, possibly with one caveat: don't overdo it. A nice-looking cave that makes all PCs slow to a crawl due to the number of boulders used isn't much of a dungeon...

Darkelfguy

  • Administrator
  • Modder Emissary
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
  • Karma: +20/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 12:34:16 AM »
I would be leaning towards a smaller number of physically larger, higher quality dungeons, rather than diverting our efforts into heaps of little dungeons.  If we finish them and we have time for more, well, we could always just add more!  I also think that it would be nice to have dungeons which, as you mention, are atmospheric without having overt quests, partly so that quests from "the surface" could occasionally involve the player dipping into these to retrieve X item or whatever (which would make less sense if the caves were already a bandit den or something).

As for the actual design, I really like the idea of a vast, airy cavern which is sort of like the region around the Old Mournhold Battlefield -- big, spacious and desolate, with entrances to smaller cavern complexes dotting the extremities.  However, I'm acutely aware that I don't have much to offer in the interior design modding side of things, so I don't want to throw out grand ideas which other people then have to slave over, so please feel free to disregard!

Oh yes definitely, larger well-detailed dungeons should be the goal rather than numerous smaller dungeons. I also like the Old Mournhold architecture, though I haven't really used it much in dungeon design myself, and I do like the concept of "hub" dungeons (which I think is what you're referring to). A "hub" dungeon is one that splits off into many other paths and leads into multiple interiors, sort of like Arkngthand in vanilla Morrowind. It would be cool to get a few of those added in, though naturally due to the number of interiors they use, they're a bit harder to build.

What HanghimHigher said. Also I think we could mix tilesets like, for example, a cave that leads to a daedric or dwemer ruin. Oh and about caves: is there a consensus about using cave tilesets or can we just cobble together rocks and boulders to get what we want? It would be more work to do a dungeon this way but we would have much more freedom.

Yes! I love combining tilesets, especially with cavern tiles (because they work well with everything). Typically I like using a mix of Daedric, Stronghold and Cavern tilepieces together.

I actually have an example below:

This is a dungeon I'm working on for one of my own projects, its a mix of cavern and stronghold tilepieces. This is also an example of a "hub" dungeon, because it has four interiors that split off from it and form different paths for the player to take.


In particular, I love using stronghold columns in caverns, mixed in with boulders, roots, and various flora objects. Makes for a cool effect.


Something I also typically do in dungeon design is make areas that the player can see but can't get to, either due to it being blocked off, or because some hazard is in the way. In a way this does kind of limit the player, but at the same time, it gives the illusion of the dungeon being larger than it actually is, and immerses the player in a world that is larger than what they can immediately get to.

Anyway, I think it's fine to cobble together rocks and boulders to make interiors, it does make for a good way to make custom-sized caverns. Though I would be wary of using any terrain rocks on the interior, simply due to On the Rocks! causing a lot of conflicts for people who do or don't have it when they play (since On the Rocks! changes the size and shape of all exterior terrain rocks).

I'd leave this to the modder, possibly with one caveat: don't overdo it. A nice-looking cave that makes all PCs slow to a crawl due to the number of boulders used isn't much of a dungeon...

It shouldn't be too big of a problem, I'd say as long as the interior is around 1200 objects, it should load fine on 75% of all computers that play Morrowind. You could probably push that to 1500 objects, but beyond that even high-end computers will run into trouble.

Anyway, I dug up an old dungeon interior that was made for ModTown 2011, it was never finished but consists of a combined sunken mudcave-Daedric ruin interior. If no one minds, I think I'll try and finish it off with detailing and building some additional interiors to split off from it. I figure Melchior can add a sunken Daedric ruin somewhere near the coast.


This is the interior layout for it. Right now the object count is 230, I estimate by the time the detailing phase is done, it'll be just shy of 1000 objects. I'm planning to add two-three additional interiors to this dungeon, with a grand total object count for the whole thing of around 2500~3000 hand-placed objects. Kind of depends on how many of the interiors are straight Daedric ruin (which requires very little detailing) and how many of the interiors are a mix of cavern tilepieces (lots of detailing required).
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

Melchior Dahrk

  • Moderator
  • Community Ambassador
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
  • Karma: +26/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 07:14:50 AM »
I'm with everyone else. Some grandiose dungeons to wow the player would be nice. BUT, if someone wants to, I think a single or several dungeons which are focused less on appearance and more on challenging and rewarding the player might not be amiss either.

Mixing tilesets is a cool thing to do in dungeons. I'm all for it.

And I think you should definitely polish off that unfinished dungeon, Dark. Once we have it, I'll add it off the coast near one of the offshore islands.

Danjb

  • Outlander
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 08:20:50 AM »
A few large dungeons sounds good, but I like the idea of having several small dungeons as well, like the original ancestral tombs in Morrowind, only a bit more detailed.

I also like the idea of an underwater cavern in the lake.

Fulgore

  • Outlander
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 03:22:39 AM »
I'm about to start building a Pycave/Dwemer ruin dungeon. I'll post something later today or tomorrow at worst.

Melchior Dahrk

  • Moderator
  • Community Ambassador
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
  • Karma: +26/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2015, 09:38:14 AM »
Can't wait! Glad that we'll be getting a dungeon from you, Fulgore.


Melchior Dahrk

  • Moderator
  • Community Ambassador
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
  • Karma: +26/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 07:57:28 PM »
I like it so far! Is this going to be your claim too? Or just a dungeon?

Darkelfguy

  • Administrator
  • Modder Emissary
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
  • Karma: +20/-0
    • View Profile
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

Fulgore

  • Outlander
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2015, 04:18:02 AM »
I like it so far! Is this going to be your claim too? Or just a dungeon?
Well it will be both actually. It starts as a cave full of bandits which ends up to a dwemer ruin. The player eventually stumbles upon some artifacts that allows him/her to travel to another realm which is where people will find me in game. I'm still deciding what the realm will look like, but I'm leaning toward a grey environment with floating stuff all around and probably a few scrolls/books with tutorials written by yours truly.

Melchior Dahrk

  • Moderator
  • Community Ambassador
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
  • Karma: +26/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 06:42:48 AM »
Awesome! Did you want to make the exterior entrance? Otherwise I started crafting something on the side of the volcano last night.

Darkelfguy

  • Administrator
  • Modder Emissary
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
  • Karma: +20/-0
    • View Profile
Re: ModTown 2015 - Dungeon Designs and Proposals
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2015, 06:39:54 AM »
Apologies for not posting much this week, I've been busy trying to get a new video project finished, but I thought I'd stop in and share an update on the dungeon I've been working on.


I've started detailing the main portion of this Daedric dungeon, and layout stage is prettty much complete now.


Here's a closer look at one of the side-caverns, and you'll notice there's a lot of Daedric ruin parts scattered in along the cavern walls.


Here's an eye-level look of what this underwater complex will be like for the player.


This is a dead end off to the side with a mix of Daedric buildings.


And here's the entrance, it's completely submerged (something to note for exterior design).

Anyway, current progress on this first dungeon interior cell is about 50% with an object count of 530. I estimate it'll be about 1000 objects by the time it's finished.
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder