Seasons/Weather

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littlegranary
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:01 am

Seasons/Weather

Postby littlegranary » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:38 am

I didn't see this topic being brought up yet so if it already has, please forgive my oversight.

I don't know how easy/difficult it is to implement this, but if we could have different seasons that brought about different foods for harvesting, not to mention the different weather effects involved, it would make MM a well-rounded game? I'm not a history buff of this era but I would imagine that medieval people also celebrated events according to the solstices in a year and that would certainly make for interesting gameplay where religion is also heavily involved.

alincarpetman
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Postby alincarpetman » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:07 am

I've also wondered about this, and some games such as Patrician 2 and 3 have seasonal weather effects for spring, summer, autumn and winter. For example the leaves change colors and fall from trees, it snows, there's fog; and your economy is also affected by some changes. You can see some screenshots here.

In past city builder games there weren't any major weather effects besides disasters, and it would depend how realistic you'd want the weather to be. Muddy roads slowing down carts into a pileup? People throwing snowballs at each other, or at cart pushers thus slowing down your deliveries? Excess rain flooding crops and urban areas, etc. It could be funny but also frustrating.

Also the lighting and weather effects in a specific geographic area could also be used to immerse the player in the game, for example building a small town surrounding a monastery up on a foggy hill, a windswept sea port, sunset over autumn forests, etc - could be really nice too. Some areas were/are historically known for their weather such as grey skies and many rainy days, this could figure into the game also.
Last edited by alincarpetman on Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Jeff Fiske
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Weather & Seasons

Postby Jeff Fiske » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:36 pm

Similar to how representing day and night can be problematic for gameplay, weather/seasons can be something that is worth doing when it is a fundamental part of gameplay- but otherwise can be a tremendous cost for questionable payback.

For example: In COTN we had to accurately represent the flood season and that served as the foundation for all gameplay. Likewise in SimCity Society we did a tremendous amount of work to try and sync up the real world on screen time of night vs. day with a work day, without it becoming boring. In Caesar IV we had a number of weather effects that looked great but did not have a huge effect on gameplay.

So when you go into real detail and create different versions of buildings, people saying different things you can easily increase the production buy 20-30% if not more. If it is an important part of gameplay, you do it, if not- you look at it very carefully and look for other similar gains (Clouds, shadows, animal's, events) that have a lower cost.

So really we will strive to make as rich an environment as we can, with the focus on creating a really compelling gameplay setting.
Last edited by Jeff Fiske on Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: change title

Keith
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Postby Keith » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:37 pm

The rain & lightning storms and snow storms in Caesar IV were nice eye candy though. The lightning did have an effect on game play with a strike on a building causing a fire.

I miss the sun and moon in the latter versions of Children of the Nile. They didn't do much but they did provide some nice visual imagery and screenshot opportunities, as did the stars in the night sky. I was sorry they were taken out of the game.

velociraptor2000
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:53 pm

Postby velociraptor2000 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:42 pm

Seasons / day/night cycles would be nice to see but:
- They pass to fast in raport with the game time and gameplay must be changed and indeed its very hard work for programmers.
- And if that wasn't enough you need to rework each building and texture in particular for all 4 seasons. Same with day night cycles.
- As eyecandy it may look nice and can be easier to implement, but again, it won't be fun for example... going to a crop harvest in the middle of the winter / or working in the darkest hour of the night.
- Eventually you can build cities in different climate zones (and texture work is still needed here and there... maybe :P )


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