Elevation in Spiderweb's games

AuthorTopic: Elevation in Spiderweb's games
Apprentice
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Profile #0
I was going back recently and reading some reviews of the Exile and Avernum games, and was I surprised to notice that the caves in Avernum had elevation. I'm not referring to the cliffs and stairs, but the slopeing hills and valleys you often saw outdoors. I remember Nethergate using hills and valleys outdoors as well.

I'd forgotten about this, becuase I don't remember any of the Geneforge games having sloped terrain. I vaguely remember them having cliff walls, but I don't remember the slopeing hills that you found in the Avernum games. Is this a change in the engine, that the Geneforge engine couldn't support hills and valleys? Is everything flat in Geneforge?

Anyone know why this change was made to the engine? After seeing the 3-D landscape of Avernum it seems a bit odd to go go back to a flat landscape in Geneforge. If Avernum 4 uses the Geneforge engine, does that mean the outdoors will be flat too?
Posts: 27 | Registered: Thursday, January 1 2004 08:00
BANNED
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Maybe Jeff is lazy- I dunno.
What I disliked a great deal was being told that I was going up stairs, only to be traveling up a completely flat surface the whole way.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
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Moving up or down would require different animation and the programming to go with it. I can understand why it vanished in Geneforge, although I liked elevation in Nethergate in Avernum.

—Alorael, who recalls from one of Jeff's interviews that elevation was actually one of the inspirations for the game (specifically the lethally large cliff in the goblin mines near Shadow Valley Fort).
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Apprentice
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Elevation was an inspiration for Nethergate or for Avernum?

I remember the huge cliff in Nethergate that led to a secret area, if you could survive the terrible fall. The use of cliffs was cool. I also remember that the outdoor made a large use of hills, so that you really felt you were climbing upwards when you enter the mountains.

Likewise in Avernum when you are trying to escape, having some tunnels that keep leading upwards is a cool way of showing you getting closer and closer to the surface. I think the elevation just adds another layer to the atmosphere of the game.

But I guess people may have had trouble fighting on the sides of hills. I've heard people complain that it is hard to figure out the battle grid when you are fighting on a hill.
Posts: 27 | Registered: Thursday, January 1 2004 08:00
Agent
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The "secret area" is actually part of a quest. Ideally, you would have gotten a special wand from someone or other which would protect against falling damage. However, it seems you never ran into the wand nor the quest.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Agent
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:eek: Nooo! All these lovely mountains and twisted staircases will be gone? ;_;
*ponders whether we ever can get accustomed to call a flat land Avernum*

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Slartucker: * facepalm facepalm facepalm *
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Posts: 1420 | Registered: Wednesday, October 2 2002 07:00
Master
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But you'd think it should be harder to fight on a hill. To go even farther, Jeff might actually make it advantageous for those up higher or something.

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-ben4808
Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Shaper
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There are advatages for an archer who is higher than his target. What the actual difference in damage is I don't know.

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The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
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quote:
Originally written by spy.there:

:eek: Nooo! All these lovely mountains and twisted staircases will be gone? ;_;
*ponders whether we ever can get accustomed to call a flat land Avernum*

Spears.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by ben ben:

But you'd think it should be harder to fight on a hill. To go even farther, Jeff might actually make it advantageous for those up higher or something.
Yes, but it should be harder because it's harder, not because the interface is awkward. There were times in Nethergate and Avernum where you literally could barely see or target your opponent because they were downhill from you and to the north. (On the other hand, if they were downhill and to the south, you could see them just fine.) There are many tactical difficulties involved in fighting on a hill, but inability to judge distances and directions is not one of them!

[ Tuesday, October 18, 2005 21:48: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
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True... let's not forget that unpleasant little habit of BoA to disallow targeting two monsters if one is a square behind and a notch below the other.

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
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Actually, it's usually possible to target the "hidden" monster. You just have to be extremely precise in your clicking.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 618
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Or even just use your keyboard. Terrain of that form can be greatly annoying. Personally, in most games, I only sanction it, if it comes with a rotate feature. Otherwise, it's just such a drag to be precise.

Quartex, once you've completed Nethergate, then feel free to come and share your wisdom about it. Tisn't something that most people are ignorant about and most will be very mean to you, if you try to profess knowing more than you do. Meanie-pants.
Posts: 1487 | Registered: Sunday, February 10 2002 08:00
Apprentice
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Seraphim, I don't quit understand you post. I played Nethergate from start to finish with both the Celts and the Romans. I didn't find every secret, but have played the game thoroughly.
Posts: 27 | Registered: Thursday, January 1 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by The Seraphim:

Or even just use your keyboard.
Doesn't work if you use the keyboard -- it'll target the wrong creature under some circumstances. Apparently the way that keyboard targeting works internally is by sending a mouseclick to where the corresponding letter is, which is a pretty braindead way to do it, but oh well.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
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"The "secret area" is actually part of a quest. Ideally, you would have gotten a special wand from someone or other which would protect against falling damage. However, it seems you never ran into the wand nor the quest."

I don't know about the quest, but i seem to remember picking up a wand call ed the rod of safe descent or something like that at some point in the game.

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"You're drinking liquor because you're thirsty? How nasty is your freaking water?" —Lazarus
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Posts: 1556 | Registered: Sunday, November 20 2005 08:00
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Yes, that'd be the wand you want. There are actually two mutually exclusive quests involving an object at the bottom of the cliff, both with very nice rewards.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00