Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oops!: A simple correction about the map's size!

Two days ago, I wrote that the terrain map for the development demo was 10 square miles (16 sq. km.) in size, and after reading through my article again (and never thinking those numbers were right to begin with), it just didn't seem right.  It rested unsettled on my mind like an endless itch on the brain, an unending quivering in my soul, and even made me question the meaning of life (well, okay, it just bugged me, that's all...).

Well, just in case you thought that sounded funny or weren't really impressed with those numbers, that's because I was measuring the terrain in accordance to the units of the other program I used to build the terrain instead of the accurate units of measure of the game engine itself.  :P

Indeed, Captain Picard...
The correct size of the terrain is actually about 98 square miles (or 256 square kilometers).  The terrain itself in the game engine measures to 16,000 meters (or 16 kilometers) long and wide, which is close to 10 miles (9.94 miles, to be more exact) long and wide, and when you do the math there (you know, the right math which I failed to properly arrive to), it's about 100 square miles (98.8 square miles, to be more exact).

The units of the other program I was using to get the base of the terrain was set to using its own non-standard measure of units (though, I could've set them as meters, which I thought were already done) and that's where I got that funky number from.  And it's funny, too, because I did the calculation several times because it just didn't seem right, wondering what I was missing, if I was missing something.  But, silly me, I was calculating using the numbers of the non-standard unit of measure from the other program, not the metric units of the game engine.

And when you do the math (again--and right this time), that means you'll have about 800 to 1,000 square miles (or about 2,072 to 2,590 sq. km.) of fully-traversable in-game terrain with the game, plus the additional continents that will be available for Cyka as downloadable content!  (Phew!  That's better!)  Again, for an indie game, that's an amazing amount of world to explore.  We want this game to easily compare to the size of maps in games like World of Warcraft (even though this game itself bears very little resemblance to that game).

I thought I'd clear that up, because the size is rather hard to determine at this stage of the current demo.  Between the faster rate of travel you're going in the demo, and the lack of references that give you an idea of just how big the mountains are in the terrain, it would've been near impossible to get a sense of just how big the terrain actually is (and furthermore, a sense of just how big this game will be).

In the real world, 300 square miles really isn't very big, after all, but it's tricky capturing that sense of actual distance in a game and kinda taking account of that I just figured that the numbers must've been right.  But nope--ignore that!  The game's not that small!  If anything, 100 square miles is the size of one map in the game, not the sum of all the map in the game!  Though, the size of the maps will manifest better once you've seen actual models and animated characters on the terrain.

Too many numbers, too many programs, too little sleep!  Sorry about that!

- Brian

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