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Radu

[FC5] Jungle Raid

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Good job @Radu, thanks for sharing (I don’t have FC5 yet so can’t try it).

Congrats on the release!

I do like what you’ve made but I find it a bit monotonous, I think a great indicator that something can be changed in a shooter, is when you complete the mission with just one gun. Not so fun imo. I know that gamers are lazy and always choose the easiest route, but for a portfolio piece I think would be important to show how you’ve thought about short range just as well as long range*. A game like FC is full of options…

Speaking of options, have they removed the parachute/wing suit in FC5? Because one of my favourite tactics in the previous games was to drop from a cliff on top of the shacks of a camp and go bezerk with the melee. I thought you were going to do that when going up the ridge at 3 min or toward the end.

My observation on the map would be that it seems too bare and open, in conjunction with the AI placement, it seems too easy to pick everyone from a distance. I would have expected at least to see you stealing a sniper rifle from a watch tower with this general layout. It seems that all enemies were the same, might be wrong because you don’t really trigger them but a great thing of prev entries were the mini-bosses that would require to use grenades, rockets or my favourite was to use fire arrows. Haven’t seen you use explosive barrels despite they were around.

A great thing of the FC games are the variables that change your plan all the time, in a map with a stream I would see very well a patrol boat. If not at least some car patrolling the camps, and you could have some env storytelling with one of the targets being on the patrol for eg. Would make it very fun to place explosive on the road.

*speaking of showing your thought process, would be great to have a commentary whilst playing the map, talking over it or at least some subtitles. You could edit in some stills of a diagram/map that help describe your intentions.

Hope the feedback is useful. congrats again for completing the map!

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Thanks for the feedback @blackdog I think you have a point with the weapon variety and wingsuit. I wanted to place different weapons in the map to reward exploration, but never got around to do it. The wingsuit is still in the game, I was just unsure about it and disabled it. The rest, however, I think is more of a complaint to how I play. And in all fairness, it is pretty boring. I think the one shot kill modifier doesn't help either. But it was important to put the map out there and hear what people thought. I'll see what I can do to add some flavour and record a more interesting video.

Edited by Radu

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I pushed a small update based on recent input from people:

- enabled wingsuit

- disabled one shot kills

- added temple ruins landmark

- added weapon pickups

- small tweaks here and there

Still have plenty feedback to go through.

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Amazing work @Radu! It looks fun and really nice too, like we're back in a Far Cry 2 type of setting which I love!!

Also I'm happy to see something that's not Source on this forum for once 😛

 

Here's a few thing that came to mind while watching your gameplay video, please take this with a grain of salt. (I'll be using timestamps from your gameplay video to point out specific things)

 

I think some of your bases need a bit of work. At 3:50 we see that the base has a flat, huge empty space at the center with next to no LOS blockers, so if you move to the center-ish you can clear the whole base while barely moving. This hurts the exploration, and makes the remaining areas of the base largely unused. Things are layed out in front of us, so it feels less compelling to move around and explore.

IMO this is roughly what the core gameplay loop for an encounter in a PVE game should often look like, if you want to make it interesting:

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(Note that Action doesn't only mean combat. It can be "interact with a thing", "pickup a new weapon", "board a vehicle", etc. and you need to tuck away those things in the first place so we can then Discover them)

This is exploration, and it's usually more fun than having the thing just sit there visible the whole time. You actually represented that perfectly in most of the surrounding "wilderness" areas, like you have those nice elevations that block LOS, creating reveals when we move past then (that guy at 0:11, the pond at 0:38) I would try to do some more of that in the bases, to merge action with exploration!

Basically find ways to create a few pockets within these bases. This can be done in numerous ways, which I'm sure you're aware since you used them elsewhere (buildings, large props, elevation, etc.) Maybe that truck at 4:25 is inside a garage with open doors, so it's slightly less visible from all angles, maybe some of the patrols are temporarily on the 2nd floor of a building, so you have to turn around it or go inside to get them, maybe the terrain has slants and ramps we need to use to get around, etc.

Some other areas are extremely open, like the farmlands at 4:55. Due to the nature of the theme it's kinda hard to come up with ways to add LOS blockers, but still it's always possible! There could be farming machinery parked in the fields, little shacks here and there, cases of gathered rice, sandbags that feel like they would be rice bags, big lumps of dirt between the field sections, river crossing through creating a small valley, etc. Even stuff like roads can be made less open by making them thinner and concave, so the edges become blockers against the outside (I think you did it in a few places).

I guess my overall point with all this, is that blockers aren't just covers for combat, they're also essential for exploration. Now I don't know what the LD philosphy for Far Cry is overall, but I'm fairly certain doing this would improve things!

Also, the 2 first bases feel very similar to me... I would try to give each of them more differing visual/gameplay/narrative flavors, just like you did on the 3rd one, which has shacks, no walls, and a radio tower! 

Similarity = repetition. Repetition = boredom! 😴

 

Fiction - I think a bit more worldbuilding could help here! Asking yourself a few questions bottom-up, and answering them one by one will solve that for you. For instance:

  • What is the purpose of this base for the bandits?
  • Why do they need to establish bases here in a rice field?
  • Why three bases?
  • What is the purpose of each individual base?
  • Are the bandits gathering rice?
  • If so, are they doing it themselves? or are they forcing local farmers to work for them?
  • If not, are they growing/smuggling drugs or something? What's the process? How do they ship it out?
  • And now: How can we communicate these answers through the environment?

You can even go into details like:

  • What are the two dudes standing in the pond doing? Fishing? Gathering rice?
  • Do the bandits work and guard all day? Where do they go when they want to take a break? Where do they sleep?
  • How do they move in and out of the area, and between the bases? Using vehicles? Helicopters? Can we show that using roads, landing pads?
  • That shack at 4:54, is that someone's home? They're not there, what happened to them?
  • Again: How can we communicate these answers through the environment?

You probably thought these things through already, but showing these is really what makes places feel lived in, and I would love to see more of that in there!!

 

Again, amazing work Radu, and please take all this with a grain of salt!

Keep it up!

-Mike

 

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Thanks for the feedback @MikeGon really appreciate it!

What you're saying definitely makes sense and is in line with what some other people have mentioned to me. I think the biggest issue was that I got distracted by the editor tools and didn't pay attention to some elements of the level as much as I should have or didn't completely plan them 100% from the beginning. That being said, I'll be updating the level later today and throughout next week. Hopefully I can address most of the issues and finalise it. 

Edited by Radu

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Album with an overview of the changes: https://imgur.com/a/hpZmy04

Most notable changes include reworking the camps, two of which have been almost been remade from scratch. I've added more fluid cover inside the camps as well as along the roads and the rice fields. There's a more clearer line of sight towards the camps and enemy patrols have been restricted just for the main road. And you can now find additional weapons placed around the map. 

Unless you guys notice anything else, I think I'm quite done with this. Ideally, I'd like to add some climbing ropes and maybe a zipline here and there. But I'll be looking to write the documentation and do a clearer presentation via greybox with properly marked enemies, patrols, items etc quick example: MdYf4Kl.jpg

Camps + road cover:

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Edited by Radu

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FINALLY

I've got the documentation done and everything. It's probably the most in depth presentation I have done to date. Definitely learned a lot working on this project, not just about level design but also about organising your project and presenting your ideas. If you guys have time, check it out at: https://radutanasie.com/jungle-raid/

 

Edited by Radu

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