POI's and you; a how-to

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Fractalite, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    A Comprehensive Guide on How to Create a POI


    Post:
    1. Theme, Difficulty, Approach, Block type usage.
    2. Laying the foundation, large rooms/objects, and SI.
    3. The first rooms and entrances.
    4. Spawner and enemy types.
    5. Weapon Turret Usage.
    6. Exterior Detailing.
    7. Creating that "lived in" feel and CPU.
    8. Interior traps and signal logic.
    9. The finishing touches; how to name and set depth.
    10. A note on floating POI's.
    11. Orbital POI's - A trip into space.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------


    "POI" Acronym Description - "Point or place of interest."



    Theme


    First and foremost; a POI is a story. More than that, it is also a story within a story - the broader story of a species, faction, or Andromeda at large. So right off the bat; when you consider creating one, think about who and what your faction is, what they might need in terms of facilities, defenses, and installations.

    A "Hive Mind" type species might have a larger central nexus surrounded by smaller structures. A classic space empire might have command centers, gun batteries, communications centers, barracks, etc. To contrast, would a trade conglomerate have a spawning pool? Probably not. Would a pacifist species have giant ground-to-orbit cannons of death and destruction? My thinking is no.

    POI's can be stand alone structures or they can be a part of a broader faction. If stand alone; the textures, colors, and symbols must be unified throughout but if a part of a faction or sub faction; it MUST have the same of similar themes to the others in that faction or sub factions line-up. Reason being; there is a concept in stagecraft and movie/television production referred to as "suspension of disbelief" and it invites the creator of something to try and get the viewer or participant to "suspend their disbelief." Having similar colors, textures, and symbols throughout will help the player suspend their disbelief. Think of your POI in that light; how can you get the player to suspend their disbelief?

    I will use two of the Zirax Xenu buildings as an example:


    20200310200327_1.jpg
    (you will note the same textures and colors.)


    Difficulty

    The second most important thing to consider before you have even placed your first starting block is: How hard do I want this POI to be? Should it be a mushroom of death lasers? Perhaps an errant sentry post? Here is a way to think of things:

    -10 This is a POI that when a player enters, it showers them with loot, a buff, and a handjob.
    -9
    -8
    -7
    -6
    -5 This is a POI that is still nice, gives things to players, but is not a geyser of bonuses.
    -4
    -3
    -2
    -1 A relic building with a locker or two. Mostly broken down or minimalist.
    0 This is a neutral POI. Like say, a trade station or generic living quarters.
    1
    2 This is a stand alone turret that should make the player hesitate, but not completely confound them
    3 Most Zirax stuff is here.
    4 Most Zirax stuff is here. Stronger turrets begin to show up at this point in the spectrum.
    5 This is a POI that is much trickier, will likely have a secret passage. 4 turrets tops. Mid-level loot.
    6 This is the first difficulty on the spectrum when most dungeons appear. Plenty of loot.
    7 This is even harder, the player will likely need some prep before attempting. 6 - 8 turrets. Will need very tough turrets.
    8 This is a very hard POI. Think Abandoned Buildings and Drone Bases. Has lots of loot including at least one rare. Any additional rares must be hidden or trapped. Will likely utilize shields.
    9 Extreme difficulty POI. The player is likely to die. End game stuff but you also find the best items.
    10 God in a POI. Deliberately cruel and unfair. End game stuff and you DEFINITELY find the best items.


    To explain; this is a scale from -10 to 10. Where minus ten is a POI that is intensely benevolent to the player, and 10, stunningly malevolent. The further from 0 you go towards either bound the more and rarer loot should be found.

    A good example of a POI that exists on the negative side of things would be found in Ravien's Eden scenario dead planet start. In that start he equipped the planet with lots of POI's that are large numbers of cargo containers, or minimally stocked buildings. The point being that players enter the area or structure and they are given something that helps them against their primary enemy in that start; the clock via the elements and starvation.

    I will not list examples of POI's that are 1 - 10 as I think most players are familiar with them. I WILL say that we do not currently have a 9 or 10 in the game yet(the closest to a "9" would be the Xenu P1 Fortress.) But they are coming... :eek:

    Hey! Read this! - to avoid confusion, this scale is NOT THE SAME thing as when you see the lvl marker next to the POI in game. This scale is here to assist with the conceptual.


    Approach & Block Type

    In conjunction with the difficulty and the theme, one of the most important aspects of your POI is what block types to use. Here is the current line up of block types:


    20200310194825_1.jpg


    They are, from left to right; Wood, plastic, concrete, armored concrete, steel, hardened steel, combat steel, and alien. They also travel in difficulty along those same lines. Consider; if you are creating a temple for a more primitive species, would they have access to combat steel? Probably not. If you have an eerie alien pyramid, will you see lots of wooden huts? Nope.

    Do the best you can to make sure to create a range of difficulty. Do not only use Combat steel blocks for all of your futuristic sci-fi buildings. That will ruin the suspension of disbelief and breathes a kind of plainness into your buildings that the player will pick up on over time. If you create a range of POI's for a faction, have the easier made out of steel, the trickier hardened, and really tough out of combat. Will the players melt through the regular steel? Probably, but that is okay.

    Another thing to consider with respect to your approach is the "dungeon." I referred to this idea in the difficulty spectrum and it denotes a POI that has a larger underside that is sunk into the ground that players are encouraged to run on foot. All the same rules and thoughts apply, but it is important to note the two types - the more superficial and the more in-depth. This also applies to space, but simultaneously in all 6 directions.

    Lastly, form must also follow approach and theme. Continuing with the Xenu from the pic above, here are the predominant styles of Xenu buildings:


    20200310215513_1.jpg A combination of the squat, and the taller and narrower. One of the most challenging POI's in the game currently is the P1 Fortress:


    20200310215539_1.jpg and designers of the Xenu faction would want to keep these forms in mind as they build. The shape can be deviated from, but generally speaking, the shape/form helps the players with identification and thus a suspension of disbelief.


    Further Note:

    For now I am not going to list the console commands for BP manipulation as they are already listed elsewhere in the forums. I do however want to address the replaceblocks command. Not how to use it, but more, do not be afraid to build with one type and then change it over to another. Also, with newer and tougher blocks eventually showing up from the developers, it will be important to go back through your POIs and update them with the appropriate range of turrets and blocks in accordance with whatever the developers come up with.

    *side note - there are also the terrain voxel blocks that can be copy + pasted into any BP, but I am going to cover those in the Orbital POI post.
     
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  2. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Foundation

    So! You have thought about the difficulty, considered the theme, and resolved what block types and shape of your POI. Now it is time to consider your foundation. To do that is a two fold exercise. The first is to consider the foundation and the second is to consider the larger interior spaces of objects that you will need to build around.

    When the game spawns a POI on the surface of the world, it flattens a somewhat squarish and somewhat ovoidish shape. Keep that shape in mind, as, if the POI is set into a hill side, and you have outlying turrets that are low to the ground, they will not be able to fire at players. Whereas if you were to place a base with lower turrets on a desert world, you would be fine.

    The trick is, many will want to create a POI that has lower level of blocks below the ground level or the very first "plate" of blocks. To help with a visual, here is the Xenu Fortress P1 side-on:


    20200310221453_1.jpg


    I will cover how to set that depth in a later post, what is important now is to understand how the game "cuts" out the terrain; it removes the terrain RIGHT UP TO the edge blocks in a rectangle. Which means that if your base were to look like this:


    20200310221751_1.jpg


    from top-down, but then be this deep:


    20200310221759_1.jpg

    There would be a resulting empty space where the cutout algorithm removed terrain with respect to the rectangle formed from the shape seen top-down. This box is formed on every vessel and structure and is usually not relevant for BA's, SV's, and CV's but CAN be important for HV's and POI's. Needless to say this is not as appetizing to look at and should be avoided.

    Another important concept with respect to "foundation" is core type. For game spawned POI's the core type is one part of how the player can interact with it. The two most common types are found in the alien blocks group:


    20200310223600_1.jpg

    and are the NPC core and the NPC admin core:

    20200310223647_1.jpg

    Both will spawn a hostile POI but the admin core makes the structure invulnerable(but things like switches can still be interacted with.) Use the admin core sparingly and if you do, THERE MUST BE A PATH THROUGH THE POI TO THE CORE OR A WAY TO DESTROY THE CORE. In fairness, with A12, there are the new keycards, so the POI might be for a retrieval of a keycard, but there still must be a path to said keycard if you use the admin core.


    Large Interior Spaces and Objects "The big stuff"

    With the foundation in mind the next step to planning your POI is to be highly mindful of the larger spaces or objects you plan to add to the structure. This is similar to considering an interior cabin and warp drive for an SV or a hangar and warp drive for a CV. If you plan on having a hangar, START with it as opposed to trying to add it later. Similar to a shield generator - it is a large 3x3x3 and NEEDS TO BE EASY TO REACH for most POI's that equip them(so that the player can remove it on foot.) So not only start with it, but start and keep it near to entrances or openings. Once you progress in skill, multiple large interior spaces can be considered, but you still want to try and start with them to the best of your ability.


    Structural Integrity

    As of 3/10/20 10:31 PM EST USA when the game loads in a POI, Structural integrity is not taken into account if the game loads with an NPC alien core(this might change in the distant future.) So you could build something like:


    20200310223310_1.jpg

    and it will not collapse on you. Keep in mind that as soon as the core is removed or replaced, SI is then taken into consideration and the extension in the pic will come tumbling down. This gives both a touch more freedom in building, but can also result in the some truly ridiculous situations of entire structures landing on a players head if they just replace the core. Know that if you try to submit something like this for use in the game 9 times out of 10, the developers will likely ask you to address SI if it is especially egregious.

    Floating POI's do not use SI AT ALL. But I will cover that later.
     
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  3. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Entrances

    It might seem intuitive to most, but your POI needs an entrance. For beginners keep it simple. A nice textured stairway, a light, and a door will handle roughly 90% of all the POI's that the game needs. Example:


    20200310225513_1.jpg

    The United States Marine corps uses a nice saying for these kinds of situations; the K.I.S.S. principle; Keep It Simple Stupid. In the image above the builder or refurbisher also has a nice little switch for ease of use(I will cover switches later.)

    However, your POI can have more advanced entrances. In keeping with the Xenu theme, here is a modest vehicle entrance:


    20200310225857_1.jpg

    Again, very simple. There is also a spawner in this approach. Spawners and entrances can be tricky. A good rule of thumb; if the entrance is more open, consider having a spawner. I will cover how to use spawners in a later post, and the player may just destroy it with their SV's and HV's, but it creates the "feel" that you are looking for.

    Once you get the hang of the simple entrance(s), more advanced entrances can be considered. They range in all sorts of styles from grates covering ventilation shafts to trapdoors opening via switches. You can also add multiple entrances, but keep in mind that the POI IS a story, and like a story with multiple plots or told from the perspective of multiple characters, the more entrances you have, the more complex your story gets and the harder it is to build a POI. Example of a very cunning alternate entrance in the Abandoned Factory:


    20200310235613_1.jpg


    Another in the Abandoned Bunker:


    20200310235912_1.jpg


    The First Rooms and Areas

    This is a surprisingly important topic. Your first rooms are critical to the success and fun level of your POI. They need to follow the arc of difficulty you have choosen for your POI, and with the exceptions of difficulties 7, 8, 9, and 10 should not immediately swamp the player with enemies or turrets. Give them a chance to "get inside" and feel like they are part of the experience. Maybe even the first two rooms. The best example of this that I know of is the Abandoned Factory. The first room has two enemies and the second a turret. For a difficulty of 8, that is "gentle" and helps with a sense of progression.

    The other thing to consider when it comes to the first few areas or rooms is the shield gen. If you planned a dungeon or really tough POI(difficulty 8 - so "mean") you will likely want to place a POI shield gen in your POI. They are found in the item menu under BA:


    20200310230857_1.jpg


    There are going to be quite a few players that will likely want to take the base on foot, some players the want to take on the base via Coop, and others that just park a CV over the thing and whittle down the shield like a thousand tiny hornets. In each case, as soon as the firing stops or the player makes it into the base on foot, the shield will either still be up or will start to regen.

    SO THE SHIELD MUST HAVE SOME MECHANISM TO BE DISABLED OR DESTROYED within the first few rooms. This could be a simple off switch, or it could be explosive blocks tied to a motion sensor or switch. I would recommend a switch as the "story" of the POI would be a hard sell to your players if they could just walk through the thing and *poof* the shield goes down. Regardless, there must be a mechanism.
     
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  4. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Spawners and all the things that go bump in the night

    For this tutorial I will go over some of the basic spawners, where to use them, and then a few smallish examples.

    The first up is the basic spawning pad:


    20200315182132_1.jpg

    The basic spawning pad will generate a standing NPC above the plate whose orientation follows the two sets of little arrows as indicated on the Pad. It is the standard for Zirax spawning as it indicates a short range teleport(or perhaps even cloning.) It can be used for neutral NPC's in this fashion as well but try to not use them for something like a spider - since a spider is a natural occurrence, why would it be teleporting in? <- although as with all things creative, if you can tell the story that it should do so, feel free to spawn as many spiders as you want.

    Next is the Spawning plate:


    20200315182141_1.jpg

    This is the spawner you should be using most of the time. It is invisible and untargetable while in single player or multiplayer. If you need to spawn something upside down or on a wall, this is also the least problematic option.

    Immediately to the right of that is the drone spawner 1:


    20200315182149_1.jpg


    This spawner is where all the drones spawn on a drone base or space drones spawn on a carrier or orbital base. It is ONLY EVER USED ON THOSE STRUCTURES. Similar to the spawning pad the drones will spawn oriented on the two little sets of arrows as indicated on the pad, but, there is a difference with this pad vs the NPC; the drone pad needs a space of 5 blocks long in the front(where the arrows are) and 2 on each side. Like so:


    20200315183410_1.jpg


    Although this can be placed below ground, please keep the area "above" this free of everything(I write above in "'s because this also applies to space.) Concerning Orbital Patrol Vessels; each drone spawner will spawn 1 drone, so the max drones the ship can have deployed at any one time is equal to how many drone spawners it has. 2 spawners = 2 drones out at once. 10 spawners = 10 drones out at once, etc. It will continue to launch new drones as old ones are destroyed, up to the max drone amount listed for the patrol vessel in the playfield file.

    Lastly for this tutorial is the drone spawn pad 2:


    20200315182156_1.jpg

    It follows the same rules as the drone spawn plate 1 but is used for the landing of the troop transport. It is even more important that you keep this space clear of clutter and just to be safe, give it lots of room.


    Spawner usage and notes:


    Lets say you have a corridor in your POI like so:


    20200315183906_1.jpg

    Where the red arrow is the direction the players will be "encourage" to come from. The little red man is the spawning plate. There are a number of different methodologies when considering this area. Do you want your spawns to be present as though they are living there or "milling about." Do you want them to spawn as the player approaches? Again, consider the story: NEVER HAVE ENEMIES JUST SPAWN OUT OF THE BLUE IN FRONT OF THE PLAYER. This is both a rule, and common sense. There are exceptions, but I will cover that in a sec(in the notes area below.) First, let us consider the two methodologies. When you place your mouse cursor over the little red man and press "P" it will bring up the control panel with this tab as an option:


    20200315183918_1.jpg

    On the right is the configuration of the spawner. The amount spawned, the 4 different types that you can have spawning, the area, the "static" setting, and the "respawn" setting. For our current discussion of when to have things spawn we are going to investigate the spawn area. The spawn area is represented by a large 3-D red box. Each number represents one full block - and it can be unintuitive where that boundary lies. Best to always assume one full block past where the red box ends. If we want the enemies to be present as though they live in this space or or just walking about, we would want to set the spawner "at all 16's." But! If we want the spawner to only react to the players presence in a specific location, we will want to adjust those numbers so that the red box looks like so:


    20200315185120_1.jpg

    Now the enemies will only spawn as the player is moving down that specific hallway.

    The other aspects of the configuration do as their name implies:
    • The amount spawned will spawn X number of of the four different types. The four different drop down boxes indicate the four different types that are spawned and spawn in this order: 1,2,3,4 or if you set the amount to "2" it would be: 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4.(Sometimes the game hiccups and they come out a little out of order.)
    • If you set up a spawner to spawn 4 different types of NPCs but set the max spawn to 2, then it will only spawn 2 NPCs (randomly chosen from the list of NPCs you set). It won't spawn 2 sets of each NPC, but just 2 NPCs total.
    • The "faction" should always be "same as base" unless you are specifically aware of needing it to be tied to another faction.
    • Static means the spawner will work without power and will also ignore signal logic. Non-static means the spawner will not function if the base loses power or a core, and can be controlled by signal logic. Good for when you want a spawner to activate or deactivate with signals.
    • Respawn indicates the spawner will respawn NPCs that were killed after about 2 minutes.

    Important additional spawner Notes:
    • I mentioned it above, and I will more explicitly state here; The drone spawners 1 & 2 are ONLY for bases that spawn drones or the troop transport. Do not use them on any other POI.
    • I wrote, "NEVER HAVE ENEMIES JUST SPAWN OUT OF THE BLUE IN FRONT OF THE PLAYER" and now I will discuss the exception: The times when you can use the invisible spawners IN FRONT OF PLAYERS is if you can tell the story of why the enemy might be spawning in front of you. A very good example of this is texture usage and can be seen in the abandoned structures; the infestor stand-in's(i.e. scorpions) come "out" of a vent. Another example can be found in the Eden scenario in the snow dwarf start; there are spiders that appear out of crumbled wall and brick. Either way, the enemies do not spawn out of nowhere and the player gets a chance to follow patterns. Additional subnote; there are some very unimaginative players out there that might have trouble with these patterns, so if you hear criticism, you gotta have a thick skin. :)


    Potential Enemy Encounters and usage


    When thinking about the types of enemies to use, always remember the story and context. For the legacy remnants(i.e. abandoned buildings) they utilize the total horror and the alien scorpions(stand in for a future infestor mechanism.)


    20200315192301_1.jpg


    These are not necessarily reserved, but consider why they might be used where they are. For instance, you would not find a dinosaur or spiders mixed in with them. Why? Because maybe they cannot survive. Or maybe they got consumed. Or do they really mix with a crazy alien series of devouring creatures? It is intensely important for your POI's that you do not just stuff them full of different enemies. That ruins the suspension of disbelief and can "drown" the player in a wave of randomness. It might be tempting to do when you are sitting at your computer making it, but resist the urge and plan thematically.

    Along these thematic lines consider the physical as well. Melee vs ranged. Also, what ranges are involved? Should you put that Zirax sniper in that enclosed and small room filled cargo boxes? Probably not. Shotgun Zirax would be better.

    A VERY good example of studying spawner usage is Vermillion's snow-themed Rados Fuel Depot:


    20200315192714_1.jpg (can be found in the BP files when you sort for "BA")

    In this base Vermillion has snipers on the walkways, assault rifle zirax paired with laser rifle zirax spawning in the middle, and a smattering of mechanoids and turret robots mixed in. They stagger in their spawning and keep the player guessing. If you are thinking that it looks a little silly that he has the spawners upside down - that is because he needed to place them above blocks that have the block or surface off to one side and yet he still wanted the the NPC enemy to land where he needed.
     
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  5. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Turrets! Turrets! Turrets!


    When considering your pantheon of POI's at least some of them will be on the more challenging side of things and in most cases you will want some turrets. These are the current turrets in the game at the moment:


    20200315194515_1.jpg


    They are, from left to right; Plasma Turret, Plasma Turret 2, Laser Turret, Rocket Turret, Artillery Turret, Ion cannon Turret, sentry turret(varied.)
    • Plasma turrets fire a large green blob that moves fairly quickly, but is also very easy to dodge at medium - long range. Does above average damage and has a slower rate of fire. At close range can be very, very dangerous for HV's and SV's but CV shielding will shrug off the damage with little to no difficulty. Cannot fire straight upwards. These are best on "easy" POI's - difficulties 2 - 4.
    • Plasma turret 2 only fires in space but is otherwise the same as their terrestrial counterpart.
    • Laser Turrets rapidly fire smallish dots of red at an enemy. They can fire directly above them but do low damage. Their projectiles are difficult to dodge at all ranges(impossible at low range.) They can still be dangerous to unshielded HV's and SV's that utilize plastic blocks or regular steel blocks. Where they really shine is the psychological effect that they elicit from players - two to three of these can SEEM far more dangerous than they actually are. This lets you manipulate the players fear response. For difficulties 3 and above.
    • Rocket turrets are very dangerous to player SV's and HV's. They fire slow moving homing rocket projectiles that explode in a small area. Their rate of fire is slow. An unshielded HV or SV will be gutted by this turret. Shielding can take a few hits, but the player needs to time things to not let their shields get overwhelmed. Especially skilled players can sometimes dodge the projectiles, but inattentive players will have problems. Can fire at targets directly above them. For difficulties 5 and above.
    • Artillery turrets fire rapidly moving projectiles that explode doing large area damage on impact. Does very high damage and has low rate of fire. Easy to dodge at medium to long range. These turrets can be very dangerous to player HV's and SV's at close range. Their primary use is anti-CV but their damage is not quite balanced for that as of A11 and CV shielding will easily shrug off the damage(ion cannon turrets help a little.) With further buffs in the future, they will likely fulfill their role nicely. Can fire at targets directly above. For difficulties 6 and above.
    • Ion Cannot Turrets fire rapidly moving yellow dots that do high damage to shields and medium damage to everything else. Their primary role is anti-CV shield and they only do a modest job. Still, for very hard POI's having 2 or these in the mix will help immennsely with taking down a players shields. Can fire straight up. For difficulties 6 and above.
    • Sentry turrets are low damage low range turrets. Not a threat to players, HV's, SV's, or CV's. However, they do really help with story telling and they CAN be dangerous as an added layer of damage; if a total horror is swinging away at the player, the turret can help to finish them off. They cause the players screen to shake slightly and like their bigger meaner laser turret brothers can be useful for manipulating the players psychology.

    Additional notes
    • Request from Hummel: "Please do not copy + paste HV/SV weapons or turrets onto BA or CV POIs."
    • I had planned on writing some more and showing examples, but knowing that new turrets and turret types are coming in A12, I think I will hold off for the time being and return once I know more. Feel free to ask questions in the posts after this.
     
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  6. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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  12. Dem

    Dem Commander

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    Do i have to make this way ? I mean, is it like a rule "somewhere must be a tricky easy enter in the building" ? This tricks and easy ways make POI very very weak in my opinion. What if i make POI without any trick and without a loot boxes ? If player can reach and destroy the core, player can add his/her core and loot is POI itself (weapons etc.). Is it unacceptable ? Because i like war/hardway enter and maybe retreat a lot but this is the fun.
     
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  13. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Part of these posts include formatting ideas because there is an implicit assumption that many will want to build to have their stuff added to the game. So yes, where I mention specific ideas or if Hummel asks me to add certain things to the posts, the format should be followed. However, like I said in the first post, if you are building for a private server or scenario, you can build however you want.

    As far as the entrances go, those are not as much formatting requirements, but more, helpful suggestions for those new to POI making. I have had several requests and have seen several independent requests for a "How-to" guide for making POI's. The references for the entrances are for them.

    As far as hidden entrances go, I would humbly submit that it really depends on the POI. Remember that a POI is ultimately not for you, but for the community. So assemble a range of structures and then maybe have one or two with something hidden. If you stamp your foot down and say, "But I believe this is the BEST way" players will pick up on that and then not want to play them.
     
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  14. Dem

    Dem Commander

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    Thank you for answer so there is a "format" to follow. I am making NPC faction for "NPC Factions - Call for Papers" at the moment(Named TSN) and i saw you post "Faction Creation Template" (There are a looot of building inside like Cloning Facility, Data Center, Residential building etc.).

    Here is my other question. Do i have to make all NPC buildings with this format ? (By the way for any misunderstanding; i am asking these for learning all details, not for judge like "this is wrong, this is true" etc.)

    Edit : I found a couple of Youtube tutorial + your thread = I think, i got this :D
     
    #14
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  15. Vermillion

    Vermillion Rear Admiral

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    Some useful design tips when designing POIs for specific terrain:

    For snow POIs on Snow planets:
    Texture all flat/near-flat upward facing exterior surfaces with the Camouflage Texture on page 2 with either the default white color or a custom white that's |0#0#255#255#255 which is a pure white that will blend in perfectly with the snowy terrain around it.
    There's nothing more out of place than a building that's been sitting in a snowy field for years without a single speck of snow on it. You can also use both shades of white together for untread surfaces vs areas that troops have patrolled over (e.g. near/around doors or building under overhangs).
    The camouflage texture is better than the flat Matte-blue texture for snow since it has a wet shine when hit with light and uneven definition in the pattern.
    14 Coldmarch_2019-09-01_01-08-18.png
    Example: Rados Geothermal Powerplant (Snow) A10.5

    For sand POIs on Desert or Arid planets:
    Just like with the snow POIs, upward-facing exterior surfaces would receive a heavy coating of sand and dust that matches the terrain around.
    You'll need the Matte Blue texture (Pg2, Column 5, Row 4) for this in this color: |0#0#152#127#100
    Even at close inspection is hard to tell the difference between this color-texture combination and the sand outside on the ground.
    I also recommend tinting your exterior shades of white-gray slightly brownish to show age and damage by sand.
    16 Desertdawn_2019-11-07_01-17-27.png
    Example: Rados Sathium Refinery (Desert) A12

    The Camouflage and Matte-Blue texture are shared by both Concrete, Wood and Steel texturesets so they're always available regardless of material the base is made from.
    An added bonus of environmental coloring is that it means you don't need to worry so much about texturing.

    There are other considerations for other planets; For Lava planets: Ash using a medium gray and the Matte-Blue texture. For Ocean planets: Metal textures should be in progressively rustier/redder shades the closer they are to the water/ground with extensive use of the rust decals.

    And of course, for Patrol Vessels: All thrusters must be exposed and unobstructed. Because thruster obstruction has been planned for a very long time. It's a prerequisite of every ship submission thread by Eleon in the past and is needed to futureproof against the day when it's not buggy implemented so your patrol ships don't fall from the sky the instant they're spawned.
    Unfortunately, a lot of older patrol vessels have internal thrusters, but they're gradually being phased out for newer overhauled models.
     
    #15
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  16. Needleship

    Needleship Master of Custom Terrain

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    Another note: POI Fairness


    1. 'Explain your house rules' - especially if you use a dungeon crawler style POI.
    Since everybody has a different style (or ingenuity), it is really important for players to learn what they are in for.
    Especially for EGS Newbies.

    Make sure that there is a 'starter room' that teaches you how to tackle this POI
    - and that gives clues what to look for.
    Maybe even to turn back, if the player doesn't feel up to the challenge.


    E.g.
    - If you use dastartly traps in your POI ...
    (plates that break and drop you into a hive of monsters, turrets popping up from nowhere, monsters spawning from thin air behind you...)
    Then maybe use the "I have a baaad feeling about this" sign, the "obvious trap" or "non-functional-or-triggered trap" first.
    (rusty floor, later rooms have lots of rust, and some of that might be trap plates, some poor fella's last words, a warning sign for employees, the first monster spawning out of a 'duct' directly before you ...

    Ideally, also show the enemy type in an 'first encounter'.
    Just hearing them might be not enough - Some POIs use playfield difficulty scaling.
    That means, you could one-shot an enemy in easy difficulty, or you are facing bullet sponges calling for heavy weapons- - in the same POI on a different planet.

    Some of the enemies also have 'Newbie insta-kill' status effects, if you don't have the right medicine. - Looking at you, TotalHorror...

    This is also important for "crazy/ wacky/ strange/ special playstyle" POI'. - So that all players can have a good time, too!
    E.g. If you want players to laugh, then they need to know beforehand, to relax. Or, if they should 'rush' this POI, 'Doom' style....


    2. Disregard un-avoidable deathtraps.
    Please remember: The POI has to be fun for others, not for you.


    Worst examples: 'I wanna make this totally hard!'

    1- "You will die and you know it"-room.
    E.g. After some heavy fighting, you are led into a large, suspiciously empty room. It is probably directly before the core. Bad things could, and should, happen there.
    So you try to scout with the drone. - Nothing.
    You check for hidden turrets... - There are plenty, but positioned in a way that you can't shoot them without entering. There is an open door leadung to the room. - But that door is invulnerable.

    After a sigh, moving back to your ship and donning the most protective armor setup you have, you enter.
    - All the turrets pop up, the door closes down, some huge creatures spawn, and you are killed with your 4-boost heavy armor in seconds.
    ... Since the creatures are now all there, and the turrets stick out, you might now shoot them from safety.
    But from a gameplay point of view you just forced players to walk the same gamut again. - Breaking the flow, maybe losing their stuff.

    Bad design. Don't do that.

    2- "Boom headshot!"-room
    E.g. You drop through your very first totally hidden 'trigger plate hole' directly right in front of two laser turrets trained at you.
    (cough AbandonedFactory cough)


    ... All of that might be a "lol good idea!" when building it, but not for others playing through it -
    Neither on their first try, or ever other attempt.
    (If they don't ignore your POI completely after the first encounter, that is.)

    Great difficulty is often better achieved by a lot of 'small challenges', but which are heaped on you at the same time.


    3. Ideally, always give an hard-to-find alternative route/ option
    Because there will be things that you didn't consider, when building your POI.
    E.g. some planets might have a higher gravity than your test world.
    So your (really cool) "jumping puzzle in the combat steel shell" could turn out to be a game over/ forced reload for players.


    4. Allow some places to rest, recover
    - especially in large dungeon POI.
    It's also better for the flow - You can't have action all the time without it getting dull.
     
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  17. Needleship

    Needleship Master of Custom Terrain

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    Reading through my last post again, it seems my tone is somewhat off. -Sorry to all those great POI builders. :/

    Building POIs is a lot of work. Creating good POI is even more of that!

    "I wanna make it totally hard!" isn't a 'worst example'- but instead a noble goal to create something for the veterans.
    (- And yes, you build the POI to be fun for yourself, too!)



    Just... - difficulty can be done in a lot of ways.

    - The (probably frustrated? Slighty angry?) tone stems from the fact, that the cited examples in those POIs were the exception.

    They are still fun, and quite memorable, so it seemed to me much more strange that an 'unfair' situation was included.
    Probably, with a less good POI I would have just shrugged, and moved on...

    But especially the Abandoned Factory - I played that 'as intended' maybe only 3 times in 2000h.
    - ...And then tried to find the ever best way to cheese it!
    "If the POI won't play fair, then neither need I"

    That was challenging too- Trying out different bunker buster HVs and such... but probably not as intended. :)
     
    #17
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  18. Bigfeet

    Bigfeet Captain

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    Awesome guys & especially @Fractalite for initiating !
    *Bookmarked*
     
    #18
  19. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

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    Finished spawners and Turrets.
     
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  20. Needleship

    Needleship Master of Custom Terrain

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    For the 'old' spawner plate this is about 2 minutes, I think? Next enemy spawns in, when the old one despawned.
    (Could that still be random? Haven't tested that...)

    - Great writeup!!
     
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