I have to admit, Yali, I'm really impressed by all the creative work you've done. It seems you never run out of ideas or of motivation (that's a welcome change from the idleness of the forums while we wait for Obduction, hehe
I really like the idea of an open-world Myst, but I must say I'm puzzled at how huge your map is. Not that the size itself is really relevant for the engine, but it still means building tons of areas, small villages and "special places" to keep the map dense and interesting. That's quite a challenge, for sure (says the guy who always struggles filling is own Ages
By the way, if you're going to make such a huge environment, you might want to have a look at procedural terrain generation (a bit like Minecraft is generating its worlds). This never replaces manual building, since procedural worlds can become boring quite fast, but it does help fill the blanks. You were speaking about Skyrim on the MOUL forum, well, Skyrim's terrain is half procedural (the devs made a rough heightmap for the terrain, their technology filled it with trees, boulders, and smaller detail. Then the artists modified tons of areas to make them feel more "unique", along with placing entrances to dungeons, cities, etc). This might be a useful tool for such a gigantic world.
If you want an idea of how procedural worlds look, you might be interested in having a look at this dev blog
, which relates how the author created a procedural world generator from almost-scratch. Quite impressive, since he now works with other people and is now selling it. They also have an Unreal plugin for the generator. (I hope this doesn't sound too much like advertisement, it's just that the blog itself felt really interesting to me.)
On a similar note, I'm wondering how the standard Myst gameplay (walk - walk - solve puzzle - walk) would work in an open-world. Ages like Elodea or Elsewhere give us a glimpse of what it could be (personally I'll say I'm not fond of running for hours, but who knows...). Come to think of it, I can't recall any
game which is both open world and
doesn't use combat or crafting mechanisms. That would be another interesting challenge.
I had a quick glance at the website and videos, but to be honest didn't spend much time on either of them (you know how real-life goes). That said, I intend to have a closer look in the future as I'm quite curious about how you worked what we know of Tay into those tribalpunk ideas of yours
Anyway, best of luck with this project ! I'll definitely keep an eye on it. Who knows ? Maybe in the future I might help with some of the 3D models ? Don't take my word on that, though...