Hello Lumia Island survivors!
Welcome to the 2nd Update for changes to Lumia Island.
Like we mentioned in the 1st Update, today’s Dev Journal will focus on the areas and their connected movement.
The design of maps and terrain is often referred to as “level design.” When we were first making Lumia Island, we referenced a lot of different level design from various games in the first-person shooter (FPS) genre. This is due to the abundance of FPS-type games in the Battle Royale genre at that time, which shared common features like buildings, roads, and obstacles plastered on modern backgrounds. Additionally, our limited experience in designing levels for three-quarter view games was also a factor.
One of the most disappointing factors of level design for Lumia Island was long roads without any branches in them. In a FPS with that type of terrain, these long roads are good for detours or sniping. But applying them to Lumia Island leads to player reluctance to travel down those paths or go into those areas, which further leads to falling behind other players. In these types of situations, the game becomes monotonous and downright frustrating.
For example, the screenshot below shows the perfect terrain for a third-person shooter (TPS) game.
But it’s much different than the view when playing Eternal Return. You won't be able to see the opponent coming at all with the TPS-type of angle.
Even if you’re able to capture an approaching enemy on camera, structures that appear on the terrain are much more limited.
Forget enemy encounters—even for farming and hunting, existing pathways weren't good for movement because the options are much more limited. There are plenty of times when a player will enter a pathway, realize they didn't need to go down that path after all, but then be stuck thanks to the linear movement.
There are many factors to take into consideration, but to keep it simple, our work is currently focusing on lessening the U-shaped and I-shaped pathways that don’t branch. Instead, our goal is to broaden level design (e.g. terrain) by adding more T- or A-shaped pathways that branch out.
Areas marked by lines in the image below are the pathways that will change when we officially launch in July.
Of those lines, the red ones represent alternate routes through newly opened buildings, such as Construction Site, Police Station and its parking lot, and Factory that we talked about in the last Lumia Island update. Because there were a lot of these straight-shot roads where Alley, Uptown, and Temple meet, we really focused on fixing those areas in particular.
The screenshot below shows a wide-range photo of the new pathways you can take between these areas.
As you can see, there are now more ways for you to explore!
Now let’s talk about movement in detail.
The biggest thing we wanted to work out for level design was the blue lines, or the excessive U-shaped flow. In U-shaped paths, if you enter from one side, you have to come out from the other. In FPS games, these U-shaped paths can be a smart, tactical strategy to grab a good position for sneak attacks or sniping enemies. However, in Eternal Return, as battle is more close-range, they become more like dead ends. This can also create a problem of someone blocking the end of the U-shape, which could lead to complete control over the pathway or area beyond. During materials and item search in early-game, this could mean players only get to search half of the U-path before having to turn around and go all the way back to get out.
In particular, Dock, Uptown, and Beach formed a continuous triple U-shaped path. However, now there will be a new outer movement line that will connect these three areas.
First, this is the path that connects Warehouse (a recently separated area from Dock) with Uptown.
We’re adding a new building to Warehouse, as well as a side entrance near the Meteorite landing zone in Uptown.
Next, we have Uptown and Beach.
We’re adding a new building interior to this side that will connect to Beach via a back door. It may look simple, but the height difference between the two points was so large that it was the most difficult part of our engineering rework.
As a result of this change, there will now be a straight walk from the lighthouse in Dock to the rubber boat in Beach.
Archery Range also has a long U-shaped movement line. The current passageway to Alley is basically a straight shot with only one way in and out. That will change with Official Launch!
Although we didn’t divide Archery Range into a new area, Hotel’s upper terrain now offers more convenient access to <b.School[/b] via Archery Range, which will make movement much easier. Just by opening access to a small building, the paths connecting Hotel, School, and Archery Range will be significantly more diverse and offer players more options.
By resolving the excessive amount of existing U-shaped movement, play inside the U-shape will become much more active. If someone gets there before you and all the Wild Animals are already slayed, you will have a much better time as you won’t have to keep running down a boring, linear path.
The movement lines represented in green on the map are also long pathways with very few branches. With the addition of new pathways, these routes will become much more varied.
Let’s take a look at the pathway between Factory and Chapel. Current movement in Factory can be a bit tight and narrow, but with the addition of central building access and a side entrance (that we introduced in “Lumia Island - 1st Update”), it will become a lot more dynamic.
Forest doesn't have many buildings or long roads like the examples mentioned so far. However, it has fewer branching paths which gives you more chances for strategic play. We’re adding another path within Forest which should increase variables significantly.
So far, you've gotten a sneak peek into the upcoming movement and pathway updates on Lumia Island, which you’ll be able to see when we officially launch!
However, have you noticed one of the biggest areas with current movement issues hasn’t been mentioned? That’s right, we haven’t discussed Pond yet. Of the movement lines that will be taken out of the game (as shown in the graphic earlier), Pond is the only O-shaped pathway. We will be discussing Pond in our last level design-related update, “Lumia Island - 3rd Update”.
Now that we’ve covered a ton of changes to the map, why don’t we start actually playing? Next Dev Journal will cover Changes to Accessories. See you soon!
You can get WP from the Dev Journals on our web event page. Web Points(WP) are event points that can be obtained and used throughout the Season 9 web events