How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

General out-of-character discussion among players of Cantr II.

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How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby jfrizz51423 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:15 pm

I understand that a lot of people think that Cantr wouldn’t work with actual graphics and an actual visual virtual world, and that’s fine. But I know there have to be a lot of people out there, like myself, that are fascinated with the idea of what Cantr would be like and how it would work if it were more like modern video games with a 3D or 2D virtual world to actually see. How would all of you see a game like this working? What would be different, and what could be kept the same?

I find it interesting because Cantr is one of my favorite games in that it truly feels like another society, and another world, and I’ve never found another game like it. I love MMO video games but nothing is like Cantr... they’re all usually focused on fighting and respawning multiple times. How would a virtual MMO version of Cantr work? I just thought this would be an interesting discussion to talk about and I have never seen a similar thread on these forums posted.
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:23 am

I don't know enough about video games to even imagine how Cantr would translate but I do know that, for me, the best part of Cantr was the use of the written word. I was just amazed at the way some players were able, seemingly on-the-fly, to create worlds in my imagination with dialog but, especially, through their intricate descriptions of actions and objects. I fear that this magical (and maybe unique?) experience would be lost if Cantr became a more visual game.
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby muidoido » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:07 am

I imagine Cantr as a game of beautiful static landscapes where we still type to RP. The landscapes changing according to the area, what is built on each town, the weather, etc
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby cutecuddlydirewolf » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:00 pm

I can see it having simple 2D graphics. If it was a full-fledged 3D game, I'd imagine it being similar to EverQuest 2.
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby Millhouse » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:50 pm

Yeah maybe 2D graphics on location screen. Graphics could look a little different with the amount of stuff in that location. Lots of domesticated animals about? Farm graphic. Lots of big buildings and vehicles? City graphic.

Building interiors might be interesting if the changed as more stuff was built inside. Side rooms, chests, shelves, etc.

Road graphics just show the type of road traveling on.

Would be nice to see different types of ships with different graphics while sailing.

This mechanic is already in place on locations page just very basic, and updated based on season and biome.
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby SekoETC » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:41 pm

Cantr already has some item graphics, but Jos wanted them to have high quality, realistic style made in 3D modeling. As a result, they could only be produced by one volunteer, and once that player quit, no one else had the skills to produce more graphics. A system where different art styles would be tolerated would be more suitable for a game built by volunteers. There are way too many items that all of them could have graphics, unless the image submission process was way more simple than what's currently used for adding new items. Nowhere Else and Beyond had pixel graphics and a system where a handful of select people were given artist access, which meant they could upload a graphic for any item on the list. There was no set style, but it worked based on honor and common sense, so that people would only replace old graphics if they could do considerably better, and mainly concentrated on making graphics for items that had no graphics yet, instead of overwriting other people's work mindlessly, even if they were not physically restricted from doing it. As a result, I never saw anyone replace a good graphic with an inferior graphic, ever. If Cantr had graphics, it could establish some ground rules about what sort of things are expected, and screen the artists, but most definitely a system where one person would serve as a gatekeeper and manually accept images would be doomed to fail. One option would also be to have multiple alternate graphics for a single item, and the person crafting it could pick one or none at all. That would ensure that inferior graphics would be less likely to be picked by anybody, thus making them appear less commonly in the game.

As for the map, it would be pretty pointless to have free roaming in large scale because it would make people impossible to track, but buildings could have a set amount of squares based on building type, and allow dragging furniture to different squares inside the room. It could also have a tiny walking avatar move from square to square, but I think it should still be possible to drag people without having to be physically in the same square or neighboring square, because otherwise people could become even harder to catch if they were fast enough at clicking.

Optionally, each location could have an upload image option, and outside locations could have a textual description box. Since there is no build in government, anybody could change the image and description, so it could become vulnerable to vandalism similar to note theft. One way to make it less vulnerable to vandalism would be to restrict editing to once per day (or hour) per person, so if somebody would change the image to something inappropriate, there would likely be multiple other people who would be ready to edit it back to something decent. This can already be accomplished with noticeboards, so I don't know if some towns are already including a visual as it is. I've never seen anyone do it.

At one point I was working on clothing graphics in Flash, but I was never able to finish all of them, and also lost access to Flash when I switched computers, so even if those had gotten in the game, most likely new items would have been left without graphics and it would have been a broken system. I think the key to a sustainable system is that the graphics can be produced in any software, including free options, the style is flexible enough to be reproducible by more than one person, and adding graphics to the game isn't crippled by lack of trust in the artists. Of course if somebody is given access and they use that to mass delete material made by others or load porn and gore, they should be banned, but a system where one (most likely inactive) person manually approves everything and decides what is appropriate according to their own preferences rather than a checklist of rules of thumb is doomed to fail. Cantr has always been clogged down by bureaucracy and lack of direction. There's no reason to think that a graphics approval system would work any better.
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby Doug R. » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:58 pm

After I bailed out of here I landed in Second Life for a while. Other than the obvious differences, it's pretty much the same thing - people acting out stories or fantasies with all the in-game and out of game drama that ensues. I just jumped from the pot into the fire (and reading over some threads, it's clear nothing has changed in the years since I quit - same old problems, different year).

Excluding the mechanistic rules (building/movement times, skills, combat etc), you could easily move Cantr into SL as a pure RP sim. It's just orders of magnitude more expensive to maintain a graphical universe. Most RP sims in SL fail because of lack of funding. Having an entire world would cost a fortune. It's not at all viable.

So, if you want to know what Cantr could be like in a graphical universe, go spend the cash to join a RP sim in SL and imagine it having hard-coded rules and sleeping avatars standing all over the place.

Or go get a bunch of people to join you in Fortnight Battle Royale, stand around in Fatal Fields pretending to farm, and then have a gang of thugs drive in on a golf cart and shoot you all down before you have time to react. :D That's a good graphic representation of a true Cantr experience that I'm sure we've all shared.

PS - Blame Joshuamonkey's 'zine post for waking me from torpor.
Hamsters is nice. ~Kaylee, Firefly
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Re: How would you imagine Cantr with a visual world working?

Postby Jos Elkink » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:36 am

I daydreamed about this many time :-) ... Even once started working on a re-write of Cantr, where the server- and client-code were separated, so that different clients could be developed, including a 3D one. I know most players like Cantr exactly because it's text-based, but personally I would have loved it to be 3D. I just don't have the skills or time :-)

These were my thoughts on the matter many years ago: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3743

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