Frankly Fishing: A fishing adventure gamemode for s&box

Preface

@MultiTee and I have decided that keeping our plans for s&box under wraps probably won’t do us any good in gaining any support or possible players in the future, so I’m coming out about the project we’ve been planning and I have been working on for the last few weeks. Relatively little has yet to be set in stone, fairly subject to change depending on any suggestions we receive regarding our ideas toward gameplay and/or map design. That being said, I’m very excited to share our preparations for this project in more detail without the looming anxiety that comes as a result of trying to keep it all a secret.

The Gamemode

Frankly Fishing is currently planned to be a laid-back, single-server fishing gamemode centered around unlockable areas, upgradeable fishing tackle, engaging minigames, gathering of resources, NPC-issued quests/objectives and community competitions. Players will be free to roam anywhere they can physically reach on a tropic island I’ve been building for a few weeks now. You can view our roadmap on Trello here, though there won’t be much activity on it at the moment as we do not yet have access to s&box and are only working on the map thus far.

Player Inventory

So far, we do not see the need for anything too complex other than a basic, run-of-the-mill grid inventory with a few different sorting options. Though I do plan to play a major part in constructing the back-end for this system, @MultiTee will inevitably be the most important factor in making it all actually work. It’s just how his mind works. As for the UI design, I’ve been trying out different ideas in my head for a little while but haven’t actually sat down and built any concepts I can show for it. All I can guarantee is that it will look good once it’s done.

Trading

In a gamemode with unique gear and fish, there may be something specific you’re looking for but don’t want to invest a great deal of time trying to get yourself. We’ll most likely be implementing a form of in-game currency that players can tender in addition to their own items for different ones, from NPCs with shops or other players. A community market is another interesting idea that begs further discussion.

Gear Attributes

Fishing gear in the form of inventory items will have different stats/attributes that vary on an item-by-item basis to incentivize player trading. We may also add a way to customize the appearance of your gear, though the possibility of this hinges greatly on my ability to familiarize myself with the s&box rendering pipeline. Having access to custom shaders will also be a lot of fun in that regard.

Fishing

Unfortunately, fishing in video games has been—for the most part—an uninteresting task you only perform when you have a need for its benefits. There are varying degrees of interactivity in these implementations, though the only objective in the majority of cases is as follows: “Is the float unmoving on the surface of the water? Keep waiting. Did the float just get pulled under? Press a button.” I would say I thought of a few ways to improve on this timeless gameplay loop, but the developers behind Red Dead Redemption 2 figured it out before I did. After I became acclimated to the game’s fishing mechanics, I believe I spent about two hours just trying to catch a bigger fish. You have control over the direction you’re pointing the rod in, how fast you’re reeling in the fish, and you can flick the line to attract them (but not too often as that will scare them away). Once you’ve got a fish on the line, you need to pull the rod against the fish’s movement to keep it from pulling out more line and gaining distance. You need to actively observe the fish’s movement and act accordingly, else there’s a good chance you’ll snap the line and lose your lure. These are all things we want to replicate in our gamemode to make fishing a more engaging and active experience rather than a chore.

The Fish Themselves

Another thing Red Dead Redemption 2 does that other games don’t is it doesn’t create the fish at the moment it decides you’ve caught one; the fish are always in the water, minding their own business, roaming wherever they please. In order to catch any, you have to observe the ripples they make in the water and cast your line where you think you’re most likely to get a bite. We plan to tweak the fishing experience for different types of fish to keep it fresh. We even have some ideas for fishing spots that could even be dangerous to use.

Community Events

We plan to implement some form of a server-wide competition/event system that occurs every 20–30 minutes. We’ll probably be reserving a portion of the player’s screenspace to display a list of all players participating in the event ranked by their current scores. Upon the conclusion of each event, players will be rewarded based on their ranking. As much of the gamemode mechanics as they pertain to the player experience, inventory and fishing tackle systems (or a lack thereof) have yet to be decided upon, the rewards for achieving high scores in these events are not currently known.

Resource Gathering

We aren’t yet certain of how we plan to use resources that can be harvested in the world, though there is potential for some form of a crafting system in the future. I will do my best to keep this thread apprised of our intentions.

Player Parties

Another planned feature is player-created parties or groups that remain as long as any members stay online. We not yet decided what the benefits of player groupings will be, but we will likely implement ways for party members to be easily apprised of the locations of other party members in the server. We are also considering a bonus XP incentive spread among party members when any member gains XP from an activity themselves.

The World

The island, which I am currently referring to as Floris, will have many areas open to new players from the very start, and later areas that can only be reached via unlockable movement abilities. I’ve created a basic shape for the island as a whole, though I’ve yet to get my priorities straight when it comes to detailing larger portions of the world. This is, of course, all subject to change, though the finished product will very likely bear somewhat of a resemblance to its current form. Keep in mind that this is just a week or two of work.

The Mines

Currently, the most completed—and, consequently, the most attractive—region of the map is the cave system I have been working on exclusively for about a week. We have some exciting ideas to make this area unique, and for the species of fish that will be exclusive to it. To anyone that hasn’t seen any of the recent posts I’ve made (albeit without any context), I’ll include some Hammer screenshots of the mines in their current state.




Developers

  • @piqey — Programmer, world builder and constructor of anything needed to meet art demands.
  • @MultiTee — Superior programmer and mental support as I descend into chaos.

Closing Thoughts

I know I’m forgetting to talk about something, as one does not simply write this much about a topic and cover every facet on the first try. One thing is certain, however: I plan to be active in updating this thread as we piece together more of the vision we have for this gamemode, as I will similarly be active in making more of these plans into reality. I am eager to hear your thoughts, and I hope our ideas so far excite you as much as they excite me.

Addendum: I have tried several times to add the gamemode tag to this thread, done it, and then once it’s submitted the tag doesn’t show on any page containing the thread. No idea why. It does seem as though the thread actually has the tag, however.

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Sounds like a really cool idea, love the screenshots too.

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I wish you luck.

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We have been making stuff for a long time, so I know we can do it; it will just take some time.

The crystals—it’s like they’re trying to tell me something…

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Preview lighting? Woah, how good is going to be the final lighting!

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About the same surprisingly, full compile took less than 10 minutes.


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About the same? What do you mean, it’s much better!
For starters it doesn’t have an annoying “Preview Lighting” message on top :wink:

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I added lookup tables to the postprocessing and lowered my FOV for some screenshots. Also upped my viewport resolution.


Damn that’s hot, maybe you could make it even better with some animated dust effects? Not too sure how that’d look but it sounds cool in my head.

Was already planning on it, I just need to find some dust sprites that look good and also figure out how to do per-particle lighting.