"virtual nature walk" BUT STAY WITH ME HERE
the thing is it's an EXTRAORDINARY nature walk: tons of procedurally generated content, birds engaging in all forms of bird behaviors, wild animals that avoid the player but can be snuck up closer to, etc.
a procedurally generated path, a procedurally generated forest that goes in all directions if you go OFF the path (because you COULD do that, you could make it so it will make more forest until you run out of RAM)
Something like that? From what I understand of those games, anyway, yes.
I haven't played either. Keep meaning to, but there's SO MUCH TO DO.
(she says, as she contemplates dropping four solid hours of her life into Overwatch daily)
so you could use it as a literal "virtual nature walk", in the sense that if you stay on the path, yes, it's got a start and finish
if you stray from the path you can get lost, you can walk for miles, you can basically just keep going and going
purely exploratory, maybe rudimentary options for dealing with weather
and you can PICK the weather, OR have it just default to 'local conditions', so if it's raining in your area, you could go on the rainy walk
turn on 'must be sunny'
now that I think MORE on it
you could also have it pick 'regional' things
simulations of different region's trees and birds
if it 'defaults' you get local fauna/flora/etcetera
if you pick a place it's LIKE that place
but infinite forest
so you could get a realistic sense of what it's like in, say, a Northeastern United States nature preserve, or a hike in Siberia, or Western Canada
obviously this wouldn't be a trivial task by any means but I think it's POSSIBLE and the procedurally generated stuff would have to be handled REALLY carefully, LOD would have to be used as a 'backdrop' until new chunks are generated and rendered and all, etc.
but that's why you're limited to a walking speed (or creeping speed or prone-crawl-speed)
and -- OH
no, it's not JUST A VIRTUAL NATURE WALK AT ALL
I realize where this came from
last night I was seeing all these bird photos and a LOT of them were taken up close and personal and with notes like "the photograph squirmed up next to the feeding area and managed to get THIS shot"
you're an amateur photographer
you can use it like a walk simulator, sure
you can just go A to B
you can go off in search of the rarest birds, rarest moments, sunrises and sunsets
old ones, recent ones, maybe even "people are clearly camping here but are not immediately present" ones in some cases
ooooh! that's a thought
yeah, I could see that
maybe have it be part of the "no attacks" flag or a separate "no overnight events" flag
honestly not implementing attacks seems like the better plan but then, like, it's not REALLY realistic, is it?
bears will eat your ass if you provoke 'em enough, if this thing lets you walk up in front of a bear with no repercussions that's not going to 'feel right' to a human primal brain
so they'd engage in threatening behavior until a certain point, maybe 'push you back' and run off, but with attacks off you literally can't get hurt
with attacks on
you can get hurt, but it's not graphically displayed (you get a message about your broken leg, say, and your subsequent use of an emergency radio to get help and all)
attacks are basically "game over" as far as the photography walk's concerned
I wouldn't want that.
Who goes on a nature walk to fight bears barehanded?
(I mean it's a good QUESTION, but it's not what I'd want the game to be about, and I don't really wanna hear about some YouTuber who figured out how to murder bears and shit in my nature simulator)
I was thinking "take only photographs, leave only footprints" as the model
explicitly non-combat without any choice OF combat, really
(but I could imagine why you'd assume that, it'd be a logical assumption)
thinking it would be less realistic (but more useful) to have a six days per day cycle -- i.e., a day in game time is four hours
so you could play this leisurely and capture time-based events
I think I have the worst "bad description" possible of this game, too, already all ready to fire off as a joke
"Firewatch without the plot"
thank goodness I found ANOTHER FUCKING POTENTIAL PROJECT
I ONLY HAVE A THOUSAND
anyway, so I could see some other things -- I can't "just procedurally generate forest forever" because this ignores the A and B spots -- they HAVE to look like the beginning and end of nature trails, respectively
so maybe there's edges that aren't obvious to the player except with a lot of effort -- edges that encircle the A and B points non-obviously when you're IN A or B, but otherwise they're just these little pockets
or maybe go Antichamber, unless you're on the path A and B don't exist
I like the last one
if you're not within a certain sight cone of the trail then, nope, sorry, infinity forest
if you ARE within a certain sight cone of the trail then yup, there's the trailhead over there, you could walk that way to end the game for now
walk over here with all this delicious forest and JUST KEEP PLAYING
nah, if I'm doing the Antichamber trick, you'd basically have an identical situation regardless of the branches
even if the trail had twenty ends and three starts, they could all be essentially 'hidden' in the same PHYSICAL space
as long as the trails are long enough, the brain's not gonna catch it happening
this would be
I think I may go the Antichamber route, because Options! down the line -- splits in the trail, etc., all surreptitiously leading to the same 'area' as an endpoint, etc.
but that'd be down the line, first things first
figure out some advanced nature procedural generators and look for the LOD handling it would need
well if it ever goes anywhere, I'll toot about it bunches! :D
Like this would be amazingly cool. I can see this being a great thing, really good for chilling out with. Patch notes to add more flora and fauna don't have to be super detailed either, adding to the discovery element. So part of the game becomes discovering the new life around you and taking photos maybe!
I CAN'T YET
I'm still researching procedural generator stuff
it almost looks like it'd be easier to have this be, well, not on Earth at all
some colony world, where I don't have to worry about everything matching up to real life analogues at all
but it'd change the nature of the game pretty radically and wouldn't give people the opportunity to 'see real things' in the setting
maybe have it regional -- release, say, the Germany expansion and everybody starts exploring the Germany trail
looking for rare animals, looking for common ones to behave like they do IRL
well I appreciate that and maybe, I don't know how it'd play out
I just couldn't IMAGINE it taking off on a big scale, TBH
I mean, I'm nobody, releasing an amateur photography game/nature walk simulator
the people who are like "I love nature" are out IN it, I would figure
and the people who want to play games mostly aren't interested in absolutely pure exploration of a simulated environment that isn't novel or interesting compared to, well, reality's environment?
but I don't know
For those who don't live near nature or have the cash for good photography equipment, or disabilities, or otherwise won't get the opportunity to do it often in the real world though, especially if it gets vr support, it will be a god send though
oh, agreed, I guess I just don't know how much of a market that would end up being?
or I hadn't thought of it, which also is probable and now I'm slightly ashamed for not thinking of it sooner, I know someone with cerebral palsy who can't go on nature walks as easily as they used to and this basically would fit them like a glove -_-
thinking this would be an option in the game -- you can turn on "no attacks" and nothing will attack you
you already can't attack anything anyway, you're armed with a camera and hiking boots
it's not survival tho
it's literally "a nature walk"
you don't get hungry, you don't get cold (although maybe you can 'put on' things like coats and pullovers because IRL that'd be a thing you do in colder weather)
so, backpack, camera
maybe some exceedingly silly but tricky sequences for "pulling on a sweater" and some easier ones for stuff like "putting on gloves"