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Exit: May, 2020 Archive

Unleashing monsters

Saturday, May 16th, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: Love thy enemy

It turns out King’s Field II monsters exceed the limit Sword of Moonlight imposes. I feel like the limit doesn’t make much sense, but From Software saw fit to limit it to 128 so-called enemies for a given level in your project’s video game. KFII treats its characters and monsters identically, and caps them at 200 on each of its two-story zones. SOM had a layer system that was disabled before it was published. I’ve since restored it, some time last year I think. It would have allowed each layer to have 128 more monsters, in which case its limit may have been 256 for a two-story level, which would have exceeded KFII’s limit.

When I restored the new layer system I decided to limit it to level geometry, so that layers don’t bring in new elements like monsters. That’s a better system because I imagined layers can be used to tackle the artistic limits of SOM’s grid based level design. I suspect not many game systems use grids any longer, but it’s something I feel is a great strength for SOM. I think there is lost wisdom in many of its anachronisms. By putting monsters on layers it isn’t clear what happens when they cross between layers or if that would even have been possible in the original system that got disabled. By artistic limits, I mean things like, you might want a layer to just be a ceiling for example, so you can have a lower ceiling on some section, or just have the elevation of the ceiling be independent of the floor. If you can’t do that you have great limits in design possibilities since the only other way to do this is to make new tile models for every combination of floor and ceiling. The new layer system can represent many things like a plane of water or mist or fog or just plug holes in the existing tile configuration. Anybody who’s ever worked with SOM runs into these limits.

Continued: Unleashing monsters

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