Home Game Development Maps Between Maps, and DSFs

Maps Between Maps, and DSFs

Maps Between Maps, and DSFs


I’ve described just a few occasions (most lately when introducing Cargo Convoys) how Cogmind’s world is split into two main varieties of maps: fundamental areas and branches. There may be technically a 3rd class serving particular functions, one which after a few years is as soon as once more rising as a part of Beta 11. This different class is what I name “maps between maps,” basically a lot smaller maps forming optionally available bridges between the common maps.

In its first 12 months of Alpha builds Cogmind gained two such forms of what we might name “intermaps,” within the type of Waste and Garrisons. Waste is reached by way of Chute Traps that suck robots down right into a harmful however probably helpful disposal space, looping again out to a different space of the Manufacturing facility on the similar depth, and Garrisons are a main supply of fight bots you could selected to proactively infiltrate for numerous causes. Waste maps haven’t been explicitly coated on the weblog earlier than, however Garrison design was mentioned at size. At this time we’ll be protecting a brand new kind of intermap, the DSF.


The pattern world map I put collectively earlier this 12 months, now with DSFs and particularly highlighting all intermaps (redacted-level spoilers have been edited out) (full dimension right here).

Intermaps share a lot of traits that differentiate them from most different maps:

  • Entry from a number of depths: Intermaps of every kind can at all times be discovered at a couple of depth, so even when Cogmind doesn’t go to them at a given depth, there are extra possibilities to come across and/or make the most of them later.
  • Quite a few entry factors: Maps containing hyperlinks to intermaps often have a number of factors from which to entry them.
  • Distinctive entry strategies: Intermaps aren’t entered by way of the standard brazenly out there stairs or doorways, and as an alternative every have their very own particular varieties of entrances.
  • Small interiors: The vast majority of common Cogmind maps are pretty giant, with fundamental maps containing a mean of 16,000 open cells, and department maps round 4,000, however intermaps have solely about 1,000 open cells.
  • Sturdy theme: Intermaps are tightly designed round their very own distinctive mechanics and theme.
  • Elective: For essentially the most half intermaps are completely optionally available pathways (besides being caught off guard by a chute, though some gamers decide to leap down recognized chutes as properly).
  • Strategically significant: These particular maps provide distinctive challenges for particular advantages, and selecting to go to them will be part of short- or long-term plans. Intermaps are additionally the one technique to loop again to a different variant of the present fundamental map, which typically components into methods as properly.

Evaluating the full accessible space between fundamental maps, choose department maps, and intermaps.

The closest frequent analogy for these maps to be present in different roguelikes is the idea of “vaults,” or small thematic areas usually with some type of risk-reward mechanic or in any other case problem or value for entry, although in instances the place these are offered as precise separate maps (slightly than contiguously embedded inside bigger maps as I’ve mentioned with prefabs), one vital distinction is that vaults would usually lead again to the identical map and placement from the place they have been entered, i.e. simply going again out the door or another portal. This isn’t one thing Cogmind’s intermaps can do as a result of by design backtracking just isn’t possible–leaving a map at all times pushes the participant upwards or sideways on the world map to a very new space, as seen within the pattern world map connections above.


DCSS accommodates “portal vaults” (aka mini-branches or sub-branches), like this sewer entrance. See portals on the DCSS wiki, and information about Treasure Troves; you can even browse many portal vault pattern layouts and content material within the supply right here.

“DSF” have been in Cogmind lore because the very first launch, and have been truly one of many earliest items of background lore, only a little bit of world constructing in that it describes a facet of the Complicated that was not in any other case represented in recreation.


The newest iteration of the DSF lore entry hacked from a Terminal.

Worldbuilding usually requires having a bigger unrealized quantity of content material which continues to be no less than referenced all through the sport, and Cogmind has at all times had a good bit of that, although this type of content material additionally tends to be ripe with concepts for future options, or no less than suggests the place new playable content material would possibly wish to emerge in a means that matches properly with what already exists. So six years later, right here we’re with the actual deal 🙂

Prior to now gamers had speculated that the Storage map may be an instance of a DSF, which might certainly have been one rationalization (no want to offer all the main points when gamers can do a great–and better–job of filling these in on their very own!), although the brand new official implementation aligns higher with its said intent, and Storage shall stay only a distinctive department map by comparability. Storage and DSFs do, nevertheless, share a shade theme.

Initially I wasn’t planning on including DSFs in Beta 11 (or ever, essentially), however the alternative offered itself after I wanted a technique to provide some type of assured entry to Authchips as a part of the fabrication overhaul. So this actually was an instance of benefiting from the prevailing lore and bringing it to life, increasing upon it, in an effort to meet different design wants. After all if that’s all it was for this would possibly appear to be overkill (including an entire new map kind?!), however I felt there was loads of room to play with right here for it to change into an fascinating strategic possibility, no matter tie-ins to the fabrication system.

So let’s take a look at the way you get into this place, and what you would possibly discover there.

All Manufacturing facility and Analysis maps have a lot of DSF entrances, special-purpose Terminals that management an adjoining entry level, much like how Garrisons work. These places have a singular look to them, a easy Terminal adjoining to an open cell the place the door seems as soon as unlocked by way of the Terminal, and surrounded on three sides by strengthened partitions.


Pattern Manufacturing facility map format highlighting all DSF Entry places, together with an up-close take a look at the small prefab’s look. The area adjoining to the ‘T’ is the place the door seems.

Though there are sufficient entry factors that the possibility to finally spot one sooner or later on every map is kind of excessive (that they’re positioned in corridors slightly than inside rooms additional will increase this opportunity), the specified quantity right here is principally making an allowance for the truth that any which aren’t considerably close to the participant’s entrance are unlikely to be accessible. The reason being because of a DSF-specific mechanic whereby all of the DSF entrances are completely locked (so far as the participant’s time on the map is worried) as quickly as any hostiles are noticed. So to really get inside one, the participant should achieve this with out being noticed by something looking out for enemies of the Complicated.

Regardless that DSFs have been added to the sport as a assured methodology of acquiring Authchips, as I emphasised once more within the latest fabrication article Cogmind’s philosophy focuses extra on adapting to what you discover slightly than having excessive management over predetermining your construct, so though the Authchips themselves are assured constant rewards inside, the flexibility to entry a DSF in any respect is the much less constant a part of the equation 😛


Opening a DSF by way of its Terminal.

To facilitate finding the closest DSF, among the many different standard potentialities there may be additionally a brand new non-RIF Hauler hack that anybody with a Datajack can carry out: find_dsf. The results of the hack takes benefit of the brand new map feedback system, including an automatic remark advertising that exact Terminal for what it’s.


Hacking a Hauler to seek out the closest DSF. Right here you can even see the distinction in shade scheme for a map remark added mechanically versus manually by the participant.

There’s a world message when something hostile is found on the present map and DSF lockdown is engaged (technically this doesn’t should be the participant, however the participant is the almost definitely to set off it first), after which making an attempt to open any DSF will merely report that it’s in lockdown mode.

DSF map era is much like Garrisons in that it’s based mostly on quadrant prefabs, albeit less complicated general since there aren’t any variations–each quadrant is both current or it isn’t, and there should be no less than two of them (one to carry the doorway and one other for the exit).


A full-sized four-quadrant DSF with its main options annotated.

There are numerous good objects to steal from a DSF, with 4 sections of Authchips across the middle, two to 4 quadrants every with their very own random theme (e.g. weapons, units, traps…), and fundamental corridors lined with random elements. Every quadrant additionally has an opportunity to incorporate a hidden (however typically guarded) space behind its partitions containing extraordinarily good elements, and the Matter Repositories will also be broken to get better a variety of Matter if crucial.

The first defensive characteristic is the Heavy stationed on the middle, round which your entire DSF format was deliberate. Its sensor vary covers nearly your entire map (besides the corners), and reaching the exit at all times requires passing by means of its visible vary, so it’s essential to have a technique to cope with this bot. Every nook additionally has an opportunity to comprise a dormant Specialist. As standard the Heavy can name in reinforcements, and an infiltrated DSF will finally even be topic to further patrols, thus limiting the period of time out there to freely loot the realm.

Destroying sufficient robots inside a DSF triggers one other emergency defensive measure, “fast sterilization,” or a faster model of the sterilization system present in different elements of Complicated 0b10 which steadily raises the ambient warmth till no robots can survive. This gives one other optionally available technique to afford extra time for looting since with sufficient cooling Cogmind can survive longer than different bots.

DSF are usually predictable as described above, and although the varieties of objects discovered inside can range enormously (except for the Authchips), there are such a lot of of them that stashes will often have no less than one thing helpful for many builds. Nevertheless it’s at all times good to throw in slightly extra excessive selection for enjoyable, so there are a selection of doable DSF occasions that happen extra not often (with out eradicating the possibility to loot).

Generally leaving a DSF will exit to the subsequent greater depth, though there’s a small likelihood it as an alternative leads straight right into a Garrison, to throw slightly wrench into the very best laid plans, for enjoyable and pleasure.


World map UI mockup reflecting intermap-related routes.

There are positively extra concepts that would later change into new varieties of maps between maps (a lot longer-lived plans than the spontaneous DSF :P), and whereas I’m unsure how probably it’s to occur, I’d additionally love to do experiments with small maps that can return the participant to the identical map that was left earlier. This is able to be a reasonably sophisticated endeavor after so a few years of constructing an structure that assumes it’s not possible–plenty of room for bugs and design points in there xD



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