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Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:33 PM #1 Blades of Nethergate

It is possible to recreate a lot of the Nethergate game in the BoA world. Certain features would be tough, like Druid spell structure. That can be approximated but not finally recreated.

There are quite a few differences between Nethergate and Avernum. These could be handled by a scenario data script but they might leave little room for the actual contents of a scenario. There is that limit on the number of tokens.

Two options come to mind here:
(1) Alternate corescendata and corescendata2 scripts. When you play Nethergate scenarios the BoA scripts are put out of action by being renamed, just add "BoA" to the front of their names. When you play BoA scenarios the Nethergate scripts are put out of action the same way.
Distinctive Nethergate terrain graphics can just be added to the Terrain Graphics folder, and then given appropriate new numbers. Creature graphics might be tougher, you might need an alternate folder for this, rename the folder not in use.

(2) A fresh install of the BoA game at another directory, this install would be a purely Nethergate affair.

Ephesos Ephesos

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:55 PM #2 Blades of Nethergate

Okay, who's going to actually make it? Sounds cool.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:17 AM #3 Blades of Nethergate

I am working on decrypting the game files to translate them to BoA format. This should take a while. Once I get the decryption done I can then "mass produce" the relevant entries using Excel and Word together.
Translation will require some judgement calls on how to handle certain features.
My understanding is that Original Nethergate used the following creature types: Celt, Roman, Faerie, Goblin, Fomor, Reptile, Beast, Undead, Golem, Spider, Important(?).
Romans could be made creature type 13, (Vahnatai in BoA), because this relic of Avernum won't be used in Nethergate.
Different costs for some skills could be handled by skill point rebates/penalties for said skills. These could be handled by SDFs for each PC.
Edit:
Game files means Shared.dat, Celt.dat and Roman.dat, I don't think Outdoor.dat is used for anything. Here is my understanding of the structure of Celt.dat:
0 2 Number of towns, here it is 35
2 4 Outdoors Height*Width, here it is 5*5 = 25.
6 200 Town Sizes [200][1]
206 2,000 town data size records[200][10].
2,206 400 outdoor data size records [100][4]
2,606 200 2*100, ???
2,806 24,576 creatures [256][96]
27,382 20,480 terrain [256][80]
47,862 4,096 floor [256][16]
51,958 6,456 ????, (nothing much)
58,414 33,600 item entries[400][84]
92,014 15,360 Creature, terrain and floor name listings [768][20]
107,374 1,221 BoE style scenario text: "Who wrote…"
108,595 232,400 Start of 25 "outdoor zone" listings, apparently all blank.
340,995 1,244,803 This file contains listings for 35, and only 35, of the towns found in ON.
1,585,798

Edit:
The Nethergate: Resurrection corescendata and corescendata2 scripts could in theory be used straightaway. There are two calls that are not found in BoA: te_third_icon and it_itemdesc. There are only two instances of the former, manually delete them. As for "it_itemdesc", simply replace it with "it_augment_item_type", the latter call does nothing.
Most of the BoA and N:R terrain graphics sheets seem to be the same
Creature and item abilities may need to be translated. Druid spells is one example.


Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 06:07 AM #4 Blades of Nethergate

Nethergate Resurrection uses the same town and outdoor record types as BoA.  You can just paste it all into a BoA scenario. It does not have the original Nethergate's provision for custom terrain graphics for individual towns, probably thus has less variety.

Edit:
I would prefer a scenario based upon the original version, it would look less like BoA. It did not take me long to draw up a scenario based upon Nethergate: Resurrection. Now I will need to give the town/outdoor scripts some better names. Then I will need to remove special states too closely tied to the events of the actual Nethergate game.
Floor/Terrain Graphics:
These should be given a "G" in front of their number and put into the BoA, Terrain Graphics folder: 619, 620, 663, 722, 724.
These will require renaming: 721, 730, 731, 741, 742. Thus the data scripts will need to be altered.
(730, Spire of Ages also found at BoA G758)
787 is a shaded version of its BoA counterpart.
Edit:
731 is not used from what I can tell, it could be used as a new wall graphic, G621. Last four icons can be deleted.
(It is apparently an offcut of a four graphic wall sequence.)

Edit:
Apparently there will be no overlap between Nethergate and BoA graphics because the former can just be re-numbered.  There seems to be plenty of spare slots.  For character graphics I am using the slots 1454 onwards.
PC graphics seem to be the only real problem here.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 12:25 AM #5 Blades of Nethergate

A Blades of Nethergate is possible here and now, as the game uses the same basic structure as BoA. A few simple alterations to the Editor and it could handle the Nethergate files. (Jeff's reaction is not clear.)

Celtic Minstrel Celtic Minstrel

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 04:55 AM #6 Blades of Nethergate

I doubt Jeff would like it.
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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:09 AM #7 Blades of Nethergate

EDIT: Ah, on closer reread, it does seem like you're reverse engineering parts of the Nethergate binaries to BoA's .bas format. Pretty sure reverse engineering of any sort is against JV's licenses...

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

He certainly won't host it, but as long as redistribution in full doesn't happen, I don't see the problem. All the components needed for this can be freely obtained by downloading the demos. As far as I know he hasn't complained about stuff like Tyranicus hosting the images and instructions for the Nethergate Graphics Rewind.

I Am Not A Lawyer, but as long as you don't host the new game in full (he'd still want traffic to his site) and don't reverse engineer any binaries, there shouldn't be a problem.
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Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 05:35 PM #8 Blades of Nethergate

I might email him when I find the time. In both versions of Nethergate there is no ".bas" file per se, rather you have four data files: Celt.dat, Roman.dat, Outdoor.dat and Shared.dat. In Nethergate: Resurrection these files have zones and towns that use the BoA format.
Nethergate: Resurrection is not meant to be like BoA, hence it won't have a dialog for choosing scenarios.
Edit:
I have uploaded all the graphics that are found in either version of Nethergate but are not found in BoA:
http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/NethergateGraphics.zip
They can be inserted straight into the relevant BoA/Data folder.

Edit:
I have cleaned out the unnecessary special encounters from the N:R scenario:
http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/Resurrection.zip
It has no towns because I have not yet found time for that. The roman_or_celt() call will be replaced by get_flag(0,0). By unnecessary I mean too closely linked to the quests and plot of N:R,

Celtic Minstrel Celtic Minstrel

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 04:47 AM #9 Blades of Nethergate

I think that if you're just extracting the terrain into a BoA scenario, without any of the plot stuff, he'd probably be fine with it. I can't know for sure, of course.

Don't try to recreate the Nethergate game. Just recreate the Nethergate world, excluding plot stuff.
Exile 2 Book of Items (I didn't create it, I just converted it to HTML.)

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"—Alorael, who spells phoenetically. No matter how much his orthography is a wreck, intelligibility rises from the ashes."

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Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 04:48 PM #10 Blades of Nethergate

It is Bowdlerized, all of the game stuff is cleaned out. A designer might want something well before the events of the Nethergate or well after them. One template will have to satisfy everybody.
Edit:
Well after means that magic eventually returned to the Vale hence it would be an alternate Britain not the real one.
Blades of Nethergate might be an interesting technical challenge in certain areas. I doubt that there is any provision for hidden towns and so on.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:45 AM #11 Blades of Nethergate

Most N:R skills have good BoA translations. Druid spells are tougher, simplest course of action is to give equal levels of Priest and Mage spells as a translation. Apart from that it is fairly straightforward.

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 05:06 AM #12 Blades of Nethergate

I thought there was an Armour Use skill? That certainly has no good BoA translation...
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"—Alorael, who spells phoenetically. No matter how much his orthography is a wreck, intelligibility rises from the ashes."

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Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 06:26 PM #13 Blades of Nethergate

Defense is the best thing here that I can think of. The really tough translations, like Barter, have just been dropped from the list of skills taught by the trainer.

The Knight Who Said Ni The Knight Who Said Ni

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 11:54 AM #14 Blades of Nethergate

I have done work with porting graphics, scripts, and scenario design. I understand much of this and have actually implemented graphics in my own scenarios (sadly none of which are released.) I can help with various tasks especially repetitive menial ones. I'm perfectly willing to help and would love to!
Yes

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Ephesos Ephesos

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 02:43 PM #15 Blades of Nethergate

Originally Posted By: The Knight Who Said Ni
my own scenarios (sadly none of which are released.)


If I may ask, why is this?

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:36 PM #16 Blades of Nethergate

The thing is, the only real difference between Nethergate and BoA is the spell system. Everything else is similar enough that a BoA scenario could easily be set in Shadowvale without even needing to import any graphics. If the intention is to create a "Nethergate template" that would be fine, but would take very little work because of the inherent similarities.

If the intention is to remake Nethergate in BoA on the other hand, that would take more effort, but not too much. The N:R scripts are basically in a BoA-readable format. It would be a matter of importing terrains, monster-types and items, as well as the spells, and then trying to get the map to look right. Of course, JV is not going to let you release such a thing, because he'll lose sales from N and N:R.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:50 PM #17 Blades of Nethergate

Currently I am playing the original version of Nethergate to see how the two versions compare. Before that I was playing through Nethergate: Resurrection to see how it compared to BoA.
I have also been thinking about a straight Blades of Nethergate using the Nethergate engine, I would need Jeff's permission here. Neither version was intended to be another Blades of Avernum, so much of the game may be hard-coded.
At one point I was playing through the BoA scenario to see how it worked in practice.

Basically N:R uses the BoA engine, with tweaks like the spell system, skills and Celt v Roman versions.

Edit:
The N:R template is just a straight template, it does not seek to make a new game.
What needs to be done is to remove all material from the town scripts that is related to the main pplot of Nethergate. I only leave in things like stairways and portals. Especially those in the Shared folder.  So far I have finished up to town 21 in the Celt folder.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 06:02 AM #18 Blades of Nethergate

I have fixed up the first thirty towns, cleaned them up and removed obvious references to the events of the actual game.
As this scenario is using different corescendata files you might want to put a fresh install of BoA in another partition of your hard drive, just for this scenario. I have found that it will be necessary if you want to play BoA too. Copy the BladesofAvernumData.dat file over too.

The Knight Who Said Ni The Knight Who Said Ni

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:27 AM #19 Blades of Nethergate

Well Ephesos, I am terrible at coding and constantly am fixing up my monsters as all test runs prove them to be impossible to defeat by any normal means. My dialogue is constantly messing up by one NPC's node leading to a different NPC's node. I could go into more detail but I will start a new topic for the scenario if necessary. I'd like to get a beta run but it isn't ready for anyone to play it unless they play with a God Party. But anywho I tried opening files like outdoor.dat and they aren't opening. What is your method, as I tried opening it with BOA 3d editor and regular editor and they didn't work out.

Ni
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Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 04:59 PM #20 Blades of Nethergate

Scenario design:
Use a program like Alint, it is not perfect but it will do the job usually. If you have problems with basic Avernumscript read the Cookbook. See Kelandon's Pretty Pink Page:
http://home.sanbruno.../~tommywatts03/

Now as for Nethergate Resurrection:
I don't know what outdoor.dat does if anything.
The four files use the BoA format except for their beginning parts. Hence they can't be opened in a BoA Editor unless modified. I will upload them soon.

Ephesos Ephesos

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:08 PM #21 Blades of Nethergate

...outdoor.dat does not ring any bells. In fact, I have no idea what that could be for.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:32 PM #22 Blades of Nethergate

In the original Nethergate, outdoor.dat may be required to make outdoor encounters run smoothly.
I just uploaded the relevant files for N:R,
http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/BoANethergateResurrectionData.zip
If clicking the link does not work, make the address bar active, then press Enter.

This is my understanding of the start of the N:R files:
0 4 flag
4 2 number of towns
6 2 outdoor dimension
8 2 outdoor dimension
10 2 ????
12 2 ????
14 2 ????
16 50 scen name
66 200 town sizes
266 4 ????
270 start of outdoor section

The scenario I uploaded, see post #178719 - Aug 6, 2009 9:35 PM, was composed of Celt.dat, Outdoor.dat, one blank medium town and Shared.at, it is seen from a Celtic perspective.
Edit:
The scenario is composed of towns from Celt.dat, Outdoor.dat and Shared.dat. Outdoor sections come only from Shared.dat.
In the four files I just uploaded, a blank beginning section (scenario header) from a new scenario was pasted into the beginning of each file, then it was modified to show the correct number of towns.

The Knight Who Said Ni The Knight Who Said Ni

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 05:10 PM #23 Blades of Nethergate

Thanks, I have much to explore now and am preparing to release the beta of the scenario.

Ni
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Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 05:35 PM #24 Blades of Nethergate

I have done up to the Goblin Pits now, thus it is about two-thirds finished.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:35 AM #25 Blades of Nethergate

I have included the dialog pictures that were unique to N:R, they have been renumbered to fit in with the BoA variety.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:45 AM #26 Blades of Nethergate

It is pretty much done. I will need to check all the memory cell 3 entries again. Even though N:R uses the same engine as BoA it has a few improvements, one of them is that it can handle more dialog nodes.

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:28 AM #27 Blades of Nethergate

For me, there are no people around in the whole scenario except the shadow vale fort and nethergate. And the circle of healing and warfare spells don't work for me. And the skills are still BoA like
If one seeks me for killing you, then consider
yourself dead in the next 10 minutes. You are alive
because no one has announced any
bounty in the town.

For now, I seek Ohsky.

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:32 AM #28 Blades of Nethergate

First of all, please do not resurrect threads that have not been posted in for over three years, Zero Smasher.

Secondly, if you'd taken the time to read the thread you'd have seen that this is a template only - towns and outdoor sections from Nethergate have been copied, but no other content. What you're describing is precisely what should be happening.




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