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The Almighty Doer of Stuff

Do You Have These BoE Scenarios? (also, about reviews)

37 posts in this topic

A couple things. First, and very importantly, I have accumulated as many scenarios as I could, both from TrueSite, other sites, and from helpful community members, but several scenarios are still missing. It's been a while so I'll ask again. This is the list of scenarios I have whose archives are corrupted and cannot be unpacked.

 

EDIT: Got all these. Thanks!

 

Caer Selwyn

The Claim

Domestic Evil

Dragon Quest

Escapades in the Green Mountains

Foreshadows

Fort Emerald Robbery

Isle of Serin

Kistar's Quest

Mortishire

Parody

Signs and Portents

The Za-Khazi Edit

 

You may notice that some of those are major draws to BoE, particularly "Foreshadows" and "Signs and Portents", and it really wouldn't do to have those unavailable. Surely someone has working copies of some of these scenarios which they can email to me? TheAlmightyDummyEmailOfStuff (at) gmail (dot) com

 

-----

 

Also, the community created a great quantity of scenario reviews, many of which were useful, insightful, and helpful, and many of which were derogatory and downright rude. There was a good amount of spirited debate the last time the issue of what to do with these reviews came up. But it's been a decade since BoE was released as open-source, and these are my thoughts:

 

The reviews will always be helpful and good to have, but I think simply archiving them and starting fresh, with a very simple, uncomplicated system and a handful of recommendations based on community experience, would be best, once OBoE 2.0 is released. We have an rudimentary, official project website now at http://www.OpenBoE.com/ where we will be hosting graphics and scenario archives, and having a review section would be swell as well. The biggest reason for my thought that we start fresh is, as I said, it's been ten years, with only a single new scenario made in that time, "Pilgrimage to Thrakos" by Sylae. BoE itself is TWENTY years old as of this coming December. Tastes in gaming have changed dramatically and BoE is distinctly niche at this point, so I think in many ways the perspectives of the classic reviews may be dated and inapplicable to the modern gamer, even retro game enthusiasts.

 

I'm not proposing that we hash out a system right now; OBoE 2.0 is still being worked on and we have time to think about it. I'm mostly just looking for a general community feel about the idea of starting fresh in general, and maybe the idea of going simpler vaguely. More important right now is, as I said, retrieving the missing scenarios.

 

Thanks!

 

--------

 

EDIT: I've crossed out the scenarios I've obtained. Also, here's the TrueSite list of ancient scenarios which have been missing for many years, if anyone has them:

 

Augmentary

The Dark Cave

Death Cove

The Duel

Excalibur

Halmeni Horror

Hidden Valley

Moui's Kingdom

New Blood

Patty's Quest

Prazac's Quest

Silly Town

Silly Town 2

Random Rampage

 

 

Another question though: If we do manage to dig up Shotts's scenarios, what do we do with them? They're mostly mean-spirited attacks on community members, pretending to be adventures. I'm not sure sticking them in the scenario archive is a good idea. Thoughts, if it ever becomes relevant?

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

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it's been ten years, with only a single new scenario made in that time, "Pilgrimage to Thrakos" by Sylae
"The Crusaders" by Bain-Ihrno was also released in that time period (I don't know exactly when, but it was an entry in the 10th Design Contest). Just pointing it out in case it's missing on your master list.

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Thanks. I do indeed have "The Crusaders" in my possession.

 

On another note, we'd really, really like to know how to reach Milu, if anyone knows. I sent PMs to both of her forum accounts but I suspect she's not receiving email notifications.

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I took a look at the damaged zips you have stored on openboe.com (you have The Doomed Land in with them even though it seems to be perfectly fine, by the way). I was able to extract the custom graphics from all of them, and other files such as readmes in some cases, but not the actual scenario for the most part. The archives seem to have been truncated.

 

I did manage to extract and load scenario files for Kistar's Quest, Fort Emerald Robbery, and Signs and Portents, but I'm pretty sure they're incomplete. They have 7, 13, and 2 towns, respectively. In other words, some of the towns seem to be missing.

 

EDIT: Signs and Portents and Fort Emerald Robbery are both available on TrueSite – not in the scenario archive but in the GeoCities archive on Alcritas's and BainIhrno's sites respectively. Foreshadows can still be found on *i's site which is linked from the scenario download page on TrueSite.

 

So at least the two major draws you mentioned are not lost.

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Thanks, CM! I thought I had trolled through all the designers' websites, especially The Lyceum, but somehow I guess I missed them.

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I think I have Domestic Evil...though do the scenarios have straightforwards names? Domestic Evil is "de", for example.

 

As for reviews, would things be much different now? Apart from scenarios notable for being different than the others at the time, for using the editor i new and inventive ways, not seeing why things would change much. Excepting Inn of Blades, which would be much shorter if made today.

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Domestic Evil is indeed de.exs. I can confirm that from my attempts at recovering ADoS's zips.

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Perhaps also worth noting: Many ReadMes, even in ZIPs that unpack successfully, seem to be corrupt. I don't know what that says about the scenarios in the same ZIPs. I plan to organize the files, pulling out things like MEGs and other no-longer-useful files and putting them in a separate just-in-case archive, to keep things simpler, and when I do that I'll note which have broken ReadMes. At some point every scenario will have to be checked manually, just in case, but right now I'm not sure I have the energy to do so myself. Any help will be appreciated, of course. Not urgent though.

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when you say corrupt are you talking about encoding issues (ie special chars being funny) or EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE LOOK AT ALL THESE CONTROL CHARACTERS corruption

 

edit: fyi there's a couple small things in your site, here's a patch of recommendations

 

$ diff "new  2.txt" "new  3.txt"
38c38
< <div class='logo'><img src="BoE_Logo.png"/></div>
---
> <div class='logo'><img src="BoE_Logo.png" alt="Blades of Exile" /></div>
64,65c64,65
< <li><a hred='https://github.com/calref/cboe/issues'>Report bugs to the tracker</a>
< <li><a href='http://l.calref.net/boeforum/'>The Blades of Exile forum</a> @ Spiderweb Forums
---
> <li><a href='https://github.com/calref/cboe/issues'>Report bugs to the tracker</a>
> <li><a href='http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/index.php?/forum/12-blades-of-exile/'>The Blades of Exile forum</a> @ Spiderweb Forums
82c82
< <div class='logo'><img src="boeaniad.gif" /></div>
---
> <div class='logo'><img src="boeaniad.gif" alt="" /></div>

 

- recommend alt-text in images for accessibility

- typo in one of the links

- at some point i'm going to rewrite l.calref, and the custom shortcuts are prolly gonna go since i'm literally the only person who has ever used them. plus it's kinda funky having a link shortener when you don't need one, why did we have one again? (if you want to keep it, that's fine, but make sure to change it to an https url)

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I wouldn't say the MEGs are no longer useful. Sometimes the MEG may have darker graphics than the BMP does, so if anything it'd be preferable to keep the MEG and throw out the BMP (though that has its own problems since the Windows build can't load MEGs). If the MEG and BMP have exactly the same graphics, mind you, it's not worth keeping the MEG now.

 

If you let me know which ones have MEGs, I can check if they're darker than the corresponding BMPs.

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edit: fyi there's a couple small things in your site, here's a patch of recommendations

Thanks for the suggestions!

 

- at some point i'm going to rewrite l.calref, and the custom shortcuts are prolly gonna go since i'm literally the only person who has ever used them. plus it's kinda funky having a link shortener when you don't need one, why did we have one again? (if you want to keep it, that's fine, but make sure to change it to an https url)

That shortened URL has been in the IRC channel topic for quite awhile. There's a limit on topic length (though at the moment I don't think we're near the limit), so having a shorter URL is handy.

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oh that's why we made it :p here's a new one for when/if that one dies: https://l.calref.net/ba

Edited by sylae
actually the existing system can't support having two aliases to the same url, so i would recommend changing that IRC header sooner rather than later :p

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When I View Source for openboe.com in Firefox, it highlights the closing body tag in red, for some reason...

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<div id='wrapper'> is not closed, add a closing div at the end

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A lurker sent me Isle of Serin, The Za-Khazi Edit, and Dragon Quest! Thanks! I'll go back and scratch out the ones I've obtained.

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I guess I was missing Brett Bixler's "The Hut of Baba Yaga" somehow. Celtic Minstrel told me he had it, otherwise I wouldn't have thought to look for it. Thanks, CM!

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What is "The Unfortunate Demise of Lord Pippensworth"? Celtic Minstrel has that too, and I guess Alcritas made it. I thought it was part of "The Arc" until CM told me the full title. Might that be an older version of something with a different title?

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I had all six of the scenarios that you listed as still missing in the original post. I just sent them to you. I can't swear that they work, but they were all on the Archive before it went down ages ago, so they were all on my computer.

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Do any of you know who made the scenario "Derwish Challenge"? It's not on TrueSite that I can see, and there's no readme. I'm trying to label the file. I don't even know where I found it...

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I am missing Aaron Maybury's "Dragon's Lair", not to be confused with Ryan Phelps's scenario of the same name. Does anyone have it?

 

EDIT: CM found it on Brett Bixler's site. Thanks, CM!

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EDIT: CM found it on Brett Bixler's site. Thanks, CM!

It was on Alexandria. Not sure whether that's a correction or a clarification.

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Anything that says personal.psu.edu/whatever/bxbnumberhere/whateverIcan'trememberthewholething is Brett Bixler. He is a college professor and in addition to his professional work, the school gives him some personal webspace with which he can do as he pleases. Over the years, in addition to his own scenarios, he's hosted a number of utilities for the community, such as Alexandria the BoE scenario repository, and BoA custom graphics database The Louvre. So it wasn't a correction or clarification, it was an assumption that you knew. :p

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Good timing.

 

I've been thinking for the last 3 months of making a thread in the BOE sub-forum - but I guess having it here in General is better, more exposure - if people were looking for some old scenarios, considering I had downloaded (and archived since then) pretty much all scenarios released before 2001. That's probably 170 scenarios - of which I didn't even manage to play a third back in the days :blush:

But since I'm a Master Procrastinator and I wasn't sure if there were still people interested in BOE even here around, I didn't bother to post it.

 

As for your specific requests, I'm pretty sure I had Prazac's Quest and The Duel at some point, and some others sound loosely familiar (Excalibur, Hidden Valley).

Well, I'll look at it this evening when I'm back home. I might as well post the whole list of scenarios I have, just to be sure.

 

That said, even if I checked if I could open genuine old BOE scenarios with OpenBOE, I can't guarantee all will work. Guess I'll check if I'm ever asked about specific ones.

Other possible issue is that, if .exs works on both Macs and PCs, I'm not sure about the pics file - I think I only have one kind, I probably didn't bother to save the Mac files when I shifted to PC eons ago... (on the other hand, the text files like Read-me and Author's Walkthrough should be there).

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Thanks, Caligula! Welcome back.

 

Legacy BoE files will hopefully run flawlessly on OBoE. Maintaining the back catalog is one of our priorities. OBoE actually prefers PNG but reads BMP, GIF, and MEG as well now, independent of OS, so don't worry about the graphics. Actually we're going to be converting and/or removing any MEG files soon anyway. We'll check them to see if they're in working order too.

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Do any of you know who made the scenario "Derwish Challenge"? It's not on TrueSite that I can see, and there's no readme. I'm trying to label the file. I don't even know where I found it...

 

Dervish Challenge, if that's what you're talking about, was an attempt at a multi-author scenario designed to put high-level parties through a variety of extreme challenges designed by the BoE community. I think Stareye might have come up with the original idea. In any case, not much progress was ever made on it, so only very early development versions exist, which were distributed with the intent that different people would work on different towns and then the Import Town feature would be used to merge them together into a single complete scenario.

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Thanks, Lilith. The file actually was labeled with a W for some reason. I thought it might have been deliberate.

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As for your specific requests, I'm pretty sure I had Prazac's Quest and The Duel at some point, and some others sound loosely familiar (Excalibur, Hidden Valley).

Well, I'll look at it this evening when I'm back home. I might as well post the whole list of scenarios I have, just to be sure.

I also noticed one called Burano on the TrueSite archive of your old website, but all the scenario links there are broken, so it can't be downloaded. ADoS had never heard of it, so I guess that means it's also lost, unless you have it. (Or unless it also has an alternate name.)

 

 

OBoE actually prefers PNG but reads BMP, GIF, and MEG as well now, independent of OS, so don't worry about the graphics.

Well, I'd love it if this were the case, but actually the game can only load MEG files on the Mac, and even then not very well. It doesn't load GIF or PNG files for legacy scenarios. The Mac version does load BMPs, but if you have a MEG, it would be preferable to get both types. If you don't have a MEG, don't worry; the BMP can be used just fine. If you have a MEG and not a BMP, I should be able to convert it for you, so that's not really an issue either.

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I've been thinking for the last 3 months of making a thread in the BOE sub-forum - but I guess having it here in General is better, more exposure

This topic does scream out to me that it needs to be moved. Unless someone can give a cogent explanation as to what it's doing here in General, I'm going to move it to BoE.

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BoE forum is way down the list and I wanted as many as possible to see it in an attempt to gather as many of the missing scenarios as possible. The goal has been more or less met and I think it can be moved to the BoE forum.

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I do think it makes more sense in the BoE forum, and would've probably moved it myself once it stopped getting as much attention. If you feel "higher exposure" isn't a good enough reason for it to be here though, by all means move it.

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I don't think we need higher exposure now, is what I meant. We got all of the first list, Caligula may have much of the long-lost ones, and that was the big point of the thread. I think it's safe to move it now.

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Bummer, seems I spoke too fast.

 

I have Burano - named "Ogres and Goblins" when you actually go to Scenario selection screen. According to read me, it was done by a 12-years old - not too surprising for the 2nd or 3rd wave of BOE scenarios, the first wave being done by a bit older players who usually were fans of the series since Exile 1 -, so it won't be some awesome Alcritas-like groundbreaking scenario, but still good to have for completion.

I can e-mail it to you if you want.

 

That said, I can't find the other ones listed previously. Some names sound familiar, but it's alas possible I actually just spotted them after my active BOE playing ra, so when after I stopped systematically downloading all scenarios because I knew I wasn't going to play them. Sorry about that :(

 

Looks like I also only kept the BMP files for pictures - probably because they could be easily converted into other formats.

 

If it's of any interest, I can list all the ones I have, though.

 

On the other hand, I had few you listed on the 1st post, but looks like you already got them all :)

 

 

EDIT:

https://truesite4blades.com/Home/TrueSite4Blades/ogresandgoblins.html

Burano is actually already in the TrueSite4Blades archives, fully zipped and probably as playable as my own archive.

I think that if I have some time next weekend, I'll just go through all the ones I have and check if there's anyone that isn't downloadable from TrueSite.

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Ah, so Burano was a case of multiple names for the same scenario. Okay then.

 

Besides TrueSite there's also the Alexandria database, by the way. I think they probably have all the same scenarios, but not 100% sure.

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Just went through my BOE scenarios folder, and indeed, a handful of them have various titles, or 2-parts titles. In this case, it's burano.exs, the original folder was a Burano.zip, but when loading the scenario, the selection screen shows "Ogres and Goblins". And it's filed under "Ogres and Goblins (Burano)" on TrueSite4Blades, so the one who archived it there was aware of the tricky name.

Then of course, there are a few of them who are merely a .exs file. Like "demon.exs", which is very helpful, years later :D

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