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Everything posted by Kelandon

  1. Haven't had time, will respond later if I'm able. EDIT: Actually, heck with it, I'll do it now. The docs say: "A blow with a weapon does a number of dice of damage equal to the attacker’s strength plus the skill in the weapon plus the bonus." So an additional level of skill or an additional level of damage adds one die to the dice already used. The size of dice is determined by the item's inherent properties (strictly speaking, the it_damage_per_level characteristic).
  2. Lots of progress over the Thanksgiving holiday. I created the core of most of the end of Chapter 4 and the beginning of Chapter 5. Chapter 5 has essentially three main sequences, and I created almost all of the first. The second is going to be long and quite tricky to plot out — I have a seed of an idea, but it could be great or terrible, and I have to really sketch it out before I can start putting it into the scenario — so I think I'm going to write up to the beginning of that part and then skip ahead to the third part, which I have pretty solidly under control. And that's pretty much it. I write the ending, and then I have to go back and fill in all the stuff that I've skipped (which includes fairly large chunks of Chapters 3 and 4). I'm at 84 towns now, and I still estimate that there will be around 100 by the time I'm done. Some of the early work that I did is still paying dividends; I haven't had to work on an outdoor section or figure out which items go in which shops because I designed all that at the beginning.
  3. Something like that, yes. Iliointh was mentioned a couple times in Exodus as the birthplace (well, hatchingplace) of Khalthas. The name is a slithification of Ilion/Ilium, the alternative name for Troy. Aeneas comes from Troy, and Khalthas's story is very, very loosely inspired by the classical epics.
  4. Continuing the work on the last few towns in Chapter 4. It's coming along, albeit slowly. I also spent a few hours today revising my name list. One of the facets of Homeland that makes it very different from my other scenarios is the huge number of friendly towns, which in turn means that there are tons of character names — far more than in Bahssikava or Exodus. By my count, there were 32 character names in Bahssikava, of which 4 were Jeff names (Legare, Sss-Thsss, Phaedra, and Machrone). There were 48 additional names in Exodus. There are already over 200 in Homeland, and there will probably be over 250 by the time I'm done. I'm making the names follow particular regional patterns so as to convey a little more sense of place as you move through the homeland. The Empire of Khalthas has four major regions: the region through which you travel during Exodus (which the sliths of the homeland call "Fathenaka Province"), the northern half of Khitaloss Province, the southern half, and Iliointh Province. Each region has a different set of endings for male and female names, and a general sound that they prefer. Northern names are fairly fluid, alternating between vowels and consonants, with female names ending in -a, -ia, or sometimes -ess, -ass, or -eth, and male names ending in -oss, or sometimes -en, -or, or -er. Typical examples are (female) Nehva or Dakhia and (male) Dokhoss or Orathoss. Southern names have strings of consonants, with female names ending in -a, -akh, -ash, or -eth, and male names ending in -[consonant]ss or -oss, or sometimes -yth or -en. Typical examples are (female) Sfessakh or Nazbash and (male) Narkhss or Venyth. Iliointh names tend to be very vowel-y and longer with a different (though overlapping) set of endings, so you get names like (female) Ageleath or Kiantha and (male) Luthkhinoss or Valenthianen. Each vowel is pronounced separately, so, for example, Ageleath is A-ge-le-ath. There are also variations by socioeconomic class, where generally higher-class names are a little smoother (Northern female: Amarantess; Southern female: Ishmeneth) and lower-class names are a little rougher (Northern female: Thikhnia; Southern male: Ekhthss). Generally, consecutive consonants or consecutive vowels make the name rougher, especially where they are articulated in very different places (e.g., "Ishmeneth" is largely at the front of the mouth, but "Thikhnia" is all over the place). Because I'm using such an enormous number of names, my initial set of notes was really not up to what I needed, so today I went back and recompiled the list with name, character location, regional origin of the name (e.g., Iliointh), and a few other details. Really necessary work, though it doesn't actually show up in the editor or the scripts. Incidentally, the -as ending of Khalthas (and Talas) is archaic and no longer used anywhere. Also, as compared to Bahssikava, where nearly every character was male, there are almost exactly as many male and female characters in Homeland.
  5. Really? It's in the INIT_STATE, so it seems like it would check it every time you enter the town. Errrrr, or does the INIT_STATE for a terrain script not run each time you enter the town, as I thought it did? But, come to think of it, Bain is clearly trying to have the door become locked from within the same town, so my method wouldn't work anyway. So yeah, for that you'd need to do a slight modification on the door script to have it check the flag whenever you walk into the door, instead of whenever the INIT_STATE is run. (The problem, evidently, is that the i_am_locked variable gets dealt with in the INIT_STATE and doesn't check the relevant memory cells again in the BLOCK_MOVE_STATE.)
  6. Yeah, tl, dr, you probably should use the flag in cells 2 and 3. Set the memory cells so that it's impassibly locked, set the flag that unlocks it in a one-shot on initially entering the town (or beginning the scenario, or whatever), and then when you want it to be locked, set the flag to zero. Haven't tested this, but it seems like it should be straightforward.
  7. So... the bad news first. I basically stopped designing for a year because it was hard to find the time to do it. But the good news: I've resumed, and I'm making significant progress. My goal now is to design from where I was in Chapter 4 (basically, the second half) to the end of the scenario, ignoring all side quests and pretty much skipping over all combat, both of which I can fill in on a later pass. And I'm almost to the end of Chapter 4. Today, I started to create the last three towns (as in, pressed the "Create New Town" button and placed town entrances in the outdoors) for the core plotline of Chapter 4. I have to fill in enough to keep the main plot going, and then I'm going to move into Chapter 5. Scripting Chapter 5 is going to be a fairly intense process, so who knows how long that will take -- months, I would expect. But just getting there will be significant.
  8. It's going to be sometime next year. Probably the second half of next year.
  9. Huh. Jeff has never really changed the plot of a game in a remaster, has he? I mean, there have been some tweaks here and there (the ending of the Hawthorne assassination mission in Avernum 1 comes to mind), but nothing big. I'd be interested to see an Avernum 4 with semi-significant plot adjustments.
  10. I played a little more, but I never got anywhere interesting, and I gave up. I'm sure there's something good here, but I just can't get myself to care long enough to slog through the stuff that I find boring to get to whatever I might be interested in. I can't stand the combat system and I dislike the graphics, so even if the plot picks up, it's hard to imagine liking this game. FWIW, I had the same reaction to Planescape: Torment, so this isn't necessarily to say that the game is bad, just that it's not one that I want to put time into. I may come back later, the way I did with GF4. I'm less confident about coming back to Queen's Wish, though, because my issues with QW are not at all like my issues with GF4. I never came back to P:T.
  11. That's almost certainly true. All I mean to say is that, so far, I don't like this game at all. That doesn't mean it's a bad game, just that I am not enjoying it at all. But I'm still going, just to see if anything picks up. I've played every other one of Jeff's games, and I've liked every other one of Jeff's games (most of them a lot). I'm as surprised as anyone else that I don't like this yet. I've been going back and forth on dropping the difficulty to Normal, but I really don't think that's the problem, so I haven't done it yet.
  12. No, not particularly, and here's why. As I understand it, the Calamity happened forever ago, and everybody just kind of accepted that something bad happened. There's like one loony sage who cares about what it was, but it's history, not a current event. Your main task doesn't even relate to that, at least not in the early game. Compare that to, say, the barriers in Avernum 2. They just happened, they're totally screwing with everything, and your central mission is to deal with them. Anyway, for what it's worth, I'm continuing.I made it into the Vol, but it seems like I may have done it prematurely, so I'm backing out and doing some of the quests nearer to Fort Haven first. I feel like I'm just grinding; nothing has grabbed my attention yet.
  13. In the vein of some of my other topics like this, here are my thoughts on Queen's Wish. I'm playing on Veteran difficulty, which is my standard for new games (though I played GF5 for the first time on Torment, which was probably a mistake). And man, I'm not having any fun at all. Granted, it's early, but at this point I'm tentatively planning to quit and not finish. Here are some of the issues I'm having. Combat The "you have to complete a dungeon on one run" change is obnoxious. I always found the "jump down a hole and you're trapped and can't get out the way you came" dungeons to be the most stressful, and now every dungeon is like that. It's very easy to burn through energy, and you can't recharge it, but it's also not at all obvious how much farther you have to go, so I can't figure out how much energy to hold in reserve. Yes, you get some back after some fights, but not nearly enough to make a real difference. So I find nearly every combat annoying. I'd be tempted to just drop the difficulty down, but.... Plot It seems like the plot kind of sucks. Most Spiderweb games start with a mystery. You've just been banished to a huge underground cave, and you don't know what's there, but it's probably hostile and wild and magical and you should go out and explore. You're shipwrecked on a island where secret, illegal magical experiments have been going on, and you have to explore to figure out what they are. You're a foot soldier in a corrupt, all-powerful, quasi-governmental agency, but things are starting to go wrong, and it's not clear why or who's behind it. You're a Roman soldier sent to a strange, magical land where bizarre things are happening and you need to figure out what or why. Think of every great Spiderweb game, and there's some sort of mystery. Sometimes the mystery is the location (GF1, Avernum 1, to some extent GF2). Sometimes the mystery is a person (Redbeard in Avadon 1) or an event (Shanti's death in GF2, the murders and monster plagues in Avernum 3), but there's always an attention-grabbing thing that you don't know the answer to and (presumably) want to, pretty early on in the game. There's just nothing here. I don't care about any of it and am having trouble figuring out what it is that I want to figure out. At least in Avernum 4 there were the shades, or the barriers/river journey in Avernum 2, or... give me some sense of urgency. But here it's just like: "Go clean up this mess that nobody else has bothered to do because it just isn't important or interesting enough." Graphics I can't stand the new graphics system. I never liked Exile graphics, and this is closer to that than the Nethergate/Avernum graphics engine or the Geneforge/Second Avernum Trilogy/Avadon graphics engine. It's too flat/low-tech. When I saw what happens when creatures die, I rolled my eyes. This looks like it was made by somebody's teenage younger brother. I get that it's Spiderweb and they skimp on graphics on purpose to stay afloat, and I've never minded before, but blech, I do not like these. Overall I'm not very far at all. I'm just at the point where I'm starting to enter the other regions (Vol, etc.). But I just have no desire to continue. There's nothing that is making me want to keep going. Maybe I will, because I've never skipped a Spiderweb game that wasn't a remake, but I don't know. I'm just kind of bored.
  14. For me, this is the bottom line. Spiderweb games have been a little energy-intensive in the past, but I've never had a problem like this, and no other game that I've played is this energy-intensive. It's not the computer. It's the game. I know that it's painful to do this because you're worried about breaking everything, but Jeff, could you take a good, solid look at the suggestions here? They seem pretty straightforward and potentially quite useful.
  15. I've been having the same issue on a similar computer (MacBook Pro 2019). I flagged it for Jeff near the end of beta and he basically just shrugged. I'd love to know how to fix it.
  16. I don't have that issue on Mac OS 10.14. Don't know how it is on Windows, though.
  17. I just had to upgrade (old computer died), and to my mild amazement, this appears to work. I used Disk Utility to create a writable disk image and it appears possible to edit a BoA scenario on it with the 3D Editor.
  18. If you play Bahssikava/Exodus/others of my scenarios, bear in mind that I'm still around and check these forums, so if you need help — Bahs is pretty challenging — you can always come here and ask.
  19. BoA is not completely dead — there's at least one more scenario coming, albeit slowly.
  20. I mean in terms of the energy of the writing and the ideas. Avadon 1 is pretty exciting and new — lots of strange stuff happening, things to figure out. Avadon 3 is... not. It's a little perfunctory, in my opinion. I think I thought the same thing about Geneforge 3 at the time, but it's been a very long time, and it's one of the only Spiderweb games that I never re-played.
  21. Welcome! Leave your sanity at the door, as the traditional greeting goes. For what it's worth, I started with the original Avernum Trilogy and like that much more than the remakes too. Have fun with Geneforge and Avadon; they're also excellent, although I felt that the third game in each series lagged a little compared to the others.
  22. It doesn't appear that we ever created a comprehensive list for Avadon 1, but back when I was much more familiar with this, I wrote: In addition, the way you handle your companion PCs affects the endgame. We created comprehensive lists for Avadon 2 and Avadon 3.
  23. Part of the reason this may be confusing is that there a bajillion books here. You can think of D&D as being a broad category that includes Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and a bunch of other things. Those are all subsets of D&D, in a way. Dungeons and Dragons was originally published as a set of rule books back in the mid-'70s, and it was intended to describe a set of rules that could work for all sorts of fantasy roleplaying adventures that DMs could dream up. But from the beginning, DMs realized that creating their own storylines, full of NPCs and treasure and monsters and so on, was a lot of work, so by the late '70s, D&D writers supplied adventure modules like Keep on the Borderlands, which provided some storylines and concepts for DMs to work with. By the '80s, D&D writers supplied much more elaborate fictional worlds — Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, etc. These were meant to be playable (i.e., there are extensions/modifications of the D&D rules that you use if you're playing a Dragonlance campaign), but they also became elaborate franchises. Dragonlance began with the Chronicles trilogy of books, but there came to be dozens of others: Legends, Tales, Heroes, Preludes, Elven Nations, Meetings, and on and on. Same with Forgotten Realms, and the others. And they're not just novels, either. There are computer games, a ton of which are set in the Forgotten Realms setting (such as Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights), and other things, too. (Really bad movies, for example.) The core D&D rulebooks got revisions from time to time as well — 2nd edition in the late '80s, 3rd edition in 2000, and so on. So, for example, Baldur's Gate from 1999 is a computer game adaptation of the 2nd edition D&D rules that takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting. Kindred Spirits from 1991 is a 2nd edition-era novel (from the Meetings series) that takes place in the Dragonlance setting. Dragonlance Adventures from 1987 is a 1st edition-era rule book providing information for DMs who want to set their campaigns in the Dragonlance universe. And so on.
  24. Dragonlance actually dates to the mid-80s, originally. You can think of D&D as essentially being the laws of physics, and the various settings (Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, etc.) as being different worlds on which those laws play out. To be sure, there are some variations within each world, so the analogy doesn't quite hold, but it's at least a decent first approximation. D&D may seem fresher than DL if you're comparing 5th edition D&D to the original DL novels (Chronicles, Legends), since 5th edition D&D was published about 16-18 years after the early DL trilogies. EDIT: Or if you're comparing it to the Meetings series, which dates to 1991, according to some quick Googling.
  25. It was, and it did, so yes, Queen's Wish should come out for iPhone. The Android stretch goal was not met, but Jeff said that he'd look into it anyway. Not sure if he's landed anywhere on that by now.
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