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The Almighty Doer of Stuff

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Everything posted by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

  1. What have you been eating recently?

    Baccala salad and stuffed mushrooms! And a liquid-center hard candy, grape flavor.
  2. Avernum/Exile Fan Art - Alien Blade Redux

    The first one reminds me more of a piece of driftwood with a handle than a sword. Too pale and texturey. The second one is awesome though. I've always loved the Alien Blade and I'm pleased to see a really nice rendering of it. I've never actually acquired it or seen its lore in the main games, but it's available in BoE and I liked it. In the original BladBase.exs it didn't have the poison dripping ability accidentally, but I still liked it.
  3. Another GUI enlargement attempt

    I just threw this together. I've done similar arrangements in the past but this is a new one. I wonder what the BoE community has to say about it. I zoomed the playing field and action buttons 2x, integrated the automap, and arranged the other stuff how I thought I thought it would fit. Oddly, Get Item has a different icon depending on whether you are in town mode or combat mode in legacy BoE, so I just improved the combat one a bit and turned the town mode one into a Use Terrain button. Also, even the Large Dialog node messages will fit more than comfortably within the terrain view this way, eliminating the need to ever have more than one window. Legacy screenshot: http://www.OpenBoE.com/linkfile/GUI00.png New mockup: http://www.OpenBoE.com/linkfile/GUI01.png This does have the issue that there are not as many buttons to use in combat or outdoor modes, compared to town mode, so there may be blank buttons. But the current button arrangement is ridiculous anyway, I think.
  4. Request to use Blades of Exile graphics

    If you download the development version of OBoE, labeled as experimental in the forum header, all included graphics are available under GNU GPL 3.0+, You can use them in accordance with that license. If it's a user-made graphic not included with that program, it is likely not available under a free license and may even be infringing on somebody's copyrights or trademarks itself.
  5. I just realized I passed my 10 year mark here

    I don't know what I'll do when I can't log into AIM and immediately receive a message that says "smirking zeeq thief" anymore. RIP AIM. :'(
  6. Blades of Exile for Linux :D

    We are trying to make it cross-platform. My primary OS is Linux Mint and I only use Windows when I absolutely need to. So I would love to have BoE work on Linux. Mind you, I'm talking about Blades of Exile, not Exile III. They are different games. The Exile Trilogy will, hopefully, be someday possible to plug into Open Blades of Exile and play, but that's a ways off. EDIT: Wait, I think I misunderstood. I just woke up. You ARE interested in breathing new life into... something? Which is... not programming, but just running it on an old computer? I think that's what you said...
  7. Blades of Exile for Linux :D

    EDIT: Ugh.
  8. Blades of Exile for Linux :D

    Oh, right. That. That's just the Windows version of Exile III with an old version of Wineskin stuck on it, not a real Linux version, IIRC. That's what I remember hearing. (Actually I think this came up before and we determined I made that up? But maybe I'm making this up instead. We've got low barometric pressure here though, boy am I sick today...) Yeah, anyway, BoE never got the Linux treatment. We've just got a partially done BoE Linux version that isn't releasable.
  9. Blades of Exile for Linux :D

    I don't know any of the details of the programming, although the Linux version is based on Celtic Minstrel's work, not the other way around. The goal is to make the whole thing cross platform, I think, and the Linux branch of it is fairly recent. For more details, ask CM. He'll probably see this soon enough, or you can pop into the IRC chat room ( http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=%23openboe ), which he checks more often. He's not there now but I suspect he will soon enough. The chat is a convenient place to coordinate development things, I think.
  10. Blades of Exile for Linux :D

    Sorta kinda. It runs. I think it still doesn't have menus and is unplayable. The Windows version doesn't run especially well with Wine either. We're working on it though. I think. Hey, since you're a coder, Cromagnon or otherwise, I don't suppose you'd like to help out the project? We like help. Celtic Minstrel does nearly all the programming work himself which is why it's so slow-going.
  11. OK, so any general interface enlargement and map integration etc. to be decided later, I tweaked the inventory area. In legacy, there were separate small, 18x18 versions of large, 28x36 item graphics to be crammed into the inventory area. I rearranged it to use the full-size. No content is lost and only the inventory area is resized. (A single row of weird white pixels is removed from the party stats and the rest of the added inventory size is just taken by shrinking the gaps a bit.) There was always a scrollbar there anyway, so unless there's some particular, important need in some scenario to see a longer set of item names at the same time, I personally think this looks neater, more pleasing, and more clear what you're seeing. This is especially so for custom item graphics, because while default items have premade tiny graphics, custom graphics were always just shrunk blurrily with an algorithm (which CM has wanted to change going forward but regardless). What do you think? For comparison: Old: New:
  12. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Spell levels and not giving, or alternately removing existing spells and items. That can be done with nodes now, right? I mean without killing the PCs and including level 1-3?
  13. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Hypothetically if the system were broadened beyond the Exile paradigm as I suggested, it would be very useful to change keystrokes and stuff, but that's not something that's really being considered yet. Right now the focus is just on getting the Exile paradigm itself to work, to start with. Anything else would come later, if at all, provided we find a programmer who is interested in developing the project in that direction. I suggested to my friend, who has a two-person game studio with a business philosophy strongly influenced by Jeff's, that maybe taking on OBoE as a side project might possibly maybe be some sort of useful part of a marketing thing maybe. I don't know, but I'll be showing her BoE today and she'll decide if she wants to show her programmer. My friend is unfamiliar with Spidweb and her programmer is only familiar with Jeff, not his games, but we'll see. I vaguely recall having a pleasant BoE dream last night but I don't remember the details. It probably made no sense.
  14. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    That would explain why there was always a difference of about two lines of dialogue showing on one OS that would be cut off on the other, I suppose.
  15. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    I did some thinking about the long-term and talked to some people who know more about gaming and upgrading classic games than I do, and I was also thinking about the famous "RPG Maker". It's a similar software to this, but much more flexible, and for-profit. People still, to this day, pay good money to make cookie-cutter pixel-art-style JRPGs using, if I'm not mistaken, a full-on scripting engine, as opposed to BoE's unique, accessible node-based system. BoE is GNU GPL 3.0+ which means there's little limit to what could be done with it, and it could all be for free, instead of for pay like RPG Maker. A "Classic Exile Mode" should be included for people to play classic BoE scenarios, design and play scenarios people who like the engine make using it, and play the original Exile Trilogy once the ability to read the plugged-in data files is eventually, hypothetically added, all with no changes to the way they play short of a few bug fixes and convenience features (i.e. quickspells are fine but no junk bag). And then the whole concept could be extended modularly, using the ease-of-use, node-based paradigm or even improving on it, making both game system and editors much more powerful and flexible for those who want to play outside Classic Exile Mode. This could bring a new audience to the classic scenarios and maybe even draw new Exile-style scenario designers into the community, by giving an audience and outlet to people who want to make classic-style pixel-art western RPGs with an easy-to-use interface. It'd be a win-win. But all of that is for later. Step One is get the game to run on modern operating systems at all and show Jeff Vogel, and see what interest we have from the community. Nothing else is really even on the table at all until that happens. I'm only thinking about this stuff because I don't know how to program and I'm out of work and have literally nothing else useful to do with my time. Step Two would probably be to do simple upgrades to the interface with better readability, intuitiveness, and quickslots, as I've said. After that, maybe other programmers would be more likely to be drawn to the project and be inclined to help than they are now.
  16. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Well, there's this. Some might say it's cramped. I dunno. Everything fits anyway. There's room in the middle for a few quick items and quick spells, and access to major commands like spell and alchemy menus and documentation. It's rough but it's a workable concept, I guess. Plus if you prefer a more spread-out view you could use the framework CM's talking about to loosen it up a bit, should your monitor resolution allow. EDIT: Small updates, actually added quickspell slots, no need for quick items because I added item arrangement buttons, and I increased the size of the area description bar. Buttons for spells, alchemy, help, etc. can still go in that remaining gray spot. This interface won't fit on my standard 768-pixel-high laptop monitor unless I shrink my giant set of MATE panels or run the program full-screen, but I think designing software around my own personal preference for a 67 pixel high taskbar setup would be a bit silly even for the purposes I've stated...
  17. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    I'm liking the direction this is headed, but things obviously don't line up neatly. The text area is the size it is to fit the phrase "Now entering: Now entering: Now entering:" while still being large enough to read in DejaVu Sans (11 point font which is still pushing it) which is about what will fit in legacy BoE, and that will also fit about 12 lines. There's room there for quickslots and whatever else too. I don't really want to make it much bigger than this. A retro-style RPG like this probably ought to fit on smaller monitors, even if it can be made bigger. The concept behind it is scalable of course should someone want to make it bigger for a giant monitor, but it looks alright on my fairly large TV "monitor" I think. Any bigger vertically and it won't fit on my laptop, for what that's worth... The open-and-close thing would have had the pane on the left and the pane on the right collapse upward to the same depth as the gray block talking about "The Killing Cave", allowing the play area to expand. If the automap were collapsed downward, then the terrain view would fill the whole play area but be blocked out in the corner by the text area, which has to remain visible. I like the newer version better but it does need work.
  18. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    MaidenWord I think was always used mostly just for talking, I think. It can always be adjusted in the final thing. I like what I'm doing now, except for no room for the text feed... hm... I'm trying to make it fit on my own laptop monitor. Hm...
  19. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    The font I used is MaidenWord, the font that has always shipped with BoE. The text feed area, though empty in the mockup, would use DejaVu Sans. I actually found a reasonable way to shrink the party stats pane so it wouldn't even need to be collapsed to make room for a bigger terrain view. It might be possible, if I work it right, to 2x scale the terrain view for legacy scenarios (or if a new format designer chooses) or just have a bigger area visible going forward. Pending what anyone who can program wants. One issue I have with some of the discussion of "it's not BoE anymore!" is, who is our target audience? Why are we bothering to do this? Are we putting in this effort to please the four or five oldbies who already have played every scenario, are perfectly capable of running it in VirtualBox or DOSBox, and just want nostalgia? Or are we trying to bring in fresh players and fresh talent, who are perfectly willing to enjoy retro graphics and combat style with text-heavy presentation, but are used to more streamlined, higher-resolution, more convenient gameplay experiences? Again, it's "Kill Your Darlings". We love the old interface, fine. We like some of the old features the way they are, fine. Is it worth ten years of work resulting in no new content and no new players? At some point we have to decide what we want more. We don't have to change everything. We really all know saying "If you change that one feature, then before you know it we'll be making it into a totally modern game and it may as well not even be BoE anymore!" is a slippery slope argument.
  20. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Thanks. Did you notice the buttons to collapse the panels that will grow the terrain view? Are those not enough? Maybe they could be collapsed into summary versions that are smaller but with less info prior to being collapsed altogether. Hm...
  21. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Celtic Minstrel, I sent you a PM. Please respond to it. Thanks. EDIT: More classic coloration. I like this better. The arrow buttons are to hide or extend the various panels, to make room for an increased or shrunk terrain view. This is as opposed to just making the terrain view fill the window, because this way the PCs will remain in the center of the visible terrain view. The PM I sent is very important, CM.
  22. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Work in progress:
  23. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Oh, come on. The GUI and lack of convenience features was never what hooked players in. If they stay at all, it's because of the exciting stories, the unusual but pretty graphics, the tactical combat, the thrill of customizing your adventurers just the way you want with a huge variety of spells, items, statistics, and more, the treasure hunting, the prospect of easily making an adventure of your own and having people play it... Do you really think people have ever read about any game and said, "Oh, this game has a 600x430 pixel interface and no shortcuts to do anything? COUNT ME IN!" I bet if BoE had quickspell and quickitem slots and bigger font to begin with, and you had a big enough screen, you'd have enjoyed it.
  24. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    Moving it to the left was to accommodate the integration of the automap which is currently a separate window. Ideally the entire game would take place in one single window. The sense in which I think it's hard to use is I've tried to introduce literally dozens of people of all levels of gaming and RPG experience to BoE, and they all hated it because they don't like the interface because they say: it's hard to use it's clunky and ugly nothing is labeled clearly things look like they're duplicated there's two dozen keyboard shortcuts to learn without any easy-to-find, simple, handy reference chart or means of customization there's a forty page manual to read instead of making it intuitive, and the instant help popups are annoying the window is tiny on modern monitors the font is small and hard to read there are no hover-over tooltips you have to click at least four times just to cast a spell every time unless you're casting the same one as last time (you'd be surprised by just how much most people despise clicking, I know I was when I found out). Every single person I try has at least a few of those complaints. We are a rare breed here. We have self-selected for people who like the old interface. People who didn't like it to begin with never stuck around, and those who got used to more modern interfaces moved along elsewhere.
  25. Feedback on MINOR GUI tweak please: Inventory (EDIT: No longer minor :/ )

    That's intentional. I have frequently tried to get people to play over the years, and it's really, really hard to convince people. It's largely because of the interface and inventory management, like i said. I'm considering it a "Kill Your Darlings" situation at this point. We're attached to it because we're nostalgic and we're used to it, not because it works really well. I want people to get back into playing, enjoying, sharing, and designing again. Otherwise, CM will finish updating it, nobody new will play, even most oldbies don't seem to want to touch it, and then the next time it gets old and stops working, it will disappear forever for lack of interest. This game and the stories it tells are too wonderful to let that happen, I think.