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Hi! I'm ADoS, a long-time Blades of Exile player and designer. I'm helping Celtic Minstrel with the development of the Open Blades of Exile project. Specifically, he does all the programming, creative direction, decision making, project maintenance, etc. (the hard part) and I do testing of various kinds, troubleshooting, some graphics work, provide suggestions and ideas, and assorted other miscellany that doesn't involve programming (I don't know how). Blades of Exile, for those who don't know, is a small software suite that allows you to design and share your own adventures in the game engine of Spiderweb Software's award-winning Exile trilogy (which was later remade into Avernum), utilizing an intuitive, easy-to-use point-and-click system. No coding required, just enter text and numbers, push buttons, and paint the maps, basically. Some amazing stories were told with this system and the community was very creative, with annual general design contests as well as occasional themed contests. Spiderweb Software included three short adventures with the package, and there are over 300 user-made scenarios to download and play. The program had some annoying and often pointless limitations, but with ingenuity we managed to get around many of them. Now that the software is available under the GNU GPL 3.0, Celtic Minstrel has removed or fixed many of the limitations, loosened many others, and fixed many, many bugs. It now runs on newer operating systems as well. Part of the design philosophy of this project is to keep the look, feel, and play of this software more or less the same, and just fix bugs, add a few spare unobtrusive features, and make sure it runs correctly. There was a short-lived Swords of Exile project, for example, where someone was trying to overhaul the whole thing so it was unrecognizable. That's what we're trying not to do. We insist that all legacy scenarios must continue to play as intended. We think it will be great when it's finished, and we hope the community will reignite. Unfortunately there is still a good amount of work to do. BoE was a passion of mine for a huge chunk of my life and I don't want to see it wither away, but it can be frustrating sometimes when we don't know who or how many we're working to please. It would be good to know how much interest there is in this project, as well as whether anyone would like to help out more actively. CM would especially like another programmer to help him. So could you take a minute and answer this poll? Thanks! (I'm posting this in the General forum because I suspect there are many people who don't scroll all the way down the forum list.)
Porting of objects (creatures, terrain and items) is based upon the conversion tables. Said tables envisage no customization of any object. This is not helpful when the best scenarios feature a lot of customization of objects. Currently the tables are hard-coded, written into the Editor program itself. They are found in the header file Bl A Fileio.h. Porting a heavily customized scenario requires the ability to alter the header file and then compile the program, something not everyone will be familiar with. Two approaches are possible here: (1) tables are no longer written into the program. Instead the program reads them from an external file. (2) tables in the scenario editor are patched by a slab of data, which could be written with a spreadsheet. Actual patching is done by a hex editor. In my last version of the Editor, most of the tables were found after offset 595,423. Version of Bl A Fileio.h found at the Halls of Chaos SVN repository has been customized for one scenario only: Shadow of the Stranger. This will need to be corrected.
What is the most powerful spell in BoE in your opinion and why? Please try to vote in the poll. It isn't hard, and can give me an overview of this stuff while your posts give me a good analysis. I can tell right now that the BoE community is extremely small.