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Celtic Minstrel

Special Node Ideas

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This is a little premature, I suppose, since I haven't even finished terrain, but then that gives more time for ideas to flow in.

 

I have a lot to say, so I'll split it into a couple of posts. Bear with me...

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Okay, there's not a lot to be changed in the actual special node structure; it currently has fields sdf1, sdf2, mess1, mess2, pic, extra1a, extra1b, extra2a, extra2c, jumpto, and I propose adding extra1c, extra2c, and either pic2 or mess3.

 

However, there's a lot that can be done with the node types that are available. For starters, there are a number of redundancies. There are also problems with the "x block" and one-shot nodes: they must be the first node in the chain to be effective. The easiest way to fix this would be to combine them all into a single node; however, that would not really be doable when you consider that each node has only 10 fields (13 or 14 if we add a few).

 

So we'll have to fall back to the next choice: make them act as If-Then nodes. This will work much better. (The one-shot specials could be left as-is then, since they would then be the only remaining type of node that must be the first in the chain to have full effect.)

  • Nodes 0..3 need no change
  • Node 4 (Secret Passage) should be deleted in favour of a new option in node 11 (Can't enter)
  • Nodes 5 and 6 need no change
  • Nodes 7..10 and 24 should be deleted in favour of a new If-Then node "Check mode?" (see section below)
  • Node 11 (Can't enter) needs a new option "can enter even if target is blocked"
  • Nodes 12..23, 25, and 26 probably need no change
  • Node 27 (End scenario) needs a new option "Won scenario?"
  • Nodes 50..54 don't really need any changes.
  • Nodes 55..60 should be rearranged (see section on Dialog Nodes below)
  • Nodes 61 and 62 (Place encounter) could perhaps me merged, but it's probably not worth it
  • Node 63 (Trap) needs no change.
  • Node 80 needs rearranging (see section on Select Creature below)
  • Nodes 81 and 84..86 need no change
  • Nodes 82 and 83 (Affect Health/Spell Points) should have an option to affect maximum instead of current spell points
  • Nodes 87..97 should be merged into a single Affect Status node
  • Node 98 needs no change
  • Nodes 99 and 100 (Give spell) should be able to affect low-level spells too
  • Node 107 (Affect Detect Life) should be added for completeness
  • Nodes 130..147 probably need no change
  • I propose changing node 148 to "Count barrels/crates?" and node 149 to "Barrel/crate on space?"
  • Node 150 needs no change
  • Nodes 151 and 152 should be merged into a single "Count owners of trait in party"; then a "Count species in party" could be added in the new empty space
  • Node 153 should be changed to "Check sum of statistic in party"
  • Nodes 154..155 need no change
  • Node 170 should be more flexible – what about making the town friendly? Or perhaps allow it to affect a single monster instead of the whole town.
  • Nodes 171..195 probably don't need any change
  • Nodes 200..208 and 211 could be merged into a single node
  • Node 212 should allow placing items in containers (if it doesn't already?)
  • Node 226 is kind of redundant, but whatever...
  • Node 228 should be able to move you to a different outdoor section
  • Node 229 should work in town as well

 

 

Click to reveal.. (List of current node types, for reference)

 

 

0 - No special

1 - Set Flag

2 - Increment Flag

3 - Display Message

4 - Secret Passage

5 - Display Small Message

6 - Flip Flag

7 - Out Block

8 - Town block

9 - Combat block

10 - Looking block

11 - Can't Enter

12 - Change Time

13 - Start General Timer

14 - Play a sound

15 - Change Horse Possession

16 - Change Boat Possession

17 - Show/Hide Town

18 - Major Event Has Occurred

19 - Forced Give

20 - Buy Items of Type

21 - Call Global Special

22 - Set Many Flags

23 - Copy Flag

24 - Ritual of Sanct. Block

25 - Have a rest

26 - Wandering Will Fight

27 - End Scenario

50 - Give Item

51 - Give Special Item

52 - One-Time Do Nothing

53 - One-Time Nothing and Set

54 - One-Time Text Message

55 - Display Dialog (Dialog pic)

56 - Display Dialog (Terrain pic)

57 - Display Dialog (Monster pic)

58 - Give Item (Dialog pic)

59 - Give Item (Terrain pic)

60 - Give Item (Monster pic)

61 - One-Time Place Outdoor Encounter

62 - One-Time Place Town Encounter

63 - Trap

80 - Select a PC

81 - Do Damage

82 - Affect Health

83 - Affect Spell Points

84 - Affect Experience

85 - Affect Skill points

86 - Kill/Raise

87 - Affect Poison

88 - Affect Slow/Haste

89 - Affect Invulnerability

90 - Affect Magic Resistance

91 - Affect Webs

92 - Affect Disease

93 - Affect Sanctuary

94 - Affect Curse/Bless

95 - Affect Dumbfounding

96 - Affect Sleep

97 - Affect Paralysis

98 - Affect Statistic

99 - Give Mage Spell

100 - Give Priest Spell

101 - Affect Gold

102 - Affect Food

103 - Give Alchemy

104 - Give Stealth

105 - Give Firewalk

106 - Give Flying

130 - Stuff Done Flag?

131 - Town Number?

132 - Random Number?

133 - Have Special Item

134 - Stuff Done Compare?

135 - Terrain this type? (town)

136 - Terrain this type? (outdoors)

137 - Has Gold?

138 - Has Food?

139 - Item Class on Space?

140 - Have Item with Class?

141 - Equipped Item with Class?

142 - Has Gold? (and take)

143 - Has Food? (and take)

144 - Item Class on Space? (and take)

145 - Have Item with Class? (and take)

146 - Equip Item with Class? (and take)

147 - Day reached?

148 - Any barrels?

149 - Any crates?

150 - Special Thing happened?

151 - Has Cave Lore?

152 - Has Woodsman?

153 - Has Enough Mage Lore?

154 - Text response?

155 - Stuff done equal?

170 - Town Hostile

171 - Change Terrain

172 - Swap Terrain

173 - Transform Terrain

174 - Move Party

175 - Hit Space

176 - Explosion on Space

177 - Lock Space

178 - Unlock Space

179 - Do sfx burst

180 - Make Wandering Monster

181 - Place a Monster

182 - Destroy Monster

183 - Destroy all Monsters

184 - Generic Lever

185 - Generic Portal

186 - Generic Button

187 - Generic Stairway

188 - Lever

189 - Portal

190 - Stairway

191 - Relocate Outdoors

193 - Split Party

194 - Reunite Party

195 - Start Town Timer

200 - Place Fire Wall

201 - Place Force Wall

202 - Place Ice Wall

203 - Place Blade Wall

204 - Place Stinking Cloud

205 - Place Sleep Field

206 - Place Quickfire

207 - Place Fire Barrier

208 - Place Force Barrier

209 - Cleanse Rectangle

210 - Place sfx

211 - Place barrels, etc.

212 - Move Items

213 - Destroy Items

214 - Change Rectangle Terrain

215 - Swap Rectangle Terrain

216 - Transform Rectangle Terrain

217 - Lock Rectangle

218 - Unlock Rectangle

225 - Make Outdoor Wandering

226 - Change Out Terrain

227 - Place Outdoor Encounter

228 - Outdoor Move Party

229 - Outdoor Store

 

 

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Ideas for Additional Nodes

 

These are ideas that I came up with myself. Some may be better than others.

  • Leave town immediately (specify outdoor sector and coordinates)
  • Display large picture
  • Display small (72x72) picture with short message
  • Do Missile Animation
  • NPC Join Party (complicated)
  • Do Monster Attack (sets the current monster into or out of attack stance)
  • Do Boom (show simple damage, as opposed to the explosions of Do SFX Burst)
  • Add/Remove Trait
  • Give Item to PC (gives an item to the current PC as selected by Select PC; forced give; if current PC is 6 for whole party, each party member gets a copy of the item)
  • Numeric Response
  • Set Sign Text
  • Begin Talk Mode
  • Enter Town (callable from outdoors; specify which town and where in the town)
  • Has Spell?
  • Has Alchemy?
  • Pause (for x milliseconds, probably)
  • Arithmetic
  • Transform Monster (changes the type of a monster to something else; effectively deleting the monster and replacing it with a new one?)
  • Move Boat/Horse (Specify which town and where in town; possibly also allow moving it outdoors?)
  • Begin Training
  • Set Town Status (Friendly, Hostile, or Dead)
  • Show Sign
  • Set outdoor ambient sound
  • Append string to buffer
  • Append number to buffer
  • Append name of monster to buffer
  • Monster seen? (check to see if a type of monster has been seen before by the party)
  • Mark monster seen (or not seen)
  • Monster in roster?
  • Add monster to roster (or remove)

Also, I'm not sure if this is the case or not, but town nodes should work in outdoor combat.

 

The rest are things that other people suggested. Not all of them are new node suggestions.

  • Check statistic level (for a single character or for a monster; chosen by Select PC?)
  • Change the check item nodes to allow checking how many of the items the party possesses, or how many members of the party possess at least one item (though this could also be a new node)
  • Text wrap in Display Small Message (so, if you try to display a small message that's too long for the transcript, it's automatically chopped up and the wrapped portion indented). In fact, I think this should be done in add_string_to_buf(), so then it will also affect small messages displayed from the code.
  • Character alive/exists?
  • Check character health?
  • Check character spell points?
  • Something to specify that a message is a room description.
  • Party size?
  • Change light level
  • Set pointer (see Pointers section below)
  • Set campaign flag
  • Check campaign flag

 

 

Click to reveal.. (Dialog Nodes)

 

 

The current system for dialog nodes is really ugly – there are three different node types (each using a different type of graphic), and each dialog eats up 6 string slots even if they are not all used.

 

A better layout is proposed below, which assumes that my proposed additional fields are available.

 

General Dialog

SDF1, SDF2: The flag to set to 250 (erasing the special spot if any and deactivating the encounter)

Mess1: The number of the first string

Mess2: The total number of strings (0-6)

Mess3: Button 1 label?

Pic1: The number of the picture

Pic2: The type of picture (1 - terrain, 3 - monster, 4 - dialog, 5 - talk, 6 - scenario, 7 - item, 9 - field, 10 - boom, 12 - missile; other values are valid but either redundant or inappropriate)

Extra1a: Button 2 label

Extra1b: Node to call if button 2 pressed

Extra1c: Unused

Extra2a: Button 3 label

Extra2b: Node to call if button 3 pressed

Extra2c: Button 1 label?

JumpTo: Node to call if button 1 pressed (flag not set, spot not erased, encounter remains active)

 

Give Item Dialog

SDF1, SDF2: The flag to set to 250 (erasing the special spot if any and deactivating the encounter)

Mess1: The number of the first string

Mess2: The total number of strings (0-6)

Mess3: Special item to give

Pic1: The number of the picture

Pic2: The type of picture (1 - terrain, 3 - monster, 4 - dialog, 5 - talk, 6 - scenario, 7 - item, 9 - field, 10 - boom, 12 - missile; other values are valid but either redundant or inappropriate)

Extra1a: Item to give

Extra1b: Gold to give

Extra1c: Unused

Extra2a: Food to give

Extra2b: Node to call if item taken

Extra2c: Unused

JumpTo: Node to call if item not taken (flag not set, spot not erase, encounter remains active)

 

Stuff done 1, Stuff done 2: As usual.

Mess 1: The number of the first message to be displayed in the dialog box. The six messages starting with this message will be displayed in the dialog box (though the strings can, of course, be blank). Press the create/edit button to edit the text.

Mess 2: The number of special item to give (0 .. 49). If this is left at -1, no special item is given.

Pict: This is the number of the picture to display. To select a picture, press the Choose button.

Extra 1a: The number of the item to give. Press the Select Item to pick an item.

Extra 1b: The amount of gold to give. (Range 0 ... 25000)

Extra 2a: The amount of food to give. (Range 0 ... 25000)

Extra 2b: The special to jump to if the item is taken (note that this is different from the Give Item special node, above). If No Special is given, the Jump To special is called normally.

 

 

 

Click to reveal.. (Select Creature Node)

 

 

The Select PC node needs more options.

 

Extra1a: Mode (0 - select living character, 1 - select dead or living character, 2 - select whole party, 3 - select random character, 4 - select any character, 5 - select specific character, 6 - select active character, 7 - select dead character)

Extra1b: Node to call if Cancel pressed (modes 0, 1, 4) or if the character doesn't exist (mode 5)

Extra1c: Character to select (only mode 5, 100 + x selects a monster; though it's not advisable for selecting PCs)

Notes: With mode 4, there's the possibility that the selected PC does not exist. So it should probably be used carefully.

 

In addition to this, I'm going to suggest that nodes which place monsters should automatically set that monster as the currently selected creature. (This option could be explicitly disabled per node since it may cause compatibility problems; the default for imported scenarios will be to not select the new monster.) I also suggest a magic value (say, -5) which evaluates to the currently selected creature (0-5 = a PC, 6 = the whole party, 100 + x = a monster) when used anywhere a positive number is expected. (In fact, it would be like the pointers proposed by Stareye which I intend to add, except read-only.)

 

 

 

Click to reveal.. (Check mode?)

 

 

An If-Then node to check the context in which the special was called and branch off accordingly. I don't currently have a layout proposal for it, but I do have a list of things it should be able to do:

 

  • If outdoors, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If in town, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If in combat, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If looking, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If talking, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If shopping, jump to node x; else jump to node y; (Only if a way of calling nodes during shopping is added)
  • If targeting spell q, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If targeting item q, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If using space, jump to node x; else jump to node y;
  • If in boat q, jump to node x; else jump to node y; (q could be a range?)
  • If on horse q, jump to node x; else jump to node y; (q could be a range?)

There are a few other possible contexts not mentioned; I don't think they're as useful, but they could be added.

  • entering town
  • leaving town
  • using a special item
  • town timer
  • scen timer
  • party countdown timer
  • killed a monst
  • encountering outdoor enc
  • winning outdoor enc
  • fleeing outdoor enc
  • seeing monster type for the first time (NEW)

 

 

 

Click to reveal.. (Pointers)

 

 

Pointers make use of the otherwise unused negative values in nodes. There will be 100 mutable pointers (-199 through -100) and several reserved pointers. There will be a node to set a mutable pointer 0..99 to reference a stuff done flag.

 

Reserved pointers would include things like -5 for the number of the currently selected creature, -10 for the x coordinate of the special, and -11 for the y coordinate of the special. And -8 or something for the string buffer. And there could be one referring to the scenario icon.

 

Other suggestions for reserved pointers are welcome.

 

 

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Something I think might be a good idea (if more than a little ambitious) would be a complete overhaul of the system. I think a Warcraft III-style approach would be nice. It'd be pretty easy to build a converter for existing scenairos, and it would open the door for boatloads of new features. Example (Key-operated stairway):

 

Events:

- PC steps on square (12,10)

Conditions:

- PC has item Skeleton Key

Actions:

- Move Party to square (12,10) in town 1

 

 

I seriously think it's something to consider. If not now, later, but it'd give BoA a run for its money in the way of complex triggers.

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Such an idea is certainly within the bounds of possibility, as evidenced by Jeff's automatic conversion routines from BoE nodes to BoA scripts.

 

The two main issues would be compatibility and designing a language which would be flexible enough to be at least as powerful as the exiting nodes and easy for designers to use without extensive study without being insanely hard to parse. The former might be fairly easy to achieve: rather than writing a conversion tool which would run over s scenario once and create a copy in the new format, simply teach the new system to also load the older, simpler data. This would require careful attention to detail, but is doable.

 

The second problem is much tougher. If you're going to switch over to reading a bunch of text that a user has typed, you have to not only be able to read text that is well formed, but you also have to figure out and give useful error messages when it is not. One particularly notable trap is trying to make your computer language look more like a human language. This can not only make it fiendishly difficult for you to write a program to parse it, but can also, perversely, make it that much harder for a human to write valid code in the first place. It's an uncanny valley of language design, where the more the language looks like English (as a particularly ugly example) the more maddening the user will find the subtle differences that arise from the computer's inflexible rules. Applescript is a good example of a language that suffers badly from this. These difficulties are not insurmountable either, again, as evidenced by the existence of Avernumscript, but a lot of thought would need to go into doing the job right. (Avernumscript itself suffers from a number of needless limitations, largely due to the fact that Jeff couldn't really afford to sink any more time into developing it, I think.)

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I think the easy-to-use click-based interface is one of BoE's greatest strengths. Part of the reason there are so many BoE scenarios is that anyone with a little patience and basic computer skills can pick up the program and make a game.

 

With typed language-based design systems, there's hundreds of commands and syntax conventions that need to be memorized, or if not memorized then looked up in pages and pages of text. Then, once you have everything typed up, you have to be certain that everything is typed just so with no typos, or else it doesn't work. It's very intimidating to people who don't have a certain type of detail-oriented, organizational intelligence for it.

 

In BoE's system, all you have to do is click a button, choose a node type, and enter the values. I think it's telling that the rate of scenario releases from date of program release for BoE absolutely dwarfs that of BoA.

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Quote:
I think it's telling that the rate of scenario releases from date of program release for BoE absolutely dwarfs that of BoA.

It's surprisingly close to being exactly a factor of two, averaging the rate of scenario releases over time. I don't disagree that a low barrier to entry is a useful thing, but there's not as much difference as you may think: each of BoA's script calls is essentially a BoE node. BoA happens to have more node types, but from my occasional contact with BoE programming, dealing with the documentation is very similar. Your point about typing without mistakes is far more key, I think: A GUI like BoE uses means that the user cannot fail to enter a meaningful series of nodes, so that they need only deal with logical problems, and never syntactical problems. (BoA for instance, frequently suffers form poor error messages that make it hard for a beginner to tell what went wrong.) Also, I think that one of the larger failures of BoA's scripting system is that none of Jeff's documentation seems to succeed in convincing new designers that they can safely ignore most of the calls (node types) and start by learning only a few dozen basic ones.

(BoA's datascripts are virtually unadulterated evil; inflexible, yet also error prone, and gaining almost nothing from their script form. They are an example that should not be emulated in a system seeking ease of use.)

I see that I've rambled a bit, but what I'm getting at is that the idea of a scripted system should not be dismissed out of hand, as it is worth consideration, but the costs of building it are high and the gains are not clear cut. I'm entirely happy to muse about such ideas, but I don't think anyone should seriously expect to begin work on such a thing any time soon.

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Originally Posted By: Niemand
Quote:
I think it's telling that the rate of scenario releases from date of program release for BoE absolutely dwarfs that of BoA.

It's surprisingly close to being exactly a factor of two

I'm not sure what numbers went into the calculation that produced two as an answer, but it is definitely way, way, way too low.

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Well, you don't actually enter in the text like that. That's just how it appears in the editor after you select the node and input the variables (A quick google image search will show you what I mean). You actually only enter in a couple of items out of the whole thing. What you only have to do is select the type of event/condition/action out of a dialog box and then just click some underlined text and type what you want in. (If you've edited in starcraft, it's basically the same). I'm sure there's some video out there that explains it better than I do. Sorry for the confusion. frown

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BoE: Extant 13 years, ~350 scenarios (rounding up significantly from the number of scenarios that Kelandon has on record, 313); ~27 scenarios per year.

BoA: Extant 5 years, 69 scenarios (not counting those created since February of this year); ~14 scenarios per year.

The numbers are rough, but I think you would be hard pressed to turn that factor of 2 into a factor of 3.

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Niemand, that's a totally disingenuous evaluation and you know it. The significant majority of BoE's 350 scenarios (and I'm willing to bet there are a lot more than 37 that were publicly released, but not saved and did not make it to Kel's archive) were released in the first 5 years after BoE's release. Compare those numbers for a much more reasonable estimate.

 

Or you could compare just the number of scenarios released in the first year, but then BoE dwarfs BoA by a factor of something like 20 or 30.

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I'm more interested in extending the system than completely redoing it at this point.

 

 

On a different note, I think it would be good to add lots of nodes to support cutscenes. What sorts of nodes would people want for that that have not already been mentioned?

 

One possibility is "center screen at location".

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Slarty, I do not think that this is disingenuous, or I would not have posted it. I made specific note that I was averaging over time, and i feel that this is an entirely useful measure. Scenarios are still being made for both systems, and it would have been rather difficult to try to gather on any short notice the data to fit anything but a constant curve. I will agree that there is complexity that I have not treated, but my point was to show the rough rate at which a designing community has learned to use the tools and has then used them to produce output. Your point about the first year is valid, and I agree that it is significant; it shows a far greater lead time being required for users to get the hang of working effectively with BoA. On the other hand, while I lack the data to prove it, partially because it does not yet exist, due to BoA being as yet only 5 years old, I suspect that production of BoA scenarios is far more stable over time, than the massive boom followed by silence that you claim is so important for the BoE data.

 

You also seem to have ignored my point about that stability of the numbers, if you want to revise the two up to a three, you must produce another 196 lost BoE scenarios that I overlooked, which is five times more than the number i already added.

 

I was merely trying to point out an interesting seeming fact that I had stumbled across, which seemed relevant to my point that a scripting system is not the kiss of death to a game building system. I now wish I had not put it in this thread, however, and so I would like to ask that if we discuss it further we do so in another thread, to minimize the disruption of this one.

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Your list looks good. The biggest priority I would do is to extend the existing nodes. I did a lot of this. Let me know if you want source code.

 

For instance, all of the Affect PC are easily made to affect monsters as well. Also, simple things like allowing a take away option for spells/alchemy or extending the select PC node to not demand an annoying menu are nice.

 

The most useful innovation that I had in my stuff is the whole notion of pointers. This allows designers to enter the value of a specific flag as fields in nodes.

 

* * *

 

I see some discussion on BoE vs BoA, and I would like to offer my perspective. BoE's biggest strength was the ease of use. Nodes are pretty easy to do and the GUI easily facilitates even tricky noding sequences. While very similar under the hood, BoA is a lot harder for an inexperienced programmer to pick up.

 

I do support "back end" improvements where experienced designers can directly modify the "scenario scripts" output by the "front end" GUI interface called the Editor. Nonetheless, having a graphical front end is very important and should not be sacrificed.

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Is there now, or could there be added, a node to play a missile animation?

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Quote:
I suspect that production of BoA scenarios is far more stable over time, than the massive boom followed by silence that you claim is so important for the BoE data.


My take is that BoE largely died off because of the lack of OS X compatibility. As fewer people had access to Classic mode, it became inaccessible. While I do not have the data to support the assertion, I suspect that had BoE been made to work on modern systems and not allowed to languish, it would have been far more stable of a designing platform.

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Additionally, a number of designers simply switched over from BoE to BoA.

 

I suppose you're not being disingenuous. But you are measuring an interpretation of "rate of release" that is not very meaningful, and which implies misleading things about the relative numbers of people playing and designing BoE and BoA. This would be like comparing my average heart rate (1) over a 5-hour period in which I'm awake and active, and (2) over a 13-hour period in which I'm awake and active for 7 hours and then asleep for 6 hours -- but without making clear the obviously relevant difference in my activity during those time periods.

 

Moreover, I think it's pretty clear that the original meaning of "rate of release" as used by ADoS, which phrase you were ostensibly attaching numbers to, implied "rate" parallel to "mph" and not parallel to "mph including the hours I spent eating, sleeping, and doing other non-driving activities." I would suggest some more meaningful comparisons:

 

* Rate of release during the height of activity for BoE/BoA. Pick the busiest year for scenario releases for each game and compare the number released. This is probably the fairest comparison. I don't know exact numbers, but I'm going to guess 80 or more for BoE and 20 for BoA.

 

* Rate of release during the first X years of existence (presumably X=5 given BoA's lifespan).

 

* Rate of release during the first year of existence. Here BoE dwarfs BoA to a truly staggering degree, owing to the much higher learning curve of BoA. This is true despite the fact that BoA had a major circumstantial head start in the form of a large and active community of scenario designers eagerly anticipating BoA's release and already planning scenarios to make for it.

 

* Rate of release during the entire period during which an active designer community existed. This will allow you to discount both the period in which BoE was basically dead, but also allow you to discount the first year or so of BoA during which time people were still deciphering what to do with it and waiting for useful utilities like the 3D Editor and GraphicAdjuster.

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Originally Posted By: *i
Your list looks good. The biggest priority I would do is to extend the existing nodes. I did a lot of this. Let me know if you want source code.

For instance, all of the Affect PC are easily made to affect monsters as well. Also, simple things like allowing a take away option for spells/alchemy or extending the select PC node to not demand an annoying menu are nice.

The most useful innovation that I had in my stuff is the whole notion of pointers. This allows designers to enter the value of a specific flag as fields in nodes.
In fact, source code would be nice. I intend to do all of the things you've mentioned, including pointers.

Originally Posted By: Niemand
Is there now, or could there be added, a node to play a missile animation?
There isn't yet, but it's on the list. smile

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Okay, I've gone ahead and added four new fields to the special structure: pictype, m3, ex1c, and ex2c.

 

I think I will start work on extending Select PC to monsters. Shouldn't be too hard, hopefully...

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New node suggestions:

 

Maybe the option to put someone into debt per intention should be possible? Add an option to the cash changing node to either reduce cash to 0 as default or even to a negative value for adding debt?

 

 

 

Along with that, did anyone think about making it possibly to put customly made music into scenarios? The music during the older Exile games was nice, but except effects, there isn't really any sound to play ingame?

 

Idea: A scenario based music list (trigger for the first node is entering the scenario or the first area trigger, music gets looped till turned off or a new music trigger is found), which gets changed whenever the player enters a certain area (= the area contains a node to change music #0 to music #1). Similar things could be done for things like talking and fighting modes. Triggers should be also able to disable music fully and get activated at any time, anywhere. (Talks, outdoors, indoors, etc.)

The preferred music file type should be probably .WAV.

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or .mp3. Or .ogg. Or .m4a. .wavs are huge. Please, for the love of god, anything but .wavs.

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I said .wav because .wav is lossless and a basic music format understandable by any operating system. Midis would work but are way too old and sound terrible with modern music. MP3 would work but there are better things than that... OGG is a nice alternative, but I'd rather use FLACs to make really good music quality possible...

 

Hard disks these days are not tiny anymore, rather pick quality than the absence of it...

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My point was that .wavs are gigantic. The size of the disc isn't the problem...it's the transport. I (or the many dial-up users around) don't want to have to download any more bits than I possibly have to.

 

But seriously, whose ears can tell the difference between a waveform and a good mpeg?

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Indeed, the difference is highely hearable. But yes, the size CAN be big, but I talk more about loopable thing... a few tracks for an average sized scenario, every one down to a few minutes at most... can't take forever to download that...

 

 

Also, tell those "many" dial-up users to upgrade, there are better and way faster things out there... for less cash! wink

 

No really, just because some people chose to (or sadly have to use) ancient connections or technology (see: IE 6), it doesn't mean you should still program for them or look too much down on them as your main target group for a project while screwing up the majority of your users with low quality stuff... has been done in the past, ended bad...

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Originally Posted By: Crynsos
Maybe the option to put someone into debt per intention should be possible? Add an option to the cash changing node to either reduce cash to 0 as default or even to a negative value for adding debt?
...

We already changed gold so that it cannot become negative...

Originally Posted By: Crynsos
Along with that, did anyone think about making it possibly to put customly made music into scenarios? The music during the older Exile games was nice, but except effects, there isn't really any sound to play ingame?
Might be possible using custom sounds and the Ambient Sound mechanism that was added, but I'm not sure.

Originally Posted By: w of the dueck clan
or .mp3. Or .ogg. Or .m4a. .wavs are huge. Please, for the love of god, anything but .wavs.
Currently the Windows version uses .wav and the Mac version I believe uses something like .aiff; at least it's certainly an uncompressed format. I could consider going to .ogg, I suppose, but for sound effects I'm not sure it'd be worth it.

Originally Posted By: Crynsos
I said .wav because .wav is lossless and a basic music format understandable by any operating system. Midis would work but are way too old and sound terrible with modern music. MP3 would work but there are better things than that... OGG is a nice alternative, but I'd rather use FLACs to make really good music quality possible...
Midi is not a sound format; it can sound different depending where it is played. MP3 is a lossy format, though it's supposed to be one where the loss is inaudible.

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I have a question...in BoE when you click the blank space next to 'spec' it brings up an empty 'jobs' list. Is there any way that jobs could be reintroduced? It would make it easier for both the designer and the players if we would have something like that easily available. (Maybe a 'set job/quest status' node, or something like that?)

 

Alternately, a 'notebook' where you could actually type your own text in while playing so you can keep track of things on your own would be helpful.

 

Also, will there be a larger maximum number of special nodes per town/outdoors/scenario?

 

Thanks!

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Eh, jobs were kinda lame to begin with. Turning it into a proper quest list feature would be nice, though.

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Originally Posted By: Mistb0rn
I have a question...in BoE when you click the blank space next to 'spec' it brings up an empty 'jobs' list. Is there any way that jobs could be reintroduced? It would make it easier for both the designer and the players if we would have something like that easily available. (Maybe a 'set job/quest status' node, or something like that?)

If i remember well, i began the process of bringing the job/quest panel back . I didn't go far though, mostly because i couldn't decide on an implementation and the time was lacking (in state, i think it's using a string array).
Basically : the job button has been put back, the window handling is done (control bar, etc) and text can be drawn (tested).
We can add a "Add Quest/Job" node which fill the quest/job panel, but agreeing on a common implementation before sounds better wink

Chokboyz

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I'd have an Add Quest node that bypasses the Job window and adds it directly to the list, and a Check Quest node which checks the quest status (one of "not obtained", "in progress", "completed") and splits off accordingly to an appropriate node. And then there'd be an Give/End Quest node to give or complete a quest (it would function as "set quest status", so it would also be able to withdraw a quest without completing it).

 

In addition, there would be a list of quests in the scenario (edited in a similar way as the list of special items), and a job panel would be a shop which would specify which quests can appear on it.

 

Or something like that, anyway. I haven't worked out all the details yet.

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I originally kept a paper and pencil notepad alongside the computer for notes, but now use 'Word', 'Excel' and 'Paint' to keep notes. I type faster than I can write and don't have a problem reading what I noted. ;^}

I'd find it more confusing to 'click' on another space on the Game Screen, then type into that screen, than bouncing back and forth between open programs.

Making a working Walk-Through with screen-shots and comments makes keeping notes seem an easy task by comparison. ;^}

me

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One thing I'd like is a thing that resets, or maybe just alters, the amount of moves before the party eats again.

 

Replacing one monster with another sounds interesting...

 

I'd like to see a way of keeping track of if a creature was injured, and how much...for example, if you had a way of swapping one monster with another, the second one could be injured if the first one was.

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I might make the Inn dialogue type reset moves until the party eats, if it's not too difficult.

 

As for the other idea, you'd probably want several node types to support that:

  • Monster Health -> SDF
  • Monster Spell Points -> SDF
  • Monster Stat -> SDF (stat can include max health/sp)
  • Possibly a Set Health/Stat/SP trio, though existing nodes may work instead.

 

Together with pointers and arithmetic, that should be sufficient to support what you suggest.

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