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Magic Master

Blades of Avernum is dead :(

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Posted (edited)

I am really sorry, but this game is dead. No more new scenarios.  Not a single new topic. I was hoping they would make BoA Remake. But that will never gonna happen. :(  I played every BoA scenario i could find.  Enjoyed in all of them. So, thank you all for your hard work. This little community is awesome.

Edited by Magic Master

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Chin up. There’s no reason to be so gloomy!

 

Blades of Avernum is an old game, and this is an old forum. It gets a little quiet from time to time, and that’s perfectly normal. If you look back through the last few pages of posts, you’ll see that there are occasional gaps of months or even years between new content. A little period of quietness is nothing new!

 

I can assure you there are still plenty of people around who play BoA, myself included. The old girl has a lot of life in her yet!

 

It’s easy to think about standing on the edges of a community, looking in, and to focus on the points you don’t like about it. But remember that you are part of the community, too, and that what you contribute to it is important. If you’re concerned that this board isn’t all that active, then make some posts! If you’re concerned that scenarios haven’t been released for a while, then make a scenario!

 

If you’ve played every BoA scenario out there, you’re in the perfect position to design a scenario yourself. You’ll have found things in those scenarios that you really liked, ideas that stayed with you, and you’ll also have seen design that you didn’t get along with. You’ll now know what works, and what doesn’t. So what’s stopping you from making one yourself? Trust me, you'll have fun!

 

If using the editor is daunting, you could always consider trying to port a little Blades of Exile scenario just to learn the ropes. Here’s a list of scenarios you can use to get started:

 

http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/blades/scen_stuff/solid.html

 

After all, if you’re not using the editor, you’re missing out on one of the key features of Blades of Avernum!

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5 hours ago, Kelandon said:

... there's at least one more scenario coming, albeit slowly.

 

And potentially a second, too, although on a much, much smaller scale. It won't be for a while though, because sorting out all the dense coding needed to make the little thing work will be … interesting.

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I’ve been getting back into blades and trying out some of the popular scenarios for the past few months. There are lurkers out there like myself playing the game and hiding in the shadows. 😉

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Welcome to the boards, Jarinex! Good on you for showing support for Blades! Even if we don't say much on the boards right at this moment, there are still plenty of players out there ...

 

Do make sure to play Kelandon's scenarios if you haven't already. They are excellent, I can assure you!

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I'll pitch in as well... I too hop in once every so many weeks to have a look what's going on here, and have been working on a major rework of Where the rivers meet. Given the fact that the original was mediocre at best, I promise that this new one will be more like what the original was supposed to be. But, progress is a crawl.

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Thanks for the welcome! 

 

I have heard of Bhaskivva and Exodus, and I hope to play them soon. I’ve been a little disappointed in some scenarios I’ve played, but I guess I’m picky and want to play ones similar to what Vogel made.

 

Where the rivers meet also interested me as well. Does it work for the the most part (I.e no game breaking bugs)? I thought I saw there was one by the Chessrook let’s play, which kind of worried me. If not, I would love to play it. 

 

I do look forward to other scenarios like homeland and this remake. The game may be 15 years old, but It’s cool to see that it has a small amount of people who are still interested in it.

 

 

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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.

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Good, I tend to (usually) like challenges.

 

I actually have been editing the scenarios to be more challenging. I played escape from the pit, and liked torment, so I adjusted enemy health for each scenario. It worked well for the four Vogel scenarios, but it’s been a little hit or miss for user based ones. I might avoid it on your scenarios and see how I fare, as I’ve heard both bhask and exodus are tough.

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On 5/14/2019 at 7:40 PM, Jarinex said:

Where the rivers meet also interested me as well. Does it work for the the most part (I.e no game breaking bugs)? I thought I saw there was one by the Chessrook let’s play, which kind of worried me. If not, I would love to play it. 

 

I assume you mean the issue where he got stuck in blackness? I have no idea why that happened... He was using exactly the version that I have on my computer, and so I wasn't able to suggest a fix... It might have to do with him using the Windows version. When I made these scenarios I was never able to play test them on Windows, as I didn't have access to Windows versions of BoA (let alone a Windows PC). Others did beta it on Windows and did not encounter this bug, so...

 

In summary, you may or may not encounter that bug 😛 

 

Frankly, looking back at WtRM, it was long and convoluted and really not very good. The sense of humor was... well, clearly that of a 15-year-old. I promise the remake will improve on it by leaps and bounds. But, it also won't be released anytime soon ;)

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I don’t know if I have much patience to wait a long time, so I’ll probably just have to take the chance and try it when I get the chance lol.

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I still dust it off here and there and tinker around with the editor. I doubt the game will ever truly “die” as a lot of old fans remain fans, but it’s never going to be like it was when it was new. It even lends itself to a certain old school charm even harder than it did before ;)

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I still have couple of scenarios under development, although I haven't touched them since 2011, so don't except any releases soon 😉 Maybe I'll post plot synopsises some day

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I think I have one or two scenarios that I might want to dust off one day and finish, so who knows, maybe they'll be released in 2025 or something! And that's not counting the epic, which sadly will probably never be done, but we can hope.

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Posted (edited)

If you guys are still putting out some scenarios, I will stay play the game 😀

 

I’d try to make my own scenario or port one from BoE, but I don’t think I have the technical knowledge to make a good quality one (not to mention I never played BoE lol).

Edited by Jarinex

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Posted (edited)

I eventually have plans to create some custom sprites (no scenarios though, because I am not a programmer)  Mostly just enhanced palette swaps or polishing up some of the old, original item sprites *e.g. the staff, the earrings*,  but I also have two, maybe 3 characters in the works (currently one is 1/4th done and the other is 1/2 done.  A third character that I have in mind has not been started on yet)  Haven't touched them since 2017, though.  I might get back to them, soon, hopefully.  Hopefully.

 

Also have thought about making an egg, some marbles, and some joke items-- probably the easiest one to make would be dung (just an enhanced palette swap on a rock) and maybe a bikini and a male thong/codpiece.  And a dead rat, maybe a pile of dead leaves (last one not so much a joke item as it is adding some trash) and some soot/ash (that one shouldn't be too hard)

Edited by Hyena of Ice

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I have also been working on porting Alcritas' Redemption, the follow-up to Of Good and Evil, over to BoA. Been on hiatus for a few months until I could get Parallels, and hopefully get the 3D editor working there - got a new computer, and working on transferring files over.

 

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3 hours ago, BainIhrno said:

I have also been working on porting Alcritas' Redemption, the follow-up to Of Good and Evil, over to BoA.

 

That's really great to hear!
 

Redemption is an excellent scenario, one of the very best, and it will be nice to see it in the BoA engine one of these days. It’s a port I’ve idly thought about working on myself at one time or other, enough so that I’ve scratched my head about certain areas that would be difficult to port (such as the vertical climbing section, for instance, or those mist tiles that restrict the player’s vision). I’ll be really interested to see how you handle those in the final product – and I’m sure you’ll do a great job!
 

Best of luck on getting everything up and running again on your new machine. I know only too well how much of a pain that can be ...
 

12 hours ago, Hyena of Ice said:

I eventually have plans to create some custom sprites (no scenarios though, because I am not a programmer)

 

And best of luck to you too for your graphics work, Hyena of Ice!

 

Just because both you and Jarinex said something similar in successive posts, I thought it was worth mentioning that you really don't need to be a programmer to make Blades of Avernum scenarios! In fact, you can make quite decent scenarios without ever touching any scripts at all; the editor is very powerful just on its own. Of course, you won't be able to put on any fancy bells and whistles, but a good scenario is far more than technical wizardry. Without using scripts, you'll still be able to create a very solid, very interesting scenario – much in the spirit of the early Avernum games, in fact.

(The one exception is making dialogue, but I can assure you that that isn't scary at all. All you're really doing is writing down what characters say, the questions the party can ask, and how they all link together – much as you would if you planned it out on paper.)

I'd strongly encourage both of you to give scenario building a try some time. You'll find it an enjoyable process, and I'm sure it will be much easier to produce something than you might think!

Think of it this way – if someone isn't very good at making fancy art out of cake icing, is that any reason for them not to make a cake?

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I started fairly early on adapting the dream sequences to BoA. I myself thought this might be a hurdle in the adaption, but I'm actually quite pleased with the way it seems to have turned out so far - it obviously won't be exactly the same as BoE, but I think the effects will set a very similar mood. I may have to use certain scripting to give the tiles the same effect, and am still working on that. When porting these scenarios, I essentially think of it as an adaption - I have to make the game playable in a BoA format, and that does require changes from the original version - and if you've played the BoA version of Of Good and Evil, you'll see many new things from the BoE version - if some fans of the BoE version played I wanted to still give them some new things to discover (much like the Avernum Trilogy did with the Exile Trilogy), and wanted to take advantage of some of the scripting abilities to do things that couldn't be done in BoE (for example, Lord Varnoth breathes 3x3 fire, and Daynlae can grow trees on top of you).

 

Of course, film adaptions of these scenarios would be awesome, but given that would be pretty much impossible, porting them to BoA seems like the next best thing to getting to a larger audience. ;)

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18 hours ago, BainIhrno said:

When porting these scenarios, I essentially think of it as an adaption - I have to make the game playable in a BoA format, and that does require changes from the original version ...

 

Treating the porting process as an adaptation sounds like a good idea in my book! After all, as you say, it’s not possible to recreate a BoE scenario in BoA with 100% accuracy – and it seems a shame not to make use of the more powerful features of the new engine. Once you’re working on something that is a close adaptation, but not an exact recreation, I feel one might end up with a better result at the end of the day. I think that the Za-Khazi run is a nice example of this. There weren't many changes made to the scenario on the move from BoE to BoA, and the changes that are there aren't very noticeable, but the result feels like a much more solid package, at least to me.

 

Even so, I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you do to solve some of these problems. It will be nice to see the results of someone else’s thought processes on this!

 

I’m getting nostalgic about the scenario now, enough so I might consider replaying it again at some point. I wonder if I can still remember where all the books are? Getting to the end of that hidden quest chain was – perhaps oddly – one of my real highlights playing BoE.

 

19 hours ago, BainIhrno said:

Of course, film adaptions of these scenarios would be awesome ...

 

For some reason, my immediate response to this comment was to imagine what an anime TV series based on Doom Moon II would look like ...

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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2019 at 11:10 AM, BainIhrno said:

I have also been working on porting Alcritas' Redemption, the follow-up to Of Good and Evil, over to BoA. Been on hiatus for a few months until I could get Parallels, and hopefully get the 3D editor working there - got a new computer, and working on transferring files over.

 

I was actually wondering if you would be doing just that. I saw “Of Good and Evil”, but haven’t had a chance to get into it yet due to how big it looks. I saw you mention a possible port of “Redemption”, but assumed that it would be too much trouble (since there isn’t a whole lot of players out there these days).

 

That being said, I would love to see it if you are still willing to work on it. 

Edited by Jarinex

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Posted (edited)

Ooh, I love your ports of Alcritas!  *Salivates*  His Beyond Good And Evil one is possibly my favorite scenario.  I didn't finish it though because I encountered a plot-killing glitch.  See, I defeated the dragon using the Genie for help (after using that other dragon to get me to the cave faster)  I defeated the dragon without any of the Nephil/soldiers/etc. dying.  They left (I can't remember what the text was), then... when I got back to the towns, they acted like nothing had happened-- e.g. same dialogue and everything from before I defeated the dragon.  Except that I couldn't go to the first town (the town where you start the scenario.)  If I entered the first town, for some reason, I would get a text about a "teleportation accident" that sent me 100 miles away from the valley, and the scenario would end. 

 

Back to the subject, I forgot to mention that I also had the idea of creating loot/clutter charts.  This, again, would not be a program or app (though I'm sure someone here would find it very easy to turn into one)

It would be more like those "loot generators" that you find in Dungeons & Dragons and the like.  I get annoyed with the scenarios where people didn't bother to add loot and mundane items to residential houses, a few items/clutter/etc around towns and such, but that's just a pet peeve of mine.

 

Basically, it would be die roll charts, and you just use your favorite online die roll generators.  The charts would probably be too complex for some people as I'd probably have them split into 3 residence generators (poor/middleclass/upscale), shop, and building ones. 

 

There are also, IIRC, random integer apps online that allow you to sort them into an array or grid-- I think (can't recall for sure), so you could potentially use it to decide where/if to place debris/plants/whatever on the ground in a dungeon or something.

 

Hell, you could use a random integer generator to decide the tile/tree/etc layout of your maps if you wanted, assuming that doesn't already exist for the programmer's tools.  (You'd still have to polish it off with rivers and the like)

Edited by Hyena of Ice

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2019 at 2:50 PM, Jarinex said:

I was actually wondering if you would be doing just that. I saw “Of Good and Evil”, but haven’t had a chance to get into it yet due to how big it looks. I saw you mention a possible port of “Redemption”, but assumed that it would be too much trouble (since there isn’t a whole lot of players out there these days). 

 

That being said, I would love to see it if you are still willing to work on it. 

 

Oh, it's absolutely great, but yeah, it's a big scenario.  Bigger than it looks, because there are two major story forks, so much like A Small Rebellion, it's one of those scenarios that you have to replay in order to see/get everything.  Oh, a warning: if you play it, then keep all of your loot on hand until you fight the thieves in that riverside cottage.  Then drop your extra loot there.  It's one of the few safe places to keep your stuff because most of the locations go through major plot/map changes that will gobble up any items you left lying around. 

 

On 6/10/2019 at 6:40 PM, BainIhrno said:

adapting the dream sequences to BoA. I myself thought this might be a hurdle in the adaption, but I'm actually quite pleased with the way it seems to have turned out so far - it obviously won't be exactly the same as BoE, but I think the effects will set a very similar mood. I may have to use certain scripting to give the tiles the same effect, and am still working on that. When porting these scenarios, I essentially think of it as an adaption - I have to make the game playable in a BoA format, and that does require changes from the original version - and if you've played the BoA version of Of Good and Evil, you'll see many new things from the BoE version - if some fans of the BoE version played I wanted to still give them some new things to discover (much like the Avernum Trilogy did with the Exile Trilogy), and wanted to take advantage of some of the scripting abilities to do things that couldn't be done in BoE (for example, Lord Varnoth

 

There's a dream sequence in The Magic, if you need scripting help (I don't know if it would be helpful or not.  Don't play it if you haven't played the author's other scenarios though, as this one is the final chapter of it and relates somewhat to all of the others.  The plot is perfectly understandable if you haven't played any of the earlier scenarios, it's just that there is a major spoiler.  Despite some caveats, I really liked the plot/story of this scenario.)

 

Also, just curious, what type of tile effect are you going for?  Is it mere tile appearance, or is it like-- an animation effect?

Edited by Hyena of Ice

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Quote

Ooh, I love your ports of Alcritas!  *Salivates*  His Beyond Good And Evil one is possibly my favorite scenario.  I didn't finish it though because I encountered a plot-killing glitch.  See, I defeated the dragon using the Genie for help (after using that other dragon to get me to the cave faster)  I defeated the dragon without any of the Nephil/soldiers/etc. dying.  They left (I can't remember what the text was), then... when I got back to the towns, they acted like nothing had happened-- e.g. same dialogue and everything from before I defeated the dragon.  Except that I couldn't go to the first town (the town where you start the scenario.)  If I entered the first town, for some reason, I would get a text about a "teleportation accident" that sent me 100 miles away from the valley, and the scenario would end. 

 

Not sure how you got back to the original towns, I think you were supposed to be greeted by Cmdr. Ralliegh after defeating the Dragon. I'll look into it, but did you use "leave town" through the editor? I think the "teleportation accident" was put into the original BoE scenario to thwart use of the "Word of Recall" spell in BoE, so that was probably left over. But you aren't supposed to be able to get back to the towns after defeating the dragon.

 

Anyway, I've restarted work in earnest now - it's been something at about half-done - and adapting the Murky Mines has been challenging, although I'm almost finished there. With any luck, I could have a beta call ready by December, but no promises - alpha testing is going to take some time, even after the scenario is complete.

 

One other thing - I seem unable to find a graphic I could use as a werewolf (or a tall wolf) - if anyone can point me in the direction of one, would be much appreciated. 

 

Quote

so, just curious, what type of tile effect are you going for?  Is it mere tile appearance, or is it like-- an animation effect?

 

I'm using a general dark square - In the BoA version, it looks like it will capture the mood of the scene.

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Posted (edited)

No, I didn't get greeted by the commander.  No, I have used the editor, but have never, ever used the "teleport to X" cheat in any SS game.  I've only ever used the item/character editor and (in A3) changed the day.  So I have no idea what might have happened. 

 

I'm using a general dark square - In the BoA version, it looks like it will capture the mood of the scene.

 

Oh, so it's not an animated tile or anything like that.  I was kinda wondering if I could take a crack at it, but I probably wouldn't do any good, anyway (and I'd need screenshots of the BoE scenes with the tiles)

 

I've also started on work on those character sprites again.  It's a looong way from being done though.

 

Edited by Hyena of Ice

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Well, I'll take a look at the code and see what's going on. That should have happened.
 

On another note, the 'Gorgon' graphic.... might work as a werewolf? Thoughts? Also looking for something that might work as a Rokka - very hard though to find something in BoA that would capture what the Rokka are about - the large graphics files of future Alcritas' scenarios could be a big hurdle to possibly adapting future Alcritas' scenarios.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2019 at 7:50 PM, BainIhrno said:

On another note, the 'Gorgon' graphic.... might work as a werewolf? Thoughts?

 

I can't think of a much better substitute for a werewolf from the graphics files of scenarios that I've played (although I'd be tempted to flag up the Ursagi as another possible option). A gorgon is certainly close to the original, even down to the coloration. I think it could work well!

 

However, it might be nice if there were something to distinguish it from a regular gorgon. For me, the werewolf battle is the culmination of a really tense part of the scenario. I know it's not quite the climax of the whole scenario, but it's close – and the werewolf is quite heavily foreshadowed as a big, destructive foe. This might take a bit of experimenting, but one way to do that might simply be to stretch it into a tall monster, like a dragon. That's a little dangerous, since stretching can sometimes distort proportions too much and make a sprite look decidedly off, but my feeling is that it would be worth trying out in this case. It might just work!

Otherwise, perhaps just a colour tint could work. If you tinted the sprite a few shades browner, that would make it immediately clear to the player that this is something special, something more than a regular gorgon.

 

Otherwise, I did some hunting around for other useable sprites. I came across this. It's an open-source piece of character art, meaning that you could modify it and use it in BoA simply by crediting the original author. Here's a link:

 

https://opengameart.org/sites/default/files/werebear_white.png

 

which is taken from:

 

https://opengameart.org/content/werebear-flare-sprite-sheets

 

Purely aesthetically, I think this is a really nice isometric match for Alcritas's werewolf. It's actually a werebear, but I feel it could also pass as an upright werewolf. I suspect that scaling down this character to the size of Avernum sprites would probably destroy all the detail, but it could be useful as a base for creating a new piece of character art. If I have a moment, I might have a look and see how infeasible that might be. Just a thought!

 

I'm afraid I don't recall seeing anything that could pass as a Rokka, though. If I think of something, though, I'll let you know!

Edited by Ess-Eschas
Adding in a belated point

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I just re-played Of Good and Evil myself, and got the bugs fixed (feel kinda embarrassed a bug like that was sitting there for five years) - If I can just find somewhere to upload it, I'll have a new version with the bug fixed available (the size is too large to attach to this post.)

 

And thank you for the graphics! - I will try them out and see how they work aesthetically in the editor.

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Good to see old names and people active, I think part of the problem is that Blades of Avernum just doesn't play well with modern systems. The intro text screens for scenarios hang if you don't click through them fast enough, the cutscenes hang and recover but sadly skip the entire thing.

 

So long as you use dialog boxes only it runs fine with no issues, I'm going to try wrapping it in dosbox later and see if it runs better.

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I don't have that issue on Mac OS 10.14. Don't know how it is on Windows, though.

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17 minutes ago, Randomizer said:

It worked fine for me on Windows 10, but I was using it as a partition on a Mac.

 

That confuses me, you had a Mac partition for it? I've running it in comparability mode for Windows XP Service Pack 3.

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I installed Windows 10 using Parallels and had no problem in 32 bit mode playing the Jeff Vogel created scenarios of Blades of Avernum. I installed most of the Windows versions of Geneforge, Avernum, and Blades from the old CD-ROMs I had with both Mac and Windows versions in either the 32 or 64 bit modes with only a few having installation problems with them not appearing properly with the opening screen so I postponed using them while I considered reinstalling them.

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On 7/31/2019 at 11:23 PM, Grail Shadowblade said:

Good to see old names and people active, I think part of the problem is that Blades of Avernum just doesn't play well with modern systems. The intro text screens for scenarios hang if you don't click through them fast enough, the cutscenes hang and recover but sadly skip the entire thing.

 

So long as you use dialog boxes only it runs fine with no issues, I'm going to try wrapping it in dosbox later and see if it runs better. 

 

In Windows 7, you can fix this by running in Compatibility Mode.  Don't know about Win10, though.

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