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eirikoder's Achievements

Fledgling Fyora

Fledgling Fyora (1/17)

  1. I've looked into a couple of cross-platform options for GUI development and I have decided that Mono would work the best given the knowledge I have. If you look here, under the WIndows.Forms section, it appears that most applications are supported, as long as any platform specific calls are avoided. The main problem with nodes is that scenario writers are limited in what they can do by what the application developer has determined they can do. Surely there have been times that you are writing a scenario and wished there was a special node that checked for party size, or if a certain type of pc is present, or even just wanted to do something multiple times in a loop. With scripts, scenario writers wouldn't be limited in what they can do. While nodes would work, it is unreasonable to define thousands of nodes to handle any reasonable action or event. While scripts may be harder to learn at first, there are things that can be done to help the transition. Imagine a toolbox of code snippets, each matching existing functionality in BoE, that can be dragged and dropped onto an event handler. The code snippets would lower the barrier to writing scenarios, and people would learn the scripting language (Javascript) over time. I envision two types of BoE applications: the first would be the 'classic' version of the game. This would include the scenario editor, party editor, and game itself. The interface would be similar to the existing interface, at least for the game, and all keyboard bindings and mouse events would work the same. Using Mono, one version could be written that works the same on all development platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux). This version would mainly be for scenario writers or people who enjoy the classic version of the game. The second type of BoE application would be the 'modern' version. This type of application would be platform specific. For instance, one version would be written for Windows 8, another for iOS, another for Android, etc. This 'modern' version would only include the game itself (and possibly the party editor) and would add touch support. Instead of (or perhaps in addition to) keyboard bindings, certain actions would be presented as buttons only. This version would mainly be for a new audience, or people who want to play on devices besides their desktop computer. Initially I thought that the conversion from old scenario format to new format should be done on the fly, so that you could just pick your favorite scenario and start playing it in the new format. I think this idea may be a mistake, however. Rather than automatic, scenario writers should have to import their existing scenarios into the new scenario editor, checking for errors, and allowing them to be tested before they are played by the average user. I'm still mulling this idea over, but since this project is open source and would likely be hosted on Github or another online repository, we could have some sort of directory containing scenarios that have been converted and tested by users. A single location for scenarios we know to be playable in the new format.
  2. One of my favorite memories from my childhood was playing the Exile series. The storyline, the dialog, and the puzzles were all fascinating to me, and I feel like I learned a lot from the games. I have followed the progress of the Open Source Blades of Exile project for some time, and I can respect what Celtic Minstrel and others have done to make this game compatible on more modern systems. Sadly, it looks as though BoE will always be stuck on the desktop, never making the transition to newer platforms and technologies. I want to change that. I have been mulling around ideas for how to rewrite Blades of Exile to work on modern systems with modern input, and I wanted to get the opinion of those who have worked on game code, scenario designers, and people who still play the game. Here are some thoughts I had on the rewrite: 1. Rewrite game code using C#. Write all non-UI code as portable. UI code can be written using cross-platform tools like Xamarin. 2. Redesign scenario data structure. Instead of binary file, save scenario data as JSON or XML. Include scenario assets, like images or audio, with scenario data in a single ZIP file. 3. Expand options for scenario writers. Drop special nodes, replace with custom scripts (Javascript, C#, other). Allow for custom spells, alchemy, etc. 4. Simplify game UI. Keep more options for desktop users, but allow for touch mode on tablets/phones. This would be no small undertaking, I understand, but my love for this game and this series propels me to work on this idea. I appreciate any input that anyone has on the idea. I am new to this forum, so I apologize if this topic has already been discussed.
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