Jump to content

A couple of questions


tridash
 Share

Recommended Posts

I got BoA a while back (after playing Nethergate, I couldn't stand the engine before that) and started on a small scenario (which I gave up on).

 

Now, what with GF5 now out, I feel like making a GF-inspired scenario. I got the impression that Geneforge isn't so popular with BoAers, but I've got an idea (not a great one, I'll admit) for such a scenario, and I'd like to ask a couple of questions.

 

Would you actually have any interest in a scenario set in the GF world? As a first scenario, it would be pretty small, and I probably wouldn't bother adding real creation making, or much in the way of custom spells. Would that put you off it further (i.e., is it felt that if a scenario's GF-related, it should be done properly, or would it be ok if, say, you were a Trakovite agent and hence had no creations)?

 

Hopefully that wasn't too incoherent, thanks in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say that if you want to make a such a scenario, go ahead. It's not that the people who play BoA dislike Geneforge, it's just that the games are not terribly compatible, so I think everyone gets a bit tired of the wistful "I wish there were a Blades of Geneforge" posts.

 

As long as you realize what you can't very well do in BoA with regard to Geneforge (such as incorporate shaping), and plan to take this into account, you should be okay. Almost nothing is impossible, but many things would look very inelegant if one were to undertake to create them, so it's best not to try. It sounds like you're already on the right track here.

 

Personally, I think that the solution of a having the player be a non-shaper character in a world of shapers sounds like a good one. This significantly dodges the issue of what you can't do and lets you focus on what you can. For instance, Geneforge is known for its political complexity, and there's nothing stopping you from recreating that in BoA with suitable work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A scenario could easily be set in the Geneforge world without having to implement creations. Since when is everyone in Terrestia a Shaper? wink

 

On the other hand, it may be possible to implement something like the GF creation system. However, you would not be able to control your creations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Niemand
I think everyone gets a bit tired of the wistful "I wish there were a Blades of Geneforge" posts.


Yeah, it's this more than anything else. If you want to make it, go for it, but don't expect to be able to replicate Geneforge's engine in Blades.

But above all, my advice is to actually make it. smile
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Ephesos
Originally Posted By: Niemand
I think everyone gets a bit tired of the wistful "I wish there were a Blades of Geneforge" posts.


Yeah, it's this more than anything else. If you want to make it, go for it, but don't expect to be able to replicate Geneforge's engine in Blades.

But above all, my advice is to actually make it. smile


Actually, you don't need to actually make it. Any sufficiently advanced hype is just as good.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally this should be fun. You are attempting to use BoA for a purpose for which it was never intended.

 

You might be able to simulate the upgrading of Creations by using appropriate calls that alter stats.

 

Any Geneforge game have a purely visual outdoors, it is just an interactive map. This could be translated in a number of ways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
You are attempting to use BoA for a purpose for which it was never intended.
Well, not quite – he intends to set it in the Geneforge world, but that alone is not something that the BoA engine was not designed for.

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
You might be able to simulate the upgrading of Creations by using appropriate calls that alter stats.
Hmm, maybe...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only good news is that outdoors sections would be optional. If needed calls worked only in towns then you could make sure that the party never went to the outdoors.

Another approach is to make sure that there are no outdoor fights.

 

Town to town travel could be handled by walking from town to town or by portals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if Geneforge 5 has any hills or not. Avernum 5 does, and it uses the same sort of graphics as the Geneforge games. Thus there is no inherent reason why Geneforge games could not have hills.

 

As far as I can tell, there is no way that you can have control of creations in combat. Creations would be in slots 5 and 6. As I said before, the BoA engine was not meant for this so it won't do such a good job at it. Instead of colorful specially-designed Geneforge screens for creation management you will have drabber less-helpful BoA dialog boxes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
I don't know if Geneforge 5 has any hills or not. Avernum 5 does, and it uses the same sort of graphics as the Geneforge games. Thus there is no inherent reason why Geneforge games could not have hills.


Real-time movement is the reason. It's hard to animate somebody walking up a hill using only Geneforge's canned walking animations.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
As far as I can tell, there is no way that you can have control of creations in combat. Creations would be in slots 5 and 6.


There is a way, though it isn't ideal. You can set the creatures behaviour using flags, and then ask the player at the start of every round what they would like the NPC/creation to do.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But if I recall correctly there is no way to control the behaviour of NPCs in the party.

 

Originally Posted By: Ishad Nha
Creations would be in slots 5 and 6.
I was recently wondering – if you have less than 4 party members, is it possible to make more than 2 NPCs join your party at the same time?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Celtic Minstrel
I was recently wondering – if you have less than 4 party members, is it possible to make more than 2 NPCs join your party at the same time?

I think no.

But it seems like creations could just as well be NPCs that just follow you around as they could be real joined NPCs.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://blades.ermarian.net/script/code-snippet/working-npc

 

There's really no other way to control joined NPCs, unless you're going to manipulate them from a terrain script or something ridiculous like that.

 

Edit: This is probably a bit beyond the scope of a beginner scenario though, so I'd have to advise against creations at least for now. I don't know much about the Geneforge world, but it sounds like your original idea works around the creation issue just fine; if I were you I'd finish that, and save shaping for a follow up if you liked the result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geneforge is fascinating stuff, you really should try at least the demo part of one of the games.

 

You have one PC only and up to half a dozen creations. Part of the game is upgrading your creations to new and hopefully more powerful varieties.

 

There is no real outdoors, it is just a map where you choose destination towns.

 

There is something called Essence, which can be used to cast spells or make creations. You also have spell energy too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Lazarus said, it's very easy to go overboard with complexity in BoA. Conventional wisdom states that your first scenario should be very short: one or two outdoor sections, and several towns. I'd almost disagree, a first 'scenario' should be one town and exist solely for getting feedback from other designers. But I'd advise against listening to me: I'm hardly a BoA designer, and don't practise what I preach.

 

RE: Joined NPCs: I remember this discussion coming up before, and I proposed something but never tested it. What if you create your own version of basicnpc.txt, with a conditional in every state to see if the creature is a joined NPC? Do joined NPCs use basicnpc.txt for all states other than DEATH_STATE, or do they use some internal, inaccessible script?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Currently I'm aiming for 6 towns and one outdoor section; all I've got done so far is the basic layout for the first town and the outdoors.

 

I'm not too sure as to what to do about creation graphics - I'm doubtful as to how well the standard GF ones fit in with the BoA graphics. Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you do your rescaling it may come in handy to know that the Nearest Neighbor algorithm tends to actually produce results that look more at home in BoA than the smoother results of the Bilinear or Bicubic methods. If the image editor you use gives you a choice of interpolation method, you may want to try this out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the image editor doesn't give you a choice, isn't there a good chance that it's using Nearest Neighbour anyway?

 

Originally Posted By: orange[s
]I'm not too sure as to what to do about creation graphics - I'm doubtful as to how well the standard GF ones fit in with the BoA graphics. Any suggestions?
Many of the Geneforge graphics are actually small enough to use unchanged. I guess that would lead to problems with the size of the creations relative to the humans in the game, though...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WIth regard to image editing: Most modern editors use at least bilinear because it looks better for most uses. I sometimes still use Appleworks because it does Nearest Neighbor, as does MS Paint, iirc.

 

With regard to controlling joined NPCs: It sounds like orange doesn't need or want this, so perhaps ought we take the discussion elsewhere? Anyway, anyone who does need this should seriously consider just using the method Lazarus linked to above; a lot of work has already been put into it and it works quite elegantly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geneforge graphics for BoA feature good translations of many Geneforge graphics. Currently though there are no hills suitable for use with surface terrain like grass. Geneforge has a lot of excellent grass terrain graphics but of course it has no grass hill graphics to go with them.

 

I attempted to use Geneforge graphics in a purely BoA scenario, see:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/BoAGFRiverleafPC.zip

(This link won't work unless you select your address bar and hit Enter. The graphics in the above scenario are a mix of BoA, Geneforge and Blazing Blades translation of BoE.)

 

Avernum 5 has hills but of course they are cave only. I will have to see how they relate to the Geneforge graphics in the Louvre, probably not too well. It might be possible to downsize the A5 floor and hill graphics to match the BoA size.

 

Edit: I re-sized one A5 hill to fit the BoA dimensions using the graphics template found at

http://www.personal.psu.edu/staff/b/x/bxb11/boa/boagraphics/terrain/index.htm

Thus it should be possible to resize all six sets, bitmaps 1440-1449 and 1520-1521.

 

I used these customized templates:

http://www.freewebs.com/ishadnha/A5templates.zip

Simply copy the template over an A5 cliff graphic and work from there. Once again this link won't work unless you select your address bar and hit Enter. This graphic also contains my translation of A5 graphics 1444 and 1445. I also included BoA style cliff road graphics with the floor part removed, so they can be used with any slope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...