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BoE limitations and solutions


ixfd64
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While BoE is a powerful utility, there are still many limits. For example, there are things in the original Exile games that cannot be done with BoE. Some can be overcome, but with an awkward solution.

 

Known limits include:

 

- Players start off with the Soul Crystal, which cannot be changed

- Cannot have situations like the Slime Pits (player must cast a spell to destroy it)

- Cannot have triggers which happen when an NPC is attacked, only killed

- Impossible to make special items into maps (or link them into graphics)

- Books cannot be edited

- Can't make dungeons where Magic Map cannot be cast

- Negative experience points

- No moving walls

- Can't move boats, etc

- Can't make items that grant immunity to lava, etc

 

However, some solutions may be possible.

 

1. Software update - this can only be done by the developers - at least legally. It is probably illegal to modify the program without permission from Spiderweb Software.

 

2. Hex editing a scenario file - some problems *may* be able to be overcome by hex editing the scenario files. But then again, they may not. Also, hex editing takes a lot of skill, and can mess up the file.

 

3. Release the BoE source code: This would no doubt solve the most problems. However, the company may lose money. Sure, it's said that releasing something as open-source will not make the developers lose money, but people will leech the products instead of donating. A possible solution is to release only certain parts of the source code (eg. will only work with the registered version - you cannot just compile the program from the source code alone).

 

Any other potential solutions?

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Most people are not going to learn to use a compiler just to save themselves $30, especially since it's quite likely that the unmodified BoE source for Mac will only compile on Codewarrior, which costs considerably more than $30. :p

 

Having said that, though, it doesn't seem at all likely that Jeff will ever update BoE again or release it as open source. We've asked before and he's refused.

 

A couple of the limitations you list (like Magic Map) have workarounds (although said workarounds are pretty damned ugly). The rest we just have to live with.

 

Also, you're not supposed to talk about h'x-editing here. Just so you know.

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Quote:

- Cannot have situations like the Slime Pits (player must cast a spell to destroy it)
Can be done (see most of Alcritas' scenarios).
Quote:
- Cannot have triggers which happen when an NPC is attacked, only killed
Can also be done, basically the same way as above, but uglier.
Quote:
- Books cannot be edited
There have been several scenarios with book-reading special items.
Quote:
- Can't make dungeons where Magic Map cannot be cast
Liberal use of "Transform Terrain Rectangle" can solve this.
Quote:
- Negative experience points
I don't know what you mean.
Quote:
- No moving walls
I've done this. It's pretty node-intensive, but it can be done.
Quote:
- Can't move boats, etc
I don't know what you mean.
Quote:
- Can't make items that grant immunity to lava, etc
Can be done with transform terrain nodes keyed to having an item equipped.
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Quote:
Originally written by ixfd64:
3. Release the BoE source code: This would no doubt solve the most problems. However, the company may lose money. Sure, it's said that releasing something as open-source will not make the developers lose money, but people will leech the products instead of donating. A possible solution is to release only certain parts of the source code (eg. will only work with the registered version - you cannot just compile the program from the source code alone).
If Jeff were to release BoE as open source, which I seriously doubt, he'd be best off releasing all of it rather than small portions which wouldn't be beneficial.

Personally I'd rather see someone try to remake the entire engine. But then - isn't that done in BoA? Just buy the stupid thing already and give up on BoE. :p

Oh and as for compiling, I'd probably port the engine to something like SDL which can handle the formats he uses - BMP, WAV, etc. laugh
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At one time Jeff said he would seriously consider releasing the BoE Editor source code. Perhaps we should make a push to have this done by extolling the 3D BoA Editor.

 

I doubt he will make BoE itself totally open source...he still makes money off it and it contains a lot of the base algorithms that his games are based off of. However, with each engine refinement, the original E3/BoE engine is becoming more and more antiquated and less "useful" for reverse engineering a modern product, so he may consider it after A4 is released.

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