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Dear all,

 

I would like to request some help.

My Warrior\Guardian mod (+Gamerman's artifacts mod) is going well enough meaning that I have to just add a couple of things more, alpha-test it, find someone to beta-test it and release.

It is much more ambitious than the Shaper\Lifecrafter mod and I have improved a lot in scripting and editing the files.

 

Which brings me to the next project which I would require some help at:

I plan a total conversion mod within the world of Geneforge. Probably taking place between GF3 and 4 but using GF5 engine.

What does this mean? It means I will delete everything and make 10-20 zones from scratch, add scripts and dialogue etc. Consider it a free "expansion" of GF5.

 

 

Now, this may seem difficult and a large undertaking.

It is very difficult and a huge undertaking. Frankly, so far it takes me like a year to add 5-10 hours of gameplay in already existing zones. Thank every entity you worship for Gamerman's help that "easily" (i.e. easy for me) added depth and gameplay time to the Warrior mod.

 

 

So... I would require help if this is to see the light of day before we all die from old age.

 

Don't be intimidated by the scope of the undertaking! Even someone that can't find the time to write dialogue can help by providing quest ideas!

 

 

Since I am pre-planning stage, here's what would help:

 

The "easy, non coding at all parts".

- Help for the first step: Ideas for Storylines \ quests \ interesting people. Yes. Even "Hey, I thought of this Lifecrafter!" would help.

- Help for the Second step: After we choose what will go in the mod: Dialogue and description writers. All you need is notepad; I can incorporate description and dialogue into the code.

Frankly those are what I require the most help at!

 

The "not so easy" parts.

- Scripting the dialogue\descriptions. If, after we decide what will go in the mod, we have to put it in. Also, we need the generic script for areas (the making it hostile etc).

- Lore. I don't know much about the world. Many people here know way more. Advice of "No, in X game it is mentioned doors work that way!" is not only welcome, it is required!

 

The "quite hard" parts.

- Scripting the quests, flags, behavior of bosses in a fight and the complicated stuff.

 

The "actually hard and boring" parts.

- Using the Geneforge editor to make - remake zones. That means adding in every creation, broken piece of furniture, wall, rock, chest etc and make sure they are connected to the right scripts. That's long, boring and complicated.

The mod will get the get go for volunteers after I have managed to make 2 zones to be sure, to be absolutely sure, that I can do it and know what I can do before wasting anyone's time.

 

 

 

 

The mod will be free. Completely free and with no "this is my account if you want to support me!" things attached. If you agree to put some time to help me in this mod, that would be our mod, I would request you do it out of your free time and from the goodness of your heart.

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Good to know. Before you get too invested in it, keep in mind the following:

 

- I have to finish the Warrior mod first. It was in the final stretch... but I got an idea that I want to implement there.

- I have to make a couple of zones first to see how long it takes and what I can actually do zone-wise; there are things in the zones that I have not figured how to do.

- It will be a long effort. Even with your help, it would take like 3-4 weeks/zone just in order to add rough stuff. Then add like +50% time for beta-testing and adding more content. I.e a couple of years for 20-25 zones.

You may say "Hey! Jeff could make a whole new game with 80-zones in that time!"

Jeff worked full time with better tools.

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Jeff worked full time with better tools.

Jeff knows what the tools can do because he made them and knows the documentation. Especially since he doesn't write it all down.

 

Jeff takes a year or two to write a game. Remakes take less time because he already has most of it done.

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the coding aspect isn't my specialty; I can do minor mods like tweaking items and monsters pretty comfortably but reinventing zones is far out of my league at present. Let me know once you've got the technical framework rolling and then I'll help with the "front-end" writing, dialogue, descriptions, all that kind of storytelling content stuff that the player sees and reads. That sort of writing is one of my strengths, I like to think I've got a pretty good command of the english language and composing prose and such.

 

I can post some drafts of a couple short-stories I've been working on writing.

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Buddy, this is not a job interview. You had me at the "I am willing to help..." part. :)

Randomizer: Jeff takes 2 years to make an 80-zone game with the tools and experience he has? Working full time?

I think it's more like "makes 2-3 games every 2 years" since I think he works on other things except the "running" game.

 

If what you say is correct and Jeff requires 300+ work-days to make 80 zones, then I am in deep trouble... Cause now that I managed to make a zone, I'm not leaving the idea behind.

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From Jeff's griping here and in his blog.

 

A game text writing is equivalent to a book.

 

For the game zone maps he shoves some of the work of placing all those items in containers off on some one else.

 

All the coding is usually him which is why he recycles code. Although he has looked into licensing an existing game engine.

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Well, I'm making matlab code to help me make zones. I found some veeeeery convenient little icons in geneforge graphics that show the general orientation of the walls, roads and floors.

Now, I'm writing code to translate a black and white 64x64 image to the right matrix. Then, I'll make something that puts different grounds, like the mushrooms etc.

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I don't know about hilarious but it is helpful. You see, there are some pics in there G1606.bmp for example. They show how the walls go. 1-15 is for walls, the normal short ones. 22-36 is for walls, the big ones. But those are exactly like the small ones+21. Stone walls? +35

 

So, I draw a sketch of an area's terrain in black and white. I read it in matlab and then I tell matlab to look at the resulting 0/1 matrix and put 1 if there is a | line, a 2 if there's a - line, a 6 if there's a L line etc.

And it works.

 

If I want a forest map? I will tell matlab to add the correct number to those 1-15 and get the right walls. It works like a charm and took me less than 1 hour to make.

So now I'm moving to grounds. I'll make the same using the various floor numbers to "paint" randomly the ground to put mushrooms, patches of grass etc.

 

Of course, the "real thing" would require me to manually change some cells. Terrain and floor. For examples, for buildings I would go to the xcel part of the editor and change the 1-15 to 36-50. (Ruined blacked walls are 51+)

I am fine with that.

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OK, my code works. Not without hic-ups, but it does work. I have a matlab file that helps me convert 64x64 images to ... zones. Walls, trees, ground, water, pathways, floor with a few variations.

 

It needs some finetuning to be more independent from me (for example, apparently 1% of open ground as dirt-with-bones turns the whole place to a graveyard looking place. Add in it that the zone is empty and it's a creepy feelin). I added it to the West of Dera Bridge, under the mountain.

 

Here is the map I use to develop the image-to-GF5 editor code: https://ibb.co/f1Kk5a

Yes, it is very small. 64x64.

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Thanks to the zone editor that some nice persons made here and thanks to matlab, I managed to create code that helps me turn a 64x64 image to a decent zone and assist me mightly in the placement of objects and creatures by creating a "placeholder" object \ creature in the correct coordinates, so that I have only have to change the type of creature \ object and add any relevant thing. The program also automatically and correctly places (unlocked) doors.

 

I have tested the zone I made today and everything works. Now that I have this tool I am able to do in a new zone everything I can do in an already developed one.

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