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"The End of Blades" Discussion


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Also, who ought to ask him, and how? Some have suggested that I ought to do it, but I'm not sure.
I hope you said that because you are not an arrogant bastard. I think you or TM would be the best, as the scenario's of you two or found the best by, well, everybody. I think you two are both representatives of the blades scenario design community. Who of you two is eventually going to ask Jeff, you may fight about yourself.

However, I don't want to spoil the fun, but I'd rather see that first until eight place gets a free game, instead of first, second and third a cash prize, and four and five a free game. That will mean $200 value of prizes. I think he'd rather have that (at least I would).
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I've got a little different history than Kel's:

 

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2/19/03 - Louvre by BB established.

3/17/04 - Blades of Avernum is released.

3/18/04 - Comprehensive BOA Scenario Rankings established.

4/3/04 - Beta Call for Roses of Reckoning by TM

4/7/04 - Roses of Reckoning by TM is released. (20 days post-BoA)

4/27/04 - Beta Call for Cave of No Return by Eldiran

5/25/04 - High Level Party Maker by Kelandon is released. (58 days)

5/30/04 - Babysitting by Khoth is released. (63 days)

6/2/04 - Blades of Avernum is released for Windows.

6/18/04 - Cave of No Return by Eldiran is released. (82 days)

8/5/04 - Beta Call for Emerald Mountain by TM

8/9/04 - Beta Call for Xerch'de by Zxquez

8/10/04 - Emerald Mountain by TM is released. (145 days)

8/17/04 - Artifacts Hall by TM is released. (152 days)

8/17/04 - Death at Chapmans by Eric Westra is released. (152 days)

8/22/04 - Beta Call for A Perfect Forest by Stareye (157 days)

9/5/04 - A Perfect Forest by Stareye is released. (171 days)

10/17/04 - Beta Call for Canopy by TM.

12/25/04 - Canopy: Manufactured Womb by TM is released. (282 days)

12/27/04 - Beta Call for Bahssikava by Kelandon.

12/28/04 - Xerch'de by Zxquez is released. (285 days)

2/1/05 - Beta Call for Backwater Calls by Smoo.

2/20/05 - Bahssikava by Kelandon is released. (339 days)

2/28/05 - Backwater Calls by Smoo is released. (347 days)

3/25/05 - Beta Call for The Darkness by Kelandon.

3/29/05 - Lord Putidus by Kelandon is released. (376 days)

4/7/05 - Nine Variations on Point B by Alec is released. (385 days)

4/16/05 - Cresent Valley by Michael Slack is released. (394 days)

5/15/05 - Beta Call for Mad Ambition by TM.

5/24/05 - Undead Valley by Archimagi Micael is released. (432 days)

6/5/05 - Druids of Krell by Ephesos is released. (444 days)

6/6/05 - A Large Rebellion by Otto Halmén is released. (445 days)

6/9/05 - Mad Ambition by TM is released. (448 days)

10/17/05 - Proving Grounds by Michael Slack is released. (578 days)

Quote:
Attitudes like these are snobby and unproductive.
What, you think that my perspective is lacking? If so, let's talk facts.

 

For the BoA contest, we had roughly 15 scenarios entered. Let's be generous and say that we had 20 altogether (including beta-testers') when the contest hit.

 

For the corresponding time in the BoE contest, we had soooooo many it's not even funny. Blades of Avernum does not have an answer to Amazonian Saga, Tatterdemalion, et cetera, DESPITE BoA's having a larger pool from which to draw designers. And I would be absolutely astonished if BoA had an answer to An Apology or Redemption 1-2 years from now.

 

We have a better platform with more power and a larger pool of potential designers, many of whom have far more resources than the BoE designers ever did. Regardless of BoA's difficulties, the absence of excellent scenarios signifies a horrific low in designing which cannot be rationalized away.

 

Action has to be taken. Open-sourcing BoE would be a nice start.

 

Quote:
It's already been superseded in both technical and story terms by Av4
Anyone who dares complement A4 deserves whatever form of death visits such a subhuman animal.
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Originally written by Kelandon:

1st prize: $100
2nd prize: $60
3rd prize: $40
4th and 5th prizes: a free game
My advice with this is to ask for more and come lower when challenged, it gives you more room for compromise. This is a typical tactic used in negotiation: always ask for more than you expect to get. The caveat to that is you cannot ask for too much lest the person whom you are negotating does not take you seriously.

Also, the $40 cash prize is rather silly because it is little more than a free game from Spiderweb.

I propose an alternatively higher prize structure this:

1st prize: $250
2nd prize: $150
3rd prize: $100
4th-5th: Free game

Although the prizes are a bit high; Roughly $560 total seems like a bit much, but it does start higher. This is one of the cases where more is better.
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Since I posted here information about my scenario, I thought I'd post here some more information. I put up some screenshots on my website. Feel free to look and tell me what you think, but don't expect me to change anything. Also, there seems to be a problem with the enlarging. I have no clue of why this happens.

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Originally written by Thralni, The flying Dutchmen:
Since I posted here information about my scenario, I thought I'd post here some more information. I put up some screenshots on my website. Feel free to look and tell me what you think, but don't expect me to change anything. Also, there seems to be a problem with the enlarging. I have no clue of why this happens.
While expanded images would be more helpful, those look quite promising. A few of the captions sound a little strange, and some suggest bad things about the plot. I can't wait to see it...

And those ads are really annoying, Thralni.
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Quote:
Originally written by Thralni, The flying Dutchmen:
I just don't understand why the images don't expand. they should actually. maybe somebody who understands HTML better than I do, would have the time to look at it? (I look at you Aran...).

Ephesos, maybe you could PM me about these things that "suggest" bad things of the plot? I'm very curious...
The full-size images don't appear to exist, at least not at the place where you link to them from the thumbnails. Have you checked that they are uploaded?
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Quote:
Originally written by *i:
My advice with this is to ask for more and come lower when challenged, it gives you more room for compromise. This is a typical tactic used in negotiation: always ask for more than you expect to get.
I would agree, except that we're not likely to be negotiating here. We're going to present amounts and Jeff is probably either going to say "Yes" or "No."

Quote:
Also, the $40 cash prize is rather silly because it is little more than a free game from Spiderweb.
Free game = $25, so it's a little more than that. I would go low because we have no reason to believe that he has any interest in doing this. As far as I know, all he's ever done before for community-run contests is given out a free game to a top prize winner, right?
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Quote:
quote:
It's already been superseded in both technical and story terms by Av4
Anyone who dares complement A4 deserves whatever form of death visits such a subhuman animal.
Hah, I don't think you know my dead seated hatred for Avernum 4 or "the abortion" as I affectionately like to call it. What I was getting at is that BoA only had a relatively brief period to establish itself before the engine it was built on was ditched. If there is no certainty about the future of a program who want to commit to designing something over the prolonged period of time it takes to produce a decent scenario?

Quote:
quote:
Attitudes like these are snobby and unproductive.
What, you think that my perspective is lacking? If so, let's talk facts.
I probably didn't need to say that, I'm just always wary of discussions that becomes a pissing match over matters of seniority. Luckily this one hasn't.

One of the interesting things about this situation is there may not be much we can do. What struck me about all of the suggestions many people including both I* and TM made, (scenario competition, AIM chats, ironing out plot ideas,) is that they're mostly very sensible things to do. They are good thoughful choices to make in this situation, except for the fact that they don't seem to have worked. Obviously it's impossible to expect some sort of overnight success, but have we had any?

The crucial thing here is attracting new blood, to generate the critical mass of fans and designers needed to sustain BoA after it is rendered "obsolete" by other SW games. Does anyone thing we have that?

I'm probably being a bit too dramatic and devils advocatish but consider.

...BoA requires a longer period of time spent to create a scenario than BoE.
...BoA was superseded by a newer SW game faster than BoE.
...There are other distractions in the gaming world, not least Avernum 4 and the Geneoforge series

My question would be, does BoA right now have the conditions and structure that would lead to long term success?

Quote:
Action has to be taken. Open-sourcing BoE would be a nice start.
Maybe I missed this boat? What do you plan to do to the source code?
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It seems to me that there are a lot of people thinking about making a scenario, or thinking about convincing other people to make scenarios, but few people actually committing to making one -- and those who do start on a scenario often abandon it halfway through. We need to start putting more pressure on people to deliver.

 

And so, on this day, I solemnly swear that I will make and release a scenario. I will complete it by the contest deadline, come Hell or high water. I make this oath here on the forums so that everyone else can hold me to it.

 

Is anyone else here willing to make the same commitment?

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Quote:
Originally written by Poit:
Maybe I missed this boat? What do you plan to do to the source code?
Bug fixing, presumably. Sadly, BoE is as full of bugs as a foreign embassy. :p

Also, the scenario editor could use some additional tools - such as a larger editing screen than 5*5, a dialogue editor, a node editor, etc. As of now, it is nearly impossible to understand even your own nodework after a few weeks without meticulous notes, let alone someone else's.
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The difference is that the source for the BoA editor is open-source already, and Kel\'s site has a short list of very useful utilities that have been developed already.

 

That they are all in separate applications is not surprising; after all they are separate projects. Presumably, they can all work on the same scenario files though, unlike in BoE, where a utility could not interface with or extend the editor at all.

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Quote:
Originally written by SupaNik:
Quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:
I promise that I will release a Blades of Exile scenario before the contest deadline.
RiB??!?

But it's for BoE. Which sucks. I smell a conversion... Even if I have to do it myself.
...the heck? If you're going to convert a BoE scenario, there are heaps of great options available now. You don't need to wait for Drakey to make one.
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I'd say Johnny Favourite.

 

Quintessence would be a lot of work, but would benefit a lot from a really good porting job. The Gem would be so fun in 3D.

 

Anyway, I've redownloaded BoE, and am making an effort to design a scenario. But no promises. I'm looking for someone to throw ideas against - anyone up for it?

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I suppose we'd all love something new.

Even if I never registered BoE.

Go ahead, I can be a sounding board.

 

--------------------

The Silent Assassin would like to make it known that he regrets the last time that he allowed me to say that.

I don't know what he's going on about. All that I said was that fish and kangaroos really don't belong together.

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Quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:
...the heck? If you're going to convert a BoE scenario, there are heaps of great options available now. You don't need to wait for Drakey to make one.
I was only saying that I'd want to play it on BoA, due to my hating BoE's engine... Not that I was looking for portable BoE material...

Edit: Wait... wouldn't this be a good way to get more people interested in BoA? By converting BoE scenarios, we're creating a new pool of scenarios to play. And it shouldn't take as long as making one from scratch, right?

TM: you used the conversion tool. What's it like?
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Quote:
Originally written by SupaNik:
TM: you used the conversion tool. What's it like?
Absolutely horrible. Be prepared to re-write scripts by yourself, and the towns/outdoors will be completely butchered.

I tried it for RoR, but when I found out how absolutely intolerable it was, I just decided to re-write the scenario from scratch.

It's better than re-writing it for longer scenarios, though.

EDIT: Ash, replied to your email.
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I solemnly swear to release at least one BoA scenario by November.

 

By SupaNik:

Quote:
Edit: Wait... wouldn't this be a good way to get more people interested in BoA? By converting BoE scenarios, we're creating a new pool of scenarios to play. And it shouldn't take as long as making one from scratch, right?
By TM:

Quote:
Absolutely horrible. Be prepared to re-write scripts by yourself, and the towns/outdoors will be completely butchered.
I'm just spitballing here, but out of curiosity, how hard would it be to port a scenario that wasn't your own? If there are any abandoned BoE scenarios, maybe someone could port them...

 

--------------------

Avernites are from Mertis, and Nephilim are from Vantanas

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It depends on the size and complexity. Unbalanced Accounts would be easy and heavily not worth it to the extreme. Bandits would be worth it (by comparison- it's not bad, but it beats most BoA scenarios), but it wouldn't be AS easy. Converting NTH would be somewhere around "impossible," but if you could think of a way to do it, it would be incredibly worthwhile.

 

If we could gather a group of people to convert a BoE scenario, we could see just how many manhours need to be put in.

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I remember asking this same question back in May. I've tried porting some scenarios, but the biggest bugaboo so far has been not caring about the plot when I saw how crappy it was. I tried making the plot better, and then tried starting fresh, and then gave it up. It may be easier if you can play the BoE version. Maybe.

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Porting Nine Variations on Point B took entirely more time than one might think.

 

One of the problems is that walls in BoE and BoA must be thought of in different ways. Certain town styles simply do not work in BoA that are perfectly fine in BoE.

 

That's above and beyond the problem of rewriting almost all of the worthwhile scripts, of course.

 

EDIT: Town locations in general, come to think of it. Most entering-the-room specials have to be moved when porting.

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Quote:
Originally written by Inthrall:
At the least BoA is still active, with 19348 posts, compared with 10500 in general.

smile
Don't forget, the General board gets purged every once and a while... so really, it's had way more activity than BoA ever has and ever will.

But that's besides the point.
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I think comparing BoA to BoE is probably not the best idea, even more so in terms of scenario quantity. BoE had a much simpler editor, no real need for scripting at all and you could lash together a small scenario in a week or so. BoA requires people to understand the simple scripting langauge, and while it is simple, it does put a lot of people off.

 

I do think, however, there will be more people who will get back into BoA, esp after how Avernum 4 was not much of an Avernum style game compared to it's previous titles.

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Quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:
It's not the scripting that puts me off BoA - it's the Avernum engine as a whole.
But I just played A4, and ran screaming back to the warm embrace of BoA... Opinions are split on this...

I did take the time to learn to node in BoE, and in all fairness, I prefer the BoA system. It's less... complicated for me, even though I was a BoEer to start with...
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When I first made the move from Exile to Avernum, I didn't really like Avernum much at all. The skill system kind of threw me a bit, but in time I grew very fond of it all.

 

Like Imban, A4's sent me back to BoA. I was hoping for better in A4, but it looks like BoA is the only way I'll get my Avernum fix now.

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