MBX

Mount&Blade Expansion => Mod Graveyard => Schattenlander - Into The Darklands => Topic started by: Hellequin on January 16, 2007, 10:38:02 AM

Title: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on January 16, 2007, 10:38:02 AM
Please feel free to post your questions about existing content (how does brewing work?), possible content (will you have wolves, etc?), or suggested content (you should include an X in your mod!) in this thread.

Coming soon to this space there will be a FAQ about the content.

Thread created from the original Schattenlander thread, so there may be some apparent gaps and non-sequiturs.  I've attempted to minimize these, but the first three pages of this thread may not all make perfect sense if read in sequence.  After that the thread is its own entity and should make as much sense as anything here.
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on January 16, 2007, 01:35:30 PM
Quote
Shall I send you my email address so you can bounce those sound files to me?

For the bell sounds, I was thinking old world church bells, huge monster iron things, more than the sweet tone of tubular bells (yay Oldfield!) in the files you sent me, but you're the maestro, not I; if this one says "early Renaissance German cathedrals" to you, then rock on.

And for the Latin bits, you have some time; prayers aren't going to be implemented in battle on this release, unless I get really really inspired.  When we get closer to time, if you haven't found anything better, might it work to just take one of the ones you've found, damp the dynamic range a fair bit especially in the treble (I can of course play it softly), and up the tempo a teeny bit for tension?

You could give me your e-mail address actually.

The 'aah'-sound and the church bells are both in stereo. That means those sounds will always play at the position of the player. That shouldn't matter since those sound effects will not be emitted from a specific position related to the player, right? If they only play during menus, it should be ok, plus it sounds a bit better.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 16, 2007, 02:52:30 PM
Email address coming by PM.

As for the location of sounds, I do expect to use the "aaah" sound during battle... but there's nothing in the system (apart from the enigmatically unexplained [options] parameter in the play_sound operation) which would actually let me, using the module system, cause a sound to have a source location, source troop, or anything else.  Are you saying that the player will always be the source location, when on the battlefield?  That's okay.

I like the stereo thing in any event.  If I'm handling them during battle (and get this far down the "realism" task list), I can always tune at least the volume for distance from the person doing it, even if I can't affect directionality.  Anyway, if a player's homing in on his companions onfield by listening to the sounds of their prayers being fulfilled, I think they have other issues to work out... :)
Title: Content queries
Post by: LCJr on January 18, 2007, 06:08:41 PM
Quote
3) Need a couple of random encounters other than the thugs.  Infrastructure's all there, it's just implementing them that needs to happen now. Partly done.  More on the way.

Will you be able to do the wolves and boars or are you limited to humans only?
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 18, 2007, 07:49:04 PM
Well, there are two answers to that.  The easy one is that right now, not only do we only have human and horse skeletons, but only humans can be made to actually attack, and even if you put a different apparent shape on either the hitboxes don't change, so you'd still get "head shots" way above the wolf's back or whatever. So on the face of it, we're limited to humans only.

But.  I am an exceedingly clever chap, and have some solutions in mind for how to handle some of those encounters anyway, and although they won't be perfect replicas of the way the originals worked (straight-up combat, more or less), they should be interesting, challenging, and entertaining if they work the way I want them to.

However, those will definitely not be in place for the upcoming v0.1 release.  In fact, unless a skilled modeler comes out of the woodwork or I'm able to broker a deal for some wolf and boar skins, soon, they likely won't make it into the v0.2, either.  But they'll certainly be in by the time I'm willing to declare v1.0, far off in the future as that is.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Merentha on January 19, 2007, 06:27:33 PM
For wolf skins, either Yoshiboy or Ancientwanker might be ones to talk to. 
Title: Content queries
Post by: Fisheye on January 20, 2007, 01:48:04 PM
Given your success in the scene prop manipulations stuff, I think a new potion with a name like Al-Kwarizmi's Levitation is a must-have for your first release.

Combined with something like "Mondago's Inertial Barrier" to give temporary immunity to arrows (via a one-way barrier).... that would make enemy alchemists a force to be reckoned with.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 20, 2007, 03:12:32 PM
First one's a good idea; not sure I can do a one-way barrier.  In either event, it's not making it into the first release; my success (ish? there's still some doubt there) has made it possible for me to include a surprise in the first release, but I do want to still work up some additional random encounters and I have a LARP to attend tonight, so time's tight as it is.

But yes - I think the (eventual) fights with gargoyles and demons and spiders just got a lot more interesting...
Title: Content queries
Post by: Winter on January 21, 2007, 08:32:50 AM
First one's a good idea; not sure I can do a one-way barrier.

All barriers are one-way. The red side blocks, the green side lets things through. Both sides block weapons fire, however.

Inconsequentially,
Winter
Title: Content queries
Post by: Fisheye on January 21, 2007, 08:53:11 AM
This is all untested, but it might work:

I was thinking a very small cylindrical collision object enclosing the agent.

The agent is not able to move (much), of course, being blocked on all sides.

Melee weapons (of decent length - i.e. anything more than a dagger) will be able to swing through it and hit the enclosed agent. The agent can turn and hit back with melee. Based on my understanding of swinging through walls in v0.75 this will work; not sure if it changed with v0.8 with damageable scene props.

Missile weapons probably have a chance of sticking in the collision mesh without harming the agent.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 21, 2007, 09:33:24 AM
That changed - briefly - in, like, 0.800 and 0.801.  Swordstrokes were being stopped by walls; but it also generated the ten zillion "couched lance damage" messages, and presumably some other issues, so now we're back to swinging through walls.

Thing is, I'm not going to bet on that staying true.  I don't have that much faith that Armagan isn't going to find a clean way to do them in the next version, and swords will stop going through walls.

Also, as Yoshi said, the conjunction of agent trying to move one way and scene prop animating another remains very very risky.  All I've tested is vertical movement, a direction in which the agent has no mobility on his own.  I have some ideas which might strengthen the blocking effect, but we'll have to wait and see.

And Saijonas - good to see you back around!  Once I'm done with my current frantic release stuff, I'll see what I can come up with.
Title: Content queries
Post by: KON_Air on January 22, 2007, 02:17:47 PM
I just couldn't stop myself from doing a new main bmp for mod selection;
(http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/4435/main19nf.png)

so, yeah, it is resized original box art.
Title: Content queries
Post by: maw on January 23, 2007, 11:47:41 AM
ok. i'm playing it, and...

* it shows a lot of work, talent, and knowledge. kudos to all the participants.
* shows much more promise
* has some neat stuff, most importantly the alchemy and the menu-driven system

and you all are rightly to be praised.

now, for meh... and respectfully and admiringly aware of this most excellent and complicated work in progress...

1. Menus
everything i liked about Darklands was the interaction, events, backgrounding, etc. the menus back in the day were new and exciting, because there was no alternative. in the years gone by, and after playing Darklands again recently and MBS (umm, short for m&b shattenlader) i realize how easily i am over-menued.

i don't get the impression i am in a larger city. dunno why. i just don't. i did a test a while back in a city expansion discussion where in a scene i put in four doors, allowing not entry into a house, but entry into a different part of the town. believe me, that works better these days. with the m&b visit once then jump to menu system, it'd shorten some walking.

although a painstakingly copied the Darkland menuing, it really needs to be condensed in some way, i have no sense of excitement or movement that i get through the common m&b format. playability needs excitement.

2. character creation
much in common with menuing, thank God or Allah or Buddha or whoever it only happens at the beginning of the game. i don't miss the complexity of the original Darklands, and again, having become accostumed to the flexibility of the base m&b system, i'm almost tired out before i get to the tavern at start. add either ctd, lockup, (neither of which i critcisie, as it is v.1), and getting my ass seriously kicked, if and when i restart i find i spend quite a bit of time setting up my character. i would think that simply allowing four choices with a formatted selection of skills/abilities based on profession tied to str, agl, int, chr would be an infinite improvement to getting the palyer into the game. as well as randomising you fellow travellers as opposed to doing the same picking their skills. forces you to work with what you got rather than what you want.

3. maps cool. add some eye-candy though useless roads. add more forest density.

4. you can add a pic to a menu. i've been doing it for my next version of m3. as an example,from module_game_menus.py::

**<snip>**
  (
    "simple_encounter",0,
    "A band of {s1} approaches. You look to your {reg10} troops, and weigh battle against their {reg11}...",
    "pic_pirates",
    [
        (str_store_party_name, 1,"$g_encountered_party"), etc etc blah blah blah
**<snip>**

you get a .dds called whatever.dds dumped into module/textures, then add the texture and material to a module brf file that holds textures and materials, then import the flat brf from commonres/pictures, and rename/reskin. yep. it works. takes a little playing for proportion, but it works good. you can tag a pic to a menu - catherdral for church areas, city for city entry, etc; if you want, you can set up a conditional menu selection for each town. eye candy.

per request, here it is:
http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php?topic=166.0

and i got the jeansburg-leave town bug. seems to be relate to sister joining after improving her stats. if i leave alone, or don't improve more than twice, it didn't happen.

i would love to pick through your code. cheers. maw
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 23, 2007, 12:16:20 PM
Maw - thanks for the detailed comments!

Personally, the menus do it for me much better than the 3d environments.  Frankly the average Darklands city feels bigger, to me, than (say) the Imperial City in Oblivion did.  More full of life.  So I don't anticipate changing this anytime soon.  If you want to prove me wrong, though, I'd be happy to see an example.

Character creation likewise, although I am working on including a "default self" for each of the NPCs, so you can non-customize their stats.  I may, per your suggestion, include a small random element in this.

I'm glad you like the map, although really it's received only a tiny amount of work so far.  Probably the next update to the map will be a huge one, honestly, one which expands things out to the right scale and puts all the cities on it.  Don't expect that one anytime soon, though.  But while I'd cheerfully accept a prettier interim map if someone decided they wanted one enough to do it themselves, since it's only an interim item it's not high on my list.  Incidentally, once we do add roads, they're gonna be real roads, you'll get a bonus to Pathfinder if you're on one and your encounters will be (a) more people and less animals, and (b) generally more benign, I've got that code already sketched out.

The Anya thing is still odd.  I can age her as far as I like on my machine (up to your age +11, which is the most the mod will let you), no problems.  Did you talk to the innkeeper at all, or have any subsequent conversations with her after the one to improve her stats?

And, lastly, you got menu pics to work?  Tested and everything!  Stop the presses, that's huge, thank you!  I'm sufficiently unfamiliar with the brf/dds/skinning process that I'll need to fiddle with that for a bit, but that's seriously awesome news.

- Hellequin
Title: Content queries
Post by: Ursca on January 23, 2007, 12:19:39 PM
Quote from: Maw
4. you can add a pic to a menu. i've been doing it for my next version of m3. as an example,from module_game_menus.py::

That works? Brilliant! Get that up in the knowledge base ASAP!
I think Merlkir maybe in great demand round here when that's common knowledge.
Hellequin; if you want any sketches for menu's and such, give us a PM. I wouldn't mind having a go at some. I'm going to give Warhammer mod the full treatment.   :green:
Title: Content queries
Post by: maw on January 23, 2007, 01:50:30 PM
Quote
Personally, the menus do it for me much better than the 3d environments.  Frankly the average Darklands city feels bigger, to me, than (say) the Imperial City in Oblivion did.  More full of life.  So I don't anticipate changing this anytime soon.  If you want to prove me wrong, though, I'd be happy to see an example.

Character creation likewise, although I am working on including a "default self" for each of the NPCs, so you can non-customize their stats.  I may, per your suggestion, include a small random element in this.

wouldn't have expected it on my opionion. just a preference i bring up. if anyone else feels the same, they'll mention it. otherwise, keep on keeping on.

Quote
I'm glad you like the map, although really it's received only a tiny amount of work so far.  Probably the next update to the map will be a huge one, honestly, one which expands things out to the right scale and puts all the cities on it.  Don't expect that one anytime soon, though.  But while I'd cheerfully accept a prettier interim map if someone decided they wanted one enough to do it themselves, since it's only an interim item it's not high on my list.  Incidentally, once we do add roads, they're gonna be real roads, you'll get a bonus to Pathfinder if you're on one and your encounters will be (a) more people and less animals, and (b) generally more benign, I've got that code already sketched out.

pm Quanta at m&b site. she did good work on my map. maybe...?

Quote
The Anya thing is still odd.  I can age her as far as I like on my machine (up to your age +11, which is the most the mod will let you), no problems.  Did you talk to the innkeeper at all, or have any subsequent conversations with her after the one to improve her stats?

just jummped right from talking to Anya to heading out hunting.

Quote
And, lastly, you got menu pics to work?  Tested and everything!  Stop the presses, that's huge, thank you!  I'm sufficiently unfamiliar with the brf/dds/skinning process that I'll need to fiddle with that for a bit, but that's seriously awesome news.

its in. maw
Title: Content queries
Post by: Mad_Hamish on January 23, 2007, 02:42:27 PM
I know this might sound like a stupid question but are the greyed out options just waiting for the player to develop or are they not in this version? If they are available then how do we open at least one (this could give us a clue to how to open the rest)?

Love the mod by the way. Am I right in thinking that there are more reliable and less reliable potions and that is why they have the inventors name on them. This thinking is because I blew myself up with a breath of death after using one with a different creators name successfully.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 23, 2007, 03:31:31 PM
Hamish - it depends on which menu, why a menu item may be greyed out.  For instance, in the city, all the options are currently shown (but mostly greyed out), including (a) the ones which lead to city locations we haven't included yet, (b) the ones which you might need certain conditions on your character to select, and (c) the ones which should only appear when you're on a particular quest or a particular plotline has been triggered.  In particular all the "investigate his politics", "talk to the guild about their leader" etc. stuff is all keyed to a city-in-rebellion plotline which I, for one, never even saw when playing the original game.

In the brewing menu, currently potions you don't have the ingredients to brew are greyed out.  I plan to change this in the next release, though, so that you can get at the info about what ingredients you need, even if then the options to actually brew a dose are greyed out until you have what it takes.

Other menus' greyed out options are similar to one of the two reasons above. Sorry I can't be more specific, I've used (disable_menu_option) about eight zillion times in this mod.

As for the potions, there are more and less powerful ones, varying by inventor.  For each potion the intermediate grade is 40% better than the lowest grade, and the top grade is 80% better than the lowest grade.  I should really include that datum somewhere you can get at it, but you can use the prices to tell (comparatively) which is which.  The fact that a breath of death blew up in your face is much more likely to be (a) your aim point was closer to you the second time, and breath of death has a huge (and progressively spreading) area of effect, and/or (b) there's a random scatter on potion throws, and that scatter gets quite large at low Throwing proficiency.  What can I say, they're not exactly aerodynamic.
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on January 24, 2007, 10:01:12 AM
Quote
Jeansberg - yes, mp3 files play as SFX.  Once Armagan gives us a (stop_sound_effects) operation as he's explicitly promised to do, then we'll really be cooking with gas and our players will get to see the full effects of your hard work.
I hope that will enable us to have triggered music/ambience according to encounters and such. I'm really excited about the opportunities. :D

Would it be possible to disable the use of traditional music completely and have events trigger certain music via sounds.txt? When you enter a battle, one of the battle songs play; when you enter the world map, one of the travel songs play, etc. That way we could easily stop the currently playing music to make room for some devilish chants when you encounter the wild hunt and such. :) That is, if I understand this correctly.

Speaking about music, maybe I should upload a song pack with a music.txt for people to use if they want to...

Edit:
I uploaded all the sounds in the sounds folder as .ogg files to your repository. They're about a tenth the size now. :D
All you have to do is put them in the sounds folder for the next release and rename the references in sounds.txt from .wav. to .ogg.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 24, 2007, 10:49:43 AM
Jeansberg - yeah, that's the thought.  I'm not sure if we can use the module system to disable the traditional music entirely, but I'm sure we can work around that (get players to turn it off if necessary).  The greater control will be a godsend, and enable us (you!) to do really powerful stuff with it.
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on January 24, 2007, 11:42:41 AM
If we leave the module's music.txt empty, there won't be any music, right? :)
Title: Content queries
Post by: Fisheye on January 24, 2007, 11:44:00 AM
right. I've done that and it works. Technically you have to put a 0 in the file, but yeah.
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on January 24, 2007, 12:57:00 PM
I kinda screwed up with the .ogg encoding. The encoder decided to make the files stereo again  :-[

I re-uploaded them as mono.rar.
Title: Content queries
Post by: stoned_dude on January 31, 2007, 03:03:53 AM
hiya, i've made a small weapon project, containing a lot of landsknecht weaponry
AS far as i've gathered, darklands is supposed to take place at the same time, so if you'd like, i can send the weapons over
(PM me with email on M&B furom)
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on January 31, 2007, 03:45:25 AM
How about some screenshots? :)
Title: Content queries
Post by: stoned_dude on January 31, 2007, 08:53:51 AM
sure
(http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/9907/katzbalgerbb6.th.png) (http://img57.imageshack.us/my.php?image=katzbalgerbb6.png)(http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/4521/katzbalgerbbt6.th.png) (http://img142.imageshack.us/my.php?image=katzbalgerbbt6.png)(http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/1586/katzbalgercxe7.th.png) (http://img207.imageshack.us/my.php?image=katzbalgercxe7.png)(http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/1903/katzbalgerdzw3.th.png) (http://img142.imageshack.us/my.php?image=katzbalgerdzw3.png)(http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/9610/katzbalgerdaggerht2.th.png) (http://img260.imageshack.us/my.php?image=katzbalgerdaggerht2.png)(http://img351.imageshack.us/img351/361/landsknechthalbardmt6.th.png) (http://img351.imageshack.us/my.php?image=landsknechthalbardmt6.png)(http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/8891/landsknechtpikejo0.th.png) (http://img262.imageshack.us/my.php?image=landsknechtpikejo0.png)(http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/2718/landsknechtpolehammerpp2.th.png) (http://img259.imageshack.us/my.php?image=landsknechtpolehammerpp2.png)(http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4581/landsknechtspontoonzn4.th.png) (http://img259.imageshack.us/my.php?image=landsknechtspontoonzn4.png)(http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/5041/landsknechtspontoonpikevl4.th.png) (http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=landsknechtspontoonpikevl4.png)(http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/5904/landsknechtzweihanderix5.th.png) (http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=landsknechtzweihanderix5.png)
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on January 31, 2007, 10:23:18 AM
Wow! Those polearms are going to look great for city guards and such. :)

Those swords look a lot more appropriate than the native ones too!
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on January 31, 2007, 10:51:45 AM
Those are indeed lovely.  PM is definitely on its way.

Is the blade of the katzbalger meant to shade that dark, or is that just the way the light is set up in that render?  Either way I like it, and if you don't mind I'll send the link to my friend who runs a Riddle of Steel game and occasionally does Poser renders from it - one of the PCs in that game bears two katzbalgers, and the landsknects keep challenging him to reclaim them, and dying.  It has sort of become his hobby.

As I think I commented earlier, armies per se are mostly not a part of Darklands, so troops like the landsknecht and doppelhanders didn't actually appear there at all.  [Even several military bits which appear in the source, concerning cities under siege and a Soldier's Row in some cities and suchlike, don't actually appear in the playable Darklands.]  So in theory, while I'm in phase I of things (replicate, don't add), they won't appear in the game.  But in practice, I do plan to integrate that material, and there's a bandit-soldiers encounter which would do wonderfully to be converted to renegade landsknechts.  Which I think I shall do.

I also have a thought on including "sign up with the army" stuff once I've got the original material all incorporated, which the above inspired.  I'll be letting that stew for a bit, but it's thematically appropriate (as a temporary tour of duty, if you start weighing in on the politics and actually developing allegiances).

Oh, and while I'm here...

Update: Version 0.1d is on way very soon.  The content I referred to in my last update is all in, now, but as it happens I managed to make big inroads on further potion/saint functionality, which I hadn't meant to include -- so, given that that's now ~80% written, I'm holding off on 0.1d until I get that stuff added too.  Up to another half-dozen potion types.  Projected release, maybe Saturday, give-or-take a day.  One part of what's been added has also been requested by Winter, for eventual inclusion in Craftmod, but you're gonna see it here first... then we'll fork it to Craftmod once it's proven out as stable.

And one of our sequencers, Blankshield, has got a handle on the format and process, at which point we'll be able to start adding new random encounters at much-increased speed.  We've got a working list of a dozen or so which he's set up to tackle.

Lastly, I had an insight which may give us a workable Wild Hunt far sooner than expected.  That's still a 0.1e or even -f release item, but it's much closer than I'd previously anticipated.
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on February 07, 2007, 01:27:37 PM
If anyone wants another preview of the soundtrack, I just uploaded my version of Tristan's Lament (http://www.soundclick.com/util/downloadSong.cfm?ID=4975724&key=0C54C69F-6) to my Schattenländer music page (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=639360) (You may have to click 'hi-fi stream').

You haven't updated the thread in a while, Hellequin. Anything new?

Title: Content queries
Post by: Wood on February 07, 2007, 05:01:36 PM
That's nice music, what program did you use to compose it?
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on February 07, 2007, 05:45:03 PM
The sequencer I use is Fruity Loops, but the actual sounds are from Edirol Orchestral. The song is based on the notes from a midi file.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Brigadier Hussey on February 09, 2007, 08:08:50 PM
Hellequin, did you get my PM? I just haven't got my PM's on save copy so I can't remember if I sent you the link to the Osprey.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on February 09, 2007, 08:19:46 PM
Yes, you did - thanks.  More useful to Scion than to me; the landknechte will make only small appearances in Schattenlander until I get the entire original game replicated; wars and soldiers appear there pretty much only as backdrops, and as unrealized incomplete code fragments found once I dissected the original.

Eventually I do intend to make the world more dynamic, with cities rebelling, going to war, etc., and they'll come up more once I do that... but that's only very theoretical at this point, I've got plenty on my plate getting to the first-stage goal.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Brigadier Hussey on February 09, 2007, 09:38:44 PM
Good stuff. I gave it to Scion already.
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on February 10, 2007, 02:43:22 PM
I uploaded a music pack here (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=413). Maybe you could update the main post with a link. :)
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on February 10, 2007, 03:13:32 PM
That's awesome; in fact I'll make you an installer for it so folks don't have to fret. However, first you have to put all the songs referenced in the music.txt, into the file. ;P
Title: Content queries
Post by: jeansberg on February 10, 2007, 08:28:20 PM
Crap. I think I mixed up my Schattenländer installations. I'm uploading a corrected .zip now.

Edit:

I uploaded a zip to your repository this time. It's the one with .ogg files in it.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Caer_Baer on February 19, 2007, 11:16:35 AM
Welcome to Major mods!  :P
Actually, I was wondering why Schattenländer wasn't in here earlier,
since it seemed pretty major to me.. ah, well, must be cause it's
new (relatively, that is).

Anyways, some minor suggestions:
tougher, but fewer, enemies, at least for humans
Slightly nerfed bow damage.
DarkLands-type armor tiers: plate - the best, then mail, etc, with different items representing quality (ex: leather-studded-cuir)
and, of course..
The Original Darklands Background Pics:
 they're all there (DL dir), but they have a unique filetype.. although someone made an app to view them.. i think..

Excelent work so far, keep it up! and good luck! (try to get a bigger team, it looks like a Lot of work there..)

P.S. were you able to think of a way to throw in wolves and other non-humans(monsters,etc)? I was thinking
       along the lines of, say, a warg, with an invisible rider, but I don't think that's gonna behave properly..
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on February 19, 2007, 11:40:09 AM
Thanks, everybody.  Over the next couple of days I'll split the content in here up into the various threads I've got planned.

Just to respond to the points above:
Cheers, all!
Title: Content queries
Post by: Ron Losey on February 19, 2007, 07:49:00 PM
Hellequin:
I was wondering if any more thought had been given to using my "Realistic Combat Model" for weapon and armor values.  It is now operational in ONR (the relatively bug-free version releases today), and Beta for Mesoamerica and Holy War.  That means I could find time over the next three or four days, if you want to attempt a conversion.


For anyone who missed this:
The RCM was developed in the interest of historical realism for Onin-no-Ran.  It is, to my knowledge, the most accurate portrayal of ancient weapon damage that I could create, considering the limitations of the M&B game engine.  This quest for combat realism in computer games very much owes its start to the original Darklands (despite DL having some bad errors in this field, it came closer than anything else in its day), so my interest in this project is substantial.  Not to mention, it helps the game - combat scenes in vanilla had no tactics at all.


Anyway, who's interested in testing a conversion to the RCM?  I'm offering to do the work.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on February 19, 2007, 08:47:33 PM
If you send me a one-page summary of the details of the change, I'll think about it; haven't had time to try it out in ONR yet, though I have every intention of doing so at some point.  Personally, "realism" is a far smaller priority than playability; playability includes verisimilitude, but that's only a single factor in it - I'm no history buff, nor particularly an armamentophile.  And I have my suspicions about the interaction of your model with the style of play I envision out of Schattenlander, which is why I'm not immediately taking you up on the offer (though I'm grateful the offer was made).

As I commented when we were PMing about this, my focus on wounds has been to set in place the infrastructure which will allow me to build a parallel structure beside hit points which has longer-lasting impact and statistical effects.  The full implementation will necessarily have to wait until I can detect where the player's been hit, but even now I have in place (as part of the code required to make Eater Water potions work) a continual every-short-interval check on hit points; detecting a sudden drop and translating that into odds of an immediate wound effect is an easy next step.  And this, to me, is a more interesting angle on "combat realism" - blood loss, broken limbs, and the whole visceral nine yards of medical horror story.

PS: Ron, given your clear predilections, if you do not already possess a copy of The Riddle of Steel (http://www.theriddleofsteel.net/market/), then a tragedy has occurred.  I can't recommend that game strongly enough, and I say this from an extremely knowledgeable perspective on the RPG product space.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Ron Losey on February 19, 2007, 10:11:28 PM


Don't have "Riddle of Steel" ... too bad.

Remember DL's tagline:  "Reality is more terrifying than fantasy."
Reality is more playable than fantasy, too.

The vote on ONR, and the Mesoamerica and Holy War betas, all say that this improves game play substantially.  It adds some tactics, reduces weapon inflation - makes people choose between faster and higher damage, like the original DL did.  Makes armor more valuable, also like DL did.  Makes the distinction between raw killing power and armor penetration more distinct - again something the original DL started.  These add a lot to the game, instead of everybody just getting a weapon that does 10 points of damage and trying to hit the other guy four times before he hits you four times, like something out of "space invaders".

I'm all for the proposed changes to healing time and statistics damage from wounds.  Those were something I did not have the skill to implement, and if you get them working, several other mods would love to incorporate that as well.  I still figure that is a moot point when an unarmored man can take four hits from a great sword and keep fighting... what good is long-term wounding if the weapons are apparently made of rubber?  Fix the obvious problem first, and work down.

If I tried to describe the RCM in text, it would take days ... and when I finished, it would take a week with pencil and paper to make sense of what I said.  A lot of messing with the numbers, using the cut and pierce attributes in strange ways to tweak the chances of somebody going down from a given number of injuries.  Let's just say that the result is statistically accurate damage, based on crime reports, injuries on animals and people I have seen or referenced, and combat wounding studies, plus test cuts against armor.  The bibliography alone would be several pages long.  There are a couple of "short answer" summaries of the statistical model in the "Combat Realism Model" thread on ONR, but highly incomplete.

Instead of a one-page summary, let's do it the other way.  Send me a copy of the source code.  (No, I don't want to steal it or give it to anybody else - I had this discussion with AW over at TLD, who is paranoid somebody will get his source code.)  I'll make changes, and send back the item data file & source.  I only need to change the item_kinds1.txt  (module_items.py) file - it won't hurt anything else.  You can play it, and run it by some beta testers, and see what everybody thinks.  Compare the two.  The real proof is in the game, after all - right?

If the vote is no, then no hard feelings.  I'm confident enough this will be popular that I'm willing to write it up.  (Translation - I want to play this mod, but I consider the vanilla combat model such a turn-off that I will probably not, unless some serious changes are made.  Conveniently, those changes were already developed, and are standing by.)

The inspiration for this model owes a lot to the original DL - I feel it only fitting to complete the circle, and return it to DL's successor here.

Put the module system into a .zip file and e-mail it.  (Ronlosey@hotmail.com)  Give me two days ... 48 hours, and I'll have you something that will blow your socks off.  I guarantee it.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on February 20, 2007, 10:23:41 AM
I'm not paranoid that you'll steal the source code - but my source code, taken as a whole, is a scary, scary thing to face.  There are almost twice as many module_xx files in Schattenlander now (even at 0.1d) as there are in Native, and over 300 scripts as compared with 44.  And, alas, there are big streaks of legacy code from pre-0.1a running like bruises through the whole thing, which would just make it even more confusing.  I'll send you module_items.py, though; the constructions I've used for the enhanced weapons are quite well commented, you'll need to mirror whatever changes you make across those.

I'm surprised you can't sum up the changes algorithmically, though.  Surely you need to have a set of heuristics, for how to change a weapon that you've never tinkered with before?  That's what I was asking for, when I said "summary of the changes".  Math doesn't scare me.  And without that summary, I'm still unlikely to incorporate anything; I need to understand it before I can weigh other things (for instance the details of the weapon enhancements, the stats of various new creatures, my wounds system, etc) against it. 

Nothing goes into this mod that I don't understand well enough to defend on its own merits; as it stands, I may soon need to go through and do an orgy of further-commenting (and my commenting is generally pretty good), and maybe a formal structural outline of the code, just for my own sake.  Adding something that I imperfectly understand to the mix would be doing nobody any favours.

- Hellequin

Seriously, though, and not just as an aside - go order The Riddle of Steel.  Forgo food if need be.  You'll come back and thank me.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Ron Losey on February 20, 2007, 10:44:36 AM
I said to mail me the whole darn module system, so I can make changes in the item file, and then re-compile it for testing.  I only need to change item stats, but I have to have everything to make it compile and play, in order to make sure everything is working.  Otherwise, I'll make a typo, and never know it.

The math is different for each weapon.  If you can find a weapon that I haven't taken a swing at something with, I bet I know somebody who has.  It's a nightmare to explain.  You send the files, I'll explain later... have to put the material together.

I'll start a thread and put down my explanation of the model, and get questions from anybody interested in testing it / tweaking it / whatever.

Meanwhile, send the source code, so I can write up a prototype.
Title: Content queries
Post by: Hellequin on February 20, 2007, 10:49:32 AM
Ron - See response via email.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Satyr on February 20, 2007, 05:22:59 PM
What's with all the religion? What do saints do? Are they even implemented yet? How do you increase x skill, like virtue or whatever that aren't combat orientated? When you go to the in and pick learn/practise x skill it doesn't work, same with trading.
Interesting concept though.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 20, 2007, 05:52:09 PM
Some answers for you:

1) There are few things that were more pervasive in the period in question than religion.  So if you're seeing a lot of it, that's why.  You're welcome to play hard-bitten atheists, you'll just be cut off from a few possible approaches to things.  (However, you'll also free up your attention to put into other skills and so forth, so depending on your playstyle it's no great loss.)  The occasional bit of dialogue will also be out of place; everyone in this era makes a de facto assumption that everyone who isn't a witch, savage, or Jew is Christian, and all interactions in this world assume that as a baseline.

2) Absolutely.  Saints are implemented and have been for a while.  All saint's blessings which are a bonus to a skill, proficiency, or attribute are implemented, as well as a number of the other ones such as resistance to fire, party travel speed, blessed weapons and armour, and so forth.  Experiment with them and find out.  They can be a really substantial boost to your performance...

3) When you go to the inn and elect to train a skill, you'll note the (X) mark beside it, indicating that this feature has not been coded yet.  What will happen is that various townsfolk can be paid to agree to train you for a price, and then (once it's all coded) that action will activate and there will be a chance, based on the townsperson's skill and your own, that your skill will go up one or more points.

The exception is Virtue, which can only be raised through good deeds, and Endurance & Perception, which are actually attributes in Darklands.

Currently the only skills you will see improve in play are proficiencies, Power Strike/Throw/Draw, Athletics, Ride, Shield, First Aid (based on how badly wounded your team gets), and Virtue (certain actions, and if you use blunt weapons there's a fairly small chance that your decision to pummel rather than slay will get you brownie points with God).

I am considering, but haven't yet decided to, implement a small chance of skill improvement each time you make a skill roll behind the scenes (in menus, etc).  However, this is part of revisiting my core dice-rolling code, which I want to do but which will be a slow and careful grind, so I'm going to wait on that for now.

4) Working an honest job while staying at the inn is, like training, marked (X) to show you that it hasn't been coded yet.  Please remember that this is 0.1 release.  One of the things I need an unskilled volunteer for is for someone to map out the "what skill gets you what profession gets you how much money" patterns in the original game.  A call for volunteers on this will be going up in the next couple of days; if interested, PM me.

Hope those help you enjoy the parts of the mod that are active now...
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Satyr on February 21, 2007, 06:25:24 AM
Thanks for that. Great help. Awesome mod as well with it's innovative style.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 06:59:13 AM
Had a thought...

I know, I shouldn't have thoughts.  When I have thoughts, insurance companies go bankrupt.

Seriously...

The part about potential virtue gain from using non-lethal weapons is anachronistic.  Church law at the time required sentences of death for most everything - heretics, witches, missing three weeks of Mass in a row ....  Civil law usually either had perpetrators executed, exiled, or in the case of more minor offenses, enslaved or conscripted into armies.  (Half of the Spanish expeditions into the Americas, beginning this period, were crews drafted from debtors prisons.)

There was NO social or moral stigma about the use of deadly force, as such.  Use of force against innocents was forbidden, but use of deadly force itself was actually encouraged in many cases.  Defeating a robber or a heretic and NOT killing him could actually get you into trouble with the Church - aiding a fugitive, as it were.

The more I thought about that, the more I realized that it detracts from the feel.  Much of the strength of the original DL was little elements of culture like that, and it would be a shame to let it go.

Make it so that prisoners can be turned over to local lords/city governments, to be used as servants or conscripted labor/soldiers, or in the case of heretic types, the church for trial by the Inquisition.  Don't just assume that non-lethal force was considered admirable.  Nice idea ... wrong century.

Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 22, 2007, 10:43:16 AM
Hmm.  I'm not sure.  Some of that suggestion just can't be done - there is no prisoner-taking in Schattenlander, so the question of what you do with them is moot.

The law was harsh, both civil and religious.  But you're not the law, and murder (even of non-innocents) was still prosecutable and frowned upon even in that day, at least under some circumstances.  I may rephrase it, but I still want to (a) reward mercy, and (b) attach a small benefit (and trust me, it's small, above 20 Virtue or so out of 100 the odds are quite against it going up) to counterbalance the generally weaker game stats of those weapons.

I may have that kick in only after some kind of scripted event, an exhortation by a clergyman or something.  Or only in connection with a particular companion being in your party, perhaps.  But the effect is desirable regardless of your read on the cultural connotations; they simply imply that it wants more specific context.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fisheye on February 22, 2007, 11:10:30 AM
I agree with Ron... from a gameplay perspective. Virtue is really useful stuff, more useful even than reputation since it's persistent. If using blunt weapons gained virtue I'd be stalking the alleys with my blackjack 24/7 looking for easy prey to bludgeon. I don't feel that kind of action is particularly "virtuous".

What you really want is a balance to the ineffectiveness of non-lethal weapons. So ask, why did these weapons exist? Because a lot of the time taking someone alive was absolutely critical to the success of the mission. Nothing to do with virtue. What you need is some interesting missions. A lord wants you to send a "message" to his rival to back off - break into his house and leave a note, but you don't get paid if any of his guards die because that causes escalation. Rescue the guild leader's brainwashed daughter from the satanists but if you kill her then you're wanted for murder. That kind of stuff. And dont forget good old slavery as an excuse for taking people alive.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 11:18:13 AM
The elimination of "taking prisoners" seems to be removing a useful trait.  Handing over muggers to the city guard seems an excellent way to improve local rep, and maybe even virtue.  Turning in prisoners would probably be viewed better than just killing them, if for no other reason, just so the city could make examples out of them.  Of course, it would have to be the right prisoners - thieves to the city, heretics to the church, captured city guards are not worth anything.

The killing of certain things/people should certainly be bad for virtue/rep/whatever.  The use of non-lethal weapons in these situations could be a way to avoid (or at least reduce) the penalty.  That could be useful.

Actually, the original book with "Darklands" had some material on public opinion and violence at the time, complete with some excellent sources back in the bibliography ... but alas, I can't remember all of them (even though I read a couple of the books in their bibliography, just because the game used them), because that was back in the Dark Ages when DL first came out.  Anyway, I didn't just pull that data out of my head - some big-name historians have noted the same thing.

The thing that should improve virtue would be the rescue - every time you join a battle between robbers and peasants, there should be a chance to improve virtue for coming to rescue them.

But just letting wounded enemies go, especially if those enemies were heretics or criminals, would probably not be viewed positively.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 22, 2007, 12:06:57 PM
There's no way I'm putting the capture of prisoners, in the M&B sense, back into Schattenlander.  It's a form of micromanagement that I find particularly repugnant, both from a historical perspective, a practical perspective (with a team this small, just one determined captive is more than enough to give you a serious headache), a gameplay perspective, and an aesthetic perspective.  When a particular quest calls for it, sure, and in that case I've got the M&B infrastructure for it all ready and set to go, but it simply isn't ever going to be a routine component of the battlefield, period.  I'd far rather write in the act of turning them over to the guard, or ransoming the knight, or whatever, into the result descriptions; it's not an act which warrants further attention than that.

And incidentally, I reiterate - this effect will really only carry you up from a Virtue of zero (unusual) to maybe twenty, tops, before you get to the point where you can spend all day every day on blackjacking thieves and get maybe another point after a month.  A Virtue of 20 will satisfy only 18 of the 125 saints.  So Fisheye's concern is one I've already thought about; it just doesn't hold water.

Ron's suggestion that they be a good way to avoid killing certain people is solid; I can certainly work with that, as part of it, although a detail of the M&B engine requires that they be standard troops and not companions, otherwise I can't tell whether they were bludgeoned or slashed.  And of course rescue is virtuous as well as reputation-worthy, and I like Fisheye's quest suggestions - those are both cool in their own right.

Anyway, I'll keep those comments in mind, but I think for now I'll probably leave the effect in, small as it is.  I will go reread the manual bits on that, though; that's a good thought regardless, just in an effort to keep putting the little historical touches in.  And that may convince me, if it's as one-sided as Ron recalls; I don't remember it being that way, myself, but as he said it's been a long time.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 09:02:05 PM
Two other "features" - one from DL and one from M&B.

Darklands allowed you to create your companions.  If you got one killed, you could replace him.  The team would only go up to 4 plus a visitor (my next point), but the logic was that you could always find more people.  The ability to custom-build your team was part of the versatility of the game - you could weight your team toward your particular play style.

(Speaking of getting companions killed, TLD has a system of long-term wounds ... it's simple and arbitrary, but it's a start.)

Then there's the M&B feature of variable team size - with all of its code for map travel time, food usage, salary for hired troops, etc.  That's something DL could only dream of - computers at the time could barely handle 4.  It would be a shame to nerf M&B's greatest addition to the RPG.

DL also allowed collective cash flow.  The problem with more people was that you had to equip them, pay for their lodging, heal them, whatever... That would tie back into the last comment about more NPC's - you still have to feed them.

Just some things to think about.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 22, 2007, 09:41:43 PM
Collective cash flow is already in Schattenlander.  All of the party's cash is always stored with the player, to spend in stores and so forth; there's never any need, and in fact never any opportunity, for your companions to carry their own cash.  Part of why your party members are always present in shops is so that you can buy stuff, hand it off to them and/or pick up loot they're carrying, and turn back to the shopkeeper directly. This was the best I could do in terms of replicating DL's anyone-can-shop mechanics, and IMO it works pretty well.

Part of why Darklands worked was that your party was too small, and too constrained, to allow you to cover all your bases.  I've considered increasing the party size, perhaps to one per five points of Charisma or something (thus absolute max 6) plus possibly a hireling/visitor (and possibly, in the most generous variant, your sibling would not cost the five Charisma)... but I'm very leery of losing that balance of constraint.  [And, not a trivial issue, increasing party size past 5 will require a huge amount of hunting through my code, probably cost me a week, a week that could be better spent on more important features.]  Trust me on this one - constraining the decision space, rather than increasing it, is one of the most important things a game design can do.  I say this through my Origins-award-winner's hat, and say it thrice for emphasis.

Food usage and salary frankly don't excite me; they're micromanagement details which add to realism but detract from focus, and I have no particular desire to emulate them in Schattenlander (any more than I have to).  If they come up, they'll come up as specific plot points - starvation during a siege; a particular companion who, unlike the others, actually demands a salary or other direct recompense.  (I've been considering this - see the first bullet point below for an example.)

The high costof having to equip multiple people is in there now; the item degradation through use which is present in 0.1d means that you'll spend a larger proportion of a finite cash flow on keeping everyone's gear fresh, if you have a larger party.  Lodgings, etc., will scale by party size once I bother to code it as such.  I'm also considering having each companion's unique disadvantage (everyone except your sibling will have one) scale up per party size; people get more fractious the bigger your group is.  This last is the only thing that might induce me to go to a variable party size with a max over 4+1.

All of which addresses all of your points but one.

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

Creating your companions.  This is a sticky point.  You can create the stats, but you cannot create the face, nor can you change the name.  The mechanics just don't exist, they're hardcoded.  This is what led to the logic of the system I've implemented right now... more along the lines of the Final Fantasy series of games, each companion has a sketched-out backstory and a fixed face (and, in this case, name), by necessity.  Eventually I do want to have enough of them around that losing a companion is, indeed, not the end of the world... but I'm also sufficiently perfectionist that I want an interesting persona for each and every single one, and interesting methods of getting them into your party.

And, because I believe in TANSTAAFL and because it's fun, each one will also have a unique disadvantage.  These are unusual people, willing to take to the road with no security or guarantees, possibly on knowing you only a short time; they've got unusual flaws and issues.  I'm not going to go into detail on the ones I've got planned for sure (even Franz's is not yet fully coded), because it's far more interesting to discover them in game.  But two examples I've brought up recently, one thought up while writing this post and one over on Taleworlds, can give you a taste of what I mean:
I like this approach better than the Darklands method.  It's just going to require more content on my part, making sure there are enough there to adequately support any style of play. But that's okay.  As the core mechanics come closer to completion, I have more and more room to start working on this sort of thing instead.  I think you'll like the end results a lot.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 10:28:56 PM
Make the big guy a friar ... a thinly veiled literary allusion to a certain Friar Tuck of the Robin Hood legend.  What would games like this be like, without cheezy stereotypes?

Seriously, it should be possible to do both ... create a list of bizarre personality traits/disorders, and randomly attach them to generated characters.  Creates a back-story without having to hunt all over creation for your team - reduces that "find the widget" feeling.  Maybe randomly generate the characters and stick them into taverns, refreshing them with new characters every few days, whenever you enter the city.  DL was great because it was very hard to see the scripting - a list of where to pick up your party members is too obvious.

I would not think that slightly larger teams detract.  Sure, the 5000 strong armies in Holy War turn it into a very different game.  However, many DL fans greatly lamented the loss of tactical options caused by a team of 4.  It was impossible to have stronger and weaker characters - one weak character would cost you the game.  Everyone had to be front-line fighter, and any other skills they had were relegated to secondary, or you just couldn't get ahead.  If there were even 6 to 10, you could afford to protect one or two.  (Kurosawa thought you should defend a village with seven samurai - that created a good mix of personalities and skills for a movie.  Tolkien used nine for the fellowship of the ring.)  Four was just too darned restrictive - it struck you as painfully arbitrary.  At least it did me (and I loved DL - I was one of its biggest fans).

Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 22, 2007, 10:37:28 PM
I only ever had two front-line fighters, personally.  The others just had to be able to hold their own in a pinch, and support with missile fire / prayers / potions.  Or simply be able to run away a lot, distracting some enemies while the others killed their own men and then met up with the weaker members.  As such I found it added, not removed, tactical flexibility.  But I'll keep your comments in mind nonetheless.

Taverns? Taverns?  Ack!  That's all I have to say about that suggestion.  Try not to think of it as hunting all over creation; try to think of it as going at it alone, initially, just you and your brother/sister, and gradually running across others who will join you.

And if you think that one can detach the idiosyncrasies from the face and the name, you must be thinking of a different style of idiosyncrasies than I am, or less picky about faces and names.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fisheye on February 22, 2007, 10:52:08 PM
The magic number of 4 is crucial in this mod. It's not arbitrary. It's exactly the number of roles that Darklands required. Speaker, Artificer/Sneaker, Priest, Alchemist. No more, no less. Also all 4 are fighters.

Scion's Mercenary mod is exploring the use of large numbers of NPC heroes - it will have a very different dynamic and much less characterisation. Gain some, lose some.

Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 11:07:45 PM
The magic number of 4 is crucial in this mod. It's not arbitrary. It's exactly the number of roles that Darklands required. Speaker, Artificer/Sneaker, Priest, Alchemist. No more, no less. Also all 4 are fighters.

Scion's Mercenary mod is exploring the use of large numbers of NPC heroes - it will have a very different dynamic and much less characterisation. Gain some, lose some.



I need to get with him about how that turns out - I was thinking of exploring that possibility, using ONR as a test bed.

I still say a little more flexibility in group size would add options... and DL was all about being freelance, and keeping lots of options available.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 23, 2007, 10:53:27 AM
It's so interesting to see people discuss their "builds" for a team in Darklands.  For instance, I didn't find artificer/sneaker particularly vital or useful, so my 'typical' build replaced that slot with "thug/woodsman" instead.  I've also gone through it for a while with two priests and no alchemist, and it worked remarkably well.

Fisheye, what would you think of replacing the "Exactly 4" with a variable number close to the same range?  Maybe even "you, your sibling, and one more, +1 per 10pts of Charisma" or something?  (I'd probably not use quite that math, since I'd also like the NPCs' Charisma to work into it as well, but something along those lines.)
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fisheye on February 23, 2007, 12:20:35 PM
4-6. 7 tops. Once you get to 8, anonymity sets in.

You know, that thing about people being able to keep 7 things in their head at the same time on average.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 23, 2007, 01:58:29 PM
4-6. 7 tops. Once you get to 8, anonymity sets in.

You know, that thing about people being able to keep 7 things in their head at the same time on average.
Not my reason, but identical to my conclusion.  I'm even leery of 7; I think 7 is the "max party plus a hireling" if indeed I end up distinguishing hirelings from other companions in that way.  (Doing a mission for the Hanseatic League etc. might just be one of the routes to getting one of the companions in the game; that would be consistent with the rest of the approach.  The disadvantage of 'Hanse' would definitely be that he's temporary and demands that your party actively pursue the quest in question.)
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on February 23, 2007, 05:40:50 PM
I've considered that before, and I must say I'm sort of torn on that one.  See, the original game had the same problem/feature; you only got to find out about the game functions of a saint after you paid good money for the knowledge.  And I always thought that was kind of apt, in a way; you're paying for knowledge, you don't get a sneak peek.

Mind you, the current pricing is arbitrary (I set it at a tithe - ten percent - of your wealth, with a certain minimum); it may have been cheaper in the original, I haven't done the investigation yet.

On the other hand, it's not like I can keep that information from you entirely.  Only if it were randomized (to a greater or lesser degree) per game would that be possible.  There are plenty of online sources which will list off the saints' functions for you, and it was in the manual of the original as well.

The most likely thing for me to do is to put in a "confirmation" screen where, after selecting to study, you see the saint's prayer screen and then choose whether to continue or to choose another saint.

Would people prefer that approach, or would you like to remain in the dark until after you spend your money?
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Ron Losey on February 23, 2007, 09:18:22 PM
On the saints, DL had a huge game book that read like the instruction manual to a fighter aircraft.  Something in-game (confirmation screens, popup help, something) would be preferable to that.

The "look things up in the book" routine is not only out-of-date, it requires a paper manual be distributed with the release.  Not the direction you want to go.

Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: one-armed man on March 04, 2007, 01:41:24 PM
Please feel free to post your questions about existing content (how does brewing work?)

what he said.

note: I looked through (not all) this topic and the "start here" topic and couldn't find the answer. am I missing something obvious?
I went into an alchemist's shop and asked him if I could rent his stuff for a certain amount of cash/day - he said yes and nothing else happened.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on March 04, 2007, 04:04:26 PM
I've put a brief tutorial on brewing up, but since it was in a post about bugs it ended up (once we acquired a subforum) in Bug Reports.  It'll end up more usefully documented in the main thread at some point, and there will probably also be an in-game tutorial on it too, but that's a long way off.

The existing tutorial is here (http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,321.msg1011.html#msg1011) for the time being.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: one-armed man on March 05, 2007, 05:44:28 AM
Thanks. That doesn't help entirely though; I defeated a couple of travelling alchemists and nicked their stuff, but I still can't do any alchemy. Do I need a potion to start off with, or some equipment?

Also, is it possible to raise my riding skill? Apparently I have 0 and I can't raise it by riding horses, cos I can't ride any, and I can't find anywhere to raise skill.

cheers
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on March 05, 2007, 11:04:11 AM
Do you know any formulas?  Sounds like not.  Try asking about "buying some knowledge" from the town alchemist.  It'll cost you, though.  Mind you, if you built one of your characters as an alchemist then he/she should know at least one, and if not, then you're probably not going to be able to succeed.  Not until tutors are in place and you spend a lot of time and money learning the art.

If you've found Franz and gotten him into your party, you'll be better off in this respect.  If not, keep searching.

As for the Riding skill thing, nice catch.  Hadn't occurred to me that you might have a bootstrapping issue.  Maybe I'll make sure there exists a mount with no Ride requirement (either downgrade the Sumpter, or add a Mule or something).  Anyway, I'll make sure to address that in the final edition; I do want you to be able to hire tutors for most things, even the ones that have other means of increase.  For now, you'll have to fight on foot; that's okay, that's how Schattenlander is mostly intended to be played, there will be many encounters which (for one reason or another) can't be fought on horseback anyway.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: one-armed man on March 05, 2007, 11:13:32 AM
Yeah I found Franz, but I didn't defeat the guards. Also yeah I like fighting on foot for a change, it's much more challenging, and worthwhile with a smaller party size.

Also, how do you become able to pray to saints? Whenever there is a "pray to saint" option, say to try and pacify bandits, it's always greyed out or there's no saints on the list of who to pray to. My guy has 5/5 favour, apparently.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on March 05, 2007, 11:50:20 AM
Saints?  There are two ways you access saints (three, in the upcoming v0.2).  Any of them require the expenditure of some Divine Favour (the 5/5 you were quoting); any of them require a successful invocation roll, which is based chiefly on the Religion skill of the person doing the praying and on the type of prayer (murmured, invoked, etc) chosen.  Any of them require that you first have studied the saint (via either a religious career path, or by visiting the monks' library in any city).  The saint will also have a minimum Virtue, which although it won't cause the saint to be greyed out, will make it far less likely that you'll succeed.

One, during certain menus (notably many, but not all, random encounters), you may get the opportunity to invoke a saint.  This is all well and good but only a very small number of the game's saints (usually 3-4 out of 125) are applicable in any given situation.  If you don't know one of those saints, it'll remain greyed out.  Prayers under these circumstances only affect the course of the menus; they do not grant statistical benefits.  We're also still working on extracting the "who is applicable when" information from the original game, and don't have all of it yet; so for some encounters there may actually not be any saints (yet) who are flagged as applicable in that situation, even if you somehow learned all 125 (which is quite literally impossible right now, and will be impossible for all practical purposes even in the final version).

Two, when you talk to your companions you can ask them to pray (or, by asking your #2 to watch things for you, you can go off by yourself and pray).  This grants statistical benefits to the recipient of the prayer, which will last until the next dawn or sunset.

The third one, not present in the 0.1d release, is that you can use either the prepared orders or on-the-fly orders mechanisms to make the simpler prayers during battle.  The effects are the same as in #2, but some effects (such as healing!) may be a hell of a lot more valuable at this point.

Does that help it make more sense?  Again this is something which will, eventually, get a tutorial in-game; that's just not a priority at this time.

- Hellequin
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fisheye on March 10, 2007, 08:36:22 AM
Regarding the original game:

Some undocumented evilness for you (which I bet you already know if you're a seasoned DL player):

Only the following potions are buyable (from alchemists or universities). This is 8 of 22 possible potions.
Eyeburn
Nox Aroma
T.bolt
Blk Cloud
Fleadust
Eater Water
Breath of Death
Sunburst

All the rest must be traded for. In particular Essence of Grace is an essential formula that you can't get for love or money unless you trade.

Of course there's no bloody hint or clue about this until mid-game when I started wondering where all the formulae are.... by then it's too bloody late to fix my low-charisma, low Spk-common alchemist who fails at trading formulae almost all the time. Oh well. I've got buttloads of religion and saints to reduce the handicap, at worst I'll save and reload until I get the goddamn trade I want.

Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fisheye on March 10, 2007, 08:48:40 AM
Some unverified formulae from the yahoo groups board.

% for success with alchemist:
leader charisma
+ (leader speak common-30)/3
+ highest alch/3

% for success for all interactions in universities excluding saintly
knowledge:
default 5%
+ leader perception/4
+ leader intelligence/4
+ leader speak latin/3
+ highest alch/4

% for success in universities for saintly knowledge:
default 5%
+ highest perception/4
+ highest intelligence/4
+ highest religious knowledge/4
+ highest speak latin/3
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on March 10, 2007, 11:48:14 AM
Thanks, Fisheye, although the altered underlying mechanics will mean that those'll be guidelines rather than facts in Schattenlander.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fisheye on March 10, 2007, 01:17:33 PM
After a few minutes of playing I've almost collected all the potions... saints are great for boosting interaction chances!
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Grud Henflair on March 15, 2007, 08:49:24 AM
Hey guys,
I think this mod concept is absolutely fantastic and I want to see it succeed a great deal.  Therefore I've started working on some background scenes for the town menus and such.  It's slow going since RL constantly intrudes, but I think things are looking okay so far.  The idea is to do them all in Blender and recreate the originals closely, but with a bit more artistic flair.  Here's the first one I've got rendered decently.  Please let me know what you think.

http://gpf.kicks-ass.net/images/church02.jpg (http://gpf.kicks-ass.net/images/church02.jpg)
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on March 15, 2007, 10:14:53 AM
Grud - that's a really neat idea, although if you want to contribute and can model in Blender, I have many, many more high-priority tasks that you could be helping with.  I'm serious; modelling is one of our biggest lacks at this time, even if you can't rig, but especially if you can.  Contact me via PM if you're interested.  You could be seriously expediting our v0.2 status with efforts targeted right...

That specific scene is nice, for instance, but the high contrast is actually a downside (because I'm planning to put them behind text) and the edges are still "computery sharp" which I know is one of the hardest things to get right.  You might try playing around with sculpture mode or something, to unsharpen those.  Or just post-process in Photoshop or something.

But I mean it.  If you can use Blender and want to see us succeed, PM me, and I can suggest any number of things we desperately need, whereas the original art really looks quite good (and not too low-res) once you fade it into a watermark.  (All of our modelling team, btw, is Blender users, so you're in good company compatibility-wise.)

- Hellequin
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Grud Henflair on March 15, 2007, 12:17:10 PM
Ah, sorry.  I did not check the welcome thread first and did not see that you had imported the old graphics with such success.  I will be happy to try my hand at whatever your most high priority modeling projects might be.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Fenril on March 29, 2007, 08:44:53 AM
Coming in a bit late...

I would just like to say if anyone needs someone to contribute with anything that is NOT techincal or scripting related, im around :P

Just a couple of questions...

So, do you intend to add any content/plot or quests that are not taken or derived from the original Darklands?

Do you intend to use the basic siege system used in other mods for the old robber baron quests?

Any plans for an equivalent to darklands rest menu?

Is it possible to create mine/dungeon like maps? A working reputation meter?

Sorry if most of this is already answered, a bit excited about this mod, and this thread is huge :P



Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Hellequin on March 29, 2007, 12:21:38 PM
Fenril - I do still have one big task which is nontechnical, and if you're willing to sit down and do it that would be awesome.  What I need someone to do is to take the original game, plus probably the character editor (can be obtained from www.darklands.net), and map out the parameter space of "day job" activities vs. skills vs. skill levels.  This would involve making a set of characters and putting them to work, noting how much they stand to make and in which professions, and then tinkering with their skills (and possibly stats?) to see at what values of which skills they (a) make more money doing the same job, and (b) change to a different job, presumably making more money there.

I'm assuming the final algorithms will look something like this:
"...as a scribe" - makes 5pf/day with Read/Write 10-19; 6pf/day with R/W 20-29; 7pf/day with R/W 30+.  With Int 20+, makes +1pf/day above these numbers.
That's an example; what I need is all the real numbers which would go into that formula.

It should probably only take an evening's intensive (and repetitive) work to map this out properly.  If you do that for me within (say) the next couple of weeks, that's the earliest I can see releasing v0.2, and armed with that it'll be child's play for me to code the same functionality into the mod.  Which will get you into the credits for sure.

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

As for your other questions:

I plan to entirely finish implementing the stuff that was in the original game, first, before I add anything particularly new - except the companions and their associated plotlines, which will be fresh quest-content of a sort.  Then I plan to add in a mix of completely new content, and also some very interesting content which is visible in the Darklands source but which was (as far as I can tell) never accessible in actual play.  Presumably it wasn't ready for primetime by the time they said "enough! ship it!".

I will be using the same menu structure that was in the original, for the raubritten and everything else based on that.  It puzzles me that people put so much priority on a siege system; it's just linked menus and setpiece fights, both of which I could at this point code almost in my sleep.  They just grow naturally out of the Darklands engine, no more or less complicated than the witchwoman's hut or the like.  So no, I won't be using the siege system you may have seen elsewhere; there's no need to do so.

At first, I had thought that I would use the "campsite" icons which - even in 0.1d - you will find periodically on the map (especially if you have high Perception and Woodwise in your party), as your only way to make camp.  I think I'm going to allow camping also from party dialogue, it just won't be in a really good (defensible, hidden, well-provisioned) site, and as such there will be penalties to alchemy and healing, and a higher risk rate gain, compared to the use of the found "good campsite" icons.  Paying for lodgings, even in a village, will be better yet, and cities are the best for these things.

If you play Storymod Ch1, you'll see an example of a dungeon-like map.  They're quite possible, they're just tricky and a lot of work.  Don't expect mines and the fortress monastery and so forth before about v0.4 or thereabouts.  Reputation, on the other hand, is comparatively easy - the biggest challenge is simply that it has very pervasive effects, lots of other code needs tweaking to take your rep into account.  That's probably a v0.3 release item.

Glad you're enjoying things so far!
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: bryce on April 29, 2007, 07:27:39 PM
You can get all that from the darklands cluebook.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Sir Mc Dugan on April 30, 2007, 06:40:50 PM
You can get all that from the darklands cluebook.

Nope, you can check by yourself: http://downloads.planetmirror.com/pub/replacementdocs/Darklands_-_Cluebook_-_PC.pdf (http://downloads.planetmirror.com/pub/replacementdocs/Darklands_-_Cluebook_-_PC.pdf)

 ::)
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Nalfein on May 14, 2007, 06:05:23 PM
I'm sorry if this has already been addressed, or if this is the wrong section, but whenever i go to a sword smith/Armour  it kicks me out and says " Cannot find mesh 'landersheck_polearm" (spelt wrong)
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Aeradir on June 09, 2007, 01:37:42 PM
Hello, I just finished trying the mod for the first time and I kinda liked it, but few questions:
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Galdred on June 15, 2007, 05:24:20 PM
Hello, I just finished trying the mod for the first time and I kinda liked it, but few questions:
  • How do I know which attributes to add in the beginning? If I want to be an alchemic or something what should I add?
  • Where do I get members in my party?
  • Why is fighting so hard?
Concerning character creation, your best bet would probably to consult gamefaqs for the original Darklands game: http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/file/564659/1897 (http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/file/564659/1897), or you can read the Darklands cluebook, but I don't remember where I downloaded it. Probably on Darklands.net or Abandonia.
In the original game, you needed to have all of your characters with high Str, high stamina, and at least one with a high score in each of the remaining stat:
Int => alchemy
Ag => artificer
Per => no special role (can be religious, as religion is not based on a stat)
Char => for interactions with NPC
However, I suppose Ag is critical now, unless the combat has been changed in the mod to the point weapon speed is no more determined by Ag.
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Galdred on June 16, 2007, 09:34:33 AM
I thinlk the loot should be wisiwyg too, as in the original Darklands, where you could loot everything the ennemy used, especially since the fights are much harder than in native MnB, and the equipment deteriorates at insane rate (If I recall, in Darklands, it didn't wear off that much because of fighting, the main cause was eater water potions).

The wild hunt seems to be occuring without being triggered by having dealt with a witch or a high sabbat before (and they indeed completely kicked my ass :p ).
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: ebak on August 29, 2007, 01:40:57 PM
There are a lot of new things coming up for M&B... sieges, RCM, etc.  If this mod pushes through, it may be worthwhile to take a look at what the community has which can be used in the mod
Title: Re: Content queries & Suggestions
Post by: Servitor on November 27, 2007, 06:37:40 AM
Lol?

This mod 's no longer work'n... Last post before yours in this tread was in June.