Author Topic: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...  (Read 13897 times)

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« on: April 29, 2008, 12:58:48 AM »
and I'm beginning to reconsider whether the mod's dead, too.

First of all, I'm finally through my interminable job hunt and associated funk. I've found a new job -- in Boston, with a very well-established and reputable software company -- and start work Monday; but prior to this, I just wasn't able to make myself post again on these boards and "face the music" for having been gone so long. And the mod concept and setting have really changed, too -- as has M&B. Within a few days I'm going to have access again to a computer that can run it (the inability to run the game was one of the reasons I kind of disappeared), and I look forward to seeing how it's changed -- I started playing in .622, I was last able to play the first version that incorporated Battle for Sicily aspects, and it looks like things have changed enormously since then.

It also looks like most of what little I'd implemented with ASLOW is now unnecessary, and is done better within the game itself -- which suits me just fine, as I've fleshed out Honseli civilization much more thoroughly than it was when I started work on the mod, and one of the consequences of this fleshing out is that the mod's setting is invalidated -- it couldn't have happened in the way I was depicting it. Which is just as well; I was having all sorts of trouble figuring out how to make the story go anywhere -- having started from Fire Emblem 4 didn't help either. :) (A good game, but not remotely related to what I wanted to create. And at least for me, not having a clear idea what I'm working towards makes it a lot harder to work...)

So I want to start over, and do it right this time. But one of the parts of that is that I no longer dare to try to do it all myself -- trying to work on ASLOW in my spare time was a good part of what burned me out on my previous job (though working 60-70 hour weeks, every week, with no hope of comp time and little hope of an end to such weeks didn't help either :)), so this time, I want to be a designer-manager and scriptwriter, rather than a one-man band. (So I'll greatly appreciate offers from anyone who's interested. I'll probably want to teach myself art -- to be able to do concepts -- before seeking graphics help; but mechanics and script should come first. Note: most of the costume notes from earlier should still stand; I'll need to review them.)

I also want to draw up a full design document, before I write, or get anyone else to write, the project's first line of code. One part of this will be to work out stages of development, so that I'll know what to focus efforts on after getting to the equivalent of where I got stuck in my first attempt. Another part of it will be figuring out what, and how much, of the game as we have it will be usable here, and what won't; with how sophisticated the game has become, this new project could well turn out to be not "a new game with the same graphics engine" (as I originally envisioned ASLOW, back in .730 days), but "a couple of tweaks and a new script."

But I'm not sure that this is where I want to direct my efforts. I'm debating writing a novel set (very much) elsewhere in the Honseli "world" -- which would be a relatively more certain project than creating a game. And whatever I decide on, I'm going to be incommunicado for a couple of days, then starting a new job with all the challenges that that entails.

So, I won't be able to respond to responses to this posting for a few days at least (though I'll appreciate responses, and I will be sure to reply to them) -- and, I really shouldn't have posted this message this late at night anyways :), and I haven't read over the activity on this board since I most recently disappeared. But I'll see where this might go; I regret leaving everyone in the lurch so long -- and I look forward to seeing what's changed with Mount&Blade.

(All too much of this comes down to an unexpectedly long job hunt. I expected to find a new job in two or three months -- not in more than half a year...)

Chel

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 10:49:01 PM »
Hey, great to hear from you! Your project was always very interesting to me, and if you decide to work on it again I'd be curious to see what you do.

Congratulations on getting the good job! I know how hard (and long) that can be.

the_mango55

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 01:02:04 PM »
Great to hear it!

This was my absolute favorite mod for .808, glad it's making a comeback!

Offline Sibilance

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 02:08:34 AM »
Thanks for the heads-up. I'll love this mod forever, even if only for the presence of M&B's only dance troupe. As a dance instructor, waltzing into battle with my posse of Dancers throwing funky moves just sets my heart aflutter. I say, development must continue! :green:

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 06:38:39 PM »
But still... I don't know. The move process took me a _lot_ longer than expected (I had assumed I'd be able to write back on this in a week); and while I certainly want to develop (a relative of) this setting, I'm having large second thoughts about the whole concept of doing it through a game.

If I do try to reboot ASLOW, it will be as a "space opera" along the lines of Asimov's _Foundation_ trilogy. I'd compensate for the huge playability problems created by guns in M&B by using restricted fields of view along the lines of the "Dungeon Mod" (I forget its name -- the one where you're escaping from a dungeon, where almost all combat is a couple of people at a time, but more importantly where all combat is fought in corridors and the like inside buildings); the "world map" would be deep space with inter-party combat having an enormous emphasis on boarding actions; and planets would be implemented by some combination of menus and playable screens -- "menu towns" for navigation between points of interest, and modern-M&B movement within them.

To clarify why I'm going in this direction, I'll -- reluctantly -- give away a chunk (but certainly not all) of what I had intended to have going on. The game was to have occurred on a lost colony; the SF reimagining is because I realized there was no good way to have the colonists lose as much technology as they would have had to, to make the old setting work. But the oft-mentioned "mainstream Honseli" are not inhabitants of elsewhere in the same world, although I was trying to make people think that. :)

Before I make any decisions as to whether or not I want to pursue any version of ASLOW, I'm going to have to see what the new versions of M&B are capable of; and past that I'll have to make sure that I'll be able to recruit enough of a team to make this work. I can't do all of this by myself -- and I don't want to get the project part of the way to completion and then abandon it, again. I'm trying to decide whether I want to start developing this setting with ASLOW or with a novel (written elsewhere in the setting, though). The advantage of writing a book is that it can be done on one's own, and doesn't require a development team; this may make it my only option, but I'll see at some point in the future.

However, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to keep up my creative energies more effectively this way, if I go with ASLOW. Part of my writer's block was having to figure out how the Honseli would devolve into a normal, agrarian pre-industrial civilization; it wasn't pretty -- their preindustrial society was a very different sort, urban before it was industrial (due to limited space and enormous offshore fisheries), and thus an "infantry culture" like Greece. Trying to imagine a Honseli society developing peasantries and aristocracies was hideous, and I quickly found myself not really wanting to continue to think about it...

There was also the Fire Emblem 4 problem -- that I never really did remove the FE4 elements from the mod adequately, no matter how far I'd changed it in other areas. That's where Sibilance's favorite unit tree came from -- along with the geography, the ideosyncratic Aimarine units, the horse archers in forests, the horror known as Lun, and the larger horror known as Sivas (which needs a rename urgently; I've developed the Honseli language a lot further than it had been when I started the mod, so I won't be raiding Eastern European maps for place-names again) -- but it started messing up my plot development practically as soon as I wanted to start developing the plot. That's another mistake I'll avoid in the future -- if, again, I do anything more with this.

But either way, I don't think I'll come to a conclusion just yet. I'll probably make up my mind in a few weeks, once I've had time to explore the new M&B version and give the whole question more thought; I'll try to watch this space until then, though.

(Anyone inclined to volunteer in advance would do a lot to sway me towards implementing ASLOW again instead of writing a novel, by the way... :))

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 11:25:10 AM »
Well, no response, so I guess the rest of the world is as guarded as I am on the subject. M&B 0.952 is incredible, but it would be an extremely large undertaking to mod, especially in the direction I mentioned going; and with any programming, especially with a mod, there's a very high risk that one's effort will be lost, will never reach a form in which it can accomplish anything or be used effectively.

That risk isn't as high when you're developing a setting's languages (which I've been doing recently), or writing a novel; so I've decided to call ASLOW off, basically, unless something unusual comes up. I really hoped that this would work; it turns out it didn't, but I've learned a lot in the process, and I enjoyed it to an extent -- especially early on. I wish the project could have worked, but it just can't at the moment; but with the least luck, the world hasn't heard the last of me -- even though it may be some time before I'm heard from again...

Servitor

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 12:24:01 PM »
Wow, Wow. Slow down.

You posted!  :o

Edit: Okay. Now that was a crap load of text, and I forgot most of it already. I am now going to read it again slowly and reply on whatever conclusions you made. Today or tomorrow is what I don't know. I have got so many firefox tabs open!  :shock:

Basicly, you would like to make an SF mod, but are not sure if you want to drop the ASLOW project? Or am I reading it all wrong and are you not planning on doing anything. Yet?



Quote
so I've decided to call ASLOW off
Damn.
Quote
even though it may be some time before I'm heard from again...
Fuck.



Okay, This pretty much ruined the rest of today, lucky that it's 20:51 here. Almost time for me to sleep.

I wish you good luck, In whatever you are going to do!  :o

Servitor
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 12:53:08 PM by Servitor »

Riptokus

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 05:28:15 PM »
If the population drops low enough, so too does the technology level. If only a band of maybe 20 live, Who among them actually knows how to build a power plant? Who among them even knows the principles behind generation of electricity?

It is not unrealistic to get a group of humans stranded on another planet with no technology. You can even do it giving them the best base possible. Just make sure the base population is low enough.

Even restricting it to a few hundred would cause a backslide to a pre-electric level pretty quickly. A Single plague in modern times could, in theory, send humanity back to the stone age.

After all, think of how many processes everything involved in a gallon of milk has to go through before it ends up in your refrigerator.

Just a few elements that are involved to keep a typical dairy running in modern times.
-Power Plants
-Chemical Factories
-Oil Refineries
-Oil Wells
-Fabrication Shops
-Rubber Farmers
-Automotive Factories

That requires a lot of workers to get it running. Without them all, milk processing and transport would break down and have to change to a different form. Without anything that requires large amount of workers to operate somewhere in the line, you loose any ability to do anything except what they did at a megalithic state. You STILL need large amounts of people to even maintain medieval technology. Think about the Iron works of the times. People need to eat, and how do they provide for themselves when they are mining, or refining, or forging? Only by trading what they have done for the food with the people who aren't doing that.


So you want a dramatic drop in technology, kill off a significant portion of the population. Not much even a smart guy can do to rebuild society when 90% of his waking moments are dedicated to farming.

Strent

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008, 11:15:04 PM »
i dint want to seems to be trying to convince you for something but..... you know that was the first mod i try ed and .... I'm getting really sad to see that you leave it.... you cant just try to port it , correct some bugs and add some new stuff like vassals , buying war parties and things like that if you ask some help i new but IL could do my best please :(

Riptokus

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 08:59:33 AM »
Come on man, Resume this MOD!

It was the one I liked the most. M&B is done. RESUME!!!

Strent

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 05:08:35 PM »
port it and make it the best mod ever made we know you can

Servitor

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Re: Believe it or not, I'm not dead...
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2009, 08:41:42 PM »
I've decided to call ASLOW off, basically, unless something unusual comes up.