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Messages - Claudius33

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News & Announcements / Finished Map, Coin Design & Combat Beta Status
« on: February 02, 2020, Sunday, 09:25 pm »
Really nice map. The coins are impressive too.

Map Editor / So, what are you people gonna mod ?
« on: November 01, 2019, Friday, 09:19 pm »
I do not plan to port any of my NWN2 modules.  More likely a new historical/fantasy adventure depending on the available assets and the tools power. Unless rjshae quickly ports his NWN2 modern placeables  :lol: and assets are rescalable (as in NWN2), no sci fi for now.

News & Announcements / Reactive Dialogues
« on: June 12, 2019, Wednesday, 09:22 pm »
NWN2 has an interesting feature regarding conversations. A link.
Coming back to the half orc example, the two player's final answers are the same whether the PC was a half orc or not. Looks like a copy/paste. With the NWN2 toolset you can have :

NPC (character is not half orc)
It was either ...
All right ...
Sorry ...

NPC (character is half  orc)
No offense ...
Link to All right
Link to Sorry ...
avoiding any copy/paste and related mistake.

As a Link could send anywhere in the conversation and be used from multiple different lines, it is quite a powerful feature.

Of course do not change your tool if you haven't planned or implemented such a feature yet.  Just a nice to have one  :|

News & Announcements / Reactive Dialogues
« on: June 04, 2019, Tuesday, 08:37 pm »

News & Announcements / Reactive Dialogues
« on: June 04, 2019, Tuesday, 05:54 pm »
Thanks for the update. Sounds promising. :D

From you first example I assume that it's up to the player to figure out that a half orc in the party may get a different answer, therefore should lead the conversation.

However from a modding point of view,  am I correct assuming that a script could scan the party composition, check for a half orc presence, thus providing the player with the half orc answer?

Gameplay Discussion / Fatigue and Exhaustion
« on: February 24, 2019, Sunday, 09:37 pm »
I agree with rjshae.

Avoid things that bring few to the gameplay and sooner or later becomes chores, such as getting back to the camp to rest using "teleportation", bartering with the main PC inventory active only, feeding the party every n hours, store keepers not available at night for the sake of realism (which ultimately just force the player to use the wait button) ...

News & Announcements / Combat System #4: AI for Turn-based Combat Systems
« on: February 20, 2019, Wednesday, 10:01 pm »
Behaviour can be categorized indeed :

- Berserkers such as fearless orcs rushing to the closest enemy.
- Assault fighters rushing toward archers and spellcasters.
- Archers targetting first spell casters and enemy archers, aiming fighters if they run closer.
- Solid fighters such as dwarves staying in front of weak spellcasters to protect them.
- Cunning people such as humans/elves using cover and  stealth targetting the weakest  enemy, knowing when to use a bow, when to go melee, when to cast a spell.
- Tacticians trying to flank the party, targetting isolated enemy and spellcasters.
- Cowards seeking for cover first.
- Lone wolves in hide surprising the enemy when he comes close.
- Erratic dudes such as goblins randomly fighting, sometimes cleverly most of the time stupidly, ...

Not only it provides diversity but the player would have to adapt.

For the sake of curiosity does the engine take into account lines of sight (LOS)? For instance can a character hide behind a wall, so be unseen from enemy shooters or spell casters?
Do obstacles like rocks, trees, fences provide cover and/or cut of LOS)? How is stealth taken into account? What about choke points such as bridges and doors?
This would add to the tactical depth.

However  keep  in mind than a too well designed AI may deter several players. So an easy/normal/hard/insane option would be welcomed.

Though much less sophisticated than Jagged Alliance 2 or Silent Storm, I found Expeditions Vikings' TB combat engine well done. No magic (replaced by special capabilities) but interesting.

Script System / Please avoid these mistakes with your UrWelt editor
« on: February 12, 2019, Tuesday, 08:52 pm »
Claudius: I think you meant gripes, but I otherwise understood what you meant.

Gripe of course, sorry.

Script System / Please avoid these mistakes with your UrWelt editor
« on: January 12, 2019, Saturday, 05:13 pm »
Things to keep in mind regarding Electron, NWN2 toolset :

It inherits from Bioware Aurora : 
  • Same scripting language, additional functions
    Same underlying data structure (2da, tlk ...)
It allows import of 3D models from Blender, etc. as the numerous placeable, special effects, sounds, music, clothes, weapons, animations ... provided by the community shows it.

Plug-ins can be added. I didn’t use them but many good plug-ins are available.

UI can be modified / extended.

As a builder I have achieved several large campaigns (>30 hours gameplay) using standard and community provided material.
A campaign is a set of interlinked modules. Global variables (available thru the whole campaign) can be carried by the PC and companions or stored as Global (actually in an xml file).

Companions can be controlled by the player, henchmen not (as NWN1). Companions are available thru the whole campaign, henchmen only in their module.
A party of 6 (PC + 5 companions) is perfectly manageable. I was able to let the player dynamically choose classes/races of companions while they retain their personality. So, the player could tailor his party.

I made solo campaigns only so I can’t comment the multiplayer side. I am a story teller, scripter and map designer and can’t really comment 3D modelling, sounds, etc.

Map editor: very powerful.  You can easily achieve nice looking areas, 3D, lights, water … However, the learning curve is rather steep, IMO. You can easily manage waypoints, doors, locking, creatures' positions and patrols and associate scripts to events of creatures, placeable, areas, modules such as OnDamage, on Death, on Heartbeat, onEnterConnexion, on Exit ...
Script language (C# syntax type): powerful, you can achieve many things, dynamical spawns of creatures, placeables, spell effects, etc. … You can have your own spells or events. Many standard scripts are provided.
Variables:  standard (byte, integer, float, string) + vector (1D) and structure. Variables can be attached to a creature, a module, an area, a placeable, a waypoint, a door, or an I point. They do the job.

Conversation editor: IMO the  strongest point. Neat presentation. Each node of convo can be collapsed or developed for a better view. Each line of the conversation can be conditioned (by one or many scripts combined by logical operators), each line can call one or many scripts. In addition, recorded voices, lips movements can be set if relevant. Moreover, the locutor and interlocutor can be set for each line, allowing companions or NPCs to take part in the convo in addition to the PC and the main locutor. The conversation editor is powerful enough to build cutscenes.
Electron can look overwhelming at first and the learning curve is rather steep. Despite all campaigns made, I am rather far from having used all its features. The embedded help (F1) is ok to start with though.

My main grip regarding Electron is that because of the underlying data structure things stored in a module (like scripts or conversations) are not dynamic. If you make a mistake and fix it, you have to restart from a save before entering the module the first time. Of course, there are bypasses such as console commands, but if Ceres can fully dissociate scripts, conversations and such from map layouts it would be great.

Another grip regarding the bodies. For whatever reasons races do not share the same bodies. Elves don’t share Human bodies. Weird, since the models are 3D. After all an elf is just a tall thin body with pointed ears … Dwarves are just small and stocky. Therefore, things like hair, clothes or armors must be duplicated for each body type … making more tedious and difficult the modding.  To avoid!

Last grip: the Bioware data structure legacy makes things complicated as each line of a 2DA file has a number. No gap allowed, so empty lines must be padded. Modders have to agree on ranges to avoid collisions (one takes rage 3000 to 3199 for his placeables …). Conflicts of 2DA files, scripts, tlk put in a hak (a kind of archive read by a module or campaign), in the infamous ‘override’ folder or in the campaign folder happen and are hard to trap especially for a builder when alerted by a player. Please Ceres make your data model like a dynamic SQL database even if you don’t use a SQL database. 

Nevertheless, despite the above grips and the steep learning curve, I have been able to build my stories with lively companions whose class/race can be choose by the player, a rather long gameplay (campaigns of 30+ hours), a setting that totally forgets the forgotten realms (sci-fi, historical).  So Electron is definitely a valuable toolset.

Hope it helps.

Script System / Please avoid these mistakes with your UrWelt editor
« on: January 08, 2019, Tuesday, 08:44 pm »
Give me a couple of days. RL constraints.

I remember NWscript to be powerful, but also incredibly limited in many ways (no script commands related to spells) and somewhat primitive. How is your chosen script language different?

Uh , are you kidding? There are 40+ script functions available in the NW2Script related to spells not even counting the ApplyEffectxxx,  Effectxxx ones and the fact that you can create your owns. I believe that most of these functions likely come from NWscript.
Incredibly limited? For instance?
Somewhat primitive? If it was, what explains the very rich offer of  NWN1 and NWN2 modules and campaigns? So primitive that NWN1/NWN2 original campaigns and extensions were built using it.

Well, that's not the place to argue about NWN and NWN2. I have read somewhere that Ceres uses AngelScript which looks powerful.

Script System / Please avoid these mistakes with your UrWelt editor
« on: November 19, 2018, Monday, 09:26 pm »
Want me to post the details of Sound Effects and Encounters from Aurora?
:D Please do, if you think it might help. All constructive feedback (including what you guys didn't like/were dissapointed about other editors) is welcome, so hopefully we avoid those shortcomings.

I can give you my feedback about Electron, the NWN2 Editor in the coming days if you wish.

Gameplay Discussion / Party member with story and dialogue ?
« on: November 17, 2018, Saturday, 04:30 pm »

Don't get me wrong. I backed the game because the team sounds very committed to me, willing to set  the game in a consistent world and providing a toolset for modders, not because I had very high expectations regarding the TB combat engine.
I'm old enough to know that enthusiastic features, very high expectations, self generated hopes soon encounter time and budget constraints.

Gameplay Discussion / Party member with story and dialogue ?
« on: November 17, 2018, Saturday, 11:10 am »
TB provides more tactictal depth than RTWP. Nothing beats the Jagged Alliance 2 and Silent Storm combat engines so far. When it comes to fantasy RPG, TB might prove boring because a player tends to always use the same feats, spells and capacities. Change should come from a variety of situations, the maps, the opponents, the weapons, the strong and weak points of the foes ... What XCOM 2 does very well.

RTWP provides more dynamic combat  and faster resolution but sometimes turns out to a mess especially when high levels spell casters are involved. Against bosses or during hard fights a player may have  to hit pause every second to guide his /her party.

Anyway both can prove pleasant to play if  the development of the story, characters, lore, overall background are appealling. I do not doubt that RB will offer it!

As for party composition, I  personnaly prefer full fleshed companions rather than bland followers. Others prefer to tailor their party. Ceres Game made a good call giving the two options.

In my NWN2 mods, companions are full fleshed and I give the choice to the player to select their classes/races among a range of choices.

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