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Blades of Avernum Improvements in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
The corner walls are more drawn by the program itself from what I can see.
Yes, these are calculated by the game at run time, and are used both for movement and visual blockage. However, particularly for outdoor walls, what's behind them is usually Solid Stone floor, which will serve the same purpose. Also, if you want to make a third wallset, just copy the code in corescendata that creates the built-in wallsets.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Contest Idea in Blades of Avernum
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I've been kicking around an idea for a contest, and when I told Ephesos about it, he said that I should tell everyone else:

It has the working title of "Worst Tool for the Job", and the goal is to push BoA to its limits and create something of a sort it was never intended to for.

Possible examples of entries could include Pyrulen's work on making a Chess game, or having the party play capture-the-flag against a team of NPCs. The idea is to be as creative as possible, while barely sticking to practicality. I'm curious to know if anyone else would be interested in trying this at some point.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Porting between Mac and Windows in Blades of Avernum
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They are not; separate Windows and Mac versions must be made.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Spidweb engine language in General
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Very little I'd guess; there's almost nothing in the BoA Editor code that wouldn't be pure C.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
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Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Avernumscript Editor in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Sorry, version 1.0 is taking far longer than I intended; I'm working on writing the documentation for the program, an online reference for Avernumscript, and creating more helper functions for common code blocks. The documentation PDF is nearly done, and I'm thinking that most of the larger code helper functions will be pushed off to a later version, as I've realized that I need to gut the system by which they work anyway, and they are very time consuming to create. The online script reference is coming along, I now have 80 pages finished out of somewhat more than 500 needed. (Note that here a 'page' is a HTML page with information on one call or keyword, often faily short. Making them still takes time, though.) A preview / web-based versio of the reference is availible at my site; so far the Constants, Datatypes, Basic and IO, Basic Dialog Box, Advanced Dialog Box, and Animation and Sound categories are complete.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Making a Party (Unknown information?) in Blades of Avernum
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I have seen some people comment before on the unfairness toward Customs, but I hadn't before heard anyone identify any of the predefined bases as being particularly good for anything. I know I always just made all my characters from Custom before, but i guess the next time I'll take a bit closer look.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Man or God in General
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quote:
For every action their is an equal but opposite reaction.
As you've stated this here, it has very little meaning. What, physically speaking, is an 'action'? This phrase is usually used as a simple means of describing Newton's third law and the behavior of forces. It's rather a stretch to claim that it somehow describes creating universes. I really also don't think that you've actually made any progress in defending your earlier claim. Nothing you've argued seems to rule out either of SoT's suggested possibilities.

I don't find at all convincing your jump to saying that the universe must have been created by something 'infinite', either. First what does infinite mean in this context? Using that word to describe the universe we have used it to refer to physical extent, that is to say, to size. If that meaning is retained then you're arguing that whatever created the universe just had to be really, really big, which I'm guessing is not actually what you mean. Furthermore, why can't the universe have been created by something else of finite temporal/spacial extent? Say, the a big crunch of another universe, or something like that.

Lastly, it seems rather irrelevant that there are portions of the universe that science cannot yet explain. It's not as though science is done, a complete work that won't be expanded. The problems you cite are difficult ones, but there are thousands of people working on solving them. Even if they fail now or for the foreseeable future, what would that prove?

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Avernum II Major Quest Order in The Avernum Trilogy
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There is no forced order; they can all be done and everything will make sense in any order as far as I know. Probably the most usual order is to recover the crystal souls, destroy the portal, then kill Garzahd, as this ordering roughly goes from least to most difficult. The game also expects you to take this order to a very slight degree, the "You have completed a Major quest" screens include numbers as I recall. However, my brother just finished a game doing crystal souls, Garzahd, then the portal, without messing anything up.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Blades of Avernum Improvements in Blades of Avernum
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quote:
Okay. But all you really have to do is copy and paste. And this isn't using any other states is it? It's all contained in one single state, and managed with if calls.

Personally, I don't see this has hassle since all you have to do is press [Ctrl] + [c]...
The point isn't about the effort to write the script that does the matching, it's that this system severely restricts that capacity of a script to get input from the player. As an illustration, consider the 'numeric input' that is used in places like the HLPM. Even if the designer wanted to sacrifice all 750 allowed strings for the script on a single numerical input function, the function could still only recognize 750 distinct numbers. That hardly all the numbers there are and not even near all of the numbers that a script can handle, namely -32768 to 32767. While I fully realize that Jeff has no desire to do anything about this I can see two solutions to this, one of which would be easy to program and solve most of the difficulty, and one which might be tricky to program robustly, but spectacular in its generality compared to what we have now.

The first method would be to create a numeric input box that a script can display with a call. The box would look just like a string entry box, though possibly with a small reminder that it only accepts numbers. The game engine would take the string the user entered and convert it to and integer doing whatever was necessary; cutting out non-digit characters, assuming that a black string is zero, etc. In the script the call would then return the value the user entered. Easy to make and easy to use.

The second method would be to basically expose sscanf within scripts, creating a call that would take a string to scan, a format string, and a set of variables to store the results in. It would allow tremendous flexibility, but there would be a great deal of error handling to be done, and the Avernumscript engine isn't really suited to having calls with variable numbers of arguments.

Concerning graphic formats: I'm in two minds about this. On one hand it would be dead easy for Mac BoA to just read bmp files exactly like the Windows version. This would have the advantages that Windows wouldn't ruin Mac graphics files and Mac users wouldn't need weird editors just to get their graphic into the game. Also, resource forks are technically deprecated even on Mac OS.

On the other hand, the system of graphics in resource forks is wonderfully elegant, it allows many types of resources to coexist in the same file, and it allows nice opportunities for customization due to the cascading nature of multiple resource files. One feature that would be relatively simple to implement using resource fork graphics, for example, would have been for BoA to add the graphics for items with custom images to the save file containing the party, allowing them to be carried to any scenario. While it's not something we really need, it sure would have been awesome.

quote:
The First Aid in Avernum 4 was really useful, how unlike Blades of Avernum.
You mean to say that First Aid in Avernum 4 was fantastically broken, unlike in BoA, where it really does nothing until a designer chooses to work with it. I have no problem with that.

I do agree that it's unfortunate that we can't specify the wallset to be used for outdoor walls and cliffs, but if you really need it, just use ~12 terrain slots and make a permanent wallset of you own for the job.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Educational Segregation in General
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I have to say that I can see no reason that a proper degree of separation of students by ability can be bad. Take for example high school math classes: Some students begin their first year with ALgebra 1a, others with Geometry. This is better for both sets of students (assuming that they were properly sorted in the first place) as the ones taking Geometry already know the material of Algebra 1, while those in Algebra 1 would not be prepared for Geometry. (This also assumes that these two classes are taught in this order, which is the case at most school in my area, but I realize is not fundamentally necessary.) Likewise, why insist that all students in an elementary school must study the same math curriculum just because they are the same age. In my opinion it is far better to take the students who have already mastered a certain level of material and move them on to the next while those who are not yet ready should continue from where they are.

I'm certainly not saying that students should be moved ahead in all areas of study because they have somehow been determined to be 'smarter' than others, or that more resources should be devoted to such 'smarter' students. Rather, students need to be taught at the highest level at which they are prepared to learn. When I was in elementary school myself, an IQ test labeled me as 'smarter' than most of the other students. This got me put in a special 'gifted' class, which honestly was waste of time. I didn't learn anything in particular in the gifted class, and I still had to do the same math, science, english, and social studies as all of the other students in my grade. In the cases of english and social studies, I think this was appropriate, but I was desperately bored in 4th grade having to learn about adding pairs of two digit numbers when my parents had taught me long division while I was in 3rd grade. On the whole, I think that this kind of thing meant that I got very little out of elementary school, but the problem largely disappeared as I got to high school and college where I could take classes that were actually challenging for me.

Edit: I should learn to use the Shift key correctly.

[ Sunday, August 26, 2007 16:58: Message edited by: Niemand ]

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
BoA custom monsters in Blades of Avernum
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The editor and the game have the capability to 'adjust' graphics through combinations of simple operations, such as inverting the colors, swapping the red and green components, and tinting the graphic overall. THe point is that since these operations can be done by the game engine itself, there's no point in creating a separate graphic that is just, say, a color invert of another graphic, since both graphics can be used in the game by including only the original and making use of adjusts. Graphics should only be considered separate or new if they have content that cannot be created with simple adjusts.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse: Released in Blades of Avernum
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Thanks, Salmon. And see? You were helpful for a whole post and it didn't hurt a bit.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
BoA custom monsters in Blades of Avernum
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Step 1: Read the BoA Editor Docs which are bundled with the Editor download from Spiderweb. Sections 2.2 and 2.6 answer your question in particular.

Step 2: Write a data script for your scenario. You don't have to finish it before you can begin to use it, but you must write the definition for each custom object type before you can use it in the editor.

Step 3: Load your scenario in the editor, which should load the data from your data script. You can then place your custom creatures, floors, terrains, and items the same as the built in ones.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse: Released in Blades of Avernum
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Yes, two others have been released: See Ephesos' site for Darkness and Smoo's for Outpost Valley.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse: Released in Blades of Avernum
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Thanks Dikiyoba, I've fixed both of those issues now. The first was really odd because I know it worked before, I tested it. I must have mistakenly overwritten Whisper's memory cell value at some point.

Salmon, if you really want a scenario with great features, go play Dallerdin's scenario and stop spamming all the threads related to mine. :P

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse: Released in Blades of Avernum
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Quoting the download page, the readme, and the scenario file: "It is intended for parties ranging from about level 15 to level 20."

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse scenario question?!?!?! in Blades of Avernum
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This is covered in two parts of the readme, but I'll comment on it a bit here: Just sneak around and try to get into things. Don't hesitate too much to use force, but you can try to be sneaky as well. Some areas don't have many people around, so if you break into something or attack somebody you may be able to avoid most of the brigands finding out. Alternately, you could just kill everybody if you want.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse: Released in Blades of Avernum
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This scenario is now ready for public consumption. You can download it from its page.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
are these archived anywhere else? in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Try here. Kelandon seems to have gotten most of them posted there. Really though, it's not all that hard to do targeting. Just loop through the creatures in the current town and assess the visible, hostile ones according to some metric. Which ever one scores highest is chosen as the next target to attack.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A Visit to the Madhouse scenario question?!?!?! in Blades of Avernum
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Please, please, just wait until I I get the scenario released! The version you have, which no one should ever have had, has a fatal bug. If you wait until tomorrow, or maybe even later today, I will have had time to release the full, working version, which will be much more enjoyable to play.

As a note to whoever it was that released the contest entries prematurely, I am none too happy about my scenario be made publicly available with an out of date script that had been replaced sometime before. (And I note from a quick check that the copies of Lazarus' scenarios on that site are all clearly labeled 'Contest Release. Do not distribute.' This should really apply to all the scenarios there. )

[ Sunday, August 19, 2007 06:47: Message edited by: Niemand ]

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Avernumscript Editor in Blades of Avernum Editor
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BTW, Thralni, the beta version does include the auto-completion feature.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Avernumscript Editor in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Objective-C, although I don't see how Stuffit is keeping that knowledge from you.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Avernumscript Editor in Blades of Avernum Editor
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I dredge this topic up from the depths because I'm making good progress on the move toward the full version 1.0, and i wanted to ask for opinions on a bit of the user interface:

I've rearranged the dialog box coder window to make all 6 strings visible at the same time, as requested by Kelandon. There's a full size screenshot of the new layout here . Does this look better than the old, or does it look too large and unwieldy?

I'm also working on writing the documentation to go into the online script reference, but it's slow going.

Lastly, I think that I may have successfully finished adding something that rhymes with 'ellchecking'. :cool:

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A visit to the madhouse scenario question in Blades of Avernum
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This scenario has not yet been released. My advice: don't play it yet. It has no doubt been bundled with a bad script. In a week or so I hope to get it out properly, with a walkthrough, a readme and so forth.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Compiling the Editor on Windows in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Ok, some of these aren't bad, you'll just have to go through and fix them. Not having the code in front of me I can't handle them all, but I think I can point out what to do about a few:

- '#pragma once' is a nonstandard compiler directive to insure that a file is included only once to in other files that might otherwise include it via two different paths. The correct replacement is an
include guard .

- 'isdigit' and 'isalpha' should come from ctype.h, make sure that it is included in the files where the errors referring to these functions occur.

- concerning 'implicit conversion from `void *' ' I would try making sure to use an explict cast so that the type of the parameter matches the type expected by the function.

- Most of the rest stem from the compiler being confused by that INT_PTR CALLBACK thing. To be honest i don't know what that is; it looks like something that comes from windows.h, so you might take a look at this , it appears to explain some of this stuff.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00

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