Wheel of Time

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AuthorTopic: Wheel of Time
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The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is great. A nice book series for ever fantasy fan, with an interesting storyline with wonderful descriptions and gripping plot changes, all packaged with some of the best characters every conceived by mankind.

A little like worship? What can I say, it's my second favorite book series of all time (the first being the Ender's Game series and spinoffs by Orson Scott Card).

It may also become the most ambitious scenario attempt ever dreamed up by any scenario creator since the days of BoE and my little 10-year-old brain (which, sadly, failed to create each and every one of those majestic scenarios).

I'm going to attempt to recreate the first book of the WoT series, The Eye of the World. If anybody is already attempting this, better tell me now (as I obviously don't know about it).

For anyone not familiar with the series, you should know this is hugely ambitious because:

1. The book is absolutely wonderful. Recreating it in it's full splendor will be hard, complicated, and time-consuming (assuming it is even possible).

2. The book is long. LONG. I think the first one is something like 800 pages, but I could be wrong. It might be 1000.

3. The series is very popular, and many people will play the scenario upon completion. And surely every single one will have some complaint or another ("It is different from the book at this part..." "I don't like how you portrayed..." etc.)

4. If the first one is completed and turns out alright, everyone will expect the next book to be turned into a scenario. And the next. And so on. With each book being more complex than the last, it will turn into a scripting nightmare. Not to mention there are now 10 (11 books in October! yay!) books, and each is 800+ pages or so.

With all this in mind, I'm still going for it. But to avoid the fate of so many of my other grand ideas (that fate being left incomplete for all time and eternity), I'm asking for help.

I'm looking for a gifted artist or two with experience (or desire to gain experience) with the book series, and experience making BoA scenarios. I need a few talented script writers (as I am not the best) who also have experience with the books. And I'm sure at some point I'll need to recruit a legion of testors and other people who will check for accuracy with the book. But that is for later.

If you're interested, drop a note. At this point, I don't want/need/desire in any way suggestions of how to do the scenario, nor comments on legal issues (I'll deal with that once I discover if I can even attempt this). I only want to know if there's anybody out there who is willing and capable of helping, as I can't do this myself. I'm also interested to hear from WoT fans, regarding whether this is possible (or even desireable).

So, untell I check this tomorrow, what do you think?

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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I have read only the Eye of the World. It started promisingly, with the feel of an almost confusingly massive epic. Unfortunately, it lost the epic feel somewhere along the line and became just confusingly massive. Robert Jordan appears to have a small problem with staying concise - not with abolishing detail (Tolkien wrote detailed descriptions, and it worked well), but with keeping the plot uncluttered.

I'd have read the other books to get a better picture, but I've never had the time since.

[ Saturday, August 06, 2005 11:50: Message edited by: Aranfoolcaytar ]

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
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Ambition is best left for second or third scenarios. Get an easier one under your belt first.

Especially if you want to do as much engine work as a WoT scenario would need.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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I started reading one of those books and, although the plot seemed like it would be good, my attention was soon elsewhere and I just couldn't read the book as it was quite boring. If done correctly however, these could become brilliant scenarios.
Posts: 776 | Registered: Friday, July 4 2003 07:00
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That is one of the odd little things about me. I've got experience with scenario building, I've just never finished anything. So while technically this is my "first scenario", it really isn't. This is the reason for my asking for help; I want to make sure it gets completed this time. Plus, it requires artwork (which I simply can't do with any talent at all).

The book series itself has what I'd consider 'scattered plot'. aka not very refined in its original conception, kind of taking on a life of it's own along the way. That's why its so complex (and occasionally confusing). But the first book really isn't a good indication of the entire series; having read them all, I can try and modify the first one in the scenario form, explaining things a bit better to prevent confusion. And considering this is a scenario, it will lack some of the descriptions from the original, good or bad. It simply isn't possible to have that many descriptions; the player would just get annoyed with all the reading if you tried. Only what is useful in setting the mood for things would be there.

The engine work wouldn't be too intense for the first one... well, at least not compared to what would be necessary for the latter novels. The first book is fairly uncomplicated in some important ways (main characters are mostly together, not too much dependance on the Source yet, etc.). I won't argue about whether it would take some work though, just not as much as any sequel would need.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Master Xan:

That is one of the odd little things about me. I've got experience with scenario building, I've just never finished anything. So while technically this is my "first scenario", it really isn't.
No, it really is. There's a big difference between having worked with the editor a lot and having produced a finished product. But eh. I went pretty big-scale with my first effort, and it seems to have done all right, so it can be done.

I missed this on the first read-through: you're requesting graphic artists and scripters? This will never happen. Do a search in the BoA forum on "collaboration" or "collaborative," and you'll get the results of previous requests like this.

Some graphical artists (Luz, ADoS) have made a few graphics upon request before, if you can specify exactly what you need, and a few scripters (me) have made scripts upon request before, if you can specify exactly what you need. But plan on doing the bulk of the work yourself.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
The Establishment
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My advice to aspiring scenario designers is to start out small. Those who do not will end up with something like Spy's Quest for BoE.

The reason: As you design and gain experience, your skills continuously improve, and quite rapidly such that the things later on are so much better than the beginning that it makes it look laughable. The unfortunate fact is that no one will see the better parts later on because of the amateur parts at the beginning.

So start out small and get some experience in creating a beginning, middle, and end. Also, there is much to be said about experience of releasing and supporting a scenario.

As far as asking people to script and do your work for you, I will say that such attempts are rather historically unsuccessful. Taking on scenario design is challenging, thankless work. We are more than happy to help with specific questions, however. I wish you best of luck.

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

No, it really is. There's a big difference between having worked with the editor a lot and having produced a finished product. But eh. I went pretty big-scale with my first effort, and it seems to have done all right, so it can be done.
Have you forgotten that Northern Kingdom 0: Prologue ever happened or something? :P

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
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Well, if I couldn't remember a word of NK0P when I was making Bahs, it probably doesn't matter. But that's true, I had made a BoE scenario and a BoA utility scenario before I made my first real BoA scenario.

Anyway, the point remains.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Master
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A few things:

1) I think its best to finish what you were doing first. I myself am bussy with my first scenario. Its going alright until now, which brings me at the second point.

2) Without the help of Kelandon and Thury, ef and some others, i wouldn't have come so far, and I could probably thank them forever for helping me out, even in the nastiest situations I encountered.

3) With artwork, do you mean drawing creatures and terrain and floors and the like? if yes, I would love to help you with that. i already made some creatures myself. I can't show them here, but if you want, I'll send you two monsters I draw myself, which are my favorite self-drawn monsters

That's about what i wanted to say, but I can assure you, I myself am not a hero with scripting.

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
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First of all, you should try to finish a smaller scenario and not rely on others to finish it for you. If you think you can't finish something in a smaller scale, why do you think you can finish something with such a large scale?
I must say that would be an interesting project, but with such a scale, you'll have to face it as work, hard work, not just a little hobby.

Anyway, just in case you start the project, you can use the Beta Testing Center. See my signature.

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Visit the Blades of Avernum Center
and the Beta Testing Center

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
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I've never based a scenario on something else before, so while it will be larger in scale, I don't have to make up all the material myself. In addition, I really like the series, and that intrest should help carry me through.

I had hoped to form something of a development group, with two or three members to create the scenario. I get the distinct impression it either hasn't been done, or very rarely, which is bad because I know right now I'm not capable of producing the amount of time to work on the scenario, much less willing to forgo that much of my already limited social life. Thus the desire for a team, not for specific things but as genuine co-authors. I suppose I could do this with graphics, but I simply don't have the resources to make the rest of the scenario myself.

Thoughts on this? (I'm guessing you're going to tell me 'good luck, but no'. I can still hope though...)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
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To paraphrase Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, although you'd think that two people working on a story would make the story take half as much time and effort to write, it really takes twice as much time and effort.

If you can't put in the time to get it done, don't expect it to get done. Collaborations have never worked out well in Blades before.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Triad Mage
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Unless both people live in the same house and can work on it together at the same time.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
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Although I haven't read the book you're talking about, if it really is that long and complicated, I would suggest doing it in smaller sections. As in, the first part of the book is a beginning party scenario, the next is a scenario for higher levels, etc. That way, it becomes much more manageable, and even if you don't finish the entire massive project, you still have a playable scenario or two, and you still have continuity.
Posts: 14 | Registered: Saturday, March 26 2005 08:00
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Just in the assumption that you actually did complete the first book, the Eye of the World, there are eleven more after. Something to think about I suppose, seeing as that would be a nearly inhuman effort to make them in under a few years. Good luck anyway.

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Posts: 85 | Registered: Wednesday, July 14 2004 07:00
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Actually, there are only 10 more after the first book (I'm excluding the prequel, which deals with Rand's birth/discovery). And no way am I ever even going to pretend to think that I could do all of them... if for no other reason that by the time I did, nobody would still be playing BoA as a serious game (it'll be one of those sweet old classics you always go back to playing occassionally).

Here's my current thoughts on how I might complete the first book... maybe if I open up that can, I'll get ideas (which will then determine if I undertake the project at all or not).

Anywho, I'll provide a party to use. While not quite as fun, it makes more sense considering that the scenario is based on a book, and you will be one of it's main characters. At some point, I'd have to pick one of those characters to be your main character, a one-person party. The scenario would than be built around that person's abilities and perspective. This will cut out parts of the book, as the player won't have access to what's going on in multiple character's lives at the same time. Hopefully, this can be accomplished without confusing the player or loosing plot information.

I don't remember exactly, but I think the first book has several of the main characters together from the beginning to the end (or close enough). Thus, I could add characters to the player's party through NPCs joining, eliminating the one-person party and opening up more interesting encounters possibilities. Other main characters would have to make periodic appearances as NPCs, and this is one thing I'm worried about. Handling the NPCs in battle, making them appear and disappear properly, having them powerful enough to survive battles without having to protect them constantly, but weak enough to actually be realistic.

Add to that the fact that none of the "main" characters can die, the scenario can only really have one good ending (to match the book), the magic system would need to be drastically different (and not used much for the first book), plus you're using a party I made, and you start to get more of a scripted scenario, with too little freedom to be fun.

Another way I could do it would be to make the party be one of the secondary characters, somebody that is mentioned in the books but not focused on. This allows much more freedom; depending on the choice of characters, the player can make his/her own party. Without having to strictly follow the book, the encounters will have a less scripted feel, be more interesting for those who have already read the books, and allow for much less work on the NPCs appearing in battles.

Unfortunately, there are still drawbacks. Almost any secondary character I choose will have no access to "magic", or very restricted access. There simply aren't that many people who can use the Source from the books that aren't main characters; either it's Rand, or a member of the factions at war with each other. Having Aes Sedai in the party would be... difficult to justify unless they were the leaders, making for limited possibilities on quests because of their nature and having to answer to higher powers (too much micromanagement for good adventuring, I think). Plus, then you'd automatically have a high-level character in the party, since Aes Sedai are all kept at the tower until they are fully trained. Talk about throwing a kink into battles! And of course having a male member using the Source presents all kinds of problems (will he go mad? Is he evil? Will Aes Sedai try and hunt him down?). In addition, without following the book, I'd have to create much more of my own material; plot, storyline, quests, towns, etc.

Which do you think is better? Which is more likely to be doable? And is there another way to present this that would be easier to create, or more fun to play?

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
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The more you talk about this, the less excited about it I am. Why not just make a scenario set in the WoT universe but not following Rand and co.? It might be fun to play as a rank-and-file Asha'man or something.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Master
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Although I really think that the more you tell us about what you're going to do, the less excited (As Kelandon said) we get, I'll still help you with graphics. Now there are a few problems.
1) You'll have to tell me EXACTLY and I mean EXACTLY what you want. describe every detail you can think of.
2) I myself don't know exactly if I woud have enpugh time to deal with your graphics and my own scenario. This resulting in a major delay with your graphics.
3) In about a week (14th of august) I'm going on camp for a week, after that school begins. So I probably wouldn't have much time anyway.

I think you should do whatever you want to and you find more interesting. maybe we'll say you should do this and this and this, resulting in that you probably would be disappointed because you'd rather do it differently. You'll start and certainly won't finish, as you don't think it interesting.

One last thing. if you're so unexperienced with scripting, then how the hell do you think you're going to make a totally different magic system!?

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Agent
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The Wheel of time...

My gods, and I thought I was ambitious in my first scenario...

I had thought about doing this, or doing Lord of the Rings or something, but the point is that they are just WAY too big. It would take years to make, and I just wasn't patient enough. I managed to get the first town done of LOTR and WoT before I deleted both of them out of frustration.

Eventually you'll probably get bored with it, and then most people just ditch the idea (as I mentioned above). Anyway, if you do make Book 1, you'll have to make the rest, or get other people to do so.

Also, an idea, if you are going to do it: (don't know if you'll like it or not, but they)

Make different sides to the story. All it would need is a simple call in the beginning of the scenario, so that you receive different specials and dialogue events as you progress in the game.
eg: if you play as Rand and such, SDF 1,100 is set to 1, If you play as Lan, SDF 1,100 is set to two. Or you could use this from the point of the party leader, etc. If the party leader is called Lan, blah blah blah.

Also using a call to force the player into using your custom party might be a good idea, but it's up to you.

So yeah, good luck with your ideas, and I hope I'll get to play the finished result, even if it's not totally the best...

- Archmagus Micael

[ Monday, August 08, 2005 03:22: Message edited by: Archmagus Micael ]

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"You dare Trifle with Avernum?" ~ Erika the Archmage
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My Scenarios:
Undead Valley : A small Undead problem, what could possibly go wrong?
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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
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More thinking on how I might do this has resulted in new, and I think better, ideas.

I can't really do much with side characters set in the events of the first book. Everything I've been thinking about up to this point has been "first book this" and "first book that". Why the heck do I need to do anything with the first book?

I figured that I could do something fun with Bridgette's husband. Or rather, the guy she always ends up with. In one of the books, it mentions that he's reborn, aka put back into life. What if I go with a storyline in which he was pulled out, not spun out, as what happened to Bridgette later on? Alone, confused, and in the wrong time period our hero wanders the lands... sounds like a sci fi TV series. But not necessarily bad.

I also like the idea of doing something based on the Asha'man. The freedom to adventure, with more vague directives than the White Towers explicate orders. Plenty of magic to use, and lots of possibilities for additional party members. It may even be possible to allow the player to make their own party. Plus, with either this or the last idea, I can make the scenario size however I want (thus much smaller, to help me finish it) because I don't have to follow the book even a little bit. Just so long as it's in the same universe.

Problem being, I'd need help with rebuilding the Asha'man magic system. That leaves me with the idea for whats-his-name being pulled out of TAR.

I could also do something with one of Perrin's followers, that is after he returns and builds an army, I could do something with a few of his soldiers. Or, something with a few of Mat's intensely loyal soldiers. I even thought of something to do with the white cloaks, maybe a small group of their soldiers coming to the realization that what they're doing isn't quite so high holy as their superiors think... these ideas have the benifit of no magic system rebuilding, but also the downside of no magic system rebuilt for the player to experiment with. But, maybe one of these first, followed by an Asha'man scenario with the proper magic system?

New thoughts on these ideas?

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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Yes, any of these, as long as it's your own story (set within WoT, but your own story) and small enough that you stand some chance of finishing.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Warrior
Member # 4710
Profile #22
I was considering both the prequel, New Spring, and Knife of Dreams, which comes out on October 11th.

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Life is short. Use a Mac.
Posts: 85 | Registered: Wednesday, July 14 2004 07:00
Apprentice
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Well, now I'm glad I haven't done more than begin work on the story for this project yet. Although I fully intend to make the scenario, it will have to wait until I get things in real life sorted out. Right now, staying sane is my number one priority.

Consider this project on hold.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Lifecrafter
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Now why would you want to stay sane, of all things? :P

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Posts: 834 | Registered: Thursday, July 8 2004 07:00

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