Ideas for how to work around design options

AuthorTopic: Ideas for how to work around design options
Infiltrator
Member # 1886
Profile #0
I'm not a game or scenario designer myself, but I still think about the technical details that go into the games I play. So, what I'm doing here is (hopefully) starting up a string where ideas can be posted. This won't be for plot or storylines, because I'm not very good at that; this is only for the technical aspects and scriptings.

My first idea: How to allow sequels, or sequential scenarios where what you do in one will affect the next one.

When players beat one part, have an item put into their inventory. This item will either hold all the codes they will need to enter; or, will itself be part of a scripted event so that the scenario looks at the item and determines what has been done. If the scenario checks the item for what needs to be set up, then you can have the scenario make the appropriate adjustments and then remove the item so that players don't need to keep dragging "special" items all over and cluttering up their inventory.

Let me know what you think, and post your own ideas as well. Yeah, I know, this is really early, but why not come up with plans now for what we know Mr. Vogel plans on leaving out of the game.

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Posts: 505 | Registered: Saturday, September 14 2002 07:00
Shaper
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I don't think that would work. In BoE, special classes were striped from items when the party left a scenario, just in case an item in another scenario used the same class. He's probably going to do the same thing in BoA.

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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
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A less elegant solution would be to prompt the party for passwords given out in the first scenario at certain points when critical events were completed. There's really no good way to work that into the scenario, but it does get the job done.

—Alorael, who actually isn't certain if passwords will be available in BoA. They were there in BoE, but they didn't appear anywhere in the Avernum games.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
Profile #3
Yeah. It would suck if Jeff left that out of the engine, though I agree with alorael that the precedent seems more in favor of leaving passwords out. Maybe he could stretch the engine a bit in that regard. Anyway, vis a vis sequential scenarios, it might work (I'm not sure about the new engine) to just check for item number.

modnaR finds himself wondering why it's so necessary to make people complete the first scenario in the first place. Anyone who genuinely cares about plot will do it anyway.

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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 995
Profile #4
well, certainly you could have a character come up and discuss things with the player about how they finished the previous scenario, and then give them appropriate items and set appropriate stuff-done flags. it would not be "foolproof" in that anyone could try the second scenario as if they had finished the first scenario in any way possible... but, then, there is no sane reason to try to force people to only play one way. this is why there is a character editor and save games. scenarios exist for the fun of the players, and, for example, if I were writing a sequel to something like geneforge and wanted to take into account how the previous game ended, it would be limiting the player's fun to "force" them to keep a bad ending. besides, any security you came up with could be circumvented.

so just ask them how the last game ended, and give them the appropriate key or something.
Posts: 206 | Registered: Thursday, April 18 2002 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 1886
Profile #5
Actually, my idea was to have an item put into their inventory, and the item would denote which specific things happened (as modnaR said). However, my idea was concerning a scenario where not only would the specific ending information be noted, but also whether thay had completed a specific task that wouldn't have affected the ending of the first scenario, but might affect the plot in the second or even third scenario. Then the problem is: is that you either have to make a whole lot of items just to denote certain things (if you have a bunch of different events that carry over), or make it so that there is an item for each event. Both methods will have problems if there are too many things carried over though, either in terms of how many new items you have to make to cover all possibilities, or the player must decide what in his inventory can be replaced easily. Of course you could also make the item a peice of equipment that the characters can wear too, so that it doesn't just sit there taking up space.

Also I wouldn't "force" players to take a "bad ending," I'm thinking more in terms of, "Well this didn't get done last time, so now you have to decide what to do about it this time." Like picking up a special item, except now everything is more difficult than it was last time and more time consuming, due to the fact that the bad guys have had a chance to reinforce the traps and sentries. Alternatively, it could also be made so that the task became easier, due to the fact that units were pulled off that location to reinforce another location. So it wouldn't be trapping a player into having to say, rebuild the society of the shapers after a cataclysmic war. Not unless you were a really cruel designer that is.

[ Monday, November 18, 2002 20:15: Message edited by: NicolBolas ]

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Posts: 505 | Registered: Saturday, September 14 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
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In my opinion, for scenarios with sequels there should only be one ending. That way you can pick up where you left off in the other one. I'm not a big fan of forcing someone to complete an earlier scenario to enjoy a later one. If they want to play the series out of order, that's their prerogative. I played Alcritas' scenarios out of order, unknowingly at first. Just include somewhere in the readme that the scenario is a sequel and that you should have completed the first to understand this one.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
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I know this may be a really radical idea, but I feel it deserves airtime: how about you just make one scenario? It seems that if you are this concerned about making scenarios that hinge on the actions you took last time, it would be easier to just make one big scenario with multiple chapters. That's what I'm planning to do with Ominous Tides (remember Ominous tides? it won't be as bad this time. And I'll actually do all 4 chapters this time. I hope).

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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 1886
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I'm no designer, but I saw several people mention wanting ways to make scenarios that could affect eachother. I personally prefer one scenario per story.

I made this topic for people to exchange ideas about how to work around known limitations in Blades of Avernum. Not just the multiple scenarios.

If anyone has any other ideas about ways to work around any limitations that are expected, please, feel free to post them.

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Posts: 505 | Registered: Saturday, September 14 2002 07:00
Infiltrator
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It'd probably be easier to think of things like this when BoA comes out, because we'll know for sure the limitations and what the scripting allows

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Posts: 530 | Registered: Sunday, September 1 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
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Limitation 1: No custom skills.

Solution: Create special items that act as special skills (sling use, leadership/charisma, etc.). When you gain a level in that skill, all of the items in your inventory that are of that type are upgraded a level. For leadership, you can just check that in conversations and make more options appear depending on your leadership skill.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
BoE Posse
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I also dislike forcing players to play earlier scenarios. I went out of my way to make sure the player didn't have to play Isle of Boredom to play Revenge, mainly because Isle of Boredom isn't exactly my best work and I can't blame anyone who doesn't enjoy it.

Special Spells: As far as I can tell, there won't be usuable special items in BoA. So, I think actual items (say, spellbooks) would be a good way to simulate spells, since they will be able to call scripts in BoA.

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Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sunday, October 7 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
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Yeah, that and crystals (to simulate spellshards). Anyway, drakefyre's idea sounds like a good one, but more limited than his post seems to imply. Using it for leadership and less tangible skills works well, but you run up against the problem of single person skills. As far as I'm aware, the special items will only be able to affect the whole party on a long term basis, so weapon augmentation skills probably wouldn't work.

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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
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Well, you'd make it so that the party is always trained as a whole, or that the skill is like Arcane Lore and only the total for the party matters.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
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Yeah. It could work like the drake in Avernum 2 that teaches the whole party magery. Still, all in all I'd say the idea is much more useful and will likely be much more effective for a leadership/arcane lore type skill.

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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Infiltrator
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Hmm I actually made a topic that was viewed as at least somewhat intelligent. If it weren't for the fact that I hate cutesy things, I'd say it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. So instead, it gave me a body throbbing, thrash metal, sort of YEAH! rush. :)

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Posts: 505 | Registered: Saturday, September 14 2002 07:00