The Future of Blades of Avernum

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AuthorTopic: The Future of Blades of Avernum
Lifecrafter
Member # 6193
Profile Homepage #25
What *i's suggestion seems to come down to is the 3D editor, dialog editor, and an Averscript editor all combined in one package. We have two of the three, and an Averscript editor would just be a more extensive version of the dialog editor (says the person with no programming experience.) Even if they all remained seperate programs, at least its a start.

Another gaping problem- the BoA editor doesn't even come with the game! I have to wonder how many BoE designers opened up the editor on a whim, and next thing they knew found themselves designing the next epic (OK maybe not an epic, but you get the picture.) Nobody goes online and downloads a 5 meg file on a whim- and this doesn't even factor in the hassle of discovering how crappy the default editor is, subsequently downloading the 3D editor, learning to script, the list goes on and on. Jeff should include the 3D editor in the download, or if this could lead to problems, the default editor.

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Posts: 900 | Registered: Monday, August 8 2005 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #26
As I recall, it was several months before there were any good third-party scenarios out for BoE. Riddle of the Spheres was the one early outlier, and it got a lot of acclaim for (essentially) not being sucky. But it took a long time before there were 30 passable scenarios, let alone good ones, on those lists. I could be wrong, but I've always had the impression (based on the flurry of activity) that BoE sold fine from the very beginning.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #27
Then there was Islands of the Wheel also, which came out fairly early. I recall within the first two weeks there were already two scenarios: Island Visitors and Arena of Death. Both sucked, but they were there. Point being, almost instantaneously we had a fairly large number of user scenarios. Keep in mind standards were a lot lower back then.

Blades of Avernum, on the other hand, has only 22 scenarios total on the Spiderweb tables. We're now almost three years from the release, that's a production rate of less than 10 per year.

I agree on the suggestion of packaging the Editor with the game, or at least making it very apparent on the download page rather than making users go to the scenario workshop, whose link is an obscure one near the bottom of the page.

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #28
I had pretty high hopes for the Remake project, but it seems to have been a phenomenal flop. I wish I could learn to code and just implement a few simple changes myself, but I'm not sure that's at all possible.

You know what would be neat? An added feature in the BoA editor that, when you place a special encounter rectangle, after you specify the number of the state that it should call, pulls up a pre-formatted text-editing box that can be saved directly to the town script as the appropriately numbered state. This couldn't be too hard, and it would partly demystify the scripting process.

And there's a reason why my links page has five links to pages inside Spiderweb; it's not easy to find what you need for BoA on Spiderweb through the Spiderweb site.

[ Saturday, December 09, 2006 17:52: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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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
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #29
I have an idea about the source code release for BoA. May or may not work, but I'll just put it out there. Could it just be sent out to a few designers who've already bought the game, and who know what they're doing? If that worked out, maybe they could iron out the bugs. It's most likely an arduous, unpaid, and nearly thankless process, but then again, so is third party scenario design itself. :P

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My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #30
quote:
Originally written by Nemesis:

Could it just be sent out to a few designers who've already bought the game, and who know what they're doing?
Now I'm not saying that the members of this community aren't trustworthy, but if Jeff tried that, I predict the source would be leaked within days.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #31
I never really heard alot of the BoA editor remake, to be honest. On it's website You have some screenshots, and it looks like the 3D editor. Is it the same thing?

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #32
As part of it, yes. Ideally there is much more to be done to make the layout a lot more streamlined.

It would be interesting to finally be able to crack open the Blades of Exile and Editor code. I can think of several things right now that could be fixed or limits that should be changed (50 node limit, I'm looking at you). Of course, much depends on the source structure iself. First priority with BoE, I feel, should be the OS X and Vista (in necessary) ports.

Hopefully, when Jeff gets around to releasing the BoE source, he will be nice enough to advertise it on his website as an open source project. We should probably set up something on Sourceforge or something to keep things organized.

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 7661
Profile Homepage #33
I would say no. Or at least my version of it has an interface different from the first screenshot... :/
Posts: 25 | Registered: Monday, November 13 2006 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #34
So... basically what everyone wants is a BoA IDE.

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Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #35
quote:
Originally written by Dowsing:

quote:
Originally written by Nemesis:

Could it just be sent out to a few designers who've already bought the game, and who know what they're doing?
Now I'm not saying that the members of this community aren't trustworthy, but if Jeff tried that, I predict the source would be leaked within days.

You betcha. Trustworthiness hasn't got much to do with it - if he wanted to, Jeff could ask for a Non-Disclosure Agreement, like his beta testers. The thing is that there is not much point in making something open source without, well opening it. That would basically just be asking a few people to work for him for free.

Er, not that scenario designers don't already do that. :P

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #36
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

So... basically what everyone wants is a BoA IDE.
Yeah, basically.

If we combined a most of the utilities already present and added a couple new features to each of them, we'd basically have what we 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
Warrior
Member # 7633
Profile #37
What would probably help a lot* would be Jeff making specifications available for the BoE/BoA data files. That way, third parties could create their own tools for scenario editing.

*: If it isn't already available, officially or unofficially
Posts: 66 | Registered: Saturday, November 4 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5576
Profile Homepage #38
quote:
Originally written by Duskwolf:
What would probably help a lot* would be Jeff making specifications available for the BoE/BoA data files. That way, third parties could create their own tools for scenario editing.
This isn't such a big problem (at least in the case of BoA; I know nothing about BoE), although it might help. If one wants to one can use the existing editor code to find out how the scenario file should be assembled. On the other hand, it might be good to have an actual specificatio, rather than a piece of existing code that must be reverse engineered. All of the other files, aside from the mac .cmg file are plain ASCII.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
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Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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Profile Homepage #39
KernelKnowledge would be the one to ask about how the bas file works. He did the most work on trying to muck with it.

The issue of a specification did come up once before (in a very unfortunate way), when people more knowledgeable about these subjects than I talked about it.

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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 # 1016
Profile #40
quote:
Originally written by Nemesis:

Could it just be sent out to a few designers who've already bought the game, and who know what they're doing?
That may work if you release some of the code to a trusted few like maybe some of the board moderators who know how to program. Certain parts of the code you still may want to keep classified.
Posts: 141 | Registered: Saturday, April 20 2002 07:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #41
By Kel:
quote:
The issue of a specification did come up once before (in a very unfortunate way), when people more knowledgeable about these subjects than I talked about it.
Looks at page (November 1st, 2004):
quote:
Djur happens to be quite close to completing Pygmalion,
;)

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Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #42
quote:
Originally written by Kennedy:

quote:
Originally written by Nemesis:

Could it just be sent out to a few designers who've already bought the game, and who know what they're doing?
That may work if you release some of the code to a trusted few like maybe some of the board moderators who know how to program. Certain parts of the code you still may want to keep classified.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking. I'm figuring that a board moderator that knows how to program is exactly what JV would be looking for in this case.

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #43
I'm pretty sure that there's no one who fits the two criteria: 1) moderates a board on SW, and 2) has the technical skills and time to work with large amounts of Jeff's code.

It's hard enough to find anyone who meets just 2), without mentioning 1).

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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
Lifecrafter
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Profile Homepage #44
That does pose a problem to my suggestion.

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #45
Theoretically I have 1 and only half of 2. I have the ability to program, just not the time to do so for this.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 247
Profile Homepage #46
quote:
Originally written by Thralni:

When you announced Nethergate 2 and Avernum 5, I started to get a little worried I was never going to play BoA again, as it doesn't work on Mac OS 10.4.8 at the moment.

Happy holidays Jeff, come back in one piece.

It workes on 10.4.8. It works for me any way. It's a PPC game but intel iMacs have Rosetta so it shouldn't be a problem.

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The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6489
Profile Homepage #47
quote:
Originally written by VCH:

quote:
Originally written by Thralni:

When you announced Nethergate 2 and Avernum 5, I started to get a little worried I was never going to play BoA again, as it doesn't work on Mac OS 10.4.8 at the moment.

Happy holidays Jeff, come back in one piece.

It workes on 10.4.8. It works for me any way. It's a PPC game but intel iMacs have Rosetta so it shouldn't be a problem.

10.4.8 for Intel included Rosetta updates that inexplicably make BoA, and to a lesser extent A1-3, run quite slowly.

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Posts: 1556 | Registered: Sunday, November 20 2005 08:00
Shaper
Member # 247
Profile Homepage #48
I hadn't noticed them running any slower. Weird.

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The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
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I noticed it.

Bugs. The crap. Outta me.

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00

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