Wesnoth Online World?

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bonndan
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Wesnoth Online World?

Post by bonndan »

Hi,

the last days I played around with hex maps in order to see whether Wesnoth maps could be rendered in browser. Although not completely similiar and quite alpha, it works quite nice. See screenshot.

No what to do with it? Has anybody here good ideas for one persistent online world? How could a game be like?


Regards

Daniel
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grzywacz
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

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bonndan
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by bonndan »

Wow. Not bad. Is it an image in the background?

I've searched a bit, without success. Is there any document which explains in principle how the renderer works?

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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

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Yes, he used an image, basically taken as a screenshot using a dummy display driver.

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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by The Great Rings »

What do I think? That a persistant online world (I presume based on my comparatively scant knowledge of gaming terminology that you're referring to a Wesnoth MMORPG, or something), would probably render current Wesnoth multiplayer largely obsolete except for nostalgia purposes.

That said, it would probably be fun if it were possible to make.
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bonndan
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by bonndan »

It is definitely possible to make, but I doubt it makes much sense to redo the mutliplayer game. There are several differences which influence the gameplay:

- there's one world for all, not several "instances" like the maps
- because of this the game cannot be turn based (in the usual way)
- the "map" is endless like a globe, i.e. no borders
- the world is HUGE, millions by millions tiles (how to keep track of the units?)
- however it might get very crowded in some areas, leaving no free tiles
- the game has no end (and no beginning in the usual way)

... so in the end it will be something different in any case. Then there is the question of the fun factor. Will such a game keep you motivated to play in the long run?

Regards

Dan

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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by The Great Rings »

bonndan wrote:It is definitely possible to make, but I doubt it makes much sense to redo the mutliplayer game. There are several differences which influence the gameplay:

- there's one world for all, not several "instances" like the maps
- because of this the game cannot be turn based (in the usual way)
No comment.
- the "map" is endless like a globe, i.e. no borders
Interesting. Artificial edges to maps in games is one of those things that just kills suspension of disbelief when it comes to the setting.
- the world is HUGE, millions by millions tiles (how to keep track of the units?)
This I like. Huge worlds are good. :D The bigger it is, the more time passes before I get bored of it.

Of course, its also good to include a lot of hidden things, and a lot of variety of things scattered around the map. Take the current Wesnoth multiplayer map Brotherhood of Light (my personal favorite): it's obviously within the two hundred by two hundred limit, and yet its so densely packed that I could probably play it for days and not run out of new things to do.
- however it might get very crowded in some areas, leaving no free tiles
If it was popular enough, you'd need to find a way around that.
- the game has no end (and no beginning in the usual way)
This raises the problem of the player's actions essentially being meaningless, if nothing they do has any lasting impact on the world.
... so in the end it will be something different in any case.
I suppose so. Those who like turn-based tactical combat the best would presumably stick with the original, since a Wesnoth online game like you describe would cater to a rather different fan base.
Then there is the question of the fun factor. Will such a game keep you motivated to play in the long run?

Regards

Dan
I don't generally play MMORPGs, and a big part of my dislike for the genre has to do with the perception that such games are heavily focussed on simply gaining points and leveling you units higher and higher. I much prefer the aspects of RPGs that involve interacting with NPCs, exploring a world, and generally shaping the world around your character. Two terms I like in games: "open-ended," and "customization."

One thing I strongly advise regarding multiplayer games: include lots of cool NPCs, as I find interacting with them to be less annoying in general than interacting with a lot of on-line gamers, and their pressence could help preserve the atmosphere of the Wesnoth setting.
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by bonndan »

The Great Rings wrote: This I like. Huge worlds are good. :D The bigger it is, the more time passes before I get bored of it.

Of course, its also good to include a lot of hidden things, and a lot of variety of things scattered around the map. Take the current Wesnoth multiplayer map Brotherhood of Light (my personal favorite): it's obviously within the two hundred by two hundred limit, and yet its so densely packed that I could probably play it for days and not run out of new things to do.
The world had to be created by many authors, so it were up to them to design interesting areas. It's not impossible, but more difficult to have areas that trigger events in such a setting. And to hide special items somewhere would mean that they either respawn continously or that an area becomes grazed and uninteresting over the time.
The Great Rings wrote: I don't generally play MMORPGs, and a big part of my dislike for the genre has to do with the perception that such games are heavily focussed on simply gaining points and leveling you units higher and higher. I much prefer the aspects of RPGs that involve interacting with NPCs, exploring a world, and generally shaping the world around your character. Two terms I like in games: "open-ended," and "customization."

One thing I strongly advise regarding multiplayer games: include lots of cool NPCs, as I find interacting with them to be less annoying in general than interacting with a lot of on-line gamers, and their pressence could help preserve the atmosphere of the Wesnoth setting.
Interesting. Not easy, but interesting. Goes more into the direction of RPG than strategy... Would you as user rather control one avatar of several units? Certainly the latter is more in the tradition of Wesnoth, but your avatar could be part of an army/realm/kindgom which many users contribute to. You'd maybe receive tasks/commands to defend a certain region or build new towns and gather resources...

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Zarel
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by Zarel »

A few things:
bonndan wrote:- the "map" is endless like a globe, i.e. no borders
- the world is HUGE, millions by millions tiles (how to keep track of the units?)
Globes aren't endless, you know. At some point, they curve back in on themselves. Will your map do that? Then there's the whole thing about how spherical geometry doesn't really work on a flat plane. Toroidal geometry would be easier, but then you'd have to explain why your planet is donut-shaped.

And a huge world isn't always a good thing. Daggerfall had the largest world of all - it was dynamically generated - and it wasn't a very fun game.

The problem with huge worlds, especially in an MMO, is:
- Friends can have difficulty meeting up.
- It's hard to get a "feel" for the world and explore the whole thing, which is rather important for players to do.
- Interesting content will be sparse, since it'll be spread out over a huge map.
- It starts getting repetitive, since there's only so much content you can have.

These are all solvable problems, but it's usually better just to have a world roughly as big as most other games.

When designing a game, you're obviously not going to make it just like every other game - why would anyone play yours? But when you're thinking about ways to make your game unique, it's important to ask yourself the question "Why don't other games do it this way?" followed by "Is this way more fun?"
bonndan wrote:- however it might get very crowded in some areas, leaving no free tiles
The ability to move through allied units would solve this problem somewhat.
bonndan wrote:... so in the end it will be something different in any case. Then there is the question of the fun factor. Will such a game keep you motivated to play in the long run?
I don't know. The specific things you've mentioned so far don't really make your game any more fun, if that's what you're asking. However, a Wesnoth-based MMO does sound interesting.
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by The Great Rings »

bonndan wrote:
The Great Rings wrote: This I like. Huge worlds are good. :D The bigger it is, the more time passes before I get bored of it.

Of course, its also good to include a lot of hidden things, and a lot of variety of things scattered around the map. Take the current Wesnoth multiplayer map Brotherhood of Light (my personal favorite): it's obviously within the two hundred by two hundred limit, and yet its so densely packed that I could probably play it for days and not run out of new things to do.
The world had to be created by many authors, so it were up to them to design interesting areas. It's not impossible, but more difficult to have areas that trigger events in such a setting. And to hide special items somewhere would mean that they either respawn continously or that an area becomes grazed and uninteresting over the time.
Yes, its a problem with games like this I suppose.

Maybe design events or objects that can be found and used by multiple people. Some ideas:

An enchanted mirror that grants wisdom to all who look into it. It stays in one place, but any number of players can go questing for it and find it.

A "fountain of youth" that grants health bonuses to whoever finds it. Again, due to the nature of the artifact, any number of players can go questing for it and it will never be used up.

Continuously respawning monsters. Player gains XP for killing them, but their are always more to kill. :D
Interesting. Not easy, but interesting. Goes more into the direction of RPG than strategy...
My ambition exceeds my ability. :D

However, Wesnoth campaigns have always had an RPG side to it, and their are a number of very nice RPG multiplayer maps.
Would you as user rather control one avatar of several units? Certainly the latter is more in the tradition of Wesnoth,
One possible compromise: have the player control a single character, but posses the ability to recruit some NPCS (as well as work with other player characters). This would preserve some of the tactical side of Wesnoth more.

I'm just throwing ideas out their though. I have no idea if it would really work, so feel free to shoot it down.
but your avatar could be part of an army/realm/kindgom which many users contribute to. You'd maybe receive tasks/commands to defend a certain region or build new towns and gather resources...
Interesting. No further comment for now.
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by The Great Rings »

Zarel wrote:And a huge world isn't always a good thing. Daggerfall had the largest world of all - it was dynamically generated - and it wasn't a very fun game.

The problem with huge worlds, especially in an MMO, is:
- Friends can have difficulty meeting up.
- It's hard to get a "feel" for the world and explore the whole thing, which is rather important for players to do.
- Interesting content will be sparse, since it'll be spread out over a huge map.
- It starts getting repetitive, since there's only so much content you can have.
Good points. I'll try to address them to the best of my ability.

For the first point: perhaps let players choose what part of the world they start in? Or make the teleport ability more widely available, and make it so that players can teleport from one region to another at will (as opposed to only between villages they control)?

If the problem is one of geographical distances on the map, just give players the means to move quickly wherever they want. Their are a number of ways to do this in canon Wesnoth. Teleport is one, and the presence of flying mounts (ie, Griffons) is another. If the problem is one of finding your exact location, then give every player a decent map (kind of wrecks the whole "exploring" thing, maybe)?

The second problem isn't one I'd worry too much about. I'd rather have a world I could keep exploring for a long time, than one I could get a complete feel for by virtue of covering the whole thing overnight. But maybe I'm odd that way.

The last two points are more dependent on just how many people you have working to add content, I would think. Guess you'd just have to make it popular and successful enough that you can have a lot of people working on it.
These are all solvable problems, but it's usually better just to have a world roughly as big as most other games.
Of course, "huge" is a relative term. Pretty much any MMO has a huge map compared to the current Wesnoth maximum of 200 by 200 hexes. :mrgreen:
I don't know. The specific things you've mentioned so far don't really make your game any more fun, if that's what you're asking. However, a Wesnoth-based MMO does sound interesting.
Gameplay would obviously be different from current Wesnoth, so to me the question is: will the world itself- the setting, the factions, the history- be interesting enough to make such a game worth playing?

My answer is certainly yes. Though I know from prior threads on the topic of hypothetical Wesnoth games in other genres that not everyone will likely feel this way.
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

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The Great Rings wrote:Good points. I'll try to address them to the best of my ability.

For the first point: perhaps let players choose what part of the world they start in? Or make the teleport ability more widely available, and make it so that players can teleport from one region to another at will (as opposed to only between villages they control)?

If the problem is one of geographical distances on the map, just give players the means to move quickly wherever they want. Their are a number of ways to do this in canon Wesnoth. Teleport is one, and the presence of flying mounts (ie, Griffons) is another. If the problem is one of finding your exact location, then give every player a decent map (kind of wrecks the whole "exploring" thing, maybe)?

The second problem isn't one I'd worry too much about. I'd rather have a world I could keep exploring for a long time, than one I could get a complete feel for by virtue of covering the whole thing overnight. But maybe I'm odd that way.

The last two points are more dependent on just how many people you have working to add content, I would think. Guess you'd just have to make it popular and successful enough that you can have a lot of people working on it.
The problem of moving to a specific location (such as for the purposes of meeting up) is more than just travel speed. How do you implement a mechanic like teleport? Select from a list of cities? Searching through a list of 200 cities for the one you're looking for could get annoying. Jumping to nearby waypoints? That's effectively the same thing as having a smaller map, except moving around is more annoying.

Well, if the world had a central region that was familiar, well-populated, known, and all that, and then you could go out of that region and into the "wilderness" where players would be more scarce, etc, that could work. But if the entire world was sparse, then many players won't like that. Some people like to talk about the game, and they can't do that if no one's heard of anything they've heard of. People also like to be able to identify where they are, and that's hard to do if the human city they're in isn't much different from the 50 other human cities, or the forest they're next to is like every other forest, etc, etc.
The Great Rings wrote:Of course, "huge" is a relative term. Pretty much any MMO has a huge map compared to the current Wesnoth maximum of 200 by 200 hexes. :mrgreen:
You're right. I've mostly been thinking of "huge" as "Daggerfall-size" or "huge enough not to be fun". Depending on what you think of when you say "huge", it could be quite reasonable.
The Great Rings wrote:Gameplay would obviously be different from current Wesnoth, so to me the question is: will the world itself- the setting, the factions, the history- be interesting enough to make such a game worth playing?

My answer is certainly yes. Though I know from prior threads on the topic of hypothetical Wesnoth games in other genres that not everyone will likely feel this way.
The setting is obviously interesting enough. The question is if you can make the gameplay worth it. ;)
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by bonndan »

To sum up some posts:

I just made a quick guess and set the world to be 10⁷ by 10⁷ tiles. Maybe thats too much, but it can easily be lowered. Surely this does not represent the projection on a globe, but imho that's ok because it's game. The map is not endless of course. Passing the 99999999th tile takes you to 1 (in both x and y direction) and vice versa.

Movement is a problem, indeed, and moving one by one could be annoying, especially in web context.

However, it's technically seen easy to make a function which lets people meet at 23423,3452345 or the town named "Bonn". If you dont know the name, you probably do not know how to get there anyway. Like in real life.

I'd like to have a sort of unit which can create towns to gather resources/gold. Every unit can "hide" inside a town while the user is away (the town could be conquered maybe, but the unit would not be killed while being inside). How do you like the idea of distributung responsibilites between users of one realm? E.g. one would gather resources, one would fight/protect, one explore... The fighters were depended of the resources, and the gatheres depended on protection....

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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

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bonndan wrote:I just made a quick guess and set the world to be 10⁷ by 10⁷ tiles. Maybe thats too much, but it can easily be lowered. Surely this does not represent the projection on a globe, but imho that's ok because it's game.
That's way too big to be fun. I think it should be no more than 10^5.
bonndan wrote:The map is not endless of course. Passing the 99999999th tile takes you to 1 (in both x and y direction) and vice versa.
So now you have to explain why your planet is shaped like a donut. ;)
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Re: Wesnoth Online World?

Post by The Great Rings »

Zarel wrote: The problem of moving to a specific location (such as for the purposes of meeting up) is more than just travel speed. How do you implement a mechanic like teleport? Select from a list of cities? Searching through a list of 200 cities for the one you're looking for could get annoying.
Why not just arrange the list alphabetically? And besides, if this map is based on the existing Wesnoth world, there are nowhere near 200 cities.
Jumping to nearby waypoints? That's effectively the same thing as having a smaller map, except moving around is more annoying.
Probably why I didn't recommend it as a solution. :wink:
Well, if the world had a central region that was familiar, well-populated, known, and all that, and then you could go out of that region and into the "wilderness" where players would be more scarce, etc, that could work.
I like this.

Though depending on how closely you stick to the existing Wesnoth factions and geography, their are actually several populated areas, with wilderness and villages in between.

Maybe you could have one such densely populated area per faction or race. If players got to choose their race or faction when they started, that could determine which of the populated zones they started in. Humans could have Weldyn and Elensefar or however you spell it, Dwarves could have Knalga, Elves could have Wesmere and/or the Aethynwood, and so on.

Would that work, or is it a bad idea for some reason that hasn't yet occurred to me? :)
But if the entire world was sparse, then many players won't like that. Some people like to talk about the game, and they can't do that if no one's heard of anything they've heard of. People also like to be able to identify where they are, and that's hard to do if the human city they're in isn't much different from the 50 other human cities, or the forest they're next to is like every other forest, etc, etc.
Yes, you'd want a way to make each city and forest distinctive. Different kinds of trees/buildings, different types of NPCs, different types of enemies. If you have constantly respawning enemies, you might want to have a different kind spawn in each region. Griffons might only be found in the North, Drakes on the islands in the ocean, Undead in other places, etc.
The setting is obviously interesting enough. The question is if you can make the gameplay worth it. ;)
Oh, I agree. But I doubt everyone would agree, that's all.
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