Could multiplayer usermade maps be included in Mainline?

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Bob_The_Mighty
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Could multiplayer usermade maps be included in Mainline?

Post by Bob_The_Mighty »

I note that a few usermade campaigns have made their way into the mainline game. What are the chances of usermade multiplayer maps being accepted also? Is this something anyone is interested in? What would the criteria be?

I think there is space for a couple of special survival/rpg maps in the default download (like the old wesbowl, for instance). I would like to put forward some of my scenarios as candidates (they are almost as long as some campaigns anyway).

What do people think?
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Sapient
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Post by Sapient »

Yes, but it's not easy. Here are some tips.
1) It has to be super-polished; no loose ends or unfinished bits
2) Well-balanced (if competitive) and fun
3) Offering a style of play that is not already in the MP official pack, and is the best candidate in its field (we don't want to have a ton of survivals, for example)
4) High replay value; not too faddish
5) Clean WML; a good example for other coders to follow... using appropriate macro names to avoid conflicts, if any.
6) Compact WML (including after MACRO expansion); to minimize impact on MP load times
7) Approval of MP Developers, mainly Doc Paterson

If you think you have something that fits all of these then let the MP developers know about it.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

If you think you have some good candidate, the standard place for submitting things is http://patches.wesnoth.org .
Maybe we'll reject it, maybe not, but al least someone will have a look at it.
It might take a long time, especially with that type of content.
Also if you're not yet in the wesnoth credit it's good to include some credit information about yourself (and other people who worked on the content if any) with the submitted content.

Btw a direct discussion first on the mp-dev IRC channel (irc.freenode.net, channel #mp-dev) might be helpful for various aspects.
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Bob_The_Mighty
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Post by Bob_The_Mighty »

Sorry for bringing up such an old thread, but it is suitable.

I would like to know what the devs think of including A New Land: The Last Stand and/or Labyrinth of Champions in the mainline game.

Both have been playtested a lot and are pretty polished gameplay-wise. I think they also both provide quite an unique style of play. Perhaps the WML could be cleaned up or presented better - I would follow up any suggestions on that front.

Let me know how it stands.
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Post by Noy »

As I've explained this to you before, I personally would not support ANL for mainline, but I don't mind it being in the campaign server at all, as I think that is the appropriate place for it.

The main reason for this is because ANL is a resource based game, based completely on farming, mining and research. One of the critical concepts of Wesnoth game philosophy, right from its earliest beginnings, was to simplify these aspects of the game to having the collection of villages. ANL clearly contravenes that.

If it were just ANL and there is no growth into it, then I'd have have a different view of it. Instead ANL is not simply a scenario, but its in many ways an entire new game or modification of Wesnoth. There are many scenarios using ANL now, and there is now mods to use it to play it as a 2v2 game. By adding your version into the game, what then prevents other people arguing that they should be allowed to add their version of ANL to the game? While that is a slippery slope argument, its a valid one.

Now my word on this subject is by no means law and if a majority of developers move to support its inclusion, then I'll reluctantly go along with it. I may well be acting as an alarmist, but I think its a serious concern and I'm willing to argue it as such.

I'm sorry Bob, its nothing personal at all. I think you've done an excellent job, but I have serious problems with its inclusion.
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Post by DDR »

QAP material?
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Blueblaze
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Post by Blueblaze »

Is it really bad to include games that aren't Wesnoth themed or related?
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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper »

Blueblaze wrote:Is it really bad to include games that aren't Wesnoth themed or related?
Yes, it can be bad to overwhelm a newbie with too much too different content.

I'm personally for keeping highly non-standard scenarios and such (like ANL; I haven't played LoC so I won't say anything about it) out of mainline. The add-on server seems like the perfect place for such content; sure, people have to actually go and get them manually, but I'd say that's just a good default considering that you'll usually have to be able to play standard MP to be able to properly play these kind of scenarios anyway.

I think ANL for instance is a good piece of work and it's cool to have something like that, but I agree that the add-on server is the proper place for it. It's different enough from the rest of the mainline content that I'd be a bit worried about the slippery slope Noy pointed out and just general confusion. We couldn't keep adding all the scenarios and eras that are good and polished if they're too different from the base game, and I think this is the best place for drawing the line that I can see.
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Post by jb »

I think it's a real shame that Bob's ANL isn't wanted in mainline. It's a great game-play outlet that is shows wesnoth can be more than campaigns and Vs. battles. IIRC, even MP vs. mode was only an afterthought when wesnoth was still in it's infancy. If there is no room for growth, then the game will suffer a disservice.


Noy
While that is a slippery slope argument, its a valid one.
A slippery slope argument is never a valid one. That's why it's a slippery slope.
If it were just ANL and there is no growth into it, then I'd have have a different view of it. Instead ANL is not simply a scenario, but its in many ways an entire new game or modification of Wesnoth. There are many scenarios using ANL now, and there is now mods to use it to play it as a 2v2 game.
Here is the perfect example of the slippery slope in action. Nobody asked for extra scenarios or additional mods, only the original ANL was asked about. A very polished product, with clean code, unique play style and the best of it's "genre".


ZooKeeper


Yes, it can be bad to overwhelm a newbie with too much too different content.
A newbie is already overwhelmed when first playing wesnoth. I was. I'm sure nearly everyone is. The game isn't balanced for newbies, why would it be catered to newbies in this fashion?
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Ken_Oh
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Post by Ken_Oh »

While I personally agree with the Noy's premise, I really have to wonder about its validity when I see Wesbowl on the map list.
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Post by Bad_Dog »

Hmm. I think you just proved his point. The inclusion of one thing is going to be a reason for the inclusion of something else, thus "Hey, X is in Wesnoth, why not Y?"
If the devs give in to that argument, they lose control of the game content.
Besides, it's easily enough available on the servers.

Just my 2c.
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Post by tsr »

As I understand it Wesbowl is included as the scenario that is there to show what cool things can actually be achieved with WML.

Maybe it's time to change that scenario with something a bit more advanced than pick up item, pass item, respawn with lesser stats on death?

/tsr
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Post by zookeeper »

I've always been all for removing Wesbowl, too. ;)
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Post by Boucman »

wesbowl clearly needs to be updated, particularly balance wise...


I agree with the general dev point... ANL is great and fun to play, but too different from mainline...
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Post by Truper »

This question of what is suitable for inclusion in mainline and what is not is a fascinating one. On the one hand, scenarios like A New Land certainly don't fit into the original vision of Wesnoth and what its gameplay should be, but on the other hand, the game engine and WML features have expanded in ways that the original visionaries probably never dreamed of, making scenarios like A New Land possible.

Let's look at the criteira for inclusion in mainline that Sapient posted:

1) It has to be super-polished; no loose ends or unfinished bits
2) Well-balanced (if competitive) and fun
3) Offering a style of play that is not already in the MP official pack, and is the best candidate in its field (we don't want to have a ton of survivals, for example)
4) High replay value; not too faddish
5) Clean WML; a good example for other coders to follow... using appropriate macro names to avoid conflicts, if any.
6) Compact WML (including after MACRO expansion); to minimize impact on MP load times
7) Approval of MP Developers, mainly Doc Paterson

1) Is met. ANL plays flawlessly.
2) Is met. There are many different styles of play that can lead to victory, and it is *great* fun.
3) Is met in spades. ANL has done more to expand people's awareness of the capabilities of the Wesnoth game engine than any other scenario.
4) Is met. People have been playing and enjoying the various ANL scenarios on the MP servers ever since they were first released.
5) I am not qualified to comment on.
6) I am not qualified to comment on.
7) What Doc thinks I have no clue. Noy has spoken; and while his objection is valid, I think a way around it or some compromise should be found.

So what we have is a scenario that meets all the criteria for inclusion in mainline, (WML concerns possibly excepted) except that its gameplay is different from usual Wesnoth gameplay, and different in a way that is directly contrary to the original vision of extremely simple economics. It seems to me a shame that the vision cannot expand to encompass such a fine piece of work as A New Land. Ken Oh has already brought up the example of Wesbowl. It's included in mainline, despite having no economics at all, and a gameplay radically different from the Wesnoth norm. I'd like to bring up Under the Burning Suns, which is included in mainline despite having altered the day/night cycle, including many units not found anywhere else in Wesnoth, and taking place outside of Wesnoth history (I reject any argument that it's Wesnoth's far future - the number of *Suns* is different). How confusing to newbies is UtBS? Confusing enough that it includes a warning. Perhaps a similar warning could be added to ANL.

What does inclusion in mainline mean? Two things. Firstly it implies a recognition by the dev team that the content is of sufficient quality to deserve inclusion. I think Bob craves this recognition for his work; after all, he's asked about it twice. Secondly it means the content is included in the download, rather than being available on the campaign server. This implies that the dev team has assumed responsibilty for maintaining it. Its not for me to suggest what responsibilities the dev team should be willing to take on, but I suggest that both recognition and maintainance could be served by making Bob_the_Mighty a developer, with a title of Scenario Developer, including A New Land in mainline because it deserves to be, and letting him maintain it ;)

A lot of people put a lot of effort into coding the features which make A New Land possible; what Bob did was to see the possibilities in those features, and really make them shine.
"If gameplay requires it, they can be made to live on Venus."

Sure. But in that case, they had damned well better be called Venusians, and not Elves, Undead, or anything else.
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