The Altaz Mariners (the non-linear pirate campaign)

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Bob_The_Mighty
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The Altaz Mariners (the non-linear pirate campaign)

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » June 28th, 2011, 7:08 pm

Intro
The Altaz Mariners is a two player non-linear pirate campaign made by jb and I, with art by bera. Players take on the roles of two wronged brothers seeking revenge on a third. The campaign follows their swashbuckling adventures on the open seas – from their daring escape out of the royal prison, through desperate brawls in the back alleys of shady ports, to strange encounters in exotic unexplored lands. :)

Current Status
The campaign is complete and contains over 80 scenarios, 30+ islands, 20+ subquests, two dozen random encounters variants, 5 audio voice-overs and 2 alternate endings.

Concept
Both jb and I are big fans of Fallout, thus we've tried to make this campaign as non-linear as possible without diminishing the role of a good story. There will be a wealth of interconnecting mini-quests, some unlocking further islands, or affecting NPCs elsewhere, etc. We wanted to make the players feel that they are moving about in an evolving world. The state of play will be changed by hidden global events; the story broken up by random encounters. Players will also glimpse pieces of larger events unfurling around them, hopefully giving the game a sense of urgency and intrigue.

Gameplay
The terrain of the different islands varies a lot, as will the victory conditions, so each scenario will have an unique feel. Some will be RPG style fights, some squad skirmishes and some full-scale battles. There are also non-combat maps full of NPCs to talk to and various puzzles/problems to solve. Although the actual combat works the same as a standard wesnoth campaign, players do not earn gold from villages. Thus, during every battle players must be prudent about the cash they spend. Gold is earned by carrying out raids, helping NPCs, getting lucky in a gambling den or completing trade-runs (whilst always on the lookout for trading tips and new buyers).

New Features
There has countless changes and additions to the campaign over the years. Here's some of the main features:

1. Attack Upgrade System We've gone for a 'learning' system that allows a leader's attacks to improve the more they are used in combat. Upon advance, the leaders gain a special attack - but the damage of the attacks do not improve unless they are used offensively. This system is clutter-free and lets players develop their character over time in a novel way.

2. Picking Traits The campaign now begins with two mini scenarios recounting episodes in the protagonists' past. The decisions made in these 'formative years' affect the traits your leader has in later life. All the mainline traits are available.

3. Figureheads Your ship's figurehead is a magical mascot that protects and empowers your crew. Whenever you recall a unit, even on land, there is a chance it will receive a temporary bonus or a permanent blessing - depending on the figurehead you have chosen. There are eight figureheads scattered throughout the campaign.

4. Inventory The inventory is less a menu of super weapons, more a list of items that can be used to solve puzzles and complete quests. This gives some scenarios the feel of a 'point & click' adventure game.

5. Captain's Log A simple right-click allows you to access a log containing info on islands you've discovered, characters you've talked to and quests you've been set. The subquest section of the log displays a percentage of quests completed. The log also records the prices of cargo at every trading port you've visited, allowing you to plan a trade run for the maximum profit. The log is very useful for hints about what to do next.

6. Followers During the course of the game players will attract followers which are auto-recalled for no cost. There's about a dozen followers in the campaign, and they are extremely valuable. Some you can befriend, others you have to hire - some you may not find.

7. Random Encounters As you travel around the world map there is a chance you'll be intercepted by an enemy ship or hailed by a friendly vessel. There are around ten of these encounters, providing randomised interludes in the main story. There are also some special encounters which come up less often.

8. Training Your leaders can learn new abilities - if you can find someone to train you. Certain NPCs will teach you their tricks for a price, others might want something else in exchange. Some trainers are harder to find than others.

9. Multiplayer OR Single Player Mode The Altaz Mariners can either be played as a multiplayer or a single player campaign. The campaign will show up in the list when you host an MP game - and also in the SP campaign menu. It's the same campaign effectively, but you control two sides. If you're playing it in multiplayer mode, please remember to take manual saves and to reload properly. Read How to safely reload MP campaigns to avoid the problems Wesnoth has with MP campaigns.

10. Alternate Ending & Easter Eggs There are tons of things in this campaign that are tucked away just waiting to be discovered. One of these is a large branch to the story, resulting in an alternate ending. There are numerous other hidden bonuses, subquests and fun stuff. There's also a few random islands, so each game should be somewhat unique.

Help
The campaign has an in-game help option, accessible by right-clicking on your leader. For those after specifics, here is the text.
Villages and Gold
- Income is handled differently in this campaign. Your leaders do not have a base income, nor do they earn gold from owning villages. Furthermore, there is no bonus gold for completing a scenario.

- Instead, you will earn gold by trading goods and completing certain quests. Gold can also be given to the other player by right-clicking on their leader.

- Although villages do not give gold, they still heal as normal and provide upkeep. Thus capturing villages is still required in order to field a large army.

- It is very important to watch your income during battles to ensure you can pay for the upkeep of your units. Ending a scenario with negative gold will mean you start the next map with nothing.
Recruits and Recalls
- In this campaign your characters do not belong to a faction as such, and thus you don't have a set recruit list.

- Instead, the units you are able to recruit are based on the circumstances you find yourself in at any given time. For instance, you may be able to recruit Augurs if you are on an island inhabited by friendly Saurians.

- Units from previous scenarios can be recalled as normal - regardless of the island you are on.

- Most scenarios will allow you to recruit and recall from a keep on an island, while others allow it from the deck of your ship. On certain maps recruiting and recalling is not an option.
Trading
- There are three tradable goods in this campaign: rum, spices and jewels. They can be found or bought and sold at trading ports.

- Trading these goods will be your primary source of income. Try to maximise profits by selling goods at ports with a high demand.

- Goods can be bought for 10g from an island with a distillery, mine or plantation. The number of goods on sale will increase by +1 every 50 turns.

- Goods can be sold at any island with a trading port. The going price for goods differs from port to port - depending on the distance to the nearest distillery, mine or plantation.

- Each type of ship has a different max cargo capacity. Goods cannot be picked up or bought if your ship is at its max capacity.

- Goods can be stashed at a hideout - and retrieved at a later date. This allows you to store goods until you find a suitable buyer.
Upgrades
- In this campaign your character improves at fighting every time he attacks an enemy unit. Put simply, the damage of an attack increases the more you use it.

- An attack will increase by +1 damage when you have opted to use it a certain number of times. Attacks with a high number of strikes will take longer to increase than those with few strikes. Only offensive combat counts towards improving attack damage.

- When an attack's damage increases every subsequent bonus will take 10% longer to achieve. For example, if it takes you 10 rounds of combat to increase the damage of your 'swing' attack, it will take 11 more fights to earn the next bonus - and so on.

- Weapon stats do not improve when your character levels up, instead you gain an additional special attack. This too will increase in damage the more you use it.

- Each attack has a max limit at which point the damage will no longer increase.
Ship and Sailing
- Most of the ship movement in this game is confined to the world map. This is where you control your vessel and decide which locations to visit.

- Your ship's moves will be replenished when they reach zero. Since there are no active enemy units on the world map, ending the turn is not necessary. However you may encounter hidden random encounters whilst at sea. Sail close to islands to best avoid these.

- Most locations are present on the world map at the start of the game. Some locations only appear as a result of certain events or dialogue.

- The weapons displayed on your deck (cannon, ballista, mortar, etc) represent your ship's attacks. They are only decorations and cannot be interacted with.

- The colour of the island labels indicate the danger level. Yellow represents a slight threat or a skirmish, orange a decent-sized battle, red a very tough battle. Islands with green labels contain very little or no combat. This colour-code system allows you to ensure you do not stumble into battles without enough gold.

- Once a scenario has been completed the state of play in that location will be modified to reflect the outcome of the scenario. For instance, liberating an island occupied by the royals may allow another faction to take power.

- Returning to previous locations can be useful. Often there will be NPCs to speak with or trades and recruits to be had. The story state of some islands are also affected by hidden events.

- Player two will gain control of the ship when player one ends their turn.
Global Turns and Events
- The turn counter in the world map displays the total number of turns elapsed since the start of the campaign. This is known as the global turn count. It tracks the time that has passed since your escape from the gaol.

- The global turn count is used to determine how many commodities are produced in each port. It may also affect certain minor events.

- A turn at sea is worth five on land. This means every time your ship's moves are replenished on the world map the global turn count rises by 5.

- The global turn count also triggers fixed events affecting the story of the campaign. Beware of wasting too much time! Endless trading or xp-farming may not be worth it in the long run...
Contributions
There are lots of custom images in this campaign. Most of them I have taken from elsewhere, but there's too many to credit. Bera is working on our portraits here. Obviously, this campaign requires a ton of work. jb and I are looking for people to help out: if anyone would like to help with playtesting, coding or creating artwork - please get in touch!
Attachments
TAM_title.jpg
Last edited by Bob_The_Mighty on January 29th, 2018, 8:39 pm, edited 8 times in total.
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » June 28th, 2011, 7:31 pm

Here is the first of some screenshot trailers...


Intro
The opening story scene features an audio voice-over, courtesy of jb. We plan to have several of these at key moments in the story. Some scenarios already have atmospheric soundtracks and custom sound effects.
TAM_intro.jpg
The World Map
The world map allows players to choose their next destination, so they can literally navigate their own path through the campaign. Each island has multiple states (a different scenario file is loaded on a return visit) reflecting the changes that have occurred as a consequence of the player's actions. When certain scenarios and subquests are completed new islands are unlocked.
TAM_world_map.jpg
Random Encounters
In addition to island scenarios, players may come across hidden random sea encounters. These might consist of fighting pirate raiders, royal battleships or worse. In this example, Hugo has gone aboard an orc slave ship – the slave can be rescued, purchased or left to his fate. Both the slave unit and the sea terrain are random. The shape and size of ship's deck is unique to the ship type. For example, the mariners are sailing a frigate while the orcs are in a longboat. There are seven different types of ship in the campaign.
TAM_slave_ship.jpg
Last edited by Bob_The_Mighty on June 28th, 2011, 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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Dixie
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Dixie » June 28th, 2011, 7:48 pm

This... this sounds so awesome! I never tried the demo but... Darn, I should have! Maybe I will in the next few days! I'm working on some other stuff and moving to another city in a few days, but I might be able to lend a hand on some stuff. My abilities are mostly around coding in both WML and Lua (although I'm a bit rusty). I could maybe do music, depending on your needs (I'm not much of a symphonic guy), but my sound samples are pretty horrible... Also, I've done a little (not very good) sprite work in the past, but I don't enjoy it too much, so I won't offer myself for that field. I have been working on a pirate faction in the past, however, and Kanapka has drawn a few pirate sprites, if it can interest you. There are some here, here, here, here, and here. There were also a slew of ninjas, but I'm not sure they fit the setting much :P
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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » June 28th, 2011, 7:57 pm

Non-Combat Maps
Visiting an island doesn't simply land you in a fight. Several scenarios are ports-of-call for trading, recruiting and talking to NPCs. As can be seen from the tracks, this island is the entrance to a Dwarven mine. Players can purchase jewels here and sell them elsewhere at a profit. However, right now Largo seems more interested in the local pub.
TAM_thurh_gah.jpg
Special Scenarios
Some scenarios are only unlocked by talking to certain NPCs, etc. The campaign features a number of these special hidden encounters. This one has custom units and terrain.
TAM_di.jpg
Trading & Log
Here the players can buy spices, spend AMLA points for upgrades at the statue or talk to some of the locals. Hugo has decided it is time to check his log. This stores info about quests, clues and any other tips the players have picked up.
Spoiler:
TAM_dahazi_beach.jpg
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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DEATH_is_undead
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by DEATH_is_undead » June 29th, 2011, 5:47 pm

Although I can't help playtest (Synaptic Package Manager won't update to the latest version for some reason), I can help code little bits and pieces. PM me simple tasks (I haven't coded advanced WML in a while) and I would be glad to help.
3P MP Scenario - Great Dwarves Escape
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Faello
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Faello » July 1st, 2011, 11:01 am

Bob, you are one of the best things that happened to wesnoth players :D This whole concept is excellent!
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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » July 4th, 2011, 3:17 am

Some more screenshot trailers...


The Royal Palace
In this scenario, the mariners must sneak into the royal palace under the cover of darkness. The enemy guards move about on set patrol routes, ready to raise the alarm if they spot an intruder. Here, Largo is skulking in the shadows of the main hall, while Hugo has sneaked past the barracks into the royal treasury. The sleeping spearmen awake if the players go too near or are spotted. The scenario plays like a kind of platform puzzle, but a tough fight ensues if the players balls it up.
TAM_royal_palace.jpg
Hellenia
Hellenia is the island of the philosophers and may bear some relation to a rather well known city state. This is a puzzle scenario in which the players have to work out how to trick the philosophers. Incidentally, all the philosophers' dialogue is based on actual recorded quotations. I always knew that degree would come in handy one day.
TAM_hellenia.jpg
The Temple Of Ice
This is the home of the infamous mage order, the Brotherhood of Ice. This scenario features randomised interactive scenery, four subquest threads and a host of NPCs all with multiple dialogue options. In this example, Largo is leaving the brotherhood library to pay his respects at the order's statue.
TAM_temple_of_ice.jpg
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Captain_Wrathbow » July 4th, 2011, 4:56 pm

:augh: This is just mean.

Stop teasing us and release it already. :P

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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » July 4th, 2011, 7:45 pm

Captain_Wrathbow wrote:Stop teasing us and release it already. :P
Well, if you insist...

The Altaz Mariners is now on the add-ons server for Wesnoth 1.8.
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, Coming Soon!

Post by powershot » July 4th, 2011, 7:46 pm

Finally. :D
My new account is: Power_Pixel_Wannabe. Yea. Yea.... Why are you still reading this? What the heck m8? You have some kind of problem? Yea. I draw. NO I'M NOT 5 ANYMORE!!! Little brats.
The heck m8? I thought you left... No seriously... go... serious...
ok bye m8. I'm serious.

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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, out now!

Post by Captain_Wrathbow » July 4th, 2011, 8:32 pm

^_^ Woohoo!
Looks incredible.

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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, out now!

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » July 5th, 2011, 3:37 pm

We'd really appreciate it if anyone who plays this could answer a few questions. There's still lots more to do and feedback will be really useful.

1. Difficulty: Which bits were too easy, which bits were too hard?
2. Gameplay: Did anything seem unintuitive or fiddly?
3. Story: Were you able to follow it? Did some parts not make sense? Did the Log help?
4. Fun: Which bits did you find the most and least fun? Why?
5. Improvements: Any bugs, suggestions or ideas?

Thanks in advance. Oh, and please use spoiler tags for anything plot-related.
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, out now!

Post by Velensk » July 5th, 2011, 3:58 pm

Could I get you to upload this to the forum?

The download rate from the computer I'm using at the moment is slow enough that I just barely cannot download it from the server before the server drops the connection.
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podbelski
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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, out now!

Post by podbelski » July 5th, 2011, 4:04 pm

OMG that looks AWESOME!

Just one question - I'm not familiar with Wesnoth engine/development, can't the campaign be played on a 1.9 version? If not, how soon will it be available for 1.9?

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Re: The Altaz Mariners - MP Campaign, out now!

Post by Crendgrim » July 5th, 2011, 4:11 pm

Velensk wrote:Could I get you to upload this to the forum?

The download rate from the computer I'm using at the moment is slow enough that I just barely cannot download it from the server before the server drops the connection.
http://files.wesnoth.org/addons/1.8/The ... rs.tar.bz2


Crend
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