Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by AI » May 27th, 2011, 6:06 pm

Neuromancer wrote:
Quman wrote: Couldn't you use the [target] tag on Hazael and the others with a low value (like 0.2) so the imperials and terrorists are more interested in each other and the orcs than in the travelers passing through? The orcs should probably be indiscriminate, but you might lower their leader_value score so they don't consider Hazael such a juicy target if they seem to go after him too much.

Naturally, if Bane is in the party he should probably be [target]ed by the imperials with a value of 2 or 3.
Will try it.
A better option (if you want to truly be neutral) might be to use the "multiple teams" feature, putting the player on everyone's team.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by Neuromancer » May 27th, 2011, 7:47 pm

AI, thanks for the comment. Am I getting it right?

Code: Select all

...
side 1 (player)
...
team_name=Mercenaries
team_name=imperials
team_name=terrorists
...
/side
I made new draft for the The Cult and since it is story-heavy scenario with many scripted events I will explain what Im roughly imagining (the map in attachment is 1,5MB big). Does this make sense?:
0 - This is hallway the characters are brought in. The party is separated into 2 groups.
1 - Player starts there with 2 characters. Same like in the old Cult scenario. Quman, is the setting allowing you to come up with some nice ways the characters will use to break free from the prison?
2 - The alarm is sounded. From this point on, our two characters are being pursued.
3 - There may be some additional event
4 - Our characters see the rest of the group in 5. Again, is the setting allowing some escape? For example flinging some stone to the lever controlling the cages or other cliche.
6 - I was thinking about this room as torture chamber. When the two characters will make it to the 4, two-three drakes will be interrogating some elves, humans, or so, maybe some of the characters from 5. Our two characters will free the rest of the group, group will overpower torturers, saving some NPCs. These NPC can explain some backgroun of the cult. Anyways, the small group can only watch and cannot unite with the rest of the party.
Between 4 and 7 there can be some cave-in or so, so the drakes will be not able to pursue small group.
7, A - There is this outdoor area. I will play with it more to make it more visually attractive. Our two chars will stumble upon it but cannot go any further because there is this large host of drakes warming themselves up against the sun, sitting on the eggs and so on. As our two chars are waiting for something to happen, they have some nice intimate moments together that can be spent by some nice talkings
8,9 - This is the choke point. Main group has to block the path they came from (seeing it now I will make it only one tile wide) and cannot continue because the river in 9 is deep. Moreover, they will disturb the drakes located in A (there are 4 tiles for player against 2 drakes tiles, so I think it is manageable to persist).
9 - Now, when the drakes are disturbed, our proxy group can pass the outdoors and close the floodgates
10 - Finally, they are seeing each other! There the big group activates the runes, allowing the small group to cross the void
11 - Do we need some exposure scene? For example there will be this big armageddon drake having his monologue or so...
12- the end. NPCs are leaving the party
Attachments
TheCult.jpg

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8680
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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by 8680 » May 27th, 2011, 8:00 pm

Neuromancer wrote:AI, thanks for the comment. Am I getting it right?

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...
No, it should be a comma-separated list.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by Bennoman » May 31st, 2011, 12:05 pm

Hi guys,

Nuromancer asked me to have a quick look and input into this discussion.

He was saying that currently there is no real reason why the orcs should be attacking in the first scenario and in addition another problem would be how would the location of the evil artifact in scenario 10 be determined.

Why not solve both conundrums in one go. It also sets up a mystery and plot device up very early on.

The reason they have gone to the area in scenario 1 is so that [censored] can meet with an orc shaman. He is going there specifically to get a map, or information as to the location of the artifact. Unfortunately the orc shaman lives in what is effectively holy ground for orcs. So when a new orc warlord comes to the shaman for his blessing he is horrified to see that there non orcs defiling his land.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by Neuromancer » May 31st, 2011, 1:25 pm

8680, thanks for the clarification. Starting event determining the alliances is now working properly.

Bennoman, Im afraid that solution wont work. First, we are planning for (censored) (alternative name Hazael) to learn the location of the artifact in 10. Artifact itself will be located in 11. (More clarification at the end of this post) We cannot put any clues in 1 - 8 because these scenarios are non-linear. The second problem may be the proximity of the location where 1 is taking place to the imperial city. Moreover, it is frequented trade route. If there was any holy orcish ground it is probable it was eradicated long ago.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by Quman » June 2nd, 2011, 7:04 am

Neuromancer wrote:If something is japanese does it automatically mean it is also JRPG?
I wasn't equating Japan to JRPGs, I was equating Japan to guys using weird weapons and armor. The trope where any character can wear any piece of armor is used in just about any game that includes armor, regardless of the genre or country of origin.
I guess it will be for the best if we will come up with one artifact per character and let the player decide if he wants for example let Wellen wear the petal armor.
Eh, if the petal armor is meant for Hailey, I think it's best to just leave it as Hailey exclusive. I was just pointing out that the armor could be used for somebody like Aramis if you don't want to change the armor's story or have Hailey wear armor designed for a man. I'm not trying to convince you to take away the armor's exclusivity.
Neuromancer wrote:Hmm... is it so hard to influence some orcs? I think it is not requiring much effort. On the other hand, that would surely make the dark elves kinda powerful, moreover centering the world around them.
I don't think it's really difficult to influence the orcs, but I was under the impression that dark elves were based far to the north, so if they're influencing orcs all the way down near the imperial capital that implies that their influence reaches very far.
Neuromancer wrote:What about this? Some orc shamans foretold some great evil is arising in the north and the orcs have to move away from it, but majority of the orcs were like "Orcs?! Escape?!?! We will smash them and you are cowardly traitors!!". Orcish society separated. One-two tribes departed south /meeting our party/, some remained in mountains doing what they were doing always /robbing the travellers and caravans/, maybe some went to the northern woods to be never seen again.
That sounds like a decent enough explanation for why so many orcs are in imperial territory.
Neuromancer wrote:I think implication itself is not that important as the effect is: instead of fighting some generic zombies characters are confused and horrified with mirrored images of themselves. Perhaps these copies have rot oozing from their wounds, perhaps they are running around with crazy and distorted faces, or they behave exactly like their counterparts. Although we can see only the sprites, we can fill the gaps with our imagination and I think thats the point in using these copies.
The whole nightmarish feel of that level can be reinforced by comments of our characters when fighting (and killing) these copies.
All right. Sounds good to me.
Neuromancer wrote:World map without shroud is robbing the player from the fun of exploring. I will ask in feedback thread whether the players are thinking this too.
If there is nothing we can do about the redrawing, I will remove the shroud. Meddling with the [remove_shroud] isnt worth it.
An alternative way or removing the shroud would be to spawn and remove units with high move (and thus, vision) in the pre-start event.
Neuromancer wrote:*Thinking of it what about incorporating small escort objective in the last scenario? There is this one village between the defensive outpost and the approaching dark hordes where Garret family happens to live. Garret has to reach the village and escort his family to the safe zone before dark forces will get there.
Will this mission only show up if Garret is in the party, or will it just have added significance if he's there?
Neuromancer wrote:1 - Player starts there with 2 characters. Same like in the old Cult scenario. Quman, is the setting allowing you to come up with some nice ways the characters will use to break free from the prison?
I haven't planned out every pairing, but I have a few different ideas I can use. This situation should be fine.
Neuromancer wrote:4 - Our characters see the rest of the group in 5. Again, is the setting allowing some escape? For example flinging some stone to the lever controlling the cages or other cliche.
Would you consider it unrealistic if the keys to the cell the first two characters were in also unlocked the cell the other characters are in? If not, the two free characters could just toss their keys to the characters in the cell while the drakes are distracted with their interrogation.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s)

Post by Neuromancer » June 2nd, 2011, 9:10 am

Quman wrote:
I guess it will be for the best if we will come up with one artifact per character and let the player decide if he wants for example let Wellen wear the petal armor.
Eh, if the petal armor is meant for Hailey, I think it's best to just leave it as Hailey exclusive. I was just pointing out that the armor could be used for somebody like Aramis if you don't want to change the armor's story or have Hailey wear armor designed for a man. I'm not trying to convince you to take away the armor's exclusivity.
You have point in cross-gender usability. I came up with another solution: At the start of buying process we will hint at player that he should try to match artifact lore to the characters. Later, if he will buy and correctly match artifact to the character, the item bonus will be greater. So, for example player will buy petal armor and if he will correctly deduct and give the armor to Yveen, the bonus will be 15% instead of 10% (or 10% instead of 7%... Im in favor of 15/10). This way we will award players for shown empathy.
Quman wrote:
Neuromancer wrote:What about this? Some orc shamans foretold some great evil is arising in the north and the orcs have to move away from it, but majority of the orcs were like "Orcs?! Escape?!?! We will smash them and you are cowardly traitors!!". Orcish society separated. One-two tribes departed south /meeting our party/, some remained in mountains doing what they were doing always /robbing the travellers and caravans/, maybe some went to the northern woods to be never seen again.
That sounds like a decent enough explanation for why so many orcs are in imperial territory.
Ok, if this is the explanation, will we make 5 as caravan escort?
Quman wrote:
Neuromancer wrote:World map without shroud is robbing the player from the fun of exploring. I will ask in feedback thread whether the players are thinking this too.
If there is nothing we can do about the redrawing, I will remove the shroud. Meddling with the [remove_shroud] isnt worth it.
An alternative way or removing the shroud would be to spawn and remove units with high move (and thus, vision) in the pre-start event.
Will remember this in the time I will adress the issue.
Quman wrote:
Neuromancer wrote:*Thinking of it what about incorporating small escort objective in the last scenario? There is this one village between the defensive outpost and the approaching dark hordes where Garret family happens to live. Garret has to reach the village and escort his family to the safe zone before dark forces will get there.
Will this mission only show up if Garret is in the party, or will it just have added significance if he's there?
We can make it both ways. If Garret isnt present it will be just optional objective in escorting some villagers to the defense post. And it will be optional anyways.
Quman wrote:
Neuromancer wrote:4 - Our characters see the rest of the group in 5. Again, is the setting allowing some escape? For example flinging some stone to the lever controlling the cages or other cliche.
Would you consider it unrealistic if the keys to the cell the first two characters were in also unlocked the cell the other characters are in? If not, the two free characters could just toss their keys to the characters in the cell while the drakes are distracted with their interrogation.
I guess it is believeable.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

Post by Neuromancer » July 2nd, 2011, 7:46 pm

It seems there is no way to prevent the replay message from showing up: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=28078

I tried to implement advancement for Hazael: if elf (dwarf) is present in the party, Hazael can improve his defense in forests (hills). I was playing with it for hour or so and was unable to find solution, so Im dropping this feature from the campaign. Related topic: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 9&start=15

It seems to me only 1.9.7 allows implementation of mirrored images in nightmare scenario. However, I will not switch to this version yet in order to get more gameplay feedback (not everyone downloads every update of development version and besides, this version seems to be not very stable).

Idea for 10 and 11:
10 will be small town. Whole scenario will be mostly about problem solving via conversation. Party can travel around the town with the objective: Hazael wants to learn the location of the Sanguine Phoenix. Of course he will hide his true intentions, and will present himself as hero who wants to help local population with dark elves threat (his trustiworthiness is boosted by the presence of Teresia /or worsened by Wendalas.../). So he will wander around town and ask for clues of phoenix use. It can be made somehow like this: He knows signs of phonix' use (bloody hand, and I dont know red glow around user for example). There were (for example) three recent attacks at the town, various villagers will describe how the attacks passed (their information is not accurate of course, they are stressed), from where the elves came and so on. Now Hazael knows from where elves attacked. Or, he can move to the morgue to examine some bodies (for additional clues) and the morgue is guarded and he has to find way through it.. or some villager will disclose valuable information only after party will do something for him and so on... Anyway, Hazael will gradually learn the location of the phoenix.
In addition, party members can recruit people to fight against the dark elves in the upcoming battle. They can use several incentives to convince them to join the party (revenge or money et cetera). In the town there will be several individuals and groups which can be recruited, for example some farmer whose wife is lost, or a group of elvish scouts and so on.. recruitment is optional, though with every unit the chances to defeat the dark elves in the upcoming battle is higher.

11 is the location of the Sanguine Phoenix. Scenario will be happening on large map, I want to design it as true strategical and tactical challenge: there will be several options to assault the dark elves' outpost: For example, player can try to hit-and-run with group of elvish scouts, or he can decide to storm the outpost with brutal force, or he can choose silent infiltration (group of rogues /Kara and Hailey with them/ will kill patrols and steal the artifact without sounding the alarm) and so on. In order to suceed, player will have to survey the battlefield (without sounding the alarm if possible), devise appropriate strategy (for example he may not have suitable units for hit-and-run), and respond to new events (for example turn 3: unexpected patrol on eastern side of outpost).
Specific ideas: There is magical trap at the side entrance of the outpost (of course, player will not learn about it automatically). The trap needs to be removed by magic-wielding unit if the side entrance is to be used for infiltration. Player has to escort magical user there.
There are tripwires thwarting the proper use of hit and run tactics. Some specialists have to remove them.
Main entrance is heavily guarded by cloaked figures, there is this big gate which needs to be opened. In order to open that gate player can try to use deception (kill some elves from elsewhere and disguise some units and attempt to infiltrate them inside... before that he has to learn password /by surveying the main outpost for example/), brute force, or some rogue to open it from inside.
Related achievement: Master Tactician (Finish the scenario without casualties)

Issues:
10 is very conversation-intensive, there is need for long writing work in order to carry it out.
Capture all the villages idea is not used.
Both 11 and 12 are large scenarios -> playthrough is tiring for the player in that case. If 11 is large, there needs to be one additional small scenario after it.

Ideas dump:
Ingame book - Assasins' code of honour
The Cult -> Unless they find and equip their weapons, characters can use only punches and kicks or we can deploy "fight narration"
Not all enemies fight to the death - it is more realistic (of course, it can be frustrating for the player when enemy leader flees right before his demise)
Last level (named Finis Coronat Opus /The end crowns the work/?) -> every killed enemy will be reanimated by dark forces leader as walking corpse ("Death is only excuse for disobedience")?
Fountain of wishes in Valley scenario
Some animals in scenarios as units? For example a cow in 1, or falcon in caravan scenario

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

Post by Neuromancer » July 14th, 2011, 6:33 pm

First lines of this post removed per Posting Guidelines section 5, not this user’s fault — shadowmaster

Another ideas dump, this time artifacts:
Artifact for Wendala, looks somehow like this:
Image
Necklace cord is made from some kind of black leather. Scorpio has red gems as eyes, they are glowing in dark. The metal is probably more black than it is on picture. It can be only jewellery, but I was thinking about modification (When Wendala wears it?): the scorpion is kinda living and has wings. In special situations it distends its sting and wings and lets go of the cord, flies around.

Staff of gammy horse (probably needs some better sounding name) - artifact for Hazael
Looks somelike this one, is decently ornamented, some parts of it may be made of metal, maybe some black gems are on it. One eye on horse head is deformed, scorched, somehow like this. The whole artifact emanates decency and cogency with a bit of sickness: just like Hazael himself.
Bonus: I was thinking about some kind of improved leadership or additional conversation options (owner of the staff is more persuasive). If Hazael acquires the staff, Wendalas variable will subtract by 1.

What about religion in our world? For example in Dragon Age 2 there is this good goddess, Andraste. Dwarves sometimes curse "Andrastes ass", lawful characters sometimes gasp "by Andraste!" when witnessing something in awe and so on. I think it nicely adds to the world immersion. Quman, are you willing to incorporate something like that into conversation? I can think out some religions and panthenon.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

Post by bobknows » July 31st, 2011, 7:23 am

my idea dump:
For The achievements I suggest using objective and note tags once you have won but before the success popup
Instead of having the items in shops you can have them as drops from the enemy leaders and thus provide an incentive to complete as many campaigns as possible
In addition to having moveto events make the world map more open and have essentially tribes represented by a unit and once encountered it just brings up generic scenario based on the events you are between and the enemy you met
instead of making a custom sprite for each character(possible but costly) take a mainline sprite and just change a color or something, small but noticeable
make it possible to complete every scenario but a dialogue comes up "why are we going this way" and then something related to the scenario you are headed for
For custom units we can talk to zerovirus, he just gave me 4 sprites for something like a man vs monster fight pit I am including in my campaign.

To those who wish to know I am bobknows. I have recently been playing through many of the mainline and add on campaigns and am working on making a short campaign of my own.

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

Post by Neuromancer » July 31st, 2011, 12:43 pm

bobknows wrote: For The achievements I suggest using objective and note tags once you have won but before the success popup
How exactly are you thinking of it..?
bobknows wrote: Instead of having the items in shops you can have them as drops from the enemy leaders and thus provide an incentive to complete as many campaigns as possible
I think boss drops is an ugly custom from games where developers need to motivate people to play more (like WoW: first you kill monsters for xp, later for items). For me fun from exploring (different paths, new character /thus conversation/ combinations, different ending..) is much better incentive.
On the other hand, we could incorporate one boss fight (with some meaningful drops) in the game. We can create dungeon in imperial city sewers.. boss fight can be divided into phases (for example first three turns five tentacles will spawn, in turn four octopus itself will emerge from the depths and so on...). But I guess this will be low in priority list.

bobknows wrote: In addition to having moveto events make the world map more open and have essentially tribes represented by a unit and once encountered it just brings up generic scenario based on the events you are between and the enemy you met
You mean random encounters?
bobknows wrote: For custom units we can talk to zerovirus, he just gave me 4 sprites for something like a man vs monster fight pit I am including in my campaign.
Thanks for suggestion, I sent him PM.

In attachment there is map for swamp scenario.
A, B, C are starting locations (A from dwarf scenario, B from drake cult scenario, C from valley scenario).
Z is ending location.
1 - Woses
2 - Saurians (orange). One tribe of saurians lived in eastern forests, but was forced to move away after dark elves started to take their hold there. They escaped to the southwest, but it wasnt enough, because woses started to awaken there. Now they arrived in 2, their former homeland, but another saurian tribe lives there. Saurians are overcrowded and are seeking new lands around 9 and further in the alliance territory.
3 - Nagas (brown). Trying to gain some control over trade route (9) and clashing with alliance around 8. I dont see reason for them to be allied with saurians like in other wesnoth campaigns.
4 - Alliance (pink). Are they trying to gain some control over trade route or are they just focusing on defending their territories against intruders? What are their relations with drakes?
5 - Ruins. I was thinking about some survival scenario (scenario in scenario - ghosts are attacking these damned ruins). Alternatively we can put another faction in there (preferably some brand new, we already have stereotypical nagas in this scenario).
6 - Abandoned farm. Maybe some mini-sidequest?
7 - This is somewhat abandoned area, Im thinking about some small surprise for the player, but dont know exactly what.

I think the scenario has nice dynamics, but we need to carefully tune the behavior of factions. There need to be some scripted events too, for example when advancing from A player should meet some alliance patrol fighting against saurians (but he will not meet them if coming from C..), when coming from C, player will meet alliance right away (many conversation options: party will not answer to secret alliance greeting ->"Explain your presence!", "Can you help us against saurians?", "Go north and turn northeast from the big tree, but dont go further north, nagas are there", "you are coming from that cave? have you met our patrol? we dont have any messages from them"...) and so on.
We also have to motivate player to not separate the group. In other big scenarios (like the second one in UtBS) this was achieved by fatigue effect (player had to position his units right next to healer), but we cannot use it in there. I guess some Hazaels warning will have to suffice.

Lore idea: Magical lake with one duck, swan and goose in it.
Attachments
swampsmall.jpg

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

Post by bobknows » July 31st, 2011, 1:44 pm

I was thinking like

Code: Select all

objective
          note
                 {list_achievements_lvl_1}
          /note
/objective
the green objectives thing at the top would be ugly but is likely editable. Else there is probably another way to get a popup like it.

Drops was just something I see in a lot of games its fine to not have it here

something like random encounters but for example elvelves wold stay near the forest and orcs would run up to you wherever you are. some encounters, could give items or fight you based on your evil/good score

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Re: Looking for characters and story writer(s) - Mercenaries

Post by Neuromancer » August 8th, 2011, 6:24 pm

Im very happy to announce Gloria Victis was just uploaded on the 1.9. addon server, consisting of five narrated, playable scenarios. Campaign has its own topic in the Scenario&Campaign development section, please post everything related only there from now on.

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