Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Pentarctagon » September 16th, 2016, 12:30 am

Dugi wrote:Speaking of money, have you considered some microtransactions? I don't mean stuff like pay 20€ to have +1 damage on all your Elvish Fighters for 30 games, just some cool stuff that doesn't influence the chance to win. I can imagine a few things like leaders wearing crowns, choosing a more elegant team colour, using some alternate versions of sprites, units getting extra flares when attacking, blood, cooler missiles, alternate attack pictures, pulsating experience bars... Opponents/allies would see it in multiplayer and envy them, getting motivated to pay as well. There is a game that uses it, Path of Exile (thanks Faerie_Storm for telling me about it), and plenty of its players (about a half of regulars) has their characters decorated with cool armours, shining weapons, smoke wings, burning footprints, pets and other things that cost over $100 in total per character. It allowed its devs, initially a garage team of ten people, to grow into a company employing over 200 people with a game that is free and paying has no gameplay advantages.
How would micro-transactions even work in an open source game? Everyone would be able to edit the files to get whatever cosmetic they wanted.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Dugi » September 16th, 2016, 4:05 am

Pentarctagon wrote:
Dugi wrote:...
How would micro-transactions even work in an open source game? Everyone would be able to edit the files to get whatever cosmetic they wanted.
A lot of stuff could be hardcoded in the executable to make editing files hard. And if someone edits the files anyway, other players in multiplayer would not see the result.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Eagle_11 » September 16th, 2016, 7:11 am

Modding is what kept wesnoth afloat and you'd like to kill it like that ?
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Dugi » September 16th, 2016, 8:14 am

Why should something like a checksum on core restrict modding? Most players would not create an add-on just to get to some exclusive details and add-ons allowing getting the exclusive stuff can be forbidden on the server. Unofficial servers would be hard to control, but people usually do not choose the path of pirates over the legal way just for a few unimportant details (speaking about my own experience with piracy). The small minority does not have to be cared about.

And stuff like blood or patterned team colours could be easily handled by the core pretty comfortably.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Pentarctagon » September 16th, 2016, 8:47 am

Dugi wrote:A lot of stuff could be hardcoded in the executable to make editing files hard. And if someone edits the files anyway, other players in multiplayer would not see the result.
I guess. Though given that Wesnoth currently has pretty much no controls for cheating, has chosen not to have any kind of ladder integration, and there has been a fair amount of push back to even add a rating system for add-ons, the chance that any of the infrastructure needed for micro-transactions ever gets put in place seems pretty small.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Dugi » September 16th, 2016, 10:14 am

These guys were talking about some future project, not this game. They wanted to monetise it, so I suggested a friendly method to monetise it.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Pentarctagon » September 16th, 2016, 11:16 pm

Dugi wrote:These guys were talking about some future project, not this game. They wanted to monetise it, so I suggested a friendly method to monetise it.
But unless wesnoth2 is written by a brand new group of developers, it seems like the existing opinions of that sort of thing would stay the same.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Telcontar » October 3rd, 2016, 12:34 pm

LordBob wrote:I've been itching to create a HD Wesnoth for a few years now. The current graphics are very nice however scaling things up a bit wouldn't hurt -especially in the age of HD screens.
It doesn't have to be 3D (I would be naturally inclined towards 2D), yet 3D could help produce 2D graphics with a more streamlined approach and ease the workload when creating modular assets and animations.
I think we conflate vectorized graphics and 3D. I agree that it does not make much sense to re-use 2D graphics that were made over a decade ago for screens that had a much lower resolution than what we use now. The sprites look awfully pixelated now, and I think most players prefer a more modern look where you can clearly see what a unit is.

2D vector graphics are simpler than 3D, but I'm not sure if there are good free tools for creating (and animating!) those. In both cases, it is a lot harder to create vectorized artwork than it is to draw pixel art. However, the outcome would be assets that scale to any size and resolution, so they could be used forever without worrying about an "aging" look a few years ahead.

IMHO a V2.0 project should start with more modern graphics in mind, and not re-use existing artwork but existing gameplay and music, both of which are superb.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by lea » October 7th, 2016, 9:39 am

Dave wrote:- I don't think Wesnoth is "more famous" than it was eight years ago or so. Quite the opposite in fact. Google trends shows interest in Wesnoth way down from heights in 2006-2008: https://www.google.com/trends/explore?d ... &q=wesnoth ... website visitors are down too. Is there some metric that makes you think it's more famous than it used to be?
statistics are misleading because it is seldom clear how they are collected. For example if people would be asked on the streets if they are extroverted then vast majority of responses would be "yes" because most introverts would refuse to talk ;) I think there is some increase in popularity because in 2006-2008 portable version of BfW:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/portab ... 0Portable/
did not exist. also please feel free to treat it as suggested feature to make BfW inherently portable )
Dave wrote:- The reason we haven't accepted donations has nothing to do with "corporate registration" or anything similar. It's simply a personal preference not to accept donations.
Eric Raymond uses patreon with some success: https://www.patreon.com/esr
he is mentioned in BfW's history so I hope to use it as a "social proof" to convince you to try it too ^_^
iceiceice wrote:Edit: Also, I asked a question maybe tangentially related to GPL vs App Store on Open Source Stack Exchange recently, and got an interesting answer: http://opensource.stackexchange.com/que ... h-cc-by-nd
IMHO "GPL with exceptions" seems like a way to go if GPL is mostly (but not totally) what you want regarding licenses. Except maybe it is worth to preserve an ability to legally fork the project and license forked version under GPL without most of exceptions to protect it from being "clawed back".
Dugi wrote:Speaking of money, have you considered some microtransactions?
IMHO microtransactions are a slippery slope: once you invest (quite a lot of!) time and effort into integrating them you are inclined to gradually make the project more and more closed to "protect your investment". And as long as the project is FOSS/GPLed, people can fork it to remove limitations. After that a lot of effort (on top of effort invested to initially incorporate microtransactions) may be wasted on "arms race" to "gently force" microtransactions on players from one side and to clean them from the game from another side - instead of putting all this effort into improving the game.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by LordBob » October 10th, 2016, 11:29 pm

Telcontar wrote:I think we conflate vectorized graphics and 3D. I agree that it does not make much sense to re-use 2D graphics that were made over a decade ago for screens that had a much lower resolution than what we use now. The sprites look awfully pixelated now, and I think most players prefer a more modern look where you can clearly see what a unit is.

2D vector graphics are simpler than 3D, but I'm not sure if there are good free tools for creating (and animating!) those. In both cases, it is a lot harder to create vectorized artwork than it is to draw pixel art. However, the outcome would be assets that scale to any size and resolution, so they could be used forever without worrying about an "aging" look a few years ahead.
On that we agree. Making vector art that looks good is hard work indeed, and 3D even more so. I wouldn't bet that vector can be a safeguard against obsolescence, though. ;)
Then there's the whole matter of how to make sure game assets can still be created by a large contributor base and not just a select few people with the right combination of highly technical skill and expensive software. So maybe there would be a need to compromise between looks and usability, or have the select few work on a modular library that others can use at will to design their own buildings, terrains, units etc.

Either way it's a veeeeery big project to upgrade Wesnoth's graphics in that manner.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by GunChleoc » October 11th, 2016, 11:37 am

Inkscape is a free tool for editing vector graphics, I don't know how good it would be for animations though.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Crow_T » October 16th, 2016, 3:38 am

*comes out of shadows*
I have a feeling straight up vector gfx would be pretty bad, they have a tendency to be resource hogs when you get more shapes involved- plus they look very Macromedia Flash 2000. IMO setting up a standard to render 3D to sprite frames (think Donkey Kong Country or the Library of K-something Wesnoth addon) would be a good evolutionary step. One could use ramps or toon rendering to get specific color gradations like we have now, and once a unit is modeled and rigged the possibility of many unique as well as shared animations opens up if there is a standard Wesnoth rig. Keeping the style simple enough to emulate the current sprite look would look clean as well as open the game up for a bigger field of artists.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by johndh » October 16th, 2016, 7:28 pm

Crow_T wrote:One could use ramps or toon rendering to get specific color gradations like we have now, and once a unit is modeled and rigged the possibility of many unique as well as shared animations opens up if there is a standard Wesnoth rig. Keeping the style simple enough to emulate the current sprite look would look clean as well as open the game up for a bigger field of artists.
3D assets are vastly more re-usable and modifiable. We would just have to be careful not to get too lazy by making everything too similar by reusing identical animations over and over.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Sire » October 16th, 2016, 11:24 pm

While 3D assets are probably infinitely easier to use than 2D ones, 2D still has it's own charm. Whether it be pixel art (retro or modern), or moving paintings like in the Vanillaware games (Dragon's Crown, Odin's Sphere), 2D art is still amazing and can compete against 3D, even if it is more difficult to do so.

While I like both art styles, I would prefer if we stuck with the pixel style for mainline Battle for Wesnoth. Granted, good pixel art (especially animated art) seems to be rarity nowadays, but if done right, it adds its own uniqueness to the overall game. In addition, it begs the question of all the existing assets, if we were to switch styles, practically everything will have to be revamped. While this may be feasible for a normal game company, BoW is mostly done as a hobby in a person's free time. Sure, there may be some commissions (mostly artwork), but otherwise Wesnoth seems to be mostly a free platform for people to contribute to. Unless there happens to be a full-time unit artist, I don't see any revamps coming any time soon, and even then, I would prefer this theoretical artist to improve on existing pixel designs and expanding animations.

Then, if we were to transition to 3D, what would the game look like? A Hex-Based X-Com, but in Wesnoth style? Civilization 5, but with a single unit representation instead of multiple? If the unit sprites change, what of the existing terrain and portraits? There's a lot of questions that will need answering, even if may be simple answers to them.

As for Wesnoth 2, while it has good ideas, it seems more like Wizard Wars instead of Wesnoth. I see Wesnoth as a leader recruiting units and using those units to win the battle. Yes, it is simpler (no need to cast flashy spells or summon units/structures), but sometimes simple gameplay is better than complex ones. Granted, Legend of the Invincibles may be a counterpoint, players do enjoy the inventory system as well as the expanded AMLA, but mods to tend to make the core game more complex for the more hardcore crowd.

I much rather see "true ranged" and "battlefield magic" implemented as options for UMC authors in BoW. Attacking from 2 hexes away or more would be a boon for authors wanting to make an artillery unit, or eras that focus more on ranged combat. Battlefield magic works the same way, perhaps there is a Wizard War going on. "Battlefield magic" can even be interpreted as "support powers" for more futuristic eras. (So, instead of a Firestorm, there is a Bombing Raid.) Needless to say, I see BoW as a foundation of possibilities. I can see "Wesnoth 2" as a core mod for BoW, but can't really see it as its own game. Then again, it may just be because of the name and the concept may be sound, but being named "Wesnoth 2", even as a prototype, gives me a set of expectations based off the original.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by johndh » October 17th, 2016, 9:40 pm

Sire wrote: Then, if we were to transition to 3D, what would the game look like? A Hex-Based X-Com, but in Wesnoth style? Civilization 5, but with a single unit representation instead of multiple?
Probably something like the Age of Wonders series with a Wesnothian style to the units -- i.e. proportions, shading, etc.
If the unit sprites change, what of the existing terrain and portraits? There's a lot of questions that will need answering, even if may be simple answers to them.
Portraits needn't change in any case. Terrain is a different matter, as there are a few different ways to do it. One would be to have the unit very large so that trees and such only come up to their knees, like in the aforementioned Age of Wonders (screenshot), in which case the style would look similar to how it does now. Mountains and castles might need additional consideration.
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