The Undead Inquisition v. 0.8.1

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The Undead Inquisition v. 0.8.1

Postby picass_dilly » October 9th, 2012, 7:10 pm

Okay, so this is my first development release. It contains 5 scenarios (technically six, due to a branch, but 5 in play). I'm not sure exactly how the campaign was developed and uploaded on wesnoth v 1.10.4, so I'd recommend that you download that or a later version before play-testing. I'm not sure if there's any way to link the add-on here, but you should be able to download it from the add-on server. Just search the name. Anyway, I'm looking for any general feedback. Ideas for refining the dialogue, opinions about how well balanced it is, bugs you might have encountered (please include what version of wesnoth you are playing for bug reporting) or other general thoughts.

(note- I know the artwork is far below the quality typical of wesnoth. I'm just not that great at pixel art, so either at some point in development, someone will volunteer to be my art collaborator or it will just have very mediocre art (or there's the very infinitesimal possibility that at some point my own art skills will develop beyond the point of 'well, it's functional' to the point of having actual quality). Ultimately, the most likely eventual option would be to take artwork from other eras and campaigns, tweaking them to suit my needs).

(edit-) now v. 0.5.2, I noticed one of the characters had the {IS_LOYAL} macro where it should have been {TRAIT_LOYAL}. So I've revised and re-uploaded.
Last edited by picass_dilly on October 27th, 2012, 12:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Njord » October 15th, 2012, 9:31 pm

Just finished it and I really enjoyed it. Fun new characters. Only complaint is that I wanted to keep on playing!
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Chris NS » October 16th, 2012, 6:33 pm

Hi,

Had a go at this campaign and I definitely like the idea of a monk advancement tree. The artwork at the moment does stick out like a sore thumb, but you've acknowledged this which is good. There was one particularly notorious contributer of god-awful artwork/units a fe years back who got really obnoxious when anyone dared to suggest some improvements. One way of producing acceptable units without having any artistic skill is to "Frankenstein" a unit, which involves putting together body parts from other units to get what you want. (e.g. The avatar you see on the left I produced by sticking a Duellist on the horse of another unit.)

With the campaign, here's a few thoughts which are just my personal preferences and you are free to ignore:

  • I like storylines in Wesnoth to cover the essential bits of the plot in as few messages as possible. It's a goot way of keeping the writing tight.
  • Avoid giving away the entire story in the first scenario. As far a I can tell, the storyline is making a journey to destroy a scroll and fighting some battles along the way. Can there be more to it than that?
  • The second scenario got a bit boring. Once you've killed the creatures in one direction and the outlaws have killed the creatures in the other direction, there's really nothing to do except move your leader to the exit.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Dugi » October 16th, 2012, 7:35 pm

(edit-) now v. 0.5.2, I noticed one of the characters had the {IS_LOYAL} macro where it should have been {TRAIT_LOYAL}. So I've revised and re-uploaded.
You should use both {IS_LOYAL} and {TRAIT_LOYAL}. {IS_LOYAL} makes them get the overlay that marks them as loyals, that is quite useful for players (there are of course other ways to add this, but this one is the easiest, but it may be used only when the unit is created). {TRAIT_LOYAL} makes them loyal, but there are also other ways to make them loyal.

One way of producing acceptable units without having any artistic skill is to "Frankenstein" a unit, which involves putting together body parts from other units to get what you want.
Yeah, but think about it a bit deeper. There are not many monk units that don't look too ugly in Wesnoth UMC universe. These were the best I have seen so far. So he has 5 or a bit more monk units, and then even with all the recolouring and and adding weapons it might be hard to get them varied enough.
And why do you think that frankensteins require no artistic skill?
Compare these two:
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby picass_dilly » October 17th, 2012, 2:02 am

Chris NS wrote:
  • I like storylines in Wesnoth to cover the essential bits of the plot in as few messages as possible. It's a goot way of keeping the writing tight.
  • Avoid giving away the entire story in the first scenario. As far a I can tell, the storyline is making a journey to destroy a scroll and fighting some battles along the way. Can there be more to it than that?
  • The second scenario got a bit boring. Once you've killed the creatures in one direction and the outlaws have killed the creatures in the other direction, there's really nothing to do except move your leader to the exit.


First point is definitely taken. I've been doing a bit of work on tightening up the dialogue a bit, although the long end-level bit that lays out the basic story in the first scenario is still there. I suppose I could work on chopping that up a bit and spreading the basic points a bit farther out scenario-wise (for example, maybe moving the part about the book being indestructible to another scenario as part of the [story]).

As for the second point, I feel most of what I've put into the story for the first scenario kind of has to be there. It might not be entirely necessary to explain why the undead army is pursuing Thaddeus, but it is necessary that Thaddeus knows about the book (so he knows he needs to protect it), and as Dom Arctus is the only one who knows about it and he dies, there really isn't any other way to bring out that information. Also, the exact nature of whatever force is searching for the book is still un-revealed. Similarly, the branching at "The Uprising" brings out new story elements depending on the choice made (if you side with the rebels, how do they ultimately escape the tyranny of Tath?). Also, there'll be some new zombie units that will add a bit of a "where did these guys come from?" element (They show up in the unfinished next scenario). And there's also a defector from the Necromancer's side who will come into play later.
In short, yes, there is more to it than that.

And for the third point, my assumption is that you elected to pay off the bandits (otherwise, they're allied with the monsters and don't attack them). Which is just bound to make the scenario less exciting as it takes away one of your enemies. But that does bring to my attention what I believe is a minor bug (I set the Bandit ai to idle if you pay them off. I'd assumed this would prevent them from interfering with the other monsters. It seems I was mistaken. But I'm fairly sure that I can set it up so they're allied with both you and the random monsters, which should leave it entirely on your hands to fight your way through). Additionally, I may look into adding a few extra monsters if you ally with the bandits. If you don't pay off the bandits, I've tweaked their recruitment, gold, and income a bit, so fighting them should be a bit more of a challenge as well.

In any case, thank you for the feedback. Sorry if my responses seem a bit defensive.

@ Dugi- I do use both {IS_LOYAL} and {TRAIT_LOYAL}, the {IS_LOYAL} macro is outside the [modifications] tag. I just mistakenly used it instead of {TRAIT_LOYAL} when adding the loyal trait to Sir Trask.

@Njord- Thanks

Anyway, I'll be updating it again in the fairly near future (I decided to wait before putting out a new version until after I'd done a good deal of revising and additions, instead of posting a new version for each minor detail I've changed). Unfortunately, my next update probably won't have any completed new scenarios, but I did add a "TEST" difficulty setting (which I've been using for debugging and testing purposes), which allows you to jump to any scenario, and will also make it possible to see the skeletons of the next two scenarios I'm adding (one for each branch. By skeleton, I mean the scenario doesn't really have any story, animation, or dialogue. Instead the [event]'s where those things happen basically just say "hey, this event worked." so I know they work). The test scenarios don't have any gold carry-over or recall list, so to play them you'd kind of have to debug in a few higher level units/ advance your existing units with debug mode, and maybe tweak your gold to account for the lack of carryover. Which actually reminds me, I need to get back to the coding for the update (I was just on to look up some references and noticed I'd gotten some feedback, which got me side-tracked).
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Chris NS » October 17th, 2012, 9:28 am

If you want the bandits to fight neither side 1 nor side 3, you won't be able to do it by allying them to both sides at once. That is actually impossible to program. However, it is possible to force something to this effect in the WML. What you could do is:

  • Set all of side 2's moves to 0 at the start of each turns. I think (but I'm not sure) this is how the first scenario of the Legend of Wesmere works.
  • You might also need to Set the bandits as allied to side 1 during side 1's turn and side 3 during side 3's turn, to stop the side 3 creatures attacking the bandits.

Good you've got some more plot lined up. I'll keep an eye for how it gets on.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Dugi » October 17th, 2012, 10:20 am

If you want the bandits to fight neither side 1 nor side 3, you won't be able to do it by allying them to both sides at once. That is actually impossible to program.

Oh, really?
You can write this into the side definition:
Code: Select all
        ai_algorithm=idle_ai

And they will not attack, they will not move, they will not do anything at all. The solution to prevent others from attacking them is fine, just a small note that there is a macro for that named {NEUTRAL_SIDE 2} in 1.8 core files (in 1.10, you are supposed to write more teams it belongs to, but as far as I know, it does not work) that does it, and it also checks for a few more things to make it easier to use.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Kanzil » October 17th, 2012, 4:15 pm

compare these two

Why thank you Dugi! Why do I get the feeling that wasn't a compliment :lol2:.
High over valleys in the red levelling rays -
In din of crowded streets, going among the years, the faces,
May I still meet my memory in so lonely a place
Between the streams and the red clouds, hearing the curlews, Hearing the horizons endure.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby Dugi » October 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm

I am sorry, but that was the first bad frankenstein I found (and I am quite sure you improved it from then). Or should I have searched something old enough that was drawn by by people who are no longer here? Every bad sprite has an author. I intentionally didn't mention that you were the author, I hoped it is old enough and forgotten. Should I replace it with something else?
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.5.2

Postby picass_dilly » October 17th, 2012, 7:50 pm

From the side_wml reference
team_name: a non translatable string representing the team's description. Sides with the same team_name are allied. Default side. team_name is now a comma-separated list of teams that the side is on.

(italics added)
My interpretation was that this means sides can be allied with multiple teams. After reading this thread, I did some quick checking with debug and droid [on/off] to be sure, and yes, sides can have multiple team names and therefore be unattackable and unwilling to attack sides from different teams.
I'd already had idle_ai set in the [modify side] tag if you choose to pay off the bandits, although the leader still recruits units and sends them to capture villages. Here's the code I used:
Code: Select all
switch_ai=idle_ai

It doesn't seem to work the way I'd originally thought, perhaps I've made some mistake in my interpretation of the key or value.
In any case, I also set the bandit side gold=0 and income=-2 so that he doesn't do any recruiting if you pay him off, and made some modifications to the fog-settings (if I leave the fog cleared, the new wolves attack the "fog_clearer" unit).
In all, that bit now works the way I'd intended.
I also added more wolves if you pay off the bandit (to fill in the monster gap created by not having to fight your way through bandits at the bottom half of the map), so it's a battle through the entire course of the map.

Also, I've uploaded the latest update, v. 0.6.1
changes include:
-A debug/test difficulty setting that lets you jump to any scenario (including two scenario skeletons that need to be fleshed out before they're plugged into the campaign).
-The above changes mentioned to the second scenario.
-Two new Zombie units that appear in the scenario skeletons (one of which uses art cribbed from Dugi's "Legend of the Invincibles" campaign. Hope you don't mind Dugi).
-A (very) little bit of dialogue editing
-In the third scenario, "Defeat enemy leaders" has been changed from an (optional) objective to a (bonus) objective that includes a higher carry-over percentage
-and some other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head but which is fully documented in the Changelog

(edit) BTW dugi, I've downloaded LotI, and find it very enjoyable. Still pretty early in Chapter 1 right now, but I look forward to playing through all that's been done to date.

Also, I hope to have the skeleton scenarios fleshed out and ready to plug into the full campaign in the next few days, so keep your eyes open for that update.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.6.1

Postby Dugi » October 17th, 2012, 8:08 pm

...
It doesn't seem to work the way I'd originally thought, perhaps I've made some mistake in my interpretation of the key or value.
I think the AI cannot be modified in that way. Create a side that has no units, no leader, same colour than the bandits, and idle_ai and all bandits are moved to that side if you pay them off.
Nevermind, the method from the wiki worked, not sure why it didn't work for me.

-A debug/test difficulty setting that lets you jump to any scenario (including two scenario skeletons that need to be fleshed out before they're plugged into the campaign).
Not perfectly sure if this was really needed, you can simply edit a save file, just unpack it, find what was supposed to be the next_scenario, use find&replace to replace all its occurrences on the id of the scenario you want to enter and it is done.

-Two new Zombie units that appear in the scenario skeletons (one of which uses art cribbed from Dugi's "Legend of the Invincibles" campaign. Hope you don't mind Dugi).
I don't mind. Which ones, btw?

(edit) BTW dugi, I've downloaded LotI, and find it very enjoyable. Still pretty early in Chapter 1 right now, but I look forward to playing through all that's been done to date.
Glad to read this :D
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.6.1

Postby picass_dilly » October 17th, 2012, 11:37 pm

Yeah, I also think there may be a debug option that lets you select a scenario. But i already built the difficulty and set up the wml to support it, so I figure, might as well keep it, at least for as long as it's in development (I'll definitely get rid of it for the first v. 1.x.y update, although I may just turn it into an easter egg after that). And it does make for an easier scenario jump than messing around with a save-file. I just think it's a sort of neat feature.

The unit I used from LotI was your Mutant unit (for a Mutant Zombie in my campaign), I switched the browns out for greys to make it a bit more zombie-ish. I haven't done the same thing with the defense image yet, because for some reason, selecting by color (the way I've been switching the colors) was a bit more buggy (instead of something like 9 or 10 layers, one for each shade, it was like 20 or so). I'm not sure how much sense that explanation makes, but basically , trying to do the color swap for the defend image is a lot more tedious, and I think wouldn't result in as good an image. At least until I figure a better way of pulling off the color swap. My understanding of gimp is still pretty rudimentary.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.6.1

Postby Dugi » October 17th, 2012, 11:46 pm

Yeah, I also think there may be a debug option that lets you select a scenario.
There is a way to do that, but you would have nothing to continue from, like no recalls, level 1 leader, etc. Write into Terminal:
Code: Select all
$ wesnoth-1.10 --campaign-scenario <id_scenario>

There might be an equivalent way to do that on Windows, but I am not sure how it is.

The unit I used from LotI was your Mutant unit (for a Mutant Zombie in my campaign), I switched the browns out for greys to make it a bit more zombie-ish. I haven't done the same thing with the defense image yet, because for some reason, selecting by color (the way I've been switching the colors) was a bit more buggy (instead of something like 9 or 10 layers, one for each shade, it was like 20 or so). I'm not sure how much sense that explanation makes, but basically , trying to do the color swap for the defend image is a lot more tedious, and I think wouldn't result in as good an image. At least until I figure a better way of pulling off the color swap. My understanding of gimp is still pretty rudimentary.

The picture was formerly made by Zerovirus, and was on the forums for some time.
The problem with the image bugs you because I used a few gimp tools like stretch, perspective, rotate etc, to ake the animation (he did not attack except for self-defence where it was supposed that somebody from somewhere far away casts a lightning on the attacker, so all anims I needed to create was the defence anim) and because of that, many pixels got other colour gradients (pixel shading makes it look as sharp as possible, but colour gradients are messed in the process).
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.6.1

Postby picass_dilly » October 18th, 2012, 10:15 pm

ahh. I thought the problem had to do with gimp anti-aliasing edges automatically when I removed one layer of color. In any case, I think I might be able to work around it by taking out the part I want to keep colored and then switching the image to black and white, and putting the colors back in. Like most image-related stuff, though it's more of a "well, that works for know, I'll try and tune it up later." kind of thing.
Also, artwork-wise, I'm more looking for portraits I can use at the moment anyway (I need a decent wolf-rider portrait, a generic archer-unit portrait, a lot of monk portraits, some abbot portraits, and a few others for my acquired characters). For a lot of those I might just use mainline portraits and just set it so the unit keeps one portrait as it levels, but it'd be nice to get some unique portraits if I can find them (I almost certainly won't be able to create anything remotely decent looking). I just recently downloaded a few add-ons in hopes of finding stuff in them, and I'll probably start trolling the art forums (maybe even start a topic) when it's time to really get those done.
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Re: The Undead Inquisition v. 0.6.1

Postby Dugi » October 18th, 2012, 10:25 pm

Portraits were always I problem. I have just three portraits in LotI, one is a frankenstein (portrait frankensteins are significantly harder to make), one was made by an artist for me and one was made by him too, but unfinished (I have made a few small changes on it to make it look more finished).
In most cases, I leave the units without portraits, or simply some mainline ones.

And regarding that mutant spearman zombie, if you cannot recolour the animation frame, you may recreate it from the baseframe, it was just some cutting, rotating, blending and perspective, done in 5 minutes.
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