Sven's Adventure

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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kpearce
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Sven's Adventure

Post by kpearce » July 5th, 2013, 2:04 am

This is a discussion thread for a campaign I just posted called "Sven's Adventure." My goal for this campaign was to build something a little closer to the old Final Fantasy games (with perhaps a hint of nethack thrown in), where the focus would be on advancing a small number of units, and very few other units are in play. So the campaign has the following unusual features:

1. The player has only two opportunities to recruit units.
2. At the beginning of each scenario, all units on the recall list are automatically recalled (for free).
3. Player-controlled units take much longer to advance than normal. In particular, they must go through three AMLAs before advancing to the next unit type. (Following a suggestion from DranKof on the forums, I implemented this by creating new unit types with [base_unit]. For most unit types, I just use a macro to generate them all with the same changes.)

The campaign has 19 scenarios, which are, on average, significantly shorter (in terms of playtime) than the scenarios in the mainline campaigns. It is fully playable, but note that this campaign is effected by bug 20853 (https://gna.org/bugs/index.php?20853), and so will work properly only in versions 1.11.5 and greater. (The bug leads to the player having a whole bunch of extra gold, badly screwing up the balancing.)

Here is a todo list/roadmap. Several of these items have to do with the fact that I don't do graphics, so if anyone wants to step in and take care of some of them I would greatly appreciate it. It is also possible that I could find useable material by a more thorough search of existing user-made content. Suggestions about this are also appreciated.

For Version 1.0
* Unit graphics. None of the custom unit types I created have custom graphics. In some cases, like the main character, this is ok because I borrowed the graphics from unit types that don't occur in the campaign, but in other cases it's bad. The worst is that the Squire looks like a Ruffian. (This is especially bad since the Squire is supposed to have a short sword and not a club, but I couldn't think of a more appropriate unit type to borrow images from.) Other unit types that need graphics are: Wayfarer, Apprentice Mage, and Shadow Sorcerer.
* Attack animations. For all the custom attacks (which includes those conferred by items, as well as the Shadow Sorcerer's attacks) I tried to borrow animations from elsewhere, but not all of them worked and some look pretty weird.
* Story map. Most of the story takes place beyond Wesnoth's southern border. I have not attempted to make anything like the big map to show where we are going between scenarios.

For Version 2.0
* Second half of story. In this version, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end to the story, and in that sense the campaign is 'complete.' Nevertheless, it ends a little abruptly. Probably, there should be a second half in which the party must travel back to Weldyn. It would be neat if, as they went back up through the cave levels, the enemies and items that were left behind were still there, in addition to enemies being slightly replenished. (Most of this can, I think, be done fairly easily with persistent AI sides.)
* More items. It might be neat to have more items to find in the caves, though of course this will raise balancing issues, and requires sufficient creativity to figure out what the items should be.

Wish List
* Randomly generated filler levels. It would be awesome to have randomly generated filler levels (like nethack) in the caves, and perhaps at a few other points. I suspect this would require adding features to the actual engine, but perhaps it would be possible in Lua? (This is my first foray into Wesnoth development and I haven't played with Lua at all so far.)


That's everything I can think of right now. I've tested the campaign with moderate thoroughness, but only on the normal difficulty level. In a few places, there is some complicated logic and I probably haven't managed to test every case. In addition to bug fixes, a variety of improvements I haven't thought of are no doubt possible. Suggestions appreciated.

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Captain_Wrathbow
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by Captain_Wrathbow » July 5th, 2013, 4:21 pm

Looks impressive! New campaigns rarely catch my eye, but it appears you've put a lot of work into this, and you've presented it so nicely here that I'm tempted to give it a go. I also like the concept as you have explained it.
I'll download this and try it out sometime later today and get back to you!

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Sapient
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by Sapient » July 6th, 2013, 5:01 am

I'm also a final fantasy fan so I'll have to check this out if that was your inspiration. ;)
kpearce wrote: Wish List
* Randomly generated filler levels. It would be awesome to have randomly generated filler levels (like nethack) in the caves, and perhaps at a few other points. I suspect this would require adding features to the actual engine, but perhaps it would be possible in Lua? (This is my first foray into Wesnoth development and I haven't played with Lua at all so far.)
There are ways of doing this with WML and/or Lua code.
The easiest way is http://wiki.wesnoth.org/MapGeneratorWML
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

kpearce
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by kpearce » July 6th, 2013, 6:42 am

Sapient - Thanks, I didn't know that feature already existed! In that case, perhaps the random filler levels can make it into 2.0 after all.

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Paulomat4
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by Paulomat4 » July 6th, 2013, 7:55 am

tried it out, and have to say, it's not bad. The maps could still need a bit of improvements in terms of details. They are a bit boring in the moment. The AMLA system is not bad, but pay attention: if one makes it to lvl up a peasant to lvl three, you will have an overpowered unit with 9-10 movement points, over hundre hp, and very strong attacks. Take this in consideration, when balancing. Also once they have had all they're advancements most of your units get the +30% hp amla. that makes the hitpoints increase exponentially. Also with the few recruits you get at the beginning, its hard to keep them alive. A wolf may kill a peasant in one turn with a bit of luck.
But overall i like your campaign.
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gfgtdf
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by gfgtdf » July 6th, 2013, 11:49 am

i played scenarios 1-10 and they are short and amusing,


the advancement Peasant -> Spearman seems to be broken.
Scenario with Robots SP scenario (1.11/1.12), allows you to build your units with components, PYR No preperation turn 1.12 mp-mod that allows you to select your units immideately after the game begins.

kpearce
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by kpearce » July 6th, 2013, 5:21 pm

Thank you all for your feedback.

gfgtdf, you are right that the Spearman upgrades were broken. I've uploaded a fixed version.

Paulomat4, let me know what you think of the balancing when you get to the end. I have tried to make sufficiently powerful enemies to counterbalance the very powerful player units.

It is very hard to get out of that forest with all of your units and (depending on how you did your recruiting) you really can't afford to lose more than (maybe) one, I think. Perhaps I ought to make a level 0 'wolf cub' (or something similar) for that first scenario to start advancing your puny units on. What do you think?

Also, I certainly agree that the maps could be prettier. I suppose I should have listed that with the various 'graphics' issues. Aesthetics is not really my thing. If anyone feels like prettifying my maps, let me know.

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Paulomat4
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by Paulomat4 » July 6th, 2013, 5:50 pm

It is very hard to get out of that forest with all of your units and (depending on how you did your recruiting) you really can't afford to lose more than (maybe) one, I think. Perhaps I ought to make a level 0 'wolf cub' (or something similar) for that first scenario to start advancing your puny units on. What do you think?
Yes, that's a good idea. Perhaps a mix of lvl 1 wolfs aand lvl 0 wolf cubs? It's not like it's impossible to do, you just have to play very carefull.
And about the bigmap you'd like to us: try the one from the southguard. it shows places situated south from the aethenwood.
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luxury
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by luxury » August 20th, 2013, 8:47 pm

In the scenario "Elvish Forest" is a misspelling for the Hard level in the cfg document.
"Oricsh Sovereign" must be changed into "Orcish Sovereign" so that the scenario can start at level hard.

kpearce
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by kpearce » August 20th, 2013, 9:09 pm

Thank you for the report. I will fix this as soon as possible.

luxury
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by luxury » August 20th, 2013, 9:28 pm

and in the scenario "Spring Thawn" is also a misspelling for the hard level,
"Grand Marshall" must be changed into "Grand Marshal",

kpearce
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by kpearce » September 10th, 2013, 1:01 am

Apologies for the delay. Both of these typos should be fixed now.

Chep
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by Chep » September 10th, 2013, 10:52 am

Just started playing your campaign, as the idea seemed nice.

In "Pass" there is a Knight coming to your aid, well, more or less....anyhow in my game he suicided against Henry and the game was lost - I think that should be reflected in the mission objective here.

I gave up on the Dragon level, the dragon flew right towards the peasants and I had to deal with the wolves&fire elementals up until turn 5-6. I was amazed to see that the peasants brought the regenerating(!) dragon down to ~150HP, but there was no way for me to kill it before turn10 (the paladin that came to help did a whopping 26 damage before he was killed by the dragon^^).

Overall nice idea, but far too much dependency on the random number generator for my taste. almost all of the enemies you face can kill one of your men per round. also: the player seems to have new people joining him almost each level (possibly to counteract the losses due to RNG), but also that seems very luckbased (from my experience with Sir Olaf I assume the Paladin and his squire are also potential allies...well, yeah just like Sir Olaf they like to die when played by the AI).

I like the AMLA&Advancement-Idea, however I'd prefer if there was some sort of "customization" possible. For example if the player one got to take 2 of the 3 AMLA choices before a unit levels, he would have to decide "do I want to be quick and strong? or quick and resilient? or resilient and strong?" etc

edit: played medium difficulty, wesnoth 1.11.6 (win) with lots of save-loading

WanderingHero
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by WanderingHero » September 10th, 2013, 3:16 pm

Enjoying this campaign so far, though I agree its a bit luck dependent . I like campaigns where you control smaller groups of units, even if I'm not sure Wesnoth is designed for it.

I have a few other issues.

Is it possible to beat the dragon chapther without losing anyone? The wolf rush seems severe.

For the farewell chapther, the tomoto surprise where the 3 trolls suddenly spring out of nowhere where you about to hit the sign seems cruel and unfair, though i guess if they move away from the signpost you can zip past them.

For the book chapther, I wonder if the fireball book might be Op as it means Illia can kill nearly anything, though the taming book can give a near unlimited supply of allies. You can also abuse end turn to get a unlimited supply of gold.

For the chapter with Igor theirs a programming oversight where his dialogue triggers if a griffon attacks him, meaning the griffon will conduct the conversation!

kpearce
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Re: Sven's Adventure

Post by kpearce » September 10th, 2013, 4:46 pm

Chep: Thanks for your feedback. I think I did not have as many problems when play-testing on medium, though the dragon level always takes me several tries. Perhaps the wolves are excessive, or perhaps they come too early.

It is only near the beginning that you face a lot of enemies that can kill in one attack. Earlier in the forum thread, I discussed making 'wolf cubs' that would make it a little easier to level up your people at the beginning. I still plan to do that for a later version.

I agree that the fact that you can't lose Olaf in Pass should probably be reflected in the objectives; I will try to make that change soon.

I also like the idea of having to make choices in the AMLA sequence. The only reason I did it this way is that it's easier to program and less confusing for the player, but I may figure out how to do what you say in a future version.


WanderingHero: I've never beat the dragon level without losing at least one unit. I actually tried to adjust the difficulty that way on purpose. If you did get through without losing anyone, things would get pretty crowded in the caves, especially if you chose taming.

I will try to fix the gold issue in the book chapter, though you really don't do anything with gold anywhere in the campaign after that.

The spellbooks are very powerful by design, and the levels are meant to get much harder after that. Besides that, when I've played, Ilia still has relatively low HP and defense by this point, so it can still be a challenge to keep her alive. How do you think the balancing is after that point?

Yes, the taming spellbook makes animals magically able to talk! I have actually seen other campaigns with talking griffons, though talking wolves, etc., that you might end up with are pretty weird. Again, I just left it that way because it was simpler; perhaps I will do something more complicated in a future version.

Have you made it to the end? I'm interested in knowing how people find the balancing on the last scenario.

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