Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

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skeptical_troll
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Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by skeptical_troll » January 14th, 2016, 8:40 am

Hi everybody,
Apologies if this idea has already been presented, I did a quick search but couldn't find.

Why not adding to the standard Wesnoth release a set of 'scenarios' to play, instead of just campaigns, as in many other strategy games?
It could be that players might like it as a quick alternative to starting a new campaign.

I see few advantages in doing that:
1) scenarios are easier to make than campaigns
2) I guess they wouldn't occupy much disk space
3) You can give to the player the possibility of using otherwise overlooked units, like khalifate, drakes, saurians etc.
4) You can develop particular tactical aspects, which players (like me) more attracted by the strategic side than the RPG side of the game would love.
5) With the authours' permission (I'm sure they'd be happy) you can even use material from the add-ons, like best scenarios in the UMC campaigns. This would save work and would be also an opportunity to showcase good add-on campaigns
6) It would be possible to briefly touch a wide range of moments in the history of Wesnoth not described in the mainline campaigns, giving a broader view on the world where the game is set.

I'm happy to hear what you think!

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Jarom
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Jarom » January 14th, 2016, 9:29 am

You adreally have three scenarios to play - Dark Forecast, A New Land and survival for 6 players. IMO making just one scenario don't make players have fun with leveling units and all of that you have in campaigns.

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skeptical_troll
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by skeptical_troll » January 14th, 2016, 9:38 am

I'm just talking about single player here (I don't have MP experience).

I agree with you that leveling units and building armies is cool, and for that you need campaign.
But maybe somebody comes back late from work, is nervous, don't have much time and want to make a massacre. Than he plays the battle "level 3 orcs slain a gang of vulnerable elvish druids" and he feels better, without waiting to level up all the grunts :D

Maybe I should talk with my psychologist, but from time to time I'd like to have something like that.

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by zookeeper » January 14th, 2016, 9:58 am

Sure, we could. Those kind of single scenarios could be a good way to add some new content to the game, as complete campaigns are obviously so much more work to create and maintain, with bigger art requirements and all.

Traditionally people have strived to make either singleplayer campaigns, balanced multiplayer maps or survival/RPG/etc scenarios which are mostly co-op, so there certainly exists a space that could be filled by large, challenging, story-driven single scenarios featuring some familiar characters and locations.

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Whiskeyjack » January 14th, 2016, 4:41 pm

That actually is a great idea. Striking several birds with one stone. I can see a lot of opportune moments from timeline which might be fit for this. (Filling the blancs with new stuff is of course also a possibility):
Spoiler:
Besides those options purely focused on the timeline a couple of more exiting options that are not pinpointed to a certain moment in Wesnoths history:
  • First contact between Wesnoth/southern elves/etc. and Khalifate
  • Drakes coming to the continental mainland (somewhere before HttT)
  • What happened to the saurians once living all over the wildlands (and fought a couple of times in TRoW)? This would also fit into the above mentioned time of Wesnoths first expansion.
  • Some scenario of a Drake tribe in the Heart Mountains to give some insight into their culture and society (could include any characters from NR if placed appropriately)
  • Khalifate scenarios completely disconnected from the currently displayed realms.
Personally I think a story driven scenario of the Khalifate would be most needed to connect them a little to current cannon while we wait for the to-come Khalifate campaign.

And I just realised that my inner lore geek ran wild there, I´ll just let this sit here if anyone needs inspiration...
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Chewan » January 14th, 2016, 9:15 pm

Would it have to be new scenarios?
I mean, couldn't there be a small selection of scenarios from existing 'top' UMC?
Many of them have mainline quality, without a chance to ever be included (seems to be kind of 'locked content'). A review system to help players deciding which campaign to go for was agreed on by the development team, but the respective contribution (Dugi's project) found no approval. So, just as some examples: playing a Saurian scenario from Roar of the Woses, a Drakes episode from Brave Wings, or a Goblin adventure from Swamplings could motivate players to download the whole campaign (particularly those who do not even know that BfW add-ons exist).
The set of scenarios added to standard BfW could change with every release to provide equal opportunity for all user-made campaigns that have been maintained and appreciated for ages.

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Sire » January 15th, 2016, 12:38 pm

I had a similar idea of creating "mainline scenarios" before, which essentially expand on certain elements of mainline campaigns that are mostly just mentioned but not playable.

The idea I had was to create a mission pack that would be loaded up as a campaign, but the player chooses what scenario they want to play. The "frame" of the story would be a Khalifate scholar studying the history of Wesnoth, and can also include "what-if" missions that take a spin on existing lore. As a mission pack, most scenarios are independent of one another and it allows players to explore events mentioned in mainline, but are not part of any campaign. For example, the Betrayal at the Ford of Abez, the fight between Delfador and Eldred, and even the initial confrontation against the Orcish Warlord from A Tale of Two Brothers. The benefits of this are that UMC creators can mostly re-use art assets and instead focus on gameplay, mechanics, and story. To expand further, a single scenarios is MUCH easier to make instead of an entire campaign, and with a mission pack format, UMC creators can create a scenario and submit it, theoretically providing a variety of different scenarios if even each active UMC creator submits just one scenario.

Of course, with the "campaign hub world" format, there will have to be a curator and maintainer to make sure everything flows properly, but the scenarios are mostly standalone. I had some plans to work on the mission pack whenever I get finished with Red Winter, but currently I'm taking a break from Wesnoth to play other games*. Then again, my style of scenarios and campaigns tend to be heavily scripted and text-heavy which somewhat goes against the current simplistic style of mainline, and this may cause some discrepancy with mainline quality. Either way, I would love to see these "mainline scenarios" incorporated into Wesnoth, its just more of the matter of someone actually making these scenarios and perhaps leading the charge.

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Pentarctagon » January 15th, 2016, 1:48 pm

Chewan wrote:A review system to help players deciding which campaign to go for was agreed on by the development team, but the respective contribution (Dugi's project) found no approval.
Reading the thread, it seems like the main concern was more the privacy implications than anything with the actual method of rating. I haven't heard anything about it since, so it's probably dead, though the last post would seem to indicate that the privacy issue was addressed.
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Xara » January 15th, 2016, 2:11 pm

Personally I think a story driven scenario of the Khalifate would be most needed to connect them a little to current cannon while we wait for the to-come Khalifate campaign.
Is there a to-come Khalifate campaign?
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by skeptical_troll » January 15th, 2016, 2:23 pm

Sire wrote:Of course, with the "campaign hub world" format, there will have to be a curator and maintainer to make sure everything flows properly, but the scenarios are mostly standalone.
The way I see it, from a practical point of view it would be preferable to have a direct choice from the main menu, rather than starting a campaign where to play the scenarios from (although the 'hub world' idea is cool). Or maybe there could be two categories, like 'battles' and 'missions', depending on the size of the armies involved. I agree with on the convenience of re-using art, that's an advantage I haven't thought about.

If this idea will ever be implemented I guess the developers will have to decide how to build the scenarios.
From my perspective, it would be great if they could help getting a sense of the UMC campaigns world (I know this could be hard), but also if there were totally new stories that might expand the 'canonical' Wesnoth history (which could inspire users for new campaigns as well).

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by nuorc » January 15th, 2016, 4:11 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:But maybe somebody comes back late from work, is nervous, don't have much time and want to make a massacre. ...
Maybe I should talk with my psychologist, but from time to time I'd like to have something like that.
I'm not opposing your idea, but have you tried the included MP maps as a local game against the AI? I especially love merkwuerdigliebe, where I play (parts of) the northern alliance. Admittedly, there is no story involved.
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by skeptical_troll » January 15th, 2016, 5:38 pm

Good suggestion, I'll have a try! However, I'm also thinking of scenarios where you have some particular tactical challenge, so is not like a symmetric battle between you and the AI. Stupid example: your army is ambushed while marching through a swamp/forest/supermarket , so you start the level with units arranged on a column and exposed to multiple attacks. Most likely the challenge would be to regroup, sustain the offensive and then counterattack.
Spoiler:

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Kwandulin » January 15th, 2016, 6:20 pm

Pretty interesting ideas in this thread so far. I've made a quick sketch about how the 'select a mission'-screen could look like - if the mission packages are implemented (please note that I got zero experience with the code fundament of wesnoth and therefore I don't know whether something like this is realisable or not).
missions.png
Hiding the missions somewhere in Multiplayer -> Local Game -> Game Type: scenarios isn't a good idea, I think. I agree with skeptical_troll; the missions should have their own spot. In the attached sketch, I've put it inside the 'select a campaign'-screen (creating another button in the main menu sounds reasonable to me, too). Selecting the mission-package would reveal all the missions and clicking on a mission would reveal further information about the scenario. Such a structure might also be useful for UMC that use several chapters (clicking on the campaign would reveal all the chapters then).

Other than that, I really like the 'frame' of the mission packages as suggested by Sire.

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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by Whiskeyjack » January 15th, 2016, 6:32 pm

I like Sire´s idea though it would be somewhat strange to have extra stories to the smaller campaigns in and it would produce a lot more human scenarios with some difficulties to include factions now lacking their shot at some mainline action.

I also like the idea to give the UMC campaigns a platform but I see a couple problems:
a) you´d have to be very careful to draw a clear line between UMC and new cannon around mainline if you go for both things.
b) If this stuff is officially included, it will have (would be nice) to be translated. That doesn´t apply to a lot of the reffered campaigns though and translating all of UMC... well, we´d need a lot more voluntaries.
Xara wrote:Is there a to-come Khalifate campaign?
I only know of Kwandulins Oath of Allegiance, though I doubt this will be included in Mainline for AMLA- and gameplay-stuff-reasons (compared to some mainline campaigns the story is quite decent).

I wanted to somehow make the "to-come" out as something we might wait decades on but I didn´t find the right words and just left it like that ;)
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Re: Mainline 'Scenarios' (together with campaigns)

Post by skeptical_troll » January 15th, 2016, 8:24 pm

Kwandulin wrote: I've made a quick sketch about how the 'select a mission'-screen could look like
This looks pretty awesome to me. I would just highlight it somehow to differentiate it better from the campaigns in the left menu (as an alternative to have a 'scenario' button on the main menu).

Concerning UMC content there, I guess that it would have to be somehow within the 'canon' of Wesnoth history and geography, I don't know what's the policy exactly.

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