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[mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

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KaKiLa
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[mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Dear all,

This is my first post. I have been lurking the forums, trying to spot if a similar idea, like the one presented here, was already posted. I found no similar ideas, but of course my search cannot be complete. Please forgive me if somebody already suggested this.

I was playing Wesnoth once again after 4 years and I am amazed with the improvements! Well done. Ok, now straight to the idea.

What about leaving in the map of Wesnoth small pictures remembering the campaigns that a single player has already played?
This could be keeping a small art piece, like a watermark in gray or sepia, in the place where the final battle took place.
I think this small feature adds the feeling of being part of Wesnoth as one plays the campaigns, therefore increasing immersion. Additionally, I think it is quite reasonable that after a successful campaign, costly in loyal lives, the winners will erect some kind of memorial, this could be seen by the player as this little piece of art in the map.

What do you think? Was I clear in the idea?
Thank you for your feedback!
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Re: [single player / immersion] Played campiagns in map as m

Post by bigkahuna »

Well finished campaigns have a wreath around them in the [campaign] section of the Wesnoth game. Placing a memorial would be strange for replays... Imagine playing a WWII game with a D-Day memorial next to you. Kind of strange. If you want a picture, save a replay or take a picture yourself (print screen). I don't really think that it would add much to the game.
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Re: [single player / immersion] Played campiagns in map as m

Post by sacred_chao »

bigkahuna wrote:Well finished campaigns have a wreath around them in the [campaign] section of the Wesnoth game. Placing a memorial would be strange for replays... Imagine playing a WWII game with a D-Day memorial next to you. Kind of strange. If you want a picture, save a replay or take a picture yourself (print screen). I don't really think that it would add much to the game.
I believe he's just referring to the Wesnoth map in the background of the main menu ("Tutorial", "Campaign", etc.) not the map actually used WITHIN campaigns.

It's kind of a neat idea, though there are, IIRC, maps that occur outside the standard map of Wesnoth (UtBS comes to mind)...
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KaKiLa
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Hi,
sacred_chao is right. I am sorry bigkahuna, I did not make it clear enough. I was referring to the map that is in the background of the main menu and the one that shows the advance of your troop between different scenarios.
I am attaching an example: I am playing the Heir to the Throne campaign but I have already play "An Orcish Incursion". In the map I see the memorial of the last battle, if I hover over it I get some details (in the image some possibilities). Of course I am thinking big here, just the memorial and the name of the battle of something like that could be enough.

I guess campaigns that happen in other maps or that the details in the map are different (different towns, woods, etc...) could be complement their contents similarly. This somehow will put some pressure on the consistency of the mainline, which maybe is undesired. However it could be completely optional, tough I think it adds a lot of immersion, now the map is reflecting your game history, you are part of Wesnoth!!

BTW: I could not find the file with the laurel wreath that is added to the icon of the campaign. Where is it? Thanks
Attachments
Adding memorials to the map in the single player campaign
Adding memorials to the map in the single player campaign
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bigkahuna
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by bigkahuna »

Okay NOW I understand. That would be a cool feature. But yeah,
KaKiLa wrote:maps that occur outside the standard map of Wesnoth (UtBS comes to mind)...
And would you add memorials for every scenario of a campaign or just a single aspect of it? With so much going on in a campaign, it would be hard to summarize it all in a paragraph...
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KaKiLa
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Hi,
I am happy that the idea is clear and you kind of like it.

The idea is that the memorial summarizes the campaign and to keep it KISS I would place it in the position of the final battle.
I do not know how much information of a campaign is stored, but I would just summarize it. I propose a template as the following:

1. A short phrase (1 or 2 sentences) where the storyline is reflected (look at the example above). Here one could give a nickname to the main character (which could be hard-coded or dynamic. I can expand this, but I am sure you know more than me about automatic text generation).

2. A SHORT table with stats (of the whole campaign or of the last scenario). Something like what is the default in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trafalgar (look at the frame on the left side). The fields of the table could be: Date (this would be awesome, then is connected with the time-line, something like "during the reign of King XXX"), total casualties of each side and Name of high level units lost (lvl. 3 or more, something like "In memoir of ..."). Eventually one could add the Field Heroes with the name of the unit that stayed alive and has the highest something (level, number of kills, experience, etc...).

3. The picture of the campaign itself; the one used in the campaign menu.

As far as I can see (I am totally rookie here), this feature would imply some programing (I guess for the hovering in the map, inclusion of the images and recording of important values during the campaign), the creation of some text and some art for the memorial itself. Of course I am willing to participate in whatever I can.

What do you think?
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by Sangel »

Interesting idea. I agree that it's good to remind the player of their past accomplishments, and milestones on the map would be one possible way to do so.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of work involved in your idea, and the devil really is in the details. Currently, no information carries over from campaign to campaign; they're all separate sandboxes. It would require a great deal of new code for campaigns to import "past completions" data. And there'd still be a bunch of unanswered questions:
A) Campaigns often use different maps; some involve overlap with other maps. How would the engine know what to place where on each different map?
B) What if the maps get updated? There'd be a continuing maintenance burden of not only updating the coordinates, but updating the "user data" as well.
C) What if final battles take place in the same location? Would tooltips stack?
D) How would user campaigns be handled? Currently, the Wesnoth engine treats them on equal footing with mainline campaigns, but including them in this system could quickly lead to problems of clutter, and exacerbate the above-listed problems.

I'm not saying the idea is impossible, of course, just that there'd be a whole lot of work and thorny questions to answer before it could become a reality. It would need a skilled coder to pick up, develop, and champion.
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KaKiLa
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Is a pitty to hear that.
Can we cut around the idea until we get something that is more reasonable to implement?

I see the problem with the data update. However, are the campaigns that already exist plan to change the position of their final battle? I assume they won't, so I think that is not really a problem.

A) "How to define absolute locations on the map, such that they can be transported to other maps?" This is a problem. The only solution I see is a GPS system (latitude longitude grid for the map). Though it goes away from KISS, but we can discuss. UPDATE: Hey! one could have a HEX grid under the map, then the problem is solved (I see future in something like that...mmmm...wesnoth strategical :shock: )

B) "How to update locations if the map changes?" I answer with a question. If the maps changes, Wouldn't all the campaigns have to update the part where it is shown the movements of your troops from scenario to scenario? If the map changes that has to be changed as well, or do I get it wrong? If that has to be changed, then the position of the last "crossed swords" symbol is the position of the memorial. Therefore, there is no really extra burden; where ever the position of that final "crossed swords" symbol is stored, it can be read for the memorial.

C) Good point, The memorials do not need to be exactly in the same position; they could be spread around the position. How many final battles are expected to occur in the very same place?

D) I do not know if I fully understand, cause I do not have the bog picture of the data management. However, I think data should be stored locally in the users home folder. It could be an XML file or the format you are currently using (sorry for my ignorance) with the fields required by the memorials (e.g. data/memorials.xml). Every time the player plays the data of the particular campaign gets updated. I am talking here of a few integers and a few string per campaign, nothing really fancy. How are you currently saving stats about a player (are there player stats in MP? I have never played MP)

When you say coder, which language would it be? C,C++ I can handle. Lua, I only used for numerical simulations, but I think I can learn it in another environment.

Thanks for the answer!
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by Reepurr »

A) How about they do it pretty much like they do it in WML* with background/map.png I would think.
* Wesnoth Markup Language. Don't worry, it's not code, more like simple script.

B) ...

C) ...

D) Currently, all things that Wesnoth needs to know are stored in Wesnoth_1.x/data/preferences. . I put preferences. because it doesn't actually have an extension. There it has all encountered units, terrain, finished campaigns (for the wreath) and so on.

E) C,C++, is what I understand the engine is hardcoded in.
Lua is what makes up WML.
WML is the script that makes Wesnoth enjoyable to create stuff for the whole world round: it's so simple you can make a campaign in a few hours.

Another thing I want to add)
As I said, WML lets a campaign be made in a few hours. A campaign with most mainline features: less than a month. With a complicated memorial system, you'd need a huge amount of confusing code embedded in WML.

Confusing code embedded in WML sounds nasty.
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KaKiLa
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Hi,
I have encountered feelings after reading Reepurr's answer. Is it easy or not?
With a complicated memorial system, you'd need a huge amount of confusing code embedded in WML.
I do not see anything complicated in the idea I am proposing. As Reepurr said, the information is already there (indeed, I just found the menu item Stats, which has basically everything needed except for the names of some units). The only issue left is the "size and distribution of the memorials" (is only one icon in the map per campaign!). This morning, I was reading about the tool "trackplacer", if that works then putting an extra icon at the end shouldn't be a problem, right?

Cheers,
KaKila
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by bumbadadabum »

Nope, it is really easy using #define and #ifdef.
put #define FOO_FINISHED
in the victory event of your last scenario, and #ifdef FOO_FINISHED in every other campaign using the wesnoth map.
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by bigkahuna »

LightFighter wrote:Nope, it is really easy using #define and #ifdef.
put #define FOO_FINISHED
in the victory event of your last scenario, and #ifdef FOO_FINISHED in every other campaign using the wesnoth map.
This would make the memorial system work only within the campaign you were playing. Here are some more things I noticed:

A. The wesnoth map is partially blocked by the title and help box, which would obstruct present and further campaign memorials.

B. The only way this may be possible: the #ifdef stuff would somehow have to be hardcoded into the system using a journey-map type interface and custom "buttons" so that when you scrolled over it it would have the battles listed. More C++/Lua coding there.
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KaKiLa
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Hi guys,

I am happy to see some discussion going on.
I think before marking barriers we could decide what is the core of the feature one would like to add. So far the idea to add "A memorial showing the position of the last battle of a played campaign" looks more or less accepted.
Now, what else should be there? I think is good that we separate the features that are easy from the ones that are too costly for the benefits.

1. Simple: Just an icon (maybe different for each race of the commander) with a short title (name of campaign?), I am attaching some examples (they are isometric, I know, they are just examples. In order, mage, human, elf).
Example of icons to show on the campaign map as memorials...
Example of icons to show on the campaign map as memorials...
memorial_examples.png (19.77 KiB) Viewed 2571 times
2. Add a hover feature.

3. If the hover feature can be implemented the information showed could be the Stats of the campaign (already available) + some text + some art work.

Basically is a decision between 1 and 2, since 3 only can be if there is some extra space, provided by 2.

Cheers,
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by Reepurr »

Uh, those isometric things, I'm glad they're only samples, because I'd call 35x35 pixels (about the same size as your average level one unit I believe) is big enough.

Rather than do something fancy, I'd just do a flag TBH...or we could pinch the images/items/burial.png in Wesnoth core, which would work as a placeholder.

Since you're a C++ coder, please tell me that you can code this to be turned on and off...
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Re: [mainline] Played campiagns in map as memor

Post by KaKiLa »

Hi,
Yeah, the examples where something I had at hand. 35x35 should be more than enough.

Sorry for my ignorance, but what is a flag TBH?

I checked burial.png. It doesn't seem to fall in the spirit of a memorial, but anyhow, the image can be arranged later. The idea is not just to clutter the map with icons, but to give the player a sensation of inclusion in the world of Wesnoth. If those memorials are there then you have changed the face of Wesnoth by playing it :).
In my humble opinion, I also think that it helps to remember the big picture of the storyline and eventually it could help creating cohesive content in the future.

:eng: To implement the change, I need to identify the files involved (that have to be modified). I think there are a couples of approaches, but I am building the big picture yet, I do not have a clear image of all the code yet. Any guideline you can provide on where and what things are rather critical would be really helpful.

I guess I do not have to say that any idea of implementation is also welcome.

Thanks!
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