New Campaigns?

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Aldarisvet
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Aldarisvet » April 6th, 2016, 9:28 pm

panamaniac wrote:Am I crazy, or is having to use a mouse on the Android a new feature? Seems totally different to me than 2012 but maybe I'm crazy? I feel like this will make it unplayable. Sorry if this is a second big issue (if it is, someone will prolly call me a troll :( )
You may not use mouse and use touchscreen.
Most of games ported from PC to android and supposed to be controlled by touchscreen are actually can be played well with mouse and keyboard. I found that even ported KOTOR is fully playable with mouse and keyboard on my TV-box.
Last edited by Aldarisvet on April 7th, 2016, 7:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by panamaniac » April 6th, 2016, 11:11 pm

Sorry are you saying I CAN switch to touch? I'm on an Android smartphone. Thanks!

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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Otengam » April 9th, 2016, 2:22 am

You can change the input by clicking on "Change Configuration" -> "Mouse emulation configuration" -> "Mouse emulation mode"
The options are: "Pointer follows finger" and "Pointer relative movement"
With most tablets you could buy a cable to use a USB mouse and some tablets can use a stylus. These things make it more efficient to play but are not necessary. "Pointer follows finger" is more direct in this case.
"Pointer relative movement" takes a bit more effort to move the simulated mouse around but can be more precise.

Back to the first off-topic, I actually played the mainline campaigns off-order because I ended up trying to follow the Wesnoth timeline. The campaigns seem to be ordered based on difficulty so it doesn't reflect the timeline of Wesnoth's history. It might actually be better if there was a way of sorting or representing the campaigns.

I had an issue with the Dead Water campaign recently and surprisingly quickly I got a solution from a dev and then another dev replied afterwards too. Now I don't know if Celtic Minstrel is committed to maintaining all mainline campaigns or if he/she just so happened to want to check it out but that kind of quick response just shows to me that we have an active community that can and does help even if they don't have to. If more campaigns were added I wouldn't doubt that there would be people who can help maintain new campaigns that are officially incorporated into mainline BfW.

That being said, I think that there are add-on campaigns that don't necessarily contribute towards the Battle for Wesnoth timeline and could be separate stories that creators are passionate about. As part of the new way of representing mainline campaigns there could be different "Universes/Worlds/Realms" (pick your preferred name) for other collections of campaigns that the senior developers could approve and add to the official BfW game. I know in 1.13 there is something called a "Core" but I haven't really looked into that if it's similar to this sort of idea.

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nuorc
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by nuorc » April 9th, 2016, 3:09 pm

Otengam wrote:that kind of quick response just shows to me that we have an active community that can and does help even if they don't have to.
Results may vary. If for exampleI ask a question in Technical Support and it's not even acknowledged in over a year, I get a different feeling. Or when 'Officials' ignore your pn (for unknown reasons). I hardly report any bug I find at GNA.
Spoiler:
Otengam wrote:If more campaigns were added I wouldn't doubt that there would be people who can help maintain new campaigns that are officially incorporated into mainline BfW.
I don't see any transparency, but my impression is that more devs are leaving (have been left) than are joining. Everything Mac/Apple related is in a poor state (see known bugs for new versions or user feedback here in the forum), because there's no knowledgeable dev available (please correct me if I'm somehow wrong).

In short, I'm finding it difficult to share your optimism on that.

I'm also interested if/when we will get some kind of statement from someone 'official' in this thread.
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Aldarisvet
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Aldarisvet » April 9th, 2016, 7:47 pm

2 nuorc

I would not mix some hard problems with engine programming that required qualification with such things as adding new campaigns/improving current ones or making more clear interface with link to the add-ons server or with link from campaign's description pages to feedback (I suggested solutions in another thread ).
Official guys cant help if programmers leaving, or there is no people who will do something with Apple. But supporting campaigns is not programming. A work with C++ is programming and WML is no more programming than HTML.

Anycase their position is known, if you want to help, go to IRC, and what is going in the forum is mostly bla-bla-bla.

Earler I suggested to create some 'Wesnoth best UMC special release'. But nearly anyone can do it! What a problem with downloading some UMC campaigns and putting it into data/campaigns directory of the source? Need some knowledge of how to create exe-file, but that is not hard for sure.
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by fabi » April 9th, 2016, 8:26 pm

tekelili wrote:Imo solution would be not add more mainline campaigns, instead would be remove them all.
Dark Project, a Thief like open source game ships with a small tutorial only.
Every other campaign or scenario needs to be fetched from a server.

But their content is not that much compared to what you can find at Wesnoth's add-on server.
As long as the system does not in-cooperate a rating/review system relying on remote content only is not suitable.

I have already a slight idea what members of the community produce add-ons I like, still it takes me hours to find one that suits.

Then there is also a bunch of people who play offline, leaving them with a content-less game feels strange.

Another aspect would be that every lore Wesnoth is based on is somehow no longer canon of you remove the content defining it.

Although, have a look at what mainline campaigns are:
HttT was the first campaign, it was mainlined since its beginning.
I remember playing Wesnoth 0.1 on a map that is pretty much the same than the Isle of Anduin one.

Every other mainline campaign so far was taken from the add-on server and polished.
The criteria for their inclusion are:
  1. mainline quality prose
  2. mainline quality artwork
  3. mainline game mechanics
  4. WML coding not that hacky
  5. correct indentation
The first point is a difficult one, we do not have a master of prose since ages.
Although, I have the feeling that a lot campaigns on the server are already polished enough nowadays.

The second point is not really a killer any more.
Most add-ons have proper artwork already.

The third one is the point that causes every mainline content to be boring.
It ensures that a player who understood the tutorial should be able to play every mainline campaign without any more learning experience.
UtBS is the only exception to that law. At the time it was mainlined that campaign was very different. This one was just too popular to not end mainlined.

Although UtBS still features classic Wesnoth game mechanics.
The differences are minor compared to what nowadays add-ons can do to the gameplay.
(Which makes me smile about the warning at the start of the campaign, a message from another decade.)

I had liked to just over a different section(s) in the campaign browser.
All the classic mainline campaigns being in the section where the user can expect "normal" gameplay.
And I mean mostly game mechanics that can also be found in the default era.

Some other sections would feature more rpg-ish approaches, different settings, different game mechanics and so on.

I think that was discussed 5 years ago.
And denied because "the UI is not ready to handle that".

Those new sections could also lower the quality standards.
Meaning that an add-on with a nice game mechanic doesn't need to have that much and that polished prose for example.

Someone talked about shiping tutorials only - I like to have a short tutorial campaign, one for each mp faction of the default era.
AoI does this for the rebels, although some units are missing.
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tekelili
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by tekelili » April 9th, 2016, 9:25 pm

@fabi: Besides all reasons, wich I understand, to give mainline campaigns a "core flavor", just think profits of reproduce that status in add on server. If you add to UI a very visible buttom "DOWNLOAD MAINLINE CAMPAIGNS", then maintenance could be done at any moment and not only with new BfW versions. It would also teach players that stuff must be downloaded and helps to solve current issue with users not using "Add ons" buttom for years.
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Otengam » April 9th, 2016, 10:04 pm

@nuorc, I joined the forums recently and I'm surprised by how many "Developer" titled users reply back. I didn't mean to suggest that everything that's asked for will be granted! I do take your point that results vary, some problems are obviously easier to solve than others, but my point was that the people here seem to be helpful if they can be as opposed to apathetic (or worse trolls). Also bear in mind there's no money involved in this at all, many open source projects either die out due to irregular developers or lack of interest but here there are active developers and there still seems to be interest after 10+ years.
(As to your post, I think I read that 1.13 BfW uses a new SDL version which fixes a lot of screen resolution issues. If you feel up to it you can try 1.13 out. Probably feels a bit late being a year later fix but the change in SDL version is definitely non-trivial and probably wasn't intended for your specific issue.)

The Addons Manager does have a column for sorting "Downloads" which is a bit of an indicator to show what addons (and by extension) campaigns are popular. You can also use the Filter to search "Campaign" too if sifting through addons isn't to your liking.

Something that could help would be if mouseovering the addons showed the description. From a user interface standpoint I find having to click Description and then closing the window a little tedious especially if there's a lot of addons to look over. Right now just glancing at Addons Manager you can only really see the Addon title so it's too easy to not feel interested in clicking Description to find out what each addon does. Perhaps adding a tag to show completed user campaigns or a way to filter out incomplete addons. Is there a way to do a "not" search? Sorry! That should probably go into a separate forum topic: Improvements to the Addons Manager though. (Speaking of the Addons Manager window, I think instead of "Cancel" the button should say "Done" or "Close" to be less misleading.)

About players not noticing the Addons button on the main screen, it wouldn't hurt to also put a small button/link in the Campaign Window at the bottom left: "More Campaigns". It's a little like tricking players into clicking Addons but it should bring more attention to UMC without being too overt.

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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by fabi » April 9th, 2016, 10:20 pm

tekelili wrote:@fabi: Besides all reasons, wich I understand, to give mainline campaigns a "core flavor", just think profits of reproduce that status in add on server. If you add to UI a very visible buttom "DOWNLOAD MAINLINE CAMPAIGNS", then maintenance could be done at any moment and not only with new BfW versions. It would also teach players that stuff must be downloaded and helps to solve current issue with users not using "Add ons" buttom for years.
The thing is: You do not need to convince me.

I have always been not beyond the conservative group of developers.
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Aldarisvet
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Aldarisvet » April 9th, 2016, 11:00 pm

fabi wrote: The criteria for their inclusion are:
  1. mainline quality prose
  2. mainline quality artwork
  3. mainline game mechanics
  4. WML coding not that hacky
  5. correct indentation
The first point is a difficult one, we do not have a master of prose since ages.
Although, I have the feeling that a lot campaigns on the server are already polished enough nowadays.
I will say directly and roughly, the quality of prose of most mainline campaigns is very low. The plotlines are quite weak, if it is even possible to say that they are exists. From my 33-year age I can say that, I think. And I suspect that authors of most mainline campaigns was at 20-25 age when they did their campaigns, it is hard to be a good writer at this age, really. The Heir to the Throne is an outstanding campaign compared to others, it really does have a plotline.
There are a lot of campaigns with good plotlines/dialogs in UMC, look Faelord works or Swamplings for example.
The problem is that UMC content rarely fits mainline history. But why authors should bother with that if no one have a hope that his work would be mainlined? If such a question as possibility to mainline something is simply out of any discussion, decision process is not opened, there is no rules for the procedure of mainlining something.
fabi wrote: The third one is the point that causes every mainline content to be boring.
It ensures that a player who understood the tutorial should be able to play every mainline campaign without any more learning experience.
UtBS is the only exception to that law. At the time it was mainlined that campaign was very different. This one was just too popular to not end mainlined.

Although UtBS still features classic Wesnoth game mechanics.
The differences are minor compared to what nowadays add-ons can do to the gameplay.
(Which makes me smile about the warning at the start of the campaign, a message from another decade.)
For me I just found a solutions for this problem, it took half of a year to get it.
viewtopic.php?f=8&p=595840
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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by zookeeper » April 10th, 2016, 12:26 am

nuorc wrote:I'm also interested if/when we will get some kind of statement from someone 'official' in this thread.
As the person whose responsibility mainline campaigns mainly are, I've been following the thread from the beginning and I don't really feel like I have much to say. I've had this reply window open for hours and every time I manage to type a complete sentence, it seems either redundant and something everyone's heard before, or likely to be misunderstood.

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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by nuorc » April 10th, 2016, 11:08 am

@zookeeper: Thanks for your reply, so far. Hopefully you'd let us know if we left the realm of the possible altogether. I think it would be great if maybe some devs could consider some of the ideas mentioned in this thread and let us know their take on it.

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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Sire » April 10th, 2016, 11:54 pm

The thing with mainline campaigns is the beauty of Wesnoth - this project is a community driven effort, and the mainline campaigns are no exception. I agree that within the current mainline campaigns is that there is a a level of varying quality between them all, and some UMC campaigns seem to be better polished than some mainline campaigns. Of course, if a mainline campaign is not up to "modern" standards, all it takes is a dedicated maintainer or developer to take on the reins to improve these campaigns. I remember an attempt by Turuk to improve Heir to the Throne, but that was before he mysteriously disappeared.

However, as for volunteers, most of the creators rather work on on their original projects than work and polish on what already exists. I know I have my Lasoreth Saga that I want to work on (Red Winter being the first out of many campaigns), and my side project of Sire's Scenarios, which attempts to make unique, standalone "mission maps" for (hopefully) mainline inclusion as per the Idea topic back from January. I'm all for having more "mainline" content, as some users may never delve into add-ons and explore the depths of Wesnoth.

Now, as for inclusion to mainline, most of the popular campaigns that I know of are rather unique in that they use a more in-depth RPG system (Legend of the Invincibles), rely on custom factions (Invasion of the Unknown, After the Storm), or in general use more complicated mechanics than a "glorified skirmish with recalls". Also, these popular campaigns may lack proper portraits, which seems to be the main limiting factor into making mainline status. There is also the problem of the current lack of a "master of prose", I believe one has said, to make sure all the mainline campaigns follow along the same consistency, and to double check if an UMC campaign may contradict or add something not desired in the "mainline prose".

As for my opinions on campaigns...
Details:
There are a lot of choices already within core Wesnoth, and I haven't gotten around to play all of Mainline yet. However, if one wants more choices, perhaps one should make a thread of popular UMC works, collaborate with community and developer alike, and maybe even transform a UMC campaign or two into mainline? I know there's demand for a proper Drake and Khalifate campaign, so maybe can try with those?
Current Projects: [Sire's Scenarios] // [Red Winter Reborn - In Development]

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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by iceiceice » April 11th, 2016, 1:07 pm

tekelili wrote:
I've been around the forum long enough to tell you that discussions about why no new mainline campaigns have been added always end with this argument.
I have a very different opinion, even when I am agree with all problems you pointed about mainline campaigns. Imo solution would be not add more mainline campaigns, instead would be remove them all. This would solve lot of issues: Eases maintenance as you can change campaigns without change BfW version, eliminate frustated desires of become mainline, push players to discover inmediatly add on server (now it remains unkown for years as average), payers are not pushed to play bad stuff with false percived quality and BfW would stop stacking outdated gameplay that none is brave enougth to remove.
I proposed this once before also, on irc. I think it was about a year ago. I don't think anyone really engaged this idea last time either. But, for whatever it's worth, I really think this is the way to go.

For best results I guess we would need to improve the way the addon server works to make discovery easier. Since the last decade or so, most users expect for content servers to provide some automatic recommendation system or similar, when they are downloading things, so that they have the easiest time to find things they like. IMO that is what wesnoth needs also -- something like "people who downloaded the same campaigns that you have downloaded also downloaded these other campaigns: ...". But, it may not be so much of an issue as it was a few years ago, the number of active campaign makers is significantly less nowadays. Still I guess the ratio of good content is probably not changed much. :hmm:

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Re: New Campaigns?

Post by Sire » April 11th, 2016, 5:40 pm

I am against removing mainline campaigns.

If everything was just done by add-ons, then what is Wesnoth but a turn-based strategy engine? Mainline campaigns give Wesnoth a form of identity, as well as a "canon timeline", where everything has some form of consistency versus the stories of UMC campaigns (which may twist the canon timeline to suit its pursuits or have a different story entirely). Also, having mainline campaigns draws in the new users for ease of use, and should they decide to delve deeper into Wesnoth and discover the fulfilling world of add-ons, then that is where players can find the optimal Wesnoth experience.

Essentially, keeping mainline is essentially for newcomers as first impressions is very important. If new players downloaded the game to only see one campaign (and then tell them to look in the Add-ons for more), they may not necessary be bothered to go and look through the add-ons despite veterans knowing there are good UMC works in there.

Mainline, in my opinion, should be some form of consistent, quality control, aimed at newcomers of Wesnoth and giving Wesnoth its own identity as a game. Once they get invested, then they can explore the world of User-Made Content. Imagine downloading a game that just tells you "Yeah, here's the basic functionality, if you want more, look for mods." I would think most people would not be interested in exploring something they just learned about as they could spend their time elsewhere.
Current Projects: [Sire's Scenarios] // [Red Winter Reborn - In Development]

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