A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

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Aldarisvet
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by Aldarisvet »

So, no one kidnapped Mebrin, he left himself?
That is an interesting idea but will make useless all that battles with bandit brothers that supposedly kidnapped him. Actually that can be good partly, because I found nothing funny when you fight with the first brother and kill him, then the same with the second, then with the third. And as I remember, the third unlike previous two suggests to surrender and join with the player. But if not that bandits kidnapped Mebrin, what these bandits actually doing in the campaign?

Аnd that girl who corrupted Mebrin, it was Asheviere? So the South campaign was the time when young Garard met his future queen. Well, that could be a good connection with further plotline but it must be explained, (not necessary in TSG of course, but later) why young Asheviere was corrupted from the beginning.

Oh, kinda I missed that.
nemaara wrote: December 11th, 2019, 5:23 am Reworked TSG wouldn't have bandits at all
If that, it would be a totally different campaign.

Well, in fact An Orcish Incrusion and Tale of Two Brothers was two 'mono-race' easy campaigns. That is something that is still needed for the game, so cutting everything just for purporses of storyline is not wise. I doubt that totally reworked TSG can play the role of these campaigns.

Wesnoth mainline content is like a badly constructed house. It must be not razed but reconstructured, because if you just raze it, you would nowhere to live for quite a time. I think that we need a totally new introductory-tutorial campaign in which a player would have an ability to play about 2 scenarios for every race. Until than, removing AOI and ToTB is not quite good idea despite these campaigns are not in the plans to be in a new house.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by mattsc »

nemaara wrote: December 11th, 2019, 1:18 am Since, with the reworks, a rebalancing is required anyway, I have no problem if @mattsc would like to make the ExpAI default (we talked about this on discord, I think he said he was merging everything besides the recruitmentAI, which would also potentially greatly affect the balance of UMC campaigns).
Just to confirm this, yes, we decided about a month ago to make (most of) the Experimental AI the default for 1.16. I am actually pretty close to being done with the first pass over this and will probably merge this within a week or so. You can also check out this feature request for more information (although that has not been updated yet with the recent decision not to include the ExpAI recruitment CA; see below).

I do not believe that this will change balance significantly except for maybe in some extreme cases, but of course we won't know this until we try. (There is an easy, one-line, fallback option to use the previous AI if this turns out to be a problem; or for anybody who simply does not want to bother with it.) This is really not an entirely different AI, it's mostly the previous default with some additional subtle actions. The one CA that would significantly change things, ExpAI recruitment, will not be made the new default, as nemaara said. Instead I will probably add an easy way (again a one-liner) to add this to SP scenarios as well as to MP games.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by SigurdFireDragon »

@nemaara

I think the idea of a novice arc with a coherent plot being the first thing new players see has merit to it.

I don't see the need to remove campaigns to accomplish that goal.

I’m concerned that your approach still wants to remove a fair number of campaigns, just later on, as you seem to imply here.

From the Removing mainline campaign(s) thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=51139&start=30
nemaara wrote: December 12th, 2019, 5:38 am Hmm, you have a point. I haven't thought in great detail about every campaign that wouldn't make it into the final SP version, only the ones that wouldn't go into the HttT arc as I have it proposed...
nemaara wrote: December 11th, 2019, 4:17 pm I don't agree with a mass removal event for exactly the reason Tad said, where the few players still interested in SP would probably not be happy if campaigns were removed without replacements. That's why I'd only suggest removing more campaigns after specified arcs are done.
That seems to suggest that axing:

Northern Rebirth
The Hammer of Thursagan
Eastern Invasion
Dead Water
Secrets of the Ancients

may still in your plan, just in arc 2 or 3
Pentarctagon wrote: December 4th, 2019, 4:04 am I think it would be fine to have a separate section for stand-alone campaigns. So for example in the campaign selection dialog there could be a section for the Tutorial, a section for the main story, and a section for stand-alone side stories.
I think this is a great idea, and campaigns that don't fit into an arc (like AToTB) can be moved there. Such a list of stand-alone campaigns would preserve the work that the community has done, and provide additional playing options.

For axing individual campaigns, I think it should be done via community consensus of project members that it doesn’t meet quality standards, and it is lacking people willing to do the work to improve it. If people are willing to do the work, they should be given a reasonable about of time to accomplish it. and/or deprecating it for a development cycle if no one is currently willing to do the work.

Adding campaigns to mainline has been the work of the community over the life of the project, and I think implementing the above suggestions would help maintain that community spirit if your proposal is carried out.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by vultraz »

SigurdFireDragon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:54 am For axing individual campaigns, I think it should be done via community consensus of project members that it doesn’t meet quality standards, and it is lacking people willing to do the work to improve it. If people are willing to do the work, they should be given a reasonable about of time to accomplish it. and/or deprecating it for a development cycle if no one is currently willing to do the work.
No, we are not doing this. You do not design a good story via committee, and the definition of "project members" is currently too broad to reach any sort of reasonable consensus. Wesnoth has always struggled with a tendency to outsource decisions to the community, often to its detriment.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by Pentarctagon »

vultraz wrote: December 14th, 2019, 2:26 am
SigurdFireDragon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:54 am For axing individual campaigns, I think it should be done via community consensus of project members that it doesn’t meet quality standards, and it is lacking people willing to do the work to improve it. If people are willing to do the work, they should be given a reasonable about of time to accomplish it. and/or deprecating it for a development cycle if no one is currently willing to do the work.
No, we are not doing this. You do not design a good story via committee, and the definition of "project members" is currently too broad to reach any sort of reasonable consensus. Wesnoth has always struggled with a tendency to outsource decisions to the community, often to its detriment.
I believe he's talking about the campaigns not included in nemaara's plan, rather than the arcs nemaara is proposing.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by nemaara »

In the case of AToTB, it's part of the proposal to remove it because I think it would directly interfere with the lore I want to put in the new HttT arc and also would have to come before the HttT arc (thus ruining the campaign play order).
SigurdFireDragon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:54 am That seems to suggest that axing:

Northern Rebirth
The Hammer of Thursagan
Eastern Invasion
Dead Water
Secrets of the Ancients

may still in your plan, just in arc 2 or 3

I think this is a great idea, and campaigns that don't fit into an arc (like AToTB) can be moved there. Such a list of stand-alone campaigns would preserve the work that the community has done, and provide additional playing options.

For axing individual campaigns, I think it should be done via community consensus of project members that it doesn’t meet quality standards, and it is lacking people willing to do the work to improve it. If people are willing to do the work, they should be given a reasonable about of time to accomplish it. and/or deprecating it for a development cycle if no one is currently willing to do the work.

Adding campaigns to mainline has been the work of the community over the life of the project, and I think implementing the above suggestions would help maintain that community spirit if your proposal is carried out.
I have no specific plans regarding NR or any of the campaigns around it at this moment (that is I have an idea of what they'll eventually become, but not a specific timeline or campaign by campaign basis for implementing it). All of the campaigns you mentioned would not be axed at the end of the HttT arc proposal. Only AToTB would be.

I'm sorry for being undiplomatic, but I think there is value in me stating my opinion directly.

I think you have the wrong approach for how to create an effective story-driven singleplayer mainline. Vultraz has already told you that he thinks you do not design a good story via committee, but perhaps I need to make the point more clear. I hope you can understand what I'm saying.

Let's say you want to commission a work of art. Are you going to ask 100 random people to each paint a small chunk of the painting and stick it together? I think the more likely case is that you hire an artist (usually a single artist) to paint your painting and have it be done with. Or in another case, let's say you want some music for an event. Are you going to ask 10 random people to get together and play something during the event? I think you're more likely to hire a professional DJ or a small band to play your music.

In the same vein here, let's say you want to make a game and you decide it's going to be more or less story-driven. Are you going to ask 100 random people to each provide a piece of that story and try to stitch it together later? I don't think so. I think the more likely scenario is that to create an effective story-line and thus singleplayer game, you ask a writer to come help you design your singleplayer because they have the expertise to write a convincing storyline. The community at large does not have the expertise or knowledge to do so as a collective whole, because they are not all writers.

In all of these cases, the people with expertise are the ones who make the final decisions on their respective areas, because they have the knowledge of how to do so. There is no democratic process, and there is no community outsourcing.

Does that make sense?

I can see an argument others have made in that Wesnoth is a community-driven, open source software project. Then, I'll offer this rebuttal. I personally believe that Wesnoth is first and foremost, a fun game. It happens to be community driven, and it happens to be open source, but is, at the end of the day, a game. To me, that means that it should focus on offering a fun and engaging experience to its players, and that its primary goal should not be to cater to the community. Supposing you (and other people) disagree with me, that means I was mistaken on what Wesnoth is to begin with and I have no place here in this project.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by Pentarctagon »

I feel like there's two extremes being brought up here, and neither one of them are fully correct. Having everything be designed by committee is a great way to not get anything done well or quickly, but likewise and oppositely, simply having one person make a decision in a vacuum can easily go very poorly as well. So while I would agree that the people with expertise in a particular area should be making the final decisions for that area, there should also be transparency and opportunity for feedback to be provided.
nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am To me, that means that it should focus on offering a fun and engaging experience to its players, and that its primary goal should not be to cater to the community.
I'm not sure if this is poor wording on your part since this sounds rather contradictory, but who exactly would we be aiming any of this at, if not the community of people who enjoy Wesnoth? Or put another way, how do you not cater to the player community while aiming to create a fun and engaging experience for the same players?
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by nemaara »

Poor wording, apologies for that. What I meant is that we should not cater to something like a community-based democratic poll.

I also am not suggesting we have one person make a decision in a vacuum. Feedback is always necessary, but we cannot make decisions simply based on which feedback was the most prevalent among the community. That's the point I'm trying to make.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by octalot »

nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am Let's say you want to commission a work of art. Are you going to ask 100 random people to each paint a small chunk of the painting and stick it together? I think the more likely case is that you hire an artist (usually a single artist) to paint your painting and have it be done with. Or in another case, let's say you want some music for an event. Are you going to ask 10 random people to get together and play something during the event? I think you're more likely to hire a professional DJ or a small band to play your music.
That's a strawman, because ignores Wesnoth being split into separate campaigns. There are many fantasy settings where different books have different authors. The DJ is curating a collection of music, but will be providing a variety from different songwriters. The illustrations for a work are likely to come from several different artists, although each individual illustration is done by a single artist.
nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am I personally believe that Wesnoth is first and foremost, a fun game.
It's a game about tactics and strategy on a series of hexagonal grids. A really good story helps, but at the end of the day the players are choosing to play a strategy game instead of reading a book. A fantasy world should have a writers' bible, but this discussion seems to have lost the balance between (improving the writers bible) and (strategy on hexagons).
nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am In the case of AToTB, it's part of the proposal to remove it because I think it would directly interfere with the lore I want to put in the new HttT arc and also would have to come before the HttT arc (thus ruining the campaign play order).

How will the campaign play order interact with adding the TRoW arc? I imagine a campaign-selection screen with headings for the various arcs, but this could easily have a "not part of an arc" section.

Edit: While trimming quotes, trimmed the third part of this post.

-----
Edit 2 (instead of double-posting):

Many series have handled Alternate Continuities, and come to the conclusion that fans can handle being told about continuity reboots. For Wesnoth, even if all three new arcs are ready for 1.16 then we'll have players upgrading as if it's a minor update (see #2710), bringing their player-knowledge of 1.14's lore - to prevent player confusion, we'll need to point out that a continuity reboot has happened.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by Pentarctagon »

octalot wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:13 pm It's a game about tactics and strategy on a series of hexagonal grids. A really good story helps, but at the end of the day the players are choosing to play a strategy game instead of reading a book. A fantasy world should have a writers' bible, but this discussion seems to have lost the balance between (improving the writers bible) and (strategy on hexagons).
How does this proposal harm the strategy aspect?
octalot wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:13 pm
nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am Let's say you want to commission a work of art. Are you going to ask 100 random people to each paint a small chunk of the painting and stick it together? I think the more likely case is that you hire an artist (usually a single artist) to paint your painting and have it be done with. Or in another case, let's say you want some music for an event. Are you going to ask 10 random people to get together and play something during the event? I think you're more likely to hire a professional DJ or a small band to play your music.
That's a strawman, because ignores Wesnoth being split into separate campaigns. There are many fantasy settings where different books have different authors. The DJ is curating a collection of music, but will be providing a variety from different songwriters. The illustrations for a work are likely to come from several different artists, although each individual illustration is done by a single artist.
The difference being that a DJ isn't in a position to make changes to the music, whereas we have full control over the current source material.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by octalot »

Pentarctagon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 6:39 pm How does this proposal harm the strategy aspect?
Because it looks like it will result in about 7 of the campaigns from 1.14 being dropped from whichever release has all 3 of the new arcs. Those campaigns include SotA and Dead Water, and it's quite demoralising to see campaigns of that quality at risk of removal simply because they don't fit the new SP design.
Pentarctagon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 6:39 pm The difference being that a DJ isn't in a position to make changes to the music, whereas we have full control over the current source material.
This subthread is about the upper limit on the number of people who should be involved in a single work, so it's about how work can be split, not about who can make the changes.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by Pentarctagon »

octalot wrote: December 15th, 2019, 12:25 am
Pentarctagon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 6:39 pm How does this proposal harm the strategy aspect?
Because it looks like it will result in about 7 of the campaigns from 1.14 being dropped from whichever release has all 3 of the new arcs. Those campaigns include SotA and Dead Water, and it's quite demoralising to see campaigns of that quality at risk of removal simply because they don't fit the new SP design.
I'm fairly certain that's not been proposed.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by doofus-01 »

There's a lot been said in this thread, so sorry if I'm beating a dead horse.

I think I get where octalot is coming from, but also get that someone needs to take charge and provide direction. Do we need to throw out a lot of campaigns? I'd normally resist that, but having revisited some of them, I'm not so sure. They need help at least.

As long as we aren't going to get caught around next stable release time with our pants down (meaning 60% of the way through a major overhaul), there's time to think about this. A removed campaign can be fixed and brought back, if it has something that needs to be preserved. It's hard to tell what's nostalgia and what's sensible caution.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by Tad_Carlucci »

I'm generally in agreement, except I would like to see the work proceed as a branch so we can push out a new stable when we need to instead of getting caught unable to do so because the schedule for the campaigns was far too agressive.

A single person resonsible for overall themes sounds like a very good idea. Call it a "producer."

Where the release manager is responsible for guiding the software to see the bugs are fixed and new features implemented and tested, the produce would be responsible for seeing that the mainline campaigns and stand-alone scenario, make progress toward some goal.
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Re: A grand design for singleplayer mainline lore

Post by SigurdFireDragon »

Pentarctagon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 3:16 am
vultraz wrote: December 14th, 2019, 2:26 am
SigurdFireDragon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:54 am For axing individual campaigns, I think it should be done via community consensus of project members that it doesn’t meet quality standards, and it is lacking people willing to do the work to improve it. If people are willing to do the work, they should be given a reasonable about of time to accomplish it. and/or deprecating it for a development cycle if no one is currently willing to do the work.
No, we are not doing this. You do not design a good story via committee, and the definition of "project members" is currently too broad to reach any sort of reasonable consensus. Wesnoth has always struggled with a tendency to outsource decisions to the community, often to its detriment.
I believe he's talking about the campaigns not included in nemaara's plan, rather than the arcs nemaara is proposing.
Yes, I am talking about the fate of the campaigns that do not fit into any of nemaara's 3 arcs. While I can agree that my original phrasing might be too broad to be practical, on the other hand, I do not think that the fate of all those campaigns should suddenly just be in one or two people's hands.



nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am In the case of AToTB, it's part of the proposal to remove it because I think it would directly interfere with the lore I want to put in the new HttT arc and also would have to come before the HttT arc (thus ruining the campaign play order).
This could be easily solved with a relatively small amount of work (seems likely that someone will do it), along with putting AToTB under a separate tab for stand-alone campaigns. Of course, the main 3 arcs would be the featured tab(s).



nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am I have no specific plans regarding NR or any of the campaigns around it at this moment (that is I have an idea of what they'll eventually become, but not a specific timeline or campaign by campaign basis for implementing it). All of the campaigns you mentioned would not be axed at the end of the HttT arc proposal. Only AToTB would be.
I was well aware that the campaigns that I mentioned would not be axed at the end of the HttT arc proposal. That's why I said:
SigurdFireDragon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 1:54 am may still in your plan, just in arc 2 or 3


Pentarctagon wrote: December 15th, 2019, 1:24 am
octalot wrote: December 15th, 2019, 12:25 am
Pentarctagon wrote: December 14th, 2019, 6:39 pm How does this proposal harm the strategy aspect?
Because it looks like it will result in about 7 of the campaigns from 1.14 being dropped from whichever release has all 3 of the new arcs. Those campaigns include SotA and Dead Water, and it's quite demoralising to see campaigns of that quality at risk of removal simply because they don't fit the new SP design.
I'm fairly certain that's not been proposed.
While it's true that course of action has not been explicitly proposed, it has been strongly implied in the original proposal on page 1, such that Elvish Hunter and Whiskeyjack have commented about that concern. And there is nothing in the modified proposal that according to nemaara is
nemaara wrote: December 10th, 2019, 7:56 am ...something functionally close to the original plan I proposed in my first post,...
that would suggest that removing several campaigns is no longer intended.
And nemaara hasn't denied that SotA or DW are intended to be removed at some point as part of the overall 3-arc plan.




nemaara wrote: December 14th, 2019, 5:33 am I'm sorry for being undiplomatic, ...
...here in this project.
I'm planning on commenting on this, but it is taking longer than the amount of time I had today.
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