[Campaign 4] Release & Development topic

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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 18 Mar 2013, 21:05

When one clicks on the cam4-cont-r17 git repo it's there at the top in the info.

I have other things I work on besides Cam 4. ;)
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Shadow Wolf TJC » 19 Mar 2013, 01:44

Goth Zagog-Thou wrote:Use those trucks to demolish the Command Center. Rebuild it. Now you can design stuff.

Players should never have to resort to this, so you should still look into fixing that bug. You may need to add some code in rules.js that enables the minimap and design tab whenever an HQ is transferred to you, or whenever a periodic checkup sees that you currently own at least 1 HQ.

An example of how to detect whether or not the transferred object is an HQ:
Code: Select all
function eventObjectTransfer(object,player) {
  if (object.type==STRUCTURE && object.player==me) {
    if (object.stattype==HQ) {
      setMiniMap(true);
      setDesign(true);
    }
  }
}

An example of how to periodically check to see whether or not the player has an HQ: (Only use this if eventObjectTransfer isn't working for you.)
Code: Select all
function eventGameInit() {
  setTimer(checkup,200);
}

function checkup() {
  if (enumStruct(me,HQ).length>0) {
    setMiniMap(true);
    setDesign(true);
  }
  else {
    setMiniMap(false);
    setDesign(false);
  }
}
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 19 Mar 2013, 03:18

Oh my, just what Aubergine and I were trying to solve. Will try it immediately.
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 19 Mar 2013, 03:55

Neither piece of code is working. This is the same stuff Aubergine and I have been trying for over a month.

The problem seems to be that the .slo and .js don't communicate. Neither script is aware of what the other is doing, and doesn't seem to respond to anything happening in the other script. If the player builds an HQ, sure, then it works.

Could possibly be a deficiency in the .js part of things at this point.

Thanks for trying, ShadowWolf.
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby NoQ » 19 Mar 2013, 04:30

setTimer(checkup,200);
Needs quotes:
Code: Select all
setTimer("checkup", 200);
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 20 Mar 2013, 17:01

Okay folks. Moving right along.

I think I have an idea that will solve the whole "Cam 4's storyline has no meaning" problem.

What if the player starts out as "one with the system" -- a slave of NEXUS -- and discovers a way to free themselves and others, and in so doing starts a rebellion against NEXUS, culminating in a deciding battle to see whether NEXUS (as a Faction) can become either a savior or a tyrant of the human race? It all depends on who is floating in the immersion tank connected to all of the gear, right? Dr.Reed or the Player ... and in the process of the Rebellion, the Player calls up The Project for assistance (and that's how we get The Project involved).

Opinions?
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Rman Virgil » 27 Mar 2013, 05:22

.

Back.

Will play test this coming weekend and have some feedback as well.

As for story input...

Goth, can you give a short summary of your original over all story arc and what you hoped the player experienced in meeting the mission challenges associated with the story events and their ultimate outcome ?

Your new proposition is interesting for sure but I would better understand it in context, I think, if I was clearer on your original arc and how it could all mesh seamless.
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 27 Mar 2013, 18:14

Heya Rman. Hope you enjoyed your vacation. :)

That's just the thing. The story has been in flux simply because I wasn't happy with the previous iterations of it. The current one included. It's decent, but not up to snuff of what "meaningful" and "worthy" are meant to be. I feel that it can be better.

I also feel that I "worked the story into a corner", and I'm NOT happy with that either.

I'm quite open and receptive to other ideas and suggestions. Certainly the technical prowess is there, as I've worked out how to implement most of what you quite aptly called "interactive fiction" with the diverging story paths. I just need good ideas to feed to it. ;)
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Rman Virgil » 28 Mar 2013, 02:45

.

Thanks Goth. :) Was a fabulous trip. Posted some dets and pics in my "Oddities" thread.

========>

Your new diverging paths GPM does raise the gamplay ante over the original in a very powerful way and, as you express, should be matched by a powerful, meaningful, interactive story that also excells beyond the achievments of the original canon.

Ok. We should talk shop. Let's go with your new proposition, which I believe promising. It raises some questions from the get go that are fundamental.

Goth Zagog-Thou wrote:Okay folks. Moving right along.

I think I have an idea that will solve the whole "Cam 4's storyline has no meaning" problem.

What if the player starts out as "one with the system" -- a slave of NEXUS -- and discovers a way to free themselves and others, and in so doing starts a rebellion against NEXUS, culminating in a deciding battle to see whether NEXUS (as a Faction) can become either a savior or a tyrant of the human race? It all depends on who is floating in the immersion tank connected to all of the gear, right? Dr.Reed or the Player ... and in the process of the Rebellion, the Player calls up The Project for assistance (and that's how we get The Project involved).

Opinions?


You wanna create a great epic story and one of the key ingredients is a great villian or nemesis. Tried and true for thousands of years. And with many variants and room for new, fresh, twists. (I define "epic" as a long story recounting a series of heroic, escalating, life and death struggles.)

Nexus / Dr. Reed have served this role in the canon well and the core trope they represent is also over 2 millenia old and still powerful - man vs. machine (or humanity's creations coming to haunt their existence).

If you morph Nexus into something other than a clear cut nemesis you will have to create another to still have the makings of a great epic.

Nexus is an extension of Dr. Reed's will and the arm of his power to shape the world in his vision of machine / artificial intelligence dominance.

By creating a schism in Nexus, a rebellion from within, Dr. Reed will be forced to create a new arm to excercise his will, aka, a new faction, a new nemesis.

All fresh, compelling and doable.

Now we come to the great conflicting goals that are also key to a great epic.

We have Dr. Reed's goal with some specificity. It can always be expanded upon in the details (& we'll get to a new twist on that score in due course).

But what of The Project goals ? Restore civilization to its pre-collapse glory ?

What does that mean ? And does it have in it's vagueness the makings of a great epic ?

In the original campaign story, defeating Nexus was the goal. Did it succeed in creating an epic story and finale ? My answer would be up to a point yes but, ultimately no in the final act. In both epic story terms and gameplay experience the conclusion of the original campaign was not entirely succesful as an epic.

So where does that leave us ?

Defeating the villian is not enough to take the story beyond the original. There has to be a parallel goal of epic scope. A goal for The Project that has specificity beyond the vague "restoring civilization to it's pre-collapse glory" - which in itself is rife with ambivalence (not necessarily a bad thing if conveyed with artistry). A goal that Dr. Reed has a stake in either thwarting or assimilating to his own ends as articulated above. What could that be ?

Well, to begin with, there is a glaring omission in WZ's back story extrapolation of the next hundred years that could be the basis for a fresh opening up, and specific goal, of epic scope. I'll leave it there for the moment to ventilate the conversation to PoVs other than mine.

Once that goal is identified, it will also need to be formulated within your GPM construct of divergent, interactive story, paths.

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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Rman Virgil » 29 Mar 2013, 01:08

.

I also got to thinking about how your enhancing the persistent hero-RPG gameplay element. This very much ties in with your divergent paths and the meaningful story your after. A trifecta challenge if you will.

In mulling this over, a hugely underated strategy game series of years past came to mind. Specifically the last installment from 2006 - Warlords Battlecry 3.

This strat game series did something for first time successfully that, to my knowledge, has not been exceeded since - melding RTS and RPG.

I've retrieved it to replay anew and study its GPMs in this regard to see what I can learn, what insights I can glean that could be relevant and useful in pushing this envelope in a compelling way. Gog.com has it cheap for anyone interested. My understanding is that there has been a movement afoot to opensource it and that while the lead designer-creator is agreeable, the distributor is not inclined - so far.

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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Rman Virgil » 01 Apr 2013, 04:01

.

Started testing. Many exciting, well done, and needed changes over the last iteration.

Commenced on Normal. After 3rd failed attempt switched to Easy.

3 comments below would apply to both difficulty settings.

~ First: Sit rep / Mission brief persistence and access as text through the Intel Reticule button is a must, I believe, for all the interesting & finely structured complexity of what you have created not to be lost and manifest instead as:

- "What the hecks going on now ?" And

- "What the heck do I do next ?"

~ Second: Balance. Specifically, the enemy oppositions might at every stage turn and progression to the next level. Only much play testing by as many as possible from the get go can serve this critical need.

Here's my initial take. Homeing weaps are just too much with all the other opposition going on from the opening bell. Imo, eliminate them entirely from the initial stage.

~ Third: The 2 Repair Wheels need to be beefed up. They are just way too fragile for their critical role at the outset, I think.

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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Rman Virgil » 02 Apr 2013, 00:21

.
In playtesting and mulling over your new story line, I'm thinking it would be incumbent and feasible to introduce first contact and a rescue mission towards the end sequence on the starting map.

I'm also thinking that once you settle on this new storyline, and work out the overall arc, it would be worth considering creating an opening montage of images (that runs before you even start playing), with voice-over narration, that conveys the gist of the new back story and sets the stage for all the action to come that is goal-driven in the aforemention epic terms. That way the meaning you are after is seeded and set in motion in the players mind, before they even start playing, to grow in intensity alonside the gameplay and its unfolding revelations.

Whatever I can do to help, I will.
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 07 Apr 2013, 02:38

Great ideas and suggestions as always, Rman. :)

Now that I'm back from my own little "regrouping/refreshing time away", it's back to work. ;)

- I hadn't considered using a "slideshow" montage in place of videos. That's something I could do myself without too much trouble. Plenty of open-source solutions (including the upcoming Lightworks port) available to do what we need. Awesome idea!

- I've had a chance to really think the story through, and I've got a much better idea of the story I'd like to tell through the campaign. To summarize:

Code: Select all
The story begins at Nexus Prime, the place that NEXUS fled to after being defeated by The Project. Here we have one of Dr.Reed's Alphas, T-4001. T-4001 was originally an Engineer and a NASDA Officer named Lawrence Gibbs who helped Project Nexus get off the ground before the Collapse. After Dr. Reed betrayed humanity, Lieutenant Gibbs confronted him as he floated in the immersion tank -- and paid the price. Lt. Gibbs was assimilated (much like what happened to the people whom eventually became The Collective) and became a slave to Dr. Reeds' will. In fact, Lt. Gibbs was the first to suffer this fate.

Lieutenant Gibbs was sent north to construct Nexus Prime as NEXUS gathered more allies in the lower 48 states -- the New Paradigm and The Collective, as well as smaller groups who had survived the Collapse and the wars that followed. In fact, NEXUS was responsible for instigating many of those conflicts.

The locals in the area of Nexus Prime likewise had banded together for survival. At first, NEXUS promised them peace and unity, and they would be part of the New World that would rise from the ashes of destruction, better and stronger than the humans of before. Experiments were performed upon these people to test enhancements to mental and physical abilities, to resist disease and the semi-radioactive environment that much of the world was now engulfed in. They were to build a better world.

What was not known until it was too late -- NEXUS was preparing them to be drones. Their free will would be overridden by technology, and while they could think and feel mostly of their own accord, they could not physically act of their own will.

T-4001, as a slave of NEXUS, witnessed all of this firsthand and could do nothing to prevent it. All he could do was follow orders. In his dreams, he is a Liberator. One who frees all of the slaves of NEXUS and forces Dr. Reed to answer for his crimes. That dream, sadly, is not reality. Someday ...

And then the day comes. What would be a routine sweep-and-clear of one of the outlying Survivor Camps turns out to be the event that sets it all in motion. After being overwhelmed and captured, T-4001 is probed, examined, and eventually disconnected from the system thanks to a piece of technology that these Rebels have been working on. Lieutenant Gibbs is free again.

He returns to Nexus Prime and discovers that all is not well. The activation of the Limiter has caused all manner of malfunctions to anything connected to the system. Lieutenant Gibbs can [b] perceive[/b] the breakdown of order but is controlled by the system no longer. He confronts Dr. Reed (still floating in his immersion tank) and demands that the system be shut down. NEXUS then turns on Lt. Gibbs, driving him and a contingent of the base personnel away lest they be destroyed.

Lieutenant Gibbs needs assistance if Dr. Reed is to face justice and if NEXUS is to be dismantled. After a couple of encounters attempting to free more and more drones from the system, it becomes clear that the Survivors in the area, while resourceful and inventive, are no match for NEXUS. Lieutenant Gibbs decides to contact The Project -- the only force capable of dealing with NEXUS on the scale necessary to defeat it once and for all.

And who does The Project send? The Lieutenant's brother, Tactical Sergeant Reginald Gibbs, and an entire Project Team -- enough to establish a base of operations and gain a strong foothold in the region. The brothers have a reunion and set about ridding the world of NEXUS.

The end result is a spectacular battle at Nexus Prime. Once conquered, all hardware still connected to the system must remain under control until the technology can be dismantled and otherwise nullified. The Project has a new ally (The Cooperative), and the world is a much brighter place with Dr. Reed (who is in REALLY bad shape after spending almost 17 years in an immersion tank) on trial for crimes against humanity and attempted genocide.


That's what I have so far. :D
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Goth Zagog-Thou » 07 Apr 2013, 02:46

Continuing.

- Balance: This is something I've really been adamant about. The current way (with Nexus Prime outposts able to strike the player in Zone 1) is NOT what I had really intended, and is in fact a design flaw on my part. The new storyline will address this issue by making it a non-issue. :D
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Re: [Campaign 4] Development topic

Postby Rman Virgil » 07 Apr 2013, 17:52

.

I do tries to put some meat, tatters and collard greens on the table. Somthin' you can chew on. ;)

Was hopeing you were giving yourself that time away to refresh your spirit. Gotta do it, especially with a project of this scope and intense, complex, challenges and demands. With regularity, as I am trying to hold myself to in my own much, much, simpler WZ efforts. :3

You have come back and your story has grown even more compelling with strong narrative hooks adding specific depth and breath. :)

I would make only one suggestion for your consideration.

There is always a little dissent even in paradise.

Which is to say, The Project would have its naysayers on specific policy. Simply because the post-collapse world would not be one of exuberant abundance and thus there would be major debates over the allocation of scarce resources to any particular effort.

In this particular case there would be, I'm imagining, a Project contingent that would question the veracity of this Nexus schism and would even suggest it was a canny ploy by Reed to make the Project vulnerable to an insider disruptive drain.

There are many ways to exploit this potential reversal in narrative and mission constructs. I posit, as an example, that the Project majority, by a slim margin, votes to go ahead and aid in the rebellion. But what of the minority not in favor of this move and still very suspicious ? Will they just go along and not precipitate some chain of events in secret, some machination, to subvert this alliance intitiative with this Nexus splinter ?

I guess this sums-up the notion that presenting the Project as being pure as the driven snow is not as interesting, or realistic, as injecting an element of divisiveness and allowing for a splinter group's potential treachery at some point in the narrative unfolding and even in an associated mission sequence.

Anyway, just a thought. :hmm:

And thanks for the heads-up on Lightworks. :D Not familiar with it before following up on your mentioning it. Way more powerful than anything I've used to date. Look forward to learning and using it. In reading about the features I noted you can have fairly granular control over slideshow image pacing so you can create bursts of what I think of as quasi-subliminal quick-cutting sequences alongside more normal paceing. Nice. :)

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