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16  Development / Programming / Re: Pretty pictures.... on: May 08, 2009, 07:38:09 PM
This is not the right thread but it would be a *lot * easier to have building interiors as a separate map; we could even have things like stairs and lifts.

Most cRPGs do it that way (in my experience).  I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
17  Development / Mechanics / Re: PROPOSAL: Combat System on: May 08, 2009, 07:33:38 PM
Some random comments:

* 1 turn = 1 second.
I expect that will need to depend on the type of "turn sequencing" we use.

*"Phased (constant)  10 Phases, count down, 1 action (may be compound) per char per turn."
I don't understand how this works.

* "Plotted Actions (Real-time auto pause?)"
I suspect FIFE isn't designed to do this. (confirmation, FIFE guys?)  Animation and action resolution would need to be (IMHO) a significantly higher level of complexity.

* "Acceleration and Deceleration"
These rules sound rather cumbersome for turn-based combat that's not supposed to take hours.

* Melee Combat flowchart and weapon ranges looks good.

* Engaged Status
This topic (which overlaps what a lot of other games call "zone of control", is IMHO a very critical part the ruleset.  I think the section is too vague now for detailed comment.  But as i understand what this means, it doesn't make sense that a person can be engaged with more than one other person.
* * "Single spaces moves and rotations in place are allowed."
I would suggest rather that a character can't move out of melee weapon range of the enemy he is engaged with without attempting to "disengage".
* * Generally i think it is important to have rules that make ganging up on a melee opponent

* random though: suppose a axeman manages to run up to a rifleman and attempts to engage him.  As i understand it, the rifleman gets to fire first (at a penalty unless he had reserved a shot).  Again suppose the axeman is lucky and is unscathed.  Does the rifleman now get to use his rifle as a melee weapon, (if not a great one?  What if he has a bayonet?

* Grappling
I'd like to have it, but i agree it's probably more trouble than it is worth, though from my perspective the graphics "cost" is the obvious issue.

* Several "Status Effects" "distracted", "Stunned" etc. are mentioned.  It would be good to get a list of these with definitions.   I hope we can avoid the pitfall of too many nearly synonymous "effects" that i've seen in some rulesets.
18  Development / Programming / Re: Pretty pictures.... on: May 07, 2009, 03:38:29 AM
But what about tracks, dirt floors underneath huts and other 'living world' things? should those be rendered to sprites as well and then placed below?

Anything you can potentially walk behind or go inside should be rendered as a separate image from the ground it rest on, otherwise you can't overlap people, objects and ground properly.
19  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: Designing ex-Soviet Baltic States territory on: May 07, 2009, 03:27:33 AM
Weather fascist or not, i think it's rather unlikely that a post-apocalyptic ELL, is going to adopt en mass any single ideology or political system.

People will have to radically change their ways of living and doing things after the boom.  It's vanishingly unlikely that a big chunk of now disconnected people wouldl all adopt the same new system.
20  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: Political correctness? on: May 07, 2009, 03:14:02 AM
...My only fear is to see my material thrown away due to the subject.

Hmm, i think it's unlikely that all your material would be grounded in some controversial item, so the worst case scenario would be that we'd want something changed, not throw the whole thing out.

We should in general try to avoid out of place political uncorrectness. If it's just in PARPG to provoke but has nothing to do with the story and the structures of the socities of the game world, it should not make it into the game.

An elaboration on what i think mvBarracuda is saying:

I think the main thing to watch out for is writers who are more focused on driving home an opinion about historical group/event X, than telling a story. Not that the writer is supposed to (or really ever could) nullify all his opinions, but if for instance, "black nationalism in South Africa", was a major aspect a writers storyline, for this game which takes place is post-apocalyptic norther europe, then it is likely that the writer has an axe to grind, and has let propagandizing overtake his storytelling.  We don't want that.

In a setting like this there's room for a lot of npcs with a lot of different opinions/ideas, some of those opinions not politically correct.  But few of those npcs should be depicted as wholly noble or entirely evil.
21  Development / Graphics / Re: Environment Sprites on: May 06, 2009, 09:36:59 PM
Should be fairly easy using the blender set-up in SVN

It would also be trivial to transform them to the diamond shape with Photoshop or the Gimp
22  Development / Mechanics / Re: Experience System on: May 06, 2009, 09:28:33 PM
This concept of "Talents", it's essentially what GURPS would call an "Advantage"?

No.  It's really a secondary set of "numerical" stats specific to major skill groups. - the example I take this from is numerical, but I guess it doesn't have to be.  The difference between talents (as written) and GURPS 'Advantage' or Fallout 'Trait/Perk' is that everyone has a score in "esthetic" because it's used as a base for artistic skills.  Maybe "aptitudes" is a better name.

Some examples from Aftermath! (I don't suggest we use these out of box)

Archery: Deftness + Wit + Combative
Climbing: Strength + Deftness + Natural
Literacy (Danish): Wit + Wit + Communicative
Machining: Deftness + Wit + Mechanical.

Sorry, now i'm even more confused about what a "talent" is supposed to be.  The example from "aftermath!" doesn't help because, i'm not familiar with that system.

.... I might be will to consider the second if the GUI is really intractable.

It is intractable, unless i totally misunderstand your idea.
23  Development / Mechanics / Re: Actions have consequences: Reputation & Alignment on: May 06, 2009, 09:18:56 PM
Freepower:  That was a good article.  KotOR is a great game in a lot of ways.

.. We should try to avoid cliches nevertheless so IMO it should not be always totally obvious which one the badass approach is...

I don't understand how it could not be obvious, what do you mean?

Quote from: eleazar
I also think it would be cool, (if not critical) for scores near either end of each axis to provide a special perk.  Like an extremely violent guy gets special powers of intimidation.

Since players (as a rule) tend to extremes anyway (I killed one guy... may as well kill the whole town), this is going to unbalance the game unless the perks are overcompensated by disadvantages (negative perks)

It could be overpowering, but it doesn't have to be.  I don't envision these perks being super-powerful.  Much of their value to the player is supposed to be in the fact that the game is responding to the player's role-playing.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I'd like to see a system that rewards balance between two axes. I always feel limited when a game gives significant reward for going to extremes, and none for the balance. For one thing, it often renders neutral alignment choices as obsolete because choosing them would mean that I would miss out on stat bonuses for maxing my alignment early. It forces me to ultimately only be able to play two types of characters - psychotic serial killer and pussy-whipped goody-too-shoes.

To me, a game about "moralilty" is much more interesting if it allows you to explore the morally gray.

JohnMAllen, i don't think you read the beginning of this thread.  I've proposed 3 different axis, so even if all players go to one of the extremes there are 6 combinations (if i did my math right).  But the way i'm envisioning things i don't think it is likely that most players will go to an extreme on all alignments.  I certainly don't want to try to force the player to any extreme alignment. But it shouldn't be hard to make "pragmatism" (neutral alignment on one or more axis) it's own reward.

The basic idea is that the writer doesn't have to make a totally equivalent violent and non-violent (and generous/thieving, honest/deceptive) path through every problem.  Work in some common sense into the quest-design.  Sometimes the violent approach is not going to be the smart, practical, pragmatic approach... other times it will be.  A player who ignores the bottom line, and (for instance) constantly plays a generous character will naturally loose out on a lot of loot.  The player who kills whenever possible will realistically make a lot of enemies, and cut himself off from people who would otherwise help him.  The pragmatic (neutral) player is free to choose whichever options benefit him most in every situation.

I think such an approach strikes a realistic and interesting balance, and allows a lot of distinct role-playing opportunities.
24  General Category / Introduce yourself / Re: eleazzaar (eleazar) on: April 30, 2009, 03:06:49 AM
I'm just starting to get over this flu.  Bleh.  Haven't forgot about this.
25  General Category / Introduce yourself / Re: eleazzaar (eleazar) on: April 18, 2009, 03:53:43 PM
I'm back from vacation, but caught a nasty virus.  May be away for another week or so.

Keep up the good work.
26  Development / Graphics / Re: Environment Sprites on: April 08, 2009, 07:52:44 PM
Cool Smiley

Not to downplay your work, but i wonder if transparent transitions are something that the FIFE engine should handle.

1) transitions are useful for other FIFE products, not just PARPG

2) they might be rendered more efficiently, in terms of redraw and so forth if the FIFE engine did it

3) If the FIFE team can take care of it, that's one less thing for our rather small team to worry about

I intend to bring the question up on the FIFE forums to see if the FIFE devs are interested.
27  Development / Mechanics / Re: PROPOSAL: Encumbrance, Armor and Clothes on: April 07, 2009, 07:34:31 PM
* 256 Extremely Large (medium box, back pack, watermelon, >6 locations worth of armor)
* 512 Huge - (large chest, bicycle, major appliance) these things cannot be carried for long distances, but can be moved.
* >512Too Big - You cannot lift or move this alone. If it's <=1024, then 2 people can treat it as a Huge object, etc.

IMHO limits on what you can lift and carry and for how long are better dealt with by weight (via encumbrance).  If we rely on that we can just replace the last two with:

* 512+ Huge - (large chest, bicycle, major appliance) requires both hands.

Oh, I see your point.   What about a mattress?  Just to be a pedant.

What about a mattress?

I think you may still have to convert some of your thinking process from a PnP mindset to a cPRG one.  In a PnP, you never know what kind of crazy stuff the players are going to do, so you want to cover all contingencies.  But in a cRPG it takes too much work to robustly implement things that the player will probably never care to interact with.  We don't need rules to prevent players from doing things that they won't have the opportunity to do anyway.

So for your example of the mattress, in a cRPG one of the following will be true:

A) mattresses don't matter, so they aren't distinct objects, but part of a "bed", that may not be implemented beyond being something that blocks your walking.

B) the designer wants the mattress to be moveable for some specific reason, and thus it is implemented as a discrete object.  Thus obviously it will be given a "bulk" low enough that it is moveable, no matter where it should actually be on the bulk scale.

A character (possibly animal-NPC or even vehicle) an has a MAX weight capacity depending on his physical stats. This is a hard cap. He will suffer moderate penalties at 1/2 this capacity, and heavy penalties at 3/4ths this capacity. It is understood that the player (or AI) should strive to keep his character at under the 1/2 encumbrance capacity, and can temporally exceed this with only minor penalties for most actions. At the same time - the penalty must be severe enough to prevent Players from just using the hard cap or 3/4th cap as a default.

I realize that we don't have enough of the basic attributes figured out to nail the actual effect of encumbrance down, but i would look for a way to make it graduated instead of having a dramatic break-over point.  In other words, the penalties would gradually build from 1/2 max capacity to 3/4th capacity and beyond.

It tends to look silly in cRPGs when i add a tiny item to the character's inventory, and suddenly he's "encumbered" and movement is drastically reduced.

More, later...
28  Development / Graphics / Re: Environment Sprites on: April 07, 2009, 06:52:47 PM
I don't know if i'll have much time to make art today.

Bah, what am i thinking?   Huh You need something functional, not something that looks pretty but takes a long time to make.

I uploaded a set of grass transitions to trunk/demo/...  and also that grid.  They probably won't fit together seamlessly, but it will work for your purposes.

If this helps, here's the guide that shows where each numbered transition image is on the sequence.  If this sequence doesn't work for you, feel free to change it, it shouldn't matter to the artists, as long as they know what the sequence is.

Also if it makes the calculations cleaner it would be easy to add back in the 2 transitions marked with "A", though it seems rather a waste of space to include the "B" transitions.

EDIT: also added quick gravel transitions, so you now have 2 to work with.  If they were well done transitions, they would have a different alpha mask than the grass transitions.
29  Development / Graphics / Re: Environment Sprites on: April 07, 2009, 06:22:46 PM
I don't know if i'll have much time to make art today.

I did make a grid graphic to overlay on the terrain. (see attached)  It will work against both dark and light terrain.

I don't know if this is something you want to think about at this point in the process or not, but there are going to be a ton of little graphics for terrain.  We need e a naming convention that could identify which transition a particular PNG is for, and if its a variant.

Ideally the engine could sort out which is which and use them properly without, needing to identify each .PNG with .XML.
30  Development / Mechanics / Re: PROPOSAL: Use-based skill system on: April 07, 2009, 05:05:01 AM
I.e. if you're good at something, then your chance of improving is small, and if you are bad at something then your chance of improving is good.

Additionally (and i don't see this mentioned elsewhere), if the character is trying something difficult, he's more likely to learn (or will learn more) than if he's trying something easy.
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