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More fun with quests

By on August 31, 2012 5:08:00 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1120

So I’m having a blast making quests. I had forgotten how powerful the system had gotten over the past couple of years of development.

I am going to make a claim here that I hope modders will back me up on: You could, with the current beta, make a Baldur’s Gate style RPG with the quest system.

You’d be insane to try though. Until there’s a real editor, working with XML is a kind of torture once the quests start to get complicated. A typo here or there can really wreck things. It’s very very tedious. Plus, you’d want to have more controls over your “campaign” to disable units and things to make it an RPG and not an empire builder. 

I just want to emphasize that what I’m doing is all being done with Notepad.  If I had some .NET developers handy, I’d ask them to make a proper editor (and in fact, if anyone wants to make some money on the side, I’d be glad to arrange something to someone interested in making a proper quest editor).

Here’s a simple one I made today:

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I bring the little man to me.

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I answer…a duck.

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So in this case, I give units items, name those items, and their descriptions right from the same XML.

Ok, let’s try that again..

Guy comes to visit…yada yada yada.  Picking a different answer…

Got the location for the Gauntlets of power. But Mimbly also gave me…dancing shoes.

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Those are some pretty…boots.

Reason #503 as to why you don’t let software developers make art requirements:

Every single unit in the game can be dressed and have it show up on the map. This requirement was added by me after Demigod (a great game btw).  In that game, the armor and weapons you equipped didn’t show up on your unit in the map. They said it would be extremely expensive and difficult to do that. The “bang for the buck” wasn’t there.

But I insisted that the Kumquat engine support it for WOM/FE. 

GPG was right and I was wrong. It was tremendously difficult to do this.  Especially when there are thousands of units running around.

But now that it’s done, it is nice to see it in action.

Anyway…Getting on with our quest…

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The quest can supply a tactical battle map too.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any right now that look like a tomb yet. I could make one with the built in map editor but I’m a dangerously lazy guy and Paul says he’ll make me one next week.

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So here I got to put the units in and name them whatever I’d like.

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And again, I took a piece of equipment someone else made, renamed it and gave it its own description.

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The description is inherited by the object (the gauntlets). It’s not just some pop up description. That initiated game object has the description tied to it now forever.

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And there they are.

Learn more on Elemental: Fallen Enchantress at www.fallenenchantress.com.

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September 1, 2012 1:44:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another map editor screenshot:

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September 1, 2012 1:49:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here's a craptastic screenshot of the tile editor. You use this to make goodie huts and quest locations and other special things that you want on the map.

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September 1, 2012 2:02:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad, what we really need is quest respawns.

 

Regardless of how many different quests, my map always ends up empty with all quests done by NPC faction other than Epic quests.

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September 1, 2012 2:14:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Here's a craptastic screenshot of the tile editor. You use this to make goodie huts and quest locations and other special things that you want on the map.

 

Me likey

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September 1, 2012 2:35:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks, Frogboy, for providing some screenshots of what the Map Editor looks like.  Learning that you have a great Map Editor already built into E:FE really brightened my day.  Great News!  Thanks for sharing ...       

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September 1, 2012 8:11:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

and now for the obvious question,

WHEN can we play with these tools?

harpo

 

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September 1, 2012 10:23:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting wnmnkh,
Brad, what we really need is quest respawns.

 

Regardless of how many different quests, my map always ends up empty with all quests done by NPC faction other than Epic quests.

 

Quest and champion recruitment garrison respawns, please!

 

It does look like the random events are akin to middle-late game quests, which is a very good feature. The empire building system introduced in Beta 4 is excellent, but there is a good incentive for the player to just sit there making new buildings constantly. Some random events in the middle of city building would break up a tiny bit of empire-building section and make it feel fresh.

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September 1, 2012 11:13:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting harpo99999,
and now for the obvious question,

WHEN can we play with these tools?

harpo

 

Yes, WHEN?!

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September 1, 2012 12:11:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh yes yes! The MoM mod might be possible! Levitate my harpies!

Amazing work FrogeyOne. Keep up the good work!

I wish I could apply for your quest editor, but I don't know enough .NET to apply. Unless you guys got a spot for an intern, by chance?

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September 1, 2012 12:14:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So I made a faction editor before there was a faction editor (back before EWOM), and I still have it in the mod section.  However, I have started and stopped on a quest editor several times.   here is a screenshot of the latest version:

 

 

I also have the code (which doesn't actually write XML yet), but I am willing to help with the editor or give advice if someone else wants to pick it up.

 

Here is the code so far if anyone wants to try it out:

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12727985/Mods/Quest%20Editor.zip

 

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September 1, 2012 1:17:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
We updated the quest system so that if you fail at a quest (like get killed) you can go back and finish it.

Awwwwwweesoooooome...!!!

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September 1, 2012 2:22:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad, don't you think that this Fall is too early for the release? Beta 4 became less playable than Beta 3. It needs good balance and lots of lots of tuning to hit high score from rewievers. 

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September 1, 2012 2:32:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lotusmindful,
Brad, don't you think that this Fall is too early for the release? Beta 4 became less playable than Beta 3. It needs good balance and lots of lots of tuning to hit high score from rewievers. 

It's not my call.  

However, the feedback we've gotten indicates that Beta 4 is substantially improved over beta 3.  We'll have a better idea when Beta 5 hits.  But I don't imagine a scenario where it would take many months to get the balance to where we want.  

That said, I don't know what any of this has to do with making quests.

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September 1, 2012 3:50:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
If I had some .NET developers handy, I’d ask them to make a proper editor

Quoting Murteas,
I also have the code (which doesn't actually write XML yet), but I am willing to help with the editor or give advice if someone else wants to pick it up.

Here is the code so far if anyone wants to try it out:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12727985/Mods/Quest%20Editor.zip

I've been a regular lurker on the forums here since Brad's first "It is time to talk about QUESTS" post for WOM. I do a fair amount of C# work at my job so I will totally delurk and jump at the chance to help with a quest editor. I don't have FE yet though so I will get it first and start looking at the XML structure.

Murteas, I looked in your zip file but it looks like it is just the exe. Any chance you could upload the source?

Brad, I will start trying to figure out the XML API on my own but I have a feeling I might need some more details. Any information you or anyone else can give me will be a huge help. Thanks!

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September 1, 2012 4:27:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting azaquor,

quoting postIf I had some .NET developers handy, I’d ask them to make a proper editor


Quoting Murteas,
I also have the code (which doesn't actually write XML yet), but I am willing to help with the editor or give advice if someone else wants to pick it up.

Here is the code so far if anyone wants to try it out:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12727985/Mods/Quest%20Editor.zip


I've been a regular lurker on the forums here since Brad's first "It is time to talk about QUESTS" post for WOM. I do a fair amount of C# work at my job so I will totally delurk and jump at the chance to help with a quest editor. I don't have FE yet though so I will get it first and start looking at the XML structure.

Murteas, I looked in your zip file but it looks like it is just the exe. Any chance you could upload the source?

Brad, I will start trying to figure out the XML API on my own but I have a feeling I might need some more details. Any information you or anyone else can give me will be a huge help. Thanks!

 

Sure, I can upload the source.    The challenge is going to be getting a good schema for the quest xml.   There isn't one currently available, but maybe we can persuade Stardock to generate one.   I worked on this last in Early February.   

 

Currently I have this checked in to an svn repository on assembla.  If you have an account there I can share it with you if you want to keep it in a common place for us to both work on it, or if you want to set up something else (github, sourceforge, etc.) and just go on your own, the code is yours to do with as you please.

 

Here is the source code: 

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/12727985/Mods/FEQuestEditor.zip

 

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September 1, 2012 7:02:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Am i right in assuming you are willing to take quests sent in by players who wave the copyright so you can then incorporate them? I'd imagine you'd get boatloads and could put them all in once vetted? Similar question with spells.

 

Not me as i can barely use mine to play the games but there seem to be some very smart guys on here who could want to get involved just to see their quests in print as it were.

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September 1, 2012 7:56:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Murteas,
Sure, I can upload the source. The challenge is going to be getting a good schema for the quest xml. There isn't one currently available, but maybe we can persuade Stardock to generate one. I worked on this last in Early February.



Currently I have this checked in to an svn repository on assembla. If you have an account there I can share it with you if you want to keep it in a common place for us to both work on it, or if you want to set up something else (github, sourceforge, etc.) and just go on your own, the code is yours to do with as you please.

Awesome, I downloaded the source and started looking at it. I made an assembla account--my name there is also azaquor--so we could work together or if you are busy I can start working myself for now. I'd love to talk more about implementation details if you're interested.

Also, I agree that getting a really good xsd will be essential... any help from Stardock will be a major boon to us, even if it's just on-the-fly API documentation that we can take a look at.

I'm excited to work on this!

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September 1, 2012 10:00:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jpattersonuk,
Am i right in assuming you are willing to take quests sent in by players who wave the copyright so you can then incorporate them? I'd imagine you'd get boatloads and could put them all in once vetted? Similar question with spells.

 

I think the best/most traditional way to deal with this is to simply have the community make a compilation of the best ones as a single mod. Then people can download that and install it if they are interested. Stardock could also take that and integrate it without having to do to much filtering.

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September 1, 2012 10:22:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting azaquor,

Quoting Murteas, reply 41Sure, I can upload the source. The challenge is going to be getting a good schema for the quest xml. There isn't one currently available, but maybe we can persuade Stardock to generate one. I worked on this last in Early February.



Currently I have this checked in to an svn repository on assembla. If you have an account there I can share it with you if you want to keep it in a common place for us to both work on it, or if you want to set up something else (github, sourceforge, etc.) and just go on your own, the code is yours to do with as you please.

Awesome, I downloaded the source and started looking at it. I made an assembla account--my name there is also azaquor--so we could work together or if you are busy I can start working myself for now. I'd love to talk more about implementation details if you're interested.

Also, I agree that getting a really good xsd will be essential... any help from Stardock will be a major boon to us, even if it's just on-the-fly API documentation that we can take a look at.

I'm excited to work on this!

 

I'm in a major crunch right now with work, so I am unable to work on "extra" stuff for a while.   Feel free to use any of that code if it is helpful.  

 

Frogboy, Can you give us anything else for the quest documentation (i.e. what fields are required, schema, etc.)?

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September 2, 2012 4:06:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, will we be able to create larger maps than the ones we now play in the game, is what I want to know. For me, even the large maps in the game are way too small. I want maps which are 5 times larger than the largest right now. Perhaps even 10 times.

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September 2, 2012 7:58:52 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting BlackRainZ,
Frogboy, will we be able to create larger maps than the ones we now play in the game, is what I want to know. For me, even the large maps in the game are way too small. I want maps which are 5 times larger than the largest right now. Perhaps even 10 times.
you ARE using a 64bit system aen't you?

harpo

 

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September 2, 2012 9:05:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


In quest making would it be possible to raise an entire section of land. I've an idea to have a quest that raises an ancient city swallowed by the water and ruled by a water titan, basically a new wild-land, that you need to raise from the depths of the ocean.

Would this be possible within the modding tools within the game?

Could somebody make a wild-land and the quests involved?

I see all these tools here and I'm getting more excited to get my hands on some of these tools to create some things.

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September 3, 2012 12:48:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
If I had some .NET developers handy, I’d ask them to make a proper editor

 

*Sigh* A month too late there Frogboy.

I actually live just up in White lake (It's near Waterford).

Just took a job in Farmington Hills as a .Net Developer. 

 

Ah, well. Glad the quests are getting more love, though.

 

BTW, if you're using Notepad for that stuff I really recommend Notepad++. If you set the language to XML it will work a lot like an IDE and format for you, and provide a lot of useful visual aid when coding shit by hand. We pretty much use it for all of our non-.Net Languages (SQL, XML, Etc.).

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September 4, 2012 1:04:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can a quest affect your fraction's reputation?

Example:

Sire, my sovereign requests your assistance. The prince has been kidnapped by trolls. Will you rescue him?

  1. Yes, I will seek out these villans and rescue the prince. (If successful, your fraction's repuation increases - AI less likely to attack you)
  2. Yes, I will rescue your prince; however, I expect to be suitably rewarded (If successful, you receive a reward)
  3. No, I have other more important matters to attend to (Reduces your fraction's reputation - AI more likely to attack you)
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September 4, 2012 10:46:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can give or take away influence. Influence is the basic decider of how much other people like you. It is also used to construct special buildings and hire extremely weak units.

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