Blackwinter

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Blackwinter

Postby Pongo » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:48 am

Welcome to Blackwinter! :D

This is going to be a relatively short module with minimal fiddling with the rules and toolset. The main aim is to complete it quickly! That's still likely to be several months, but possibly quicker if I can make significant progress before Dark Souls III comes out. :) I've got to the point in the module where I'm going to start asking questions (and probably needing help!), so I'll keep this thread updated as I go along.

As with the Raventhal, it's a single player module with recruitable NPCs. There will be a bit of exploration and reward for this, but the game area is going to be quite small. I'd like to get some decent choice and consequence in there as well, but limited to a small number of key decision points.

This is the map of the game area:
WorldMappaper.png
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Which looks pretty big; but this is deceptive! For example, Blackwinter isn't an explorable map - its a series of choices from a conversation menu (eg, go to the weapon shop, go to the temple etc) which lead to further conversation text rather than maps. It basically works in a similar way to the towns in Curse of the Azure Bonds if you ever played that. It would be great to build another Athkatla, but yeah that's not realistically going to happen. "Blackwinter" is a working title for the module, I'll probably change it down the line given that little of the module will actually be spent there. Basically, with a couple of notable exceptions, the areas marked on the map outside of Blackwinter are the main "sub-maps".

The "ingame" map doesn't have the headings, and as you can see from the tiles its not so big:

mapexample.png
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This version is still a bit rough, but you can see how it basically just links the different explorable areas, with a key pinch point at the bridge. My plan is for the roads to be "safe" travelling routes on the whole, but with offroad exploration being a bit more dangerous with different types of creatures that might attack on the plains / hills etc.

I'm aiming for about 4-5 hours play time (ie, slightly bigger than the Raventhal but still not massive). I've produced a fair wadge of text already though, so a lot will depend on your reading speed.

And finally, my first question... :) How do you change the PC icon so that it is represents the characters on the submaps, but (for example) a horse on these big overland maps? I know this has come up somewhere before but I can't find it... Thanks.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby youngneil1 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:38 pm

Hey Phil,

that looks and sounds awesome :D ! Very cool to see you making progress there and I like the safe roads, dangerous wilds concept alot. Later more.

To change party icon to e.g. a horse you can use the gaTogglePartyToken.cs script:

Code: Select all
//gaTogglePartyToken.cs - Switches the player token to the party token or the normal selected party leader token (or group)
//parm1 = (string) the filename (no extension) of the party token or leave blank ("") or "none" if you wish to use the existing party token
//parm2 = (bool) false = turn off party token, true = turn on party token
//parm3 = none
//parm4 = none


Edit: You can e.g. call this from a trigger as script event (in the drop down list). Or you could call it as IBScript from any script hook with this line in the IBScript (untested):
~gaTogglePartyToken(parm(0), parm(1))
Parm0 could be set to "horse" (assuming you got a .png named horse.png as party token) and Parm1 to "True" for switching horse on. This is when using the parm System (the text entry boxes in the trigger editor or the comma delineated list in property windows).
You could also directly call (untested):
~gaTogglePartyToken("horse","True")
Must test these still, mayhaps I added a stupid mistake here (easy to do). A likely candidate is spelling "true" as "True"... Btw in debug mode (press d on keyboard) you get info on how a script ran.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby Pongo » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:22 pm

Ahh great, thanks that's very clear. For some reason I thought it was more complicated than that! :) I'll get it up and running later ....
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby youngneil1 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:26 pm

No problem, hope it works out. The old paper look in the maps above is great, looking greatly forward to explore the region inch by inch :D !
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby slowdive » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:18 pm

This is awesome to see and hear. I've been busy the past couple days, but will try and write more later.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby Dorateen » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:58 pm

Hey, just had a chance to read about this upcoming project. Looks excellent, Pongo. I like the potential for exploration, as I am a big lover of game maps.

It's nice to see the context of the larger world, relevant to Raventhal forest. Also, the menu-style towns comes in quite handy. I enjoy a bit of abstraction in order to present details to the player, of course leaving room for the imagination to fill.

I'll greatly anticipate trying out this module.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby slowdive » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:14 am

Ah yes, this looks great. Excited to see what new adventures we can encounter in the areas surrounding The Raventhal forest and gain even more lore of the setting...putting the pieces to the puzzle together. Will the new adventure have any references to The Raventhal story line at all? No spoilers of course, just curious.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby Pongo » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:07 am

Thanks for the support, guys!

slowdive wrote:Ah yes, this looks great. Excited to see what new adventures we can encounter in the areas surrounding The Raventhal forest and gain even more lore of the setting...putting the pieces to the puzzle together. Will the new adventure have any references to The Raventhal story line at all? No spoilers of course, just curious.


Dorateen wrote:It's nice to see the context of the larger world, relevant to Raventhal forest.

Yup, there's going to be quite a few references and at least one cameo. The stories are completely separate though.
Quite a few of the locations are at least referenced in the Raventhal - ie, your character in that module is from Gildoen, Lake Assan can be found in the north west of the Raventhal map, Anu mentions being from Blackwinter (and also being a member of the Guild, which will play a role in this module).
I was thinking about making it a direct follow on (at the end of the Raventhal Anu invites you to meet her at the Guild in Blackwinter) but the more I played around with it, the more the story just felt like it needed to be separate.

I've managed to put in a fair few hours this week:
- I spent an evening working through all of the preloaded scripts, which I'm not as familiar with as I should be (hence not knowing about the one that turns you into a horse!). There's so much more there, this is already such a versatile toolkit.
- I then played around with the UI and titlescreen etc. I've gone for a smokey green look with red leather icons.... hopefully its better than it sounds.
- With the module itself, I've added in a few more conversations. I'm going to keep this thread very light on spoilers, but here's a couple of early screenshots:
blackwinterstart.png
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This is the very start of the game. For story purposes, your character is coming from out of town and is unfamiliar with the area.

And this is the current version of the city options screen for Blackwinter itself:
blackwinterstart2.png
blackwinterstart2.png (142.81 KiB) Viewed 2684 times

Which is now all up and running nicely!

So you can now start the game, get your main overarching quest, speak to a couple of people, explore the main locations in the city (although loads of content missing here), and then leave the city and wander around an empty map. So still loads to do, but a good start! I'm going to focus on getting the locations, NPCs, quests and conversations finished first, and then come back and add in the combat and balancing towards the end of the process.

All of this has thrown up a few questions though:
- The PC enters the city's weapon shop during a Conversation; when the PC closes the shop they are kicked out of the Conversation and return to the main world map. Is there any way that closing the shop could take the PC to the next thread in the Conversation instead, rather than reverting to the world map? I'd like the PC only to be able to enter and leave the city through the City Gate. I have a workaround for this (I'll turn shops into very small submaps) so there is no problem if this is difficult to achieve.
- I spent a bit of time this week fiddling around with the UI and making a title screen (I know, priorities etc). Is it possible to add music to the title screen and the character creation section? I'm going to be very sparing with music this time (probably just limited to battle music and possibly something for the world map) but it might be nice to have something atmospheric playing whilst the PC is creating a character. Again this clearly isn't a priority issue.
- Is it possible to have three way combat? Eg, where the Red and Blue monsters are fighting each other, and the PC joins in on the side of the Red folk. I'm a long way off combat, but one of the quests I've got in mind will involve the PC picking a side in a conflict, and three way combat would be a good way of reflecting that. Again, I can do a work-around easily enough if this isn't possible.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby slowdive » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:06 pm

Pongo wrote:All of this has thrown up a few questions though:
- The PC enters the city's weapon shop during a Conversation; when the PC closes the shop they are kicked out of the Conversation and return to the main world map. Is there any way that closing the shop could take the PC to the next thread in the Conversation instead, rather than reverting to the world map? I'd like the PC only to be able to enter and leave the city through the City Gate. I have a workaround for this (I'll turn shops into very small submaps) so there is no problem if this is difficult to achieve.


There isn't a way to send it back to a conversation at the moment (may be difficult to do so) so the small area sounds like the best option for now (I'll look into implementing your original idea if possible).

Pongo wrote:- I spent a bit of time this week fiddling around with the UI and making a title screen (I know, priorities etc). Is it possible to add music to the title screen and the character creation section? I'm going to be very sparing with music this time (probably just limited to battle music and possibly something for the world map) but it might be nice to have something atmospheric playing whilst the PC is creating a character. Again this clearly isn't a priority issue.


I'll look into adding music for pre-adventure screens...good idea.

Pongo wrote:- Is it possible to have three way combat? Eg, where the Red and Blue monsters are fighting each other, and the PC joins in on the side of the Red folk. I'm a long way off combat, but one of the quests I've got in mind will involve the PC picking a side in a conflict, and three way combat would be a good way of reflecting that. Again, I can do a work-around easily enough if this isn't possible.


It is possible to add companions to the party (even more than the allowed 6) from a conversation so you could add the appropriate companions based on which side they choose in the convo. The trick will be removing those companions after the encounter which should be possible using the end ecounter IBScript hook. From the IBScript, you could remove party members using the gaRemovePartyMember.cs. Easiest way would be to try removing all possible red and blue team members by tag one after another. I added a few companions to the party for the final encounter in Lanterna, but it was the end of the story so I didn't need to remove them.
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Re: Blackwinter

Postby youngneil1 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:14 pm

Uiiii... awesome info there. These artworks are mighty fine stuff, like the sea surface pattern, the reflection of moon and city and the different illumination levels of the city buildings :)
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