Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Report any bugs or ideas/suggestions that arise during testing of the Alpha Build Version 5

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby youngneil1 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:49 pm

Looks really excellent. I like the portraits there and the active party speaker change. I think NWN2 Storms of Zehir displayed some indicator on portraits for characters with unique answer options (as in: not the generic ones for everybody; two character could though both have the same "unique answer option", e.g. because they both have charisma over 15 and are elven females ;-)?

Free parser answer option would be much appreciated - we will have to figure out how to fit it best into the dialogue tree, i.e. when it's possible to use and to where it leads. Will have to think about this. In any case it would be a great enrichment and something lost in many modern games - trigger additional content, truly solve riddles, find easter eggs... all by testing out freeform choices. Reading about lore and really listening to dialogues and paying attention to floaties would become much more important. It's a tremendous difference to say - from time to time - something fitting from a blank line then just casually choose one of three given answer options... Players might like to take some notes for once again ;) .

This might complement a list of given keywords. Will also have to think about this. Some more obvious themes might go into the keyword list, more hidden topics would require entering the right keyword from a blank line. Again, we will have to think about a way how to fit this into the dialogue flow.
User avatar
youngneil1
Backer
Backer
 
Posts: 4906
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:51 am

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby slowdive » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:13 am

Okay, in response to LGs above ideas:
I agree with all the suggestions for standard buttons and corresponding functions. As far as what can and can't be done, most anything can be done we just have to prioritize the work and schedule it (I will work on whatever everyone agrees is most important to have done in the next couple of weeks before feature additions pause and bug fixing/polishing begins). Mapping key commands would be a good thing to have as well, I think this would be doable from an in-game panel (accessed from the settings menu most likely). I think adding in the PC buttons to changed the party leader during a conversation shouldn't take too long and is important to help plan out converations for up coming modules.
User avatar
slowdive
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby slowdive » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:25 am

clicked on Miki and get this:
PartyChat01.jpg
PartyChat01.jpg (71.83 KiB) Viewed 4983 times


clicked on Balen and the screen resets to this:
PartyChat02.jpg
PartyChat02.jpg (75.61 KiB) Viewed 4983 times


Looks like it works well. Clicking on a PC image will change the partyLeader and reset that dialog NPC node to reflect any changes to the conditional checks on PC nodes. I still need to change the partyLeader back to who was the partyLeader before the convo started when the convo ends. Now I just need to add an indicator that a PC has node options that are different from what is currently shown (like in NWN2-SoZ).
I'll probably have an option to choose whether a conversation is to use the original style or the new party chat style. The default will be set to use the old style that way everything is backwards compatible still with previously made modules.

Of course I can move the PC images to the bottom, it was just easier to have in the middle due to the code that sets up the panel based on whether it is a standard convo or a narration.
User avatar
slowdive
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby youngneil1 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:01 am

Yeah! Very swift and great work again there :-). I think it adds a very nice flavour to the dialogues to explore the answer options by clicking on the PCs this way. The unique answer triggered by active portrait clicks do "connect" more to the speaker than just having his name in front of an answer option. Plus it helps to prevent a 10+ answer list in case everybody in the party has to say something. To present all those choices in bits is more interesting and less overwhelming for the player imho.

Free parser dialogue could for starters just be a normal dialogue answer option that is only sometimes available (author chosen). It could be a special form of PC node choosable in the conerversation editor. The autor could list ether accepted answers and which globals those change (just as for normal answers). In the end it could be a script attached to a node as action opening an input window (see my first scripting at this).
User avatar
youngneil1
Backer
Backer
 
Posts: 4906
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:51 am

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby Lurking Grue » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:05 am

Goodness gracious, that was fast! :) Excellent work!

slowdive wrote:I like the convo layout and plan on adding party convo support like in nwn2 Storms of Zehir party chat system

youngneil1 wrote:I think NWN2 Storms of Zehir displayed some indicator on portraits for characters with unique answer options


Sadly, I've never played Storm of Zehir, even though I heard a lot of good things about it. I kind of got burned out on the NWN2 OC, which wasn't all that great. Twice I attempted to trudge through it and twice I quit about the time I hit the big city (Neverwinter?). I've read it gets better from the city onwards, but I just didn't have the drive to continue. I recently got the Platinum Edition of NWN2 from GOG, which has all the expansions, so someday I will give SoZ and MotB a spin for sure (but not the OC, not a third time through the early game tedium).

Yeah, it would be good to have some kind of icon, or e.g. yellow/orange colored frame, on the PCs who have something unique to add, so that the player isn't forced to click through the whole party every convo node to not miss any of the PC specific dialogue options.

I would prefer the PC portraits to be on the bottom and not in the middle. To me, it would make the screen look better and have the text "flow" a bit better. If the portraits are in the middle, they break up the "flow" (sorry, can't find a good word for this now). The portraits can very well be centered (vs being on the left) if there is no other buttons down on the bottom.

As to the free parser, it's not a priority to me. I was throwing out an idea. I'm aware that it poses a problem to the dialogue system, as it breaks away from the normal conversation flow and then needs to loop back to it after the free text portion is done. I have no idea how to implement it code-wise. An "Ask About" button just is, I think, a great way of divulging world lore and such to the player without cluttering the dialogue with dozens of options. Maybe however the Ask About function ought to be delegated to post-launch projects for now.

EDIT: Forgot to comment this...
youngneil1 wrote:Free parser dialogue could for starters just be a normal dialogue answer option that is only sometimes available (author chosen).

Yes, this would be a good alternative, that could work within the current system more easily. Good call, Karl! Having a dialogue option like, "Ask about..." or "The password is..." and then have a script execute which would be provide a free parser entry for the player to input text would work just as well.
"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
User avatar
Lurking Grue
Backer
Backer
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:26 pm

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby Lurking Grue » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:25 pm

slowdive wrote:I agree with all the suggestions for standard buttons and corresponding functions. As far as what can and can't be done, most anything can be done we just have to prioritize the work and schedule it (I will work on whatever everyone agrees is most important to have done in the next couple of weeks before feature additions pause and bug fixing/polishing begins).

Great! Somewhere down the line (i.e. post-release) I would really like to have items on the map, which can be picked up and dropped freely, which persist (over saves) if dropped, and which can be unique specimens of a certain blueprint (e.g. having two 9mm pistols, one in poor condition and the other in good condition, but otherwise sharing the blueprint/properties). As I've said before, I'm unsure if this would be currently possible, not to my knowledge (without resorting to scripting wizardry or having the items become props).

OK, now I'll try to (at least paraphrase) the lost post. Here goes (once more with a feeling)...

As to the mouse interface, I was thinking of having two stages to the mouse interface development. The "bare bones" stage would be the interface done by the release, with no command predicting from mouse hover, and then a "refined" version done post-release with more convenience functions and command predicting (and whatnot) from mouse hover.

Concentrating on the bare bones interface for now. It would basically be: left-click to select or move, right-click to do the default command (equip/unequip in inventory, buy/sell in shops, etc.). To do something else would require either pressing a command button first or pressing a shortcut key, then selecting the target with left-click or cancelling it with right-click. The cursor would need to be changed to show a command is being "held in it" (to make it clear what is being done). Normally the cursor (mouse pointer, that is) could be the standard arrow, but when a command is selected the cursor would change to have the command button's icon and the arrow (or something). I'll try to do a sketch tonight, if I have the time.

As I written before, I don't know how big of a task it is to have the mouse hover work everywhere (for the refined version), so I'm being cautious and planning it to be simplistic at first, adding functionality later. For the bare bones version, the mouse won't be predicting commands on hover over, but will be "dumb" and wait for player input. I guess having the player right-click on something on the map and THEN checking what the mouse is on and providing default command for it ought to be doable easier, than having the mouse check what its over all the time and providing default commands on mouse hover. I dunno. Anyway, the default commands are simple to remember even without visual clues (common sense, really). For map objects the default command is always USE, for an NPC it is TALK. So, right-clicking on some map object or NPC will do the default action for them, but the player won't be shown a command specific mouse cursor (predicting the command) on mouse hover over, e.g. changing the cursor to a talk icon when hovering over an NPC. The default command "just executes" showing just the basic mouse cursor on hover over, trusting the player to know what he/she is doing - this shouldn't be a problem to anyone with half a brain, IMO.

So, the mouse interface (bare bones version) would be:

Out of Combat Mouse Interface
- Movement: Left-click to take a step towards the mouse cursor, left-click and hold to move constantly towards the mouse cursor. Once pathfinding is properly done, left-click on the spot you wish to move and the party will pathfind its way there. (Note: In combat, characters need to move one tile at a time, so left-click and hold wouldn't work there.)
- Use Map Object/Prop (door, chest, lever, etc.): Right-click on it. The party needs to adjacent to the object. Once pathfinding is fully in, if the party isn't adjacent to the object, then this would first pathfind (move) the party to the object and then use it.
- Talk to NPC/Creature: Right-click on it. The party needs to adjacent to the NPC. Once pathfinding is fully in, if the party isn't adjacent to the NPC, then this would first pathfind (move) the party to the NPC and then talk to him/her/it.
- Look at/Search Something: Select LOOK command (or press L), then left-click on the something to look at or search. Right-click to cancel. If the target is not adjacent to the party, this is LOOK; if it is adjacent, this is SEARCH. Look provides cursory description, search actually searches the location and takes some time. Either this, or we need separate commands for casual look and thorough search.
- Use Skill/Trait: Select Use Skill/Trait command (or press S), then select the skill/trait from a list (by left-clicking on it). If a target is needed for the skill/trait use, then left-clicking on the target would execute the skill/trait, right-click would cancel it.
- Use Special Power (e.g. spells or psionics): As with Use Skill/Trait (but the hotkey is P).
(- Get Item: Not applicable yet -> See my ramblings above about on map items.)
"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
User avatar
Lurking Grue
Backer
Backer
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:26 pm

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby Dorateen » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:59 pm

With regard to SoZ style party chat in the IceBlink conversations...

*faints*

Seriously? SoZ conversations plus turned based combat... and I get to use GoldBox art assets? IceBlink is becoming an absolute dream toolset.

Good work, slowdive!
User avatar
Dorateen
Backer
Backer
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:08 pm

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby Lurking Grue » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:43 pm

Just a quick idea I had while looking at the character creation and level up screens. How about splitting up the screen into "bite-sized" bits, instead of having it as this big, sprawling thing which it is now. My crude, super quick mock-ups for the screens below (for visualization purposes only):

1st Screen - Name, race, attributes, etc.

Image

2nd Screen - Skills

Image

3rd Screen - Traits

Image

4th Screen - Special Powers (spells, psionics, etc.)

Image

IMO, it's clearer, more organized and less intimidating to do the character creation in steps like this (and leveling up, too). What do you guys think?

P.S. I'll be out of town from tomorrow (Friday) until next Tuesday evening. So, behave yourselves (again) while I'm gone. ;)
"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
User avatar
Lurking Grue
Backer
Backer
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:26 pm

Re: Engine Ideas/Suggestions

Postby slowdive » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:24 am

That looks most excellent, LG. I think it should be fairly easy to implement using the same trick I did for the character sheet with the Skills, Traits and Spells. What I did was have all three (skills, traits and spells) overlap each other and then I would just hide them and make one of them visible and enabled based on the button clicked. I could easily do the same for character creation and level up. This should also help fix the issue with using lower resolution screens (netbooks and such).
User avatar
slowdive
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3111
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:58 pm

Previous

Return to Alpha Build 5 Bugs and Ideas Reporting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron