Content for a (pre/se)quel....

Discussion in 'Arcanum 2 Suggestion Forum' started by Charonte, Feb 15, 2010.

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  1. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    Also, this game would be very different in 3D. It's not just a graphic change, it opens entirely new gameplay mechanics.

    Additionally: Are you on time off right now? Nothing dashes hopes more than somebody who starts a project when they think they have more time than they really do. If your answer was yes, wait two weeks and then come back to this.
     
  2. HaseoTOD1

    HaseoTOD1 New Member

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    My reason for making a 3D version is for a capstone project.
     
  3. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Finished year 12, got a spot in the AMC but I can't afford to go this year. I have 12 months to play with, although I should probably start working at some point. Time shouldn't be issue.

    I haven't had a chance to do too much over the last couple of days, but I'm free now and although pretty much all of the groundwork is done I did find some design errors with entity/task handling. I sort of just threw everything together, it works but eh.. I'd rather get it right the first time and not have to worry about breaking something later on.

    If I don't have anything concrete by the end of next week you have my permission to call me a liar and a nincompoop at your convenience.

    3D doesn't nessescarily have to change the dynamics, we can still use an isometric viewport (ala Titan Quest or Temple of Elemental Evil), it just seems more work than it's worth to me (for a small team), though to be honest I'm not that phased - as long as it's not first person. Besides, I quite liked the original artwork.
     
  4. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Redesign finished, I might have gone a little overboard...

    I have pretty much the whole thing mapped out now; When entering the main 'run' gamestate, the update function loads a python script and sets some globals ('world', viewport and subobjects) - this is the logic step for each frame. What that means to whomever I can kidnap to help on this thing is that they can modify this file to do whatever they like - check statemachines of all the AI in the current viewport, spawn vorpal bunnies to chase the player, banish DBT to the void, turn the skies green and the grass blue etc etc. For now you won't be restricted to just the currently viewable area - so that, for example, killing someone in Tarrant could have their assassin half-orc brother 'wake up' in Dernholm and start chasing you across the map.

    Have also decided to lock the framerate; Multiplying the movement rate by the time elapsed since the last frame has some issues in that collisions can occur between frames as soon as things start moving at >1px/frame. Of course there isn't much I can do if your computer can't handle 2D at 30 fps...

    But, as I've been telling myself all day, them are implementation details.

    If you need some proof I've actually been doing something, some diagrams (These show ownership/inheritance between objects. If you don't understand that, don't worry about it too much):

    The 'World':
    [​IMG]
    'Window' Singleton:
    [​IMG]
    Event management:
    [​IMG]
    Also have a very rough program flow diagram if anyone wants it.

    I'm hoping a solid week will be enough to get most of that done, although I am away this weekend I would think that's only half of the objects or so...
     
  5. Joseph Murdoch

    Joseph Murdoch New Member

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    Hehe, I joined just for this. My old Arcanum community got shit down so this will do just fine.

    Well, I'm a writer. I would be more than happy to lend a hand in all of this. As for my qualifications, I'm am a hair's breath away from being published, if that means anything :)

    Just tell me when you need me. I'm always on MSN.
     
  6. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Welcome to the forums, Joseph!

    I'm not too worried about qualifications - quite happy to leave this in the hands of the community as to what is useful and well written, but having someone who knows what they're doing is always handy.

    I'll be sure to let you know when we've got something to work with, though. Hopefully it wont take too long.
     
  7. iDoll

    iDoll New Member

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    Hi !

    First of all, I'd like to say I don't speak English fluently. But, to give you an idea of my English level, I perfectly understand what you write in this topic. And I really laughed when I saw Muro's screenshot.

    I first discovered Arcanum a few years ago, and I never played such a great game anymore. I've been good / god / evil / magic / adept of technology / shooter / grenade lover / archer etc. The only problem is that I played the French version of the game, so I don't know the English names for places or characters.

    I would like to help you the best I can. Maybe giving a few ideas for alternative quests ? Since I don't master any editing language, I'm, in fact, a bit useless. And it would be a bit difficult to write full dialogs, for English is not my mother tongue. But, at least, I want you to know there's a frenchy supporting you !

    Your project seems awesome. You seem to know a lot about programming, and, of course, the engine is the most important part of a game. So good luck, and as soon as you will need our help, I will be pleased to help you in some way.

    PS : Feel free to correct my grammar mistakes. It will help me improving my English a lot. Thank's.
     
  8. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Welcome, iDoll! (Is that like iSnack 2.0?)
    Seem to be attracting a couple of new members. Hrm.

    Your English is actually pretty decent - a large part of the Terra-Arcanum member base aren't native English speakers and you are certainly far from the worst.

    Of course I'd be happy to hear your ideas whenever you have any - it's a large undertaking, don't get me wrong - I'm already scaring myself with the number of tangents I can fly off on in a single day - but even so it's always interesting to hear someone else's perspective on Arcanum and the direction it should have went. And if we're ever in need of a French translation I'll be sure to call you up :p

    Actual progress is a little slow at the moment, I'm using Doxygen in all of the header files to facilitate the creation of a Python API at a later date. That's taking a little more time than I would like, but otherwise we're moving right along...

    I'll put up some contact details for anyone that has any questions about anything:
    MSN: bwhicks2807{at}hotmail.com [Spambots welcome too, I don't use the email]
    email: brodie{dot}hicks{at}gmail.com

    As an example of one of those irrelevant tangents, I know a guy in Belgium who became fluent in English through playing King's Quest, the sequels, and a bunch of other retro English games. That might serve as good, err, 'practice' if you're looking for examples of grammar and whatnot.
     
  9. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    I might also want to contribute to this. I'm no professional writer BUT I've been deeply engaged in roleplay and such since pretty much forever (as GM). If you want me to write anything for you or if you other writers want someone to read and analyze your work, I'd be happy to help.
     
  10. iDoll

    iDoll New Member

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    Thank's for replying so fast.

    A couple of questions first :

    -what will the game look like ? I mean, better graphics than Arcanum ? Same ( that would be awesome ) ? Worse ?
    -how far can we go with the engine you're creating ? I must admit I do not really understand how the game will work... I guess I should just wait until you finished the engine :)
     
  11. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    I certainly hope it doesn't look worse!

    It's pretty hard to say at the moment, the game is looking to be 2D in the same stile as Arcanum (tile based, sprite-driven etc.) but otherwise it depends on the artists that end up working on it. I would like for it to look unique, however.

    By 'how far can we go', I guess you're asking how flexible the engine is? The way I have it designed at the moment means that practically everything is modifiable through scripts. Python is very, very easy to learn and you should only need the basics to be able to do anything. I'm not saying the current solution is ideal in every way, but basically you get access to everything that's happening at every frame. I guess the downside is that it's not entirely new-user friendly...

    Initially maps will need to be created by hand or through a script etc., but I will be writing a WYSIWYG map editor with a GUI at some point. The rest of it will likely stay as scripts unless I can figure out a way to cram everything else in there reasonably.
     
  12. iDoll

    iDoll New Member

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    Sounds good. Arcanum graphics are great, mainly thanks to the 2D.
    Will it be possible to "import" sprites directly from Arcanum ? That would help a lot, wouldn't it ?

    I've got a few ideas for the new story.

    As it has already been said, Arcanum II has to be steam-punkish. That's for sure. But above all, the player must have the choice to be magic or technologic. And in my opinion, this choice should not influence the plot orientation. In Morne's vision, for instance, being magic would lead you to be a rebel. Being technologic would mean being part of the government, or at least wouldn't allow you to be a rebel.

    Also, I think the plot shouldn't be so radical. What I mean is that the battle between magic and technology should be balanced. Just like in Arcanum, the story could show one of these powers deteriorating.

    Now, a crucial question : future or past, or even present ( Living One's present ) ?
    Future means we have to choose an ending for Arcanum. Could be fun... we could show the rich city of Shrouded Hills, the great Vendigroth etc. Why not. But, how to create a problematic situation ? I mean, the Living One has solved every problem, killed the evil guys. He brought a nice peace to the world.
    Past wouldn't let so much freedom of action. Unless we set the story even before the Age of Legends. Vendigroth would be rising slowly, the powerful elves too. Could be fun, and not too many constraints.
    Present gathers problems from past and future : problems are being solved by the Living One, and you don't have a lot of freedom...

    PAST WINS YEAH !§!§!
     
  13. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Well, you could extract the bitmaps from the .dat files and import them directly, sure. OpenGL has a limitation where image dimensions must be a power of two else the result could be undefined. Something's telling me that Arcanum's tiles aren't actually evenly sized, although that can be changed en-mass.

    Why do you think the plot shouldn't be so 'radical' as you put it?
     
  14. iDoll

    iDoll New Member

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    Well, let me explain.

    First of all, in Arcanum history, there has never been a radical situation : magic and technology live together, each one has its own cities. These cities fight each other, and slowly, either magic or technology gets the upper hand... but a full magical / mechanic world has never existed, as far as I know. When Aronnax destroyed Vendigroth, he wasn't acting for the Council : he was a young little bastard, and he got punished for his crime. Nasrudin and his friends have never wanted to destroy technology... Same during the Living One's period ( let's call it present ) : technology is rising, and cities are slowly forgetting about magic etc... but the remaining cities that don't want to get steam machines, that prefer magic, are not attacked by Tarante.

    There's an other reason why I don't like the idea of a radical plot. Let's say you have a very technologic world, where casting spells is forbidden, where magic has almost died... Still, a few casters remain, and fight the government. If I decide to be a tech character, I can't be part of the rebellion. If I want to be an elven gay caster, I can't be part of the government. So the plot wouldn't be influenced by the good/bad balance of my character, but by its magic/tech balance ? Hum... writing this down, I realize it's not such a big deal. But there would be even more work : in Arcanum, there are, basically, two main quests, the evil way and the good one. In Arcanum II, there would be four : good tech way, evil tech way, good magic way, evil magic way. Why not.
     
  15. Crypton

    Crypton Member

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    hmm, so you are going to create a whole new game? wow, thats a task, I think that it will take you years to do it all by yourself, only programming will take you 1 or 2 years, not counting that you need to create your own world editor and a lot of game resources for such rpg game.

    I think that the best will be to modify some open source rpg game, like hero of allacrost, so you dont need to start from zero...

    PS: And why using SDL if rendering is done by OpenGL? I think that SFML will be better choice...
     
  16. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    Better question: Why are you such a jackass? You already failed your project, stop reminding everybody else how hard it is.
     
  17. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    Despite how it may sound to you, Grak, I think Crypton was trying to legitimately be helpful, and merely warning as to the difficulty in such a project, on the grounds that Charonte may not have been aware... though I'm one to tend towards mercy.
     
  18. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Using SDL was more of a result of habit than anything; It's only being used for image loading, windowing and probably sound through SDL_Audio. I only remembered SFML set up an OpenGL rendering context after I'd already started with SDL. I've had trouble compiling SFML under 64bit unix like systems before (which is what the dev machine is) so SDL seemed like a decent choice, however I am discovering that the way it handles window resizing is shonky (deletes the entire context; Textures and all need to be loaded from scratch), and I haven't actually delved into the object part of the rebuild just yet. Might take another look.

    It wont take a couple of years to program; My intentions were to get the engine and groundwork done and set it up as a community-driven project where developers (whether they are scripting or writing or whatever) can maintain their own private branch ('version') and polls are held to discuss what should be added to the main distribution. Or something along those lines, anyway.

    I am completely incapable of doing the artwork and other resources myself and a world editor isn't strictly necessary for anything beyond maps as the scripting is looking pretty flexible and hopefully reasonably straightforward. A map editor isn't too complicated anyway.
     
  19. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Quick update, I managed to shatter my wrist trail biking a couple weeks back and my near-new laptop shorted out and caught fire shortly afterwards.

    I'm only JUST starting to get movement back in my hand, but until I have a decent system again it'll be unlikely I can continue. Haven't completely given up on recovering data yet; the laptop HDD doesn't look too badly damaged and I have an old backup on an external drive if it comes to that.

    Anyway, I ended up moving to pySFML (which means it'll be written in python mostly) as embedding a language such as python seemed restrictive and unnecessary in terms of performance on modern systems. Python code can be profiled and written as a C/C++ extension as required.
     
  20. nova_chithon

    nova_chithon New Member

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    well i'm not all that new to the forums but this is my first post. i kept meaning to post but never got around to it. anyways, i just wanted to say how much i loved the game and how spectacular it would be to see another one. even if it just turs out to be a graphically updated remake. i would like to say, though, that if it meant progressing this game any further, i'd love to help. i'm not all that good with any programming and the only graphics program i'm at all worth anything is 3ds max. but, i'm an author (just not quite published yet) and if i studied the language in the game i could rewrite it easily. i am also a quick learner and would be willing to learn any skills necesary to progress this games development. so, uh, yeah. hope to see this game get off the ground and just let me know if any help is needed.
     
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