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

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

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  1. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Before this descends into the atypical 'it'll never happen' glass half empty crap, a couple of things.

    I have been programming for 7 years, I am very profficient in C++, python, java and lua, having used or atleast tried a dozen or so other languages over the years. This is hardly my first project and I'm not 'dreaming' about what we can achieve, I'm very much aware of what the (likely) limitations will be.
    I'm also not promising anything, I love arcanum and would like to see another game in the same setting. Even though I'm currently unemployed with nothing better to do, I can't actually guarentee it'll get anywhere although I'll give it a go.

    Anyways, being in the situation I am, I've been toying with the idea of an isometric engine over the last couple of days - I've got pretty much all of the design work done and I'm 90% sure the tiling/dynamic lighting/map loading algorithms will be fine if I can remember them. Most of the OpenGL groundwork has been coded already.
    I didn't actually have any plans as to what I should do with it, although I do like the idea of an arcanum prequel and I figure why the fuck not.

    Going to need some help though, I can't draw for shit and it's unlikely I'll have the time to write for the entire game as well as code.

    At this point I'm more interested in hearing ideas, I do like the idea of mages working inside and against vendigroth, although the ending seems a little predetermined (nothing saying it has to be the same though) and I'm not sure how much scope there would be outside of vendigroth.

    A prequel at some point would be easier to manage as there's significantly less chance of conflicting points in the plot carried over from the original. I guess the alternative is to set it into the very distant future and centre it around some sort of neomagick revivalist group - Could be interesting, mage-terrorists trying to overthrow the now highly dominant steam tech soceity whilst in a greatly weakened state.
    Panarii could still be the dominant religion, just with very sparse references to the occurances around the time of the living one. Treat it like the bible or something.

    Basically I'd just like to hear what everyone else has to say first (story or otherwise), I do have a few more thoughts of my own - but if this goes anywhere I would very much like for it to be a community-oriented project.

    I'll happily make a website/forum at a later date if needed.

    Couple of technical things: It will be 2D isometric ala the original, it's significantly easier to manage for a small team, still looks quasi-decent and (I feel) fits the setting better.

    Anyway, back to coding.
     
  2. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    It'll never happen.


    But best wishes and good luck sir.
     
  3. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Time? The Age of Legends.

     
  4. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    Go fuck yourself Zanza.

    Charonte: I can't do any design work. My artistic skills are nonexistent. However, I can write a little. It's a shame Xiao's on the opposite fucking corner of the map from me (though if you're serious about launching this, maybe it means I travel to Tasmania this summer), because I would love to collaborate with her, and produce the plot & script for this. I personally prefer the sequel idea, as I think it'd be easier to enact.
     
  5. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    With a sequel you will have to decide what ending is the true ending, seeing though its not an from troika there will be whingers saying thats not how it happened.
     
  6. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Here's where I'll put in my 2 cents worth for a concurrent adventure. One that runs at the same time as the Living One quest, but is completely independent of it.
    This'll allow many of the stock locations to be re-used, with suitable scripting of course.
     
  7. HaseoTOD1

    HaseoTOD1 New Member

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    Here's another good question? are you wanting to keep to the same graphics styling? I'm currently majoring in 3-D modeling.
     
  8. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    My main reason for keeping to 2D is that it's very hard to get a set of decent modelers/texturers that'll work well together. I do know of a couple indie gamedev sites where I can recruit help at a later date, but I'd rather stick with people that know the game for now.

    I can handle the terrain and probably indoor areas as well (randomised heightmaps/BSP's or some other format) and as it's written in pure OpenGL it's relatively trivial to switch from orthographic to something 3D.

    Honestly though, 2D is probably better in this instance - it's a heck of a lot less work overall, and 3D is still very useful for rendering the sprites and especially their animations (walking animations in 12-16 directions done by hand is a bitch). It would help keep it in the same vein as well I think.

    More or less what I was thinking, although the very same whingers will appear if we set it in the age of legends and don't force the outcome to be the same. That is unless we go far enough in either direction, as I said advancing a couple of hundred years to the point where the original plot is no longer relevant or going back before the age of legends.

    Rroyo, now that's an interesting idea. I can't risk directly copying art or anything of course, but it would save a lot of time on writing although fitting it in and around the living one plot could be difficult. Either way the thing will most likely need to made from scratch (scaring me already) so I'll leave it open for now until we get a little further into it. I do like the idea though...

    DarkFool, I hardly think traveling to the other side of the planet is necessary :p If you're both wanting to write that much, just jump on some IM thing or even the IRC channel.
     
  9. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    Eh, I'm planning to travel this summer, and the cost to go to Australia for two weeks is nearly identical to going to Uruguay for two weeks... Also, it's a bit of a cheap move... but what about getting someone who's good at isometric art, and having them refine & add models based upon the ones made for Arcanum. At that point, it comes down to the artists belief as to whether it'll be easier to make them from the ground up, or to refine the ones that presently exist.
     
  10. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    My only concern with using, even if it is refined, the original artwork is copyright issues.

    I'm fairly certain a fan-made sequel wont cause any trouble as long as it's freeware, but sierra still holds the property and using artwork is just asking to get shot in the ass, I think.
     
  11. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    Well, build the engine, and then we'll talk. XD
     
  12. Xiao_Caity

    Xiao_Caity New Member

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    I'm interested, but I have a massive, massive project in the works right now and I don't really have the time. Nuts.
     
  13. Morne

    Morne New Member

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    The bandwagon...

    The bandwagon where do I jump it !?

    [Prologue]

    So I had just gotten tiered of heroes of might and magic II, and was running all around the internet looking for a good game to play, preferably an RPG one. But unfortunately people nowadays seams unable to make decent story-heavy rpgs. Then I found some forum threads on the internet where people listed the best crpgs ever, and then I remembered Arcanum, since it was almost on every list. And due to the subtle and strange workings of the internet I ended up in this thread. And I do find the Idea of cooperatively building an Arcanum II ridiculously awesome.


    [The opinions]

    Documentation:
    Since many people will leave and join this project before it is over (if this project takes of at all), documentation should be in focus from the very start.

    Steam engines:
    This is more or less a go/no go for my participation in this project (and I do also believe that a lot of the fan-base agrees on this); Arcanum II needs to be in a steam-punk setting. Therefore we should put the story directly (or a few years after) the events in arcanum. And we should chose the ending that will enable us to make the most epicaly-awesome story (and not give a shit about those whiners). Another good think with keeping it steam-punk is that we probably can get a lot of fans and support from the worldwide rising steam-punk communities


    [What I offer]

    I have some knowledge of C, and a bit less of python (I also speak VHDL, matlab and a little bit of ADA, but that doesn't belong here), but I all my programming is mostly geared towards embedded systems, so overal I do not think I can make much contributions as a programmer.

    What I do think I can contribute with however is music, this is a sample of things I have done;
    http://www.myspace.com/pwoland
    And if you find it suiting I would more then love to make a few tracks for a fan made arcanum sequel :)

    And apart from the music I could also to some plot building, story writing and quest designing (Although I might need help with dialogues, since english is not my first language).
     
  14. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    Welcome to the forums Morne,

    Your knowledge of Python might actually be pretty useful, I was planning on embedding either lua or python for most of the content work. Although I do like lua better for a scripting language (smaller footprint etc etc), I am leaning towards python due to its class mechanism, which lua is lacking entirely unless you start screwing with metatables - and let's face it, that's more involved than the average volunteer will want to be.

    Scripting will be exposed to all of the graphics-related classes and a couple of others so that the game loop basically consists of running a python file that handles all the game stuff. My reasoning behind this is that it will save me having to code -everything- in C (which would be annoying) whilst also providing a simpler front for anyone else wishing to get involved with little-to-no programming experience.

    Honestly though, I've never embedded python (or anything for that matter) into something this size so it might take a while to get it sorted (and writing the bindings by hand will be fun)...

    As for documentation, I tend not to comment my code that much - most of the stuff I'm doing now is pretty trivial and I do try to keep variable names and whatnot as clear and disambiguous as possible... Once I get to the point where I'm writing the 'python api', documentation will of course become more important.

    As for the steam punk setting, I don't see why we couldn't still have it in the future - nothing is saying they have to advance drastically. Maybe it's just at the point where steam-powered automobiles are coming into the forefront or something. You are right about the age of legends of course but I'll let everyone else argue over the merrits of that.

    But, your music is great! We're far, far off that stage now (Haven't even added audio support yet), although I'd have no problem with you composing tracks in the future (and more problems if you didn't!).

    Xiao, it'll be some time before this thing gets off the ground anyway. I have quite a few other things to do this week, so don't expect anything concrete that you can toy with for atleast a fortnight. It is going to take a long time regardless, so feel free to jump in whenever you've got the time.

    The internet works in mysterious ways...
     
  15. Morne

    Morne New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome

    I do think you over estimate my programming skills. I can only use python for very simple tasks, like making calculations, serial communication, reformatting text documents and such basic stuff. And when I say embedded systems I mean embedded as in hardware, micro-processors and stuff (I am an electrical engineering student). But I will read some more C courses this spring, and I am generally a quick learner of programming languages, so I might be able to help with some very simple tasks as the project moves along.


    You are right when it comes to a future setting, and I do really like the idea with rebellious magical revivalists. I am getting visions of a semi fascistic-technocratic government v.s. a ruthless magical resells. And I would prefer that the story didn't have any clear answers about who is the good guys and who is the bad guys. Make the government ruthless to is critics but protective about its citizens and let the rebels use dubious methods that ends in civilian causalities.

    Btw, has anybody read China Mieville's Perdido Street Station? I think that one could serve as a big source of inspiration (Mr Mieville is an awesome storyteller).

    Thank you for the compliments about the music, and I know that music is something very far away in to the future. But since there is talk about building a homepage to organise the project, all the fluff we can get is a good thing. Because if people find fluff (concept art, music, short stories etc) on the web page, they will be more interested in the project. And more interest means spreading it more which leads to more visitors which in the end generates more people wanting to help with the project.

    I will also be pretty busy this whole spring, but I will pop in ever once in a while and try to contribute with what I can.
     
  16. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    I'm fairly certain Sierra just sits there with their old classics now and refuses to produce or sell them as well as not allowing them to become abandonware. The assholes!
     
  17. Charonte

    Charonte Member

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    I take that back, according to wikipedia sierra has long since been shut down although I'm not entirely sure if property rights transfered over to activision...

    Either way, I take that as it may as well be abandonware.
     
  18. HaseoTOD1

    HaseoTOD1 New Member

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    yea most of Sierra's property rights were transferred to Activision. As far how much that part was never truly made public.


    Edit: ok I retract my statement about them not making that public, I check their property rights on their site. Arcanum is not listed at all. Therefore I believe it is open game.
     
  19. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    Most of the abandonware sites I found seem to point towards it no longer being abandonware on the grounds that GOG picked it up. Ironic. I doubt they're interested in trying to rape a profit out of a few fanboys.
     
  20. General Mandible

    General Mandible New Member

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    I still say a WW1 setting. It has that steampunk feel to it.
     
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