Story draft version 2

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AngeredWalrus
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by AngeredWalrus » 22 May 2016, 21:50

The idea of setting up the island as a rich man’s LARPing playground would allow for a more convenient way of adding a greater variety of creatures to the example suite (ES) beyond those which are found on Pago Pago (the island which I believe this project is going to be based on). The US National Park Service has a fairly comprehensive guide on the flora and fauna indigenous to the island. If the ES is going to feature a realistic setting then sea turtles, dolphins, geckos and fruit bats probably won’t make for interesting enemies. The island owner probably could import animals from other regions (such as the snapping turtle mentioned on the roadmap), though this could likely harm the theme if the creature choice doesn’t fit the setting (i.e. grizzly bears on a tropical island). That said, if realism is to be strictly adhered to, then there’s probably only so much challenge that can be presented by real wildlife in an action RPG, particularly if the player reaches higher levels / improves their equipment. This is probably why so many RPGs take the tried and true route of featuring monsters and demons in a fantasy setting, to bypass such restrictions on gameplay.

For what it’s worth, I tend to favour the plot proposed by psi29a, which is simple and free from overly onerous content restrictions. While the other drafts are great (and would make for great games in the future) they might be too restrictive and complex for the purpose of the ES. As I understand, this project is meant to be a showcase to demonstrate the capabilities of the engine and provide assets and code on which other fully fledged games can be built. For that purpose I believe the priority should on asset creation (which is among the current high priority aims on the roadmap) and typical action RPG mechanics (combat, magic, quest system, inventory / equipment systems, basic A.I. etc.). While an interesting story would obviously be an advantage for the ES, doesn’t there really only need to be a minimal plot sufficient to base example quests on? Does the ‘game’ even need to be complete or feature a firm ending to be considered fit for purpose?

Apologies if I’m preaching to the choir, but I (like everyone else here) would like to see the ES mature and become a robust platform to build other games on, using the OpenMW engine. My only worry is the project will expand too far beyond its original scope, which increases the chances that it will get stuck in development hell, limiting its use to the community. That said, with the project (sort of) on hold until the revised template is released / assets are submitted, I guess discussing potential plot points is a way to keep up the interest levels for the project :)

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DestinedToDie
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by DestinedToDie » 23 May 2016, 04:24

AngeredWalrus wrote: For that purpose I believe the priority should on asset creation (which is among the current high priority aims on the roadmap) and typical action RPG mechanics (combat, magic, quest system, inventory / equipment systems, basic A.I. etc.).
I tend to see it the same way. A bit curious what DosBuster will do when given the reigns, seeing as there is little to no groundbreaking programming to be done inside the field of writing scripts for the game at the moment. It may be that because I´m a 3D artist I only see the asset side of things.
DosBuster wrote:Magic I'm not sure if I want to make it a thing. I was thinking that you could have a musket that you load with different bullet types to help diversify playstyles. These different bullet types could have somewhat "magical" effects, you also have drugs that could provide a short-term buff in exchange for a long-term downfall. (Addiction, long-term detrimental effects to your health etc.)
Also, magic needs to be in inevitably. When I said "at least in some form", this does not mean as a cast on strike effect for when you shoot a bullet at your enemy or a potion effect when you consume a drug. We have spells, we have a mana meter and we have magic skills. We could rename them to focus and abilities, but they need to be in there for the purpose of demonstrating the mechanic in the demo.
AngeredWalrus wrote:My only worry is the project will expand too far beyond its original scope, which increases the chances that it will get stuck in development hell, limiting its use to the community.
I think there also needs to be a line drawn between the engine and the game. The scope of ES is to make a game matching the capabilities of the engine. In IRC we had a conversation about some things:

1. New stat and skill system.
2. Get rid of dialogue topic system.

But those are not ES things at all, at least not yet. Those are things you do in the engine. I would suggest joining the engine team to work on improving these. The scope here is not to change the engine, but to make a game demonstrating engine capabilities. For this purpose I made a roadmap where we´d demo feature by feature what the engine can do:

https://bugs.openmw.org/projects/examplesuite/roadmap

AngeredWalrus
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by AngeredWalrus » 23 May 2016, 06:51

DestinedToDie wrote:I tend to see it the same way. A bit curious what DosBuster will do when given the reigns, seeing as there is little to no groundbreaking programming to be done inside the field of writing scripts for the game at the moment. It may be that because I´m a 3D artist I only see the asset side of things.I think there also needs to be a line drawn between the engine and the game. The scope of ES is to make a game matching the capabilities of the engine. In IRC we had a conversation about some things:

1. New stat and skill system.
2. Get rid of dialogue topic system.

But those are not ES things at all, at least not yet. Those are things you do in the engine. I would suggest joining the engine team to work on improving these. The scope here is not to change the engine, but to make a game demonstrating engine capabilities. For this purpose I made a roadmap where we´d demo feature by feature what the engine can do:

https://bugs.openmw.org/projects/examplesuite/roadmap
I think we are on the same page, but there may be a bit of confusion. I'm not advocating that the project should expand beyond the scope of being a demo of the OpenMW features (that's for other future projects to do), the ES should simply show off the capabilities of the engine and demonstrate what can be done using the OpenMW CS. That said, as the engine matures (post 1.0) and more features are developed, then these should be added to the CS (i.e. the stat and dialogue systems that you mentioned). I agree that the ES should not be leading the way on development, but simply providing a showcase and resource for those interested in developing projects with OpenMW.

testman
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by testman » 23 May 2016, 09:39

DosBuster wrote:Amnesia is too much of a cliche here
To be honest, I don't think we are trying to get some epic LotR-killer story going on here, we are trying to make up something that will present engine well. So there is nothing wrong with having clishes such as amnesia at the start or friendly characters who are obviously going to betray the player, or ancient treasure that should be left alone because it has some negative effects, stuff like that.

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psi29a
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by psi29a » 23 May 2016, 10:02

These are all great ideas for a real game using OpenMW.

I just worry about the scope of the 'demo'. Keep it simple stupid.

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johndh
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by johndh » 23 May 2016, 23:05

You awaken in a room with various graphical goodies like parallax occlusion maps and a canal running across it with some fabulous-looking water effects. A ball of light flies over and begins to speak.

Welcome to the Example Suite for OpenMW. We're glad you're here! I'll be your Guiding Light. You can call me Ji'elle.

Why don't you follow me up to the next room? You'll have to swim across the canal and climb up the ladder on the other side, then open the door. We'll also have you pick up some items, read a note, access your journal, cast a spell, do a little fighting, and some other stuff. We might even have you stack some boxes or knock some things over if our physics capabilities have been programmed to allow that.

Come on! This way!

What are you waiting for? You can swim, can't you? Of course you can! Just drop right on in and swim over to the ladder.

Doing well so far! Point toward the ladder and mash whichever key or button you have assigned to "activate". It's probably the space bar.

Activate isn't just for climbing ladders, of course. You'll use it to pick things up, open doors, pull levers, start conversations, and lots of other stuff. If you're not trying to hit something with a weapon or with magic, activate will usually do the trick. Try it on the door and see what happens.

Ha, tricked you! It's locked. Try opening up your inventory and equipping your lockpick.

Et cetera.
Free/libre assets for OpenMW, updated frequently: http://opengameart.org/content/openmw-s ... sibilities

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by AnyOldName3 » 24 May 2016, 00:32

If we wanted a quick solution that covered everything, that could work - provided the script was in some way entertaining, although it'd be much more of a tech demo than a game. If it went an a slightly more Stanley Parable direction, it could be adapted in a direction that would make it potentially something people would play for fun, rather than just to investigate OpenMW. Either way, there's more freedom to use a range of assets as it doesn't need to be set in just one place or time period, and as the fourth wall is already broken, making a consistent fantasy setting isn't as important as it would be for a lot of the more RPG-based ideas.

Even if you meant it as a joke, it's not worth immediately discarding.

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DestinedToDie
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by DestinedToDie » 24 May 2016, 05:47

Sounds like fun, though it´s missing the open world aspect. I would start with open world first, because we don´t have snap to grid in OpenMW-CS, which is the main tool for building interior cells. We could make a cave, but no rooms.

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lysol
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by lysol » 24 May 2016, 11:22

We need WeirdSexy for voice acting. Really.
Normal mapped texture replacers, exclusive for OpenMW:
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johndh
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Re: Story draft version 2

Post by johndh » 24 May 2016, 23:04

AnyOldName3 wrote:although it'd be much more of a tech demo than a game.
In a way, I thought that was the point. A game seems like something that would come later.
Even if you meant it as a joke, it's not worth immediately discarding.
I'm almost always joking to some degree, but I am proposing this as a viable possibility.
lysol wrote:We need WeirdSexy for voice acting. Really.
YES :o
Free/libre assets for OpenMW, updated frequently: http://opengameart.org/content/openmw-s ... sibilities

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