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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map
    Quote from OceanFlex: Go

    I would like to ask if hotkeys are going to be implemented for the menus. Also, if the menu bar is more important than the game world, put it on the left. If you would prefer that the players eyes rest on the main screen, leave the bar on the right. People's eyes scan from left at top, downwards, then right. At least, in the "west".

    The menu bar looks quite nice.

    Well, as you can see, some of the letters on the buttons in--

    • looks at screenshot again*

    ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELDAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! YOU FORGOT TO COLOR THE HOTKEY LETTERS!!!

    Also, the menu isn't permanently open - You press Q to open/close it. Stardex is D, Starmon menu is S, Bag is B (I think we should probably change that to G), Quests is S I think (Q is taken by the menu itself) and Im not sure if the others have hotkeys and what they are. Also, the menu doesn't need to be open for the hotkeys to work, and they don't get disabled if you enter any of the other "menus" (Starmon menu, stardex, bag, etc.), so you can just spam sdsdsdsdsdsdsdsdsd and be constantly switching between starmon and stardex. Pressing the hotkey while the thing is open closes it. Nice and easy to use.

    On the entire sci-fi thing:
    I love sci-fi. But that doesn't mean I should shove it in everywhere :( The backstory of Starmon that I think I explained a while ago leaves a lot of sci-fi stuff possible, but the story arc for this specific map doesn't unfortunately - Any sci-fi stuff has to be incorporated in side stuff.

    Before I go any further I also want to explain one thing again: Terrain constraints. We unfortunately are stuck with a 256x256 map, like everyone else. Yea, we've talked a lot about phasing and so on, but that doesn't give us that much freedom, not when it comes to terrain. Doodads are harder to target with triggers and data, there's barely any actions related to them and you can't just pick them out from a list, or save them in variables easily afaik. In addition to that, per-player pathing is practically impossible and would require massive workarounds and tons of work for even the smallest of areas. It's not worth the time.
    This is why no time travelling will happen: It requires us to dynamically change the terrain. The other option would be to have a portion of the terrain duplicated, hidden in a corner and changed, which is easy, but we don't have the space for it, and if we do I'd rather use it for something else.

    Back to sci-fi: I don't know how much we can do with the starmon backstory in this map. I already mentioned we'll have a drop pod site you can visit, that's something. There'll be the Wanderer/Watcher (Not sure which one to call him) Zelda mentioned, a character who seeks to find out more about the origins of the Starmon - He's disappointed that the world is only looking forward, "what can the starmon do?" but no one looks back and asks "why are they here?" - Everyone knows they were dropped from space, but people throughout all of time were so obsessed with starmon and what they could accomplish in partnership with them that they didn't even put much effort into exploring their own planet, let alone look up at the stars and wonder where the flying fuck they all came from, why, and why no one has showed up to pick them up yet.
    If I can get someone to do some more modelling for me, he will be visually very interesting as well: He won't use capture cores/pokeballs to summon/recall his starmon, he'll have a unique, unobtainable starmon (that also won't get recorded by the Stardex) that won't fight, he'll demonstrate unique skills like being able to change the levels of his starmon, healing them on the spot, and I'll load him with more interesting and "different" things.

    If this map becomes popular enough and people like how we handled the story, if we finish it completely, and if we decide to make a sequel, I definitely want to shift the focus more on the backstory and the Wanderer/Watcher, but until then I don't know how much sci-fi stuff I can add without it feeling forced or out of place. The zones and backstory don't really permit much sci-fi stuff to just be lying around.

    it's 4:30 AM, I really need to go to bed, I probably missed a lot of points I wanted to make but I just can't keep writing at the moment. Feel free to throw arguments, questions and/or ideas at me, I'll do my best to answer everything tomorrow.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map

    Quote from Trieva: Go

    Some quests involving time travel would be cool. Especially if the terrain/zones look very different between time points.

    Don't think we can do that unfortunately :( Especially if you expect us to change pathing as well. We'd need twice the space for each zone you can visit in another time period, and we're already low on space as it is.

    Quote from Trieva: Go

    Quests involving malfunctioning teleporters sending us to unexpected places

    Easy to implement and therefore likely :) Although, on the other hand, this could potentially be annoying when you get ported somewhere else when you really want to do X :( Could maybe make the random chance check if you have fly available and ready so that you can just fly away instead (Although in that case you likely wouldn't be using the teleporter anyway as it costs a bit of money >.>)

    Quote from Trieva: Go

    Quests where scientists develop and hand out rare but awesome items. Maybe something that boosts exp gain, battle performance, or modifies pokeball catch chance

    We have an idea for one already (involves pokeball/capture core) and I'm sure we can make more of these. I wanna make the lab guys more important than in the pokemon games (No more "Hey, help me with my research by using this thing and never hear from me again!". Stardex completion will actually do something.)

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map
    Quote from OceanFlex: Go

    @TheAlmaity: Go Also, is there a post or page limit in threads? I could see 999 being a limit, or 64 pages, etc.

    Not as far as I know. If there is, it's probably something ridiculously large related to how the number is stored. I'm fairly certain there were bigger threads on mapster than this one, but I can't remember what they were.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map

    @OceanFlex: Go

    The sidebar is the admin only debug options :p You guys will never actually see that outside of the screenshots here.

    But the feedback is appreciated. Didn't know what you meant with "center the text?" as it is centered, but then I noticed that it wasn't really centered vertically (Well, it is, but the top border of the button is larger than the bottom border, so it looks uncentered), so I guess I'll have to do some modifications on this.
    Not sure if I can make the left and right borders thinner, as they are barely a few pixels thick already, and I'm not really that good at tiled images like these (If you look carefully at the borders you can see them change on the right side (Get a bit whiter) and overall the colors becomes lighter in the center segment of the sidebar)
    Thanks :)

    And yea, we should have the alpha ready pretty soon. Not sure when we'll really make it a public map, I think we should be careful with that - If we don't have enough content people can quickly get bored and the map will die before it is fully done.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map

    Been a while since we updated anything here (Probably because its been a while since we updated the map...).

    Moz seems really damn happy about the pitch/roll thing with doodads and I can already imagine him making houses out of planks and planks out of houses and houses out of planks made out of houses.

    He also, quite a while ago, told me he doesn't like making interiors/cities and prefers natural stuff, so I started working on the city, as we really need it for the Alpha. Here come screenshots!

    Welcome to Arena City
    Welcome to Arena City!
    When you first start the map, you will spawn beneath that bottom lamp post. Not shown on the screenshot, right below there, is the entrance to what is for now called the "pre-desert" zone (We'll probably have it done for the alpha. A dry somewhat rocky place that will lead to the open desert)

    In the bottom left of the image you can see part of the shop - It's opposite the Starcenter. Before it used cliffs as walls and was in the center of the city. In addition to occupying an important location, the cliffs just made it too damn huge as well. So I moved it down there, made it a bit smaller and used SoulFilchers metal walls.

    http://i.imgur.com/0VzdkN8.jpg
    And here's the city square, right on top of what was in the previous image! This screenshot was taken before I added streetlights between the benches along the trees (Its those double streetlights that are in the first screenie as well) The middle of the pond/pool/whatever is currently occupied by a placeholder archon statue, but Mozared has plans to make an awesome fountain.

    Here's me standing there with my trusty Washb at night:
    http://i.imgur.com/BMOlzC3.jpg

    What else have we been doing?
    Zelda was for the most part working on system changes that make it easier for me to fill in our User Types (Databases practically. Trainers, items, zone definitions (Starmon spawns, # of trainers, etc.) and the arena are 100% User Types with triggers using those values, so its important that we can fill those in quickly and easily without making mistakes)

    He was also working on the intro-quest, I'm not sure whether he finished it, don't think he did so he'll probably do so today. The intro quest sends you to the professor, as in all games, to get your first starmon, and you also get to meet your rival :) We already have the tutorial quest implemented that comes afterwards.

    I've filled up the arena going up to level 25. The last fight is the "Electric Milestone: Trieve". I've given him, for now, a Zenchu (Probichu evolution, stats are similar to Raichu, just a bit higher to get to that 520 base stat total), Galvadrone (Magneton), Eve, Luxon (Fly+Electric, to be scrapped/model changed, its currently an SC2 phoenix -.-) and a Shockeve. All his starmon have Volt Switch as one of their moves.

    I've started work on the intro cutscene, got about 11 seconds at the moment and will be adding a few more different scenes. It's gonna go give you a short summary of the backstory. After that you'll have a sort of "call" with the professor which will go over the players backstory, and the professor will tell the player to make his way to Arena City as he'll give him a Starmon in exchange for help with his research (Stardex)

    Also, as we've talked about grinding a lot lately: Chances are the alpha will be quite grindy. We've got a few quests in place that might be able to cover levels 5-15, but we've got nothing to bridge the gap between the two story quests (15 and 25) at the moment. I'll probably let us all cheat through that period if we get bored, or we can maybe even enable XP for PvP fights or something like that.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Is SC2 Mapster Dying?

    Eh, it's been worse, and most people seem to be on vacation atm (Mozared came back yesterday, and most other people I know were gone and the others are gonna go in a week or two)

    While I do regularly check here, I'm not as active as I used to be :( Mostly just focusing on my project (And even lazy with that...) and I sometimes see an easy question that I quickly answer, but those are becoming rarer and rarer :/

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Weekly Terraining Exercise #134: Daelaam Ark
    Quote from Mozared: Go

    @TheAlmaity: Go

    GODDAMMIT MAITY YOU HAD ONE JOB... =(

    YOU ALSO HAD ONE JOB, MOZARED!

    Quote from TheAlmaity: Go

    LET'S ALL PRETEND ITS STILL MONDAY, K?

    Posted in: Terrain
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    posted a message on Death is broken in editor???

    Have you made sure that the trigger doesn't count missiles?

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Some files are broken on sc2mapster

    Well, that's the third link that's being complained about... I'll post in the mod forums, hopefully Sixen can find out wtf is going on.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on (Solved) Issuing Orders to Created Units from an Effect

    well, you could spawn them via triggers (Create Units) and then just use Issue Order to Unit group and use Last Created Unit Group

    Or you can use a trigger with the event "Any Unit is Created" and use a condition to check whether its a hydralisk

    You could also create a dummy effect (An empty "Set" effect or something) and put it as the "Spawn Effect" field in the "Create Unit Effect", then have a trigger use that effect as an event and issue an order to the Target of the effect

    If there's only one enemy command center in the game, you could create a validator in data that checks whether target unit is a command center, create an Issue Order effect that uses that validator and issues an attack order (and targets the point. You might have to put something like a set effect in between to use the vaidator instead because the validator might be checking a point if you put it directly onto this effect, which obviously won't work), then add a search effect as the Spawn Effect of the effect that creates the hydras, have that search effect search the entire map for units (Use filters to make it a bit more efficient, validator will take care of actually targetting the command center) and uses the issue order effect (Or whatever effect you put inbetween)

    In any case, make sure that the order you issue targets a point, not a unit (In triggers you can use "Position of Unit" in a point paramater), that way the units will attack anything that crosses their path.

    Posted in: Triggers
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map
    Quote from OceanFlex: Go

    All this talk about grinding and game theory is academic and besides the point. No one besides the devs has any knowledge of how the game feels yet. After you play the alpha, you are then qualified to form an opinion on what feels nice or needs fixing. ZeldAity (Zelda/Almaity), I look forward to complimenting the alpha and finding bugbears.

    That's kinda a good point. Also, for the record, we don't know yet either because we didn't get to trying it yet - In addition to having little content in the first place, we also cheat :p

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Question, transparency not showing up?

    @smurfbizkit: Go

    If its usually red, Im guessing its team color. To make sure you can change the team color in the cutscene editor and see if that changes it. Find a way to disable it (Sorry, no idea how to use art tools :( )

    Posted in: Artist Tavern
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map
    Quote from fishy77: Go

    Any idea on when this will be able to be played?

    Won't give any promises. Zelda is currently on vacation, a friend of mine who moved out of country came back for a while so I'm practically on vacation as well, Moz is on vacation. Things should pick back up in a week or two. Zelda has one quest to finish for our alpha content to be done, but I think we want to add more before then, and we've got some polishing to do (The storage box looks horrible, I need to work on some art for that. Trainer card is pretty bad atm as we haven't fully decided how it will look yet and what stats it will contain, but I think we might not fix this for the alpha. Then there's general bugs that need fixing and tweaks that need to be made. Also, don't expect many items or that all starmon have abilities, those are two things we haven't worked on at all. You've got capture cores, potions, status heals and 2 TMs, and we've got a few very generic abilities)

    Currently, our to-do list goes over 9 A4 pages, but that includes discussions on issues (With a lot of wasted space due to how bullet points work (thinner paragraphs) It sounds like a lot more than it actually is though :p Some of those things have already been fixed but not removed from the list, a good chunk of it is discussions, around 1 page is just the abilities I want Zelda to make (for the starter starmon + Eves), there's a list of moves that need to be implemented trigger wise (Although I think most of em are already in) with comments on those, list of artwork (Which includes crossed out lines), etc.

    I'll just give a short list of what needs to be done, and I'll try and sort by priority:

    • 2v2 bugs
    • General bugs
    • Terrain for a few more zones, even if its just placeholder
    • Artwork for a few more things
    • Lots of polish and bug fixing all round. While I know we're not supposed to create an absolutely perfect test for an alpha test, I still do want a certain level of quality, and the map currently isn't there.
    • Better opening cutscene/start
    • Implementation of the Rival

    and that's all the important stuff.

    Quote from fishy77: Go

    Also I noticed you had a post recently about what to do after you complete the story. You could add arenas for people to battle and complete challenges like I have seen before in games like this.

    The big arena (elite 4 + champion at the end) won't be done by the time the story is (I'm expecting the story to end around level 70. It all really depends on how well I can write it and how far I can stretch it out without making it bad), so that's one thing the player still has to do. We've got some suggestions in our to-do list for things to add, like special challenge battles with various parameters. We might change our saving method a bit to allow multiple player profiles per bank (Or we could just use multiple banks) and add some stuff to support the more hardcore modes people play pokemon on (permadeath, forced to capture first starmon in each zone, nickname everyone, etc.) But that's stuff that will be added later on in development - Shouldn't be too hard, but its not a priority atm. Won't be in for the alpha.

    Quote from Trieva: Go

    Reading Fishy's post gave me an idea. An easy way to solve grinding is adjustable difficulty levels. Just like other games (eg TWEWY, Fallout 3) can we adjust this on the fly? All it needs to do is scale the enemy starmon stats.

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh... We can make the enemies user lower AI levels (Which controls EVs and IVs to a certain extent), and maybe tweak the level scaling formula. I don't really know whether we should add something like this. The easiest way to deal with difficult enemies is by spending 5-10 minutes doing something else to level up your starmon. Fallout is similar to Skyrim and Oblivion, so I think I know how it uses the difficulty slider and... Well, I guess it works for those games? They're not multiplayer first of all, so you don't really get that much out of easy difficulty except an easier time to play solo. In starmon, lowering the difficulty in any way would make it a lot easier and faster to level and would just get abused by people who like to grind :p Lowering XP rewards with lowered difficulty just defeats the entire purpose. I would be fine with a slider that adjusts the scaling of randomized enemy trainers, so you can set them to be 2-3 levels beneath you.

    As for the grinding discussion that's been going on:
    Players will be left to do their own stuff regularly, and that's mostly because of the way we're handling "open world" - We're not locking you out of zones the same way pokemon did. After the first milestone trainer, you'll be able to go into any zone (We might lock some of the really high level zones though, like the deep desert, which is supposed to be level 40+ and a pretty hard place. Those zones would be unlocked when appropriate.) But in general you'll end up with most of the world exploreable immediately. I want to do this so that you can immediately start putting together a good team of starmon, and not having a very limited selection because you can only find about 5-10 new ones every zone/5-10 levels, and all of them being of similar types as wild starmon fit the theme of the zone.

    Because of this, it's relatively hard to create criteria that are required for the next story quest to show up. There's close to nothing every player has to do. Everyone can run off in a different direction. Only place we are guaranteed to find players is the main city and arena - You just can't get around that. So right now we're using milestone trainers as criteria for the story quests, as they are kind of the only way we currently have to gate game progress. Fights inbetween milestone trainers are harder to use because players can just "leave them for later" and decide to do all 10 at once.

    Let me explain how the current quest works: You hit level 15, nothing happens. But you remember the first milestone trainer was level 15, so you head to the arena. Maybe you already did all fights, or only some, but that doesn't really matter. If you're not there yet, you fight your way to the milestone trainer, and then you get told he's not here. You find out he's busy searching for something, and you get asked to help him find it. This forces the player to leave the city, which means we can create an event for when he returns into the city, because we are absolutely certain he won't meet the criteria for the quest while in it.

    The second big quest takes place in a zone, but once again the player is forced to the city to actually reach the milestone trainer fight. This one isn't locked, but right after it you find out stuffs going on and get sent into the zone - Once again we used the milestone trainer to make sure the player isn't in the zone where all the quest NPCs suddenly spawn.

    We can't do that with NPCs and objects in zones because players aren't guaranteed to go there at the right time. If a player did the cave zone at level 15, why would he think of returning there at level 35? We need to use the city in one way or another, and can't use the zones themselves to start story-related quests.

    So our plan is to have stuff in the zones that players can do regardless of level (due to scaling). You're gonna get a big chunk of XP through the story quests, a good amount through the arena fights you need to do, but you'll probably be missing some, and that will make you go out into the zones and do quests there. They may be related to Cipher and story, but most probably won't be. You'll have Mozared giving you silly quests only a certified explorer can understand the purpose of, you might meet a farmer whose crops are being plagued by starmon that need taking care of. There'll be a mercenary who needs a partner, a Wanderer searching for something interesting who enjoys an occasional conversation. The guys over at the lab may have some equipment that needs testing, or will want you to do some field work. Or Cipher is gonna be screwing stuff up. Yea, you can in a way consider it grinding, but I think the story quests will be a lot better if I don't have to make too many of them and can fill space with side quests - it's also a lot easier.

    We'll force players into the zones via story quests, and we'll force players to do the story quests by locking the arena. But outside of the story quests, players will have the choice between never leaving the city and mindlessly grinding arena fights, or going out and doing (hopefully) fun side quests and get more involved in the game world we're trying to create - to each his own.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on Weekly Terraining Exercise #134: Daelaam Ark

    LET'S ALL PRETEND ITS STILL MONDAY, K?

    Weekly Terraining Exercise #134: Daelaam Ark

    Howdy how folks!

    Since Mozared is on holiday at this point in time, here's a message from your friendly neighbourhood data editor TheAlmaity. This WTE is going to last two weeks, and its theme will be: "Daelaam Ark". Though most of us have gotten acquainted with most of the HOTS tilesets by now, this one hasn't been used all too often yet. Therefore, these two weeks I'm looking for any kind of terrain in this specific tileset just to see what people come up with. Show us your Protoss ships, folks!

    Good luck, and have fun!

    The Global Information/Idea thread for Terraining Exercises can be found here:
    http://forums.sc2mapster.com/development/terrain/14658-terraining-exercises-global-information-idea-thread/

    Posted in: Terrain
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map

    Can't be bothered with cutting up your post with the quote BBCode atm, so I'll just reply in color inside the quote.

    Quote from Trieva: Go

    @TheAlmaity: Go

    I see what you mean by exp rewards only helping once by quests. Why not increase them for wild battles too? Or perhaps give us comsumables like rare candy that give us levels or bonus exp. Maybe even give us ways to get reasonable money from wilds like meowth's payday but much better OR they drop items that sell well.

    We're definitely going to be adding something like this. Rare candys are likely (Though very probably rare enough to not be a super reliable levelling method), XP boost held item and maybe even an XP boost consumable (Probably via Arena Points, so that it can't be spammed too much, and is harder to obtain if you're only doing the story, so you don't outlevel it)

    We'll balance money once we can get a good look at how it will all work out - Our current numbers might be stupidly high at the moment, or absolutely worthless, hard to tell :p

    Good idea with the arena. I hope we can fight levels higher than us if we're feeling confident. Just in case I found a godly combo of good movesets and types, then I'll send my lvl 1 caterpie against that lvl 100 charizard for massive exp :P. About exp share I wonder if we can get the option to modify its distribution. Instead of 50-50 maybe 25-75 or 0-100 would work better.

    You'll have to unlock fights. Every win unlocks the next two in the list (Unless the next one is a milestone trainer, you can't unlock anything past them without beating them). So if you have a high level party and fight your way through the arena, you can easily just grab weaker starmon and retry some of the higher level fights if you think you can beat them, but you won't be able to just fight really high levels without reaching them once.

    I completely understand (by going through it myself) how there's only so much time and effort can be spared for the project (even if you guys love it) and I personally think it was healthy for you to let me know that. Better out than in ;) . I actually recently acquired that mentality when I realised SquadCraft 2 was getting too difficult to maintain. I'm going to start a thread in the project workplace soon for my new project if you're interested :P. Unfortunately that's how things are. From the dev's point of view we worry hard about deadlines and how we go about the project. The people giving feedback have it easier where they don't worry about that but just want to suggest lots of cool ideas (some are bad, some are downright awesome). Sometimes we're too close to our projects, as devs. But yeah, not all feedbackers are like me and can take it when you let them know how your love of the project has turned into a stress or a nightmare :P. We can't really blame them though and I'm learrning to be more understanding and forgiving ;) . Btw to fix grind I didn't exactly mean add more events or quests. That will prob achieve the opposite because mass effect 3 had an overwhelming amount of side quests and they sort of forced you to do them. If you can somehow but the story or as many parts of the game easier and faster to move through, that's good enough for me.

    Sorry if I came off a bit rough or rude. To fix grinding I don't believe it needs to be that complicated. Have you played any of the super mario rpg's like partners in time or superstar saga? Maybe you could copy that level up mechanic which I think is really awesome. I don't know how much impact our choices had but it was fun choosing stats to receive bonuses, getting potentially higher amounts, and makes level ups all the more enjoyable. If you did that then I wouldn't feel like I'm grinding, ever. OR every 5 battles or so let us pick a stat from the starmon to buff. The idea is to give us some control in the growth of the starmon, no matter how small, must be more direct and quicker than EVs, and happen frequently enough. I had that some joy with TWEWY using consumables to customise my character's stats/growth/specialty.

    Don't think you came off rough or rude at all :p

    Being able to pick a stat to strengthen is a nice idea, but doesn't really work with how we have set things up at the moment (Your stats aren't actually saved, ever. Your IVs and EVs are. When your stats are needed, we grab the base stats, IVs and EVs and run em through a formula. IVs and EVs are also the thing that uses up the most space in our banks. (Ability, ID, moves, held item, happiness, nature and a "serial number" are the other values iirc (I think Im forgetting one or two), and those are still less than IVs+EVs.) Another number saved per stat would just make more issues with loading (We have to space out the loading due to "execution took too long" errors)
    However, I think being able to pick a stat to slap some extra EVs on every now and then would work :) Will discuss this with Zelda once he's back.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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