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 Future RW2 Mapmaker Suggestions, A few ideas...
DaFranker
  Posted: Mar 26 2004, 02:05 AM


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Ok well, here are a few ideas that I've got to smoothen up the RW2 editor when it will come out... if it comes out...

--All original Mapmaker features, plus:
  • Direct tiles stats editor.
  • Object overlays.
  • Animated tiles.
  • Trigger action system[more details at bottom of the list].
  • "Switches", to use with the trigger system[more details at bottom of the list].
  • A nice integrated AI editor where you could make/save/load AI scripts, specially for this map.
  • A "Waypointing" system if the AI happens to be extremely advanced.
  • Possibility to put in "game limitations", such as forbidden weapons, unuseable "abilities"(if there are any), etc.
  • A unit placer -- To place in advance wich kind of ennemy you want and where, what you want them to do, and select where players start...[see next point].
  • With the player start idea, more player control using the trigger system, so we could somehow make "RPGs" with them, and make single-player "Campaigns".
  • A few specific triggers for the map editor[see bottom of the list for details].
  • A better nicer and shinier layout and display -- OPTIONNAL.
  • Some way to add weapons, tiles, objects and stuff directly from inside the editor(so we don't have to edit those .txt files wich can cause bugs).
  • An "internal test runner", to immediately test your map in a secure mode, to test specific "areas" and "systems"(example: only first 10 x 10 blocks area and only ennemy AI, no ally AI).
  • Some awesome way to directly upload/download stuff like tiles from a main dedicated server(probably the one hosting the game lobby too...).
  • Way to adjust the way tiles and objects "behave", and some way to "resize" them, so that 1 image pixel might be 1 screen pixel inside the game(this would allow better graphical possibilities).
  • A VEHICLE EDITOR, where you could literally edit the game vehicles from inside -- OPTIONNAL.

Okay, for way I metionned I would detail, well here they are:

Trigger system: The trigger system would work all like the modern game engines, but more specifically like Starcraft or Warcraft 3, being a system where you have a "trigger" button. You press it.

You then have a screen popping up with a list of the 8 games players(well, change that caus we won't have max of 8 players including bots like those games...), and when you click on one, you have a list under that player listing where all this player's(actually, they will probably be player teams in RW2, having each more than one unit in them, with the ability to make this team FFA(not allyied with it's other members)) triggers are, and a short overview of what it does. Then, at the right of this window, you have "New trigger", "Edit Trigger", Delete Trigger" and a few other buttons.

When you click "New Trigger", a new window pops up asking wich player(in this case team...) this trigger will apply. You have possibility to select more than one, or to select all players, or neutral only(Neutral are players that don't attack, in this case the one who is selected when adding objects and stuff like repair bays).

After that, at the bottom you can click "Next", or "Cancel. Both of them are pretty much self-explanative. Then, when you click "Next", you are asked on what conditions the trigger will activate itself. Refer to the list below to see a few proposed conditions. Now, you have the "New Condition", "Edit Condition", "Delete Condition" and a few other features like "Move Up Condition" or "Move Down Condition" to move the condition in the list(wich by the way is some kind of "priority list" from top to bottom) and a few other stuff like that. To these options I would add a little box where you could select if the trigger needs to have all these conditions activated, one or more of these conditions, or none of these conditions.

Now, when you click next, you are brought to the last but not least screen of the window, the actions screen. There, you can do pretty much the same thing as conditions, but this time they are what the trigger will actually DO when it is activated by all, none or one or more conditions(depending on the user choice).

-------------------------------------------------------

Switches: Well, this would go into the Condition/Action system. Very symple, a condition where "x" switch must be on or off to activate the trigger, and an action where it would turn on the switch, turn it off, toggle it or randomize it(randomly put it at one or zero). Do not underestimate the power of this, because with it people have been able to make TOTAL RPGs with the Starcraft game, designed only as a RTS game in a furturistic setting with a somehow limited condition and actions list... compared to Half-life/NeverWinter Nights/Warcraft 3 and games of the like.

-------------------------------------------------------

Condition Listing:
  • None(so that triggers activate itself at start of the game)
  • Accumulate[when user amasses "x" quantity of "x" ressource, be it money, metals, etc...]
  • Bring//Locate[when player "x"(not necessarily one selected before) brings "x" number of "x" kind of units to "x" location*]
  • Command[when team/player possesses "x" number of "x" unit]
  • Command at Location*[when team "x" possesses "x" number of "x" unit at "x" location*]
  • Countdown Time[when the game countdown reaches "x" number, actually being: if countdown = more than "x", or: if countdown = less than "x", or: if countdown = equals to "x" (here I've simplified your C++ coding task of a few commands, hehe).
  • Deaths[number of deaths in team "x" or of specific player number "x"(from one to 64, duh)].
  • Elapsed time[time elapsed since game started is "x" or more, or less, or equal to].
  • Hightest Score[current team and/or specific 1 to 64th player has best score].
  • Kills[current team/player has "x" or more, or less or equal to number of kills].
  • Least Kills[current player/team has least kills of the game].
  • Least ressources[current player/team has least ressources(money, metal, etc) of the game].
  • Lowest Score[current team/player has lowest score of "x" kind of score].
  • Most Kills
  • Most ressources
  • Opponents[a few opponent options such as number of opponents remaining and stuff would go here].
  • Score[player/team "x" has "x" more,less, equal of "x" type of score].
  • Switch[Switch "x" is set to "on or off"].

-------------------------------------------------------

Actions Listing: Okay, well, I can't make up a description for each one or else I'll still be writing this when the earth will explode of heat, so I just list them and make a short overview of the most complicated, base off the conditions to find out the rest.
  • Center View[of player "x" at "x" location...]
  • Comment[Note: this will not affect anything in-game, it is only a map editor note for the map maker to know what this trigger is(replaces the short trigger overview)]
  • Create Unit[for player "x", at location "x"]
  • Defeat
  • Victory
  • Give Units To Player[at location...]
  • Kill units[for player "x"]
  • Kill units at location
  • Minimap "ping"[for if you put in a minimap]
  • Scoreboard Options[a few things here]
  • Modify unit stats at location
  • Move Unit[from"x" to "x"]
  • Order[tell "x" unit to go to "x", affects any desired specific unit at specific location, to specific location]
  • Pause Game[something for cinematic-lovers]
  • Restart Game
  • Pause Timer[countdown thinghy]
  • Restart Timer
  • Set Countdown
  • Start and Stop countdown triggers
  • Run AI script[for team/player "x" at location "x"]
  • Set Score[for "x" player for type "x" to number "x", with add and remove options]
  • Set Swtich[turn on, off, random, toggle]
  • Wait["x" amount of time, does NOT affect gameplay, only trigger effects delayed]

Now, I do not expect you at all to make such a high quality MapMaker, these are just a few suggestions that, if all enabled, would give TOTAL freedom over the game when making maps, wich is of course one of the secondary or tertiary objectives of RW2.


Finally, that's it, now I got to go, hope all this was useful to guide you in the way of RW2 making, and to the next time!
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Keron Cyst
Posted: Mar 26 2004, 11:39 PM


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I don't know if that's possible for RW2. I think it should be for RW3, since so much stuff would have to be implemented blink.gif

What I recommend is height difference; you know, like ramps, cliffs, etc. It'd be really cool if those roads over water were actual bridges and you could go on them or beneath (to conceal yourself from opponents, but a transparent bridge would be shown to you and to teammates) cool.gif
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DaFranker
  Posted: Mar 27 2004, 12:24 AM


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Actually, you just build the game around that "trigger" system, implement the switch system, enable external control of about everything in the game from the game editor, all this info saved inside the map(so some of the actual gamecode would be INSIDE the map, making them alot larger, but alot better too), and then, put "links" to them, with possible data fields, inside a little popup window in the game editor. That's actually just a one-month work, plus two or three weeks debugging, and you got a near-unlimited power of map-making. And also please note that it not one ADDITIONNAL month, only one TOTAL month(something like that, maybe it's two months, but meh, RW2's planned for longer than 12 months before publishing, that's actually a year, so what's one more?), and this implies that another regular RW2 editor would take about 2-3 weeks making, + 1 week debugging and correcting, so that new system would actually add a few(3-4) good weeks of work.

Now, I *should* be posting an updated version of those condition/action lists, also with a few updates on the rest of the main stuff, but I've got some pixel graphics to do for something else... if I actually *find* that something else...[this means the update is delayed...]
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Willem
Posted: Mar 27 2004, 01:33 PM


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Well, the whole trigger system sounds a bit too powerful and complicated for a mere shooter. I might consider something like that (heavily simplified) for maybe an UT Assault like modus, but I don't think that RecWar will ever be an RPG. And AI/NPC options, if present, will be quite limited. My hope for AI actually is that it can figure everything out by looking at the map without actual waypoints or something. I think it (almost always) works for v1, so why not for v2?
And ramps/height differences: yes, this would be cool, but it gives some difficulties, for example aiming. If there's a bridge with a vehicle on top and one below, and you'd shoot them, how would you determine which one you were aiming at (not to mention the bridge itself)? Maybe there's a way to implement this well, but I'm not sure.
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DaFranker
  Posted: Mar 27 2004, 03:22 PM


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Heh, what I suggest for the 3d thing is a 45 degrees angle viewport or something like that(well, maybe not 45 degrees, more like 60, but meh...). Then, add two buttons that would make the cannon go up and down for aiming... that's a bit hard though, because then you have to go full 3d if you want to keep the original RW 'system' in place, and that's a *bit* more complicated...
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mateenj
Posted: Mar 30 2004, 12:15 PM


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Time to sit down and take a long break reading DeFranker's post.... Wow.... Go Defranker, lol.
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DaFranker
  Posted: Mar 30 2004, 08:57 PM


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Yeah, indeed long, most of my posts are. Actually, that one took me nearly two hours to write, since I was chatting and using RecWar map editor and using the starcraft map editor to get the ideas, all that while coming once every few minutes to write in a few lines.

But after all, isn't it better to have one long compact post with everything in it instead of a few hundreds of little 'decompressed' posts containing very little concluant information together? I think that, yes, it is. biggrin.gif

Now, to continue with the "Mapmaker suggestions" part, here are a few other points I have to mention wich could be good:
  • Different tiles or objects layers -- Have one 'Terrain' layer; one 'Overlay' layer(this one would contains cliffs, waterfalls, etc, and most every transparent things...); an 'Objects' layer, wich would contain just about all objects, ranging from the big table or statue to the small coin(NOTE: buildings would go into the OVERLAY layer, NOT here!); a 'Vision' layer, where you could choose different light placements, intensity, fog, etc. ; and finally a 'Beings' layer, containing about all actual moving stuff(here I'm talking about ennemy and ally tanks, ammo, cannons, etc.((THIS IS MAINLY IF A SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN MODE IS CREATED))).
  • A simpler point-and-click interface, but with 'external' menus for tiles, objects, etc, one for each layer, that you could all re-attach to the main window, and HOTKEYS!, so that more advanced users can build faster!
  • IF we are to go full or semi-3d graphics, I STRONGLY recommend something like the NWN or the WC3 world editors, with simple default "tiles", but with full 3d customisation, and elevation degrees, and stuff... I bet you know what I'm talking about, if you don't, just ask, it'll be a pleasure to describe the magnificent WC3 world edit in all it's advantages!
  • MENUS, more menus! A top menu for each of the previously mentionned aspects, with all the options separated in them, for easy hotkey control and access. Also, make some intuitive buttons at the top to form some menubar, and then when you press a button, for example, the "Tank Stats Editor" window might pop up, with a list of the tanks or vehicles at the left, and at the right their stats when you click on them, and ability to directly edit all stats for current map from inside this window(much like the WC3 and SC unit properties displays). This, for almost all other aspects too.
  • An overall more complicated look to discourage "Wannabe Map-makers" to try making shitty map edits like they do in SC on Battle.Net.
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Keron Cyst
Posted: Mar 31 2004, 03:12 AM


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QUOTE (Willem @ Mar 27 2004, 05:33 AM)
... And ramps/height differences: yes, this would be cool, but it gives some difficulties, for example aiming. If there's a bridge with a vehicle on top and one below, and you'd shoot them, how would you determine which one you were aiming at (not to mention the bridge itself)? Maybe there's a way to implement this well, but I'm not sure.

Well, in my suggestion I think that there should only be two height areas; as high as the bridge or on the ground. Then again, there's the difficulty of who to shoot while you're on a ramp... but I was just thinking in Red Alert style, where there really is no height difference (except for crossing under stuff, like bridges), but the textures and stuff just make it seem like it wink.gif Man, that game rocked... cool.gif
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DaFranker
  Posted: Mar 31 2004, 09:55 AM


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Actually... yeah that could be good. When I look at SC, i see now that it has no 3d at all, but there ARE two elevation degrees, using tiles and stuff. Of course, SC is not the best thing to compare on, since it is a fast-click RTS game, but it still has many good systems that could greatly improve RW.

IMO, those up there are ideas I find very useful for SC, and think some would be even more useful in RW.

Hey MJ, short posts today, I'm tired...
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SkinnedAlive
Posted: Mar 31 2004, 03:38 PM


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QUOTE (DaFranker @ Mar 30 2004, 08:57 PM)
An overall more complicated look to discourage "Wannabe Map-makers" to try making shitty map edits like they do in SC on Battle.Net.

Surely the majority of wannabe's are just people who want to learn to make maps. The easier it is to make the maps, the easier it is for wannabe's to make maps that arent just lame edits.
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DaFranker
  Posted: Apr 1 2004, 12:44 AM


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*Herm*, I am NOT talking about that kind of wannabe mapmaker!

I am talking about the kind who makes about 50 different versions of your map, all telling they created it, sends it up around, get the credits while it's good, then scrap it to death and say YOU made that edit, when all from the beginning YOU created the whole map by yourself, *hmphf*!

You know, being done that is painful. I was once in SC being idea-stolen, and guess what? The day after it was the freakin MOST PLAYED MAP(NO JOKES!) on the damn B.net! But it was not my map, but still I had the idea first, and was still making it when some dumb a****le idea stealer came and overheard a conversation between me and a good mapmaker, and then he made one copying 3/4 of the triggers and things I said in the chat, and bam!

The worst is that playtesting confirmed my map was better, but it never got through to B.net simply because people thought "Ohh, just another stupid version of this, I prefer the original one." before even playing it. If only they knew...
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SkinnedAlive
Posted: Apr 1 2004, 04:21 PM


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Ah, right. Sorry DaFranker. That sounds really irritating. Some people can be such smacktards sometimes... sad.gif

Still... I don't think making the interface more complicated would stop them much. It'd probably to more harm than good in my opinion.
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DaFranker
Posted: Apr 1 2004, 09:54 PM


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wink.gif

Are you sure about that?

Hehe, Blizzard isn't dumb. They used that trick with WC3 Worl Editor, they made it look a hell of a lot of trouble to learn how to make maps, so that only good-intentionned people would try to. Badly-intentionned people don't even try with WC3 simply because in their head it makes "Whoa, I just want to crack up this map, but if I do, I'll have to learn all THAT?! Are you mad?!" and then they go on. I have NEVER yet seen a map of this kind on the WC3 b.net. There were of course many new map versions using the same trigger events and all that crazy mapping stuff, because, yes, WC3 edit IS actually a hell of a lot to learn about, but heh, it looks even worse than 3d modeling, while it's still alot easier(trust me, I've confirmed that... and not with only two persons...).

But, the fact is, the best thing would to make it somehow "look" complicated, by putting all the buttons together, with separations of course, and big, cranked up menus full of billions of nearly useless options, but still practical somehow(meh, don't go out adding useless buttons, people will think you're crazy...).

And then, add some "complicated" interface, using the two mouse buttons and lots of hotkeys, just to mess up a little bit more. Then, make lots of options like tile properties and stuff "harder" to get to using something like "CTRL + right mouse button", things that you need to actually READ THE GUIDE or FOLLOW THE TUTORIAL so that you know how to do it. I am even ready to make some tutorials if needed, after the huge amount of tutorials I've taken on only this month... without counting in the year... whew, that makes a hell of a lot of tutorial-making knowledge.
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Willem
Posted: Apr 2 2004, 09:54 AM


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Sorry man, but I have a moral objection to making thinks more complicated than necessary on purpose. And BTW, who do you think would have to use the damn thing first?
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mateenj
Posted: Apr 2 2004, 12:13 PM


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I agree, lets first concentrate on Willem getting the game done, and not putting so much extra weight on his shoulders with all these numerous mapmaker expectations. I'm sure if he makes RW2 that he'll take a look at them, but c'mon now... Lets not overwhelm anything.
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