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Variables

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Variables

Postby Matt » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:37 am

Are they going to be similar to Atonement variables where people will need molds? Do you need help developing a list of different variables? If so, post the different variable types?
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Re: Variables

Postby Octavius » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:59 am

We didn't think the "mass production" motif from ARPI's sci fi genre, of which the molds are a part, was suitable for SOI and the idea of the skilled artisan craftsman.

We've modified the code to allow a craft to originate the variable instead of a mold. So, you will have "forge basic-axe-head," "forge ordinary-large-hammer-head," "forge superior-war-axe-head" crafts instead of "forge basic-bludgeon." They will add the appropriate variable to the object, players get to branch more crafts, and they won't forget how to make an axe if they lose the mold-object. This will work for all base designs.

We'll add a "mold" type object for master craftsmen to draw "designs" on a parchment. A "forge speciality-bludgeon" craft will allow a master weaponsmith to make his own custom styles and use them appropriately. (as a bonus, it gives him 'plans' to protect IC.)

I'll come back and share the basic constructs as we go. Frigga is playing a key hand in most objects; I'll share weapons first because the basic models are similar to what I designed for ARPI:

Bludgeons:
Weapon head
Weapon haft
Weapon option (decorative flair, such as a custom pommel)

Long-blades:
Blade style
Sword hilt
Weapon option

Small-blades:
Small-blade style
Knife hilt
Weapon option

Polearm / Spear:
Head
Weapon option
(Do you need custom options for spear shafts?)
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Re: Variables

Postby Zargen » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:23 am

Ive been meaning to bring up the topic of variable armor. A/PRPI have variable colors, metals and leather types but it all still looked the same id be interested in variable asthetic value. Sure its all the same scalemail hauberk. But instead of being a $leather, $metal-scaled hauberk. How about a $leather, $style $metal-scaled hauberk. Style being whatever we can think of. Rusty, square, leaf-shaped, bristly, mismatched etcetc.

In that same genre of thinking id love to see asthetic additions being addable to equipment via artistry. Outside of painting or etching. What makes my grimy leather vest different from any other orcs? Mine has a bunch of feathers and fingerbones added on to it. Is that acceptable? I would hope so. So long as it follows the same rules as dmotes. "Within reason" being the rule of thumb.
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Re: Variables

Postby Octavius » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:12 am

That was the concept for Optional variables - you get the ability to tag an asthetic, or make the object without it. Making the optional variables work correctly was complicated and to tell the truth, I just never got around to implementing it at ARPI.

The solution here you see in the "weapon option" variable above. I am skipping that problem by making it required and not optional. There will be simple types that can be used with less effort (leather wrapping, a round pommel) but it is the place those options will go. Suggestions on these options are welcome - particularly orc side. An item will will be used and contain a var for how it will add.
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Re: Variables

Postby Throttle » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:50 am

ARPI overused them. I would have changed it for PRPI, but we didn't really have the time or manpower to essentially overhaul half the game's items and crafts. I always thought that giving every item a bunch of variables just made them lose their meaning; it didn't really lend the objects any noteworthy uniqueness in my eyes, it just made me not see the variables at all.

It was also just a hassle with some types of items because they had so snarfagling many variables -- seven for boots, like ten for guns, etc. It was a nightmare to deal with, especially when loading up an item. Mostly I just miss unique items with personality and flair. I got so tired of the "a $color $fabric $style shirt" theme and the way everything felt like it came out of a random item generator.
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Re: Variables

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:59 am

And OMG, going through the character generator for the first time (well, ANYTIME, but the first time especially) with all the variables was an absolute nightmare.
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Re: Variables

Postby BoogtehWoog » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:53 pm

I totally stopped even trying to play Atonement because of the hassle of equipping myself in chargen. I got so pissed off I never looked back.
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Re: Variables

Postby Matt » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:14 pm

Yea, I agree, it was ridiculous. Especially when I started trying to do crafts and there was two items that needed to be mixed together with a ridic amount of variables. 90% of the stuff that had variables in Atonement didn't need them. But we should have variable options on clothing, weapons, and armor. Limited variables but variables. It just gets kind of dull if everyone has the same everything and having some customization options is nice. With SOI there's a lot less things that can even really be customized and the amount of variables could just be enough for a little difference.
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Re: Variables

Postby Icarus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:40 pm

Oct - I would agree with the others here, if you could incorporate that into your design work. More than 4 variables on things like boots... God those stupid boots... No one cared what type of sole they had.
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Re: Variables

Postby Throttle » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:26 pm

And it looked absurd with those insanely long sdescs. A dust-covered pair of shimmering-black-scaled, mid-calf-high, textured-soled cavalry boots... stupid boots were always messing up my snarfagling inventory symmetry.
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Re: Variables

Postby Zargen » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:05 am

I must be in the minority of players who actually -enjoyed- being able to make your vision come to life in the game by being able to have exactly what you want to wear. Though I do agree the size of the s/l-descriptions where excessive.

Oct' the basic model looks good.I will say, I would prefer 2 flair tags to just 1. But that goes with the previous paragraph of me loving customization. When I can't customize my gear, I just dmote it anyways :roll:

Random suggestions for orc flair tags that I actually might go back and add descriptions to:

Orc Weapon Modifiers -

Blackened
Gore-stained
Ill-kept
Jagged-bladed
Spike-Pommeled
Fur-wrapped
Hammer-marked
Saw-toothed
Filth-Encrusted
Pock-Marked
Warped
Serrated-edged
Lidless-Eye-Pommeled(Does the Necromancer take the symbol of the eye yet?)
Fang-pommeled
Spike-hilted

I'd throw down a lot for armor and clothing. but honestly I havent seen any orc armor or clothing so I wouldn't know where to start. At least I've seen the weapons so I have an idea what it'd end up looking like.
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Re: Variables

Postby radioactivejesus » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:22 pm

we could have an orkish 'metaltype' tag that works with both armour and weaponry. Some of Zargen's ideas (Blackened, Gore-stained, Ill-kept, Fur-wrapped, Hammer-marked,Pock-Marked) would work fine for all sorts of orc metalcrafts, in addition to the already existing metdam variables. Then we could add armour/weapon specific tags in.

for scale armour I'm thinking
assymetrical scales (all different sizes and shapes)
patchy scales (some areas missing scales while others are too close togethor)
pointed scales (each scale ends in a point)
bristly scales (scales are sharp and jut outwards)
square scales (simple in manufacture and bulky)
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Re: Variables

Postby Frigga » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:44 am

Throttle wrote:And it looked absurd with those insanely long sdescs. A dust-covered pair of shimmering-black-scaled, mid-calf-high, textured-soled cavalry boots... stupid boots were always messing up my snarfagling inventory symmetry.


Well, I'd say part of that is not needing to include everything in the sdesc. And being a bit more restrained in the length of the individual variable bits.

For the chargen, what are suggestions in making that easier? Perhaps give people a default outfit like ye olden days so that if people don't want to customize they don't need to?
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Re: Variables

Postby Taurgalas » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:54 am

There's a balance between cool, this is customizable and holy cap that's a lot of stuff. There's no need to have it all shown in the short. A blue, calf-high pair of bear-leather boots could show the height, the sole, the leather type and color in the full... but keep the shorts... well... short.
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Re: Variables

Postby Octavius » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:05 am

I'll repost this here.

We were discussing amongst the Elder Staff based on this thread, and these are the elements that I pulled. No objections were raised, so I'll them share them back with you all.

This text reflects my frank opinions, but I'm willing to share that with you all as part of a policy of transparency. I welcome feedback as we turn the recommendations into our policies.


There are some good points to glean in that thread. There are also plenty of lessons we have already learned.

Observation: Too much pattern makes people gloss over it in a text-based environment.
Discussion: I understand this one - I feel the same way about the random-generated room descriptions. My hatred of them is visceral for no greater reason than this. Kithrater was really keen on reducing the number of objects. On ARPI, there was only one shirt object, so as the player comments note, every shirt had the same syntax, if different words.
Recommendation: We don't have a need to reduce that far. While the color, material, and quality variables will need to appear on each item, we can have multiple varieties of objects where called for. Having 4-6 shirts doesn't hurt anything. We need to use care to change up the syntax of the sdesc and ldesc when we make them to create apparent difference.

Observation: Sdescs and ldescs get spammy with too many variables in them.
Discussion: Point taken from the thread. We put a lot of things in the sdesc on ARPI to make sure the differences between objects were apparent when you looked at someone. This really isn't needed. People who care about this level of detail will look at the full object on the person; people who don't care about it don't need to be subjected to it.
Recommendation: Variables need to appear in the full desc (and name, for targeting). We should be more selective about what appears in the sdesc and ldesc.


Observation: Number of variables makes it hard to load items for players.
Discussion: This is a major thing I intend for us to do differently. Mass production theme in a post-apocalyptic world supported that feel. Our game does NOT. We've already eliminated the molds, blueprints, and patterns and are establishing the crafts to control initiation of style. Material and color will be inherited.
Recommendation: I do not want to see any variable items added to shop tills as permanent items (which puts it on the player to variabilize). All variable items need to be loaded as stacks of individual, already-produced items. We can use a prog to refill the till if needed (check if item is missing, if so, load 10 of them) but players should NEVER see the variable code that directly here.


Observation: Equipping a character in character creation is too hard and makes everyone quit.
Discussion: Zargen isn't the lone voice in people who enjoyed this... people spent hours tricking out their characters with exactly the gear they wanted and I spoke to dozens who thought it was awesome. That said, we don't want it here and I already posted the fix for it other threads. This falls under the same category of "variables for players" above - I don't want players to ever see a till that has them required to pick variables manually, and this includes clothing in the newbie shop.
Recommendation: There will be two options for equipping a character initially - A "quick pick" option and a personal shopping option. The quick pick option will ask them to pick an "outfit type", a primary color, and a secondary color. It will use the prog to load them a bag of clothing appropriate to that outfit and with the colors specified and matching rather than random. They skip forward to the next step. The personal shopping option will still give them access to a pre-gen shop area with multiple tills where they can buy items and put them on. As previously, these tills should all include items of specific matching characteristics loaded individually, no option (or requirement) for players to choose the variables manually. They can equip themselves from the tills then continue (it allows them to only continue with items worn, forcing them to drop things in their hands, and not providing any containers).


Observation: Too many variables is superfluous.
Discussion: This isn't actually said, and the comments in the player thread are not wholly representative. The salient complaints are broken out above, but there are many players that can, and do, desire greater customization of their gear. Players always have, and always will, request cool, unique, custom tweaks so their thing is a little different than someone else's thing. It used to result in tons of unique objects. Now it is variables on one object, doesn't require as much staff time, and doesn't raise the problem of gear that provides extreme advantage like in old SOI.
Recommendation: We're actually talking about having MORE variables than on Atonement RPI. We have the same color, material, and style requirements. We've added the ability of craftsmen to apply personal sigils to sign their works, for example. We're doing a better job with the "flair" options. Our goal should not be to "not use variables" but to use them better per the other recommendations above.
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Re: Variables

Postby radioactivejesus » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:33 am

Taurgalas wrote:There's a balance between cool, this is customizable and holy cap that's a lot of stuff. There's no need to have it all shown in the short. A blue, calf-high pair of bear-leather boots could show the height, the sole, the leather type and color in the full... but keep the shorts... well... short.

I agree. I enjoy having highly customizable equipment with 4 or 5 variables to make it unique to my character, but Sdescs should be limited to displaying 2, or in rare cases, 3 variables. Seeing Ranger Bob's new 'embroidered aquamarine deerhide bog-metal plated hauberk' everytime you look his direction is kind of annoying. But if you're looking at the hauberk itself, you probably want to know all the details you can incase you want to implement them into your roleplaying
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Re: Variables

Postby toofast » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:51 am

Oh, jeez. I hope I never see an aquamarine anything here.

:nom:
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Re: Variables

Postby Frigga » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:46 pm

Sometimes rich merchants want to be styling Toofastnig, so not sure we can guarantee that, lol.
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