FRUA & DUNGEON CRAFT Community Forums

Dungeon Craft => Dungeon Craft - Module Previews => Topic started by: Dinonykos on January 06, 2016, 03:59:19 PM

Title: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 06, 2016, 03:59:19 PM
With two designs completed in 2015, and 'Rise of the Insectoids' almost completed, I have now started working on another design: 'The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece'. With this design, I try to combine aspects of mystery/detective stories and games with a 'classical' high fantasy setting. Fortunately, I have support from a great artist who, additionally, has much more knowledge concerning typical AD&D-like settings than I have: Uatu.  ;D

In other words: I design the adventure and also do some new music. Uatu helps me with the setting (and language, I hope...). The art will mainly be Uatu's, with some additions from me which will mimic Uatu's style as good as possible. As an example, in the screenshot below, you can see a wall and a background done by Uatu with a door and torch overlay done by me, and two of Uatu's dwarves which I changed into "NPC" walls". The screen layout is also based on frames done by Uatu.

The idea behind the design is that the two characters of the party have to solve a crime. However, the culprit is randomly set at the beginning of the adventure, as are the respective hints and evidence. If it works as planned, there will be eight different variations, and thus, I hope, a great replay motivation... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 06, 2016, 06:30:26 PM
Fantastic :) oh well off to work we go ;)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Nol Drek on January 06, 2016, 07:58:25 PM
Is it just me, or are those Dwarves supposed to be 2 feet tall?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 07, 2016, 01:28:34 AM
Er... no, rather 4 feet. I calculated that the eye height of a normal human would be 170 cm, and that this should be the same height as the center of the image. Maybe I should rather set the center of the image to 150 to 160 cm...

EDIT: I thought this over... the adventure will take place in a dwarf town. I think it is all right that the dwarves have walls of regular height (300 to 340 cm), but maybe we could make doors and other things smaller to make it more convincing.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 07, 2016, 05:00:24 AM
Now looking at it, Nol might be right. They are a bit small. I also need to set up size of my sprites but yet have to come to that. For size of the walls and doors I don't think that Dwarves should build things smaller except in rare cases when dwarves only will use them. Probably they should have some dwarven style doors or walls ect but what I remember is that they are good builders and can do things better then most, especialy with stone and precious metals and gems.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 07, 2016, 09:06:31 AM
I thought this over a second time. Now I think that it would be more reasonable to assume that the horizon in DC (at 106 px in the 211 px viewport) should be 160 cm high. That would almost be the eye height of an average elf and a good compromise. With this approach, I think the dwarves will look more convincing. I admit that above, they look as if they are as small as halflings or gnomes...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on January 07, 2016, 05:03:29 PM
Looks Great Dinonykos!

Should that character be Sherlos of Hemlock? (I presume that "Sherlas" "Hemlock" was designed as an anagram of "Sherlock Holmes"?)

As to the scaling issue, my eye is drawn to the door. I would tend to assume that it is a normal size door, a little taller than a fully grown human. Then I get a feel for how big other objects are. On that basis, the dwarves do seem pretty short.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Adam on January 07, 2016, 05:24:24 PM
The random nature of the plot seems really interesting, and the screenshot (though I also have the tiny dwarf feeling) is also promising. Makes me want to install Dungeon Craft too...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 08, 2016, 12:41:51 AM
With my new calculations, the dwarves would be ca. 50% higher - I guess it will look reasonable then.

Concerning "Sherlas": I was not aiming at an anagram, just at a close similarity. Then, I thought that a plant name would be good for an elf/halfelf, and thus the hemlock (Tsuga) was a good option. And I wanted to have an "-as" ending. I had not realized how close it is to a real anagram until you mentioned it...  :-[  :) I think I will stay with "Sherlas" since I doubt that "Sherlos" sounds like an elvish name, but - excellent observation! :D

Concerning "Dr Gottlieb Conanson": Watson is named "John" = "Johannes" which means "God is merciful". "Gottlieb" could be interpreted as "loved by god". There will be more of such reminiscences in the game... :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 08, 2016, 03:00:57 AM
... and the screenshot (though I also have the tiny dwarf feeling) is also promising.
"The problem of the tiny dwarf" (would also be a good title... :) ) should be solved with my new calculations done for the sketch above. The dwarfs will be ca. 50% taller.

Makes me want to install Dungeon Craft too...
The good thing is that you don't even need to install the DC editor - the DC designs work as standalones. Older designs from the design list (http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1302.0) might have problems if you try to run them in Win 8.0/10.0 (since most of them are done with DC 0.914 or older versions), but that can be solved by using programs like D3D Windower. On Windows 7, they all should run by just moving the design folder somewhere and starting the included .exe file

Concerning "The Case...", just to make sure: Uatu and I have just started this project, and I will need some time to get used to DC 2.x (the other designs I finished last year were done with 0.914, still). On the other hand, we want to do it very efficiently, without creating much new art - so I am quite optimistic it won't take too long to finish this.

The random nature of the plot seems really interesting...
I had the idea when playing board games like "Cluedo" and "Who was it?" with my children. The latter uses combinations of characteristics of the suspects (like size, hair length, shoe/boot type etc.) - one certain combination describes the suspect. Hints concerning these characteristics are given by eye witnesses. I want to do something similar. What I am just considering is if the game should, and if so, how to keep track of the different hints, or if only the journal is used to allow the player to keep track of the hints. Keeping track could be done with several quests/variables (which would probably be the best approach here), but I also thought about using a ternary or quaternary numeral system for all possible combinations, transfering the combinations into a decimal number and just using one quest. Other things taken into account are if the witnesses can give false information (because, the culprit could have used a masquerade). Once I am sure about the concept, designing the game itself would not be too difficult.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on January 08, 2016, 04:04:36 PM
With my new calculations, the dwarves would be ca. 50% higher - I guess it will look reasonable then.
Concerning "Dr Gottlieb Conanson": Watson is named "John" = "Johannes" which means "God is merciful". "Gottlieb" could be interpreted as "loved by god". There will be more of such reminiscences in the game... :)
And Wat about Conan?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 08, 2016, 05:56:08 PM
Well, 'Conanson' combines the second name of Arthur Conan Doyle and the "-son" from Watson... Since Dr Watson is used as a kind of surrogate story teller by Conan Doyle and both the invented (Watson) and the real story teller (Doyle) are doctors, I thought it would be reasonable to fuse the names.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on January 08, 2016, 05:56:42 PM
Okay, I get it. Good one.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 08, 2016, 07:42:05 PM
Great screenshots!  :D  I like what you've done to the backdrop frame, too.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 09, 2016, 03:49:17 PM
I am happy that you like it...

I have now resized one of the "Dwarf-NPC-walls".
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 10, 2016, 06:27:17 AM
To get a little more characters out of Uatu's art, I have changed a few of his small pics and other art from his homepage (of course, after asking... :) ). The first of the example is one of Uatu's humans whom I tried to turn into an elf, the other is the same dwarf I already turned into an "NPC wall". I must admit that my approach of resizing the latter to be close enough for a portrait is not completely satisfying - a related discussion is in the thread on Milos' design in progress...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 11, 2016, 01:07:05 PM
I have now almost all of Uatu's characters modified the way they would be usable for this project, and I have also switched to DC 2.x - thus I can now start with level desiging... (I have some minor questions to DC 2.x which I will come to later in another thread...).

Below is one of Uatu's human fighters which I turned into a dark elf... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 11, 2016, 04:35:43 PM
Looks great :) nicely done.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 12, 2016, 01:14:09 AM
The dark elf looks great!  :D  As for the first guy - a bit ironically, actually, that guy started out with no moustache (I am not sure where I put that image, but I probably have the moustache-less version somewhere) - but someone asked me to add a moustache to it!

Hmm - for the gold dwarf, what did you use to resize him?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 12, 2016, 06:20:09 AM
Hi Uatu, I am happy again that you like the changes - I have now almost completed all 10 suspects (only hair and eye colours might still change). Since you had no obejections with my results so far, I am sure now that you will also be fine with some other changes I had to make (the male halfling became blond, for example). I also work on adding some wall art which fits withs yours, and I have added some perspectives for your wooden shelf so that is more three dimensional. I will show more examples tonight, I think.

By the way, I am even more impressed by your art now! Particularly how you do details like ears... when trying to change them, I realized how much effort is needed to make them look organic.

I used Paint Shop Pro 9 (option "Smart Size") for resizing the Gold Dwarf and made some changes manually. As discussed in Milos' thread, there may be similar or better solutions like the program you mentioned.
I guess your "Hmm" means that you are not so happy with that version, right? The Gold Dwarf portrait will probably not be used, anyway, I will only use him as NPC wall (as guard for the town's monarch, for whom I will use your new Dwarf King).
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 12, 2016, 07:54:49 PM
Looking forward to seeing your changes (perhaps in-game)!  Blond halflings are definitely okay (we can call him "Sam" ;D ).  As for my wooden shelf - I do remember that I kind of messed up its dimensions, but I was too tired to fix it after I noticed!  So if you did that for me, I am happy to hear that, to be honest!

Ears - actually, ears can be quite interesting, in that their anatomy is quite complex.  I have a book all about ears, with lots of ear photos :D  Anatomy is quite interesting, the deeper one gets into it - although it is a lot of rote memorization, too...

I think I used Paint Shop Pro a few times back in the '80s :D  My "hmm" was just wondering what you used - I like RotSprite best myself, followed by Scale2x (both free command-line programs) - they do a pretty good job of smooth resizing, although of course neither is perfect, either.

The dwarf king has a nifty magic sword ;D  Probably has holy powers, and kills giants and goblins on contact!
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 13, 2016, 03:17:14 AM
As for my wooden shelf - I do remember that I kind of messed up its dimensions, but I was too tired to fix it after I noticed!  So if you did that for me, I am happy to hear that, to be honest!
I only added the perspectives which show the shelf left or right of you, but in frontal view.

Looking forward to seeing your changes (perhaps in-game)!  Blond halflings are definitely okay (we can call him "Sam" ;D ). 
I guess I might not show you all changes in advance, but in those cases where I made changes that significantly change a character, I think I should show you that in advance. Probably the worst change I intend is making a fat human out of your "Nupperibo"... :D (It would be good to have one fat suspect.)

Of course, I will also send you versions of the game before publishing. My idea was that I finish the game for one suspect and then send this to you to see if you are fine with it. We should also do one or two nice intro screens then, like "Dinonykos Designs presents... in association with Uatu Arts... Sherlas of Hemlock in... The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece"  ;)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Olivier Leroux on January 13, 2016, 05:36:31 AM
Great news! I've been waiting for an original Uatu style module for years, and I can't imagine anyone more suited than Dinonykos to help make it come to life.  :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 13, 2016, 08:08:48 AM
I agree with that, lets hope things will go good and that we will have nice game to play.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 13, 2016, 09:45:40 AM
Ha ha - I look forward to seeing the fat human who was once a nupperibo (that will probably be his "final" fate)!

Dinonykos is always great with his designs - I only hope that my art is prolific enough to work well with him!  (Ulp to my limited walls and such...)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 13, 2016, 01:39:10 PM
Ha ha - I look forward to seeing the fat human who was once a nupperibo (that will probably be his "final" fate)!

Er... I thought it over - the nupperibo is a little too fat to be a believable thief, so I looked for an alternative... :D

Below is the screenshot you can see the updated shelf and my bench adapted to "Uatu style"...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 13, 2016, 11:09:10 PM
Looks great!  :D  I may have to use your "Uatu-style" bench myself... ;)

As for nupperibo-thief - what do you mean, "too fat?"  One can never be "too fat!"  :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 14, 2016, 05:12:49 AM
Looks great!  :D  I may have to use your "Uatu-style" bench myself... ;)
I made/will make more like this. I have now found nice approaches how I can make my overlays fit with your walls (including colouring black lines, colour reducing, exchanging colours). I guess you will be happy with the outcome.

As for nupperibo-thief - what do you mean, "too fat?"  One can never be "too fat!"  :D

Hmm... I meant too fat to sneak into a smithy and run away with a precious masterpiece under the eyes of seven partly aggressive dwarvish smiths and artists... Well, Sammo Hung might have been able to do so... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 14, 2016, 02:53:30 PM
Great news! I've been waiting for an original Uatu style module for years...
Me too, me too!

I only hope that my art is prolific enough to work well with him!  (Ulp to my limited walls and such...)
I have added some more examples of our walls combined below, I think the combination works well.
EDIT: I will slightly change the oven, I think - the light grout is quite dominant in the some perspectives...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 14, 2016, 11:26:45 PM
Wow, really great!  My walls by themselves are a bit boring to be honest, with limited variety - the combination definitely helps with that.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 15, 2016, 07:56:20 AM
 ;D Very interesting idea for module and it looks very good.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 17, 2016, 01:03:08 PM
Two more examples for Uatu's and my walls, overlays and backgrounds combined. On the left, you can see an inn with Uatu walls and background, and overlays with modified "Dinonykos walls". In the centre, a recoloured wall and a door overlay (slightly modified) by Uatu are combined with a modified backdrop and a wall overlay done by me. I think it works quite good.

The right picture shows an item (the "masterpiece"), which I tried to do mimicking Uatu's style - but I fear it is resembling, at most.  :-[ This pixel art approach is really challenging...  ::)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 18, 2016, 05:01:47 AM
Amazing :) really glad that You guys work on something nice and hoping to play it when finished :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 21, 2016, 01:11:26 PM
Now we have all the art the design needs - though there might be some "bonus art". It is a lot of fun modifying Uatu's art (I have attached two examples below), but it also takes quite a lot of time.

I am just in the process of writing key events in a text editor. After some consideration, I have decided that the whole game will be told by "Gottlieb Conanson", quite the same way as Watson tells most of the Sherlock Holmes cases. So this game will be a little more like an interactive story (compared to my other DC games which I would rather see as interactive comics... :) ).
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 21, 2016, 04:30:38 PM
Sounds good :) About  modifying art yest it is just like that. I am lately trying to modify Manikus art and it is taking some time, more then I would like but I think it is worthy.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on January 25, 2016, 04:40:44 PM
Considering that my time for DC is very limited these days, the 'Case of the Stolen Masterpiece' makes quite good progress. In the screenshot below, you can see another of Uatu's small pics modified - I turned the his gnome's sword into a mace because I wanted the 'Conanson' character to be a dual class cleric/fighter, and I thought a sword might not fit with a cleric.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on January 27, 2016, 02:00:44 PM
It looks great and I think it is good to have nice portraits with variations. I am working on something similar, hoping to end soon modifing of original PC portraits, maybe I will make sprites of them later if I figure right  proportions. I will have to try it eventualy :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on January 27, 2016, 06:31:04 PM
The modifications look great!  Pretty seamless changes, and the new transformed characters have their own unique look now.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on February 02, 2016, 08:18:40 AM
... and the new transformed characters have their own unique look now.

The problem concerning the blonde character based on your ogre is that he might also have to fight, but of course, I cannot just recolour your ogre icon...   :o
I forgot that some of the suspects should (optionally) fight the heores if accused (when I mentioned above that all of the art is completed). I could try to mix some of your icons into something which then fits well with the blonde character. The thing is that this character has to be extraordinary broad-shouldered.

By the way, I just realized yesterday evening how great your ogre shaman icon is! Could it be that some of your newer icons show more "action" in the attack position?  ;)

I am wondering if it might be possible to finish this module until March 1th since it fits so well with the rules of the 'Pre-Generated Character Mini-Module Design Contest'. Probably not all of the ten 'suspect scenarios', but one or two of them.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on February 10, 2016, 02:10:21 AM
The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece makes little but steady progress.
I have composed a little intro music during the past evenings that, I hope, fits well with the setting and also is reminiscent of some of the Sherlock Holmes related TV series tunes from the past years.
I also made some progress with text writing but I underestimated the complexity of D&D-related mythology, which, however, could be an important aspect concerning the motivation of several possible culprits...  ::)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on February 14, 2016, 10:28:55 AM
Good to hear that. Hope that everything will go smoothly. And it is true for D&D mythology, though it might be interesting also there is a lot of it :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on April 24, 2016, 12:28:04 PM
I have now more or less completed one of the ten cases. It would be great if somebody would be ready to playtest this in the current state, because for the other nine cases, I will just copy and paste the same level and only make the necessary changes for a different culprit. Would anybody like to playtest (ideally a native speaker :) )?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on April 25, 2016, 06:42:32 AM
I can't promise that I will have time to be exhaustive, but I'd be happy to do some play testing for you.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on April 25, 2016, 10:17:45 AM
I can't promise that I will have time to be exhaustive, but I'd be happy to do some play testing for you.

Very kind! I sent you and Uatu a private message with a download link. In the current stage, I am particularly interested if the whole concept is interesting (and thus, if it is worth the effort to modify the design for the other nine suspects).
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on April 29, 2016, 01:08:56 PM
Some of the suspects may fight if accused... Below is a screenshot of Hemlock and Conanson fighting one of them. Their opponent is based on Uatu's Oger whom I turned into a human... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on April 30, 2016, 06:34:16 AM
Cool  :) I like how it looks.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 03, 2016, 04:28:42 AM
I quite subtile modification I made to another of Uatu's portraits is the one below. My motivation was to give the original a less threatening look without completely changing the portrait and the character's impression. I think the right version looks slightly more offenseless.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on May 03, 2016, 03:28:03 PM
Nice 8)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 11, 2016, 03:51:10 AM
Steve was so kind to playtest the first case and even correct all the texts - I have now corrected more or less all mistakes, excluding only the quotation marks, which I kept in "German style". I will now proceed to arrange the second case (meaning here: same crime, but another culprit). I think will also re-read "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in English for additional inspiration during the next days.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on May 12, 2016, 03:58:30 AM
Good work :) I like your "German style" in adventures.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 12, 2016, 11:16:57 AM
Second case completed... :)

Good work :) I like your "German style" in adventures.

Just to make sure - I was referring to the way quotation marks are used in my design:
British English: 'I say,' he says, 'what I have to say!'
American English: "I say," he says, "what I have to say!"
German: "Ich sage", sagt er, "was ich sagen muss!" (Note the shifted comma.)
French: «Je dis, il dit, que je dois dire!» (My French is very limited and the sentence may thus be incorrect, but the interesting point is that the 'il dit' is kept inside the quotation.)

Probably all ways have their own logic...  ::)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 24, 2016, 10:28:00 AM
I have re-read "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in English. A funny aspect of this book is that you can theoretically guess the culprit from the beginning by one information concerning his/her body, and on the other hand, that a false(?) beard is involved. Very inspiring for the design... :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on May 24, 2016, 02:04:11 PM
I have read it in my highschool even watched a movie in old gone cinema :) but this radio show is really good and might be inspirative, the name is New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and it is a bit older but really great for listening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaaHwDikNSQ

This is the version I have watched http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095330/ but it seems there is new one too http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0322622/
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 06, 2016, 04:27:32 PM
What a great looking project. :D

I really like your height comparison chart of the races.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 07, 2016, 02:48:01 AM
What a great looking project. :D
Unfortunately, I did not manage to work on this during the past two weeks due to another hobby project. But I am optimistic that I can add the next two culprit scenarios during the next two weekends.
I planned to make scenarios for all ten possible culprits, or even eleven scenarios, while Steve after playtesting suggested that 5 might be enough. I think six would be a reasonable value - I am realistic enough to see that probably noone would play the same module ten (or more) times.

... even watched a movie in old gone cinema :) ... This is the version I have watched http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095330/ ...
Are you sure you watched the one with Jeremy Brett in cinema? I am just wondering because it is a TV Movie...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Milos Gulan on June 07, 2016, 07:03:08 AM
No I am not, I watched it long ago possibly before 1990 or around that time in our old cinema that is long gone and replaced by building. What I remember is some swamp and dogs and that I was a bit afraid of all of that as I probably was under 14. Later I have start reading novels as I have started to go to high school :)

Anyway good progress. I yesterday went to renew licence and contract and rent for my beach and was thinking about FRUA in the bus on my way back. As I remember there is 500+ games there and I figured if I play 3-4 days  each that I would need 4 years to play trough all of them :) I think that is what I need to do lol to start being experienced FRUA player, though I am still not so eager to try make modules in FRUA prefering to work with DC though I think I will need to learn it to eventualy too just for reference.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 14, 2016, 01:56:02 PM
Dear Uatu, do you think you can find some time to do the additional pictures for Hemlock and Conanson we discussed some time ago? :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 14, 2016, 02:13:49 PM
This is a great collaboration. I am really enjoying the screenshots.

I have been doing some recolors of Uatu's smallpics, but nothing on this level. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 14, 2016, 02:24:19 PM
The good thing is that it is already kind of complete and playtested. The adding of alternative culprits is rather a bonus (last not least for myself - I like the idea to play this module later, let's say in a year or so, and not knowing myself what the solution is...).

Concerning Uatu's art - when changing things (like in the screenshot above, replacing clothes and changing objects) you realize how much work Uatu's approach needs.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 14, 2016, 02:52:50 PM
The two of you both put a lot of work into your graphics. Uatu's approach particularly is time-consuming. But the restuls the two of you achieve are excellent.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on June 15, 2016, 08:02:06 AM
I just sent you a PM, Dinonykos!  :D

As for my approach - I think each of our approaches take not that much time for each of us, but trying one of the others' seems like it would take a long time!  I know how hard 3D is to work (I did try many years ago...  2001 or so), and I am always surprised how fast Dinonykos makes those complicated walls in particular (my old stairs wall took like a month for me to do?!).

Recolors are nice, in a way, though, in "new life" to old pictures...  And pixel art is a bit easier to recolor perhaps!
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 15, 2016, 12:58:48 PM
You do make a valid point about each process taking it's own time. I am sure what takes me hours in pixel art style you (Uatu) could do in half an hour, and vice versa for 3D. I am still exploring ways to try and make my 3D look more like pixel art...and believe me y'all will know if I ever am successful. ;)

The thing that makes recoloring pizel art relatively easy is using a fixed palette in the original - I don't mean limiting number of colors, I mean the artist deciding that all skin tones witll be in one range and all hair in another. In 3D and photography it's sometimes hard to tell where the skin stops and the hair begins, for example.

I am happy to see all of the great screenshots here and look forward to more. And maybe someday, some of the "new" small pics might even show up in my own project.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 15, 2016, 02:45:56 PM
I have made good progress with culprit 3, maybe I can even finish the 3rd culrpit setting tonight while watching the European Soccer Championships. I think I am not too optimistic if I state that this module will be finished soon (considering that I already completed three this year, I think I am going to come back to an "one module per year" frequency...).
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 15, 2016, 02:56:17 PM
Very nice. I like the icons and the nice dungeon wall set. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 15, 2016, 03:07:45 PM
I wondered, though, why the wall endings/door frames do not show a brick pattern - I assume Uatu did use a wall making tool to turn his 3d-view wall into a dungeon wall?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 15, 2016, 03:19:27 PM
I did use a script that I made to create the wall. DC doesnt show the doors in the combat dungeon, so I took the easy way out and used the grout color. :D

The Wuestion/Kaltusara had made a different script action to make these that did the sides/tops differently.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 16, 2016, 03:47:41 AM
Strange! Just now I realized that there is a kind of grid visible in the combat screenshot - surely caused by myself when I sharpened the image to make it more congruent with Uatu's combat icons...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 16, 2016, 12:54:35 PM
Strange! Just now I realized that there is a kind of grid visible in the combat screenshot - surely caused by myself when I sharpened the image to make it more congruent with Uatu's combat icons...

I don't see it, but I believe you. :D An easy way is to replace the pink frame color with a mid-grey (relative to the floor) and then sharpen - this will not completely fix it, but will make it less notieable, especially if you using a Faussean sharpening mask.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 16, 2016, 01:29:13 PM
Do you mean Gaussian, perhaps? Or is there really a Faussean filter/mask? No nitpicking intended - I just want to make sure I do not miss anything.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 16, 2016, 01:42:39 PM
No, I mean Gaussian. I would say I am just trying to keep you on your toes, but it was just a typo. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on June 16, 2016, 07:58:14 PM
Strange! Just now I realized that there is a kind of grid visible in the combat screenshot - surely caused by myself when I sharpened the image to make it more congruent with Uatu's combat icons...

I don't see it, but I believe you.

I see it: green. I think a grid could actually look good, perhaps in semi-transparent black / grey. I sometimes use one on my overland maps and think it looks alright.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on June 17, 2016, 07:56:20 AM
Strange, the green lines I've never seen before!  Maybe the result of resizing perhaps?

As for the wallset - way back when (10+ years ago :D) I think I used Photoshop to manually stretch the walls to some direction.  I actually chose to make the tops just kind of one color - in hindsight, I guess that was not the only choice, but it does perhaps clarify the battle map a bit!
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 17, 2016, 12:32:58 PM
Uatu, I sharpened the image, it may have happened then.

I have sent you a pm concerning your new images...  ;)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 24, 2016, 12:06:00 PM
Uatu has done great new portraits for Sherlas Hemlock and Dr Conanson. I think we should keep the portraits "secret" until the module is downloadable, but I have attached a kind of preview picture below... :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 24, 2016, 01:21:38 PM
You are such a tease! :D :D :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on June 28, 2016, 02:28:14 AM
I have now completed the fourth culprit scenario and am currently playtesting.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on June 28, 2016, 10:55:11 AM
Woo hoo!  :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on June 28, 2016, 12:41:54 PM
Woo hoo!  :D

I will add to that a, "Woot!" :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 01, 2016, 11:38:59 AM
Somehow I managed to add the 5th culprit.

Uatu, would it be okay with you if I use a transformed version of your female human thief as female dwarf?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 01, 2016, 12:51:10 PM
But, where is her beard? ;)

Looks nice.  8)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 02, 2016, 12:00:59 PM
Sure!  :)  (But she was a female human paladin, before, actually!)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 02, 2016, 12:53:13 PM
Oh, I see! The thief is above on your page. I already wondered why a thief would wear helmet and plate armor (as in the original version...). :)

While I have completed five scenarios, I though I could spice up the different scenarios with random encounters and other things.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 04, 2016, 10:12:18 AM
Surprising how "dwarf-like" the human paladin female has become!  :D

I have been sitting around drawing a bunch of small pics and icons recently, but not sure if they would be useful for you in this regard...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 04, 2016, 02:59:07 PM
I thought we might could add another Dwarf, perhaps a drunken one, to some of the case. If you have something in this direction, that would be cool.

But I look forward to anything you paint... :)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 05, 2016, 08:38:59 AM
Hmm - interesting idea!  :D  But I am a bit lacking of sleep now, we'll see what happens!
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 05, 2016, 10:33:43 AM
Same here (lack of sleep). And we have European soccer championships with Germany being in the semifinal.

Take your time, and it is really just a "bonus idea", would mean no harm if we leave that idea out. Furthermore, as I have seen, I could, similarly to the female paladin, transform your male human ranger into a male dwarf quite easily - so you could focus on the portraits/icons you already have in progress.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 06, 2016, 09:42:16 AM
I've not uploaded anything yet, but I've done icons for some old portraits (red wizard, grey elf), and added some new portrait/icon pairs (human witch, female young gnome).  I also did some critters (two arch-demons, a mosasaurus, and a small dinosaur that I think is your namesake (deinonychus - very hard to choose colors for this one)!  I have a new dragon portrait, too...

As for soccer - good luck to Germany then!  :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 06, 2016, 10:10:15 AM
Deinonychus is one of the most interesting dinosaur taxa - I have also made an icon for it some time ago, with feathers only at certain body parts. For a realistic scenario with dinosaurs, I would probably do it completely feathered... But I fear you have full freedom of colours. I would suggest though to consider a camouflage aspect.

As written above, I look forward to all.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 06, 2016, 10:16:02 AM
The good thing is that deinonychus is also a small dinosaur, so it is a lot easier to color/feather than, say, a tyrannosaurus.  Mine is feathered as it is, although it may be a bit hard to tell!  But yeah, since we don't know much about dinosaur colors, it is quite difficult to settle on a good palette to be honest.  (I did go and do a new elasmosaurus recolor that is top-dark and bottom-light, as you recommended before, though.)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 06, 2016, 12:44:00 PM
Exciting news about new icons and portraits. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 07, 2016, 01:54:32 PM
I tried to change Uatu's woodsman into a dwarf, I think it did work quite well.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 07, 2016, 02:26:36 PM
Good job. I like the way they turned out, particularly the female.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 10, 2016, 11:07:55 PM
:D  Looks like some NPCs got the Reincarnation spell cast on them...  :)

I'll have some art up soon, sorry....
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 11, 2016, 10:17:51 AM
Well, I think the cap of the "Dwarf female" still looks much like a helmet in the lower part.

Uatu, take your time. Concerning the Case, I think we now really have all we need - I just needed a few more characters to have the city become more alive. The new male "Dwarf" will be a kind of wandering NPC.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 11, 2016, 11:18:22 AM
Ah - well, most of the pictures I drew (except for the two main characters) were just what my brain decided to draw at the time, so it is more like just adding more pictures to the pot!  Whether you use them or not for The Case is up to you!

But I've been sick for the last few days, so not much has got finished during that time... :(

As for the hat/helmet - you know, it looked quite like a hat to me, until I re-looked at the (my) original again!  Now it looks a bit like a helmet - but that may be a mental thing?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 11, 2016, 01:11:42 PM
I think it looks quite like a hat. :)

Just because I am curious, are you upping the color count in the remakes? Or are you trying to stick to the 4 to 7 shades per color that Uatu uses?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 11, 2016, 03:01:21 PM
When I add objects or new elements to Uatu's characters I often use the shading tools of Paint Shop Pro and decrease the amount of colours afterwards, only for that object/element, to make sure it fits with Uatu's style.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 11, 2016, 03:24:31 PM
Very good. :) I can see that the style is very similar, but hadn't gotten "up close and personal" with it yet.

I have this idea using palette swatches  to maybe try and make some rendered images look like Uatu's style of art. If any of it pans out, I'll post it in the forums.

I have already tried going the other way by taking Uatu's portraits and using a smoothing brush so that the shading is more subtle.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 12, 2016, 11:25:25 AM
Heh, heh.  My effect of having somewhat distinct shades of colors is more an effect of my laziness than intent!  (You may notice my older small pics being shaded quite smoothly!)  ;)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 12, 2016, 02:46:57 PM
Let's call it a "Stylistic Choice" and then it sounds like it's a thing. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 13, 2016, 09:56:34 AM
A good chunk of the time, I think "I'll just shade more later."  But then I just draw other stuff instead...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 13, 2016, 12:52:03 PM
:D I am the same way. "I'll add a background to that image when I get some more time. Oh look! Shiny!"
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 14, 2016, 10:50:28 AM
Yet, you (and Dinonykos) manage to get so much done, anyway!

Are you guys random, creative types?  Or orderly management types?  :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 14, 2016, 12:38:05 PM
Yet, you (and Dinonykos) manage to get so much done, anyway!
Well, I think that Dinonykos does a lot, but I always feel like I take waaaaaaaaay too much time on everything.

Are you guys random, creative types?  Or orderly management types?  :D
Yes?
I make lists, but feel totally empowered to ignore them. I work in waves. I spend way more time managing my  arts, crafts and hobbies than I spend doing them.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 15, 2016, 07:48:44 PM
Best of both worlds?  :D  I hardly ever pre-manage my hobbies (if I do, they are usually futile attempts), but I do seem to spend time cataloging what I did already...  :(
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 16, 2016, 02:23:04 PM
Perhaps it is the OCD side of my personality, but I find that I get as much enjoyment out of organizing my files as I do creating art at time. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 18, 2016, 03:28:02 AM
Yet, you (and Dinonykos) manage to get so much done, anyway!
Are you guys random, creative types?  Or orderly management types?  :D

Concerning finishing designs, I think the key is to set oneself borders:

And I think it is very good to do short, yet playable designs to test things - of course this is useful for "bug hunting", but also to see if certain approaches would work for larger designs. E.g., the approach of moving NPC walls I used in "Snow Tigress" is much too complex, even with DC 2.x's new possibilities, to be used in an epic adventure...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 18, 2016, 01:16:11 PM
Yet, you (and Dinonykos) manage to get so much done, anyway!
Are you guys random, creative types?  Or orderly management types?  :D

Concerning finishing designs, I think the key to set oneself borders:
  • Keep background stories short, or split them in chapters.
  • Keep levels and the whole design as small as it is possible as long as it fits the story - my impression is that most of forum members do not have time to play long designs anyway.
  • Use art/music effectively - for those of us who do art themselves, it is very seducing to do more and more pictures/music and drift off from the main designing process. Stop doing art at a certain point!
  • Do not get lost in FRUA's and particularly DC's great possibilities to do complex things.

And I think it is very good to do short, yet playable designs to test things - of course this is useful for "bug hunting", but also to see if certain approaches would work for larger designs. E.g., the approach of moving NPC walls I used in "Snow Tigress" is much too complex, even with DC 2.x's new possibilities, to be used in an epic adventure...

I know this is general commentary, but I felt as if you wrote this DIRECTLY to me. ;) Of course, I actually do create tons of mini-mods to test features and bug hunt. And lately a lot of the bugs are being found from my work on my Superhero project.

I agree with all of your points. I think we can and should still do epic designs, but they can be done in chapters - which make them manageable for the designer and the player.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 19, 2016, 02:53:15 AM
I should add that I am well-aware that many FRUA veterans have come to similar conclusions decades ago... :) The fact that FRUA has not as many possibilities as DC may in some way be beneficial.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Paul R. Stevens on July 19, 2016, 09:04:18 AM
Quote
The fact that FRUA has not as many possibilities as DC may in some way be beneficial.

Be careful what you ask for.  You might get it.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 19, 2016, 12:51:26 PM
Quote
The fact that FRUA has not as many possibilities as DC may in some way be beneficial.

Be careful what you ask for.  You might get it.

:D As I readhis post, I could hear you saying that, Paul. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 20, 2016, 01:56:35 AM
 :o I am sure I will be able to work with DC even if it has many more options than FRUA...  ;D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: SilentThief on July 20, 2016, 11:36:21 PM
Quote
The fact that FRUA has not as many possibilities as DC may in some way be beneficial.

Be careful what you ask for.  You might get it.

while we do not want to move backwards, for less options; I think that this is the kind of thing that is being referred to (from this --> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_2600 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_2600) where they made a halo game for the atari 2600 :o)

"The Atari 2600 had such limited RAM, only 128 bytes, that drawing Master Chief was difficult, and creating a game with other characters was even more so.[8] Fries later stated that making the game taught him that constraint is sometimes a fuel for creativity."

---

We are thankful for the patience you have put into DC, and would not want to revert to less options

ST the halo fan
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 21, 2016, 01:04:05 PM
This design is called "The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece" - are there any masterpieces shown in it? :D I am mostly curious to find out what you think a masterpiece in a traditional Dungeons & Dragons setting would look like. Many masterpieces in the real world are religiously themed. Do you think this would be true in a fantasy world with multiple deities?
[I mean for the "you" to apply to Dinonykos of course, but really for everyone reading the thread]
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on July 21, 2016, 03:26:40 PM
It's the crown shown in reply 31 of this thread.
You know I am not a D&D expert. My idea was that an object done by seven dwarves as a present to an elf king to improve diplomatic relationships MUST be a masterpiece.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 21, 2016, 03:59:14 PM
It's the crown shown in reply 31 of this thread.
You know I am not a D&D expert. My idea was that an object done by seven dwarves as a present to an elf king to improve diplomatic relationships MUST be a masterpiece.

I saw the crown, but my brain read "masterpiece" and told me "painting". :D
Certainly you are correct that the crown would count as a masterpiece. I would think that any piece of art (and some craft items) created by master artisans who put in a special effort (more time or more inspiration, etc) would qualify.

Even not knowing a lot (or even anything) about AD&D, as a designer, you likely have some idea of what kinds of things would be masterpieces. I'm just curioius about an artistic persons take on art. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 22, 2016, 11:56:11 AM
Yet, you (and Dinonykos) manage to get so much done, anyway!
Are you guys random, creative types?  Or orderly management types?  :D

Concerning finishing designs, I think the key is to set oneself borders:
  • Keep background stories short, or split them in chapters.
  • Keep levels and the whole design as small as it is possible as long as it fits the story - my impression is that most of forum members do not have time to play long designs anyway.
  • Use art/music effectively - for those of us who do art themselves, it is very seducing to do more and more pictures/music and drift off from the main designing process. Stop doing art at a certain point!
  • Do not get lost in FRUA's and particularly DC's great possibilities to do complex things.

And I think it is very good to do short, yet playable designs to test things - of course this is useful for "bug hunting", but also to see if certain approaches would work for larger designs. E.g., the approach of moving NPC walls I used in "Snow Tigress" is much too complex, even with DC 2.x's new possibilities, to be used in an epic adventure...

Lots of good advice there, especially for people like me!  Manikus definitely gets a lot more done than I do!  (Organizing and such may help out after all!)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on July 22, 2016, 01:23:50 PM
I often think that organizing files is my number one hobby, and occasionally some DC stuff or art gets done as a side-effect.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on July 25, 2016, 07:14:37 AM
Ha ha...  :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on December 18, 2016, 10:52:34 AM
As I posted in the other thread concerning the contest, this design can now be downloaded from my homepage. I followed Steve's advice and did not make scenarios for all 10 possible culprits, but I won't tell who can be excluded... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on December 19, 2016, 01:13:03 PM
As I posted in the other thread concerning the contest, this design can now be downloaded from my homepage. I followed Steve's advice and did not make scenarios for all 10 possible culprits, but I won't tell who can be excluded... :D

Great news. :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on December 21, 2016, 07:49:01 AM
Gotta go and play it!  :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on May 13, 2017, 10:15:03 PM
By the way, I finally played through the scenario properly!  Really amazing what you did!  Some random thoughts:

* I loved how you used the portrait faces as walls (to make it look like one was rotating around the person).
* Wonderful graphics (tables, furnaces, etc.) and modifications - they definitely mesh very well with my own art, often better than my own art!
* The complex scripting is also amazing, I am overwhelmed that there can be so many random suspects from the beginning!  I was also able to get the culprit, I like how the hints work in the game.
* Incidentally, the auto-mapper works perfectly, too - how did you do that?  (I just the other day could not figure out if this option existed in DC.)
* I like the king's name...  :D

One thing that would have been nice perhaps is a way to speed up text (if I read it before).  Maybe DC has a way to do this?  It might be useful to stave off spousal anger at husband when he is playing games on the PC again... (allowing quick escape)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Paul R. Stevens on May 14, 2017, 09:00:27 AM
Quote
a way to speed up text (if I read it before).  Maybe DC has a way to do this?

If there is no way then we must make a way.  A convenient
and standard way.
Forcing a person to sit through long text repeatedly
is a sure way to frustration.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on May 14, 2017, 11:44:07 AM
It is of course very probable that there is a way, but I do not know it yet!  (I hope so!)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Jadefang on May 14, 2017, 05:04:19 PM
Going into config.txt and setting Inter_Character_Delay to 0 (making the text scrolling instant) is probably the easiest way to do it.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 15, 2017, 06:18:44 AM
By the way, I finally played through the scenario properly!  Really amazing what you did!  Some random thoughts:

* I loved how you used the portrait faces as walls (to make it look like one was rotating around the person).
* Wonderful graphics (tables, furnaces, etc.) and modifications - they definitely mesh very well with my own art, often better than my own art!
* The complex scripting is also amazing, I am overwhelmed that there can be so many random suspects from the beginning!  I was also able to get the culprit, I like how the hints work in the game.
* Incidentally, the auto-mapper works perfectly, too - how did you do that?  (I just the other day could not figure out if this option existed in DC.)
* I like the king's name...  :D
* The "portrait walls" are a good example for ideas which come with limited artwork (limited in the sense that there were now images showing the complete character). Of course, that approach only works in one-square rooms.
* The good thing is that it is not too complicated to modify my art to fit with yours. I mainly colourized the black outlines of my walls/overlays and reduced the colour depth.
* The scripting is not so complex compared to what others in this forum can do. To achieve the different culprit aspect, I just copied the level several times, modified it each time to fit with the respective culprit, and in the beginning, the party is randomly teleported to one of the levels.
* The auto-mapper can be adjusted via the zones. You can set zones to known, "auto-mappable", and "not mappable" Actually, there is one mistake, I think - a cave in the Southeast is known to the party before entering...  ::)
* Concerning the name, that is a coincidence, as you probably guessed. I think more or less all names are homages to persons occurring in Victorian/Edwardian England and/or in the original stories of Doyle. Steve, who was so kind to playtest, found one example where I confused the original name with the modified, I could imagine there are more...

One thing that would have been nice perhaps is a way to speed up text (if I read it before).  Maybe DC has a way to do this?  It might be useful to stave off spousal anger at husband when he is playing games on the PC again... (allowing quick escape)
Jadefang is right, you can adjust it in the config.txt. I think I already increased the speed compared to the standard setting. Of course, it would be great if the player could set the text speed when playing the game.

Let me mention in this context that we should be thankful our wives let us play with DC at all... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Paul R. Stevens on May 15, 2017, 08:59:01 AM
Quote
would be great if the player could set the text speed when playing the game.

An absolute requirement.  The player must be able to skip
over text.  Perhaps a way to skip an entire text event or
even all text events in a chain. 

Any great ideas?  Press a digit '3' and skip this event this time
and the next 2 times?  Press digit '0' and reset all text skips?
A special code in the text event to cause 'slow' text to become
instant text after the first time?  Any good ideas?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on May 15, 2017, 01:47:19 PM
Quote
would be great if the player could set the text speed when playing the game.

An absolute requirement.  The player must be able to skip
over text.  Perhaps a way to skip an entire text event or
even all text events in a chain. 

Any great ideas?  Press a digit '3' and skip this event this time
and the next 2 times?  Press digit '0' and reset all text skips?
A special code in the text event to cause 'slow' text to become
instant text after the first time?  Any good ideas?

If the speed in config.txt is set to 0, the player can ust press <ENTER> and they don't need to read the text. They may have to hit it more than once to get through a simulated dialogue.

I think the way to handle this is on the designer's side. If an event is going to happen every time the paty is in a particular place, make it two events, with the first one containing the long speech being set to "Once Only" and the chained event set to happen only if the first one doesn't happen, and it has something really brief.
For example, a shop might work like this...
#1)      "Welcome to Bob's Weapon and Armor Deluxe Emporium> We've've got anything you could ever or need
      for all of your personal and professional needs." The middle-aged, overweight and slightly balding
      shopkeep pulls out a case of small knives from underneath the counter. "Today only we have a sale on all knives and daggers. All of these slightly used blades are on sale for half-price."
      He puts the blades back underneath the counter when you don't bite at his offer.
      "I also buy used weapons and armor. You won't get a better price than mine for miles around."
      "I am also a trained gemologist and buy gems and jewelry."
      He scratches his head as if pondering something.
      "I'm Bob, by the way. Anything you need, I can get for you. Even if I don't carry it, I'll
      find someone who does. Your satisfaction is most important."
      "Can I show you anything?"
      
#2)      "Welcome back, ^."

And the designer does actually need to make the shop twice - they make it once and copy and paste it in the chain and change dialogue. 8)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 16, 2017, 05:39:14 AM
Quote
would be great if the player could set the text speed when playing the game.

An absolute requirement.  The player must be able to skip over text. 

Skipping the text is already possible via pressing the space bar (we discussed that some time ago). That means if one text event has a very long text, the player can jump to the last sentences. So I would say the programmers are quite of the hook. Being able to adjust the speed in game by the player would be a nice bonus, though.

Manikus is right that it is the designers responsibility to avoid repeating long texts. In "The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece", I allowed the player to skip a long part of the introduction in case he wants to replay. I could have added additional options in other parts of the games, something like: "Tell us all about it..." vs. "Only the important points, please..." I will keep that in mind for my following designs...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Uatu on May 16, 2017, 09:51:26 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys!  Hmm - strange, I think I did try to press space, but I will try again and see!  (Plus, I want to play with sound next time...)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 16, 2017, 11:21:58 AM
(Plus, I want to play with sound next time...)

Ah, I intended to ask you if you liked the music... :D
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 16, 2017, 01:50:12 PM
Hmm - strange, I think I did try to press space, but I will try again and see!  (Plus, I want to play with sound next time...)

The press space option also occurs in case of short texts so that you may press space, but nothing seems to happen.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on May 16, 2017, 06:14:31 PM
The press space option also occurs in case of short texts so that you may press space, but nothing seems to happen.

Shouldn't DC check whether the text event is longer than it can display all at once, and only display the "Space=last" text if it is longer?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 17, 2017, 12:23:41 AM
Okay, it seems to work like this:
If the text is very short, then the "Space-last" text is not displayed, which is good.

If the text is so long that it comprises two "pages", then the "Space-last" text is displayed on the second page only - then, if you press space, nothing happens, which can be confusing.

Uatu is right - the "Space-last" text is not present on the first page of a long text. Space becomes only effective if the text covers more than two pages - then it allows to jump, e.g., from the 2nd page to the last.

I hope I am not mistaken. If it is really working this way, it would be great if "Space-last" is also shown on the first page IF the text is longer than one page.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: steve_mcdee on May 17, 2017, 01:22:03 AM
And not on the last page (ie, if you are already at "the end" of the text).
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on May 17, 2017, 02:20:45 PM
There are two things going on at the bottom for text events.
1) PRESS ENTER TO CONTINUE
2) Press Enter for Next, Backspace for Previous, Space for Last

In the first one, this is a button with a highlighted letter 'N'. If you click it, press N or press ENTER, it contines to the next page, if applicable, or out of the event if at the end of the text.
In the second case, this is not a button, this is a list of options. There is ineed an issue with it not appearing on the first page of texts with more than one page, and a second issue that if you click it, it is as if you pressed ENTER.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 18, 2017, 04:18:59 AM
and a second issue that if you click it, it is as if you pressed ENTER.
If the text is longer than 3 pages, pressing space lets you jump to the end of the text - this is working well. So I see we all agree that the "space" option should not appear on the last "page" of a long text, and should appear on the first "page" (which is not yet implemented).
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on May 18, 2017, 12:53:58 PM
I think that the the hot-button list should appear the same every time it appears It's not a menu, it's not hot keys, it's just a guide to which button does what. :) If it were a menu or buttons, I would be in total agreement.
The bug as I see it is that the instructions appear on the first page of a 3+ page Text Statement event, but not on the first page of a 2 page Text Statement event.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 18, 2017, 01:07:46 PM
The bug as I see it is that the instructions appear on the first page of a 3+ page Text Statement event, but not on the first page of a 2 page Text Statement event.

Er... you mean that is how it should be, right?
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on May 18, 2017, 01:27:22 PM
The bug as I see it is that the instructions appear on the first page of a 3+ page Text Statement event, but not on the first page of a 2 page Text Statement event.

Er... you mean that is how it should be, right?

I mean that what you, Uatu and Steve are discussing as a possible bug is how it was intended to look. I see an inconsistancy with the 2 page Text Statement and think the inconsistancy is the issue, albeit a rahter minor bug.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 18, 2017, 01:46:16 PM
I think this is a misunderstanding.

Let's say you have a long text which is 4 pages long. The function to jump to the end of the text via the space bar should be present on pages 1, 2, and 3. It would not make sense to show it at the end of page 4, since the end is already reached.

However, if I am not mistaken, it is different in the current versions: The option to jump to the end of the text is given on pages 2, 3, and 4. You cannot jump from page 1 to the end of the text.
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on May 18, 2017, 01:55:47 PM
I think this is a misunderstanding.

Let's say you have a long text which is 4 pages long. The function to jump to the end of the text via the space bar should be present on pages 1, 2, and 3. It would not make sense to show it at the end of page 4, since the end is already reached.

However, if I am not mistaken, it is different in the current versions: The option to jump to the end of the text is given on pages 2, 3, and 4. You cannot jump from page 1 to the end of the text.

There is ddefinitely a miscommunication here. :)

I am saying that the message that is shown is the only message. There are not more than one messages, so the same one always appears. This is how Paul intended it. You guys will have to convince him otherwise, and we will consider it a feature request.

In the current version of the engine, if the Text Statement is 2+ pages, the spacebar always takes you to the end, even from the first page. The functionality is there, even if the message telling you about it is not. ;)
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: Dinonykos on May 19, 2017, 12:11:12 AM
Okay, I think I finally understood (hopefully).

You mean I could press space even on the first page, but the information is not there. In that case: It is all right with me that the same message appears, but it should definitely appear already on the first page of a longer text.

EDIT: Oha - I overlooked Steve's request in the new thread...
Title: Re: PREVIEW: The Case of the Stolen Masterpiece
Post by: manikus on May 19, 2017, 01:16:11 PM
Sorry. That's my fault. I unchecked the option for a redirect notice because I was already planning on moving it to a different subforum.