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Dungeon Craft => Dungeon Craft - Module Previews => Topic started by: Dinonykos on January 28, 2009, 07:03:28 AM

Title: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 28, 2009, 07:03:28 AM
Here are some screenshots from "Helmetlands". The design will still need some time to get finished, but graphics, sounds and general level design are 95% completed. The main plot is also almost completed. What takes most of the time now is to make the world alive (e.g. with wandering NPCs, side quests, music and so on). 

(http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9065/helmetlands01no8.png)

(http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/5227/jakobrhonforestgp0.png)

(http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/1945/beachbynightmf4.png)

(http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/4471/citytentzw5.png)

(http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/6127/gilacarlspidermartenkm2.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 28, 2009, 09:58:53 PM
This looks great, Dinonykos. :)

I can't wait for this to come out - are you still thinking of a demo first?

I'm so excited to play around in the Helmetlands. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 29, 2009, 04:25:00 AM
I can't wait for this to come out - are you still thinking of a demo first?
I'm so excited to play around in the Helmetlands. ;)
Well, although I significantly reduced the level sizes, they are quite empty, still. I think, there should be at least one event all 9-16 squares... and not only combat events. And I want some side quests, as I wrote.
Furthermore, a demo would allow people to comment on the simple combat system I want to use. If nobody likes it or if most people even would not play the design only because of the missing "normal" combat, I might change my mind... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 29, 2009, 09:21:03 AM
I know you're doing all of the art on this yourself, and the coding, but anything I can do to help, you have to but ask. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on February 01, 2009, 09:37:47 PM
Quite amazing how much progress you seem to have made, Dinonykos!  Especially the amount of wall/background graphics - wow (I still have a lot of work to do on that before I can make much progress on a module myself).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 03, 2009, 03:33:37 AM
Quite amazing how much progress you seem to have made, Dinonykos!  Especially the amount of wall/background graphics - wow (I still have a lot of work to do on that before I can make much progress on a module myself).
Well, I started working on the graphics in 2003/04, if I remember right, so it is not THAT amazing...  ;)
On the other hand, there is still much I have not (or only patially) posted to avoid spoiling. However, to get not lost in the process of doing more and more art, I decided to stop creating new walls and BGs now (except for NPC walls). 
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on February 03, 2009, 07:28:01 PM
Ha ha...  I hope I can someday get to the phase where I can do that, too!  :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Deinonykos on October 22, 2009, 02:46:33 AM
I will perhaps cause some confusion now. I lost both my password for this forum and the e-mail I had refered to in registration, so I saw no other possibility than to create another profile. So Deinonykos is still me, Dinonykos...  :-[   Or is there anything else I could do to get access to my old profile?

Anyway, here is one new animation from Helmetlands. I post this not the least to show what is possible with the different wall formats you can use in DC. The whitish floor is not part of the background, but something I'd call "floor wall". Unfortunately, the animations seems not to work here...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 22, 2009, 09:12:48 AM
Very cool animation, Dinonykos.

To view it, just click on it so that it appears full-sized, then it will animate. :) At least that worked in my browser (Opera).

This really is an excellent example of what DC has to offer over FRUA.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on October 22, 2009, 10:20:48 AM
Nicely done!

I was wondering if DC would display animated gifs. It's good to know it will. I don't think any of the picture formats used support color cycling, though, do they?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: ProphetSword on October 22, 2009, 10:25:37 AM
I will perhaps cause some confusion now. I lost both my password for this forum and the e-mail I had refered to in registration, so I saw no other possibility than to create another profile. So Deinonykos is still me, Dinonykos...  :-[   Or is there anything else I could do to get access to my old profile?

I am not able to see your password, but I am able to change it to something new.

So, I have changed the password to your original account, and will send you a PM as soon as I get done replying here so that you can access it.  Once you access it, be sure to change your password to something you can remember.

Afterwards, send me a PM, and I'll delete the new account you created (unless you want to keep it as a backup).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 22, 2009, 10:46:08 AM
I have no changed my password to one I will definitely remember. Furthermore, I will change my e-mail to a functioning one...
You may delete the Deinonykos account then, PS, and sorry for me causing trouble. I will repost this animation.

Concerning animated gifs: To my knowledge, they cannot be used in DC.
I only used this animation here to simulate the party walking around.
In DC, you can however use a series of pngs/jpgs or what ever to animate things.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 22, 2009, 10:56:27 AM
Well, since Deinonykos will probably be gone soon, I post the animation again, together with two others.

(http://one.xthost.info/Dinonykos/Helmetlands_TentOnion.gif) (http://one.xthost.info/Dinonykos/HL_ivory_Dimetrodon.gif) (http://one.xthost.info/Dinonykos/HL_Hovering.gif)

The last one is an older animation I have already posted at the ironworks forum, when we were discussing how walking on roofs could be done...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 22, 2009, 11:16:08 AM
Very impressive, Dinonykos.

The "walking on roofs" idea could be used for so many things, like flying, or walking through a labyrinth with spikes below the path, etc.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 22, 2009, 11:21:31 AM
Nologgie's question just reminded me of the possibility to animate party character pictures. I do not know if this is possible in FRUA, I was at least quite happy when I saw that! With this option, you can for example switch between the party members face and his whole body in a reasonable frequency...  :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 22, 2009, 11:53:32 AM
Nicely done!

I was wondering if DC would display animated gifs. It's good to know it will. I don't think any of the picture formats used support color cycling, though, do they?

Oops. I missed this until Dinonykos pointed it out.

DC does not support the GIF format. If it did, that might be an (relatively) easy way to solve the request for animating walls and backdrops. And you are correct, none of the supported formats utilize color cycling (because they don't have fixed palettes by default).

However, you can animate small pics in DC. You just add frames on the right hand side of the first one and when you import the art you let DC know how many frames there are. This works the same way as sprites do in DC (but without the transparency). The drawback to this method is file size for complex animations.

Actually, the f/x in the game - for spells, items, etc. works the same way, and quite a bit of the art done by folks utilizes 8 or more frames instead of just 2 like in FRUA. :) You can get some really cool f/x this way.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Rosestar on October 22, 2009, 10:29:48 PM
 |sf>I don't have much to add, other than to echo the fact that I find this impressive.  I've usually seen DC as a medium for using photographs & scans, so this is an interesting alternative viewpoint. 
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 23, 2009, 04:13:56 AM
|sf>I don't have much to add, other than to echo the fact that I find this impressive.
 
Thanks, and there is an old saying that "commendation should be applied with the trowel. :D

I've usually seen DC as a medium for using photographs & scans, so this is an interesting alternative viewpoint. 
Well, it is not really alternative, since the art I use is mainly based on scans of ink drawings, only that I colourize them with Paint Shop Pro. The following animation starts with the scanned ink drawing:

(http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/8669/workingprocess.gif)

But your mentioning of photographs reminds me of Manikus' and mine (and perhaps also others') ideas of taking photographs of Lego and use that for a design. This is something which DC can indeed be used for (FRUA as well, I guess).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 23, 2009, 11:32:45 AM
Ah the Lego mod. :) I haven't forgotten, I just don't have the use of a digital camera at the moment. I believe that I have all of hte Lego supplies that I'll ever need, though. ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on March 11, 2010, 04:17:37 AM
As mentioned in another post, I will probably do a further short design before continuing with Helmetlands. However, it will be a kind of introduction and tutorial for Helmetlands, and feature some of the main characters from Friedrich's Quest and Helmetlands. Since Friedrich's Quest took me around three months, you won't have to wait too long, while Helmetlands will probably need another year of designing.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 13, 2010, 02:25:29 PM
Since Friedrich's Quest took me around three months, you won't have to wait too long, while Helmetlands will probably need another year of designing.

 :-\ With Friedrich's Revenge now in the final test stage, I will start again with Helmetlands, Part 1. Friedrich's Quest took three months, Friedrich's Revenge took eight - thus Helmetlands Part 1 ("The Helmet Menace") will probably need twelve. Maybe a little less, since I will use a lot of material from earlier, never-finished versions.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 13, 2010, 04:42:13 PM
But how long will Helmetlands part 2: The Attack of the Helmets take? ;)

Considering how long I've been working on designs that have never seen the light of day, even one where I wasn't supposed to do any art on, I'm impressed.

Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 13, 2010, 05:31:31 PM
But how long will Helmetlands part 2: The Attack of the Helmets take? ;)
"Helmet Wars" will be the name. I do not plan a hexalogy, just to put that clear. :D

Considering how long I've been working on designs that have never seen the light of day, even one where I wasn't supposed to do any art on, I'm impressed.

I think all three parts of helmetlands will be equally large. It may even be that "The Helmet Menace" will take less time than I wrote above. I am still not sure how much I shall use of the four (!, 20 to 70% finished) versions of helmetlands I made between 2004 and 2008. 
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 14, 2010, 03:32:16 PM
I hope you can at least use some (or lots) of the art from your earlier attempts at Helmetlands. It would be a shame for those graphics to never see the light of day.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 15, 2010, 03:07:36 AM
I hope you can at least use some (or lots) of the art from your earlier attempts at Helmetlands. It would be a shame for those graphics to never see the light of day.
Don't worry about the art, I will use 90% of the stuff I have done during the last years. And some things I will not use in HL have already made an appearance in FR and FQ. I doubt that I will do a lot of additional art concerning walls, backgrounds. I may do some new opponents. In opposite to FR, I will probably even use three pictures per opponent (neutral, attacking, defeated), and furthermore make the members of enemy groups looking different. But I will also keep some of the old enemy pictures.
I will do a small intro comic, too.

I will try to copy some levels from FR, FQ and older helmetland versions into the design (maybe using FR as a base). Depending on how succesful that approach is, Helmetlands may be finished much earlier than I currently fear.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 15, 2010, 03:26:56 PM
Well, as one of the privileged few who knows how amazing Friedrich's Revenge is, I will gladly wait any length of time to play Helmetlands. :D But, as I'm an American, the less time the better... ;) Oh, and could you super-size that? :D :D :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 16, 2010, 02:50:51 AM
Well, as one of the privileged few who knows how amazing Friedrich's Revenge is, I will gladly wait any length of time to play Helmetlands. :D But, as I'm an American, the less time the better... ;) Oh, and could you super-size that? :D :D :D
Sorry?  ??? Super-size what? That you are an American? Of course! Er...  ???
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 16, 2010, 03:22:33 PM
Well, as one of the privileged few who knows how amazing Friedrich's Revenge is, I will gladly wait any length of time to play Helmetlands. :D But, as I'm an American, the less time the better... ;) Oh, and could you super-size that? :D :D :D
Sorry?  ??? Super-size what? That you are an American? Of course! Er...  ???
You know, take your time getting Helmetlands out, just as long as it is as fast as possible... ;)
I'm already a 'super-sized' American...so I want everything else to be bigger. :D I recommend adding high fructose corn syrup to your design to help it appeal to the masses as well.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 24, 2010, 03:53:50 PM
Since Ben J has convinced me to include the classic combat system into my design, I am in the process of (re-)doing combat icons. Thus, here are (as icons) the five heroes of "The Helmet Menace" together with one of the biggest monsters you can meet in the adventure:

(http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/9844/iconstyracosaur.png) (http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/9289/npcicongordon2.png) (http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/4140/npciconjakob2.png) (http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/1646/npcicongila2.png) (http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/1306/npciconshirley2.png) (http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/1668/npciconrhon2.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on October 24, 2010, 04:08:40 PM
Seems like this was an excellent idea, Ben J.  Now we'll get even more marvelous Dinonykos art to look at.  ;D

Very nice!  :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on October 25, 2010, 06:29:12 AM
The icons look amazing - I expected no less.  :)

I think this will really enhance the Friedrich experience and create an even greater connection to the individual characters, because the players can now see them fight.


 :stop: *Friedrich's Revenge Spoiler!* :stop:

I have a question about the character of "Gila" - she appeared at the end of "FR" and the text made it seem as if I should know her - did she make an appearance in "FQ"? I have no recollection of Gila appearing in "FR" before the finale, but I might be wrong and a victim of major memory fail here.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on October 25, 2010, 08:58:01 AM
Hey, looks great!  :D  The actions of the player characters are very unique and interesting, too - seems to hint at their special abilities :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 25, 2010, 09:22:54 AM
I think this will really enhance the Friedrich experience and create an even greater connection to the individual characters, because the players can now see them fight.
As promised, you will also see them fight in the event-based combat.

(http://img830.imageshack.us/img830/3601/bxrhonpunching.jpg)
Rhon fighting a Helmettiger.

This is an older picture, but at least some of the combats will contain stuff like this, in case you chose the event-based combat.

:stop: *Friedrich's Revenge Spoiler!* :stop:
I have a question about the character of "Gila" - she appeared at the end of "FR" and the text made it seem as if I should know her - did she make an appearance in "FQ"? I have no recollection of Gila appearing in "FR" before the finale, but I might be wrong and a victim of major memory fail here.
One problem may be that the party characters know her, of course, and thus this may imply that the player should know her as well. I do not recall the text, to be honest... :)
*slight spoiling ahead*
However, Gila appeared in FQ firstly "indirectly", since the Deinonyki are based on her (or, to be more precise, you could call her a Deinonykus-Marten crossbreed, and Friedrich chose her skin colours for the Deinonykus), and secondly as one of the "bosses". I assume you do not remember because you did not like the combats at all? :)

In "The Helmet Menace", Gila will definitely be one of the party characters, and you can ask her to tell her background story (interesting that you asked about Gila, since her dialogs are what I am working on concerning the texts in Helmetlands at the moment).

(http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/5052/bxgilabrahms.jpg)
Gila arguing with an Airswork (or "Swairk"), one of the creatures you are going to meet quite often in Helmetlands.

Gordon will have a supporting role, and Rhon will lead the party. Jakob is also taking part as party member. The other characters known from FQ and FR will either occur in the beginning or as supporting NPCs during the game. You can see all main characters in the first post of this threads. The screen layout will be quite different, however...

Hey, looks great!  :D  The actions of the player characters are very unique and interesting, too - seems to hint at their special abilities :)

Indeed. However, do not expect too many super-powers. No "venom blasts", "proportional strength", "proportional reflexes", and so on... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 25, 2010, 03:36:16 PM
These icons and big pics look great, Dinonykos. :D

As for those that will choose the event-base combat - count me in that group. :) Though, I am sure that I will play it using the classic combat as well, maybe on my second time through. :D

Even though I now know that Spiderman will not be in the adventure, I am still looking forward to it. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on October 25, 2010, 07:44:07 PM
Awesome big pics!  :D  So, we get a choice between combat types?  That is interesting...  I think it will be hard to choose :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 26, 2010, 09:43:12 AM
Awesome big pics!  :D  So, we get a choice between combat types?  That is interesting...  I think it will be hard to choose :D
Thus it is good to have several save slots. You may miss some minor possible story arcs when chosing the normal combat, since it does not allow further negotiation during combat and things like that. But I am still not absolutely sure how to handle it - therefore, stay tuned for a short demo so that I can get additional feedback.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on October 26, 2010, 09:54:06 AM
Either way, it seems rather complex to set...  :-\  (I do think there will be lots of replay value, though!)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 26, 2010, 10:20:48 AM
Either way, it seems rather complex to set...  :-\  (I do think there will be lots of replay value, though!)
I think so! Concerning replay value, I think I will start a thread about that soon. There are so many options in DC (even more than in FRUA) to enlarge the replay value, maybe we should combine our ideas... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 26, 2010, 03:25:03 PM
Dinonykos, are you going to offer the option at every combat? Or will you do something at the beginning asking the player which she prefers (storing value in quest or something)?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on October 26, 2010, 04:25:19 PM
Wow, for some reason I failed to notice the first page of this thread... all these screenshots really rock! :headbang:

The "walking on roofs" idea could be used for so many things, like flying, or walking through a labyrinth with spikes below the path, etc.

I was wondering one time how one could do something like that in UA, with the intent of doing train levels for a Wild West design but didn't come up with a convincing solution yet.  :-\
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 26, 2010, 04:30:43 PM
I would certainly play a Wild West design where I could walk on the tops of trains. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 27, 2010, 03:57:39 AM
Dinonykos, are you going to offer the option at every combat? Or will you do something at the beginning asking the player which she prefers (storing value in quest or something)?
I think asking in the beginning would be more difficult to handle (although possible, as you stated).

I have now again made progress with "The Sect", the first FRUA/DC design I have played for more than 12 hours! (But I would have played some other designs as long if they weren't so short, like the contest contributions :) which I liked very much.) When playing this design, I enjoyed a lot of combats (even some I lost... :D ), but I would really have liked to skip others. Therefore, I will give both options any time when the party faces a group of enemies. The player will be warned in the beginning that he will not have much influence on the event-based combat, but that the classic combat only allows a limited number of outcomes.

Additionally, I will probably do part I of Helmetlands (The Helmet Menace) still in DC 0.914 (I assume that the next DC release will probably still need some months), and since there are some bugs in the combat system of 0.914, the player can use the event-based combat to avoid problems. I assume, if the next official release comes earlier then I expect, I can still switch to the newer version, right?

What else will you find in Helmetlands?

Challenges: Sometimes, NPCs will ask single party members for a duell. In that case, the classic combat will not be available. However, the player will have the following options:

Magic: In Helmet Menace, Magic will only play a limited role (e.g., you may find NPCs capable of healing spells). This makes sense, since the party will consist of Martens only, which are incapable of doing magic, as well as most of the other characters you will meet (at least in part I). However, depending on when DC 1.0 is completed, the following parts will have a lot of magic, and part III will allow to create Magic Users and Priests.

Specialities: These will probably be handled in a similar way as in "Friedrich's Revenge", but probably include disemboweling of dead animals, scenting, seducing, seeing ultraviolet, scanning a level and more.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 27, 2010, 03:28:13 PM
There is so much in your post...most if not all of which leaves me on the verge of drooling. Well except for the part where you discuss what DC can't do. No drooling there. :D

I haven't tried it on version .914, but the Solo Combat tutorial I wrote up should work for it...just giving you options.

As for choosing at the beginning, it goes something like:
You ask the player at the beginning if they would like event-driven or classic combat and store the answer as a variable for a quest.
Then, each time you want to have a combat, you first event in the chain checks the value stored in the quest and then goes to the appropriate part of the event chain.

As for whether or not you use version .914 or version 1.0, I guess it's a personal choice ultimately, but I say build it in .914 and switch whenever you're ready. :) You have a pretty good idea, or can gain a pretty good idea of the advantages of using version 1.0. I see no reason why you couldn't use an updated engine if for some reason the official 1.0 release has not happened yet.
Does this mean that Helmetlands, part I will be coming out in the next couple of months? I haven't publicly shared the DC timeline, and I won't start now, but you have special insight into this as well. :)

If Helmetlands gets released in version .914 and then you want to change it to version 1.0, that will be no problem. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: SilentThief on October 27, 2010, 06:32:07 PM
I haven't tried it on version .914, but the Solo Combat tutorial I wrote up should work for it...just giving you options.

It works.

ST
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on October 27, 2010, 08:28:56 PM
Wow, sounds awesome, Dinonykos...  Wish I had some time these days to play what is already up there...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 28, 2010, 04:25:36 AM
I haven't tried it on version .914, but the Solo Combat tutorial I wrote up should work for it...just giving you options.
And I very much appreciate options! :) I see the one-vs-one challenges rather as story elements, though. But I expect your tutorial to be helpful for the second and third part...

You ask the player at the beginning if they would like event-driven or classic combat and store the answer as a variable for a quest.
Then, each time you want to have a combat, you first event in the chain checks the value stored in the quest and then goes to the appropriate part of the event chain.
Yep. While I won't use this approach for the combats, it is a good general solution for setting things at the beginning. You could, e.g., ask the player in the beginning if (s)he is 6, 12, 16, or 18 and design the events concerning the choice...  ;D

Does this mean that Helmetlands, part I will be coming out in the next couple of months?
I do not think so, to be honest. I darkly remember that years ago (2007/2008?) I stated the game was about to be finished soon... well, at least, I did two prequels... :) Presently, I aim at Summer 2011 for the release of a "Bronze Edition". :D :D :D

If Helmetlands gets released in version .914 and then you want to change it to version 1.0, that will be no problem. :D
Nice, that's what I thought and hoped.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 28, 2010, 02:52:17 PM

You ask the player at the beginning if they would like event-driven or classic combat and store the answer as a variable for a quest.
Then, each time you want to have a combat, you first event in the chain checks the value stored in the quest and then goes to the appropriate part of the event chain.
Yep. While I won't use this approach for the combats, it is a good general solution for setting things at the beginning. You could, e.g., ask the player in the beginning if (s)he is 6, 12, 16, or 18 and design the events concerning the choice...  ;D

This is a FRUA trick I've seen used to give the option of random combats. I always liked the idea and appreciated the option, as I generally don't like the use of random combats as they tend to happen too often (there are plenty of mods that are exceptions to this, however).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 09, 2010, 09:06:48 AM
While the Helmetlands homepage still states that there will be no overland maps in Helmetlans, I have decided to use one. The question is if I should do it in pseudo 3D like this one:

(http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/6749/helmetlandsoverland3d.png)

... or in 2D-top-down view

(http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/2647/helmetlandsoverland2d.png)

(The maps above are from older versions of helmetlands.)

Additionally, I wonder if it would be better to indicate the squares somehow, e.g. with a chess-board pattern shimmering through from behind...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on November 09, 2010, 12:06:21 PM
I like the first one. It ties in nicely with the overall art style of the game.

I don't think you need to indicate the squares, unless the number of steps the player takes plays any significant role (there's a map in "The Sect" where the number of steps is important, I don't know if you have progressed that far yet).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on November 09, 2010, 02:02:47 PM
I like the first one. It ties in nicely with the overall art style of the game.

Indeed, I agree.  :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 09, 2010, 02:47:16 PM
I like the first one. It ties in nicely with the overall art style of the game.

Indeed, I agree.  :)

Me too! :D I like both looks, though. Maybe the 2D top-down could be used for some other project...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 10, 2010, 02:40:21 AM
Me too! :D I like both looks, though. Maybe the 2D top-down could be used for some other project...
I think about two additional options, one is to make the overland map look like computer display with a map on it, the other to make it look like a drawn map - I mean, a map drawn by a NPC... In any case, thank for your votes! :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on November 10, 2010, 04:45:40 AM
I think either of those four ways is fine as long as it fits with the drawing style of the game.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 10, 2010, 02:29:39 PM
I'll go so far as to say that with limited supply of DC art, especially big pics and maps, that I'll happily admire anything you do, Dinonykos. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Nol Drek on November 10, 2010, 09:47:47 PM
I like the first one. It ties in nicely with the overall art style of the game.

Indeed, I agree.  :)

The Pseudo 3D one matches the graphic style of your other work more than the top down 2D one does. I vote for Pseudo 3D.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 11, 2010, 03:06:04 AM
The Pseudo 3D one matches the graphic style of your other work more than the top down 2D one does. I vote for Pseudo 3D.
One "problem" ist that it is not possible to transfer the comic-like graphic style with the strong black outlines to the combat icons and the area view. Well, it may be possible to some degree, but looks strange.
I was undecided concerning the overland maps, but thanks to you guys I am now convinced that it will be something in comic-style...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on November 11, 2010, 08:51:14 AM
I like both pictures - it is true that the second looks more like your icons than the 3D-view art.  :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 11, 2010, 10:21:52 AM
I like both pictures - it is true that the second looks more like your icons than the 3D-view art.  :)
Years ago, I have experimented with a different approach: scanning pencil drawings and completely redrawing the image in the computer on a new layer, with outlines in similar colours as the fillings instead of black outlines.

(http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/2148/helmettigercolouredoutl.png)
(This picture is ten years old...)

However, I prefer the approach I used for Friedrich's Quest and Revenge and hope that it is okay that the area view and the combat icons have a different style. 
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 12, 2010, 03:22:11 PM
You could probably get away with using black outlines with the combat icons, especially if the subjects are larger than human/demi-human size.

It is possible to do a black outline for the area view art, but since the walls are currently 4 pixels thick, that doesn't leave much (not to mention the black backdrop). Of course you can make the walls thicker and change the backdrop color...still it may look nearly as much black as any other color. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 12, 2010, 04:22:43 PM
You could probably get away with using black outlines with the combat icons, especially if the subjects are larger than human/demi-human size.

It is possible to do a black outline for the area view art, but since the walls are currently 4 pixels thick, that doesn't leave much (not to mention the black backdrop). Of course you can make the walls thicker and change the backdrop color...still it may look nearly as much black as any other color. :)
Well, but even professional games use different styles (e.g., in Heroes of M&M 5, they have Manga-like portraits, but totally different units), and as you pointed out, outlines in the combat and area views would not really make sense. Maybe later, when/if I change to another resolution (although the icons have the same size by default in 800 and 1048 px width, correct?).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 12, 2010, 04:37:40 PM
The icons are the same for all resolutions...but the area view art will change, right? Wrong. The area view art is the same for all resolutions as well. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 12, 2010, 05:04:49 PM
The area view art is the same for all resolutions as well. :)

Hmm... maybe it would make sense to change the area view art in higher resolution... But yes, it seems not to appear in the config-file... Maybe something to think about for post-DC-1.0 changes...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 12, 2010, 05:16:18 PM
The area view art is the same for all resolutions as well. :)

Hmm... maybe it would make sense to change the area view art in higher resolution... But yes, it seems not to appear in the config-file... Maybe something to think about for post-DC-1.0 changes...

You can change it right now, it's a graphic file - areaviewart.png or overart.png or mapart.png - whichever one has little wall chunks. :) Oh, and it actually is listed in the config file. But I realize you mean changing the resolution of the area view, which is not implemented, as until this moment no one has even publicly talked about this. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 12, 2010, 05:29:01 PM
But I realize you mean changing the resolution of the area view, which is not implemented, as until this moment no one has even publicly talked about this. :)

As often, I was not very precise... Indeed, I meant changing the resolution. Thus, with 1076 px width, the tiles in the area view should maybe have a size of 32x32 px instead of 16x16.

What happens with overland maps in the higher resolution? I assume the size of the squares remains the same?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 13, 2010, 02:41:58 PM
But I realize you mean changing the resolution of the area view, which is not implemented, as until this moment no one has even publicly talked about this. :)

As often, I was not very precise... Indeed, I meant changing the resolution. Thus, with 1076 px width, the tiles in the area view should maybe have a size of 32x32 px instead of 16x16.

What happens with overland maps in the higher resolution? I assume the size of the squares remains the same?
Yes. The map squares are still 16x16. I think we can change that for the graphics, but not for the way DC places events and such.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 18, 2010, 08:15:37 AM
I have thought the overland map thing over and now I think that the overland map may also look like this:

(http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/4981/overlandtest2.png)

The story behind is that the martens - when traveling through the "Helmetlands" - look onto their portable navigation computer... :D (Of course, the final thing will be shaded and show more "decorations".)

The navigation computer will also be a special item, and probably allow to switch between different views (political vs geographical, maybe also geological) when used...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on November 18, 2010, 08:17:55 AM

You could also program the entire overland in 3D view.  ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 18, 2010, 08:31:16 AM

You could also program the entire overland in 3D view.  ;D
This is what I planned earlier, and I even had several dozens of "overland 3D levels" prepared, however I realized (last not least when playing the sect) that the overland maps are a reasonable tool to "accelerate the story progress".
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on November 18, 2010, 08:51:51 AM
This is what I planned earlier, and I even had several dozens of "overland 3D levels" prepared, however I realized (last not least when playing the sect) that the overland maps are a reasonable tool to "accelerate the story progress".

You can already spend a considerable amount of time exploring the woods in "Friedrich's Revenge", so I guess that's true.

I tried to design a 3D-overland with FRUA once, and it failed due to the limitations in space (the overland needed several maps just to get you from city 1 to city 2) and in scenery (although with Olivier's TLB-collection now available, the 3D environment could probably be a lot more visually interesting than what the standard FRUA provides).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 18, 2010, 10:28:00 AM
I tried to design a 3D-overland with FRUA once, and it failed due to the limitations in space (the overland needed several maps just to get you from city 1 to city 2) and in scenery (although with Olivier's TLB-collection now available, the 3D environment could probably be a lot more visually interesting than what the standard FRUA provides).

In the Might and Magic games, they used a strange approach: overland and cities used the same type of 3D view (objects and monster's had identical sizes in both areas), however, one city only occupied one square in the overland 3D view. In other words, e.g. a goblin was normal size inside of the cities, but high as a hill outside...

I think the approach with overland traveling in the 3D view makes sense in a small world, but for example in "The Sect", it would be crazy... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 18, 2010, 02:54:48 PM
I like the map. :) That's a cool idea, one that I'm handling similarly for th "sci-fi" design on the backburner. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 19, 2010, 03:48:35 AM
I like the map. :) That's a cool idea, one that I'm handling similarly for th "sci-fi" design on the backburner. :)
I have thought long about doing the map itself with black outlines, since - as pointed out by some of you guys - it would look very consistent with the 3d view and the pics. However, it is also a matter of scale: If one square in the area view represents around 20x20 squares in the 3d view, objects in the area map (towns, big buildings etc.) are big enough to be drawn with black lines. However, for Helmetlands one square in the area view shall represent a larger area (probably 40x40 squares or more), so that important structures have only a few pixels width - black outlines would make these objects appear as black spots... :)

The idea with the device drawn in the same style as the walls and the overland map being a computer graphic was a good compromise... :)


You could also program the entire overland in 3D view.  ;D

In this context, I thought again about scales in DC and FRUA (we talked that over several times, and maybe I missed that the following is already detailedly discussed somewhere - but if not, it may be interesting):

I think we more or less agree that a wall in the 3d view is 2.4 to 3.6 m high (8 to 12 ft), thus, a square should be around the same distance wide and long (a little shorter in default DC's 3d view, but let's assume a square is 3.3 m long for simlipicity).

This means that a distance of 1 km would be represented by 1000m:3.3m = 300 squares. Thus 1 mi would be almost 500 squares.
Thus, imagine how many levels you would need to construct e.g. two villages only two miles away from each other... :D :D :D Of course this calculation is crazy.

The approach I would use for doing the overland completely in 3d view would be the following: It lasts one minute to pass a square. Thus, the party can walk the distance of 60 squares in one hour. The human walking speed is 5km/h (3mp/h), thus, I would use not more than 20 squares to represent one mile, which is factor 25 less than 500 squares.
With this approach, the "distance feeling" when walking from e.g. one village to another would be more realistic than with the calculation method based on the square size.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 19, 2010, 02:42:01 PM
Let me throw out a couple of things, just because. :)

1) DCs views, any of them, are representational, not actual. Think of them as a visual metaphor. Whatever meaning we give to them, they have. This is why nobody except the artists really worries about the scale of combat squares compared to the scale of 3D view squares, compared to overland squares. If it looks good and doesn't seem to ridiculous, it's acceptable. :)

2) No matter the scale and all of our mechanations to simulate various things of the real world, any distance that bores the player and/or the designer is too long. It doesn't matter the scale or the view.

3) I think graphics or a text statement as one leaves the city/village/dungeon to the "3D view overland" could explain why the distance seems shorter. You can be as creative as you want to be, anything from stating something like, "without other people around, the party can trot along at double speed", to something like changing the scale of the walls, to something like adding sprites to simulate a mode of transportation. :)

None of these are directly responding to your points or anyone elses. Just something to consider from a meta-design perspective. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 19, 2010, 05:47:36 PM
None of these are directly responding to your points or anyone elses. Just something to consider from a meta-design perspective. :D

I agree with all you points. Both time and distances are rather symbolic than actual in DC and FRUA. However, to allow the player to dive into the game, it is crucial to give him a feeling for distances and timing that is consistent. E.g., if an NPC in city A tells you that city B is several miles away, you should be able to get to B in an amount of time that reflects this distance of several miles (let's say two game hours). Therefore, it is not wrong to make some calculations... :) To avoid boring situations, as you already wrote, means of transportation, teleporter spells or similar things should of course be available to the player if he has to travel a long distance.

Another example: In Helmetlands I want to have one very big city which can be entered through different portals (you can already see it above on the map) and is three overland squares wide. I think the time you need to travel through the city via the 3d view should be equivalent to the time you need to pass it by on the overland map...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 19, 2010, 06:12:10 PM
See, we're already thinking of it differently - you want the same amount of time to pass, which is not necessarily related to distance. :)

I think the default overland time per step is 720 minutes and the widest level in 3D view can only be 100 squares, there is a discrepancy. But DC allows you to adjust both the time it takes to move a square in 3D view and the time it takes to move a square in the overland view to anything you want. :)

By the way, the speed at which DC parties walk in 3D view is right around 1 mile an hour, using 3 to 3.3 meters per square. That's slow, even if you're making the gnome carry your plate mail. ;) But, since we don't require the PCs to eat or use the bathroom or sleep, i.e. each step is representational not actual, we all (so far) accept one minute per square.

So, if you make each step on the overland map last 100 minutes and use levels that are 100x100, you will have no problems at all. :D (Other than the scale of the overlands being huge)

But, if we get back to using 3D levels in lieu of overlands, well 100 squares (300 to 333 meters), that would mean 4 levels between your examplar two villages that are 2 miles apart. It seems you would burn up all your levels pretty quickly - that is unless you limit the width of the path that can be walked. :) Let's say village 1 is due west of village 2. When you leave the gate of village 1 and head into the woods on the path, maybe you can only go let's say 8 or 9 squares to either side, you can use transfer module events to go from the right side of track 1 to the left side of track 2, etc. and get 500 west to east squares out of one level. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on November 20, 2010, 12:33:23 AM
Let's say village 1 is due west of village 2. When you leave the gate of village 1 and head into the woods on the path, maybe you can only go let's say 8 or 9 squares to either side, you can use transfer module events to go from the right side of track 1 to the left side of track 2, etc. and get 500 west to east squares out of one level. :)

You can also use directional counters in conjuntion with the transfers to repeat the path sections as desired, a variation of the "endless hallway" trick.

I just realized that due to the number of available backdrops, landmarks (towers, mountains, beacons, etc.) can be shown in 3D view with varying height and direction based upon relative position. This may be old news to some, but I think it could make some interesting navigational aids.

The FRUA/DC movement rate of 10 feet per minute is actually 0.11 mph or 0.18 kph. If you have a clock with a 3.9 inch second hand, the tip of the second hand should move at FRUA walking speed. Ridiculously slow for a human.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on November 20, 2010, 05:46:16 AM
It would be nice to be able to reduce the time delta per step to less than a minute. Would this be extremely difficult to achieve, or relatively easy, from a programming perspective? I have in mind each step being defined as, say, 0.1 so that every ten steps a minute elapses. I wouldn't want the clock to show parts of minutes though; it should still round to the nearest minute.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 20, 2010, 11:16:38 AM
I just realized that due to the number of available backdrops, landmarks (towers, mountains, beacons, etc.) can be shown in 3D view with varying height and direction based upon relative position. This may be old news to some, but I think it could make some interesting navigational aids.
Cool idea! I thought of using the backdrops to give the illusion of apoproaching a very big building, but landmarks in the distance is a nive variety!

So, if you make each step on the overland map last 100 minutes and use levels that are 100x100, you will have no problems at all. :D (Other than the scale of the overlands being huge)

This is exactly what I plan to do in Helmetlands, only with 30 minutes and 30x30 levels... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 20, 2010, 03:03:11 PM
So, if .11 mph in 3D view translates into a movement rate of 12 in combat; and I walk at 4.5 mph, then I have a combat movement rate of approx. 4900. :D I guess it turns the NPC based upon me will need to be in Hero Craft and not DC. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 20, 2010, 06:37:35 PM
So, if .11 mph in 3D view translates into a movement rate of 12 in combat; and I walk at 4.5 mph, then I have a combat movement rate of approx. 4900. :D I guess it turns the NPC based upon me will need to be in Hero Craft and not DC. ;)

I must admit a was not even aware until now that game time passes during combat... :D :D :D Is one round one minute?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 22, 2010, 02:42:48 PM
So, if .11 mph in 3D view translates into a movement rate of 12 in combat; and I walk at 4.5 mph, then I have a combat movement rate of approx. 4900. :D I guess it turns the NPC based upon me will need to be in Hero Craft and not DC. ;)

I must admit a was not even aware until now that game time passes during combat... :D :D :D Is one round one minute?
When I"m playing, especially if writing stuff down, one round is like 5 minutes. ;) Um, but there is a formula, I think it is 10 segments to a round, 10 rounds to a turn, 10 turns to a minute...honestly only 100% on 10 segments to a round, though. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 22, 2010, 03:01:27 PM
When I"m playing, especially if writing stuff down, one round is like 5 minutes. ;) Um, but there is a formula, I think it is 10 segments to a round, 10 rounds to a turn, 10 turns to a minute...honestly only 100% on 10 segments to a round, though. :D

In any case it is good to know. The event-based combats should also last some game time, then. I will also let time pass during long dialogs ins Helmetlands.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 22, 2010, 03:09:49 PM
When I"m playing, especially if writing stuff down, one round is like 5 minutes. ;) Um, but there is a formula, I think it is 10 segments to a round, 10 rounds to a turn, 10 turns to a minute...honestly only 100% on 10 segments to a round, though. :D

In any case it is good to know. The event-based combats should also last some game time, then. I will also let time pass during long dialogs ins Helmetlands.

You know, I've never checked to see if DC does this automatically or not. I have some vague memory of playing a game where the combats made 15 minutes of game time pass, but it may not even have been GB or AD&D for that matter... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 22, 2010, 03:53:13 PM
You know, I've never checked to see if DC does this automatically or not. I have some vague memory of playing a game where the combats made 15 minutes of game time pass, but it may not even have been GB or AD&D for that matter... :)

I just checked in the test version of DC: I started at 12 minutes with the combat, and the combat was finished 7 minutes later (I have not counted the turns, but it may well have been seven).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 22, 2010, 04:05:08 PM
You know, I've never checked to see if DC does this automatically or not. I have some vague memory of playing a game where the combats made 15 minutes of game time pass, but it may not even have been GB or AD&D for that matter... :)

I just checked in the test version of DC: I started at 12 minutes with the combat, and the combat was finished 7 minutes later (I have not counted the turns, but it may well have been seven).

Thanks for doing that, Dinonykos. This is good to know. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on November 22, 2010, 04:14:14 PM
When I"m playing, especially if writing stuff down, one round is like 5 minutes. ;) Um, but there is a formula, I think it is 10 segments to a round, 10 rounds to a turn, 10 turns to a minute...honestly only 100% on 10 segments to a round, though. :D

Quote from: 1e PHB, page 39
... Thus a turn is 10 minutes, a round 1 minute, and a segment 6 seconds.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 22, 2010, 04:27:16 PM
Thanks, nologgie. :) I actually meant to write 10 turns an hour and not minute, which doesn't really matter since I was off on the bit of info anyway. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 01, 2010, 05:56:19 AM
I am actually doing a lot of art for the "default" combat, this:

(http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/5530/cwwdefcwwconifers.png)

is only one example, you can find more at the ironworks forum...
(I will keep some backgrounds secret of course, as well as the related walls...)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on December 01, 2010, 10:46:40 AM
This looks great!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 01, 2010, 03:17:48 PM
Absolutely wonderful, Dinonykos. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on December 01, 2010, 06:48:36 PM
That looks beautiful, Dinonykos!  I also like how you colored the borders to indicate their use (I always forget which is which)...

Too bad the magenta is not usable yet - would be nice to see those in action as well (especially since Dinonykos made us such nice tiles for those spaces :D )
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 01, 2010, 07:10:55 PM
That looks beautiful, Dinonykos!  I also like how you colored the borders to indicate their use (I always forget which is which)...

Too bad the magenta is not usable yet - would be nice to see those in action as well (especially since Dinonykos made us such nice tiles for those spaces :D )

When Richard first made DC, FRUA could not display the river tiles, but since then someone discovered the bug in the code and posted a way to fix it. It would be really nice if this could be fixed in DC, too.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on December 01, 2010, 08:14:16 PM
I remember something about the same for FRUA underwater combats...  I'd like this for DC, too (but, y'know, I will try to script something myself in any case)... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on December 03, 2010, 05:02:32 AM
Yeah, looks fantastic! Can't wait to see more.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 03, 2010, 02:48:28 PM
I seem to recall that there are a couple of designs that use the underwater feature (or were going to use) but I never played them...so I don't know how good of a job SSI did. But I think in DC, we can do a good job of it. I don't think it will be that hard either (I know, easy for me to say since I am the one most familiar with Special Abilities).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on December 03, 2010, 02:55:55 PM
Quote
When Richard first made DC, FRUA could not display the river tiles, but since then someone discovered the bug in the code and posted a way to fix it. It would be really nice if this could be fixed in DC, too.

I thought DC was supposed to fix FRUA's numerous bugs, not emulate them.  :-\

I agree that river combat should be enabled.


BTW, Dinonykos' combat wilderness looks fantastic.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 03, 2010, 03:21:03 PM
Quote
When Richard first made DC, FRUA could not display the river tiles, but since then someone discovered the bug in the code and posted a way to fix it. It would be really nice if this could be fixed in DC, too.

I thought DC was supposed to fix FRUA's numerous bugs, not emulate them.  :-\

I agree that river combat should be enabled.


BTW, Dinonykos' combat wilderness looks fantastic.

Ahh, but Richard didn't know it was a bug - he didn't know that rivers were meant to be displayed. I don't think that most of us thought that until someone found it in the code. We just thought the extra tiles were something never implemented. And, maybe that's the case after all. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on December 03, 2010, 04:48:14 PM
The river combat map was implemented in some of the Gold Box games (DQK, I think, and perhaps others too). And DQK also featured underwater combat. The coolest thing was that lightning bolt became an area effect spell.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 04, 2010, 02:30:03 PM
Some day I'll play all the way through DQK...I think seeing the art and underwater combat is as good a reason as any. :)

The ForgottenWorlds people have rivers working in their update of NWN, too.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 11, 2010, 06:34:47 PM
That looks beautiful, Dinonykos!  I also like how you colored the borders to indicate their use (I always forget which is which)...

The credit for the coloured borders belongs to Manikus, I took his template. :)

I spend several hours yesterday to find an appropriate free font for 'Helmetlands'. The font I used for the Friedrich games is quite nice, but with that font in a acceptable size, DC only displayed 4 text lines, not 6 as implemented by the config file.

(http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/8158/fontteste.png)

This one has no lower-case letters, but I think that fits quite well with the comic style I use... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on December 11, 2010, 11:46:37 PM
Looks good.

Reminds me a little of a chalkboard:

(http://bartsblackboard.com/files/2009/11/the-simpsons-s01e02-Bart-the-Genius.jpg)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 12, 2010, 02:07:47 AM
Reminds me a little of a chalkboard:

For someone who is generally depicted as a poor scholar, Bart Simpson's handwriting is quite good, isn't it? When I write on a chalkboard, I often cannot read myself the letters I am scribbling... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on December 12, 2010, 04:37:24 AM
Looks great.

Did you try playing around with other numbers in the config text file? I have found it is not actually the number of lines displayed, but nevertheless increasing the number does tend to increase the amount of text displayed.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 12, 2010, 05:48:51 AM
Did you try playing around with other numbers in the config text file? I have found it is not actually the number of lines displayed, but nevertheless increasing the number does tend to increase the amount of text displayed.

That's interesting. I did not play around a lot with that number (only for one font). Maybe I should have, since there were some other interesting fonts I would have liked using, but DC only showed 5 or 4 text lines with those, leaving some empty space in the text section (I don't know why DC handled the fonts that way...). On the other hand, I am quite happy with the current font which will probably also fit nicely with the intro comic...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 13, 2010, 03:19:11 PM
Nice picture, Dinonykos. :D

I'm having deja vu about the font size versus lines displayed issue. Which is to say that the number of lines displayed depends on two factors, the number in the config.txt file mentioned by Steve, and the size of the particular font being used.
The number of lines displayed works perfectly when using the same font at the same size that Richard used when he was coding DC. :D I've forgotten just exactly what that was, but it's something common like Times New Roman or Arial and I believe the size is 10 or 11. :) Now you've got your DC trivia for the day.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on December 13, 2010, 07:07:13 PM
Hmm - looks very nice - is it easy to add fonts to DC?  I thought you had to install a font to Windows first, which is why I avoided this until now (it is slightly complicated to ask a user to install a font before the rest of the mod).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 14, 2010, 03:12:00 AM
Which is to say that the number of lines displayed depends on two factors, the number in the config.txt file mentioned by Steve, and the size of the particular font being used.
Of course... :) The thing is that for reasons I do not completely understand, sometimes even if using small fonts in small size, DC displays only 4 lines. I assume that this depends on the way the font has been designed (some have a lot of blank space on top and below the letters), but that does not explain some of the issues I found...

I thought you had to install a font to Windows first, which is why I avoided this until now (it is slightly complicated to ask a user to install a font before the rest of the mod).
You are right, the font has to be installed in Windows, but I would add an instruction how to install the font, or may be design a batch file or something that installs the font before starting the game for the first time... Furthermore, I think windows is able to emulate fonts even if they are not installed...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 16, 2010, 07:04:45 AM
I plan to do (or rather have started doing) a 7 page intro comic to Helmetlands. However, Ben_J already complained that the 4 page intro comic to Friedrich's Revenge cannot be skipped when starting the game, and I think he is right. Well, 4 pages may still be tolerable, but 7 or 8 pages is indeed long.

Therefore, I would appreciate any idea how an intro comic could be handled... I already thought about making a kind of dia-show or adding the comic as a printable pdf... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on December 16, 2010, 08:03:00 AM
Therefore, I would appreciate any idea how an intro comic could be handled... I already thought about making a kind of dia-show or adding the comic as a printable pdf... :)

The most common method in FRUA is to use a question event (List, Button, or Yes/No) with options to play or skip the intro.

I really liked the comic intro to Friedrich's Revenge, but after the umpteenth time of reloading after getting killed, I admit I was liking it less.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 16, 2010, 08:45:49 AM
The most common method in FRUA is to use a question event (List, Button, or Yes/No) with options to play or skip the intro.
But that means the intro is included into the game, correct? The thing is that there will be a kind of second intro in the game, where I could use the apporach you suggest. However, I'd like to have a real intro before the player even generates/chooses the characters. The main reason for this intro is to introduce a new character who does not occur in the prequels.

I really liked the comic intro to Friedrich's Revenge, but after the umpteenth time of reloading after getting killed, I admit I was liking it less.
Yep, that is also Ben's point, and of course this is understandable.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on December 16, 2010, 01:47:47 PM
I think the best solution would be to be very nice to Paul and manikus and make a Christmas wish for a function to skip the title screens in DC 1.0 with a key, just like in good old FRUA.  ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 16, 2010, 03:53:03 PM
Maybe I'm just a scrooge, but no new functions until after 1.0 is out. But, yeah, I'm totally down with something like that (Olivier's idea), especially as someone who tends to have his party die off a lot. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on December 17, 2010, 03:47:02 AM
Maybe I'm just a scrooge, but no new functions until after 1.0 is out.
Well then, do you have any other suggestions for me how an intro could be handled?
(Hmm, this reminds me of Sherlock Holmes' Final Adventure... "Everything I have to say has already crossed your mind." "Then possibly my answer has crossed yours.") :D :D :D

My own suggestions would be:
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on December 17, 2010, 04:10:00 AM
If you go with a movie file, I recommend xvid over divx. Much better compression with very good quality. If we have any video buffs in the forum, they might have a better suggestion.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on December 18, 2010, 02:40:15 PM
Well, I'm not a video buff, but I am in the forum. :)

If I recall correctly, and maybe this only applies to people running XP and the older Windows Media Player, but xvid is not something I can use because I haven't downloaded the codecs for it, actually that was true for divx as well, but I did download the codecs for it.

Just remember that DC only supports AVI, but some peole have gotten MP4 to play in the past. I haven't tried this in the new version of DC, but I assume nothing has changed, and if it had, it is inadvertant. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 10, 2011, 08:58:15 AM
I have spent some time working on helmetlands during the winter vacation. I can now say that the game will feature several new types of levels/walls compared to Friedrich's Revenge, like the one shown in the screenshot from the 3D window here:

(http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/4785/cortanhangar.png)


Earlier I stated that I would do up to 6 images for each opponent you can fight in the event-based-combat mode (to show him/her/it attacking, wounded, winning, losing and so on), however, I fear that this will probably take too much time for me to finish (as Ben J already assumed...). I want the first part of Helmetlands to come out in 2011, not 2015... Still, each opponent will at least have two or three different pictures, plus the combat icons for regular combat, of course.

However, there will be tons of sprites and small pics (and big pics) of the main party members, like these:

(http://img573.imageshack.us/img573/7742/bugilaattacking.png) (http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/3320/burhonattacking.png) (http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/3600/bujakobattacking.png) (http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4343/bushirleyattacking.png)

Last picture for now - one example for the NPC walls which will be used in the game:
(http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7255/wynhtbeggar.png)

I have also decided how to deal with the intro: I will indeed do another design which you can play once before starting the real game. This design will include the intro comic and allow you to learn a lot about the heroes of the game. The "real" design "The Helmet Menace" then will begin with only one introduction screen, and no more intro sequence.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on January 10, 2011, 09:52:37 AM
Great pics as usual, Dinonykos!  :)

Is Gila giving someone the finger in the first small pic?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 10, 2011, 10:29:23 AM
Great pics as usual, Dinonykos!  :)

Is Gila giving someone the finger in the first small pic?

 ::) I knew that somebody would ask this...
It is her second digit, in any case. Since Gila has 4 digits only, it is difficult to say whether she is giving the finger or making a kind of come-on gesture. :) But I meant the pointing finger, of course!
(Actually, this which-finger-is-which thing is quite an interesting topic for sauropsid-dinosaur-bird evolution... :) ).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 10, 2011, 02:48:28 PM
Very nice. :D I'm looking forward to seeing an actual wall graphic for one of these diagonal walls so I can work out, um, why I couldn't work it out. :) Perhaps you added a new wall format?

These are all great images. I look forward, as always, to Helmetlands. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 10, 2011, 05:03:51 PM
Very nice. :D I'm looking forward to seeing an actual wall graphic for one of these diagonal walls so I can work out, um, why I couldn't work it out. :) Perhaps you added a new wall format?

It is almost the same as the "hyper format", with some small changes:

(http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/5626/wdiacortaniafl.png)

(This is the wall from the screenshot above in progress...)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 10, 2011, 05:20:51 PM
Thank you very much, Dinonykos. :) When you get a chance can you post your config.txt entry for this new wall type? What are you calling it, by the way? I'll add it to the default config when I get the info.

So, of course, tonight I'll go home and modify this so it can be used in other resolutions, you know like ones that use square viewports. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 10, 2011, 05:33:41 PM
Here you are. The name "Hyper-Ultra-Walls" is a joke, of course.  :D This wall type is really something for wall enthusiasts, not for those who have just started with wall designing...  :-\
The reasons why I have not yet posted this are:

(http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/7402/wdia00a.png)

Code: [Select]
// format for wall type 2b - Dinonykos HYPER-ULTRA Walls  ("Diagonal Walls")
// uses 5 distant walls
WIDTH_WALL_FORMAT_4 = 1564
HEIGHT_WALL_FORMAT_4 = 375
NUM_DISTANT_WALLS_4 = 5

A4_WALL_RECT = 132,2,220,213
B4_WALL_RECT = 406,2,494,213
C4_WALL_RECT = 959,2,1047,213
D4_WALL_RECT = 499,2,587,213
E4_WALL_RECT = 225,2,401,213
F4_WALL_RECT = 592,2,680,213
G4_WALL_RECT = 866,2,954,213
H4_WALL_RECT = 733,2,813,213
I4_WALL_RECT = 1145,2,1233,213
J4_WALL_RECT = 1445,2,1461,213
K4_WALL_RECT = 1259,2,1339,213
L4_WALL_RECT = 1352,2,1440,213
M4_WALL_RECT = 1052,2,1140,213
N4_WALL_RECT = 640,2,680,213
O4_WALL_RECT = 866,2,906,213
P4_WALL_RECT = 1238,2,1254,213

A4_OFF = -32,0
B4_OFF = 56,0
C4_OFF = -56,0
D4_OFF = 0,0
E4_OFF = -32,0
F4_OFF = -64,0
G4_OFF = 24,0
H4_OFF = -16,0
I4_OFF = -64,0
J4_OFF = 0,0
K4_OFF = 24,0
L4_OFF = -72,0
M4_OFF = 0,0
N4_OFF = -16,0
O4_OFF = 24,0
P4_OFF = 0,0


// Defaults for 5 distant walls
VIEWPORT_COORD_0_1 =  0,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_1_1 =  144,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_2_1 =  32,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_3_1 =  112,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_4_1 =  64,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_5_1 =  0,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_6_1 =  160,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_7_1 =  16,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_8_1 =  112,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_9_1 =  64,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_10_1 = 0,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_11_1 = 144,0
VIEWPORT_COORD_12_1 = 32,0
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 10, 2011, 05:47:01 PM
Thanks, Dinonykos.

You've persuaded me not to add this format to the default config.txt. I will do up some other resolutions though, and if people want to use them, they can just download them from the forum here. I need to do the same with my new walls (the ones that show a better 1 point perspective).

By the way, did I ever mention that I looked into coding a new wall layout that added four more wall slots to portray a true 1-point perspective. :D I couldn't quite get it to work (I got some of the stuff to work, but not all. I put it on the back-burner when I realized that it would make the current viewport obsolete - that would be bad, but updating walls might be easy if I can figure out a way to have DC recognize and use the correct viewport settings. Something for me to work on when we've got version 1.0 out to the masses. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 10, 2011, 06:01:17 PM
Something for me to work on when we've got version 1.0 out to the masses. :)

 :-\ And I hoped you would finish one of your designs first... ...

;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 10, 2011, 06:37:36 PM
:) When I say, "after version 1.0" I don't mean that very second... :D In other words, it's something I'll revisit at some point, but I will do one or several designs first, and lots of art. :) I promise.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 11, 2011, 04:19:00 AM
By the way, did I ever mention that I looked into coding a new wall layout that added four more wall slots to portray a true 1-point perspective.

I remember that we discussed that earlier. Dividing F/H and O/G is surely no problem, but how do you add two additional slots? Don't you have to change the hardcode for that? (Well, I know you are a man of many talents... :D )
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on January 11, 2011, 05:48:16 AM
:) When I say, "after version 1.0" I don't mean that very second... :D In other words, it's something I'll revisit at some point, but I will do one or several designs first, and lots of art. :) I promise.

Ahem. I believe you produce designs at about the rate I do. Some time off for designing and art is a good thing, but I hope you get back to v1.nn before you turn 40.   ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 11, 2011, 02:40:33 PM
Dinonykos - yes, hardcode changes. :) Which is why I stopped, 'cause I was missing something, and I didn't want to waste Paul's time helping me figure out what. :)

nologgie - Ack! Do you know how close I am to 40? Let's see, quick claculation tells me I only 55 more weeks!
Um, I don't intend to stop working on version 1.next while I'm designing and doing art. ;) I just don't plan on doing any C++ coding for a while, because once I get into it, I won't be designing or arting.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 11, 2011, 04:39:40 PM
nologgie - Ack! Do you know how close I am to 40? Let's see, quick claculation tells me I only 55 more weeks!
Um, I don't intend to stop working on version 1.next while I'm designing and doing art. ;) I just don't plan on doing any C++ coding for a while, because once I get into it, I won't be designing or arting.

Once version 1.0 is achieved, I think we should really come out with more designs - otherwise, what would all the efforts of Paul and you (Manikus) be for? :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 11, 2011, 04:47:02 PM
All of my efforts are for the love of scripting! Er, that's not quite right. All of my efforts are for the love of AD&D! Yes, that will do. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 11, 2011, 06:26:57 PM
Have I mentioned yet that I got the PC version of Carcassonne? i think once version 1.0 is out, I will devote some time to mastering the game. :D

I was thinking about using the tiles to make an overland map, too.

Some things to think about while we wait for Helmetlands to be released. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on January 11, 2011, 09:11:48 PM
Um, I don't intend to stop working on version 1.next while I'm designing and doing art. ;) I just don't plan on doing any C++ coding for a while, because once I get into it, I won't be designing or arting.

Watch out for the vicious design/hack cycle. I start designing, come up with a neat idea, realize I can't do it, and spend months eyebrow-deep in the code. Often with no positive results.

Since you program, your results will probably be better, but it's still a hazard.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 12, 2011, 03:07:23 AM
Have I mentioned yet that I got the PC version of Carcassonne? i think once version 1.0 is out, I will devote some time to mastering the game. :D

I have played the "pre-historic" version ("hunters and gatherers") excessively with my wife and my parents-in-law. Really addictive!

I think "mastering" the game could be achieved by following four or five simple rules, otherwise, winning or losing is rather a matter of luck and personal relations to the other players. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on January 12, 2011, 05:08:14 AM
I have played the "pre-historic" version ("hunters and gatherers") excessively with my wife and my parents-in-law. Really addictive!

I like that version even better than the original.  :)

winning or losing is rather a matter of luck and personal relations to the other players. :)

Ah, so your wife is always letting you win then?  ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 12, 2011, 07:03:34 AM
Ah, so your wife is always letting you win then?  ;)

No, it's more complicated. I have not yet understood all variables. I somewhat envy Manikus, since he can now play without complicated psychological tactics... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 12, 2011, 03:01:37 PM
Um, I don't intend to stop working on version 1.next while I'm designing and doing art. ;) I just don't plan on doing any C++ coding for a while, because once I get into it, I won't be designing or arting.

Watch out for the vicious design/hack cycle. I start designing, come up with a neat idea, realize I can't do it, and spend months eyebrow-deep in the code. Often with no positive results.

Since you program, your results will probably be better, but it's still a hazard.

So, you've seen teh way I work, huh? ;)

My biggest problem is that I start off with an idea usually, but not a story. Sometimes the idea is a plot idea, sometimes a setting idea, sometimes a hack idea, sometimes an art idea, etc. You get the picture.
Actually, and I don't know how I could have forgotten this, I did start converting a low-level pen and paper module that was released for free by WotC. I think I coded the whole dang thing, but it was some art keeping me from releasing it...that was a long time ago (four? five? years), I bet I could do the art and have something to share. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 12, 2011, 03:11:03 PM
Ah, so your wife is always letting you win then?  ;)

No, it's more complicated. I have not yet understood all variables. I somewhat envy Manikus, since he can now play without complicated psychological tactics... :D

Have you ever seen me play? It's very psychological - I try to stare the cpu down, and I yell at it and taunt it when appropriate. None of those things occur when I'm playing humans. :)

I've got the river module and two more add-ons that I haven't tried yet, because I like getting familiar with the basic game before moving on...

I haven't tried the Hunters and Gatherers version of Carcassonne, but I have played all the add-ons, and I'm pretty equally mediocre at all of them. :) I enjoy the heck out of myself though, and that's the important part.

So, it's worse than me just having Carcassonne, because as I've mentioned, I also have the PC version of Catan (with Seafarers and Cities and Knights add-ons), but there is a third game that is tied for number three on my list (Catan is number one, but I don't always want to invest so much time; Carcassonne is number two, but close to number one), Puerto Rico. It's by Rio Grande games and is very fun, and I think if you haven't tried it and are looking for a new game that takes about an hour to play, you should give this a try. :) I downloaded a free "learning" version, and picked up an extremely cheap version that is supposed to have great AI. I haven't given it a try yet, but I'm sure that Illl let you know. The other game that is tied for number three, and I won't be playing on my computer because there is only an online version, is the game "Ticket to Ride".
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on January 13, 2011, 07:06:15 AM
"Puerto Rico" is cool, too. I haven't played "Ticket to Ride" but it looks a bit similar to "Thurn & Taxis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurn_and_Taxis_%28board_game%29)" which is another fun game from Rio Grande Games. The last game I played excessively with my friends was "Dominion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_%28card_game%29)", you might like it, too, if you're not familiar with it yet. Not that you'd need any more disctractions...  ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on January 13, 2011, 07:39:00 AM
Not that you'd need any more disctractions...  ;)

Stop suggesting other games to manikus, or DC will never get done!  :angry5: ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 13, 2011, 08:29:10 AM
Stop suggesting other games to manikus, or DC will never get done!  :angry5: ;)
Indeed. Furthermore, the Helmetlands thread has been turned into a board-games thread!  >:(         ;)
To come back to the topic and distract Manikus from thinking about board games, now here are the different graphics for one of the opponents you can meet in "The Helmet Menace". I have already posted the icon and the main sprite. During the event-based combat, the two additional sprites/small pics will be used. I have similar combinations made for around 20 opponents, but I won't show all of them here to keep some surprises... :)

(http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/1536/sp3styracosaur.png)

(http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/9844/iconstyracosaur.png) (http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/6690/sp1styracosaurback.png) (http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/7159/sp1styracosaurhorn.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 13, 2011, 02:49:39 PM
Well, if there's a more certain way to get me focusing on DC than showing me some awesome artwork, I don't know what it is. ;)

Don't worry about me picking up a new game, since I'm only playing the computer versions at this point in my life anyway. The exception will be the Helmetlands board game. :)

What we need to keep me focused on DC is more people starting thread about what they're working on...though, Dinonykos, you do the work of about five or six people it seems. :D

For everyone to read except Dinonykos:
Dominion looks cool. I'm a member of the Boardgamegeek community and had noticed it hit their top ten, which is pretty good for a card game, heck for any game. I'll check it out for sure. And because I know Dinonykos is peaking, I'm sure it won't be near as cool as Helmetlands and I'm not being sarcastic. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on January 17, 2011, 01:10:14 AM
Very nice work, Dinonykos, and right, you are always very prolific!

Threads about what DC people are working on sounds like a good idea...  but what do people write about when there is nothing?   :-\ :'(
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 18, 2011, 02:39:05 PM
Very nice work, Dinonykos, and right, you are always very prolific!

Threads about what DC people are working on sounds like a good idea...  but what do people write about when there is nothing?   :-\ :'(

Heya, Uatu! :)

What do you write about? Just look at most of my posts. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on January 23, 2011, 08:13:41 PM
Oh, come on...  You are always hard at work!  :D  I do need to make a mod one of these days - so much to do and yet so little time...

I've some art that I may just release (since I've not done much for a while), though, including a new fire giant icon (or you can just guess the URL  :P ), if you like...  It seems that my activity follows something like a long sine curve perhaps, but anyways...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 24, 2011, 04:38:58 PM
Oh, come on...  You are always hard at work!  :D  I do need to make a mod one of these days - so much to do and yet so little time...

I've some art that I may just release (since I've not done much for a while), though, including a new fire giant icon (or you can just guess the URL  :P ), if you like...  It seems that my activity follows something like a long sine curve perhaps, but anyways...

You are such a tease - here I was all set to do some spelunking and DHost appears to be down. :( (Though, your XTHost page is working fine.)

Regardless, it's nice to see you poking your head in to the forums. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 25, 2011, 05:12:13 AM
Oh, come on...  You are always hard at work!  :D  I do need to make a mod one of these days - so much to do and yet so little time...

Short design! Short design!  ;D

Apropos short design:
I have also decided how to deal with the intro: I will indeed do another design which you can play once before starting the real game. This design will include the intro comic and allow you to learn a lot about the heroes of the game. The "real" design "The Helmet Menace" then will begin with only one introduction screen, and no more intro sequence.

As written above, I will do an short design ("Helmetlands: Praeludium") with an intro comic and the option to walk around in the secret base of "MSG unit 57" an learn more about the party members. I have just started drawing the comic, which will be action-packed this time.
I assume the Praeludium design will be done in a few weeks, I aim for March for the release. It will not be neccessary to play this short design prior to "The Helmet Menace", however, it will probably increase the fun factor. Furthermore, I see this as an appetizer until "The Helmet Menace" is finished.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 25, 2011, 03:12:08 PM
Praeludium? Good name. :D

Guess what I finally found this morning? My microphone, so I hope to have some sound files done for you by this weekend, assuming that you would still like them of course.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on January 25, 2011, 08:43:14 PM
A short design?  The horrors!  :D  (Dinonykos, you mentioned that it took you 5 years to start doing short mods...  I haven't spent 5 years yet!)

Doh...  It does seem that Dhost is down, yet XThost is alive...  (Yesterday, Dhost didn't seem to be recognized by DNS servers, either.)  Well, when you are able to spelunk again, if you are imaginative, you may find a whole bunch of finished stuff that I have not yet bothered to add HTML for, although many others may be in an unfinished state :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 26, 2011, 04:27:56 AM
A short design?  The horrors!  :D  (Dinonykos, you mentioned that it took you 5 years to start doing short mods...  I haven't spent 5 years yet!)
Well, it took me 5 years because I made the quite common mistake of wanting too much in the beginning. If I had spent the same energy into short/medium-sized designs that I spent into now-abandoned, huge, but never-finished versions of "Helmetlands", I would probably have finished half a dozen designs until now. As mentioned earlier, I am sure that even a one-level design of yours would be very much appreciated.

Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 26, 2011, 02:57:44 PM
Hmm, it only took me like two and a half years to do my first, but then I was re-doing a classic FRUA mod, and then my second attempt was posted not long after that (completely original), but thank god that has pretty much disappeared ('cause it was horrible).
Of course it's 15 years and counting for my first FRUA mod...(that I'll release, that is).

DHost is still down - dns lookup can't find it either. But, there is no news about it being 'gone'. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 30, 2011, 03:44:22 AM
Guess what I finally found this morning? My microphone, so I hope to have some sound files done for you by this weekend, assuming that you would still like them of course.

Yes, yes, yes! That would be nice!

And as written earlier, we should generally increase the spectrum of sound files, especially common phrases like "good day", "thank you", "good bye", and so on...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on January 30, 2011, 07:07:03 PM
...Dhost is ALIIIIVEEE!!!!  Time to cast the Permanency spell to finish the enchantment...  Phew!

I tried to record my daughter for my game, but she doesn't say what I tell her to...  :D  Perhaps I will record faux British accents for my mod :D (I hope UK folk here don't complain...)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 31, 2011, 03:24:05 AM
I tried to record my daughter for my game, but she doesn't say what I tell her to...  :D 

I know that problem.  :) Well, I do not record her for DC projects, but I quite often try to record children's songs with her.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on January 31, 2011, 06:57:58 AM
I tried to record my daughter for my game, but she doesn't say what I tell her to...  :D 

Just record what she says, then build a game that fits the quotations.  ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 31, 2011, 03:32:41 PM
Sorry I didn't do any recordings this weekend - too busy celebrating my birthday - Not! ;) I just forgot. I'll write it down in my to-do list and get it done soon. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 31, 2011, 03:56:29 PM
...Dhost is ALIIIIVEEE!!!!  Time to cast the Permanency spell to finish the enchantment...  Phew!

Really? I can't open any dhost sites...DNS server can't find it either. Maybe you could email me the fire giant icon, Uatu, and I'll go looking for the other stuff later. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 31, 2011, 06:39:39 PM
Sorry I didn't do any recordings this weekend - too busy celebrating my birthday - Not! ;) I just forgot.
I forgot to wish you a happy birthday during the weekend. I hope another screenshot from Helmetlands can compensate for this sin of omission... :D :D :D

(http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6468/scrnshtpraeludium.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 31, 2011, 06:59:43 PM
No apologies necessary. I had plenty enough chocolate that my birthday was very good. ;) But, any excuse to get a screenshot - especially one that looks this amazing - is cool with me. :) Simply awesome, Dinonykos. I suspect I know how this was accomplished, and it's a very cool trick. :D Your art always inspires me to want to mess around in DC. Maybe soon I'll bust out the Prohovost project and do something with it.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 31, 2011, 07:09:29 PM
No apologies necessary. I had plenty enough chocolate that my birthday was very good. ;) But, any excuse to get a screenshot - especially one that looks this amazing - is cool with me. :) Simply awesome, Dinonykos. I suspect I know how this was accomplished, and it's a very cool trick. :D
Well, as you are surely aware, this is a very big sprite. A size of 576x390 is well fitting with the default 3d viewport. These sprite type will not appear regularly, though, in Helmetlands.

I am still not sure about the layout of the 3d view frame. This will probably be changed again. At least I think moving the direction and time text to the upper left is a good approach. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on January 31, 2011, 07:13:14 PM
As I suspected. :) I like the placement of the direction and date/time.

I think this kind of sprite could be used for some humorous "asides" talking directly to the player. :) Oh, the possibiilities...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: HellStone on January 31, 2011, 08:08:21 PM
Simply amazing!     
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on January 31, 2011, 11:03:27 PM
Awesome work, Dinonykos!  :D  The 3D view also looks great (I like the subtle shading for the walls).

Incidentally, Dhost is currently alive once again!  (Hopefully it will last this time...)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 01, 2011, 03:21:19 AM
As I suspected. :) I like the placement of the direction and date/time.
As in other cases, it would of course be nice if the screen layout was even more editable (for example, you cannot set lower right coordinates for the area where the event text is displayed). However, what is doable at the moment is nice enough, and I am very close to my desired final look of the main screen... :)

I think this kind of sprite could be used for some humorous "asides" talking directly to the player. :) Oh, the possibiilities...
The talking-to-the-player thing is indeed a good example. I will use this sprite type sometimes when the party members discuss something, especially if no other NPC within reach shall hear what they are saying. It may also be nice for some shocking effects. I won't give any examples - the more I think about this, the more horrifying ideas come to my mind, and I do not like horror stuff.   :icon_pale:
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 01, 2011, 04:18:27 AM
I agree with everything everyone is saying here:

1. Happy birthday manikus!

2. Screenshot looks awesome! Maybe you could use this for NPCs or characters in the party, as opposed to those outside the party (who appear in the normal viewport window).

3. "It would of course be nice if the screen layout was even more editable", but we await v1.0!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 01, 2011, 03:02:20 PM
I have DHost -ed sites open at this very moment - thanks for letting know, Uatu. :)

Thanks, Steve. It was a good birthday. :D

Horror ideas? Hmm....those didn't even cross my mind. :) I keep thinking of the comic possibilities - NPCs peaking in to see what the player is doing, or asking, "What's going on back here?" etc. :D You can also use this type of sprite to show someone sneaking up behind the party...I like the idea of that.

Screen more editable? I think given a bit of time, I now know enough to change the layout, but I have no idea how to make those changes work through the config.txt file. Something to look forward to, for all of us though. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 01, 2011, 03:16:54 PM
It would have been a shame if dhost was gone so soon...

Horror ideas? Hmm....those didn't even cross my mind. :)
Imagine, e.g., something alienesque jumping at the party... But I do not want to think further about this...

I keep thinking of the comic possibilities - NPCs peaking in to see what the player is doing, or asking, "What's going on back here?" etc. :D You can also use this type of sprite to show someone sneaking up behind the party...I like the idea of that.
Yes, also a very good idea.

Furthermore: Spell effects and traps (e.g. darts hitting the screen).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 01, 2011, 03:36:54 PM
It would have been a shame if dhost was gone so soon...
No doubt. I would have cried. Though, I have completely filled my site up and I still have more Hero Craft stuff to put up, so I guess I'll need to delete the non-HC stuff.

Horror ideas? Hmm....those didn't even cross my mind. :)
Imagine, e.g., something alienesque jumping at the party... But I do not want to think further about this...
I could imagine all kinds of things that I'll never use in a DC design. :D I'm not too much of a horror fan myself, except for the humor/horror genre - think 'Army of Darkness' and 'Drag Me to Hell'. :)

I keep thinking of the comic possibilities - NPCs peaking in to see what the player is doing, or asking, "What's going on back here?" etc. :D You can also use this type of sprite to show someone sneaking up behind the party...I like the idea of that.
Yes, also a very good idea.

Furthermore: Spell effects and traps (e.g. darts hitting the screen).
Still thinking comedy - you could do an awesome spit-take. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 02, 2011, 03:51:59 AM
I am still not sure about the layout of the 3d view frame. This will probably be changed again. A

This is more or less the final look of Helmetlands: Praeludium (only that I will shade the screen elements and add some details here an there...):

(http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/3768/scrnshtpraeludium2.png)

By the way: I have come back to the simple "System" font after hours of experimenting with others. The font "Anime Ace 2.0" I wanted to use turned out to look strange in some cases... :( For comparison: One of the screenshots from the first page of this thread:

(http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/6127/gilacarlspidermartenkm2.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 02, 2011, 02:43:54 PM
I like the new look. I think you made the right call on the font, too. Now, if there were a font like halfway in-between the two, I think that would pretty much solve your problem. :)

I like the new frames a lot. :D They look quite a bit different from the original ones.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 02, 2011, 03:21:54 PM
Speaking of fonts, what happens if a designer uses a font in their design which is not available on the player's computer? Is it necessary for the player to install the font on their system? Is there any way to make DC install the font automatically before play and then (perhaps) automatically uninstall it afterwards?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 02, 2011, 03:42:31 PM
Speaking of fonts, what happens if a designer uses a font in their design which is not available on the player's computer? Is it necessary for the player to install the font on their system? Is there any way to make DC install the font automatically before play and then (perhaps) automatically uninstall it afterwards?

DC handles a missing font by punting the issue to Windows. :) I believe that Windows tries to find a font in the same family.

We don't want DC to install fonts. That's bad news for us, messing around in "restricted" folders. (I have my copy of XP set up to not allow any programs to install anything into my Windows folder or it's subfolders without an annoying amount of pop-up windows. :D)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on February 02, 2011, 04:13:50 PM
The screenshots looks very good.  :)

Can you load any True-Type font into DC, or do you need custom fonts like FRUA does?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 02, 2011, 04:21:20 PM
The screenshots looks very good.  :)

Can you load any True-Type font into DC, or do you need custom fonts like FRUA does?

Anything that works in Windows, works in DC. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 02, 2011, 04:27:09 PM
Ben J: You can use any true type font, but it needs to be installed in Windows first.

Manikus: I can certainly understand what you're saying. Perhaps DC v3.0 will include a mechanism whereby an included font can be used without installing it in Windows?! Until then designers may have to just include the font separately with an instruction to players to install it.

I don't understand how using fonts in the same "family" would work: how does windows know the "family" of a font which has never been installed? I also suspect it will tend to produce unexpected results, because fonts (even fonts in the same family) may vary significantly in size etc. So if I use Arial but the player only has Helvetica they will get different sized text, and it might either overlap the screen borders (if their font is bigger) or fail to fill the text area (if their font is smaller). Anyway, these are problems to which thre is probably no easy solution.

The font I like to use for fantasy settings is called Kingthings Petrock (it's a free font you can download from the internet - http://www.kingthingsfonts.co.uk/fonts/fonts.htm). I think it works pretty well in DC and looks a little like the old font used in the older goldbox games.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 02, 2011, 05:01:04 PM
Holy cow! What an awesome set of fonts. :) Thanks, Steve.

I believe that Windows knows the font family because when you load it in DC that info from the header is stored. I assume that's how Windows knows.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 03, 2011, 09:26:18 AM
Those who played Friedrich's Revenge will perhaps remember these girls:
(http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/2601/bugreeninsectoids.png) (http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/3250/budarkamazons.png)

In "Helmetlands: Praeludium", you will have the chance to fight them in regular combat:
(http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/2876/iconinsectoidgreen.png) (http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/7227/iconmrtnamazon.png)

(I assume especially Ben J will be happy to read that... :D )
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on February 03, 2011, 10:25:41 AM
(I assume especially Ben J will be happy to read that... :D )

Not that I'm particularly keen on fighting girls, but I'm happy to have the option to use the tactical combat.  ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 03, 2011, 10:56:58 AM
Not that I'm particularly keen on fighting girls, but I'm happy to have the option to use the tactical combat.  ;D

I did not think so - otherwise, I would have expected to see more female opponents in "The Sect".  ;)

I am also not keen on fighting female (or weak) opponents - especially in the tactical combat, since these end with death of the opponents. The reason that the opponents shown above occur in the Praeludium is that they were the "Lvl1-opponents" in "Friedrich's Revenge".
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 03, 2011, 02:48:24 PM
Not that I'm particularly keen on fighting girls, but I'm happy to have the option to use the tactical combat.  ;D

I did not think so - otherwise, I would have expected to see more female opponents in "The Sect".  ;)

I am also not keen on fighting female (or weak) opponents - especially in the tactical combat, since these end with death of the opponents. The reason that the opponents shown above occur in the Praeludium is that they were the "Lvl1-opponents" in "Friedrich's Revenge".

Umm, females are weak? Is that what I just read?  ???

I like the icons. :) I can't wait to do some Helmetland fightin'. :D (An opponent is an opponent in this game - male or female effects me the same. ;) )
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 03, 2011, 04:24:10 PM
Umm, females are weak? Is that what I just read?  ???

Nope. I wanted to state that being forced by a game to fight certain groups, including very weak opponents, female opponents, monsters belonging to rare species, or, let's say, people who are at the wrong place at the wrong time, may be annoying (depending on the context, of course). In such cases, I would at least like to have the option to go easy on the enemies or to spare their lives. Of course, female opponents are not neccessarily weak opponents.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 03, 2011, 05:10:07 PM
Umm, females are weak? Is that what I just read?  ???

Nope. I wanted to state that being forced by a game to fight certain groups, including very weak opponents, female opponents, monsters belonging to rare species, or, let's say, people who are at the wrong place at the wrong time, may be annoying (depending on the context, of course). In such cases, I would at least like to have the option to go easy on the enemies or to spare their lives. Of course, female opponents are not neccessarily weak opponents.

I was just giving you a hard time. :) I know that your statement was meant to be of a chivalrous nature. (Though, I would still contend that killing a male orc is just a despicable (or heroic) act as killing a female orc, if they are both standing there with a long knife getting ready to gut you. :D )
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: SilentThief on February 03, 2011, 08:43:06 PM
Screen more editable? I think given a bit of time, I now know enough to change the layout, but I have no idea how to make those changes work through the config.txt file. Something to look forward to, for all of us though. :D

An interesting co-incidence that I was just looking at this and cleaning out my yahoo mail. I have an old message from CocoaSpud saying there was at one time a utility to rearrange the display but it became lost. It was a response to me bugging him about a feaature request (sound familiar?). Now, I realize CocoaSpud was a few devs ago but the idea of such a utility being recreated for the new DC would be awesome. Makes me wish I could code...

ST
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Nol Drek on February 03, 2011, 09:29:42 PM
I am still not sure about the layout of the 3d view frame. This will probably be changed again. A

This is more or less the final look of Helmetlands: Praeludium (only that I will shade the screen elements and add some details here an there...):

(http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/3768/scrnshtpraeludium2.png)


This is an awesome new frame set. It has nice clean lines, and could be appropriate for a Science Fiction design. I especially like the fact that you have moved the compass and the time to the top of the screen, freeing up the wide horizontal bar for an interesting graphic, or for the title of your design.

I have to wonder what the notch in the left side of the frame near the smallpic frame is for. I assume that you make use of it in some way for smallpics that jump out of the standard frame.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 04, 2011, 03:07:04 AM
This is an awesome new frame set. It has nice clean lines, and could be appropriate for a Science Fiction design.
Thank you! :D Helmetlands is/will be a mixture of fantasy and science fiction (I think comparable to the Wizardry games, but I do not know Wizardry very well), and the party members originate from a world with a high tech level...

I especially like the fact that you have moved the compass and the time to the top of the screen, freeing up the wide horizontal bar for an interesting graphic, or for the title of your design.
Another reason for moving the compass and time were the giant sprites I want to show from time to time (compare earlier posts in this thread). Text is displayed on top of every other screen element (this can not yet be edited in the config.txt). Therefore, the compass and time text would have been on top of the giant sprites, which does not look very well...

I have to wonder what the notch in the left side of the frame near the smallpic frame is for. I assume that you make use of it in some way for smallpics that jump out of the standard frame.
Not that, but a similar reason: The 3d-view frame is also used in the character screen (otherwise, you won't see the character's portrait). The text used to display the HPs and money overlaps the frame when high values are reached. Thus I made the notch, creating room for the overlapping text.

For the same reason, I added gaps in the left frame in the screen layout of Friedrich's revenge:
(http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/5628/friedrichsrevengesilver.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 04, 2011, 04:25:51 AM
That consideration tends to suggest another feature request: the ability to choose separate images for the viewport frame and the character portrait frame (and to set the x,y co-ordinates for each, rather than setting x,y offset, which is quite difficult).

Dionykos, would you consider using the Helmetlands: Praeludium title font as the general game font as well? (I'm not a huge fan of the default font.)

By the way, I love your screen border / background graphics. Everything you do seems to have a really nice crisp look about it, and (importantly, I think) a consistent look.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on February 04, 2011, 07:49:14 AM
Nope. I wanted to state that being forced by a game to fight certain groups, including very weak opponents, female opponents, monsters belonging to rare species, or, let's say, people who are at the wrong place at the wrong time, may be annoying (depending on the context, of course). In such cases, I would at least like to have the option to go easy on the enemies or to spare their lives.

Like manikus hints at, that would be a nice option in ANY case, regardless of who the opponent is. Of course, it could bear the risk that when you spare someone's life they're immediately going to attack you again.  ;)

I didn't even know it was possible to customize the viewport in such a way, moving the compass and such. I guess that just proves how little I know about DC and how easily I'm deterred by anything mathematical.  ;) A tutorial on viewport customization would be very cool, one day (unless there already is one that I overlooked).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 04, 2011, 09:43:51 AM
I didn't even know it was possible to customize the viewport in such a way, moving the compass and such. I guess that just proves how little I know about DC and how easily I'm deterred by anything mathematical.  ;) A tutorial on viewport customization would be very cool, one day (unless there already is one that I overlooked).

I am not sure if that is really neccessary/useful. Such a tutorial could only point to the respective values in the config.txt file. The customization itself is only a matter of counting and calculating pixels. Well, below is a part of my config-file with some comments from my side:

Code: [Select]
// default art files, changes only affect editor [color=red]FOR THE SCREEN LAYOUT, THE FOLLOWING LINES DEFINE THE USED GRAPHICS[/color]
DEF_HORZ_BAR = bo_defhb.png
DEF_VERT_BAR = bo_defvb.png
DEF_FRAME = bo_deffr.png
DEF_COMBAT_WALLS = cw_defcw.png
DEF_COMBAT_WALLS_WILDERNESS = cww_defcww.png
DEF_COMBAT_CURSOR = cu_defcc.png
DEF_COMBAT_DEATH_ICON = defcdi.png
DEF_COMBAT_DEATH = defcd.png
DEF_CAMP = sp_defca.png
DEF_TREASURE = sp_deftr.png
DEF_ICONBG = defib.png


//***************************
// Game Engine Config
//***************************
Screen_Width  = 640
Screen_Height = 480
Color_Bits    = 32
Inter_Character_Delay = 5

// text colors used
COLOR_WHITE = 255,255,255
COLOR_BLACK = 0,0,0
COLOR_GREEN = 107,235,170
COLOR_RED = 200,73,141
COLOR_YELLOW = 255,255,0
COLOR_BLUE = 75,130,200
COLOR_COMBAT_GREEN = 0,255,0
COLOR_COMBAT_RED = 255,0,0
COLOR_COMBAT_YELLOW = 255,255,0
COLOR_COMBAT_BLUE = 64,128,255
BACKGROUND_FILL = 0,0,0
BACKGROUND_COMBAT_FILL = 0,0,0
COLOR_KEYBOARD_SHORTCUT = 251,133,15
USE_KEYBOARD_SHORTCUT = 1
COLOR_CUSTOM_1 = 102,247,159

// combat flags, they will only affect the debug build
// of the engine
//Monster_NoMove     = 0
//Monster_AlwaysMiss = 1
//Monster_AlwaysHit  = 0
//Monster_NoCast     = 0
//Monster_PlyrControl = 0
//Monster_NoDeath    = 0
//Party_AlwaysMiss   = 0
//Party_AlwaysHit    = 0

//DLD Starting x,y where text messages will be written to
TEXTBOX = 18,328
DEFAULT_MENU_HORZ = 14,460
DEFAULT_MENU_VERT = 200,200
DEFAULT_MENU_TEXTBOX = 18,328
PARTYNAMES = 18,18,275,18
LOCATIONTEXT = -39,19 //[color=red]THIS IS THE POSITION OF THE LOCATION, COMPASS AND TIME. BY CHOSING A NEGATIVE VALUE,[/color]
//[color=red]I REMOVED THE LOCATION COMPLETELY OUT OF THE SCREEN[/color]
VERSIONTEXT = 280,301
BIGPICSIZE = 15,16,623,304//[color=red]THE LATTER TWO VALUES ARE NOT USED, THEREFORE, YOU CAN MAKE BIGPICS BIGGER THAN 608x288[/color]
TEXTBOX_LINES = 6 // [color=red]THIS IS SOMETIMES OBSOLETE, DEPENDING ON THE FONT, ONLY 3, 4 OR 5 LINES MAY BE DISPLAYED[/color]

//DEFAULT_MENU_TEXTBOX = 200,328
//TXTBOX = 18,328
//LOCTXT 275,280

HORZ_BAR_TOP = 0,0
HORZ_BAR_MIDDLE = 0,308
HORZ_BAR_BOTTOM = 0,444
VERT_BAR_LEFT = 0,0
VERT_BAR_MIDDLE = 255,0
VERT_BAR_RIGHT = 625,0
VIEWPORT_FRAME = 0,0 //[color=red]THIS MARKS WHERE THE VIEWPORT FRAME IS POSITIONED IN NORMAL SCREEN[/color]
VIEWPORT_FRAME_SRC = 0,0,640,309 //[color=red]THIS DETERMINES THE PIXELS USED OF THE VIEWPORT FRAME GRAPHIC FILE[/color]
VIEWPORT_FRAME_OFFSET = 370,0 // [color=red]THIS MARKS WHERE THE FRAME IS POSITIONED IN THE CHARACTER VIEW[/color]
VIEWPORT_RECT = 48,54,224,265
VERT_BAR_LONG = 0,0,15,458
VERT_BAR_SHORT = 15,0,30,322
HORZ_BAR_LONG = 0,0,640,14
HORZ_BAR_LONG_2 = 0,14,640,28
HORZ_BAR_LONG_3 = 0,28,640,42

EDIT: I just realized you cannot change the font colour inside the code section, therefore, the colour commands around my comments are useless... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 04, 2011, 02:56:42 PM
Wow, a lot to respond to - and I'm going to try to do it all in one breath.

Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (here I go)
ST - such a program does indeed exist/still exists, but it's not magical - it only does what you can already do with the config.txt.

Steve - such a request already exists. :) I would really love to be able to change all the art from within the design.

Olivier - If you can think of a layout, I can make it. :) I've seriously flirted with the idea of putting the viewport on the right side and the characters on the left. You could put the textbox above if you wanted (I dont think that would look very well, personally). I think you might be able to put the textbox beside the viewport and the characters above or below the two...you definitely can with the 1024 resolution. :)

Nol - what kind of frames would you like to see? I've been planning on making some and would love to make some that might actually get used.

Dinonykos - Hi. :) Thanks for your  notes on the config.txt. I just wrote the new Help section for this, but there are no examples in my help - just explanations. :)

Whhhhhhhhhheeeeeehhhhh.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 04, 2011, 05:15:31 PM
I finally managed to finished the first page/screen of the intro comic.

(http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/640/praeludiumpage01608text.png)

Now that I have finished the page, it occurred to me that it looks a little bit like a Carnage-Wolverine duel (although I am not aware of such a fight in the Marvel Comics...). :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 04, 2011, 05:25:05 PM
Wowzers! That's super cool looking, Dinonykos. I am really looking forward to the introductory comic (and obviously to the game).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 05, 2011, 08:10:04 AM
Dionykos, would you consider using the Helmetlands: Praeludium title font as the general game font as well? (I'm not a huge fan of the default font.)

I agree with you that the default font is kind of boring. However, as written above, fonts I would like to use (Anime Ace 2.0 - the one used for the title, Tempus Sans, Domo Arigato) all have some drawbacks, e.g. that only four text rows are displayed in the text section, or that they are not widespread and would need to ask the players to install tham, or that they look strange on some systems (even if installed and correctly displayed). Therefore, I will use the system font for now, but maybe I find another font which comes close to the looks I aim at. I am absolutely open for suggestions. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on February 07, 2011, 08:29:10 PM
Awesome comic - makes me want to draw comics, too, but I am too lazy :D  (I did want to draw comics once upon a time.)

It does look a bit like Carnage vs. Wolverine, except that they look much nicer and funnier than those two popular Marvel characters (who need to look into anger management).  But I guess that powers like healing factors would not be coercive into becoming nice people...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 08, 2011, 02:56:20 AM
It does look a bit like Carnage vs. Wolverine, except that they look much nicer and funnier than those two popular Marvel characters (who need to look into anger management).  But I guess that powers like healing factors would not be coercive into becoming nice people...

Gordon (the guy in blue) started as a kind of supermarten-character (I should add that I was 14 when I started drawing these characters from Helmetlands and the Friedrich games...), being almost invulnerable. Then I learned in the biology class how regeneration is handled, and changed him to have quicker regeneration instead - which is of course much better for enthralling situations then boaring invulnerability. :D

Finally, when I learned about the omnipotent cells of spongues, I added a special cell type called "archocytes" to the character (included in his DNA via a retrovirus) which explains his quick regeneration and the possibility to do some additional cool things. This results in a (weaker) combination of Wolverine and Venom elements, but I think the background is more logical...

The violet character has no special powers at all, and uses these wolverinesque claws only to keep her hands free... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on February 08, 2011, 08:59:57 AM
Very nice comic, Dinonykos!  :)
 
What's the stuff coming out of Gordon's hands? Will the player have the possibility to control that?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 08, 2011, 10:42:35 AM
What's the stuff coming out of Gordon's hands?
The stuff coming out of his hands is a manifestation of the "archocytes" I metioned above.

Very nice comic, Dinonykos!  :)
Will the player have the possibility to control that?
You perhaps remember that Gordon had "regeneration" as a speciality in Friedrich's Revenge. This is one aspect of the archocytes: They can be activated to regenerate or repair damaged cells. They may, however, attack Gordon's other cells occasionally, especially if there's a lack of blood sugar.
The aspect of turning the archocytes into these tentacle-like things will probably not play an important role in "Praeludium", and in "Helmet Menace", Gordon has a guest role only.
However, Gordon may be one of the main characters in the second Helmetlands part. I assume that DC 1.0 will be completed then, and then it would be easier to deal with such special abilities...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on February 08, 2011, 08:10:35 PM
Wow, I have now increased my sponge knowledge by about 150% (thanks Dinonykos and Wikipedia!).  Quite interesting animals, those.  Long-lived, too, but I think that Wikipedia is exaggerating today (15,000 years for a certain glass sponge?!  The linked paper says 150 years...).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 09, 2011, 06:25:19 AM
Must've forgotten the decimal point!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 17, 2011, 05:14:08 PM
Helmetlands: Praeludium has a page of its own (http://dhost.info/dinonykos/pageprld.html) at my dhost site. You can also find some new backgrounds there, and the "grassfloors" I have used in Friedrich's Quest.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 17, 2011, 05:26:51 PM
Very nice, Dinonykos. :)

The links to the grassfloors are returning a 404 error right now... :(
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 17, 2011, 05:37:11 PM
The links to the grassfloors are returning a 404 error right now... :(

Ups!   :confused3:

Now it should work...  ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 17, 2011, 05:49:33 PM
It works! It works! :D Thanks for the grassfloors, Dinonykos.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 20, 2011, 02:51:42 PM
New screenshot from "Helmetlands: Praeludium":

(http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/9207/scrnshtpraeludium4.png)

Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on February 20, 2011, 04:53:25 PM
Really nice.  :)

And it has German onomatopoeia in it. TSCHAK! WUTSCH!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 20, 2011, 05:04:27 PM
And it has German onomatopoeia in it. TSCHAK! WUTSCH!

I thought the same right after I added them. Well, I rather thought "Lautmalereien" or maybe "Peng-Wörter".

In any case, I considered replacing WUTSCH! with WHOSH! and TSCHAK with TSHUK (or whatever), but decided that it is more funny this way... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 20, 2011, 05:14:00 PM
And it has German onomatopoeia in it. TSCHAK! WUTSCH!

Unbelievable - there's really a comic hero named "Onomatopoeia"... this is indeed an original idea!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 22, 2011, 03:22:49 PM
Looking good. :D Getting this a page at a time is like our very own serial.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 25, 2011, 06:38:04 PM
Looking good. :D Getting this a page at a time is like our very own serial.

Shall I continue like this? I am still wondering if I should keep the following pages secret until the design is published.  :-\

One reason why I posted the second page was to show how nice the "very big pics" can be used to insert something like this into the game (not using title screens).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 25, 2011, 06:40:45 PM
I think you should hold at least a couple of pages back.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 28, 2011, 05:11:26 PM
Screenshot from one of the combats:

(http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/236/scrnshtpraeludium5.png)

(I have just seen I have to adjust the central vertical frame...)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 28, 2011, 05:46:47 PM
Oh, that is wicked cool. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on March 03, 2011, 01:37:59 AM
Hey, that looks pretty awesome :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on March 03, 2011, 09:21:45 AM
Wow, I wanna play this now.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on March 03, 2011, 10:59:42 AM
Wow, I wanna play this now.

You could do so, but it would be unsatisfactory in the current state... :)

Joking aside, I am making progress and hope that it will be completed in April. On the other hand, I have to go to two congresses in March and April and will probably have to work on some presentations during the early nighttime (when I normally do the DC stuff... :D ).

Interestingly, after having played through "Mars in Misalignment" by Hans last week, I realized that "Preludium" will be similar in a lot of aspects (a little bit longer, though, and not as straight forward).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on March 03, 2011, 01:45:30 PM
I hope you don't have to go in front of the US congress - I wouldn't wish that upon anyone, except maybe another congress person. ;)

So, similar to "Mars in Misalignment"? Interesting... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on March 21, 2011, 02:35:35 PM
So, similar to "Mars in Misalignment"? Interesting... :D

Well, it will be a little bit longer and not as straight-forward - but also a kind of interactive comic.

Apropos comic, the intro comic is completed. Now, I can start working on the design itself.

:D

Just kidding. But there is still a lot to do before I can give it to the playtesters.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on March 21, 2011, 02:49:28 PM
So, similar to "Mars in Misalignment"? Interesting... :D

Well, it will be a little bit longer and not as straight-forward - but also a kind of interactive comic.

Apropos comic, the intro comic is completed. Now, I can start working on the design itself.

:D

Just kidding. But there is still a lot to do before I can give it to the playtesters.

Is it time for me to start holding my breath in anticipation? ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on May 05, 2011, 02:49:46 PM
Is it time for me to start holding my breath in anticipation? ;)

Don't stop breathing, please. The Praeludium is still not finished (I am jsut working on some additional music). Maybe early June...
Until then, another half a of page of the intro comic... :D
(http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/4633/praeludiumgilavsintrude.png)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on May 05, 2011, 03:00:34 PM
Woot! :D This is awesome!

I never hold my breath, actually. It's bad for eyeball pressure (says the man who has had multiple eye surgeries). ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on May 06, 2011, 02:55:28 AM
I think having your skills with 3d graphics would have helped me much with the comic - I could have done the backgrounds with the approach you have shown in the other thread, and put the characters or special objects on a second layer. On the other hand, that would probably look a little "static"...

Now that I know DC allows very big pictures covering the complete scene, I will probably put some short comic-cutscenes into the Helmetlands designs.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on May 06, 2011, 02:00:18 PM
Using the 3D background approach, and then doing some post-work to it, might be a good time saver. :) At least it will be in my case. It will be the difference between having appropriate small pics and not in some of my designs, I think.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on May 29, 2011, 03:33:24 PM
At
http://dhost.info/dinonykos/pageprld.html
, you can find the "BETA" version (or whatever you would call it) of the Praeludium to Helmetlands. Those who are ready to playtest, just download the zip-file, extract it and execute "Praeludium.exe". All available characters must be added and should not manually be removed (otherwise, the game will end!).

The uploaded version lacks two big and two small pictures I still have to do, but otherwise, it is complete. Enjoy (if possible  ;D )!

PS: It seems the link above works not always when directly clicked on, but copying and pasting the link into your browser's address/navigation line should do...
PS2: Thanks to Ben_J's hint, the link should now work... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on May 30, 2011, 02:00:07 AM
Yay!  :hello2:

Downloaded it. Hope I can start playtesting it soon.

That reminds me, I still promised you to write a title theme, and I still don't have a new sound card, so MIDI is the only thing working at the moment. But I envisioned something bigger, with electric guitars and stuff...  :-\

P.S. The link doesn't work because it includes the comma at the end.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on May 31, 2011, 02:40:54 AM
The 'Praeludium' will be included in 'Helmet Menace' (but you will be allowed to 'skip' it) and I will still need some months to finish 'Helmet Menace', so there is much time left to do a title music. Since you envision something oppulent, maybe we can even do something together, I could add the bassline and a cello solo to your piece (or maybe a noseflute solo :D :D :D )...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on May 31, 2011, 02:58:10 AM
Yes, let's do a MIDI/cello duet with some nose-flute flourishes.  ;D

I just need to find some quiet time to work on it. In don't really have a permanent "music studio" setup anymore, ever since my first son was born - time to move into a new house, I guess. :D But at some point in the next weeks I'll fetch the keyboard from the attic and start composing.

Another thing we could do: I could write the basic themes in a notation program (which can convert files to MIDI) - let's say two or three voices - and then I'll send you the file and you can do an arrangement for it, if you like the theme. What do you say?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on May 31, 2011, 03:26:53 AM
Yes, let's do a MIDI/cello duet with some nose-flute flourishes.  ;D
And then, we join the next Eurovision song contest! Yes!  :hello2:

In don't really have a permanent "music studio" setup anymore, ever since my first son was born - time to move into a new house, I guess. :D
Same here, very limited equipment at the moment. But I think recording a Cello might still be possible with at least acceptable results.

Another thing we could do: I could write the basic themes in a notation program (which can convert files to MIDI) - let's say two or three voices - and then I'll send you the file and you can do an arrangement for it, if you like the theme. What do you say?
I say: definitely worth a try.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on May 31, 2011, 03:41:05 AM
I say: definitely worth a try.

Okay, let's do this.

This is something I can do without a big setup and with headphones on.

The basis of some of the "Sect"-tracks was written this way, most notably the "Victory", "Battle" and "Treasure" themes.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on May 31, 2011, 01:43:27 PM
[...sneaks in and downloads something, then scurries off to work on version 1.0...] ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on June 22, 2011, 03:18:23 PM
The "Praeludium" is very nice. :)

Helmetlands will be epic.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on June 23, 2011, 04:09:47 AM
The "Praeludium" is very nice. :)

Thanks for the kind words and testing the "Praeludium". Some of the missing art is done now, I hope I can finish the rest during the weekend...
(http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9686/buflamecakesmaking.png)

With the remarks you send me, I can hopefully improve the "Praeludium" within a few days, and then "start" with "The Helmet Menace".

"Start" does not mean beginning with zero, rather, integrating all I have allready done in one design and then completing. Still, it will probably take another year, since, as Ben J wrote:

Helmetlands will be epic.

Even the first part alone will be very complex, maybe one third of "The Sect", to give an estimation.

Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on June 23, 2011, 01:51:12 PM
It'll be a little while before you get any of my comments - I'm in a no game playing mode until version 1.0 comes out. I've even stopped playing Spider Solitaire. :D

But, when I can play games again, I have two FRUA designs to play and then your design, Dinonykos. Of couse, not playing did not mean that I couldn't look at all thre pretty pictures. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on June 23, 2011, 02:26:24 PM
It'll be a little while before you get any of my comments - I'm in a no game playing mode until version 1.0 comes out. I've even stopped playing Spider Solitaire. :D

No complaints from my side. On the contrary, I am impressed that you are so focused.
Ben J sent me some very helpful remarks, and by correcting the mistakes he found plus those I recognized myself, I should be able to post a "bronze edition" soon. Considering Paul's and your efforts (plus that of all the testers), "The Helmet Menace" may be completed with 1.0... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on June 23, 2011, 02:31:25 PM
I think it is no small coincidence that Ben J's design is one of the two ahead of yours. :D The other design is the "Heroes of Phlan" by hans. I started both of these and greatly enjoyed them, but DC is a cruel mistress. :D There are other designs, both FRUA and DC (including the Gamma World mod that I am very eager to try) in my queue as well.
And then maybe some day I'll be relatively caught up, I can maybe work on something of my own again.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on June 23, 2011, 02:50:48 PM
I think it is no small coincidence that Ben J's design is one of the two ahead of yours. :D

"The Sect" is THE benchmark for me. Regurlarly, when I played that design, I thought: "Wow! Something like this should also be included in Helmetlands."

Well, of course, I did not think that in English. But something similar. "Hut ab!"
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on June 23, 2011, 03:09:44 PM
The Sect is indeed impressive. I think I'm going to have start over, as while I was taking notes (for my review), I am not sure that I can reassemble the story in my own head...no, not true - I think I just did. :D :D :D That's a mark of a good story.

I really hope that not only will you get to finish Helmetlands in version 1.0, but that you will get to do most of it in version 1.0. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on June 24, 2011, 02:20:23 PM
The Sect is indeed impressive. I think I'm going to have start over, as while I was taking notes (for my review), I am not sure that I can reassemble the story in my own head...no, not true - I think I just did. :D :D :D That's a mark of a good story.

If you have any questions regarding your current position in the story, just write me a PM.

"The Sect" is THE benchmark for me. Regurlarly, when I played that design, I thought: "Wow! Something like this should also be included in Helmetlands."

Well, of course, I did not think that in English. But something similar. "Hut ab!"

Thanks. :)

Feel free to borrow anything you like from the game. ;)

To return the compliment: For me, your Marten-games are a great incentive to want to make games with DC.

The second installment in the "Sect"-series might well turn out to be a DC game (since some of the planned elements could be difficult to implement in FRUA).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on June 24, 2011, 04:24:33 PM
I can't think of a better way to attract more  traditional FRUA users to try out DC!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on June 24, 2011, 04:35:27 PM
I agree completely. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 23, 2011, 03:34:31 PM
The Praeludium is now more or less "completed". I will probably upload the new version tomorrow. Thanks again to Ben J for playtesting and giving so many helpful comments and feedback. I think I have solved most of the problems, you found, Ben. :)

As appetizers, here are some new/redone screenshots.

(http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/9433/scrnshtpraeludium6.png)

(http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/3299/scrnshtpraeludium7.png)

(http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/4937/scrnshtpraeludium8.png)

The Praeludium will also be part of "Helmetlands: Helmet Menace" with some minor additions. However, it will be skipable therein... The Praeludium is meant for those who want to learn about the complete background story of "Helmetlands" and the main characters.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on July 23, 2011, 03:45:21 PM
Excellent news, excellent screenshots. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: rune_74 on July 23, 2011, 04:26:03 PM
That looks great, I love how you used the characters as overlays(how did you do that?).  I wish I could draw half as well.

Question for you, when you ask about combat is that your way of working around dungeon crafts weaknesses at the moment?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 24, 2011, 12:57:43 AM
That looks great, I love how you used the characters as overlays(how did you do that?).  I wish I could draw half as well.

Question for you, when you ask about combat is that your way of working around dungeon crafts weaknesses at the moment?

Exactly.
"Story mode" is a very simple multiple-choice-event-based combat. It includes things like AC and Thaco, but things like magic or long-range weapons are not included. (Magic generally plays/will play a minor role in the Helmetlands games...) On the other hand, you can do some things that are not possible in "Classic mode", like surrendering or bribing.

With this story-mode combat, and limited magic, there are no obvious bugs in the games...

The way I handled this story-mode combat is slightly different in "Friedrich's Quest" (several rounds, during which you can decide between different fighting styles - but the game ends when you die) and "Friedrich's Revenge" (rounds are automatically computed once you decide how to fight, and you get the chance to reload if you lose). In any case, some people did not like this kind of combat, therefore, I added the option to use the normal combats ("Classic mode") in "The Praeludium".
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 25, 2011, 09:49:40 AM
That looks great, I love how you used the characters as overlays(how did you do that?).
You can use pictures (also sprites) bigger than the viewport. You can also do big pics covering the complete screen. It may be a drawback (depending on what you try to achieve) that the text is always displayed on top of all other screen elements. In any case, you can get some nice results...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 25, 2011, 03:03:57 PM
 :) HELMETLANDS: PRAELUDIUM is now downloadable here:

http://dhost.info/dinonykos/pageprld.html
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on July 25, 2011, 03:18:31 PM
Woot woot! :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: rune_74 on July 25, 2011, 06:17:37 PM
So is this the same version that was out before?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on July 25, 2011, 06:20:54 PM
This is the new improved version that integrates playtester results. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 26, 2011, 02:38:05 AM
This is the new improved version that integrates playtester results. :)

Exactly! Ben J has found some things that needed improvement, and furthermore, this version contains additional pictures. There were also a few inconsistensies with "Friedrich's Revenge" which I had to remove.

Maybe, the version of the Praeludium which is integrated in "Helmet Menace" will feature even more additional graphics... depends on how much time I need for the main part. I have still not found time to do some additional voice acting, this is also something that could occur in an updated version. And, of course, if someone finds serious mistakes/bugs in the Praeludium, I will remove them, too.

"Helmet Menace", however, will not be finished until 2012, I fear.

But, just to make that clear, the now uploaded version of the Praeludium is complete!
It includes some elements which to my knowledge have not yet been done in DC and probably also not in FRUA... :D

Maybe Olivier could add this one to the list of DC designs?

EDIT:
So is this the same version that was out before?
One thing I forgot: The screen elements are green in this version... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on July 26, 2011, 07:56:48 AM
Maybe Olivier could add this one to the list of DC designs?

Done (http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1302.msg13906#msg13906). Let me know if the entry is missing anything or if you want a different description.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 26, 2011, 08:08:53 AM
Done (http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1302.msg13906#msg13906). Let me know if the entry is missing anything or if you want a different description.

Thank you, that's fine.  :) Maybe you could add one of the newer screenshots from this thread if you find the time....

So we 14 entries now! I fear I have only played half of them so far... but I will give the first design a try tonight.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on July 26, 2011, 02:08:35 PM
Hey Olivier, thanks for adding the screenshot, however, I forgot that 640 px is to wide. Please find attached a 500-px-wide version of the same screenshot. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 26, 2011, 10:53:07 AM
I am currently working intensively on the Helmetland designs in my free time. Good news is that I make progress with level designing, bad news is that I will probably not find time to do art now (like "dinonykied Uatu pictures") not directly related to "Helmetlands" (rather: only if there are specific requests). Stay tuned for new screenshots from "Helmetlands: The Helmet Menace"!  ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on September 26, 2011, 02:40:47 PM
Stay tuned for new screenshots from "Helmetlands: The Helmet Menace"!  ;D

I will! :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 26, 2011, 03:32:45 PM
Work on, my productive firend, work on. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 27, 2011, 04:40:42 AM
Here are some 3d-views:

(http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/3514/scrnshtmenace01.png) (http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/1846/scrnshtmenace02.png) (http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4028/scrnshtmenace03.png) (http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/3994/scrnshtmenace04.png)
(http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/3863/scrnshtmenace05.png) (http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/4156/scrnshtmenace06.png) (http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/1862/scrnshtmenace07.png) (http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/1475/scrnshtmenace08.png)

The characters visible in two of the pictures are "NPC walls".
BTW, now I have finally (this time really finally :) ) decided not to use overland maps. I will add some possibilities to avoid long boring walks, and I will try to make the travelling routes very alive... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 27, 2011, 01:55:07 PM
These all look amazing, Dinonykos. :D I'm really excited to play this. I love the pumpkins, I hope that my characters will be able to see jack-o-lanterns and/or eat pumpkin pie. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on September 28, 2011, 02:40:57 PM
I love the pumpkins, I hope that my characters will be able to see jack-o-lanterns and/or eat pumpkin pie. ;)

Nice ideas! And you inspired me to do a special helmettiger character... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on September 28, 2011, 04:13:15 PM
Yay! Nothing says "fiercce" like a tiger eating pie. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on September 29, 2011, 06:12:17 PM
The screenshots look great. You really showcase what can be done in DC.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 22, 2011, 02:19:06 PM
Helmetlands: The Helmet Menace will again be delayed since I want to join the "Winter Contest" suggested by Hans, Goldboxfan, and others: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1753.0

However, my contribution will be a short sidestory of Helmetlands, called: "Helmetlands: Cold Trail". (I just saw that there is an icelandic movie with the title "Cold Trail" - but the title is really fitting, so I will probably not change it...)

Since I also kind of announced that I will do a superhero mod (not least to convince Hans to at least have a short look at a DC design... :) ), I decided that Gordon from "Friedrich's Revenge" and "The Praeludium" will be the main character.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 22, 2011, 02:42:00 PM
No worries. :) The contest looks cool. I wish I could enter, but alas, no more contests for me until version 1.0 is out. Of course, if we get 1.0 out relatively soon, I think I'll take a shot at it too. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on October 23, 2011, 08:07:54 PM
Wow, another mod from Dinonykos!  :D  I gotta start playing these things, too...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 27, 2011, 06:39:24 AM
Wow, another mod from Dinonykos!  :D 

"Cold Trail" will probably be similar to "Friedrich's Quest" in size, but will feature some things to my knowledge not yet done in FRUA or DC. I do not want to spoil too much, but food will play a role as well as reputation. I hope I can achieve something like an automatic Level up/Training Hall event, too. Concerning some of these aspects, "Cold Trail" will even be more original than my epic main project "Helmet Menace", since some of the things I plan to do would be too complicated for huge designs...

And, not least to becalm Ben J, you will have the option to chose between normal/"classic" combat and a very simple multiple choice combat (like that in "Friedrich's Revenge"). Thanks to the "combat result trigger", some nice result variations should be possible for both combat types... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 27, 2011, 01:44:24 PM
Wowsers! I really want to see a food system in action. Some day when I get to make designs again, I'm going to be using a food system. And a sleep system - go too long without sleep and things start to go wonky. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 28, 2011, 12:55:09 AM
Wowsers! I really want to see a food system in action. Some day when I get to make designs again, I'm going to be using a food system. And a sleep system - go too long without sleep and things start to go wonky. :)

I made a very simple system on a daily basis. There are several ways to do it, of course, but what I wanted was a kind of flexible time limit - if you find no food, the game will end after five days, but you can prolongue your time be finding food. Furthermore, Gordon, the main character, has a regeneration ability, but each regenation demands food for one day... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 28, 2011, 01:30:28 PM
Wowsers! I really want to see a food system in action. Some day when I get to make designs again, I'm going to be using a food system. And a sleep system - go too long without sleep and things start to go wonky. :)

I made a very simple system on a daily basis. There are several ways to do it, of course, but what I wanted was a kind of flexible time limit - if you find no food, the game will end after five days, but you can prolongue your time be finding food. Furthermore, Gordon, the main character, has a regeneration ability, but each regenation demands food for one day... :)

Sounds cool, Dinonykos. I look forward to getting a peak at this.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 29, 2011, 02:29:22 PM
Okay, last night I decided that I wanted to have a working food system. Now I do. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 29, 2011, 02:41:43 PM
I assume I will have to wait a little bit until I see it in a design, do I not? I am especially interested in seeing how you handle "hunger". My approach is perhaps to simple concerning that aspect. It would be cool to have a system which includes aspects like weakening...

On the other hand, I will probably not include such a system in "The Helmet Menace", which shall involve more story telling and less tactic aspects...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 29, 2011, 02:54:57 PM
I'm still adding in little things like letting the party know they're hungry... :) But, I'll put out a Proof of Concept mini-mod when I get a little bit further along.

If there were functions to GET/SET Quests or Quest Items, I could do it all with one Logic Block event, but since we don't have those functions, I need to add another LB event.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 29, 2011, 03:07:29 PM
If there were functions to GET/SET Quests or Quest Items, I could do it all with one Logic Block event, but since we don't have those functions, I need to add another LB event.

Maybe I misunderstood what you meant, but I am sure there is a SET_QUEST command. There is none for Special Items though, as far as I know...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 29, 2011, 03:18:19 PM
If there were functions to GET/SET Quests or Quest Items, I could do it all with one Logic Block event, but since we don't have those functions, I need to add another LB event.

Maybe I misunderstood what you meant, but I am sure there is a SET_QUEST command. There is none for Special Items though, as far as I know...

You didn't misunderstand me - I didn't think we had that. It's not in the Help, so I missed it there, and I looked through list of functions in the editor, but was specifically looking for GET_QUEST, so when I didn't see it, I didn't bother to check for SET.
But now that I think about it, I think nologgie has shown examples of using this...bad designer manikus.

Okay, if I can get SET_QUEST to handle Special Items, I will have something posted in a little while. I am using Special Items to give to the party one called "Hungry" when a certain level is hit - because the player can see a Special Item but not a Quest.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 29, 2011, 04:21:09 PM
Wow, so I've even used SET_QUEST in tutorials I've made. How embarassing. :)

I'm having issues with it right now - I don't think it does what I want it to do.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 29, 2011, 04:47:22 PM
To furtner my running commentary - I have figured out my issues with SET_QUEST. But, it cannot be used to give Special Items to parties, so I will need to do something with a Logic Block event. Probably won't happen today.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 29, 2011, 04:48:29 PM
I used a special item paired with a quest for these reasons.
Gordon carries a food box which can be examined, and depending on the state of the quest "food", the player gets informations like: "you have food for several days", "you have food for two days", a.s.o.

An alternative approach I thought about was using several special items named "food for one day", "food for two days" a.s.o. and exchange them depending on food consumed/found. This would have made the amount of food available directly visible to the player when opening the inventar screen. However, it would also have demanded quite complex event chains...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 29, 2011, 05:17:22 PM
I'm using a different approach. The food/hunger is tracked through an ASL, and regular items - varioius kinds of foood can add points to the food pool, while time decreases teh pool.

I was hoping to use a Special Item called "Hungry" to appear in the party's inventory when they are at a certain level of points or lower. And when they eat to get their points back up, the Special Item would be taken away. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on October 30, 2011, 10:26:58 PM
Quote
I was hoping to use a Special Item called "Hungry" to appear in the party's inventory when they are at a certain level of points or lower. And when they eat to get their points back up, the Special Item would be taken away. :)

You could always use Utilities events with event triggers to assign/remove the Special Item based upon the ASL value.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: SilentThief on October 31, 2011, 01:44:18 PM
I remember trying to , back in 0.914 version; trying to make a food system which placed "food" and "water" in the bottom two currency slots which hold gems and jewelry (figured I'd just make gem items and likewise with jewelry and they would be cash items that wouldn't bundle)

Using 914, you could make a spell that added to the currency slots but couldn't make one that took away. This would in effect be like the cleric spell "create food and water". I also was unable to make ANY kind of script that would add/subtract from these slots so it never progressed from that point.

This is where I request that we have ability to add/subtract the number values in currency slots.

ST mind on my money
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 31, 2011, 02:21:26 PM
Quote
I was hoping to use a Special Item called "Hungry" to appear in the party's inventory when they are at a certain level of points or lower. And when they eat to get their points back up, the Special Item would be taken away. :)

You could always use Utilities events with event triggers to assign/remove the Special Item based upon the ASL value.

You are so right - this is actually what I ended up doing, and it works beautifully. :) In my version of "food", when a person first gets hungry (20 or lower), their strength is reduced, and when they get even hungrier (10 or less) strength is reduced again, as well as intelligence. :D Go above 20 and strength and intelligence are restored.
For my Proof of Concept design, I start the food at 25 so that a person can easily make the party hungry, but in a real mod, I would likely start it at 120 or so. What I haven't figured out yet, is how to put a max cap on the ASL, not because it seems particularly hard, but I just haven't gotten to it. :D On the other end of the spectrum is something that I think will be hard to implement, and that is to have the strength and intelligence loss apply to the whole party, and not just the active character (PoC mod solves this by having only one PC in party).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on October 31, 2011, 03:50:35 PM
Quote
On the other end of the spectrum is something that I think will be hard to implement, and that is to have the strength and intelligence loss apply to the whole party, and not just the active character (PoC mod solves this by having only one PC in party).

I like Party ASLs and event triggers with $WHILE loops for this.

Your method offers some great possibilities! A PARTY FOOD special item that displays the ASL value when examined. A Create Food and Water spell to add to the ASL value. Food gathering to add to the ASL value. Even the possibility of races or individuals with different susceptibility levels to deprivation.

I could get entirely too carried away with this.  ;D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 31, 2011, 04:45:42 PM
Sounds cool, Manikus! More convincing than my approach... I am looking forward to seeing a demo...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 31, 2011, 04:52:35 PM
Well, you wouldn't be the only one getting carried away. :D I like those ideas you mentioned. I don't see any reason why I shouldn't add those to my Proof of Concept design.

Any thoughts about over-eating? If say 120 were the starting value, perhaps a cap of 240 and the top 20 points cause drowsiness (whatver that means - yet to be determined by me) and maybe lowers movement due to a full belly...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: nologgie on October 31, 2011, 06:35:32 PM
If the ASL is based upon the food the party has already consumed, I think lowered movement or vomiting would be valid results, but I'd probably go with a "You're Full" dialog, and not allow them to consume any more instead.

Bundled items should work for the food itself. You might go with one type without an expiration date to simplify things, or many types with varying properties, just as long as they have encumbrance and occupy an equipment slot. I'd compromise with having two: Perishable and Non-Perishable. I base this upon the relative shelf lives of cereal and milk, which I have observed entirely too many times.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 31, 2011, 06:53:28 PM
I was thinking more about being full. I thought it would be best to not penalize, but instead perhaps adding in a touch of levity, a la comments like "You're armor is feeling a bit snug." etc.

I hadn't even thought about food with expiration dates. Right now the items are Snack, Lunch, Meal, Rations, Iron Rations. Those provide varying amounts of food. Aside from items, I have a restaurant where no items change hands.

Thoughts on implementing expiration dates on food? Hmm, I already have some ideas. I just wish there ways for messages to easily be put on the screen from scripts. I can do this with the "Dialog" functions but that is clunky and they are ugly. :) The easiest way would be a script that runs when the item is bought giving it a time stamp (so to speak), and then checked again when it was time to eat it - if fine points are added, item is removed; if not good, a message saying the item has spoiled would be displayed and the item would be taken and replaced by the spoiled/rotten version. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on October 31, 2011, 11:51:27 PM
Any thoughts about over-eating? If say 120 were the starting value, perhaps a cap of 240 and the top 20 points cause drowsiness (whatver that means - yet to be determined by me) and maybe lowers movement due to a full belly...

Perhaps if you overeat too many times the character's movement is permanently lowered and their combat icon and portrait are replaced with a fat version. Then again, you may not want to take it that far. Is this an RPG or an anatomy simulator!?!

Like Tom, I would be happy with "You're full". (Edit to add: But equally happy with levity.)

Or even an automatic food consumption that just lowers "food" every 12 hours and then only starts counting "hunger" when you run out of food? Kind of like in the EOB games where the characters would simply automatically consume any rations they had, and would only start taking HP damage when hungry. (Edit to add: I think the most important thing really is that the food/hunger system doesn't start to detract from the main aim of the game.)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 01, 2011, 02:08:43 AM
Or even an automatic food consumption that just lowers "food" every 12 hours and then only starts counting "hunger" when you run out of food? Kind of like in the EOB games where the characters would simply automatically consume any rations they had, and would only start taking HP damage when hungry. (Edit to add: I think the most important thing really is that the food/hunger system doesn't start to detract from the main aim of the game.)

While I like the aspect of "feeding" the party, I would also think that they should be allowed to handle things on their own. Otherwise, you would probably also have to tell them when to make toilette breaks... :)

And, I agree that the system should not distract you from the game. For that reason, I will e.g. not add a food system to Helmet Menace, where the story is very complex. On the other hand, in a design where the party is for some reason cut from any food supply, e.g., when visiting a dungeon, a food system of course is a great addition.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 01, 2011, 02:12:34 PM
I'm thinking about making the food system more complex, adding a water system and a sleep system. :) But, I'm also planning on adding a way for a player to opt out at the beginning. I also think that I will do the same with random combat. I already plan on limiting random combat somewhat - when a boss for an area dies, random monsters of that type will stop. But, there may still be wild critters, unless opted out at the beginning.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 01, 2011, 02:23:38 PM
The M&M games had a nice approach (somewhat loaned from older action games): Certain buildings were kind of monster generators - if destroyed, no more monster of the specific type roamed the area...

I will do completely without random combat in most cases, I think. And I will keep the "event-based" combat easier than the normal combat so that people who play the game for the story mainly will not be de-motivated by too difficult combats...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 01, 2011, 02:53:18 PM
That's a really good idea. :) Now with the ability to change walls, overlays, etc. we can destroy buildings...hmm, many ideas are rolling around my head.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 18, 2011, 05:55:34 AM
I am making progress with "Helmetlands: Cold Trail". The level design and the in-game graphics are almost complete, and I have also composed several new midi songs. I am currently working on an in-game comic and additional sound effects.

In this context, I would be happy to get some additional voices for the Helmetlands games - for example, for the main antagonist in "Cold Trail"! I remember Ben J and Manikus were interested in voice acting earlier, but hampered by technical problems - maybe these are solved now?  :)

Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 18, 2011, 01:53:04 PM
Oh yeah, the voice work...I did find my good microphone...didn't work so well. :( I think it's my computer. I have yet to try it on a different computer, but I will. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 18, 2011, 02:04:25 PM
I made the experience that there are even huge differences between the different microphone line ins (if you have more than one) at one and the same computer, and that other plugged-in devices can alter the quality, particularly if the socket is right next to the line in... 
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on November 18, 2011, 02:06:10 PM
In this context, I would be happy to get some additional voices for the Helmetlands games - for example, for the main antagonist in "Cold Trail"! I remember Ben J and Manikus were interested in voice acting earlier, but hampered by technical problems - maybe these are solved now?  :)

I could try recording with my headset, if you give me some lines to read (and descriptions of the scenes in which these lines are said).

I hope the quality won't be too crappy.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 18, 2011, 02:34:41 PM
I made the experience that there are even huge differences between the different microphone line ins (if you have more than one) at one and the same computer, and that other plugged-in devices can alter the quality, particularly if the socket is right next to the line in...

You are very correct. The front line-in gives a little static at low volume and a lot of static at high volume. The one on the back is super quiet no matter what I do. :( But, I have three  more computers to try. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 23, 2011, 03:54:57 AM
I could try recording with my headset, if you give me some lines to read (and descriptions of the scenes in which these lines are said).
I hope the quality won't be too crappy.

It's worth trying I think. Could you send me a message with an e-mail where I can send a pdf? I have prepared one for you and Manikus with lines and short character descriptions/portraits, but I don't want to upload it (contains some spoiling, particularly for "Cold Trail").
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 23, 2011, 02:30:28 PM
Email received. :)

I'll work on this over the holiday weekend.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 23, 2011, 03:30:52 PM
... whatever holiday you mean... :)

In any case, it's neither urgent nor very important...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 23, 2011, 03:37:21 PM
In the U.S., tomorrow is Thanksgiving. :)

I am looking forward to doing this. It will provide a nice break from writing and eating too much. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on November 23, 2011, 10:17:09 PM
Ah, Thanksgiving...  I sure do miss that holiday (what better holiday than one all about eating tasty food?)...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: SilentThief on November 24, 2011, 02:01:08 PM
My phone allows me to record a ringtone and then transfer that onto my computer. The problem is, it is pretty good at having background noises n hiss. As for microphones, wide variety and price exist. And I don't know anyone who has a recording studio or a sound insulated quiet room. Sound may be difficult to do amateur, without a lot of money involved.

That being said, if you get some sound done with decent quality, let us know how you do it

ST the amateur
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 25, 2011, 01:13:01 PM
I bought a quite cheap active micro one year ago (ca. 20$, but the price was 70 % reduced... :D ), and for recording voices, it does a good job. Recording noises is different - depending on what you want to achieve, you may really need professional equipment to get convincing results. Quite often, it is better to simulate a sound with something completele different. For example, bashing two real swords together may sound less "sword-like" than metal tubes... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Ben J on November 25, 2011, 01:54:52 PM
Got the pdf with the script! Now I need some quiet time to record the lines...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 25, 2011, 06:15:31 PM
Got the pdf with the script! Now I need some quiet time to record the lines...
Nice! Take your time!
By the way, I have already around 20 voices now (done by four people so far), so I think I can promise a lot of voice acting for the "Helmet Menace". In the long run, I could prepare a zip-file with phrases/sentences which may also be useful for other designs which I could sent to interested people (of course, after individually asking the voice actors for their agreement!).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 28, 2011, 03:07:45 PM
I have some stuff to email you, Dinonykos. :D I have a bit of a cold, so my voices are limited - I only did 3 versions of the stuff with my name next to it. ;)

If you want (bad) accents, let me know. There are least a russian drug, french ami, and english bloke willing to help out. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 29, 2011, 03:51:19 AM
I have some stuff to email you, Dinonykos. :D I have a bit of a cold, so my voices are limited - I only did 3 versions of the stuff with my name next to it. ;)

If you want (bad) accents, let me know. There are least a russian drug, french ami, and english bloke willing to help out. ;)

This is excellent timing. I have received three series with several new voices each during the last days, so that almost all I wanted is covered now. Actually, some of my friends did so great a job that I am hungry for more. In any case, I will add some more stuff including yours to "Friedrich's Revenge Silver Edition", and "Cold Trail" will also feature voice acting. Both should be completed during December. I hope Ben J can also do at least the main NPC sentences until then.  ;D

The general sentences I included in the pdf I sent to both of you are not so important.

I think if you save what you have as mp3 and it does not surpass 9MB, you can send it to the e-mail address you know. BTW, do you want to be credited as Manikus or with your real name or...?

Concerning the bad accents, I will think about which characters may be well-suited for those. "Helmet Menace" has so many NPCs that I will probably ask you for something next year.

BTW, I used my latest cold to make series for a french american german. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 29, 2011, 01:37:19 PM
Today, I actually remembered to put the mp3 files on my flash drive, so expect an email. :) Actually, I'll probably have to send it in two or three - doesn't your email have a fairly small attachment allowance?

I tried doing my accents, but by the third or fourth line, my russian sounded like my frenchman sounded like my british, etc. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 29, 2011, 01:44:12 PM
Today, I actually remembered to put the mp3 files on my flash drive, so expect an email. :) Actually, I'll probably have to send it in two or three - doesn't your email have a fairly small attachment allowance?

I am not sure - at least, I have 11 MB free space currently at all. Perhaps you are right and it would be better not to exceed 3 MB per mail...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 29, 2011, 01:50:58 PM
Okay. :) Expect 3 emails from me. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 29, 2011, 02:25:52 PM
I received all 3 and have listened to most of the sentences. Thank you very much! The quality could surely be a bit better, but I think it's okay - did you already apply some filters, by the way?

In any case, I like your performances very much!  :) And thanks fo making different versions of the same sentences, that's really cool!!! I will start to add the sentences needed for Friedrich's Revenge tonight, and I will surely also incorporate a lot of your voice acting into Helmetlands. Thank you very much again!!! It's nice to have a native speaker among the voice actors.  :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on November 29, 2011, 02:39:18 PM
Oh good question - I did apply a filter to boost volume for all 3. There is definitely some issue with my microphone that I haven't resolved yet. If I can ever get it figured out, I'll probably re-record everything. But, don't hold your breath. ;)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 29, 2011, 02:58:15 PM
Oh good question - I did apply a filter to boost volume for all 3. There is definitely some issue with my microphone that I haven't resolved yet. If I can ever get it figured out, I'll probably re-record everything. But, don't hold your breath. ;)

Ah, I see! Like I wrote, the current quality is okay anyway. But of course, maybe for helmetlands, I would come back to your generous offer! :D :D :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on January 17, 2012, 02:46:56 PM
Now that "Cold Trail" is more or less completed, I have returned to "Helmet Menace". I think it will probably take until the end of 2012 to complete it... Maybe I can switch to version 1.0 until then... :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 25, 2012, 08:10:05 AM
I have again made significant progress with "Helmet Menace" and will show some new screenshots soon...

However, since there will be second winter contest and I already promised to contribute, I will do another small Helmetlands side story, this time without martens... :D Instead, this will be the first design featuring a Helmettiger as the main hero.

I am still wondering about the name... either:

"Helmetlands: Cold Kingdom" or "Helmetlands: Snow Tigress" :D

I have stated earlier that I won't do other designs before "Helmet Menace" is completed, however, "Cold Trail" rather accelerated my progress with "Helmet Menace" and showed me that some concepts (food, time limit, etc.) should not be included in my "epic" design. I will probably test some other ideas with the second small winter design (e.g. different riddle types).
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 25, 2012, 02:20:00 PM
Another "small" design is great news. :D

Of the two names, I would choose Helmetlands: Cold Kingdom, just because it has continuity with Cold Trail built into the name. :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 25, 2012, 03:02:49 PM
Good point... on the other hand, the new design shall be a prequel, without martens having arrived on the helmettiger planet. I'll have to think about it. "Cold Kingdom" would also be an "accustical alliteration". On the other hand, "Cold Kingdom" is very conservative, while "Snow Tigress" sounds quite mysterious, doesn't it?
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 25, 2012, 04:09:19 PM
For me, they seem to be of greatly differing scope - Kingdom versus Tigress; large versus small (that's just what's implied). :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 26, 2012, 10:17:56 AM
For me, they seem to be of greatly differing scope - Kingdom versus Tigress; large versus small (that's just what's implied). :)

Well, then it's clear: Small design, small scope: "Snow Tigress". I can keep "Cold Kingdom" for an epic design then... :D

It will, by the way, be a kind of Sherlock Holmes story with probably only two or three combats. The two heroes will also have assistent roles in Helmet Menace - so "Snow Tigress" will be a good opportunity to give them a background story...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 27, 2012, 02:55:27 PM
A mystery! That sounds very intriguing. My Academy Demo of so long ago was the start of a mystery. I wanted the main character to be a kind of "fantasy forensics scientist". :)

I'm looking forward to what you consider to be "small". :D :D :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 27, 2012, 03:45:34 PM
The size will be very similar to Friedrich's Revenge. I have already started designing the first two levels, but I fear the really challenging thing will be keeping track of what "Holmes" and "Watson" know and don't know and giving the player enough freedom and at the same time keeping the story simple enough... I will have to use many pages of my notebook this time... :D

I even thought about using the talk system you have demonstrated in the Academy demo, but I think I will rather do it with multiple choice dialogs. I am still wondering about timing. The deadlines in Friedrich's Revenge and Cold Trail (since the food system was a kind of deadline) were not very much appreciated (and I agree at least partly with the points made by Ben J, Hans, GoldBoxFan, Olivier, and others), but on the other hand, it would be cool if the party had to be at certain places at certain times. I'll see if I can somehow find a compromise...  :-\

Fantasy forensic scientist? Interestingly, I got a kind of "Name of the Rose" feeling when testing the Adademy Demo...  ;) The idea of combining medieval or fantasy settings with classic mystery and Holmes-like characters is always intriguing...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 27, 2012, 04:29:59 PM
I have also scratched my food plans based upon the reception of the idea in the community here - who brought up many valid points, I thought. But, I still would enjoy that kind of thing as a gamer - but I have mentioned that I really enjoy RTS and resource management.

I quite liked the book "The Name of the Rose", not so much the movie - oh it was fun in it's own way, but not as good as the book, but Eco is one of my favorite authors. :) I tried writing a novel set very much in a D&D type world, where the main character was an investigator for the Royal Wizard (the King's adviser). Hmm, maybe I'll work on that again.

You could try doing some things that are timed, but not things that would end the game if you missed them. Things like witnesses that will be leaving town in two days, or guards who are only on duty between 9 pm and midnight. You could warn that evidence will be destroyed by weather (the cold or impending rain).

When I restart work on the Academy (well, if you don't tell anyone, I already have) I'm thinking about dropping the talk feature for "normal" folks, or at the very least greatly limiting it. The NPCs would still use it - though this approach might inadvertantly let the player know who is important and who is not. It's just that when you have 50 characters who each have something to say about the other characters as well as potentially areas of expertise, and the setting, etc. we're talking about 3,000 entries and that's without even leaving the Academy's grounds. ;)
I recommend using spreadsheets - whether on your computer or in your notebook. They're the only way to keep things straight.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 28, 2012, 12:16:17 AM
I like the idea that if you miss crucial bits of evidence the game continues but you may end up blaming the wrong person, or something.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 28, 2012, 03:55:15 AM
I like the idea that if you miss crucial bits of evidence the game continues but you may end up blaming the wrong person, or something.

Good points to consider, from both of you... Missing some hints depending on time, but still being able to pick the right culprit (or blame somebody innocent) is interesting.
Furthermore, in context with a mystery game, people might think differently about a time limit... I thought about using the classic device that a small number of people (helmettigers) is isolated (in this case, since it is a winter contest, due to a snowslide, or even better, a snowstorm). When the storms over, the game may be over, too...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 28, 2012, 01:30:34 PM
I like the idea of being able to pick the wrong suspect. :D

Dinonykos, many Agathie Christie books follow this format - crime on a train, crime in a mansion, etc. Hmm, you could do something like the movie Clue. ;)

Something else to think about, is what makes a reliable witness. :) If NPCs can lie to the party...that adds a whole new level. Of course, you would need some way of determining that someone might be lying.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 28, 2012, 04:43:42 PM
I will probably let the crime(s) start when "Holmes" and "Watson" are already on the scene, so that the player can in worst case draw conclusions without having to ask witnesses. But yes, finding out who lies (and why) will be a crucial point.

I have already recognized that this "little" project may be more complicated than I thought in the beginning. :(
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on February 28, 2012, 04:59:58 PM
If I can be of any assistance, don't hesitate to ask. :)

Some falsehoods being told, might not even be lies, per se, just opinion or different focus when recalling events.

Just keep notes, lots and lots of notes. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 29, 2012, 05:00:31 AM
There is one thing I really wonder about: sleep. The aspect is more or less ignored in most RPGs, since HPs are lost often due to combats and thus, resting is generally necessary for healing aspects. Sleep would unnecessarily complicate everything (somewhat similar to food/going to the toilet).
Sleep would however be very interesting for an intense mystery adventure, particularly since I only want a few combats to happen.

What I thought about was:
Never allow resting.
Healing would be done via medical help only.
The player will be asked if he wants Holmes and Watson to sleep for 4 hours when they approach their beds. If yes is selected, 4 hours pass. If Holmes and Watson have not slept at least 4 hours per day, Watson will complain about tiredness, both will fall asleep spontanously (short pass time events), have strange visions, and have typical accidents from time to time. Furthermore, the NPCs will note that they are tired. I also thought about reducings stats, but I have not experimented with that yet.

I would really like to know your thoughts concerning the sleep aspect... :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: steve_mcdee on February 29, 2012, 05:53:01 AM
I think it might tend to distract. One series of (sort of) role-playing game where sleep was an aspect -- and done quite well, I think -- was the Quest for Glory series. I think that was done by reducing "stamina" more quickly. Without stamina, you couldn't run or do various other things. I think sleeping overnight restored you better than short rests.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Olivier Leroux on February 29, 2012, 06:57:15 AM
I think such interfering systems as hunger/time limit/sleep may have their merits if they add a fair challenge (while not stressing the players too much) and/or additional entertainment; if they don't, chances are people won't like them.

By additional entertainment I mean something like you already hinted at, sleep revealing dreams the players would only experience if they fail at keeping their PCs awake, death leading to additional adventures in the underworld with the chance of returning back to life, inebriety leading to funny episodes etc., so that while the PCs are being 'punished' or obstructed, the players are actually rewarded with additional content.

By fair challenge I mean that the players become aware that they need to save their resources and try to find new ones, so that each time they actually discover some, it feels like an accomplishment and it makes them proud that they managed to get by with the little resources they had so far. IMO, that should be the only reason to introduce such systems (apart from the additional entertainment mentioned above): The rewarding feeling, to lead the players to believe that they accomplished something, the joy in finding new resources (as opposed to the frustration caused by the lack of resources). This challenge doesn't have to be very hard, maybe it shouldn't be really hard at all, it just has to keep up the illusion that something's at stake here, without actually stressing the players too much. And it should be fair in that there are a lot more resources in the game than the players actually need, they just have to find them and not be too lavish with them. If you design a game so that the resources are just enough to make it through and don't allow for a little wasteful behavior or the error of overlooking some, then the systems will probably fail to make the game enjoyable for most players.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on February 29, 2012, 07:50:34 AM
Thanks for your points, Olivier. My last designs were indeed unfair to quite a high degree.

The reason why I thought about sleeping was indeed the aspect of additional entertainment. I thought about daydreams due to sleep deprivation, real dreams, the characters being disturbed while sleeping, one character talking while sleeping and so on. Furthermore, without many combats, managing sleeping would add another tactical aspect.

Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 31, 2014, 04:14:52 AM
I just realized it is Halloween tonight and thus I looked for a fitting 'Helmetlands' picture. I could have used some pictures from 'Snow Tigress', but the halloweenesque pictures from that design would give away too much of the story. So instead, something from 'Helmetlands: Helmet Menace', to which I will return after 'Snow Tigress' is finished...

PS: Maybe this thread should also be moved to the DC preview/review section...  :)
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 31, 2014, 01:52:49 PM
Excellent picture. I was thinking I should find something Halloween-esque to promote DC on facebook...and now I have one. :D
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on October 31, 2015, 06:48:29 AM
Happy Halloween everybody!

I see that the last time I posted in this thread was related to Halloween 2014...

I hope that in 2016, I can fill this thread with progress news for "Helmetlands".
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: manikus on October 31, 2015, 02:15:58 PM
I like all of these new images. :) Especailly the two witches. The one on the left can almost be used outside of your stories. :D

Happy Halloween!
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Milos Gulan on November 02, 2015, 01:34:01 PM
Very nice pictures, I like them too very much  :happy2: Happy Halloween.
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Uatu on November 29, 2015, 07:32:30 PM
Cool spooky art!  Alas, it is already past Thanksgiving now (which I forgot about)...  Gee, time passes so quickly...
Title: Re: Preview: Helmetlands
Post by: Dinonykos on November 30, 2015, 03:21:13 AM
Now, with "Helmetlands: Snow Tigress" completed, "It's not over yet" almost completed (only correcting spelling errors at the moment), and "Helmetlands Origins: Rise of the Insectoids" approximately 80% completed, I will come back to the main Helmetlands Games in 2016. I might use "Helmetlands: Hide and Seek" - which will rather be a demo for short games than a "real" game - to get used to DC 2.x, and then start with the "big project".

In order to make it realistic for me to get this project finished, I will do a trilogy of medium-length games instead of one epic adventure. The spooky art from above will be used in the last part, "Return of Shogun".