Author Topic: Strange Quest Behavior  (Read 7596 times)

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2009, 10:22:06 AM »
Can anyone think of any good examples where it would be beneficial to have the OAUA method in place? 

I believe the advantage you saw in OAUA's handling of quest stages was that it's more forgiving to bugs in the set-up, right? So that if an inexperienced or inattentive designer programmed the quest stages wrong, they would still fire when needed - while in FRUA the bug would stop the game?

Offline Darius

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2009, 03:25:27 AM »
Yes, that's right.  It could also be a great advantage in situations where you have several moving pieces and need to be able to reference back to things that have already happened.  For example, let's say I wanted to do a battle chess game within a design.  Here are the moves:

White King's Pawn moves North 2 squares
Black King's Pawn moves South 2 squares
White King's Bishop moves NW 3 squares
Black King's Bishop moves SW 3 squares
White Queen moves NE 2 squares
Black Queen's Knight moves SW in L-shape
White Queen takes Black King's Bishop's Pawn - Scholar's Mate

The PCs are watching this battle take place, and can walk all around the battle chess field and interact with the characters.  So in both OAUA and FRUA, when each of these moves takes place, Quest 1 advances by 1 stage.  Since the party is able to freely move about the chess field, they could be at any place during any of these steps, and could encounter any of these characters at any point during the match.  As the designer, I know that these steps are going to happen this way, but in order to make the player feel immersed in the event, I have to be able to determine what moves have taken place when they arrive at certain squares. 

Let's say that the PCs wander around and end up on the same square that the White Queen moves to in Step 5.  When the PCs arrive, is it an empty square?  And if it's empty, is that because she's not arrived yet or has she already left?  Or is she standing in that space right now?

When the Queen moves to this square, a Utilities event sets Quest 1 to a Value of 5.  In both FRUA and OAUA, you'd need to use a Quest Stage - Step Six event on that square (followed by a Utilities event to re-set the stage back to 5) in order to determine if she was currently standing in that square.  By the way, I misspoke in an earlier post -- I was thinking about the pass / fail chains following the quest stage event; there's not a built-in option to prevent the quest from automatically increasing the value by 1, no matter what my sleep-deprived brain was thinking.  Anyway, here's where the differences lie:

In OAUA, I can preceed that event by a single Quest Stage - Step Seven event (followed by a Utilities event to keep the Stage value the same).  If this event fired, I would know that the Queen had already come and gone and the game had continued on.  This event would fire at any point in the match after the Queen had left.   If this event doesn't happen, it chains to the Quest Stage - Step Six event in the previous paragraph.  And if that event doesn't happen, then I know that the Queen has not yet arrived.

In FRUA, I have to use at least one Quest Stage - Step event for every possible value either above or below the Quest Stage - Step Six event mentioned earlier in order to know whether she has come or gone.  In this case, there are only two more moves after she leaves that square, so I'll be efficient and use a Quest Stage - Step Seven event and a Quest Stage - Step Eight event (each followed by Utilities to keep the values constant).  If either of these events trigger, then I'll know she has already left that square.  If neither fires, then we proceed to the Quest Stage - Step Six event to see if she's there, and if that doesn't fire, then I would know she hasn't been there yet.  Thank goodness this was a quick match, or I'd have to string a whole bunch of Quest Stages together to figure this out.

You could of course assign a different Quest to flag that square as having been visited by the Queen.  I think this is how the majority of designers handle something like this, rather than working with Quest Stages.  But then again, there are 64 squares on a chess board and not that many available quests...

I've asked Brian to see if he can find where he hacked the change in behavior in OA's CKIT.  As we've talked about this, I'm wondering if it would be possible to include a toggle in the Quest Stage event to choose which way the designer would like the event to operate (i.e., == or >=), and/or perhaps what would be tremendously valuable would be adding my imaginary option to not advance the Quest Stage.  This would save us from wasting Utility events after so many of these. 

Any thoughts?


Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2009, 10:11:29 AM »
In your example, I'm not sure why it's valuable to know if the queen is on her way to that spot or already left that spot.  You give no examples as to *why* you need that information, just that you can figure out how.   So, the example is faulty in that regard; because, the only thing that matters for the PCs when they step on that spot is "Is the Queen currently here? Yes/No?"

Obviously, if she is there, they can interact with her.  If not, they can't.  No reason is given why it's important to know if she's already visited that spot (I get that you can determine if she can, but I don't get why you would care).

So, let me help you with your example:  Let's assume you want to know so that you can tell the PC what direction she went ("The Queen is Currently North of Here", "The Queen is Currently South of Here.").

Given this set of circumstances, the way you have Quests set up would be an advantage over UA.  But, this would be such a rare thing for the way the average user utilizes Quests and Stage events.  In other words, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

And, given your example...what happens if you want the Queen to visit a square more than once?  In chess, a Queen can move in any direction, after all.  If that happens, it becomes easier to simply tag a square with: "Is the Queen Currently Here? Yes or No."  And you can do that with normal UA quests.


To each his own, I suppose.   :D
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Offline Darius

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2009, 01:36:42 PM »

Thanks for helping me out there, Ben.   ;)


Offline Merle

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2009, 02:03:32 PM »
I've asked Brian to see if he can find where he hacked the change in behavior in OA's CKIT.  As we've talked about this, I'm wondering if it would be possible to include a toggle in the Quest Stage event to choose which way the designer would like the event to operate (i.e., == or >=), and/or perhaps what would be tremendously valuable would be adding my imaginary option to not advance the Quest Stage.  This would save us from wasting Utility events after so many of these. 

Something like that would be amazing if UA can do it.  You think Brian could work some hexadecimal magic and give us the ability to to test for <=, too?  ;D

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2009, 02:49:56 PM »
Thanks for helping me out there, Ben.   ;)

No problem.

Now, if only there was a way to add even more functionality to the Quest Events, we'd have something, wouldn't we?
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Offline Darius

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2009, 05:37:41 AM »
Something like that would be amazing if UA can do it.  You think Brian could work some hexadecimal magic and give us the ability to to test for <=, too?  ;D

That's what I was thinking about last night -- and maybe this would fit better as just a logic check in a Utilities event, or as another event condition -- but if we could add a drop-down where the designer could have the event trigger if the quest value is <, =, or > a certain number, that would be something!

Offline Merle

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2009, 01:13:07 PM »
Can anyone think of any good examples where it would be beneficial to have the OAUA method in place?

It would seem that as soon as I commented I try to work with UA at least a little bit every day, I get swamped, and haven't touched it since Monday. :(

But I did have an idea about the way OA handles quest events.  We actually can test for comparisons such as greater than, less than, and equals to with OA Quest Stages as the event works now... which is impossible in standard UA.

Let's figure out if Quest 1 is > 10, < 10, or = 10.  No reason, I'm just doing this on a whim as an intellectual exercise. :)


Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2009, 05:05:43 PM »
If that's the only thing it can do, then I still don't see the advantage.
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Offline Darius

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2009, 07:11:12 AM »
But I did have an idea about the way OA handles quest events.  We actually can test for comparisons such as greater than, less than, and equals to with OA Quest Stages as the event works now... which is impossible in standard UA.

Hi Merle,
Thanks for discovering this -- I knew this could be useful for something.  I've tried to reach Brian a few times to see if he could change the Quest Stage handling back to the normal method, or to point me in the right direction to where I could do so, but I haven't heard back from him in months, and my own attempts to discover and un-hack the appropriate areas have been unfruitful.  Do you think you can work with the Quest Stage handling the way it is in OAUA?  It looks like it is going to stay that way for the immediate future.  I will certainly do a better job of documenting it in the next release though.


Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2009, 08:46:11 AM »
I've tried to reach Brian a few times to see if he could change the Quest Stage handling back to the normal method, or to point me in the right direction to where I could do so, but I haven't heard back from him in months

Did he finally manage to break free from your dungeon and escape the whip?  ;)

Offline Darius

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Re: Strange Quest Behavior
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2009, 09:22:17 PM »
Did he finally manage to break free from your dungeon and escape the whip?  ;)

HA!  Yes, it would seem that way...   :'(