Apr 03

More GearHead2 Thoughts

Sorry for the silence- it’s been a busy couple of months. I’ve been playing through GearHead-2 again. Tonight, my character Hawk finally earned the respect of his criminal space trucker rival.

One of the things that makes GearHead-2 very different from GearHead-1 is the scale. In GH1, you will travel between a small number of cities, most of which consist of a single scene. You will probably get to know a number of NPCs, especially if you join a faction and see the same few faces every time there’s an invasion. In GH2, on the other hand, you get to travel through a large number of cities, each of which contains many sub-scenes. You probably won’t remember any of the NPCs because you’ll be interacting with so many of them that they all become a blur. Also because of this scale, there will usually be plenty of missions available, even if your character hasn’t mastered Conversation.

In those cases where GearHead-2 allows the PC to form a relationship with an NPC (mainly the lancemates and the core story enemy), it works much better than GH1. Unfortunately, the other NPCs melt into a faceless blob.

The last thing I want to do before making a new release is to add graphics for spaceships and fortresses. As several players have noticed, these used to be rendered as meshes in the OpenGL version and I forgot to give them sprites after switching back to SDL. Hopefully I can get that done this week.

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    • Eric on July 11, 2017 at 1:58 am
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    Of the 16 factions of GearHead 2, which of the factions can one actually join? I remember that in GearHead 1 you could not join every faction. So are some factions not available to join in GearHead 2 or are all of them open to join?

    • nanashi2_jp on November 15, 2017 at 11:50 am
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    Hello JH,

    Sorry for a necro-ish post on older article,
    but here’s a bug report from the Japanese Gearhead community that would require your assistance to fix.

    When a ‘rival’ NPC is killed or befriended through certain plot sequences in the pre-final chapter,
    it causes “plot deadend” error and, as it says, prevents the game from progressing any further.
    Reading through comment lines on the script files, It looks like you were aware of
    such dead-end possiblities but did not actually make plot components which take care of them.

    G-HAL, the maintainer of JP version of Gearhead1/2, has already put a band-aid fix that simply regenerates
    a new rival NPC in-place (without any introduction sequence) to avoid deadend situations,
    but we (the JP community) kinda agree that it would be more appropriate to ask you, the original auther,
    to make proper plot component(s) with proper introduction lines rather than trying to make up such lines on our own.

    I know you are kinda occupied with new things these days but it would be greatly appreciated
    if you could solve the problem as the original auther.

    1. I’ve added a new plot component that fixes this situation, and have committed the change to GitHub. When I get back from Japan next week I hope to make a new release of GearHead2. In addition to a number of bug fixes, I need to finish updating the character creator and add part images for spaceships and bunkers.

        • nanashi2_jp on November 22, 2017 at 10:47 am
        • Reply

        Great, tbh I expected more delay untill we get any response… it’s a nice surprise, really.
        And our big thanks for this quick update too.

        btw, here’s some minor errors to be fixed for your next release:
        – WMON_robots.txt: Workbot and Mining bot have their weapons’ portait definition located just outside their inv/end tag.
        – UNICON_dungeon.txt, line 124: wrong filename “item_silvernugget.png”. it should be nuggetsilver, not silvernugget.

        Thanks again for your quick responce, and welcome to Japan again… have fun in the festa!

        • nanashi2_jp on November 23, 2017 at 11:45 am
        • Reply

        Hi again,

        Well I’ve just got a report that there’s another situation that can cause the dead-end error.
        In short: previous one was a “E:–” situation, this time it’s a “F:–“.

        When a rival NPC, again in pre-final chapter, asks a player to join the rival’s faction and the player agree,
        the game loses track of enemy faction and causes the plot deadend error.

        I am not sure if current updated version on github cares about this
        (from the ‘requires’ field, it seems it only cares about E:–, though),
        but anyway it was a bit more complicated than our first impression…
        might be better to think about other possible situation as well.

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