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Apr 04

New Idea: The Story So Far

After yesterday’s post about GearHead-2, I started thinking about how the game reminds the player of the story so far. Instead of listing the history items as above, I wonder if it would be possible to generate a single paragraph describing the current state of the story? Something like:

The space colonies of the Free Commerce States have been attacked by the Red Mask Raider pirates. Led by Yecemk, they destroyed the Silver Knight garrison in Athera Spinner. Your victory against Yecemk earned her respect. Now, you plan to seek training in Wagner Spinner.

I don’t think I’ll be adding this feature to GH1 or GH2, but it’s something I plan to keep in mind for GHC.

17 comments

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  1. Random commenter

    It may work but I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s nice but for paragraph to be a really an useful thing, you’d need to add more details and elements. For example, your paragraph goes straight from attack by pirates led by Yecemk to victory against Yecemk, with no mention of under what circumstances and for what reason the player joined the battle (or that they did at all and weren’t say, around just to take the credit).

    At the same time if you add too much stuff you risk making somewhat interesting, but less practical, rather long recaps of the story. Not a great issue on its own but may be potentially bothersome if someone looks for one particular event (provided there would be many events that should be in the history).

    In all honesty, I’d be more concerned about fleshing out characters and relationships mentioned in your previous entry to which current considerations are connected. Some of that “characters aren’t really memorable and fade into background” was already an issue in GH1 for me, as sometimes I was contacted and given missions by people I didn’t really recall or had anything to do with (usually it turned out later they were some random shopkeeper or other NPC I tried to get maximum of a favor from to get cheap services etc). I’d be great is relationships would be expanded in this regard first.

    I don’t expect or ask for some sort of great dialogues of romance and friendship, but being able to mark somewhat for a game in context of what relationship NPC disposition should be regarded – whether it’s high renown on purely professional grounds and PC being highly effective quest-solver who likes the jobs offered by this NPC, some regular friendship caused by common visits and nice chats or maybe even some romantic thing which all could affect availability of different quests and dialogues as well as potential role an NPC could take in a story without game needing to generate some “long-lost” lovers, relatives etc

    That may be a kind of tall order but probably would help with some issues and flesh out the story far more than bazillion of randomly generated phrases and history recaps.

  2. Jordan

    I think that’s a really cool idea! It’s reminiscent of a Star Wars intro. It’s more engaging than a list of events, and it fits really well with your procedurally generated story style. In other words, it’s right up your alley. Go for it! I’m excited to see what you’ll do!

  3. dan

    i really like this roguelike, so far it’s the only game that i know where u can play with mecha robot with full of customization and a huge openworld with tactical combat!! why dont you put it trought steam, i would like to have this game a huge feature!

  4. Bloody Nex

    To me this largely comes down to a matter of personal preference in a way. I happen to prefer the list format, as it’s easier to find a particular piece of info I may have forgotten. For sharing stories and looking back on the story at the end, though, an option to do something like this would still be cool.

    On a side note, my rng seems to be a bit dirty. Look at the name of my first personal-scale centered character’s first dungeon was called.

  5. Kothyxaan

    Wasnt there a way of modding the file (compiling) to show the weight (carried and capacity) of the mecha/player in the play screen (no need to go through inventory etc).
    I cant find the posting on how it was done (it was a long time ago, I cant even remember the site).
    This would actually be nice to have in the stock game.

    Also someone made a way of editing the game (through compiling again) to make it so that the PV value or personal scaled items had no effect on the PV value of the mech (I have that one I will paste what he said below):

    Update: Revoked changes to ghsensor.pp file due to realizing it would keep you from using electronics in robotics.

    I replaced this change with a catch in the gearutil.pp file – specifically: not ( Part^.G = GG_Sensor)

    I realize now that all three – tarcomps, ECM, and sensors – are categorized by the game as GG_Sensor, so that catches all the mecha specific bits without including cell phones and such like I was worried about before. So this is a much less invasive fix than adjusting the mass on sensors, and it makes the version compatible with unmodded savegames.

    Changelist (original version):

    services.pp
    Changed GearValue and BaseGearValue to GearCost

    gearutil.pp
    Added gearcost and adjusted trackvalue and componentvalue to use CalcCost and IsMecha as well as making GearValue use IsMecha. Made it not calculate costs of SF 0 items if you’re in a mecha.
    Changed Swag, RepairFuel, and Consumables to value at 0 if called without CalcCost

    Practical effect: SF0 items do not effect XP given in mecha scale combat. Loot, consumables, and repair supplies don’t effect XP in any combat.

    ghsensor.pp
    Changed sensorbasemass to 1 and checksensorrange to adjust scale to 1 rather than 0

    Practical effect: Electronics now always weigh 0.1 ton and are SF 1. This was to put them back in the mecha scale calculations without also including cell phones and personal computers.

    Would that be unbalancing?

    PS. Keep up the good work!

  6. Kothyxaan

    Also… how do you get it to compile (gearhead1)?
    Im using fp.exe
    I can compile into acii no problem.
    But when I go to options>compiler and put SDLMODE into the Conditional Defines i get a:

    sdlgfx.pp(26,6) fatal: can’t find unit sdl used by sdlgfx
    sdlgfx.pp(0) fatal: compiltation aborted

    As i said, ascii no problems to compile.

    1. Joseph Hewitt

      Depending on how you installed FreePascal, it may not have come with the SDL library. There may be an extra package called fp-units or fp-fcl that also needs to be installed.

      1. Kothyxaan

        Eh… I dont suppose someone could send me their fpc (zip it up as is) that works?
        I am now getting somerthing like it cant find the files, and im sure ive set it up for jedi… bah…

        1. Joseph Hewitt

          What OS are you using?

          1. Kothyxaan

            Im using windows 7. I have tried following instructions in getting jedi to work with freepascal, I thought I did ok, buit maybe made an error somewhere… The ascii doesnt compile now either.

            I was following this:
            http://www.freepascal-meets-sdl.net/chapter-1-introduction-installation-and-configuration-jedi-sdl/
            I know its old, but I was adlibbing and using more up to date version of the software.

            PS. Sorry for the trouble.

          2. Joseph Hewitt

            That may be the source of the problem. SDL comes with FreePascal now, so you don’t need to install Jedi-SDL separately. Try reinstalling FreePascal and see if it works then.

          3. Kothyxaan

            Ok. FPC (3.0.20 on its own, I am now getting (nothing done. no modifications or adjustments):
            (30,19) Fatal: cant find unit crt used by context.
            :S

  7. Kothyxaan

    Sorry last one was with SDLMODE in the “options > compiler > conditional arguments
    Without it there its:
    (35,70) Fatal: cant find the unit crt used by congfx

  8. Kothyxaan

    Aight, fixed it now by adding in the SDL location into the “Directory” I can now compile the game! But it is about half the size of the proper exe… Will this mean issues?

  9. Kothyxaan

    The starting screen is messed up a little (Gearhead title is cut in half horizontally). It does fix one issue I had with the game starting in full screen mode (I tried getting it back to window mode with no luck – only closing my laptop lid and opening would change it to window mode).
    SEEMS to work fine though…

  10. Kothyxaan

    Nope I was wrong. Shops (so far – armour shop, food shop and repair supply shops crash when looking over certain items, much sadness.

  11. Kothyxaan

    That was for GearHead 2. GearHead one seems to be compiling fine, but the exe is also about 1/2 the size. Not sure if there are any problems yet.

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