So, about that idea for an overhaul...

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So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby YetiChow » Fri May 16, 2014 10:24 am

Maps, monsters, caravans and menus are what I'm thinking - these are the ones that create problems for players, if there's time and energy left over then I'd love to have a go at items as well, but the "Big Four" are the ones where we can have the most impact.

The point would be dual-acting - to change up the experience of the game, and to prove that just because the basic structures aren't being used fully doesn't mean they're "broken".

Having a more welcoming map - no mountains in the middle of the building areas, resources spaced in a way that players can use all of them, clues on the surface where to find minerals, rivers and cliffs that can work defensively without restricting the town's development, and above all LESS THINGS SCRAMBLING TO KILL EVERYONE FROM THE START (or at least, reduce the chances of those attacks wiping out most or all of the townfolk) - with those changes, the starting-game becomes less daunting to new players. Even with the upcoming tutorial system, some of those issues will still deter players.

Monsters in general can stand to be less lethal (or, again, less one-hit-kill lethal; more of a challenge and less of "oh crap there's a werepig, better rally the guards and start ordering graves"), and the bosses more boss-like. That's something that would always be helpful no matter what state the game is in.

Caravans are a great idea, but they were thrown together pretty quickly. They tend to be all-or-nothing, and you need to spam flower farms or something like that if you want to buy anything useful. I'd like to rework them into categories - common merchants with a variety of cheap but useful wares, exotic traders with powerful but expensive equipment, specialists who you only really need to visit once to unlock a new technology path, and possibly even caravans that offer "services" rather than trades - for example, "mercenary boss" who sells contracts for mercenaries (summon a merc using the events system).

Finally, the priorities and menus can be changed easily enough, but it's a PITA to do it in a regular mod (and generally incompatible with other menu-changing mods). If we started making sweeping changes in other areas, however, that would be the logical time to include changes in priorities and menu positions - it's only comparatively few extra lines in something that already requires replacing the menus, instead of having to do a full replacement just for those comparatively few lines.

The aim of this mod would be to have some of the changes considered for inclusion in the vanilla game - rather than trying to explain the required changes, it may just be easier to show them in action. That would mean that while new content certainly would be on the table, it wouldn't be the focus - new content would work to flesh out the existing mechanics, not to add new mechanics or ideas. That said, I'm open to suggestions - if it's something that would benefit from being shown off in action, then by all means it's an option.

Oh, and I kind of am taking on a role as "organiser" here - if someone else would really like that job I'm happy to talk about handing over the reigns, but ideally I'd love to have an equal-parts collaboration. "Organiser" is not a polite term for "boss" in my dictionary, but I am ok at handling the "big picture" duties and getting the ball rolling so I'd put myself forward as someone to get things started. From experience though, I'd expect that once the ball does get going it will take care of itself - that's how it's always gone in the past :)

So, who's interested? Don't worry about experience, I'm happy to lend some of mine (plus I'm sure that many other people would be equally willing to lend theirs) and provide advice, assistance etc.; anyone is welcome to jump in, and it could be a great starting-point for budding modders. It's not about "doing the Devs' job" or "taking responsibility for fixing the game", I view it as an opportunity to make a suggestion using something a bit more powerful than words - and, as an added bonus, the option is there to use the mod even if the suggestion isn't picked up in the vanilla game.

Most importantly though, it's a chance to have some FUN - I've taken part in this style of community project before, and all three times in this forum (the Christmas mod collaboration, the building contests, and contributing to other mods and mod discussions - especially around the modloader) were very enjoyable experiences. So come on, have a crack at it - you won't regret it :)
What's that you're eating? A nice, juicy apple? You weren't supposed to eat that you fool, you were supposed to make it into a pie! - last words recorded words of Francis D'Avre before he went looking for snowcherries, but found a hungry Yeti instead.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby exelsisxax » Fri May 16, 2014 3:19 pm

I completely overhauled weapons and armour. Two handed weapons are present, one handed weapons can be held alongside standalone shields, and bows require quivers.
Weapons now deal damage primarily slash, pierce, or crushing damage, and armour primarily reduces these damage types. Monsters also have their stats adjusted and given armour/weapon stats.
Do with it what you will.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b8n7jm24egzu7nf/AACm3iPiMSr0hMqJDNjt8Sqta
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby BlueSteelAUS » Sat May 17, 2014 7:44 am

Towns++ already does a lot, more maps coming, flat land,no river/river , no lakes/lakes for all the normal map types. (I did have there before the map generation got changed , just have to re-do them ;) as well as maps for large scale building up the way (with less or no dungeon area) and one with lots of dungeon areas and little or no building on top. (only 1 ground level for receiving of new citizens.). I'm also thinking about making one really hard level one for the foolhardy, where you don't get ANY new citizens or any markets (you'll start off with say 50-100 citizens, (citizen regeneration would be through shrines to recover dead people that have been buried.. there are an absolute endless thing i can do with the maps(well almost endless). the only thing stopping us from having a completely underground scenario is the fact that citizens only spawn at start of the game at ground level..(still looking into these possibilities). as for UI's changing anything with their layout will result in breaking mods (which is the reason that many mods don't work well with Towns++ unless they are re-written to take into account of the UI/menu/priority changes. as they appear where the old menu's would have and some of the main priorities have been split up into more realistic ones in Towns++ so although they DO WORK, they may not look or act quite as intended. another thing to be careful of in modding is the same tags for new items, eg: one mod adds an item using a tag, then another re-uses that tag for something else.. there are lots of GOTCHA'S to look out for when running multiple mods which the average player wouldn't know about (just like in Minecraft with same block/item ID's being used in several mods)
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby YetiChow » Sat May 17, 2014 10:44 am

those "GOTCHA!" moments are the reason I suggested doing this as an "experimental mod", rather than adding a bunch of new content - I didn't want people to be choosing between this mod and the mods based around the vanilla setup if they wanted a particular bit of content. If any really interesting content does come out of it, then it can always be "ported" to use the vanilla menu structures, but the idea was more about cleaning up and re-organising the basic game to make it smoother.

On that note, thanks muchly for the permission exelsisxax, I'll be sure to take a look. I'll probably avoid using the two-handed weapons for the reasons above, but having a better baseline for all the gear is a huge help :)

At the same time as making use of the better weapons (and probably trying some tie-in ideas, such as giving different recipes to some weapons or changing them away from "normal damage" to use mainly "effect damage"), I also want to revamp the enemies (well, ideally all of the livings but particularly the enemies). The first thing I'm thinking there is to try and give them sub-types, like "ENEMY.UNDEAD" or "ENEMY.BEAST" - I suspect that it won't be as simple as creating a sub-type for items would be, but even creating multiple living types and grouping several together is a reasonable solution (assuming it works :lol:). And if it does, well, it may just convince the devs that it's worth giving the living entities sub-types, and making the sub-type valid as a trigger in effects...

My plan for maps basically revolves around "real terrain mixtures" (for example, have a graduated map that flows from a mountain to a beach and borders on jungle, desert, plains, cliffs, forest and hills; or an "islands" map with a small strip of mainland and several large islands making an archipelago with smaller rocks and islets). Of course there are many other options, and contributions or suggestions are welcome :)

My plan for priorities is somewhat similar to yours BlueSteel, although I have a different layout in mind: what I'm thinking is to go with "guilds" (carpentary, masonry, baking etc., plus some new ones like "woodsmen" who handle both tree cutting and animal trapping), but also "services guilds" like Quartermasters, Performers (who would perform "leisure" tasks like putting on shows or playing instruments to boost the happiness of other citizens) or Preists (who would perform rites, rituals and other spiritual ceremonies, or pray at a temple/church zone, make offerings, bless the townfolk... there are actually a heap of options just from actions, before even getting into the gods and events system...). In other words, I want to change not only the way jobs are broken up into groups, but also what is considered a "job" - for example, relaxation could have its own priority with leisure jobs (reading, fishing, taking a break/nap in a park) making it easy to declare a "holiday": just put the leisure priority up the top of the list.

I do want to re-use a couple of ideas from Food Extravaganza, mainly the idea of meals (combine several foods into a meal which is far better than the sum of its parts), expanded food options with associated effects (So for example coffee with an energy boost, or hearty stews that give minor healing... plus it's a great excuse to add more ingredients and meal options - in other words, to use the existing sprites I made for things like the El Diablo Taco and Fish Head Soup :lol:). I don't think I'd use the butchering ideas - I still am somewhat enthralled by the idea of "item-chain production", but it's probably BECAUSE I'm enthralled by the idea that I'm worried it might not be as practical for everyone else to use as I find it. But we'll see, if it's not too bad then perhaps...

Finally, I do want to have a go at some "automated production" and other uses for <maxAgeNeedsItem>, since I have a couple of ideas there. One is an auto-mill driven by a water wheel, just load in the wheat and come back later to remove the flour. Another is for that "badger dens" idea; I was considering adding "bee flowers" and "beehive trees" and requiring that the badger dens be near one of them (probably the flowers) - the idea is that the dens occur naturally, some will be near bee flowers and thus will spawn badgers; some won't but can be "turned on" by planting flowers next to bee flowers (which would convert the planted flowers into more bee flowers), building a "bee bridge" that turns on the badger den if more wild badgers are needed. The same can, of course, apply to other animals as well; but the idea is that rather than having a whole bunch of single-connection paths there would be webs of connected items - the "bee flowers" also allow beehive trees to maxage into a harvestable version for example, letting townies get honeycomb, and that can be used to get honey or to make apiaries; and the beehives are a more attractive target for the evil badgers than your barrels... Another example would be nut trees (where townies can harvest nuts for food), which spawn squirrels (source of fur and meat); but instead of catching and butchering the squirrel there would be "squirrel traps" that are automatically checked and have to be within X distance of nut trees to actually "catch" (maxAge) squirrels... It sounds complicated, but in gameplay terms there are 3-5 items and maybe 4 actions in each "web", for example the beekeeping to idea only adds actions for the actual beekeeping and collecting the trapped badgers, the other mechanics use vanilla actions to put vanilla items into a position where they'll maxAge appropriately.

Oh, and of course the other <maxAgeNeedsItem> thing would be pressure plate systems for traps - that is what inspired the tag after all :lol: In fact, if the water-wheel thing goes well I may just look at a "mechanical power" system; something related to axles, water wheels, and various "inputs" (going to need some ideas here - one idea I have is a cotton jinn or similar device to make cloth from wool and maybe cotton crops; maybe also a drilling rig that works as a replacement for mineshaft buildings...)

Of course, the difficulty is actually getting down to work and converting the ideas into something the game can understand :lol: However, I'm not planning to do a lot of complex voodoo scripting - quite the opposite in fact, I want to keep things as simple as possible and even try to simplify some of the vanilla content.
What's that you're eating? A nice, juicy apple? You weren't supposed to eat that you fool, you were supposed to make it into a pie! - last words recorded words of Francis D'Avre before he went looking for snowcherries, but found a hungry Yeti instead.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby LittleMikey » Sun May 18, 2014 6:56 am

I'm happy to offer my help, I've had the desire to get back into Towns modding over the past few days.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby Haggy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:54 pm

[quote="BlueSteelAUS"].. there are an absolute endless thing i can do with the maps(well almost endless). the only thing stopping us from having a completely underground scenario is the fact that citizens only spawn at start of the game at ground level..(still looking into these possibilities).)/quote]

What that concerns with the spawn in caves or underground.

Bypasses the problem. 11 Dungeon Levels. 12 Upper levels.
Create in the upper levels all with 100% Stone. The resources are distributed from level 1, ie already in the first upper level. Dungeon Level one need the Dungeon "Rooms" or Caves. After everything is generated on environment, comes the decisive step.

Create small rooms set created with "_air" to 6 random. Only need one field be great in theory, but can be larger. Would also take larger. These should be generated exactly on the level where your "citizens" start. Done. So for me it worked back then. Since my citizen "goblins" and mushrooms were growing on stone.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby YetiChow » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:53 am

Haggy wrote:
BlueSteelAUS wrote:.. there are an absolute endless thing i can do with the maps(well almost endless). the only thing stopping us from having a completely underground scenario is the fact that citizens only spawn at start of the game at ground level..(still looking into these possibilities).)/quote]

What that concerns with the spawn in caves or underground.

Bypasses the problem. 11 Dungeon Levels. 12 Upper levels.
Create in the upper levels all with 100% Stone. The resources are distributed from level 1, ie already in the first upper level. Dungeon Level one need the Dungeon "Rooms" or Caves. After everything is generated on environment, comes the decisive step.

Create small rooms set created with "_air" to 6 random. Only need one field be great in theory, but can be larger. Would also take larger. These should be generated exactly on the level where your "citizens" start. Done. So for me it worked back then. Since my citizen "goblins" and mushrooms were growing on stone.


There's one even better thing in the new update: instead of setting just the starting level, you can also set the exact co-ordinates (and, presumably, co-ords with a random value) - so you could have the townies spawn inside a particular cave, or inside a buried house, or inside the throne room of the Goblin King while the goblins are away... (prisoner break-out scenario anyone?)
What's that you're eating? A nice, juicy apple? You weren't supposed to eat that you fool, you were supposed to make it into a pie! - last words recorded words of Francis D'Avre before he went looking for snowcherries, but found a hungry Yeti instead.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby Colombo » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:00 am

Or allow player to spawn new townies himself.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby Haggy » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:39 am

Something I could already do with Ghost items that have been afterwards transformed into citizens. But that is damn much effort.

Looking forward to the new things. But I have to be honest, "get a taste" first again. Although I still know all the stuff before I left, but still not what shortly thereafter came about. And with the new command string not yet.
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Re: So, about that idea for an overhaul...

Postby BlueSteelAUS » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:17 am

In towns++ you can raise the dead citizens from their graves by sacrificing their corpses. this way the game is still balanced and you can't get more citizens than you've already had. but they have to have been burried. not just dead and corpses deleted.
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