Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

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TheJM
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by TheJM » February 13th, 2009, 8:11 pm

ok thanks. Wasn't sure if it was a problem on my end or not. :P

Theron
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Theron » February 14th, 2009, 10:07 pm

TKotSS 0.1.3, medium difficulty / Wesnoth 1.5.9 / Mac OS X 10.5.6

Scenario 2:
All of your 4 goals are achieved.
Noteworthy XP:
1 Merman Hunter (-> Netcaster)
1 Merman Fighter (19/36)
1 Merman Initiate (24/40)
1 Merman Initiate (23/40)

Scenario 3:
- The story part "When the council members returned to the Silver Spire [...]" is shown twice.
- At first I was somewhat confused by the storytelling thinking the ritual performed by the Silver Council was about the dark naga and not about "the dark presence that had infiltrated the land". This would not have fitted into the timeline.

Scenario 4:
- I think your gold management needs more work.
Starting on medium difficulty gold is 220.
Gold jumps to 240 on waking up Awyn.
Gold jumps to 260 on waking up Lenara.
The problem is getting these "recalls" for free.
You do not own any villages but get 5 income.
- If you are unlucky it is quite possible to lose on turn 2.
Let's say after the surprise attack Lenaras HP go down from 46 to 22 (3 out of 4 saurian attacks are sucessful (Lenara has 40% defense)). They may be even strong. Let's assume the skirmisher at 26,14 is quick. Then Lenara may be attacked by 4 enemies the next turn and you may need to use Lenara (losing even more HP) to kill at least 2 of them. If your bad luck persists the game is over.
- My replay (where I won this scenario) is corrupt.

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solsword
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by solsword » February 15th, 2009, 3:07 am

Theron: I've posted an update (v0.1.3.5) that addresses most of your concerns, as well as removing the debug message on every turn of scenario 4 :oops: . The 5 income is intentional, but I'll either have to explain it or somehow make it clear how things are supposed to work. My goal is to have the expedition be resources-focused: for the entire expedition, you have limited supplies (gold). You have some basic ability to forage from the land (hence default income, which is 2, but I give a couple extra gold in default income), but the more troops you use in battle, the faster you go through your supplies. I'm strongly considering making you lose if you run out of supplies (gold) during any of the expedition missions... or maybe parts of your army will start to starve to death. Along these lines, it doesn't make sense to force you to cough up 20 gold per unit per scenario: the units are a task force assembled for this purpose, so of course they fight for you. In any case, details will have to be thought out and that system will have to be implemented, but that's the idea behind the free recalls, no recruits, and base income (plus relatively few villages on maps). I did fix the issue of adding 20 gold for the three cutscene-recalled units.

I also made you more lucky in the start of the scenario, so that Lenara is pretty unlikely to die. It *could* still happen, but I want that immediate threat to make the scenario feel more desperate... if it's still pretty bad, I'll investigate further measures to fix it. I do want the player to have to defend Lenara against the flanking units, though. I think it's an interesting exercise in tactics: you can't just aggress indiscriminately and win that scenario, you have to think and sometimes move a unit into a key defensive position instead of attacking with it.

Corrupt replays sounds bad... I haven't tried out replays yet, but I'll look into it. It's not a high-priority issue to me, though.
The Knights of the Silver Spire campaign.

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Theron
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Theron » February 15th, 2009, 10:00 pm

TKotSS 0.1.3.5, medium difficulty / Wesnoth 1.5.9 / Mac OS X 10.5.6

Scenario 2:
Knowing one can't recruit in scenario 4 (and onward?) makes me wonder if it's wise to play aggressively. It may be better to move Lenara back to the keep and spend all your gold recruiting (which you won't do under normal circumstances).

Scenario 4:
It's possible to cheat: Recalling and undoing the recall give unlimited gold.

Map layout:
Your river mouth in scenario 2 makes it plausible why Awyn has to cross the river in the east.
In scenario 4 you have water (a river?) too. But I can't imagine how this map is placed in the map overview.

Traits:
I'm not sure if I like your new traits "evasive", "hardy" and "resistant":
There are 6 different standard two-traits-combinations. It's already not guaranteed getting your favourite (or for this unit useful) combination with limited recruiting.
Imagine you like to develop a Great Mage who is quick (nice to have e.g. in caves) and intelligent (so you can enjoy your Great Mage as soon as possible). Your chances to get this combination will be now 1:21. In scenario 4 you get 4 mages with random traits. You do the math... . But it's up to you.

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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by solsword » February 16th, 2009, 9:56 pm

I've addressed some of these issues, though I'm not going to release an update until I have something meaningful to release...
Theron wrote:Scenario 2:
Knowing one can't recruit in scenario 4 (and onward?) makes me wonder if it's wise to play aggressively. It may be better to move Lenara back to the keep and spend all your gold recruiting (which you won't do under normal circumstances).
It's not wise to play aggressively, because you are ridiculously outnumbered... I can't see anything good coming from leaving your keep, so I bludgeon the players with dialogue suggesting that they turtle like mad. I'm curious what strategy you used... I'm pretty sure that the dialogue both warns of the enemy reinforcements and specifically tells you to hole up in the keep. Of course, if you know about the Duke dying, then you might try to save him, but in that case, you might also know about the fact that you won't be able to recruit troops later... Also, I add a couple of merfolk to the recall list to make sure that the player has at least one of each level 1 variety, but of course it's still better to have level 2 units.

I'll think about it, but I don't see a good way to let the player know without spoiling the plot or having a direct "to the player" note, which I'd like to avoid. Maybe the problem would be mitigated if I made sure to add enough merfolk to the recall list in scenario 4 to ensure that the player wouldn't fall behind in unit count due to not recruiting in scenario 2?

Theron wrote:Scenario 4:
It's possible to cheat: Recalling and undoing the recall give unlimited gold.
You can now no longer undo recalls in scenario 4. I've tried to think of a better way of making recalls free, but none comes to mind. This method suffers from the fact that you still can't recall any units if you have less than 20 gold, so they're not *really* free. It seems like I could make a "free recall" right-click menu option, so maybe I'll do that, although I'm not sure how easy it would be to implement unit selection, and having to right-click would be a bit of a pain.

Theron wrote:Map layout:
Your river mouth in scenario 2 makes it plausible why Awyn has to cross the river in the east.
In scenario 4 you have water (a river?) too. But I can't imagine how this map is placed in the map overview.
Once I finish the map, you won't have to imagine it... :) If you pay close attention to the dialogue from scenario 3, you'll see a description of the characters' path: they travel west along the south bank of the river Aethen until they get to Carun, which is marked on the current map and occupies the spit of land between the rivers Aethen and Alavynne. Scenario 4 takes place a good distance south along the river Alavynne, which flows mainly north-south and is a tributary to the river Aethen.
Theron wrote:Traits:
I'm not sure if I like your new traits "evasive", "hardy" and "resistant":
There are 6 different standard two-traits-combinations. It's already not guaranteed getting your favourite (or for this unit useful) combination with limited recruiting.
Imagine you like to develop a Great Mage who is quick (nice to have e.g. in caves) and intelligent (so you can enjoy your Great Mage as soon as possible). Your chances to get this combination will be now 1:21. In scenario 4 you get 4 mages with random traits. You do the math... . But it's up to you.
I'm reconsidering whether to include those traits, especially given discussions about balance in the ideas forum. I personally don't really mind what traits my units have, and so I like the greater trait variety. Still, just for you, I've made one of the mages that you get be quick and intelligent.
The Knights of the Silver Spire campaign.

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Theron
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Theron » February 17th, 2009, 9:12 am

Scenario 2:
I can't see anything good coming from leaving your keep
Oh, you might try to get one or two more kills on the fleeing nagas realizing they only fight back if blocked. You may need Lenara's ranged attack to bring down some nagas HP for your level 1 units to score the kill. But if you go naga hunting with Lenara's help she is not able to spend *all* gold recruiting. Normally you won't do this: If you don't know about only able to recall you won't recruit Merman Fighter and Merman Hunter on the last turns as they won't get much if any XP.

Traits:
I'm fine with random traits. I don't rely on a quick+intelligent mage. (BTW Alain is and he has a a headstart from scenario 1.) First I think about which unit advancement is most needed. Only then (if more than one advancement makes sense) I have a look at the traits. E.g. I prefer "intelligent" for going for a Great Mage. (But I'm unsure if TKotSS gives enough XP for a Great Mage.)
You may give custom traits only to your special units which won't harm overall balance but add flavour. (E.g. Mal Keshar in After the Storm is "deteriorated" = "This undead unit has become weaker with the pass of time. -5% HP and +50 XP to advance".)

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Shawer
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Shawer » June 28th, 2009, 11:06 am

Whats happened to this campaign?

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Turuk
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Turuk » June 28th, 2009, 2:08 pm

Well, given that the last post before yours was in February, I would assume that it was abandoned. The author still pops in now and again, but has stated in another thread about his absence:
... and I sort of went dead, so I'm sorry for that. I burned out on Wesnoth a bit and completely stopped doing anything Wesnoth-related, but I've recovered and I'm back to working on cliff terrain.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
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solsword
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by solsword » June 28th, 2009, 5:13 pm

...Yeah, sorry about that. I still have vague plans to continue work on the campaign, but don't expect anything soon. I'm working on another game project right now, and in any case, work on the campaign is unlikely to move forward until I am satisfied with the cliffs terrain (see my posts in the art dev forum). The cliffs, however, are quite difficult...

There's also the fact that the campaign was put together under 1.5, and Wesnoth now up to 1.7. I'll likely need to go back over the code and fix some things before it will run.

That said, interest in the campaign does help motivate me to work on it, so thanks for expressing interest, and sorry I haven't been more dedicated.
The Knights of the Silver Spire campaign.

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Turuk
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Turuk » June 29th, 2009, 4:28 am

solsword wrote:There's also the fact that the campaign was put together under 1.5, and Wesnoth now up to 1.7. I'll likely need to go back over the code and fix some things before it will run.
Unless there were any code changes in 1.5 since your last release, 1.5 went to 1.6 and 1.7 became the new developmental version, so you could probably release it on 1.6 fairly easily when you want.
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Saphy
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Saphy » August 29th, 2009, 4:29 am

Where can I download this campaign? Do you still need any help with sprites?

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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by solsword » August 29th, 2009, 5:06 am

The campaign, such as it is, should still be on the 1.5 campaign servers... I don't know the URL off the top of my head. If they're no longer up, then I guess you'll probably have to wait until I get around to posting it to the 1.6 or 1.7 server(s), which will involve some testing and perhaps some code changes. Like I said in my above posts, I'm not working on this very much at all right now.

If you're interested in helping out, the main thing that's got me stymied right now is cliffs. I'm (perhaps unreasonably) attached to having cliffs in some of my maps, and I want them to look... not terrible. Right now they look... terrible. If you take a look at:

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=25808

you'll see what I mean. I'd be interested to hear suggestions, and particularly if you know anything about art, Python, or cliffs, you'll probably be able to be somewhat helpful. However, some of the work on cliffs (like tapering the ends) is stuff that I just need to get around to doing.
The Knights of the Silver Spire campaign.

http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~pmawhorter - my website.

Teamcolors for everyone! PM me for a teamcolored version of your sprite, or you can do it yourself. If you just happen to like magenta, no hard feelings?

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Saphy
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Saphy » August 29th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Sure. I can help with the cliff, but why don't we just modify the existing chasm tile, into something like this?

Image

That way, we can have an easier time cropping the image and making it into a tile set.

Btw, do you still need female horseman/paladin/knight?

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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by solsword » August 29th, 2009, 5:03 pm

First: Wow, those cliffs look really good. There are two reasons that I chose not to go that route. First, is that my sprite art abilities are limited. I'm just not quite up to making modifications like that (I tried for a bit). Second is that fact that there are (at least) 42 images that would need to be generated, and they all need to fit into each other (42 comes from needing 6 cardinal directions, plus each of the possible 6-choose-2 (15) configurations, doubled (because you need both front and back images for each possibility)). Add to that that you can't just modify the existing chasms, since all of their gorgeous cliff art is placed as transitions, and so it has different spacing and lengths than what is needed (the only game-mechanic way for the cliff terrain to work is to have the terrain itself be impassible like a chasm, but this means that the cliff art should go through the middle of the hex, not around an edge). This difference in form is also the reason that there need to be both "front" and "back" versions of the cliff terrain, and the reason that even a minimal set of cliff images has to number 42, as opposed to the 12 (ok, 13 technically, plus one for the editor, but the last two aren't transition tiles and so are much easier to draw) used for chasms and other similar tilesets. Note that 42 doesn't include tiles that would enable more interesting configurations than a simple straight cliff (for example, with just 42 images, and no further modification of the rules, different cliff lines must be kept at least 1 space away from each other).

Now... despite these challenges, a guy named mesilliac did make a set of cliff tiles a while back, building on the work of zookeeper. If you search for cliffs plus those usernames, their threads should be pretty easy to find. Those users also built most of the WML that I'm using to get the cliffs to work (although I've rewritten some parts to allow for multiple variants of a tile). If you want to work on chasm-based cliffs, you should probably start from mesilliac's images, which are just that. However, as you can see in the attached image, there are a couple of places where they don't quite match up. That shouldn't be *too* difficult to clean. However, the other issue that I have with that particular image-set is that it's too dark. The cliffs look great in a cave map, where things are supposed to be deep underground, but when placed above grass and especially sand, they stand out a bit too much, especially near the bottoms where they loose some of their detail and become simply dark. Your modifications, especially the addition of grass, look like they could counteract this, so if you're up to it, I'd love to see a cleaner and brighter set of tiles based on mesilliac's (you should be able to download his from his thread, if not, pm me and I'll send you (or post) a zip). If you're interested, zookeeper also had a set of cliff images, but they also had some graphical glitches (keep in mind that each cliff tile needs to line up with a huge number of potential neighbors) and in my opinion, while quite good-looking, they weren't as good as mesilliac's chasm-based cliffs.

So... I'll continue to press forward with generation, since I'm a programmer at heart, and because I think if I can get it reasonable-looking there's more potential there (different colors of cliffs, having multiple variants for each tile, etc.). But I'm by no means attached to my route, assuming that good-looking cliffs appear, I'll gladly use them and move on.

Second issue: yes. Assuming I wind up working more than I have been on this campaign, one of the things that it needs is a female paladin sprite. I had planned on attempting modifications to the existing paladin at some point, but I wasn't confident that I'd be able to pull it off, and given your take on cliffs, you're a much better sprite artist than I am. The larger issue with my female paladin character is that the paladin portrait is very obviously male. In fact, the sprite is really sufficiently ambiguous for me not to bother, and the portrait is the main issue. But portrait art is something that's completely beyond me. I had planned on asking around in the forums for a female paladin (and perhaps even some of my other characters) after I had a more complete campaign that could really motivate people to do some serious art, as opposed to a few measely scenarios, several of which aren't yet complete. I'm still hesitant to ask for portraits at this stage because I'm not sure how much I'll be working on the campaign, and I'd rather artistic skills of that level get channeled into things more likely to be seen and used by more people (cliffs, on the other hand, would be useful whether or not I finish the campaign).

Thanks for showing interest; I actually wound up working on the cliffs a little after your post :).

Edit: I forgot to attach the image:
Mesilliac's cliffs: They look pretty good, but some glitches have been highlighted.
Mesilliac's cliffs: They look pretty good, but some glitches have been highlighted.
Last edited by solsword on August 30th, 2009, 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Knights of the Silver Spire campaign.

http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~pmawhorter - my website.

Teamcolors for everyone! PM me for a teamcolored version of your sprite, or you can do it yourself. If you just happen to like magenta, no hard feelings?

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Saphy
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Re: Campaign: The Knights of the Silver Spire

Post by Saphy » August 30th, 2009, 12:46 am

hi again,

I looked into mesilliac's cliff tile, but there are too many glitches, that fixing them would be very time consuming. Some tiles are blurred out, some tiles have different darkness, and some tiles were shifted two pixels to the left, which cannot be fixed by a mere transition because it would break the other configurations.

You have mentioned something about a tile generation program, maybe I can use that to help recreate the cliff tile instead of fixing the gitches manually?

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