Which Campaign utilizes best the modern/existing Features

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Which Campaign utilizes best the modern/existing Features

Post by MetalKing »

Time stand not still and Wesnoth as Engine/GamePlatForm envolves and new Features get added and finally there are Campaigns, which utilize these Features in the effective Way the Player experience and play Wesnoth. I may assume there exist anyway a LearningCurve and Envelopment of Knowledge of Campaign-Designers, which share their Knowledge and improve that Way their total Knowledge and as Result the Quality of their Campaigns. Brief: the Way a Campaign get or should get written today differs surely from that what People that several Years ago. Some can do better and some want to do better. A Newbie of Campaign-Design naturally looks into exisitng campaigns to figure out how this or that get/got solved and thus encounter a Lot of different Approaches/Skills/Qualities. So let's assume there is such a Newbie and want to know which Campaign is the best he want to study to learn how to write a good Campaign resp how to write a good Wesnoth-Campaign-Code. Then ....

Which Campaigns applied the most advanced Programming-Arts that a Newbie should want to take as Lession to learn the better?

There is perhaps the Question Lua or WML and there could exist different Ideas which is the better but that Question is not the Point here. I favor Lua clearly but that shall not Matter here and let's assume that, WML and Lua are same good (they are clearly not) and the Newbie may apply any of them like he want, he get told he want or stumble over at first. So which of both is no Point but which Capaigns utilize the Features of the Game/Language at best and best WML-Campaign does not have to be also the best Lua-Campaign (...). Also Libraries can show the better Way even if they don't result into a singe Campaign alone (may be other best Camapigns utilize them).

Which is the SW-technically best Campaign for Wesnoth?
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Re: Which Campaign utilizes best the modern/existing Feature

Post by Sapient »

Well, that's an odd question. The most technically complex campaign would not be the best for a newbie campaign designer to emulate. It's far better to start simple and add complexity as it is needed. Ideally the game engine and related tools can be enhanced to make the complex tasks easy, so all the author has to do is supply a few configuration parameters and then the game engine should do all the hard work. Similarly tasks that can only be performed in Lua should indicate areas where WML needs to be improved.

But back to your original question, I would say that the most technically complex campaign would be this one (To Lands Unknown):
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 10#p558510
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Re: Which Campaign utilizes best the modern/existing Feature

Post by Dugi »

I agree witth Sapient. You haven't asked a good question. Campaigns using a lot of features (and/or new features) aren't necessarily the most technically advanced. For example, as far as I know, After the Storm used a few brand new code features designed specially for After the Storm, but the most complicated parts of its code are using the same few features over and over again (that is in most cases storing units and variable manipulation). Under the Burning Suns uses tons of relatively complex code, but all the features it is using are many years old.

The main difference between coding possibilities in 1.8 and in 1.10 is about an overhaul of lua and usage of lua to create a plenty of WML tags to do things otherwise doable by WML, but not quite easily. The other changes have little effect on the way codes are done, they are rather like minor changes you can use from time to time.
The main difference between coding possibilities in 1.10 and 1.11 (and probably also 1.12) is a change in AI and then there are again petty things, like a new syntax possibility for animations to make coding animations easier or a possibility to make drain happen differently (with a bit of skill, this can be done without needing 1.11).

In fact, I believe that the most influential newer change are the new lua possibilities, that can make the code more effective and can create complicated GUIs. Complicated GUIs are used in Shadows of Deception and World of Wesnoth, but both of these add-ons are incomplete (though World of Wesnoth lacks rather scenarios and graphics than functionality).

If you seek the classical complicated WML things, like crazy abilities and RPG stuff, you can try to look into Legend of the Invincibles, but most of the things there could be done also on ancient versions (all done basically using variables and such stuff). But there is also a few things done very strangely for various optimalisations.

To Lands Unknown is focusing on brilliant visuals, with totally inwesnothish terrains and spectacular cutscenes, but making a campaign like this one requires a very good skill at drawing graphics.

However, most campaigns that can be classified as technically advanced use macros a lot, and a web of macros can be extremely difficult to understand, when macros' definitions are usually hidden somewhere in other files. Another problem is that many people wrongly believe that using macros improves performance and that macros should be used as much as they can (probably failing to understand the difference between macros and functions in programming languages), and unintentionally obfuscate their codes with macros.

So, my list might be incomplete, but things you might want to check if you seek particular ways of being technically advanced (some add-ons can have more of these properties, usually showing only their most peculiar property):
Large variety of code tricks to create unusual scenarios - Under the Burning Suns
Extremely advanced enemy control - Invasion from the Unknown, After the Storm
Tons of lua code - Era of High Sorcery
Unbelievable terrains - To Lands Unknown
Special dialogue windows - Shadows of Deception
Massive permutations in units' graphics - World of Wesnoth
RPG stuff (inventories, large customisation in advancement) - World of Wesnoth, Wesband
Unusual abilities - Legend of the Invincibles
AI experimentation - Grnk the Mighty

However, I recommend to new coder reading the code of neither of these, because they aren't easy to understand without previous knowledge. Campaigns with simple scenarios like most mainline campaigns have the best didactic value.
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