Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Here's where all things related to Book III are being discussed!
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MyGameCompany
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by MyGameCompany » July 15th, 2014, 5:58 pm

Painted Lady wrote:
IJBall wrote:I keep hoping someone will do an Ash Island mod for Book I........
It's on my list...

Though I'll probably take a little break after I'm done building this huge Book II mod.
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » July 16th, 2014, 1:30 am

MyGameCompany wrote:
Painted Lady wrote:I keep hoping someone will do an Ash Island mod for Book I........
It's on my list...

Though I'll probably take a little break after I'm done building this huge Book II mod.
Wait - how would that work? Would you "rebuild" all of the Book I maps using the Book III map editor, and then add to that with the new Ash Island map(s)?...

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by MyGameCompany » July 16th, 2014, 5:55 pm

IJBall wrote:Wait - how would that work? Would you "rebuild" all of the Book I maps using the Book III map editor, and then add to that with the new Ash Island map(s)?...
Uh, no. I'm just going to mod Book 1.

Besides, the mod tools aren't ready yet to port Book I or Book II to the Book III engine. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before that's possible.
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by SpottedShroom » July 17th, 2014, 8:53 am

MyGameCompany wrote: Besides, the mod tools aren't ready yet to port Book I or Book II to the Book III engine. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before that's possible.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to see, other than conversion of maps between Book I/II/III formats?

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by MyGameCompany » July 17th, 2014, 6:52 pm

SpottedShroom wrote:
MyGameCompany wrote: Besides, the mod tools aren't ready yet to port Book I or Book II to the Book III engine. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before that's possible.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to see, other than conversion of maps between Book I/II/III formats?
Well, I think before a proper port can be done, we need all the stuff on your prioritized list, including graphics, music, and sound, so we can import missing assets from the previous games.

But as far as my current mod goes, or a future Ash Island mod, I haven't given it much thought. The new brushes and ability to convert global maps to save game maps has been a huge help to me already. The biggest thing I'm missing are new quests and NPCs, but I know we're not likely to get those for the Book 1 or 2 engines. But I've been able to create some pseudo-quests using the existing Book 2 scripting.
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by SpottedShroom » July 17th, 2014, 7:32 pm

MyGameCompany wrote: Well, I think before a proper port can be done, we need all the stuff on your prioritized list, including graphics, music, and sound, so we can import missing assets from the previous games.

But as far as my current mod goes, or a future Ash Island mod, I haven't given it much thought. The new brushes and ability to convert global maps to save game maps has been a huge help to me already. The biggest thing I'm missing are new quests and NPCs, but I know we're not likely to get those for the Book 1 or 2 engines. But I've been able to create some pseudo-quests using the existing Book 2 scripting.
Mod support for Book I is actually an interesting subject. Some of the game's resources are just sitting out on the filesystem, so adding new ones would be easy - maps, graphics, music, sound. The rest, however, are embedded in the executable itself, and so outside the reach of even a third party mod manager like xolotl and I have considered writing.

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » July 18th, 2014, 12:48 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Why do you have such a hard-on IJBall for rebuilding Book I and II with the Book III engine? :)
The advantages of converting Book I to Book III should be obvious - better graphics (i.e. better resolution), as well as the enhanced gameplay elements. (And I think the conversion of Book I probably has to be to Book III, rather than Book II, as the former has many of the graphics elements used by Book I that are missing from the latter...)

Now that it looks like the 'bugs' present in Book III (and both Books II and III) are unlikely to ever be completely fixed, the impetus to "convert" Book II to Book III is... significantly... less... In fact, in a number of ways, I think I prefer the way Book II "plays", so my idea of one "global" Eschalon game app with which make all mods is much less relevant now.

At this point, there will probably be a few Book III mods, and fewer Book II mods.

But I think the idea of "recreating the entire Eschalon game world in the Book III engine" (which was my original operating principle on this) is probably rendered moot, and probably won't happen anyway... :|

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » July 18th, 2014, 12:51 am

SpottedShroom wrote:Mod support for Book I is actually an interesting subject. Some of the game's resources are just sitting out on the filesystem, so adding new ones would be easy - maps, graphics, music, sound. The rest, however, are embedded in the executable itself, and so outside the reach of even a third party mod manager like xolotl and I have considered writing.
While aspects of modding Book I might be "easier", I think the game's lower resolution, and more primitive gameplay, etc. probably make a really bad choice for any modder to pursue. I'd advise people interesting in modding stick to working with Books II and III.

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by MyGameCompany » July 18th, 2014, 11:09 am

IJBall wrote:While aspects of modding Book I might be "easier", I think the game's lower resolution, and more primitive gameplay, etc. probably make a really bad choice for any modder to pursue. I'd advise people interesting in modding stick to working with Books II and III.
Except that Book I is still my favorite to play, even with the lower resolution. And I personally didn't find the gameplay lacking in any meaningful way. I know a few other people enjoy Book I too, and for those of us who do, some new mods would be very welcome.
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by Painted Lady » July 18th, 2014, 2:36 pm

MyGameCompany wrote: Except that Book I is still my favorite to play, even with the lower resolution. And I personally didn't find the gameplay lacking in any meaningful way. I know a few other people enjoy Book I too, and for those of us who do, some new mods would be very welcome.
Couldn't agree more. The portal outside Elderhollow, the boat near Ash Island and the locked gate leading out of Captain Morgan's area all look like great possbilities (for someone else to work on, of course).

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 25th, 2014, 7:31 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:It looks like the ending was changed/cut/rushed towards the end. Read this. The artist obviously didn't add the Dragon for shits and giggles...
Rushed? No. Book 3 took nearly three years to make. If it were rushed you would have had it back in 2012.

What happened was I reached the limits of the engine, and some of my original design goals were cut because they couldn't be implemented. In the end, I had blown away our production budget by going a year over the schedule and I had to finish it a different way.

Did that change the overall story? Not really. Instead of fighting a single dragon at the end, you get to be part of a large battle with hundreds of combatants. Other than that, the storyline is essentially as I originally wrote it.

Should the end area have been longer? Yes, probably. But after scrapping months of work trying to get a large dragon sprite to work within our engine (including spending several thousand dollars for an artist to model & animate this dragon), Basilisk Games was simply out of money and we had to release it as is. A good map zone takes a month of work to make (longer if there is has a town and/or lots of NPC dialog) and so adding three map zones would have added 3-6 months on to the development schedule, which I just couldn't afford to do.
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 25th, 2014, 8:13 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:How big was Karamiklan going to be? Half the screen? :shock:
About 1/4 of the screen actually. But it also had to be animated in 8 directions and required additional actions (meaning, more frames of animation than the standard sprites). This tended to crash many lower-end graphic cards (more of a limitation of BlitzMax rather than a hardware issue).
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by SpottedShroom » July 25th, 2014, 9:14 am

BasiliskWrangler wrote:including spending several thousand dollars for an artist to model & animate this dragon)
Ooh, any chance of posting these graphics? I'd love to see them.

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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 25th, 2014, 11:23 am

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:
SpottedShroom wrote:Ooh, any chance of posting these graphics? I'd love to see them.
This thought just came to me but the Dragon model might appear in the sci-fi RPG that Basilisk Games are currently working on?
For the most part, this is correct. We'll find a use for unused assets if possible, so I'd rather not show everything we have archived. There are actually a number of interesting models that never made it into Eschalon that I'd like to reuse one day.

But the more honest answer is: none of the sprite sheets were actually saved after it was determined it wouldn't work. I have the original model in 3D Studio format, but now we've moved over to Blender and I haven't converted any Eschalon assets into Blender format, so I can't easily render anything out for you.
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Re: Opinions on Book III (SPOILERS)

Post by IJBall » July 25th, 2014, 12:11 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:
Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:It looks like the ending was changed/cut/rushed towards the end. Read this. The artist obviously didn't add the Dragon for shits and giggles...
Rushed? No. Book 3 took nearly three years to make. If it were rushed you would have had it back in 2012.

What happened was I reached the limits of the engine, and some of my original design goals were cut because they couldn't be implemented. In the end, I had blown away our production budget by going a year over the schedule and I had to finish it a different way.
Yeah, I definitely figured something like this happened. Because it certainly seemed that, originally, a dragon fight was going to be in there.

One other question - did this whole SNAFU prevent you from including Barrea in Book III? Because the other thing that seemed clear to a lot of us was that we were originally going to visit Barrea in Book III, but it seemed like those plans changed too.

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