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Master of Magic - Implode's Multiplayer Edition • View topic - MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Anything else to do with MoM IME

Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lubricus » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:03 pm

Yes, I see that. Let's keep things simple. I'll go back to struggling with my graphics, then. :cry:
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby elliott20 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:46 pm

yeah, you guys caught me. I was actually hoping to use this as a spring board for AI creation too. the base idea behind this is not so that you allow the player manage the social engineering like you would in SMAC, but rather so that you can build new races or subraces from the ground up very quickly with some rules.

so an industrious race would also get maybe some production bonus, a magical race gets mana, etc. just really quick ways to throw together a race.

if we're just doing race relations, yeah, chances are a standard "this is how we get along with everyone else" value with a couple "here are our good friends and here are our worst enemies" list will do the job just fine.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Iluvalar » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:44 pm

Why not taking a completly different approach.
Let's a program detemine how different are the races are from each other using the xml files.
Buildings sequence, races bonus, etc.

Then let's say that too much similar race are rival by nature. It's should be the case for the hign elves and dark elves for exemple.
The races that have a mild amount of those differences would get along just fine.
And their relation worsen as the difference get too high.

I don't know how much it would fit with the actual relationship with the race, but we could afterward rebalance things by creating some fictives tags that fit with each race that will be taken into account by the xml analyser immediatly. Then we will see what are those buildings that miss in the sequence to reflect the ideology of each races :) . So the fictive tags gradually let place to real effects in the game, that fit the feel in the game.

At some point, the relationship with each races will just be calculated automatically. So new races can be added without messing with that "guessing" issues.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lucern » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:08 am

For AI purposes, I get this. Of course, it'd translate into wizards who lead the races. I'd like to see a nice variety of wizard AI personalities actually work well. I could only feel the differences in the original game whenever there are extremes, such as Merlin is a fair guy, and R'jak is a sociopath. Actually, most of the wizards were total sociopaths :D

And Lubricus, working on graphics...let me know if you have any questions I can help with. Let's see some bees!

Interesting comments about how to automate this Iluvar. At the helm of the editor though, I'm not sure I could let such a system override my admittedly arbitrary (albeit generally genre-specific) race alignments.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lubricus » Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:30 am

Now that the excitement has passed, I fall back to thiking that the system works well enough as it is. Race relations should be tailor-made to individual races, rather than creating an abstract system for determining the values. MoMs greatest asset is its beautiful simplicity, after all. And how many races are we going to add, when all is said and done? I, for one, would like to have some kind of predictability when it comes to races present on the map. Unless someone adds in an additional plane or two, the number of new races should be smaller than the number of races already in the game, I feel. And if that is an acceptable guideline, we can't add many more races as it is.

My skills in the graphical department are sorely lacking, Lucern. But when I get the time, I'll do my best to create a couple of Beeman units as templates for the rest. It seems staggering, though. I hope I can force myself to sit down and concentrate properly on it soon...
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Korenn » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:22 am

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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby elliott20 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 2:58 pm

well, the idea behind the race definition system (woohoo, I get to coin a term) is not so much so that the computer can randomly generate new races, but so that someone with the desire to add new races of his own can do so by composing a number of attributes together. Of course, the current tools as such would allow us to do so without too much trouble as is, I think.

as far as the AI goes, well, I'm still trying to think of the best way to create a systematic model for the computer to make decisions with. But yes, my initial pass at it consisted primarily of using the tags. Each wizard would have a tag that is their affinity, and a tag that is their aversion. (this could also expand to several tags, depending upon the wizard) Wizards will always choose the option that speaks to their affinities and stay away from options that ties in with their aversions. basically, we would code in how the wizard reacts to each situation.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lubricus » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:06 pm

I doubt we can come up with hundreds of well-conceived races, but I like the spirit, Korenn! :D

Of course, if the races can be determined when starting a game, that would be cool, but you'd lose some of the surprise...

Let's try to get a couple more planes to put all the weirdest races into.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lucern » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:24 am

Modifying races is going to be quite easy relative to much of the work of implementing graphics. I look forward to laying that stuff out as a reward for all the graphics labor. You guys will be able to modify them to your liking as well in single-player situations, without all that other work.

My goal with MoM Ex is to have a Master of Magic game with, in a word, more. The basic game plays divinely...it's just a masterful and pleasurable strategy game, and if I lose that, I'll consider this effort a failure. At the same time, I think the game can be expanded and expanded, and as long as the work is quality and the races seem to fit at least the content of an open-ended fantasy work, the possibilities for new and interesting strategic situations will be expanded. One of the dangers to the feel of the game, for example, is that if I add 20 races, what are the odds of running into races that i think should be regular participants of fantasy works, such as humans, and particularly the pseudo European high men of MoM? The answer at the moment seems to be to create subraces, which, in effect, are "new" races that look just a bit different, and have mostly the same units but just a few differences, like a different unique unit, which could easily simulate different cultures of High Men. Others, like elves or another imagining of orcs would perform the same basic task. Alternately/additionally , yeah...planes will separate new races nicely. I also like the idea of choosing the possible races at the beginning, in case you end up hating one of my races, you shouldn't be forced to play with them if you like the rest.

As far as planes go, adding them is possible and planned. I have at least 2 planes I hope to add. The first is a plane similar to Arcanus, but will be less developed, particularly verdant, holding fewer wizards than Arcanus, and have some trappings of Greek mythology. It'll hold, among others I hope to iron out, Centaurs. The second plane I hope can act like caves did in Age of Wonders, or like the Underdark in the D&D Forgotten Realms, so that we have a dark, cavernous underworld far beneath Arcanus, from which invaders can emerge and wreak havoc on the surface. Other possibilities that occurred to me are a plane like the D&D Dark Sun setting, with powerful, isolated races and magic fighting to survive in an extremely hostile and dead environment, or some kind of elemental planes with very few inhabitants but a few distinct rewards. Another plane could simulate a mostly aquatic setting. Each of these creates its own challenges to implementation and balance.

It also occurred to me that if all planes are parallel like Arcanus are Myrror are in the game, the more planes there are, the more annoying the planes are. A solution to this would be to be able to set how planes are connected, and to discontinue the assumption that planes have parallel gates. It would be cool if a gate would transport one to another gate with different coordinates, like a gate on Arcanus at 15, 40 could transport one to the unnamed verdant plane at 45, 9, rather all planes simultaneously. Gates to the cavern plane, representing a place underneath Arcanus, would always transport to the same coordinates below, but not also Myrror. Plane-shifting spells would give you a choice. Totally parallel planes would be hard to manage, but 1 more wouldn't be too bad. Regardless, Myrror and Arcanus should have numerous parallel gates because, well, Myrror is the mirror-world of Arcanus. Also, I think Arcanus should be the most well-connected plane so that it feels like the primary setting of the action. One last consideration is that planes which aren't parallel don't need to be the same size as Arcanus, so that there aren't always huge swaths of terrain to expand upon just because one wants to have another plane.

Now I'm going to get back to the most productive thing I can do for MoM right now - graphics for races. My work has slowed down in the past few months, but...on Tuesday I got my Masters in anthropology. Needless to say, I'm doing a few things, but drawing will remain one of them.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lubricus » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:38 pm

Congratulations on your degree, Lucern!

I like the way you think concerning both races and planes. I agree that Arcanus should be the "hub" plane, enforcing its importance compared to the others.

The towers leading to Myrror today should keep that function, I think - other means should be found to reach other planes. Maybe your verdant plane can only be reached by a specific spell? It shouldn't be hard to create an Arcane spell (so that every wizard can learn it, obviously) which isn't present in your spellbook at the start, but which can be found quite readily in dungeons or something. Of course, if the Verdant plane (see, I just gave it a name, silly me! :oops: ) is somewhat less interesting than Myrror and Arcanus, maybe because it is smaller, then a wizard losing out on the spell wouldn't be a guaranteed loser anyway. Of course, if you start out on the Verdant plane, you start with the spell already in your spellbook (but must research it, of course). Other planes can have other points of access, maybe a new structure or even a city building (after building the Earth Gate or whatever, you can send your troops to the Underworld plane, perhaps).

As always, I'm just throwing my ideas out there for you...
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby elliott20 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:11 am

I like that concept. It'll basically make for an interesting planescape style game.

But I think if we're going to do that, we should probably allow the players to set the number of planes available to them. while the core two should always be present, I don't think we need to have all planes available at all times in game. and basically, games that have the extra planes turned on will have the spell somewhere to be found in that game or a gate they can discover somewhere.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Korenn » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:16 am

I like that verdant plane example. As for access, you could think of a spell that turns earth nodes into gateways (which would imply that that's where the earth nodes get their power from in the first place). Using this logically means that fire and sorcery would be two other potential planes.
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby elliott20 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:34 am

that's... actually a REALLY REALLY good idea. maybe each new plane would also benefit certain kinds of magic in those planes. Of course, you could end up with the effect of each caster of each color instantly migrating to that plane to create his power base...
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Re: MoM IME expanded spinoff - new races

Postby Lubricus » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:08 am

Yes, but those planes need not be very large, and might not have quite resources necessary to become a powerhouse. It's all a matter of tweaking.
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