Using WOG to turn Homm3 into an RPG - Anyone interested?

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Using WOG to turn Homm3 into an RPG - Anyone interested?

Postby Arkas » Jun 16 2007, 20:45

I've spent a few months learning ERM, playing with the LOD tools and testing things in a proof of concept map.

Some features that are functional now, but will definitely grow over time:

1. No armies. Using a very heavily modified henchmen script, you can now have 7 henchmen, and they are accessed via the troop 1-7 slots. I'm still working on the script to add level-up dialogs for purchasing skills and abilities with "skill points". I would also like to add some equipment dialogs so that they can increase their skills through items and artifacts. But currently, they function just like the henchmen in wog, they go up levels and gain more health, attack, def, etc...

2. Random Battle Generator - Takes party level into account, excludes town areas, and generates level appropriate encounters. It's still rough around the edges and needs some loot generation.

3. Buildings can be entered (Has to be scripted for each building), but it can be done fairly easily, I've scripted a room in my proof of concept map.

4. I've managed to find a way to get some monsters to behave like map objects, so they can be NPC's and won't vanish after you talk to them. (Unless you want them to).

5. I've got the beginnings of an "Interior" tileset going for use inside buildings and possibly dungeons.


I'd like to know if there would be anyone else interested in HOMM3 as a party based CRPG, and also if anyone is interested in contributing. If there's no interest in this for anyone except me, then I might as well cut corners and make it for myself to save time and just never release it.

As for volunteers, there's definitely enough scripting for more than one person. Also, any graphics work would be more than welcome, I can get by on my own, but I'm definitely no artist. The Story line is non-existant and of course, the Map, Xtra large has nothing but a single town and some test areas.

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Postby Pol » Jun 16 2007, 21:09

Great :D - This's great, was thinking about it for long time, sadly I'm without any time to give it.
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Postby Arkas » Jun 16 2007, 23:58

Discussion and feedback/ideas on concepts is helpful contribution too Pol :)

Like for instance, I haven't decided if the Hero will be used as a character (spell caster obviously) or just there and useless as a level 1 hero through-out the game.

The player will be able to pick which commander they want (I'm thinking this would be the "main" character), but I haven't decided how to make them more different.

Glad you like the idea though. I'm surprised I haven't see it done before. Even Starcraft has been made into an RPG and HOMM3 with Wog has alot more capabilities.

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Postby Pol » Jun 17 2007, 0:02

Using him/her as a full character would be better.

Yes I know, WoG is ideal to adopt RPG style. ;)

PS Here can be used more commanders on battlefield but I have no idea how would be possible to place them instead units for that purpose, inicially that would be better than using henchmen.
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Postby Arkas » Jun 17 2007, 0:18

Hrm... I'd have to look into the scripting behind that. I used Henchmen, because I can use MA to make them better as they level, I can (somewhat) custom design their UI, I can use stack experience for additional abilities. And they can have most other abilities any other monster can have. And I can script more.

Although, if I could use 7 or 8 commanders on the field, they'd all progress about the same. And I'm not sure how I'd go about allowing access to their skill/inventory screen for all of them. Plus they're hardcoded I thought, so there are things I can't change. I'll look further into it though if it's even remotely possible to accomplish something similar to what I already have setup.

The Henchmen I have setup:

Pikemen -> Halberdier
Swordsman -> Crusader
Mage -> Enchanter
Elf -> Grand Elf
Dwarf -> Battle Dwarf
Sorceress
Rogue

(The upgrade happens at level 10, and you get the Sorceress and Rogue after level 10, so they'll already be "upgraded").

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Postby Arkas » Jun 17 2007, 2:22

Here are some screenshots:

The First one, just shows the basic Henchman Information Box, much like in Wog, however I accessed it by clicking on the 3rd troop slot. You'll also notice, that I do not have any troops.

Image

In the second screenshot, that's my Sorceress NPC. Unlike using a monster object, she will not dissappear after speaking with her. Notice the text at the bottom :)

Image

This last screenshot is a rudimentary room. This was just a test, I'd like to at least make the walls better, and these rooms will be built underground so that they are surrounded by blackness instead of grass. It looks a little odd there in the middle of a field. Also, that room was built (and later completely erased) via scripting. There were some grass and trees there before the script was triggered.

Image

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Postby Pol » Jun 17 2007, 9:45

Although, if I could use 7 or 8 commanders on the field, they'd all progress about the same. And I'm not sure how I'd go about allowing access to their skill/inventory screen for all of them. Plus they're hardcoded I thought, so there are things I can't change.

Yes, they are. Someone must bend the code before.

On the other hand, what can be done is to to change objects appearance.
That way is open, although it's having no high importancy, as that doesn't matter to engine.

Screenshots are nice, seen them already though. :D
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Postby Arkas » Jun 17 2007, 14:58

The 1st and 3rd screens probably, that has been done for a while and I posted similar ones to the group.

The 2nd one is what I've spent the last few months doing. I couldn't get an object to look like a monster, and I couldn't get a monster to behave like an object. So I decided on some objects I could live without that were the same size as creatures. That's what has taken so much time, I replaced the objects I found with Monsters I want as NPC's.

I've been digging through the LOD file after work almost every day for at least the last 3 weeks. I also had to find some terrain objects to be used as Interior items like desks etc... I haven't found many that are exclusively used in one tileset though. I don't want to use objects used in multiple tilesets, because I might use them in thier normal state. I've altered the rough tileset though, so I was looking for items exclusive to that tileset.

Granted, I can just about find anything I'm looking for at this point, and I have a really good handle on ERM now. If nothing else, it has already been a very good lesson in ERM Scripting and HOMM3 modding.

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Postby Burdon » Jun 17 2007, 15:13

I loooove the idea of the RPG concept.

As I don't know anything about graphics, and very little about scritping (won't be useful for sure), I still can give you some ideas.

But be sure that you can't keep this project only for yourself :D

I'll be back with proposals soon.

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Postby Burdon » Jun 21 2007, 13:28

Question, are you planning to use all of the creatures as "RPG henchmen", if so, that would be georgeous... Or will just be the ones you mentioned above ?

It would be good if skills gained by creatures through experience would improve slightly with levels (e.g. at level 15 : that monster is able to paralyse with 5% chance, next level +2% to a maximum of 60% chance).

If you can create their own abilities, I hope you'll try to give to each creature an unique one. It would be bad to get 4/5 creatures in the army (?) with the same skill.

I can think about new abilities if you want some help about it.

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Postby Arkas » Jun 21 2007, 21:47

Yeah, it will have to be just those 4. Of course, it's a map/mod, so some things can easily be changed. I'll be setting variables = to the creature numbers in the initialization script. That way if someone else wants to change them, they can. I will be trying very hard to make everything portable. There will be an initialization script and a map script and those will be the ones to keep, every other script will be specific to my map. This way, someone can take my initialization script, rename my map script and build their own RPG map with their own story, etc...

Ideas would be nice. You have 2 casters, a rogue, an archer, and 3 melee characters. But don't go overboard. For instance, exploding arrow(fireball) once per combat for the archer is about as far as I'm willing to go. I don't want ideas that would completely own the battlefield with just that one henchman.

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Postby ByteBandit » Jun 22 2007, 2:28

Are you planning on making the game linear or can you go out and adventure as you please? I was just curious about what direction you want to take in this.....
I play a lot of NWN lately and an RPG WoG makes a ton of sense to me.

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Postby Arkas » Jun 22 2007, 4:26

Well, I'm kind of split. I think some parts almost HAVE to be linear. Mostly the beginning. Maybe about 1/5th of an extra large map. The story hooks, first town, first 10-20ish quests etc... And the end will probably have to have some pre-requisite quests, to keep people from trying to go straight there.

Also, since I'm "Hard Coding" the Henchmen, I'd like the player to pick them all up fairly quickly if the majority of the game is non-linear. If it were going to very linear, I'd spread them out, knowing just about how advanced the PC will be by the time they reach X point to pick up Y henchman.

The random battles scale well, at least up to an unbalanced party of 4 at around level 30-40. I haven't tested much past that though. But it's a good indication that an open-ended game won't get too boring if you do the middle parts last and the beginning parts in the middle.

Some pre-defined battles will be Stynamic though. They'll have a defined minimum difficulty, but will scale upwards. Say for instance a Dragon. Your level 1 hero isn't going to do well against one. But for your level 50 hero, there will be alot more than one.

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Postby Pol » Jun 24 2007, 20:05

I did these. Shield is going to be finished soon.

Image

Of course, mid sign is already in the game.
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Postby Arkas » Jul 7 2007, 1:47

Still working on this. Currently working towards a solution for the stack experience delima.

Henchmen don't really exist outside of combat, they are created during the round 0. They are given stack experience at the beginning of every fight based on their level, and the dialog for stack experience is ONLY available during battle.

Aside from creating my own dialog, anyone else know of a way to provide the stack experience dialog outside of combat for a stack that doesn't exist? Can I create a mouse-click event that will bring up the dialog box if I provide the relevant stack information and experience points?

EDIT: Those are nice POL, I don't suppose you might be interested in re-creating my walls so they have a more suitable aspect ratio? Right now the game is isometric, but my walls are top-down.

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Postby danijel1990 » Oct 22 2007, 5:15

OMG! I'm a big fan of most good RPGs (Diablo2,DS,NWN,TQ,Loki etc.)
And having wog to be rpg is a great idea B-)

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Postby Arkas » Dec 14 2007, 2:32

I'm still working on it... slowly but surely. I'll probably have more to show in the next month or two.

I had a huge delima whether it should be released for 3.59 which may never end up being released, but has some very useful functionality added. Or with 3.58 which everyone already has...

I decided on both, I'm writing all of the scripts for 3.58, but with 3.59 features in mind, so that I can easily upgrade the necessary parts of the scripts and have a quick upgrade with new features etc...

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Postby Burdon » Dec 14 2007, 13:06

Glad to see you're still working :)

I was thinking... if you don't want to keep it too secret... Maybe you could post the list of the features you want to implement.

Some members could give advices or even help. Perhaps you'd prefer do it on your own :D

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Postby Arkas » Dec 16 2007, 21:38

I did post the features I wanted :)

Here are some more screens though... Mostly just works in progress:

This image is how I've setup my Image replacement for my NPC's. I'm just about finished with it, but those are 18 of the NPC's that will inhabit the world. I've replaced the associated object (above each monster) with the animations for the monster. They look like monsters and behave like objects. The original uses of the objects will be removed via script. It was a pain in the neck to go through all of those DEF's, but I couldn't get it to work the way I wanted by doing it any other way.

Image



This is my test town of course, I'm using an X-Large map and have 4 other test areas setup, but this is the area I use for testing town things, like cutting off the Random Monster generator, Shops, hiring henchmen, and removing default object events, etc... This will probably end up being the starting town for the adventure.

Image

ERM is useful for more than scripting. I was using EXCEL, but once I got used to ERM, it was easier to just swap back and forth between script and spreadsheet in the same application. These are just some of the abilities these characters will get as they go up.

Image

The Henchmen will get their default unit abilities, as well as getting at least 6 stack experience level bonus abilities each, and at least one custom scripted ability.

For instance, the rogue gets a phase out ability (hiding), and it will upgrade into a teleport ability(Sneak), so when it's his turn again, he will pop up behind one of the enemy and do increased damage. (Upgrade is not yet in development).

The Dwarf gets a Charge! attack with a knockback effect, while it will deal a good amount of damage, it will only be useful in delaying fairly slow mobs(Zombies and the like) even more than they are already delayed, and it won't help much against faster enemies. (Currently a little buggy, trying to figure out a better way of relocating the enemy, but functional)

The Elf has the ability to ricochet an arrow, hitting multiple targets. (No animation, sorry, I'm not THAT good).

Enchanter and Sorceress - Work in Progress, I'm working on a way to get them some extra spells that they can cast in combat. Not that they aren't already devestating enough as a duo, but some more utility wouldn't hurt. Currently working on problems related to selection method for this ability.

That's as far as I've gotten with Henchmen abilities...


And here is my tileset, pasting them all together like this broke two of the pallets, so the colors for the stone flooring and rock flooring are a bit off. The Chest and the Desk I ripped. Actually the Desk was a crate, so I creatively ripped it. But I desperately needed some indoor furniture.

I'm also going to do a fancy red-carpet tile, and a rug tile for the wood flooring, the marble and the stone flooring.

Image


Mostly been just graphics work lately, and testing my henchmen script. Currently, items equiped by henchmen dissappear when replaced. I'm working on a way to put something in the Heroe's inventory so it can be sold when you no longer need it. Kind of like when you equip commanders, and then un-equip them. Except for Henchmen, this is all done with scripts as opposed to drag and drop.

Suggestions for abilities, features, etc... welcome.

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Postby Arkas » Mar 31 2008, 18:01

Status Update:

Tales of Erathia: Jester Average MisAdventure! (Working Title)

This is essentially a Mod of a Mod, I've used ERM Scripting to change HOMMIII with WOG as much as possible into a CRPG.

Sorry this has taken so long, it's almost a year now in the making, but it's all been done on my own (aside from some ripped art and the default WOG scripts I used for reference, thanks will definitely be given where due on those!). I'm guessing I have at least another 4-6 months of work to do before I can release a beta. Anyway, here is where I am at on various portions of the Mod:

- DEF Replacement - 100% DONE

- Starting town - 90%

- Storyline - 90%

- "Engine" Scripting 70%

- Map Scripting 20% (Starting town is not even 1/5th of the map)

- Main Quest plot - 80%

- Graphics Work - 60%


Breakdown:

DEF Replacement -

This is completely done so far as I don't *NEED* to replace anymore graphics. I'd definitely like to improve on some of them, and I could use some more variety for my special purpose graphics, and interior tileset.

The starting town -

This is fully mapped and mostly scripted, each building has an interior, Standard generic NPC's are there and scripted, Some of the starting point for the main quest is scripted. The majority of what is left, is fleshing out some of the engine scripting and applying what is needed to finish this town after that.

Once it's been play-tested extensively, the rest of the map can be built based on the story-line.

Storyline -

It's a storyline, it will probably not be 100% complete until I have a finished product, I keep re-writing sections of it because I get a good idea or a better idea, and I keep adding to it. It's looking good though, and I'm very happy with it. This btw has taken longer than anything else so far.

"Engine" Scripting -

Essentially, I've used WOG's ERM scripting to turn HOMMIII into an RPG, the core systems which are scripted make up what I am calling the "Engine". I'm trying to make it portable as much as possible to make future sequels (if there are going to be any) much easier and require a lot less scripting. The engine includes scripts for the following features:

- Player Character creation and advancement: Considering that this "Mod of a Mod" will not really play very much like your typical HOMMIII game, alot of changes have been made to creating your avatar, and how your Hero advances through levels.

- Random Encounters: Fighting other towns, heroes and random monsters spawning on the map is not going to happen, instead, Random encounters are generated outside of towns ala the old Computer RPG's/Console RPG's. Details on the random battle generator have already been posted, and it's currently finished. I may have to tweak it for balance purposes, but functionally, it's done. It picks 1-2 level appropriate mobs to fight and has a chance of adding a few +1/-1 level mobs from the same group (usually town or just logical grouping). At the end of combat, experience is awarded and the possibility of treasure as well.

- Henchmen Script or "Party Characters": As stated earlier, I've taken the henchman script and very heavily modified it. These characters have a different method of leveling up, can gain stack levels (although they do not gain stack experience) the stack experience bonuses come at pre-specified levels. Each Party Character has an initiate classification and a veteran (upgraded) classification. Their stats are not just adjusted as they go up in levels, they also gain attribute points and skill points which they can use to purchase additional abilities and improve their stats. They can even equip items to improve their stats. Aside from finishing up scripting on some of the special abilities, the henchman system is complete.

- Random Quest generator: This was a tough script to get working the way I wanted. There are still quite a few things I would change. The toughest part, was working without arrays. I've got all of the quest-types covered, killing certain NPC spawns, exploring random caves, Fed-Ex missions. It's essentially unlimited. There are a few glitches, and it needs a lot of tweaking, I still want to increase the variety so every 10th quest doesn't sound the same, etc... But it is functional, and I'm extremely happy for that.

- Dialog system: At first, I had all Dialog pre-scripted, meaning it was telling a story and the player had no part in it except to click the "NEXT" button. Now I have a FULLY FUNCTIONAL branching dialog system with multiple player responses all due to the lack of a lot of sleep. I really hate when Ideas approach me at 2am, because then, sleep is just not possible and the rest of my day sucks rotten eggs. In this case, however, it turned out rather nicely, and I'm extremely excited about it. How could I have
possibly been working on an RPG and not considered creating a dialog system? At anyrate, there are a number of improvements from the original functional version that I need to make, better variable usage
because I am running out of vars, and the system isn't really portable. I need to strip it down to subfunctions, as it stands, most of it is conversation based, meaning alot of the core system gets duplicated for each conversation, and I don't want that. I also need to incorporate this into my Quest system, but as it stands right now, it's working and I like it, I'm already just about done designing version 2, and it's even better and allows for alot more flexibility, and especially, it allows:

- Alignment System: That's right folks, you can play good or evil, and switch midgame if you want (with some penalties still being designed at this point). With the updates to the new dialog system, quest-lines will differentiate, dialog will differentiate, and some skills may differentiate between characters of different Alignments. It will simply be Good-Neutral-Evil though, and not lawful-nuetral-chaotic. The defualt alignment is chosen during character creation and can change through side-quests only. The main plot line will shift, but only after your alignment begins to shift. Alignment is on a 100pt scale, and some actions will shift it more than others. Even dialog choices can have an effect on Alignment.

- Stack Experience System: Because of the way henchmen are handled, they can gain stack experience and benefit from the bonuses at different levels, but the information is ONLY available while they are in combat by default, the reason, is that stack experience info is available via a right-click troop portrait method, and outside of combat, the henchmen don't REALLY exist. To work around this, I've had to write scripts to keep track of Stack Experience and interface with the Henchmen script, but it is at
least functional now, the Stack Experience bonuses are now available through the normal Henchmen interface.

- Building Interior system: The inside of buildings is built on the fly via scripting, and for my proof of concept map, I spent a lot of time sending coordinates for map object placement, etc... And copy/pasting alot of code. Now, what I have done, is created a system of functions that I can pass values to, and those functions will build my interior rooms. With this system in place, not only can I have pre-set floorplans to make the rest of the map much easier to script, it allows for the following system:

- Random dungeon/cave generator: This script will generate a random dungeon or cave (almost, it takes preset "rooms" and places them in a logical order). The cave is complete with monsters, a boss, and scripted traps/treasures. This is one thing I am trying to integrate into my Quest system right now, and I will be re-writing my random encounter generator to accomodate specifically for this script.

That's about it for the "Engine" Scripting. It has taken an awful lot of work, and I'm sure I could have done many things better, but it's functional and I can tweak as I go.

-Map Scripting:

This encompasses scripting building interiors, hooking the engine scripts to relevant NPC's, Setting up Specific Dialog trees, etc... The reason I have this at 20% is because the Starting town, which takes up less than 1/5th of the map is just barely complete. Everything that has been done so far, will definitely speed up the rest of the map scripting though.


- Main Quest Plot:

Seperated from the Storyline simply because I think it's a beast all on its own. It was about 80% done, then I got sidetracked on Alignment ideas then it was about 40% done and now I'm just about finished with it again, back up to 80%. I can't say more than that, I don't want to spoil anything.


- Graphics Work:

As this is definitely my weak point, there is always room for improvement. While I say I'm done replacing DEF's for everything to work fine, I'd still replace more if I had better Art. I'm also missing entirely, any kind of Story Art, etc...


Well, that's it in a Nutshell. I'd post more screens, definitely some shots I WANT to post, but I'm at work right now, and I was up far too late last night. I'll try to get something posted by the end of the week. Anyway, it is all coming together and it was a hell of a lot of work. I'm still accepting help if anyone wants to jump in. I know, that no-one had any time last year, maybe things are different?

I've scrapped 3.59 compatability, even though now, I'm finding out that 3.59 might be a reality in the next year or so, still, if 3.59 comes out, I'll bug-fix, but that's about it. There was too much new stuff in 3.59 that I could use, and it was causing me anxiety trying to cater to both versions. 3.58 is what everyone has right now, so that is what I am going to use.

Also, I've used a *^%(*#P@# TON of variables, most scripts will either break the MOD, or simply not work correctly. Several default WOG options will be used though. Besides, most scripts are modifications to a typical HOMMIII game and wouldn't add anything to this Map anyway.

And... Last but certainly not least... I'm using ALL variables that travel from one map to the next in a campaign. There will be a sequel, storyline and title are already being worked on, map ideas are flowing over, and I can't possibly fit it all into one map, even if 40% of the map is fluid and re-writeable.


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