TMWAthena Official Growth Overview

Content and general development discussion, including maps, quests, and server code from the development team.
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Wombat
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TMWAthena Official Growth Overview

Post by Wombat » 04 May 2011, 19:52

There is a lot of new stuff that is going on with our development.

- As many should know, we have entered the "Balance Project" for official tA. Directory reorganizations, stat changes, price and weight adjustments, sprite fixes, new starting areas, all are being considered during this period.

- Our gitorious.org repos will change soon. Details are pending, but updates will be provided here and within the wiki on their use.

- Due to the success in maintaining growth of the mainline, but also in an aim to build both an easy entrance for development and a more consistent TMWAthena game, we have begun steps to develop two additional official TMWAthena games:

The first is a simple development game called "tA Adventures". Its ease of use will allow new developers an easy way to get involved without a lot of prior knowledge in scripting. New server administrators can test their skills in running a consistent server without being another imitation of currently existing tA servers. The primary focus of development in this game is in encounter and map building for development. For play style, hack and slash dungeon crawling will be the focus, defeating a series of "area quests" as the character builds the power of their equipment and collection of dungeon items that can help them along the way.

The second game has no working name currently and is in the ideas stage. Its aim is to build a new game world from ground up, offering a variety of different features, a strong backstory, a different game balance and perhaps introduce varying styles in play from the current official.

Both games will not be released for official collaboration until they have playable demos or game areas, which may be several months away.

- Back to the official mainline game, the Thermin snowland area is our next big content project. It is West of Nivalis and players will pass through a barbarian area where yeti hunting is a way of life to get to Thermin and its poisonous mine. Though it borders a barbarian area, Thermin itself has a more advanced technology than most of the World of Mana and reflects a "steampunk" style as it builds technology to explore the mine, use its resources and fend off the powerful monster hoards that dominate the area.
Current character is "Abolish".
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Wombat
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Re: TMWAthena Official Growth Overview

Post by Wombat » 04 May 2011, 20:00

I should also note an effort has begun to build a tutorial for development which will compliment our other areas of growth. As we grow, we will attempt to find ways to get more people involved in development that have never tried their hand at it as well as attract those with professional capabilities. The new games are part of this effort and reflect this aim for both ease of development and a strong, consistent development.

These efforts aren't meant to detract attention from the Manaserv project, but are explicitly an attempt to grow attention of TMWAthena, perhaps channeling efforts into where skill and desire takes people into all of The Mana World / Mana-related family of game development.
Current character is "Abolish".
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Re: TMWAthena Official Growth Overview

Post by o11c » 06 May 2011, 00:13

One thing I've always wanted to do with tmwA is to have slightly-story-based RPG adventures for small parties (2-5 players).
For an example of what I mean, check out "The Labyrinth of Champions" or "Into the Underworld" from The Battle for Wesnoth addons (there are others, but these were the first to come to mind). IMO, the turn-based nature of Wesnoth detracts from the RPG element.

Random thoughts of implementation details:
  • At the moment, the server does support fixed instancing via resnametable, so multiple parties can do the quests at once. I might implement dynamic (unbounded) instancing, because the char-server doesn't actually have to know about where the player is, only where to spawn.
  • Multiple char servers for the different worlds is known to work, will ensure that players are aware when it is released, and means that players won't have to have multiple logins.
  • The update server is sent by the login-server, not by the char-server, which would be ideally an option. One thing on my wishlist for mana 0.6 is that packets would be the same regardless of which server sends them. Hm, what does the current client do if it receives multiple update servers? Practically, updates will have to be shared between servers, although perhaps they could marked required="no" so only people with the misnamed option "download music" actually download them.
  • If you leave an instance (die or log off), there shall be no way to get back in.
  • Have a lobby map where players can form parties and choose which adventure to go on. By party I mean party as we already know it; there is a GM command (and thus a usable script command) to warp all players in a party to a location (assuming it works).
  • characters and items are not persistent, althought there can of course be account variables to keep stats: "o11c completed \"some challenge\" with 2 of 3 players still alive, in 2 hours 29 minutes 3 seconds, with a score of 12345".
  • spoof the character list to offer prebuilt classes? (requires server changes)
  • bother the mana devs until they show all 9 (or however many future servers may allow - 256 is the theoretical limit) characters instead of just the first 3. This is believed to be the only undeniable case where manaplus is better than vanilla mana.
  • classes should be forced to be somewhat varied. I.e, there should not be enough arrows on the map for everybody to be an archer, not enough magic supplies for everybody to be a mage. But, be slightly nice: spawn more arrows if there are 2 archers than 1.
  • dropped items shall not disappear.
  • all monsters shall be spawned from scripts.
  • It's a real pity we can't randomly generate maps like Wesnoth can. Should we request this as a feature for mana 0.6 ? Note that Wesnoth doesn't have map layers.
  • There should probably be a time-limit so players's don't DoS the instances. Ameliorated, but not eliminated, if I implement dynamic instancing.
  • For large adventures, it is feasible to break it into multiple maps. Partially to ameliorate the instancing limit, partially to reduce the load on the server for areas the players haven't gone to or have already left.
  • It is, of course, possible to break a story into multiple adventures and require the player to have done the first one before beginning the second one - to not make the "no save" policy unbearable - this would allow players to form different parties and use different stats for subsequent segments. It should, however, remain possible to replay the earlier segments at will, although if it was deemed appropriate it would be possible to prevent this until the whole series was completed. I don't recommend this, however.
  • The map server should never be restarted while players are playing. However, with a few code changes, it would be possible to start a new server process to handle all new connections and keep the current process only until all players log out / finish the current adventure.
Most of this list is perfectly doable without any changes to the server.
Although, as part of my rewrite I will make scripts to handle setting up servers.

Not sure what you intend for tmwA adventures, but this is my idea.

/me goes back to the code, having just understood what the foo_foreach_bar methods actually do, and wondering if that is what they really should do.
Former programmer for the TMWA server.
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Re: TMWAthena Official Growth Overview

Post by nmaligec » 06 May 2011, 01:38

o11c wrote: Have a lobby map where players can form parties and choose which adventure to go on. By party I mean party as we already know it; there is a GM command (and thus a usable script command) to warp all players in a party to a location (assuming it works).
There is some scripting support for this, though I haven't tested it to know if it works according to the script manual everyone links to. I saw them in script.c after I solved it in a slightly less efficient but more graphical/interactive way using other commands.
*waitingroom "<chatroom name>",<limit>{,<event label>,<trigger>};

This command will create a chat room, owned by the NPC object running this
script and displayed above the NPC sprite.
The maximum length of a chatroom name is 60 letters.

The limit is the maximum number of people allowed to enter the chat room. If the
optional event and trigger parameters are given, the event label
("<NPC object name>::<label name>") will be invoked as if with a 'doevent' upon
the number of people in the chat room reaching the given triggering amount.


*warpwaitingpc "<map name>",<x>,<y>{,<number of people>};

This command will warp the amount of characters equal to the trigger number of
the waiting room chat attached to the NPC object running this command to the
specified map and coordinates, kicking them out of the chat. Those waiting the
longest will get warped first.
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Re: TMWAthena Official Growth Overview

Post by o11c » 08 May 2011, 21:49

Creation of chat rooms is believed to crash the client. I am removing them from the server.
Former programmer for the TMWA server.
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