Progressively add the game features for easier learning

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Newser
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Progressively add the game features for easier learning

Post by Newser » 27 Dec 2018, 12:42

I have a suggestion and a request :)

Suggestion:
It is noted somewhere that The Mana World has quite a learning curve.
I thought it might be easier to learn if there were different versions of the game, Starting with only inventory, equipment, and no other players, and ending with all the features and other players.

Request
I don't want to inconvenience anyone, so I'm hoping for some pointers towards the right files/functions and whatever input you're willing to offer. It's been a long time since I've used C/C++ but I'm hoping I can figure things out if I'm pointed towards the right functions/files.

I want to copy The Mana World (with full credit to the creator of course) and make it WAY simpler. The ultimate goal is for a bunch of psychologists to play the game on their smartphone for about 15 minutes, so an intuitive understanding of online games is WAY too much to ask.

I was hoping there's a quick-and-dirty way to achieve the following (by deleting some lines of code, moving some functions around, and filling in missing values with some appropriate constants to compensate for the deleted code):
1. Remove all the buttons on the top right, except for Inventory and equipment (thus, hopefully, also preventing the use of ability and skillpoint system) (I don't know on what level this needs to be changed - the code for the platform or the code that defines a game within the platform)
2. Create a dedicated client which will immediately connect the user to the server dedicated to this experiment (I assume I can just call the function that initiates the connection to the server on startup, thus skipping over the server selection and login part, with the IP address for the server built-in or read from a file)
3. Generate a bunch of built-in starting characters for every new user (Perhaps by making a copy of some character I create and develop a tiny bit for every new user that logs on, and placing it on a random spot in the world).
4. Make the game progress much faster (cut monster HP, increase drop rate, etc.)

As I've said, I'm hoping for a quick-and-dirty way to achieve all this, so if that's not possible with the way the code is written, please let me know :)
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Re: Progressively add the game features for easier learning

Post by TheManaWorld » 27 Dec 2018, 15:57

TMW is such a big project now, that it would take you less time to clone it starting from 0 than trying to understand the millions of lines of code that have been edited by people since 2004.
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Re: Progressively add the game features for easier learning

Post by Newser » 27 Dec 2018, 17:58

TheManaWorld wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 15:57
TMW is such a big project now, that it would take you less time to clone it starting from 0 than trying to understand the millions of lines of code that have been edited by people since 2004.
Hence my asking for pointers to relevant functions/files instead of trying to understand all the code

I figure it would be easy to just erase the code that draws the buttons I don't want and pretend they aren't there. But it may not be an option, depending on how it's all implemented, so I'm hoping a developer could say "yep, it's that simple" (unlikely, but worth a try) or "not gonna happen".

Remember I'm not looking to remove the ability system/stats from the code, just remove the buttons and maybe change the hotkeys to make it inaccessible. Quick and dirty :)
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Re: Progressively add the game features for easier learning

Post by TheManaWorld » 27 Dec 2018, 18:16

You would need to check ManaPlus' source code for that.
https://manaplus.org/
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Re: Progressively add the game features for easier learning

Post by Newser » 27 Dec 2018, 18:44

TheManaWorld wrote:
27 Dec 2018, 18:16
You would need to check ManaPlus' source code for that.
https://manaplus.org/
The point of this thread is to ask someone who's already familiar with the code. As you said, it wouldn't be easy to understand the code, which is why I want to ask someone who has worked on this code for years what he thinks before I start to do any work...
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Re: Progressively add the game features for easier learning

Post by Pawneeboy » 27 Dec 2018, 19:22

If you need to learn stuff about the game, use the test server, hardly anyone on there and you can test stat builds and gear :D
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