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odovacar
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 16:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A lot of the fun in the game, for me at least, is exploring new areas and for some time now I felt like there aren't many new areas to explore.
The main reason is probably lack of coders. Now, I think the wizards are doing a great job, but they're swamped with handling game mechanics and guilds etc. Players can help them with the burden by offloading some area creation. This has already been done before through area creation contests and I think those are a great incentive, but why should we wait for those yearly (or more-ly) events? To make things easier/faster/more fun, I suggest we team up for developing areas.
So I'll leave this thread for discussion about the idea and I suggest we open a new thread for pitching/coders wanted/coder looking for a team kind of message.

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solar
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 16:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Umm, we already have this? One first requests devwiz status from Belannaer or whoever it is that handles them, then gets access to devwiz forums: development and coding, dev+ channel, coding documentation, coding examples and such.

And the dev-server, which is functional clone of Icesus the game, except where devwizzes have wizard characters and can actually test out how their code performs, once they upload it.

Also, stuff.

Nothing keeps devwizzes from teaming up, except inactivity.

Before starting working on an area, it is a good idea to have the idea for it approved first, but right now becoming that devwiz is the first step.

But I guess this information is the kind that cannot be promoted enough, new players might not have been around the last time this was mentioned.

This is the path I took, that's the path that has brought... what... 3 areas into the game without area creation contests and one with? A few on hiatus projects, too.

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ndarr


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 17:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes, Solar has written it as it is. I'd go for Belannaer/Ginjeet axis and tell your ideas or such so that you get an access to icedev - where all the magic happens for devwizzies.

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odovacar
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 21:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

solar wrote:
Umm, we already have this? One first requests devwiz status from Belannaer or whoever it is that handles them, then gets access to devwiz forums: development and coding, dev+ channel, coding documentation, coding examples and such.

ndarr wrote:
Yes, Solar has written it as it is. I'd go for Belannaer/Ginjeet axis and tell your ideas or such so that you get an access to icedev - where all the magic happens for devwizzies.

Did not know that since I never had access to icedev forums etc. and this is definitely part of what I had in mind. But I was thinking of "opening" the process further.
This thread explains how to contribute to the game:
Quote:

3.1 This email should contain at least the following info: Brief area history (to show how this area will fit into icesus), Brief area description (again to show how well it fits into icesus), approximate number of rooms, short info about possible quest(s), short info about what kind of monsters will be in the area (with approximate exp values), short info about possible special eq you can get from the area (from monsters or from quest) and any other info you feel is necessary for making a decision A) if this area will fit into Icesus B) if it is the right size/difficulty for a person with your coding skills doing a first area project in icesus.

I think this is a steep requirement for icedev access. In open source projects you don't usually just hop in and start working on this new feature idea you have. You contribute first by helping with documentation, fixing bugs and other such activities, which ease you into active development. Like I said in game, I don't mind helping someone's area by writing room descs, but I'm expected to write my own room descs in order to even get access to icedev.

I can understand where restrictions to the process are coming from, I just think they can be eased a little to help things out a bit. I'm not even sure this will help things, but I'm ranting anyway. Heck, a little forum activity is nice for a change. Or just consider this a motivational post.

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ndarr


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 16:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well in that case you would need some1 already a devwiz with a granted access and help him with the descs(help u get access) or get someone who has the idea and who is willing to do the area with you and also what is requested for area before access is granted.

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odovacar
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 07:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

ndarr wrote:
Well in that case you would need some1 already a devwiz with a granted access and help him with the descs(help u get access) or get someone who has the idea and who is willing to do the area with you and also what is requested for area before access is granted.

And that's why I suggest a thread where folks can ask for help/propose their services.

Anyway, I'm coming to terms with the fact that the problem is not lack of coders, but lack of people who care. I think the number of people who are not indifferent to anything but exp, and would actually try to take part in such an effort, is probably too small to support a steady stream of development - even if it's better coordinated.

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solar
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 08:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, it seems that full wizards are preoccupied with higher priorities (life, work, girlfriend(s), archery, master's thesis etc) than having the time and motivation to perform quality check on devwizardly content.

Quality check is, of course, heavier if the area is larger, or has funky content. Devwiz hirself can aid by following the Holy Writ of Coding Style, e.g. keeping the code clean and readable, and by thoroughly testing how hir things actually work on icedev, rather than expecting them to work as intended. (Or ask Ndarr to test it out for you ":D" )

A basic small area, such as that one noble house in Cenedoiss with only a few rooms and objects is of course something that can be quality checked with way less effort (and some booze or cola).

And it might be wise to start with the basic stuff. Then in further projects, attempt that fancy stuff, such as descs changing according to day/night, and Hidden Fun Stuff.

Having said all this, I really ought to produce more, once my workload elsewhere reduces. I can, however, try to assist according to my abilities once there is actually something going on there.

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ity


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 09:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I submitted an area idea to Belannaer about a month ago, hoping to get the chance to create it, but never heard ya/nay, figure he is quite busy, so Ill just keep waiting Very Happy

I'm willing to help someone else with anything they need too, to learn more about the coding aspect as my coding skills are lacking (I am going to school now for Computer Sciences, but still in first semester so nothing but fluffy courses about success and communication and basic computer application use and project management.)

I did once design an area for Aabrahan: The Forsaken Lands, just before all the wizzies quit and put the the code up for free for someone else to take over. The area never got implemented, and it was done with ORB, an area creation program for diku.

Didnt like new management, now its a very horrible place to be
allanon


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 18:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This post will probably mis-state some facts and offend some people, so feel free to rip me a new one in response.

I have been pretty happy to code an area and have the motivation to get it through process into the game - when there was an area creation contest.

The problem is that I've only been around for two of these contests...and I finished my first area back in December 2004. The second one was in late 2010. That's not really a yearly thing! I have had another idea in the works, and I was going to work on it when a "possible" area contest was rumoured for 2011, but it never materialized. So that area has just been sitting around gathering dust.

Moreover, as far as I have been aware (and like I said, I'm probably wrong here, but oh well), none of the promised prizes have ever been given out. Permanent DF, unique items, etc. I guess it's technically true that no areas were actually in the game before the stated deadlines? But still, it's a damper.

Coding a quality area, even one with not too many rooms and stuff, is unpaid work that largely goes unappreciated. I could count on two hands the number of people who have ever commented on one of my areas, whether positively or negatively. (Yeah, I know they kind of suck, but still.) Large proportion of that would be from the (dev)wizards involved, or Odovacar who actually has visited them. *cough* So at least for me anyway, a large part of the motivation is just knowing that someone will...care. Someone will play through the area and have some fun, maybe a memorable experience. You know?

Part of that issue is that as far as I've seen, most of the new areas over the years can't beat the xp/money per hour of the "classic" places. (Notable exception: Adroal/snakemen place that I don't remember how to spell.) Check out the alert channel, for instance. It's pretty much the same places as it's been for years. Blah blah blah Broken Oak, blah blah blah Shanty Town, blah blah blah Rebel Camp. A new area is nice for people to explore...until they have measured all the content and determined it is inefficient to play there. Some places, like Bronze Age Tomb, are legitimately good places for a lower level player to advance through for a few levels. But that means that you only visit them for a little while and then never come back.

It's good to make areas "for leveling through" - the more options people have other than visiting House of Marho, Krurik's camp, gypsy camp, etc x1236723423 times, the better. But that comes at the cost of such areas fading into obscurity and uselessness once people progress past the level range. I feel confident in saying that there are plenty of areas in Icesus that only people interested in Exploring know about/remember.

Anyway, I would write more, but this is already a TL;DR post. The bottom line is that the current benefit for making an area is not worth the cost, at least in my opinion.

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solar
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 00:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

allanon wrote:
The problem is that I've only been around for two of these contests...and I finished my first area back in December 2004. The second one was in late 2010. That's not really a yearly thing! I have had another idea in the works, and I was going to work on it when a "possible" area contest was rumoured for 2011, but it never materialized. So that area has just been sitting around gathering dust.


Contest is a good incentive. It motivates to know that other people are doing the same thing, and that coder channels have active people at that time. Yet, coding can and should happen even outside contest times!

allanon wrote:
Moreover, as far as I have been aware (and like I said, I'm probably wrong here, but oh well), none of the promised prizes have ever been given out. Permanent DF, unique items, etc. I guess it's technically true that no areas were actually in the game before the stated deadlines? But still, it's a damper.


I think Yashod did get something for his refugee camp area. The area is pretty damn fine, on top of it.

allanon wrote:
Coding a quality area, even one with not too many rooms and stuff, is unpaid work that largely goes unappreciated. I could count on two hands the number of people who have ever commented on one of my areas, whether positively or negatively. (Yeah, I know they kind of suck, but still.) Large proportion of that would be from the (dev)wizards involved, or Odovacar who actually has visited them. *cough* So at least for me anyway, a large part of the motivation is just knowing that someone will...care. Someone will play through the area and have some fun, maybe a memorable experience. You know?


Most of the players are finns. We don't generally comment. Neither positively nor negatively. But if people visit the area - something succeeded! I haven't yet finished your area's quest myself, but I am lazy like that. It did have a nice feature, though.

allanon wrote:
Part of that issue is that as far as I've seen, most of the new areas over the years can't beat the xp/money per hour of the "classic" places. (Notable exception: Adroal/snakemen place that I don't remember how to spell.) Check out the alert channel, for instance. It's pretty much the same places as it's been for years. Blah blah blah Broken Oak, blah blah blah Shanty Town, blah blah blah Rebel Camp. A new area is nice for people to explore...until they have measured all the content and determined it is inefficient to play there. Some places, like Bronze Age Tomb, are legitimately good places for a lower level player to advance through for a few levels. But that means that you only visit them for a little while and then never come back.


I've pondered about adding a new, more dangerous, extension module to the crypt, but that's not high on my list of things to code. And there is a layer of dust on that list... >_>

But yeah, Sir Experience Grindsalot prefers some areas more than others - adding a df item to a mob that is challenging to solo but easy to gun down with a party, coupled with some mobs worth killing for exp makes the area popular, if it's not in the middle of nowhere.

allanon wrote:
It's good to make areas "for leveling through" - the more options people have other than visiting House of Marho, Krurik's camp, gypsy camp, etc x1236723423 times, the better. But that comes at the cost of such areas fading into obscurity and uselessness once people progress past the level range. I feel confident in saying that there are plenty of areas in Icesus that only people interested in Exploring know about/remember.


On the other hand, obscure areas are usually filled with monsters that are alive and unraped. I did some exploring this one day and found a place rarely visited these days that had a pretty decent amount of 10k-20k and 30k mobs. Most areas with mobs around that range are so thoroughly ravaged that the monsters are hard to come by!

allanon wrote:
Anyway, I would write more, but this is already a TL;DR post. The bottom line is that the current benefit for making an area is not worth the cost, at least in my opinion.


Then again, I've done a great part of my areacoding (after the bronze-age crypt) playing as a deftank. I could code while I was dragged around! Yay?

Rewards can be negotiated. Some want the pdfs (always useful), some might want a cool eq (which might be useful) - even if there is no area creation contest around.

Also, one can aim to fill in gaps in game content by including them in an area. These days, we have guilds that have very little existing equipment that has been made with them in mind. Consider scions - some souls are rare to come across. Consider equipment - are there any (good) newbie javelins in the game? Are there equipment with the new eqstats (defiance, infusions etc) in the game available from less than prestigious sources?

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khade
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 04:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Are weapon types and new weapons things that would be done in Icedev? Because there are a good amount of weapons I think would be nice that we just don't have.
ndarr


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 20:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

khade wrote:
Are weapon types and new weapons things that would be done in Icedev? Because there are a good amount of weapons I think would be nice that we just don't have.


Every function etc. available in real ice can be implemented at dev.

I would like to hear some of your ideas as I would need a couple more reward items for a thing or two! Wink

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solar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 13:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think by 'new weapons' he meant stuff like:

New weapon types:

Kukri, ~0.4m slashing sword
Pike, 3.0-7.5m piercing spear
Gythka, xxx m, piercing polearm

etc.

Those would need to be hardcoded to the lib, which is not something dev wizards have an access to.

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ndarr


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 20:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

True, partly. You can still do a 'kukri' just have it made as knife or a similar weapon or in this case cutlass, just manually set the speed and the size of your liking. The messages would still be as plain as otherwise.

I doubt that e.g. wrath is made of "hatred", but instead something much more plainer, masked to return "hatred" as I don't think there is such material available. But then again, what do I know...

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ndarr


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 20:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

...then again there is a mention in WIKI: NOTE: You may NOT set the wc, damage, size, speed nor weight of the weapon yourself, instead weapon_setup handles them. You just set the type and the material. <- but I think this is just said so that there won't be people hammering constant barbas around by setting the regular damage too high.

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