[MS:U] Project Lead Journal

thesupersoup

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Jan 5, 2009
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Every journey begins with a single step.

menuwipresize.png
3D menu, with animated clouds, flag, and SFX


This week has been spent getting Hubris up to snuff for MS:U. That meant implementing some features which had, up until now, been something I felt comfortable implementing "later." Now the FPSController can crouch, the InputManager can better handle keydown/keyup/keyhold events, player state is properly enumerated instead of leaving it to flags, and probably some more things I'm forgetting.

I've also spent time getting familiar with SabreCSG, which is the level design tool I'm advocating for MS:U level designers to use. It's fully functional (and I built the new menu tower with it) but it hasn't been updated in some time, which means Unity isn't happy about certain depreciated properties and methods that SabreCSG makes reference to. I plan to fork the tool and take care of updating it for Unity 2019.x myself in the next week or so.

Another short-term goal is to get the framework for NPC dialogue, the shop interface, and other RPG-specific features up and running. I've given myself three months to get everything ready for a playable alpha, the details of which are below:

Master-Sword: United, v0.1-alpha (By December 2019)
  • One map (not a familiar Master-Sword location, at least at first) Might be part of a familiar location
  • Single-player only (we'll see about possible LAN support; internet later)
  • Standalone launcher (No Steam integration, at least at first)
  • Local character save files
  • Three enemies, with item drops on death
  • All MS:S weapons implemented (the whole rusty family, I think, and a bow)
  • Proof-of-concept stats and skills (gain experience for performing actions, level up)
  • Proof-of-concept Inventory system (drag-and-drop item management; hands, packs)
  • Proof-of-concept Merchant system (sell items for gold, buy items)
There's quite a few things to consider; each bullet-point unpacks into several more. I'll make journal posts digging into my approach to each one as I go along.


Let's talk about Player Attributes.

When I started designing MS:U, I knew that I didn't want to simply take the existing system and bundle it in. Making a new version of Master Sword means that we have the opportunity to make some changes; but of course, it would be foolhardy to come in and throw out all the old in favor of the new just because we can. After some consideration, here's the tentative core attributes for MS:U:
  • Strength
    • Physical strength
  • Dexterity
    • Physical speed and grace
  • Fitness
    • Physical vitality and resilience
  • Awareness
    • Mental perceptive ability
  • Willpower
    • Mental fortitude and ability to project the will
  • Intellect
    • Mental reasoning and objective understanding

I'm sure you can already see which attributes might affect certain skills, and that was my goal: to ensure that each attribute has a clear role to play in building your character and their specific skillset.

There's two more attributes I'm looking at adding which would further define your character and their place in the world of Leann:
  • Fate
    • The immaterial force behind action
  • Hope
    • The light within that resists darkness

As a simple explanation, consider Fate to be akin to "Luck" attributes in other RPGs. It represents your character's growing Legend, and the higher your Fate attribute, more spectacular feats will be within your reach. The mechanics that Fate could end up affecting are critical hit chance, item drop rate, and the occasional saving throw on a parry when your HP is low, just to name a few possibilities.

One important tenant of MS:U will be your ability to choose a path, aligning yourself with either Order or Chaos. As has been established, neither Order nor Chaos are inherently good or bad; both are needed, and players can incorporate either one into building their character—through quest decisions, equipment and items, or even the spells they choose to master. This alignment will be made manifest as your Hope attribute; a Hope value of 0 represents perfect Balance, with negative Hope leaning toward Chaos, and positive Hope toward Order.

As an aside, my explanation for this is that I figure someone who believes in Order would likely be optimistic and stereotypically "heroic" in the face of danger, while a follower of Chaos might be fatalist and pessimistic; the glass is always half-full, and everyone's manipulating everyone else. Not to mention Chaos would be more likely to embrace darkness, even if it involves a trade-off.

Your Hope attribute will play a large part in defining a player's role within a party. The current plan is for Order aligned characters to gain Tank-style benefits in areas of darkness and shadow (increased damage mitigation, increased aggro). Chaos aligned characters are physically weakened in these areas (reduced damage mitigation, temporarily lowered maximum health[?]), but gain great potential for damage (increased damage output, especially for spells; increased mana regen).


Until next time, Graycloaks.
 

thesupersoup

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Jan 5, 2009
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I suppose it's time for an end-of-September check-in.

weapons.png
The current rusty set, plus a bow that may or may not be the starter bow who knows at this point

As has been shown before, the weapons have been ported over from Master Sword: Source into Unity. I was just struck with the realization that technically we didn't ask permission to use the assets, but I hope that their creation for the Source edition included an expectation of possible use in other next-gen editions as well. If anyone has questions or concerns, please PM me.

What you might notice from this shot is that we have another weapon in the rusty family. The Rusty Training Hammer is now in-engine thanks to a new member of the team, @MOOSE018. He's got a beautiful Folded Steel Knife as well that I'd love to share, but perhaps I'll let him do that himself. I'll have to prod him to start a Developer Journal....

Lots of work this month on the design doc and building the foundational systems for items, containers, skills, and stats. The Design Doc is a technical overview of these systems, and I was able to further elaborate on their design as questions arose naturally in the course of writing. Likewise, in the process of replaying MS:C, I'm constantly evaluating the established systems in search of what I might do differently. Please note that I don't claim any of these changes to be fundamentally "better" per se, but rather they are the parts of a whole design for a new Master Sword experience.


Of course, what follows is still to be considered a work-in-progress, but perhaps will shed some light on my thought process and the direction I'm leading the project in.


XP and Damage—
One significant change is that experience points earned for damage dealt in combat will be issued to the player immediately instead of withholding them until the targeted NPC is dead. Naturally, this change involves a variety of trade-offs between the perceived benefits and potential exploits or unforeseen challenges that may arise, but suffice it to say this is being carefully considered in an ongoing manner and I'm heavily in favor of it.


Gathering and Production Skills
One area of opportunity for player engagement and immersion revolves around the introduction of new ways to interact with the game world; making room for more decisions to be made, skills to train, and opportunities to enrich your journey as an adventurer in Leann. Enter Gathering and Production skills, which will bring resource gathering and crafting into the fold. As the names imply, Gathering skills will focus on the procurement of resources, while Production skills will put those resources to use—and some skills serve dual purposes.

Gathering Skills rely on Resource Nodes, while Production skills rely on Skill Stations. Both will be hand-placed into the world by the Level Designers.

Planned Gathering and Production skills:
  • Arcana – Gathering, Production Skill
  • Cooking – Production Skill
  • Crafting – Production Skill
  • Forestry – Gathering Skill
  • Forging – Production Skill
  • Herbalism – Gathering, Production Skill
  • Hunting – Gathering Skill
  • Mining – Gathering Skill

Planned for Gathering:
  • Arcana
    • Resource Nodes: Bookshelves, Engravings
    • Bookshelves in dungeons which have a chance to yield tomes of knowledge
    • Engravings which may yield new words of power
  • Forestry
    • Resource Nodes: Trees
    • Cut trees with an axe
    • Grafting trees, which consumes wood resources but provides experience
  • Herbalism
    • Resource Nodes: Flora, Water Springs
    • Identifying and picking flowers, herbs, and other plants around Leann
    • Gathering water from springs for potions; different springs yield varying quality water
  • Hunting
    • Resource Nodes: Animals which can be skinned/dressed
    • Certain animals can be skinned, and may yield a pelt on success
    • At a higher level, animals can also be dressed, which may yield reagents that can be used in Cooking, Crafting, or potion making (Herbalism)
  • Mining
    • Resource Nodes: Rocks with veins of ore
    • Rocks containing veins of ore which can be prospected for experience
    • Prospected (identified) veins can be mined with a pickaxe

Planned for Production:
  • Arcana
    • Skill Stations: Lecterns located around the world, but especially in temples or spiritual places.
    • Creating spell modifiers which can modify existing spells
    • Learned spells can have up to two (2) modifiers inserted into mod slots
  • Cooking
    • Skill Stations: Cooking can be performed on any range in a town, or any campfire around the world, player created or otherwise
    • Cooking meats or assemblages of other ingredients gathered
    • Creating healing/buffing items which can be used or traded
  • Crafting
    • Skill Stations: Some crafting can be performed anywhere from the player’s inventory, while more advanced crafting requires workbenches which can be found in towns
    • Creating items and non-forged equipment from pelts and other raw materials
  • Forging
    • Skill Stations: Forging requires a forge, which can be found in any town that also has a blacksmith
    • The purification of ores through smelting
    • The forging of metals into items and equipment
  • Herbalism
    • Skill Stations: Some potion making can be performed anywhere from the player’s inventory, while more advanced potion making requires apothecary tools which can be found in any town that has a mage/potion seller
    • Creating potions with various effects

This is a long term vision, so not all Gathering and Production skills may be represented in the Alpha.


Spellcasting—
Spellcasting is also going to be reworked, with the formation of new and familiar Schools of Magic. As before, each School has its own sublevel that contributes to your overall Spellcasting level, and spells may have particular Spellcasting and/or School level requirements for learning and casting. The summary accompanying each school simply represents the most common spell types included; it is not intended to be exhaustive.

Planned Spellcasting Schools:
  • Elemental
    • Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Ice (Water/Air), Lava (Fire/Earth)
  • Alleviation
    • Healing spells and buffs
  • Divine
    • Spec spells against Undead/Unholy/Corrupted; Holy damage
  • Affliction
    • Debuffs and poison spells, DoTs
  • Convocation
    • Summoning minions
  • Transmutation (Tentative, still under consideration)
    • Player transformation into different forms, each with unique abilities which will help further define their role in the party
      • E.g. Player can assume the form of a Giant Spider, or a Bear
    • Requires the use of Essence Stones, which are charged by killing creatures of the desired type. Not all creatures are capable of charging an essence stone.

Hopefully soon I'll have some more visual content to show off. Walls of text and tentative designs can only go so far, I know. Definitely take a look at @jon50559's work over in the MS:U subforum in the meantime; he's leading the charge with regard to defining standard tools and processes for MS:U Level Designers and putting out some top-tier work while he's at it.

Until next time, Graycloaks.
 
Last edited:

Thothie

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One significant change is that experience points earned for damage dealt in combat will be issued to the player immediately instead of withholding them until the targeted NPC is dead. Naturally, this change involves a variety of trade-offs between the perceived benefits and potential exploits or unforeseen challenges that may arise, but suffice it to say this is being carefully considered in an ongoing manner and I'm heavily in favor of it.
Just, fair warning, we actually used to do it that way ourselves, and it lead to all sorts of exploits, in addition to issues with regenerating mobs - seen some other games that attempted to do this undo it for similar reasons. Ended before my time here. We also used to give XP just for getting hit, which we similarly had to undo later.

Do like that yer getting some sorta crafting/resource thing going. Been various proposals to do that in MSC, but they never quite come to fruition (we have a pick axe model for extracting resources from special rocks). Closest in our foreseeable future is the weapon mod system.
 

thesupersoup

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XP on damage will be approached very cautiously, for sure.
Weapon mods is not something I've yet considered, but it would probably share a lot with the planned spell mod system. Perhaps I'll wait to see what you guys are cooking up, then try to do something similar for consistency.
 

Thothie

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Perhaps I'll wait to see what you guys are cooking up, then try to do something similar for consistency.
Well, system is somewhat functional and was in place, but due to the limits of the current engine, we had to nix it until the next one. (Can't add much of anything to our item bases, atm.)

As far as borrowing idears though, the descriptors for each enchantment are conveniently contained in one file:
Code:
#scope server
//Item mod data for use in NPCs that require it.
{
    //mod types starting with "d" are DOT
    //mod types starting with "c" are Elemental Conversions

    array.create ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES
    array.create ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS
    array.create ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "dfire" //most effective on swords
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "20;40;80"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Fire Enchantment;Does fire damage over time.;Strongest in terms of damage, but often resisted.;Favored by Swords."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "dcold" //most effective on bluntarms
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "10;20;40"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Ice Enchantment;Slows enemies, but does relatively low damage over time.;Favored by Bluntarms."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "dshok" //most effective on polearms
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "10;30;60"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Lightning Enchantment;Staggers enemies, reducing their accuracy and doing damage over time.;Favored by Polearms."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "dpois" //most effective on smallarms
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "5;10;20"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Venom Enchantment;Does lower damage over a longer period of time.;Only the living are affected, some resist.;Favored by Smallarms."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "dholy" //most effective on axes
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "10;30;60"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Holy Enchantment;Does greatly increased damage to undead.;Has no affect on living beings.;Favored by Axes."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "dacid"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "30;60;120"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Acidic Enchantment;Does a low amount of damage over time, but few opponents can resist the damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "ddark" //most effective on smallarms
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "25;50;100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Dark Enchantment;Does a moderate amount of irresistible damage over time.;Adds darkness contamination to the user.;Favored by Smallarms."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "ddefi"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "50;75;100" //upgrading the dmg doesn't help much
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Defiling Enchantment;Does a very low amount of irresistible damage over time.;Reduces the target's damage output.;Adds darkness contamination to the user."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "speed" //wpspeed inc 5/10/20%
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "50;100;200"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Speed Enchantment;Increases weapon speed."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "accur" //wpaccuracy inc 10/20/30%
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "25;50;100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Accuracy Enchantment;Increases weapon accuracy."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "rdmg" //dmg increase 10/20/30% - using r, as d denotes a DOT
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "30;100;200"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Damage Enchantment;Increases damage done directly by the weapon's blows."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "bal" //decreases damage range 90%
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "5"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Balance Enchantment;Greatly reduces the randomness of the weapon's damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "orc"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "20;50;100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Orcbane Enchantment;Increases damage against orcs, ogres, globlins, and trolls."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "mburs" //burst of mana spheres on death restoring 5/10/30% MP
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "10;50;100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Manaburst Enchantment;Creates spheres of mana, powering yourself and nearby allies, when an enemy is slain."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "hburs" //burst of health spheres on death restoring 2/5/10% HP
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "50;100;200"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Healthburst Enchantment;Creates healing spheres, healing yourself and nearby allies, when an enemy is slain."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "regen" //1/2/3%/3secs
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "50;100;200"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Regeneration Enchantment;Provides a small amount of health regeneration while wielded."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "vamp" //1/2/3% of damage returned as health (max 5% hp)
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "100;200;300"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Vampyric Enchantment;A small amount of the damage inflicted will be returned as health to the user."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "cfire" //converts base damage to fire type
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "300"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Elemental Conversion - Fire;All of the weapon's direct attacks will cause Fire damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "ccold"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Elemental Conversion - Cold;All of the weapon's direct attacks will cause Cold damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "cshok"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Elemental Conversion - Lightning;All of the weapon's direct attacks will cause Lightning damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "cpois" //increases base damage 20%
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "100"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Elemental Conversion - Venom;All of the weapon's direct attacks will cause Poison damage;This also increases the base damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "choly"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "200"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Elemental Conversion - Holy;All of the weapon's direct attacks will cause Holy damage."

    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_TYPES "cdark" //also reduces base damage 20%
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_COSTS "500"
    array.add ARRAY_IMODS_DESCS "Elemental Conversion - Dark;All of the weapon's direct attacks will cause Dark damage;This also reduces the base damage."
}
Mechanics wise: late game, ya'd have a chance to collect Loreldian Dust automatically, via a device some crazy smithy gives ya. With said device in quest inventory, everytime you defeat a mob with more than twice your HP (chance and amount increasing for every double over that plus players on board), ya'd get a chance at gathering some (guaranteed on some bosses). Lorewise excuse being: it's leftover stuff from various Loreldian creations and structures from The War of Fate that's more or less everywhere "polluting the air" (gold in the ocean style), and tends to cling to the insides of particularly powerful creatures, but isn't easy to collect, nor would ya know to go looking for the stuff, if not for said crazy smith.
 
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