Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Requests for features in the spring code.

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velteyn
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012, 10:53

Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by velteyn »

Hello. This night I was not able to sleep and thinking about spring I got an idea that I want to share you all. :mrgreen:

I'm a total noob to spring (but an experienced programmer) and if I say something wrong please tell me.

I noticed that spring efforts are mainly focused in multiplay, I think that my idea can attract also people and developers that prefers singleplay games.

As far as I know a game lobby is an external program that aggregates players and launches spring with a particular game mission...

We can use the same concept to create a complete game story using RenPy engine. But, what is RenPy ? RenPy is a open source visual novel engine used mostly to create such jap dating stories.

We can use it to create a game story and a clickable game world map. Than wen the story permits, use it lo launch SPRING with a particular mission as a lobby does.

What to add to spring ? I think that could be nice to have into SPRING some sort of in-mission storytelling engine, so to react to player actions and mission progress. In this way missions and also the story becomes more immersive and interesting :!:

What do you think ?
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PicassoCT
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by PicassoCT »

Actually.. mmh.. i dont know.. you know, its certainly great to tell a story. And me, always more aiming for singleplayer anyway, would happily jump on the train. But the problem with story is by now.. ingame scripts have won. Its about books and games. They are two diffrent media, and mixing them up, rarely works.
I worked once with a japanes RPG engine, and well the result is convincing if you expect a animurpg, but it wouldnt work in a rts, were people expect this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqxNIhReRcE

I know its sort of absurd, we praise the pidgeon on the roof, while not even having a jacksparrow in the hand, but... yeah, its what i actually aimed for for my singleplayers "In-between-peacefull"lvls.. highres modells, highres map (of a room or whatsoever).. and then story in form of mp3s, if the player destroys a story object with his invisible "Im nearby lazor"..

I wouldnt write such a wall of text if it wasnt tempting. Just having a tool, just getting the go.. would be jehowasome.
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velteyn
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012, 10:53

Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by velteyn »

he he :-) .. I understand your dubts.. Maybe this could be a brand new genre !

I think that a genre very near this could be Advance Wars like. It s a turn based RTS with a storytelling system very popular in japan !! My idea is to create a similar thing only adding real time instead of turn based...

I don't know ! Any other opinions ?
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gajop
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by gajop »

Well, while I applaud story-telling, I'm not sure if we should attempt to use a VN-like engine (or approach) to create stories. Having played a few VNs, they really focus on passive reading, with a few amount of options (they're glorified books after all).
And let's face it, spring is an RTS game engine. The main aim is for people to play a game in which they control units in order to defeat the enemy.
With that in mind, I think spring is more suitable for warcraft 3 scenario gameplay (just putting it up as a well known example).

However, I think that it still gives the ability to tell stories, either through campaigns of scenarios/missions or through one really large mission. While you would obviously have story elements (such as messages), you would also have in-game events, based on triggers (unit dies, unit's damaged, unit enters area, etc.), making it an interactive environment.

Currently an attempt at that (although not sure how successful) is zero-k mission editor. I'm a bit interested in that myself, so I've been working on an xsd (xml schema) to represent scenarios (not sure if anything's going to come out of that project though).
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

anything in that engine can be done in chili with a little work.
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gajop
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by gajop »

smoth wrote:anything in that engine can be done in chili with a little work.
care to elaborate on that? (what's chili?)
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

gajop wrote:
smoth wrote:anything in that engine can be done in chili with a little work.
care to elaborate on that? (what's chili?)
I will not elaborate unless someone is going to do the work.
chili is the ui framework GundamRTS and ZK use.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by PicassoCT »

and as it tardition demands for openSource it is not easy to learn except you allready know it, it needs fiddling in well hidden conFuck files, and uses zero of the knowledge you allready gathered battering your head against lua and the springapi. Best of all, its not like RenPy something ready to use, it surely will demand countless hours to get something decent to the screen, and thats what everybody (who has his mod finnished, which makes like 4 people) who has enough time can easily donate...

... chili doesent count. All those links to awesome tools, they are non-relevant, because those are not instant, and thats what the actual point of discussion here. Its instant versus hard to use, and although im myshelf choose lua to do the job, i still think the easier the better, and this thing is easy.

Notice the sharp drop in mapping once we had splatmaps? People cant paint them, but people can compare there work to these results, so people drop there whole "lets make a map" project. Features and Tools who are not easy to use, and demand massive amounts of time as first sacrifice, are evil. Posting links to them is too.

Here i go, playin the star again, here i go, turn to rage. Out there in the spotlight..

:D
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Anarchid
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by Anarchid »

Maybe chili and splatting and shard and all other nice improvements over the last few years just need a proper documentation.

I'm so going to advertise luadoc in the months coming.

That's, of course, OT. So, back on topic:

Making a lobby based on RenPy is probably not a too good idea. In fact, with the advent of pro-Lualobby lobby, i can say that having a lobby external to the engine is not that nice, too.

Now, if we had an ingame lobby, the question of making a campaign-story-telling medium as a separate tool wouldn't even stand.
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

Irrelevant.

It would take 30 minutes to setup the basic windows, then the user just has to code the logic to go through story trees. it is as boring as these games are(the ones produced by things like renpy) I would know I have completed several in the past. I'd rather just read a book or watch a hentai not play some weak merger of the 2.

either way, renpy does some minor work to manage story progression or whatever, the rest is just ui code to handle clickable buttons to progress a story. entirely uninteresting, not something most people around here would be interested in coding.

Further more the whole advantage to a simple game like the story games something like renpy produces is that they have low requirements.. spring does not have this.

So I guess tl;dr... highly unlikely that this will ever be part of the engine as ui work is relegated to lua frameworks. So if he wanted to do something like this he would need a project with a chili based dialogue tree or whatever other framework he wants.

out of curiosity velteyn have you tried the gundam OR kp singleplayer?

anarchid, yeah the wiki has 0 documentation on the various ui framework projects. We need that. I may get on it some time.
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velteyn
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by velteyn »

Out of curiosity velteyn have you tried the gundam OR kp singleplayer?
I downloaded and tried but , correct me, cannot see any story between missions... (and I think that Gundam is something full of stories to tell) but as i said I'm a noob and probably I did something wrong :?
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

so you want a bunch of text between missions?
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velteyn
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by velteyn »

so you want a bunch of text between missions?
:-) not only text but a graphic cartoon character dialoguing with other characters like a comic. This would give to game and to the story width. Immagine Char Aznable describing a tactical scenario before a battle (or during)... Could bee cool, no ?
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Anarchid
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by Anarchid »

IMO: Still belongs inside the game, not in an outside program.

And the only thing stopping us from doing that is, actually... Nothing.

You can just make your game load by default some bland place-filler map, and display all that dialog inside a menu. In fact, you can even hide the map completely, and just display dialog with that chili-thing.

(Alternatively, you can display a pre-mission briefing by hiding the mission and displaying the briefing, then only to disable the briefing-shower-gadget and switch into the game. Only need to tell any AI opponents to wait until game is actually started. Maybe, pause it during briefing.)
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

pretty much what arachid is saying...

velteyn, it is possible, just not as interesting as say adding CHAR KICK or something that has gameplay implications. I would not bother with say animation but yeah characters sliding in and out with dialogue frames is doable. Not that I would waste the months doing all the drawing coloring etc for it.
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velteyn
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by velteyn »

Ok, if you say it's possible , I believe you :-) . I think that recovering some static characters taken from some scannerized comic should be not a so much work to do.. I fear on the contrary that adding such graphics/text appearing on the right moment of the game could not be so easy or I'm wrong :-) ?
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Anarchid
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by Anarchid »

I fear on the contrary that adding such graphics/text appearing on the right moment of the game could not be so easy or I'm wrong
In fact, that has already been done, and years ago - i remember it from my previous outbreak on these boards, and that was ages ago. Something to do with spacebats, it definitely had images popping up. :P
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

velteyn wrote:I think that recovering some static characters taken from some scannerized comic
Good way to be C&D'd taking the work blatantly from a comic or artist.
velteyn wrote:I fear on the contrary that adding such graphics/text appearing on the right moment of the game could not be so easy or I'm wrong :-) ?
depends on how you define "right moment."

I am really uninterested in just talking about this stuff, if you are going to try and implement this in a ui framework, then move the discussion to lua. If you are just interested in discussing the idea, I am not your best partner for discussion. Either way, this sort of thing does not belong in the engine and would have to be implemented at a game/project level.
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velteyn
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by velteyn »

you are right smoth :oops: !!

So I'm going not only to talk but to try the two approaches. Starting from renpy (and learning their finite state machine) and come to SPRING to try and see if there is a chance to implement a similar thing into the engine. If someone is interested in help me.... :arrow: welcome !!!
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smoth
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Re: Spring RTS + RenPy (storytelling engine) = better singleplay

Post by smoth »

That is a good approach! best of luck. I am easy to find whenever you have finished evaluating renpy.
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