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Arcanum Returns: Arcanum to Shadowrun conversion

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by Jason Liang, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. Reapa Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    what did arcanum do to you to want to zombify it?
     
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  2. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    I've been looking to do some modding and coding for a while. I did some work with Infinity and Aurora engine modding when I was in college. So making a mod for the Shadowrun engine has been something I've flirted with for many years. I think it's a good fit for Arcanum's setting, and it could be really great. I have a pretty good idea of what can be done with Shadowrun and how to do it.
     
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  3. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Dude, I've played around with the Shadowrun editor. I've played all three Shadowrun games. I tried some mods for the Shadowrun games.

    The engine is so different in its capabilities from Arcanum's that even with several workarounds, it's impossible to accurately translate Arcanum's free and open gameworld into the Shadowrun engine.

    It's just not made for this kind of game.
     
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  4. Immortal Arcane

    Immortal
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    This won't work without overhauling the Shadow Run engine.
    You're better off using the NWN2 toolset for something like this.
     
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  5. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    If you conceptualize this project as 3 distinct components:

    1) Rule conversion
    2) World building
    3) Game content

    Neither 1) nor 3) care about the game engine (which is basically the combat engine). As far as maps go (this would fall under 3), Arcanum can easily convert to the hub-based and mission/ map-base structure that Shadowrun uses.

    As for 2) I've thought through the details and basically everything can be implemented. Shadowrun is just Unity. You have to add some more functions to what currently exists but that's just Unity coding. If you look at how HBS made the campaign missions, they really have nothing hard coded, it's just coding in Unity. 90% of the work here is just implementing some new attacks for rogue abilities and spell abilities like stealing, etc...

    For example, in SR: HK, Duncan's subdue ability is something that a normal character doesn't have access to. But Duncan isn't hardcoded into the engine. So how did HBS program that ability? HBS didn't change the game engine to implement new character abilities. The answer is that Duncan gets that ability from his armor. As long as we can define new abilities (which we can), we can implement any effect in Shadowrun's GUI/ combat engine.

    Shadowrun's code and assets are extremely compatible with Arcanum's.

    Anyway, World building is a solveable engineering problem. Where this project currently needs feedback and problem solving is rule conversion. How to convert Acranum's engineering schools and spell schools into useful abilities in the Shadowrun engine?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  6. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Mate. Shadowrun's sysem does not support persistency the way Arcanum's engine could. Stahp.
     
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  7. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    Shadowrun is Unity. How do you do persistency in Unity? Use a global variable. Solved!

    This is how its done in Infinity engine and Aurora engine as well- it's just that (at least the Aurora editor) creates the globals for you automatically.

    The reason that the Shadowrun campaigns (at least Dragonfall and HK) have the structure that they do is that way you only need to keep track of global variables for the hub map. You don't need global variables (and presistency) for the mission maps since you'll never re-enter them- at least not for the same mission. This means that you can have different coders/ teams working independently on different missions.

    You can have maps with persistency. It's just more work. It's even supported by the SR Editor, since there is already an interface to declare local map variables. If you've ever made a map for BG2, it's the same amount of work.

    Let's think through some examples that we would need for an Arcanum conversion:

    1) Hub maps (Shrouded Hills, Turant, etc)- These definitely need to be persistent maps
    2) Wilderness maps- You could travel between hubs by train, but if you want or need to walk, wilderness maps basically don't need persistency.
    3) Mission dungeons (Schuyler's dungeon, the Mines)- there's typically no reason to return to these areas, so they don't need persistency. Or, at most, you make two versions of the map- one for the mission and one "empty"
    4) Other (Tarant sewers)- This would be complicated, since an area like Tarant sewers you would legitimately explore several times. You would probably need a persistent version for general exploration and non-persistent mission specific versions for missions.

    So to conclude, Shadowrun's hub+mission structure isn't hardcoded in the engine. It has nothing to do with the game engine at all. It's simply a lazier and more work-efficient way to churn out maps. You can make every map "persistent" if you want, it's just a lot more work.
     
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  8. Immortal Arcane

    Immortal
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    Why don't you just prove it instead of talking about it?
    If you are so sure you can easily just layer Arcanum, Spells, Crafting and all in the Shadow Run engine.. Do it.

    Show a proof of concept of the airship crash site with a working spell system / equipment system.

    Good luck.
     
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  9. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    I know this is lame, but I work. I teach, and I've had a rough semester.

    If I have the time I will implement all of the rule conversions (character screen, stealing, prowling, etc...) and maybe make a small area for people to test it (like Shrouded Hills inn).

    But I'm not at all interested in actually remaking all of the Arcanum maps and missions. Other people need to do that work.

    And right now what the project needs isn't people to tell me it's dumb or not possible. It maybe dumb but it isn't impossible. I know basically what work needs to be done and how to do it. What the project needs is people to write up ideas of what they'd like to see in a revised Arcanum system that uses the Shadowrun turn based combat engine.

    Each Spell College needs to be reviewed, rebalanced and converted. Which spells from Arcanum should be implemented? Which spells should be replaced with something more interesting?

    The Engineering schools also need to be reviewed, rebalanced and converted.

    Found Schematics need to be reviewed, rebalanced, expanded and converted.

    Equipment needs to be reviewed, rebalanced, expanded and converted. Arcanum has Rapiers, Sabres, Longswords, etc... are they necessary, and how would you convert them to Shadowrun's system. You might think equipment is a tertiary issue but it's actually fundamental to the way Shadowrun is implemented. Shadowrun characters get their abilities from their equipment.

    Some fundamental perimeters still need to be established. Arcanum has an encumberance system. Shadowrun doesn't. Should I create an encumberance system for Shadowrun or ditch it?

    I'd make more time for this if I knew that others would be interested in making missions and maps for Arcanum once the engine conversion is finished.

    In fact you actually don't need the engine conversion to make maps. You can already make maps with the Shadowrun editor. Each of the three components can be worked on in parallel.
     
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  10. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    I'd say a year, a year and a half of work. Full time and for free. Not happening. I'm talking about the code part here.

    You say you have work? No shit. Everyone has work.
     
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  11. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    See, this is not helpful.

    But how do you feel about an encumberance system? Or Arcanum's durability system? Can I ditch those? How about shields/ dual wielding?
     
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  12. Immortal Arcane

    Immortal
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    I hope you are trolling.. because you sound retarded.
     
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  13. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    Not helpful. If you want my free labor, post something helpful please.
     
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  14. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    I think it would be far far far more productive to work on a open-source engine - a Freecanum, if you will.

    Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk
     
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  15. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    There's no need since I already have enough documentation of Shadowrun's engine to implement everything essential for rule conversion. Using Shadowrun's engine means 1) I don't have to write a new engine 2) I don't have to make a new GUI 3) we can use Shadowrun's art assets and 4) others (not me) can use the Shadowrun editor to make maps. However shitty the Shadowrun editor is compared to the Aurora editor, it's still a lot better than no editor at all.

    That being said, the possible alternative is to make the conversion in Temple. But I would argue that Shadowrun's more streamlined combat system is more suitable for Arcanum than Temple's. And based on what I know of Temple, Temple's engine has way more hard coded stuff than Shadowrun. Also it is *probably* easier for someone to learn how to make maps using Shadowrun editor than Temple.
     
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  16. Immortal Arcane

    Immortal
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    I did.. Stop jerking your little autistic pud about non-issues and go make a prototype that proves out your ideas.
    Even now I am battering your tiny ego until you fuck off and get to work.
     
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  17. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    If you want to be helpful, post some ideas about rule system conversion. Go through the first couple of posts, the character sheet, the unimplemented Arcanum systems, and post a detailed criticism and any ideas you have. The coding stuff you don't need to worry about.
     
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  18. Immortal Arcane

    Immortal
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    Don't worry about actually finishing anything useful.. let's sit in a circle and discuss *~*~Ideas~*~* for 6 months.

    Sounds like a plan.. when's the Kickstarter? :smug:
     
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  19. Reapa Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    but that's the whole point. nobody wants more remakes.
     
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  20. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    I'm motivated to do some work on this but there are some rule conversion issues that I'm proposing. If anyone sees any issues with these changes, let me know.

    PROPOSED CHANGES to ARCANUM'S RULE SYSTEMS
    1. ATTRIBUTES -

    a. Perception - HBS's DEX attribute, which controls gun combat, will become ARC's Perception instead.
    b. Dexterity - A new Dexterity stat will be created, which primarily will be used for Thief skills, Dodge skill and character movement
    c. Strength - ARC's melee combat skill will be moved from Dexterity to Strength
    d. Beauty - Beauty will be eliminated as a character stat. NPC reactions will be based on character race

    2. EQUIPMENT -
    a. Arcanum's Item Durability/ Item Repair system, as well as the Repair skill, will be eliminated. Durability definitely has to go, but perhaps we could keep the Repair skill for fixing broken items. For example, perhaps when Magick affinity characters use Tech equipment, it will blow out on botches, requiring Repair to fix. Or pehaps equipment recovered from slain enemies must be fixed before they can be sold or used.
    b. Arcanum's Encumberance system will be eliminated and replaced with a STR requirement system for equipment and armor
    c. Arcanum's melee weapon variety (Rapiers, etc...) will be streamlined
    d. Arcanum will have xbows, not bows. All bows will be converted to xbows. The issue here is graphic assets. HBS's native pc sprites don't have animation for either bows or xbows, but it would be a lot easier to add xbow animation than bow animation. Obviously this would no longer be an issue if there's someone willing to do bow animations (maybe based off of throwing animation?)
    e. Arcanum's Shields will be eliminated - again, art asset issue, as well as no native support for Shields in Shadowrun. Actually implementing rules for Shields is quite simple - just have weapon+shield style as an equipment ability for 1H Weapons and Guns. And thinking about it, Shields would be quite interesting in HBS's combat engine since a Shield is effectively mobile cover.

    3. CHARACTER PROGRESSION -

    a. Arcanum's Fate point system will be eliminated

    4. SKILLS -
    a. Arcanum's Gambling skill will be eliminated
    b. Arcanum's Haggling skill will be eliminated
    c. Arcanum's Disable Traps skill will be eliminated
    d. Arcanum's Spot Traps skill will be eliminated
    e. An Enchant skill be be created to craft and recharge Magickal equipment.

    5. MAGIC SYSTEM -
    a. Arcanum's magic system will receive review and revision. Community ideas and feedback would be appreciated

    6. ENGINEERING SYSTEM -

    a. Arcanum's engineering and crafting systems will receive review and revision. Community ideas and feedback would be appreciated
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  21. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Why not charisma?
     
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  22. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    Still need it for companions/ max party size/ mixed affinity/ mixed reputation parties.
     
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  23. d1nolore Learned

    d1nolore
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    You'd be a great salesman; you spit a lot of bullshit that sounds legit, even if highly implausible, and you seem quite genuine about it. But really you're actually just selling a worthless product that has no real merit.
     
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  24. Jason Liang Magister

    Jason Liang
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    It's because I'm a visionary. I can imagine things that don't exist yet.

    But thank you. Actually from my experience I don't have that gift of selling people on my ideas. People are entertained but they never buy it, even when I'm sharing good advice. Perhaps I'm not insistent enough. I've learned that if you refuse to take no for an answer, most people will eventually say yes. You just have to get people in a situation where it's impossible for them to walk away.
     
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  25. d1nolore Learned

    d1nolore
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    Your idea of getting people in to build missions isn't a bad idea. But you'd have to build something and implement some game mechanics to show proof of concept first. Otherwise no one will buy into the concept. If you're a true visionary you'll Invision something new rather than porting someone else's vision and creativity.
     
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