The Dink Network

interesting concepts for DMODs

June 16th 2007, 09:44 AM
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rabidwolf9
Peasant Male United States steam
twitch.tv/rabidwolf9 
Here are some things that are interesting in games (not implying that they aren't used in some DMODs already.)

(1)Culture -
It explains itself. Different towns or kingdoms would naturally have different cultures. The things they do, routines, the things they eat should be different in some towns (especially when there is great distance.)

(2)History -
History is important if you want to make things seem real (not our reality, but the DMOD's.) Every place has some sort of story to it, let the player in on some of the highlights and aspects as to why things are the way they are.

(3)Past Times -
Hobbies and things the people of the town do. It could be as little as a carpenter carving out a wooden shoe you could buy later or some children playing a game. It could be big like a nationwide fantasy sport. It would be even more interesting if the player could become a part of this.

Extended from past times, people should be doing stuff. Sitting at a desk reading, writing, and eating are just a few simple examples. Why is it that in almost any DMOD that everyone is either standing still or walking around for no apparent reason? It doesn't have to be too complex, or dealing with every npc for that matter, but it adds a little life to the DMOD.

In a more complex example people could move in and out of screens, visit each other, go to the store, etc. You could even simplify this to using visions as opposed to calculating what screen they are on and making them walk there (which would require a hefty amount of work and variables.)

(4)Interaction and Relations -
People would (in our reality) obviously judge Dink by his actions. Lets say Dink kills another human being, even if the human is evil, some people wouldn't like that and would shun him. In other instances Dink should have to earn the trust of the townspeople.

Extending this, people should interact with each other. Maybe Ethel wants to visit Smilestein every once in awhile because she is lonely (since Dink killed Quackers.) So she would go over there to complain, seek comfort, or maybe blame him or the "disappearance" of her beloved duck.

Also, everybody has their own opinions about each other and should express themselves accordingly. This makes me think of the prankster in PQ. It's a good example. Someone in town doesn't like someone else, so they play a prank on them, or complain to Dink about them. This could in depth lead to Dink choosing sides and going on side-quests to prank the opposite person.

While speaking in opinions, how about a "what do you think" option? Something happens, and they want to know what you think about it. Using your judgment about what you know about that npc, you try to tell them what you think they want to hear, or piss them off. This could affect Dink's relationship with that person, but telling different people different things could eventually catch up to you and end up in both parties shunning you.

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Notes: There is much more, but that's all I'm writing in for now. If anyone has anything else add to this list, then be my guest. (Please only post added ideas and direct comments to this post to avoid any spamming problems.)

IMO if you can make a DMOD real in its own sense then it will be more interesting and entrancing.
June 16th 2007, 10:28 AM
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metatarasal
Bard Male Netherlands
I object 
The first two points are exactly what I'm trying to implement in my new DMOD, it's really centered about it. As of yet it fails quite miserably, but I'll hope to improve. Maybe I will post a preview in the future explaining more about it.

The problem I encountered though is that the map size is really limited. I have trouble getting all the things I want into it into 768 screens. Let alone get the distances great enough for different cultural regions. And I wanted to make an entire country, but I can really only make one small, historically important province (called 'department' in the DMOD). Maybe I'll start experimenting with multiple map files in the future...

Past times and relations really add depth into the game, it's a lot of work though. If you have about 60 people in your game, creating two things to do for each one is already an herculian task. Focusing more on their backstories is a much easier way of adding depth.

And if you're using visions there's a substantial chance that you'll find them nowhere or at two places at a time. Or even worse you walk in and out of a house and the npc disapears. I don't think that adds depth, it's just inconsistent.

I still wonder why relations have never been implemented in Dink though. I won't because of the work involved, but if you're prepared to put some time into it it could work out quite nicely. storing their relation to Dink in the using the editor_frame is very practical.

What I would really like to see is a DMOD where your choices have influence on the world around you. Not just on the kind of ending you're getting but to the entire world. Imagine killing a guy and seeing his house for sale some time afterward, and maybe seeing another guy move into the house afterward.

Maybe that's a very difficult idea, but imagine an argument in a town between two opinions. Dink is asked to choose sides, whatever he chooses will influence how the village will look like afterwards, maybe opening certain (small) subquests.
June 16th 2007, 12:38 PM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
The D-mod I'm working on also focuses a lot on providing a world that has a rich history and different cities with different races and cultures. But, like Meta said, the map size is a BIG obstacle for this. Sure, you could have plenty of towns with great history and story, but if you don't have dungeons or explorable regions you don't really have a game.

When I first returned here and saw that patch 1.08 had map changing built in as a command I thought this would fix it and I was pretty excited about it. But unfortunately it didn't provide a way to store editor seq/frame/type seperately somehow, so switching back and forth between maps (one dungeon map, one world map) isn't possible. This was a dissapointment, and some areas have already been deleted from the original design (in Dink, not on paper obviously).

Right now I'm going to some extremes and trying Tile replacement combined with Visions to create the illusion of more map spaces, but it's probably not going to work out, too much work per screen and it really limits the amount of sprites I can have on a screen (only 99 total, so that's only 49 per "screen").

About actions influencing people's reactions toward you... If you really want to do this kind of thing and you want to do it right, you'd have to build the entire d-mod around it from the start. I'm not saying it isn't possible, but it would be a lot of work and I fear that would go at the expense of the other qualities a d-mod needs. This is even true for real games that go this way.

And people going about their daily lives is something I considered doing, on a smale scale, but it's too late for that now. It's also the kind of thing you have to plan ahead of time to do it right. Things like children playing a game and such and other very small tidbits are in though.
June 16th 2007, 10:51 PM
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Endy
Peasant Male United States
 
Could randomly set a global or "fake" item/spell at the town entrances. Based on this, the characters would be at one of their locations for the duration of the visit. Something more complicated could use the clock to simulate a whole day passing for them.
June 17th 2007, 01:28 AM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
First of all, you explained all that very well rabidwolf. My D-Mod does have some little things like people going around their daily chores and kids playing games and such. I think the little things like that really make a game interesting. even if you don't really notice it. You see, if you have none of that, it's just boring. But, if you have people talking in the background or something, it just tempts the player to listen in on the conversation and possibly learn something.

About the thing where you go out of a house and when you go straight back in and the person's not there, you could have a variable set to 0 and have a main procedure inside that house which changes the variable to 1, then when you go outside, you could have a script attached to the screen or something, saying if the variable equals 1 then create a new sprite outside the door and make him walk off the screen. Then set it to 2 and on the next screen when you go on it have it say if the variable equals 2 then have him go up and talk to the guy at the stall selling stuff.

The little things like that really add a lot to the game.
June 17th 2007, 03:01 AM
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Hades
Peasant Male Australia
Remember you're unique, just like everyone else. 
I think the main problem I have in doing things like that is all the work that has to be done to maintain a full amount of optional sidequests to keep up the realism,
for example you could spend a day making a quest that you can only do if dink spots the grey bonca on his way through the forest but if he doesn't then when he's in town the lumberjack won't offer him the quest and as you move on you won't have another chance to complete it.
Even doing just one optional perhaps random quest for each area could use up the time it takes to create a whole new dimension to your plot so it can generally only be achieved in specific D-mods, not in every kind.
I still think it's important to have a degree of variation, even a really well made D-mod can become boring without some change to the regular scheme of things.
June 17th 2007, 03:05 AM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
You may not have got my point. I understand that doing stuff like that takes a long time, but it's all worth it. Even if the side quest never gets completed. Maybe not even mentioned. It's the fact that it's there to be done. Things like that can make a D-Mod playable multiple times. A good D-Mod takes time. Who cares if the 13 hours you spend making a very large side quest that may not even be completed. Unless you're in your 80's, then you have no need to worry about that 13 hours of your life. Do you get me?
June 17th 2007, 08:14 AM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
But the point is that those 13 hours could be better spent on something else, improving that which ALL people will see, not just those finding the optional stuff.
And sure, 13 hours may not seem like much, but you DO want to make a d-mod that will someday actually see the light of day If something takes too long people are prone to just give up and forget about it. It's happened PLENTY of times before.
June 22nd 2007, 09:55 PM
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RadFrog
Peasant
 
I have done things in my D-MOD like having Dink jump back in fright when a dragon appeares, and knock a vase off a table. I wonder how many people playing the adventure will notice - or care, since it contributes nothing to advancement to the final battle.

The D-MOD is not on the boards yet. I suppose one of the primaries is still evaluating it.
June 24th 2007, 02:58 PM
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SabreTrout
Noble Male United Kingdom
Tigertigertiger. 
I've been trying to make Cloud Castle 3 a little more 'organic' than the typical d-mod. People entering/exiting houses, for example.

As for the history of a given world, I think this is best suggested, rather than told. Give people hints as to the bigger 'world' picture, of foreign cultures, languages and customs. You may only need a single NPC to make a foreign country come alive in the players mind. Even a few minor mentions of a foreign civilisation by NPC's throughout the game will suffice.
June 24th 2007, 05:05 PM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
Sabre, while I agree suggestion alone is a great tool, if the player is actually going to visit or come in touch with a character from the far away country, I think a lot more direct confrontation with its history/culture is in order.
June 24th 2007, 05:40 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
I've gotta praise rabidwolf9 for starting this. I mean, we've been getting so many horrible D-Mods lately! (No offense everyone.) And rabidwolf started this, and it's persuaded people to think about this sort of stuff and put them in D-Mods. So reall, I reckon we'll be getting a few better D-Mods now.
June 25th 2007, 07:58 AM
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SabreTrout
Noble Male United Kingdom
Tigertigertiger. 
I agree with you here Kyle, perhaps I didn't express myself very clearly. I mean only that if you have laid grounding for a foreign culture in a d-mod (mention of strange customs by NPC's, having history books for Dink to read etc) then a single NPC can make it all come to life. If the d-mod is full of suggestion, it may only take single conversation with a foreign NPC to make a whole other continent seem that bit more tangible.

I also think it's important not to shove it down the players throat. If they want to learn the ins and outs of a foreign civilisation, make it possible. But if they only want to know the basics, don't make them trawl through the interesting-yet-unnecessary stuff. Having the background information available is definately worth the extra effort.
June 25th 2007, 11:41 AM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
Very true. Libraries are always an excellent medium (as you used yourself in both CC iirc), where the player has the choice to read up on or skip the background story. But, aside from that, there are definitely more original ways of dealing with it as well. I'm not going to go into that right now though as the possibilities are endless.
June 25th 2007, 05:15 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Libraries? Now there's a good idea. A library in a D-Mod could be very useful. The player could walk in and on every shelf you could have a random variable for when the player talks to it. So the player could read out the name of the book, then have an option of whether to read it or not. Then Dink could just read out the words. Or, if you want to make it really good, you can show a bmp of a book page with the words on it and such.

Some of the books could just be folk tales, some could be the history and culture of that town. As soon as I finish here, I'm gonna go insert a library into my D-Mod!
June 25th 2007, 06:38 PM
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SabreTrout
Noble Male United Kingdom
Tigertigertiger. 
Kyle: You're right, whilst libraries are good, there are numerous untapped ways of giving this kind of information to the player.

DinkDude95: Random variables? Why do that? If you're going to include that much information in youyr d-mod, you should let the player access it at well. Random variables in this area are bound to lead to frustration. Bitmaps of the pagse would be good, however.
June 25th 2007, 08:04 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Maybe not random variables, probably a global variable for each shelf. Because after you read one book, you don't want to read it again. Doing this owever, could use up quite a few of your variables.

About the bitmap page thing, unless you're are very good at using Photoshop or the GIMP or PSP, it could be hard for you to do this. Especially if you want to make it look 3D. And if it was a istory book, I think it would be a good idea to make the pages torn a little around the edges and such. And maybe a page missing here, a page missing there. And of course in all the books, you wouldn't use Times New Roman as your font would you? You'd probably use something like Luicida Handwriting. Or something cursive.
June 26th 2007, 04:58 AM
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If you have the option to read it or not then why would you need any variables?
June 26th 2007, 07:53 AM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
While pages as BMP would lead to a nice presentation, don't underestimate the impact of a wall of text on a casual player. It may very well make the player discard the idea of reading a book that may or may not be interesting all together.
June 26th 2007, 06:21 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Sparrowhawk, you just made me think. Instead of having you read one book, then read another, you could have a choice menu saying "Read this book? Or this book? What about this one?" Thankyou kind Sparrow.

I get your point Kyle. But, it doesn't really matter. Just put the library in. There's gotta be at least one person that plays your D-Mod who will bother to read all the books. So, whether you think no one will read your books or not, you should put a library in there if you want it to seem more cultural and historical.
June 27th 2007, 02:56 AM
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Endy
Peasant Male United States
 
Maybe just have a continue or next page option at the end of the "page" this way if the player gets bored reading they can opt out of reading.
June 27th 2007, 07:22 AM
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Instead of having you read one book, then read another, you could have a choice menu saying "Read this book? Or this book? What about this one?"

Good idea, I've always wondered why those stacked bookshelves only ever seem to have one book on them!
But if you have lots of long books that don't have anything at all to do with the plot it could get boring for anyone. Look at CC2, there are a lot of books in the library but they are all relevant, they tell you the history of Cthunik & the goblins etc and add a lot to the storyline even though they are optional.
June 27th 2007, 02:48 PM
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SabreTrout
Noble Male United Kingdom
Tigertigertiger. 
Cthilmor, not Cthunik.

Also, I think the way we did the books in CC2 is possibly the best way in a d-mod. They're short, snappy and give the player an insight into Dink's world. It's nearly all relevant, and helps you understand the story a little better, but you don't need to read them to enjoy the d-mod.

Too many books on the same shelf would probably make me yawn. *Shrugs*
June 27th 2007, 05:41 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Yeah. But if you were gonna have a next page button, or a stop reading button, you won't be able to use a show_bmp command. At least I don't think so anyway. You could have a bunch of tiles off to side of the map and you'll have to make a tile for a page. Then make some graphics for the words. It could get kinda tedious. But it's all probably worth t. I don't think I'll do a show_bmp command in my D-Mod. Or a new tile. I'll just have Dink read them out.

Excuse me Mr. Trout, may I ask you a question?

How did you do your reading in your D-Mod? I haven't played CC2 yet.
June 27th 2007, 06:14 PM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
No need to make them tiles (that's a really funny and far fetched idea actually)
A simpler way to do this would be to create a page sprite (the text on a background), set its noclip to cover the status bar and the depth dot really high so it shows up above all the rest. Then create more buttons as sprites, set their depth high enough to appear above the page sprite and re-enable the mouse for easy control (or use wait_for_button() if you don't want the player to switch their hand to mouse control).
The downside is that the game won't be paused, but that's not really necessary in a library or other place where you want to read books.
June 27th 2007, 06:20 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Well, I'm not going to do any of that until next year in Junior High when I do multimedia as one of my classes. In that you learn how to make still graphics and such. So, I can't wait till next year. And could you explain the mouse controls? How do you do it and stuff?
June 27th 2007, 07:58 PM
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I haven't played CC2 yet.

June 28th 2007, 06:45 AM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
It's been a while since I did mouse controls so I don't remember the exact procedure, but it's not that hard. The DinkC Reference has some good info on it though. You'll want to change Dink's brain to the mouse brain and also change the game mode if I remember correctly. It gets changed when you start/load a game to disable the mouse. For the interaction with the sprites just look at the button scripts on the start screen.
June 28th 2007, 09:01 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Okay. I'll look into it. About the library thing, I decided to look for pictures of tattered old books on the net. I googled it, and found this.

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?031cd80493.jpg

I then changed it into this.

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?d5dc991960.jpg

So, I'm gonna use that in Frozen In Time. Like it? I've still gotta get the people doing stuff. Do you think exercising would be good? You know, Dink says to a girl who's exercising...

Dink: What're you doing?
Girl: Exercising, what's it look like?
Girl: I've put on a few pounds lately, I'm trying to get rid of them.
Dink: You sure 'bout that?
Dink: Why dontcha gimme a look under that skirt?
Girl: <slapping sound>
Dink: B itch! (Sorry about bypassing the swear filters!)

Would that be a bit childish? Or a good idea? I'd just have to girl over in a corner with a repeat brain. Having people do something adds a whole lot to a game.
June 29th 2007, 04:42 AM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
The girl exercising sounds good.
But the book... It looks like it's been converted to the Dink palette? Or are those ugly color stains intended?
June 29th 2007, 09:05 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
I converted the book to a Dink palette. Do you think I should've left it normal? But then it would've had those words across it. It was easy to get rid of them as a palette seeing as it didn't have many colours. It might be a bit harder to get rid of if it's not a palette though.
June 29th 2007, 11:14 PM
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Hades
Peasant Male Australia
Remember you're unique, just like everyone else. 
Just a passing thought on how to do a bookshelf in a library (I would have posted earlier but I haven't skimmed the board for a while)

You have a choice for Dink to search the bookshelf and it randomly finds a book which can't be again found in a different bookshelf, the book is then found in the choice menu so you may read it. After a certain amount of searching in one bookshelf you can't find anymore interesting books.

In my D-mod I have most of the people telling Dink about where he is and also a bookshelf with some history books in it, this caused me much strife earlier on when the basic plot was continually changing.
June 29th 2007, 11:40 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
That's a pretty good idea. I myself just though up of one. Maybe, after Dink finishes reading a book, maybe if you've found a sack or something, he can put the book in the sack. Or rent it out, then put it in the sack. Then you just select your sack in you inventory and when you use it, it comes up with a choice menu with all of the books you've found and rented or whatever.

Then you can select a book you want to read again.
June 30th 2007, 03:19 PM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
You can get rid of it with the Healing Brush or Clone Stamp in Photoshop, if you have it
June 30th 2007, 09:27 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
Photoshop sucks. It's too dear. Is there anyway to do it in either The GIMP, or Paint Shop Pro 4? Yes, I still have version 4.
June 30th 2007, 09:43 PM
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Marpro
Peasant Male bloop
 
Really, photoshop is a very handy tool if you are skilled with it. I've made some graphics to my new version of FoT in photoshop. Looks nice and dinky
July 1st 2007, 12:04 PM
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Kyle
Peasant Male Belgium
 
Yeah, I wouldn't say it's easy to learn though. Doing simple things requires practice, but once you get accustomed to it, it's probably the most powerful photo editor around.
July 1st 2007, 06:35 PM
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DinkDude95
Peasant Male Australia steam
The guy with the cute D-Mod. 
How much money is it? $1000?
July 2nd 2007, 06:28 AM
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DaVince
Peasant Male Netherlands steam
Olde Time Dinkere 
Dude. They have a website, with like, prices on it.
July 2nd 2007, 07:20 AM
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Yes there is a clone tool in the GIMP, it's near the bottom left corner of the tools (or just press C).