Soul Collecter Showcases

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Soul Collecter's picture
Soul Collecter
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Hi Everyone,

I have started working on an interior cave showcase yesterday and wanted some guidence to see if im on the right track.

Cheers

I have dependencies on Morrowind, Tribunal, Bloodmoon and TR_Data but have only been using common morrowind items. There is also a door to access it in Balmora next to the temple, although I am still a little confused as to which references to delete to make it clean. (I deleted what i touched in Seyda-neen ect.)
It is definately not finished however before I bother filling it up with junk I want to see if the layout is acceptable.

AttachmentSizeDate
Binary Data Cave Showcase.ESP24.62 KB2017-03-16 12:51
sirrah's picture
sirrah
DeveloperInterior DeveloperReviewer
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10 hours 34 min ago

Hi Soul Collector, welcome to TR!

I had a quick look at your showcase, and it looks like a good start; the one thing I would change about the layout is to either shorten the long corridor at the entrance, or break it up a bit with some bends/rocks for the bridge to wrap around; the long, straight hallway of cave pieces looks a bit unnatural as-is.

Also, green plants and moss shouldn't be placed in cave interiors unless there's a clear source for sunlight (which is usually not the case). Using the flora_bc_vine_* statics to represent roots works as a reasonably good replacement.

Another thing to watch out for is 'caspering' (leaving transparent 'holes' in the meshes visible); most of the platform pieces, for example, have untextured holes on the ends of the poles running beneath the platform; the platforms should either terminate in a "end" piece, or have these poles hidden beneath rocks or the cave surface.

Your lighting values are also very high, currently; look at some of the cave interiors in the vanilla game, or TR, for reference. You'll probably want most of the light values to be at least below 50 in caves.

Regarding cleaning your file; for interiors, TESAME should list nothing other than the cell(s) you've made, any unique items/(dead) NPCs/scripts you've made for the interior, and the blank TES3 entry at the top. Currently, the 3 references to statics in your file (in_cavern_*, in_pycave_*) are 'dirty' and should be removed. You should also remove the door linking it to Balmora and the reference to an exterior cell (you can access your cell in-game by typing "coc showcase" in the console).

Otherwise, I'm looking forward to seeing it fully-detailed!

Soul Collecter's picture
Soul Collecter
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Hi Sirrah, Thanks for the warm welcome.

I have had some more time to make some adjustments to this showcase file, Although it is still not complete, I have added in a small quest Inside and have run into an issue with a topic in an initial greeting (the topic Decent Retort, only activates the second time talking to the Altmer).
If you have any other suggestions about how to wrap this showcase up please let me know.
I'd like to keep moving forward and get to a point where i can contribute.
 

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Binary Data Updated cave showcase Dialogue topic issue53.86 KB2017-03-18 12:40
Rot's picture
Rot
Lead DeveloperQuest Developer
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Welcome!

"Decent retort" topic doesn't highlight the first time because when the greeting is displayed, the condition needed to make the dialogue entries for that topic available isn't met yet (Journal 10). What you put in a dialogue result box only happens after the dialogue, and the topic highlights are not refreshed in dialogue that has already appeared. That's often a problem with dialogue conditions but in this case, since this is the first thing that happens, you could just do without the initial condition entirely.

Nice interior, not a reviewer but some comments looking around ingame:

 
Soul Collecter's picture
Soul Collecter
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Thanks a heap Rot and Sirrah.

This is the complete submission of my cave showcase,
It holds a brief plot (with no connection to any particular lore item) Involving slave traders, an alchemist and a sick slave.

It is one cell but may be "too large" in scope for submission as a showcase item?

I will start preparing some other general interiors as I find the time. If anybody has any suggestions about this showcase I really learn a lot from every recommendation!

Also am I supposed to be zipping these ESP's?

Thankyou.

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Binary Data Submission for Interior/Quester Showcase100.49 KB2017-03-25 12:07
sirrah's picture
sirrah
DeveloperInterior DeveloperReviewer
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Hey Soul Collecter, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! I'm having a look at your file at the moment, I'll try to post a review today or tomorrow.
Quest stuff is outside of my expertise, so I'll focus on your interior and leave discussion of the rest for more knowledgeable devs.

Regarding zipping; I wouldn't worry about it unless there are multiple files, .esps are generally small enough as-is.

Soul Collecter's picture
Soul Collecter
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Thanks was coming close to giving a bump, appreciate the time spent, will gladly refocus and learn some more after comments.

Rot's picture
Rot
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(sorry had assumed the showcase was just for the interior) just gave the quest a playtest:

 
_ The topic "decent retort" doesn't appear linked at all in his dialogue:
because I didn't have any retort in inventory. Ideally the player would still get to click the topic (to know what he's talking about!) and answer 'no';
by the way, in doing so you could also combine the 5-6x "It is my job to make sure the slaves"...etc dialogue entries into just one without conditions, by putting them in the resultbox instead:
choice "No." 1
if ( player->GetItemCount, "apparatus_a_retort_01" >= 1 )
"Yes." 2
endif
if ( player->GetItemCount, "apparatus_j_retort_01" >= 1 )
"Yes, it's better than yours." 2
endif

(... etc., not imperative here, you could also just put an entry with just "no" under them all, but knowing you can use "if" conditions in resultboxes is useful, and it's good to keep duplicates down)

 
 
_ On avoiding unnecessary duplication, I see you have 7 entries in "help Abengo" just because you wanted to carry through different journal states to know which type of retort the player gave to the alchemist. In a case like that it's much easier for you to use just one journal entry and also use one global variable (you can find them in Gameplay->Globals) to record the retort type (eg 1 = apprentice, 2 = journeyman etc). You can use global variables just like local ones but anywhere, not just in the local script (Set TR_globalname to 1 , ...)

 
 
Didn't notice the guards because I was blocked but just saw them in the CS :P You can make your scripts much more simple by combining identical states, for instance

 

this can just be:

 

 

_ Another example in the guards' script,

 

even if dividing mutually exclusive cases was necessary you can still combine them with "elseif" like this:

 

 
 
 
_ When using "Disable" or "Enable", it's better to check first if the NPC is already enabled:

 

otherwise you will "enable" the NPC every frame, which might or might not cause bugs.

 
 
 
 
_ The topic "go free" doesn't appear in the slaves' dialogue:
because I didn't know the topic before. If the player has never met a normal slave in another bandit cave (they ask for "go free" in their greetings), they'll never get the option to free them. You could either make sure their greetings include "go free" or just put Addtopic "go free" in the resultbox of their greetings otherwise (won't be in the dialogue but will appear in the topics list).
 

_ In topic "go free" and in "greeting 5", dialogue lines from the original game (eg for cell Kudanat) are dirtied above and below those you added -- those need to be cleaned with tesame,
("greeting 5": for common topics and greetings it's better to put new dialogue inbetween existing ones than at the very top or at the very bottom, because that makes some glitches more likely when merging. This is for future reference, you don't need to move them here)
 

_ for quests you should try to improve language as much as possible, like grammar (eg "Don't apologise for them just tell me do you have a decent retort?" = "Don't make excuses for them. Just tell me, do you have a decent retort?"; "%PCName did you" = "%PCName, did you"...), take care to have capital first letters even in player choices, but not in the middle of a sentence ("You are not Allowed the key!")
 

_ On the design: there are disease-curing potions in the game, so in a quest like this you would either have to make the regular potions work too (no need to complicate your showcase with that) or make up some dialogue about the disease not being a regular one or something...,
 

_ 10 freeable slaves in a regular bandit cave are too many, unless it's a very large location with tough battles I'd keep it down to ~5 tops -- just a balance issue with the original game and mods, where freeing a certain number of slaves unlocks the Twin Lamps quests (12? 20?),
 

For the interior, not a reviewer but a couple comments: some cave corridors seem a bit bare, I'm not bothered since that's how they are in the game but you could add a rock or two to a couple places to help mask junctions like these;
in_pycave_21_1    Showcase    -1210    10040    1743    "you can still see through the bottom of that one from below"
 

Please don't be discouraged by the wall of text, this is good practice!
 

Soul Collecter's picture
Soul Collecter
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Thanks for putting in that effort,
It hadn't quite clicked that I could put any script in the dialogue script box so that will come in handy.
Same with the method for comparing a range of values, I guess I assumed a lot about the capabilities of the language.
Just for future reference is it best to avoid global variables as much as possible?
I'll start polishing a few things up to make the sequence make a lot more sense.
I really appreciate this feedback, don't anticipate a reply too soon but I'll definately be reworking this alongside anything Sirrah has to say about the Interior design.
Cheers

Rot's picture
Rot
Lead DeveloperQuest Developer
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2 hours 50 sec ago

Sure,
You don't need to avoid globals at all- of course it's better to use one global than 5 if just one is enough: that's just to keep things tidy, if you really need more, that's okay. People were hesitant in the past but there can be thousands in the game without issues.

sirrah's picture
sirrah
DeveloperInterior DeveloperReviewer
Joined:
2016-01-17 13:07
Last seen:
10 hours 34 min ago

Hey Soul Collecter, sorry it's taken me so long to get around to this! Overall, this is a nice cave but there are some things that need attention.

Something you seem to have missed is the ability to scale objects by holding down the 'S' key; this is a great way to introduce visual variety for organic/terrain objects, and gives you a lot more freedom when trying to fit tricky pieces together, so do try to add some more variety in scale.

The 'caved-in' section near the Telvanni guards has a lot of floating boulders; you should bleed them together, or support them with larger rocks from behind, to make this look natural.

As Rot pointed out, there are still a few places that look quite bare; no need to go overboard, but try to avoid having any corridors that are completely absent of rocks/boulders.

The 'in_pycave_21_1' holding up one of the large platforms looks too flimsy to bear the weight; try scaling this piece up a bit so it seems bulkier.

You have a lot of caspering (untextured 'holes' in the meshes have been left visible). I've listed the caspering parts I've found below, but do be careful when placing meshes with untextured parts.

You should avoid placing rugs on the wooden platforms if the player can get underneath the platform; looking up from beneath the platform, you can see through the untextured bottom of the rugs. Alternatively, some rugs have textured bottoms that you can use for these sorts of situations (furn_de_rug_01 and _02, all of the T_De rugs in Tamriel_Data).

'common_ring_05_BM_UNI' should be replaced with a different ring; vanilla IDs with 'UNI' or 'unique' in the title are generally intended to only be used in a single location.

The daedric darts are overboard for this interior; they're worth 4000 each!

The door to the slave pen should have the lock level drastically reduced; 70 is extremely high for such a rickety door.

The fence to the slave pen is nice, but there crossbeams are bleeding inconsistently; try to rotate the poles so that they fit uniformly while bleeding as little as possible.

Here's a full list of specific placement issues that need work:

 

Floaters/Bleeders

Don't hesitate to ask if you need further help/elaboration on anything!