Choose Your Language

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Wii Have Been Occupied

Just before the New Year, my wife and I had the chance to have a go on a Wii machine ... and we were both surprised at just how entertaining the unit is. I really did not expect much from it, but having had a go at the Sports and the Fit packages, both my wife and I were hooked on the prospect of (possibly) being able to get a little fitter at the same time of being entertained. So, we went out and bought one, and for the past week have been entertaining ourselves with both of these packages, plus a couple of games: House of the Dead (2 & 3) and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. I always enjoyed playing HotD at the arcades many years ago, and the Metroid Prime 3 is a very entertaining sci-fi adventure that is better than I thought it would be on a device of this type.

Anyway, now that the Wii unit has been in the house for more than a week, I hope to get back to the computer and continuing modding. Another reason I have been putting it off, is because the new 24" screen I bought had to go back because of a dead pixel and the replacement was also faulty. I am awaiting a 3rd unit now and so am having to resort to a smaller older screen, which is not as relaxing to use having been spoilt by the larger one for a week or two.

Dead Characters

Just before I had to send the screen back, I was coding the scripts to handle death of characters. What happens now, is when a character dies, a headstone appears at their body and all equipment goes into it, allowing a player to take any equipment they wish from the fallen character. This is not possible otherwise. The main problem had been when a character held a container with items inside. Coding it so the container would drop into the headstone with the items still in it was quite difficult, but I achieved it in the end by using a variable to leave a check if an item had already been moved to the headstone.

At the same time, a body item is also placed inside the headstone, allowing a player to take the body to a cleric to raise if they don't have the ability themselves. And this is the stage I am at ... I need to write the code and conversations if the player takes a body item back to a cleric. I will probably use an altar in the method, and have the player place the dead body item in the altar to allow a cleric to do the raising.

UPDATE: 12/01/09: Just to clarify the above. The headstone only appears for party PCs/companions and not the Main PC with which the player joins the game. If the Main PC dies, then the player has the normal death penalties and the opportunity to raise the dead PC with another character. If a raising is not possible by surviving PCs, then the player can still see and interact with the Main PC's equipment (even when dead) and the Main PC is always brought along by any surviving PCs who leave an area. In this case, an NPC cleric will be made to target any nearby corpses instead of those upon an altar.

Hopefully, I will have this done by the next blog and start to get writing again. Wii will have to wait and sii. ;)


Anonymous said...

I believe you mean *Metroid instead of Mechroid. ;)

Great game that--if you like Prime 3, be sure to also pick up Metroid Prime for the Gamecube. The Wii is compatible with the old games, and the original one is marvelous.

That's an interesting death system. I assume you're also coding it so that 'plot' items and the like are handled well? Sometimes things like that are easily forgotten.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Chaos Wielder,

Whoops! Yes, "Metroid" is right. Thanks for pointing that out - I have amended that in the blog now. :) And I will look out for "Metroid Prime" then. :)

I am not sure what you mean by handling "plot" items? I mean they will have to be picked up by the players if they wish to continue. However, if you mean like "non-drop" items, then I am making the assumption that dying relieves the current PC of the non-drop status. However, the next PC to pick it up will have the non-drop item.

Is this what you meant, or have I missed something?


Amraphael said...

Yes, the wii is childish fun. I bought one for my wife's birthday last year. I'm still amazed by how good the sensors are.

The death system you have been working on sounds interesting. I'm looking forward to see it when the module is finished. Or maybe not. Dying isn't a very good thing :)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Amraphael,

Yes, Wii have been having fun. ;)

Yes, death is always one of those tricky subjects to work around because a) It needs to be included to ensure the player has a level of risk in the game and b) Nobody really likes the penalty when they do die though.

I have been working hard to make the system closer to a PnP feel, but with the flexibility to ensure dying (while still not a good thing to happen) does not make the player feel too frustrated by the experience.

To this end, the Life Essence system, separating companions upon death and allowing flexible access to equipment even when dead, I hope will give players a greater feel of control (or options) should the worst happen. As you say, I will have to wait and see how people take to it.

One of the questions players will have to decide is how many Life Essences will they keep handy to escape death, or use to improve other areas of their game?


Wyrin said...

i do love the sound of all the mechanics changes you are implementing here

yep, wii's are great fun. Can highly recommend Resident Evil 4 too if you like the zombie shooter type stuff

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Wyrin,

Thanks! I hope the changes I make will add a new a dimension to play and be fun too!

Yes, I did see "Resident Evil 4" and the "Umbrella" one that looked interesting. :) As I have bought the gun holder, I may invest in these at a later date.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lance,

I mean, basically, I'm not sure how the game would handle non-drop items if you're literally moving them from one object, the PC, to a headstone. Probably something that needs to be tested, it if hasn't already.

And I second Resident Evil 4! Wyrin has good tastes, lol. :)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Chaos Wielder,

Ah I see! Well, actually, I use a copy function and delete the original and it all appears to work fine. :) Even the variables are copied across with the items, which is something I was not expecting at first, but was relieved to find out did happen. (I think CopyObject now copies everything about the item, including the variables.)

Anyway, using this method ensure the objects are transferred OK.


E.C.Patterson said...

Lance, Amraphael (and Wyrin too IIRC): You guys are so lucky, having a wife (or wife-to-be !;) )to play games with!

Last game I played with mine was Grim Fandago. We both have very fond memories, but there hasn't been a repeat of the experience since. She's not the game-type really.

Something tells me she could get a kick out of the Wii though. Maybe
I could borrow/rent one one day... Hmmm.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi E.C. Patterson,

Having a wife who enjoys playing the games is a great blessing indeed. :)

We also played Grim Fandango. I believe working through puzzles together (in an advneture style game) is probably one of the best ways to play games together, although my wife has now got into NWN as well. :) That said, we are currently solving an Agatha Christie adventure game. (She likes murder mysteries.)

As for the Wii, that is a different kettle of fish and does have a more "practical" touch. It can be as much physical as mental, which may appeal to your wife as it does to mine. And as a side benefit of trying to get us fitter is always a bonus. :)

If you have a friend who has one, see if you can get them to demonstrate the console fo ryou and your wife ... especially the Sports of Fit packages, as they are the most "team" type games that might appeal more.

All the best,


Herrjeff said...

Hi Lance,

Glad to see you in the Wii family too. I was quite surprised that my wife bought one in April 2008, out of the blue, and the kids certainly enjoy it, especially boxing and bowling. My main complaint with Wii Fit is the difficulty of switching from one mii to another, so I give each kid a 10-minute turn instead. I also recommend to download World of Goo on the wiiware channel (or try the demo on your PC first): lot of fun ahead!

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Herrjeff,

Good to hear from you again. :)

Bowling is one of my wife and mine favourites too. The Boxing felt too unresponsive for my liking. ;)

My wife and I get about 30 minutes each (on the fit) if possible, but nothing doing tonight.

Our Wii is not connected to the internet, and so any extras would have to be bought old fashioned way. I will look out for the World of Goo demo for the PC though. :)


Herrjeff said...

Hi Lance,

Guess what? I've been playing a lot of Locoroco 2 over the last weeks, thanks to you! Already 60 hours and I haven't unlocked the final boss battle yet. I hope to finish it before its North American release on Feb.10 and get back to NWN for a change of pace.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Ah! So North America are getting it eventually then. :)

You will have to write the "Cheat Mode" for others then. ;)

You can't beat NWN really. I may stray for a while (like others), but I eventually come back to it. ;)