[eWIP][v 0.0.6.0] Elemental Quest Master -- An LH Quest Editor

By on May 4, 2013 11:39:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

parrottmath

Join Date 03/2008
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This is a program to help create a quest for LH. It allows for the creation of more advanced quests and to test those quests without going to LH.

Note: I am not a programmer. I will not take resposibility for any problems that may arise from using this program (actual or imagined). It is not purposely designed to harm anyones computer. It requires .NET 4.5 at the moment.

To install extract the .exe and the three .txt files to a folder and run it.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75549875/Fallen%20Enchantress/Elemental%20Quest%20Master/Elemental%20Quest%20Master.zip

To install extract the files to a folder and click on the oneClick setup.exe, it will download the appropriate .NET protocals and install the program to your computer appropriately.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75549875/Fallen%20Enchantress/Elemental%20Quest%20Master/oneClick/ElementalQuestMaster.zip

I've worked on some stuff and here is a little tutorial on how to create a quest. It is a complete rough draft and is likely going to change, but since people are trying stuff out there I thought I'd post it for you to look at.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75549875/Fallen%20Enchantress/Elemental%20Quest%20Master/EQMmanuel.pdf

Some of the features:

-It loads a collection of quests. (Namely I can load up the corequests.xml file and read every single quest and you can edit them to your hearts content)

-It allows you to save a colleciton of quests. If saving a large collection it will take a considerable amount of time.

-It does a test run of your quest.

-It has some predefined variables for you to choose from. (Typical things like giving experience and such are in a box that you can choose from).

-The editing perspective is attempting to model what the player will see on the screen in LH as they might experience.

-The target audience is for those that know how to make their quest from the xml. (I've tried to add some other functionality here, but there is already a quest wizard, so I was focused on getting me to write quests quickly and efficiently)

- It provides you with the ability to check for errors through a log-file.

- It allows you to edit the prefix of a collection of quests (for purposes of making scenarios)

Updated - 6 / 30 / 2013

- Added under the Quests menu the ability to toggle whether the AI can go on a quest

- Fixed some errors.

Updated - 8 / 8 / 2013

- Added the new Disable Quest Choice Tool Tip option that is being included with LH 1.3 (Namely this option will stop the tool tips from displaying, Useful for Mimbly type quests

and here is a test quest

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May 4, 2013 11:48:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Best of luck.   I'll be watching with interest.   Not an easy quest you've begun, most definitely in the "epic" category.  

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May 5, 2013 12:07:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Murteas,

Best of luck.   I'll be watching with interest.   Not an easy quest you've begun, most definitely in the "epic" category.  

Thanks... your quest wizard was rather impressive and looked great, this doesn't look that great, but it works on the features I mentioned above (at least on my computer).

Other features I'm going to include is a popup to tell the user what the internal names of all the items, units, monsters, resources. Right now I just have notepad++ search for everything I need and for what the user might need. But I'm going to let this project sit for about a week.

Murteas do you know how to distribute these programs beyond "here is the .exe file?" some sort of installer, my education in this field is rather limited.

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May 5, 2013 10:44:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Keep us posted on how t goes, parrottmath.

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May 5, 2013 1:56:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Indeed, I am amazed and I admire all the work you have put in to improve the Elemental series. Hats off to you sir!

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May 5, 2013 3:42:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, when its ready, I will be happy to design some nice story based quests...

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May 5, 2013 4:26:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ElanaAhova,

Yea, when its ready, I will be happy to design some nice story based quests...

It works and I've already designed quests and tested quests on it. What is missing are the error checking features and some help lists for the internal names. The other problem may be the UI is not desirable for other people to look at. Give it a go and tell me what you think. I tried to get rid of all the quest breaking bugs from it, haven't found any really. (Not to mention me learning WiX to distribute)

If I load up the corequests.xml and look at the quests throughout each of the featured places and save the file, it is nearly identical to the original file (like I said no functional difference between the two)

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May 5, 2013 5:26:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

if you load up the source code, i might be able to help you a bit with the UI. can't promise that i'll have time to do it, though. or perhaps someone else may want to do it (i guess i'm not the only c# programmer on this board, in my experience half the people on game forums are programmers )

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May 5, 2013 6:13:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Azunai_,

(i guess i'm not the only c# programmer on this board, in my experience half the people on game forums are programmers )

I can only point to this and say: "It is the truth." Although I am not able of C# programming... So I wont be of any help here.

Maybe I'll look into the designer itself one day. Not today though. And probably not tomorrow.

Also please keep us informed parrot! I for one would like to know of the ongoing events in this epic quest of creating an epic quest creator.

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May 5, 2013 6:35:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting N1ghthavvk,

Quoting Azunai_, reply 7
(i guess i'm not the only c# programmer on this board, in my experience half the people on game forums are programmers )

I can only point to this and say: "It is the truth." Although I am not able of C# programming... So I wont be of any help here.

Maybe I'll look into the designer itself one day. Not today though. And probably not tomorrow.

Also please keep us informed parrot! I for one would like to know of the ongoing events in this epic quest of creating an epic quest creator.

Sure it is fully functioning (namely you can make every quest that is already there), it is just not user friendly . I'm trying to make the quest tester run like you would see the dialogue in the quest and noticing different types of popups, showing up recently. I'm thinking it has to do with the length of the dialogue, but I'll just leave it the way I have it at the moment. (But the quest tester is my favorite part of the editor so far).

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May 5, 2013 6:49:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've uploaded pictures of the initial editor for those that don't want to try it out and can look what is going on. The pictures are automatically loaded from the file that is indicated in the file from the LH directory (or the user document directory (as long as people have things installed in the usual place, you shouldn't have to edit the directories), and placed where you would actually see the picture. Clicking all the buttons will run you through the quest, throws a popup indicating battles and how many units in each. I've also updated the original to popup a horrid looking progress bar. But I'm just getting functionality working.

As to present the source here, I'm rather embarrassed by how the code is in the current state, I'd want some time to clean it up before I'd have another read it. The next part I plan on putting in is a temporary file that will contain your current quest you are working on, so if there is a crash you can grab at least a piece of the quest.

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May 5, 2013 7:30:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm a c# programmer and I'd be interested in helping out.  I am a big fan of the work you do parrot. 

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May 7, 2013 10:32:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So, I've updated the quest editor a bit. I've found a few bugs and fixed them stealthly over the past few days. I've updated the quest test run to include a log file for you to look at after you visually ran through the quest. It will report items that are given goodie huts that are spawned. Conditions that need to be met. It will aslo provide warnings in special cases where an internal name is located and  warn you  if it is not there.

Out of curiousity has anybody tried the editor? (By the way although I programmed this with LH in mind, it will work with FE (I've tested that out myself), you have to set the directories for your FE install and location.

Plus, I would like to know what people would want with this editor as I'm still in the stage of adding new functionality. It already can duplicate ANY quest that is already in LH (including the Random events)... I will add functionality to include movies (so you don't have to edit this with an outside editor). At this point I looking for suggestions.

All that I'm doing currently is making the code readable for somebody else to use (I've looked at a WiX installer) and I think I can create one for this, but it really just needs the .exe and one of the two text files I've included in the zip file above.

I'm curious if Brad or Derek or anyone at stardock have any suggestions for this editor.

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May 8, 2013 3:35:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Movie support would be really cool. What movies did you think of? Cutscenes like the ones already in the game or full-on-mp4 movies?

At the moment I do not have the possibilty to create time to test it out. But I like what I am seeing so far and will definately in the future.

An Installer for all those who do not like unpacking and moving the files around would be neat, but mostly a READ_ME will do the trick just fine.

Is it possible to have adventurers join you on a quest, but only for that quest and be removed aftwerwards? I would like that. (Of course they would only participate in battles concerning that quest during the time you did not yet completed it).

Something awesome like having a Dragonrider like the quest boss one join you for an epic quest would really spice it up don't you think?

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May 8, 2013 3:59:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Parrotmath I HAVE tried the editor, and I absolutely LOVE it!!! It will be a great tool to those of us who wish to generate more quests for the finished game, and will definately help add variety to the quests so we don't have to encounter two same ones in a single game...

Of course, your end goal of 80 new quests will also be much appreciated by everyone as well

Many thanks for your tireless efforts to make the game the classic that it deserves to be, and to give the rest of us a great playing experience!

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May 8, 2013 7:00:47 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Haven't tried the editor yet. I am looking forward to doing so when I have time this weekend.

In the mean time, would it possible to add multiple endings to a quest based on factors such as the class of the hero, race, items held, weapons used and so on. Meaning fulfilling one of those conditions at the end of the quest could result in a greater reward or different reward.

Quests with multiple endings makes questing even more interesting because when you come across the same quest it may play out in another manner.

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May 8, 2013 7:10:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I checked it out quickly but haven't had the chance to have a detailed go with it yet.  

But, I thought the "quest tester" looked really nifty, nice work.

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May 8, 2013 11:26:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ParrotMath - You can do a 1 click deploy if you are using Visual Studio and .Net.    That way you can set it up to look for updates and auto update when someone starts it up.   It's pretty nice, plus it's included in visual studio (express or other versions).  That's what I'd recommend, especially because it will prompt users to install prerequisites (i.e. .Net versions) if they don't already have them.

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May 8, 2013 2:11:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ins2,
Parrotmath I HAVE tried the editor, and I absolutely LOVE it!!! It will be a great tool to those of us who wish to generate more quests for the finished game, and will definately help add variety to the quests so we don't have to encounter two same ones in a single game...
Of course, your end goal of 80 new quests will also be much appreciated by everyone as well
Many thanks for your tireless efforts to make the game the classic that it deserves to be, and to give the rest of us a great playing experience!

Thanks for the positive comments. Just a few more tweaks then I'll feel confident to throw this into a beta. Just really need to optimize some of the code so everything runs quicker...

Quoting N1ghthavvk,
Movie support would be really cool. What movies did you think of? Cutscenes like the ones already in the game or full-on-mp4 movies?
At the moment I do not have the possibilty to create time to test it out. But I like what I am seeing so far and will definately in the future.
An Installer for all those who do not like unpacking and moving the files around would be neat, but mostly a READ_ME will do the trick just fine.
Is it possible to have adventurers join you on a quest, but only for that quest and be removed aftwerwards? I would like that. (Of course they would only participate in battles concerning that quest during the time you did not yet completed it).
Something awesome like having a Dragonrider like the quest boss one join you for an epic quest would really spice it up don't you think?

Movie support is in the game itself, so we are talking about bink. Although, I will not have my editor play the movie, it will just be editable to have within the game. Think the blood curse event... it pops up a full screen movie. Or any of the wildland movies.

You can definitely set up your field to force adventurers with you on a quest... take a modified version of a escort noblewoman quest. Just change the unit and BAM you've got your escort the adventurers to fit for you quest.

Quoting ThePhilosopher,
Haven't tried the editor yet. I am looking forward to doing so when I have time this weekend. In the mean time, would it possible to add multiple endings to a quest based on factors such as the class of the hero, race, items held, weapons used and so on. Meaning fulfilling one of those conditions at the end of the quest could result in a greater reward or different reward. Quests with multiple endings makes questing even more interesting because when you come across the same quest it may play out in another manner.

Say a quest you talk with a vampire... it moves you over to a choice dialogue, but if you have a particular item on you the quest can lead to failure immediatly. Or lead to a choice dialog that opens up a new choice. Setting it up for particular classes that will take some cleverness on your part that adds phantom resources to the champion when they choose that class or attribute. But it may be done and lead to different things. In fact, all the encounters on the quest do not have to have a 100 percent liklihood of happening. In fact you can (not via the editor at the moment) set up two seperate encounters, with different likelihoods of occuring (at least I think, haven't tested this completely yet). Also, the rewards at the end could have differnet likelihoods, though modifications to the editor will need to happen. I look at this as being able to quickly create a skeleton quest and then you break out notepad++ to satisfy the more intricate details of the quest.

Quoting Murteas,

ParrotMath - You can do a 1 click deploy if you are using Visual Studio and .Net.    That way you can set it up to look for updates and auto update when someone starts it up.   It's pretty nice, plus it's included in visual studio (express or other versions).  That's what I'd recommend, especially because it will prompt users to install prerequisites (i.e. .Net versions) if they don't already have them.

I will retry the one-click install process again. My other tests haven't been as successful as I would have liked. I'll give it another go and test it on my other computer at home to see if I can get that to work out. Otherwise I'll use some WiX installer to do exactly what you are suggesting.

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May 8, 2013 3:05:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Parrotmouth, I'm a big fan of your work w EH as well. I'm not a programmer, but I do have some skills in writing / documentation. If you decide to do a 'manual' for new people to used to learn how to use the quest Creator program. PQCU = Parrot's Quest Creator Utility?
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May 8, 2013 3:27:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you would like to write up some documentation with it that would be great. Currently, I haven't added any real tooltips for all the functionality or even a help file.  If you would like to try out the program and see what kinds of details are needed for a manual that would be great.

I tend to write all my documentation in TeX and then compile this into a pdf. I've not really thought through what people would need to know in a manual.

Basically a manual would turn almost into a tutorial on how to create a quest for LH. But I would appreciate the documentation help. I'm still adding and modifying the presentation of the stuff, but the overall structure isn't going to change very much. Try it out tell me whatcha think and where improvements should be made and I'll see if it is reasonable to do it. For the most part that big edit box on the left where all the quest is shown to you as you would see it in the XML file... that is going to stay because that is one of my favorite features. Allows me to look at the code without saving what I've done and edit it within the program (future advanced feature).

I should probably write out some of the limitations of the program in reading quests. For example, there can only be read in 1 encounter per choice. There can only be 1 game modifier per treasure at this point. Some of these limitations might be removed however. Just going to figure out some different UI in certain cases.

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May 9, 2013 12:17:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Updated: Added the oneclick installer. Extract the files and use the setup button.


 

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May 9, 2013 3:22:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Updated: Minor bug fixes and a few more features as I learn more of C#...

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May 10, 2013 3:01:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Updated --- see above

I'm still looking for feedback on what people would like to see with the editor (possible changes) as well as errors that people are encountering.

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May 10, 2013 8:35:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

parrot, I will dl the editor this weekend and take a good look (as a user - I have little programming skills, just enough to be dangerous!)  Smile.  Hope to have well thought out feedback for you by mon... and a first draft of a tutorial/user guide for "the rest of us."  is OK?

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May 10, 2013 8:42:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That sounds great... I know enough about programming to get one to work and do what I want it to do...

I've just updated it so that it should save a temporary file as you update the quest throughout. If there is a crash it will recover some of the data at least, but its in its infancy stages at this point. Just something I whipped together because I kept losing my quest data.

I just updated the files and fixed some bugs.

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