Map Editor plans

Working on new maps for Multiwinia? Discuss!

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Mas Tnega
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Postby Mas Tnega » Sat May 01, 2010 2:13 am

xander wrote:I have just set myself a reminder to think about bumping this thread once every 5 months and 29 days.

xander


You'll slip up! You'll have to reach February eventually and then, THEN, about half a century from now, we WILL have the map editor!
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xander
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Postby xander » Sat May 01, 2010 6:51 am

Mas Tnega wrote:
xander wrote:I have just set myself a reminder to think about bumping this thread once every 5 months and 29 days.

xander


You'll slip up! You'll have to reach February eventually and then, THEN, about half a century from now, we WILL have the map editor!

I doubt it will take that long---it only took five years for me to slip up on xyzyxx's birthday. (Yes, I am quite certain I misspelled that, but I have been drinking heavily tonight, and don't care! Ha!)

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Re: Map Editor plans

Postby Mataro » Mon May 17, 2010 4:02 am

Chris wrote:...High on our priority list is releasing the Multiwinia Map Editor for everyone to use...


Meanwhile, two years later..

Really? Have you guys forgot? I know you folks are a small company but I'm really quite disappointed. I was among the early adopters and being able to make custom maps for such a pick-up-and-playable game was quite the selling point. Two years later, the only thing holding me back from playing this game more is that I can't make or easily add maps for it. If nothing else, just release the dev tools "as is" for us to tinker with. No manual or anything, if you're all busy. Just toss it to the community so we can really get this all started. Maybe I'm the only one, but I think a lack of tools to expand the game is what's really holding the community (and sales) from growing. Even without a manual, I'm sure we can all figure it out. This is getting to feel like a big long ridiculously boring prelude to the real thing, which is quite disheartening. I don't believe we need some great fanfare, we just need the base tools to really start getting the gears turning. All in favour?

Then again, who knows if this will even be read. :(
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Re: Map Editor plans

Postby xander » Mon May 17, 2010 5:21 am

Mataro wrote:
Chris wrote:...High on our priority list is releasing the Multiwinia Map Editor for everyone to use...


Meanwhile, two years later..

Really? Have you guys forgot? I know you folks are a small company but I'm really quite disappointed. I was among the early adopters and being able to make custom maps for such a pick-up-and-playable game was quite the selling point. Two years later, the only thing holding me back from playing this game more is that I can't make or easily add maps for it. If nothing else, just release the dev tools "as is" for us to tinker with. No manual or anything, if you're all busy. Just toss it to the community so we can really get this all started. Maybe I'm the only one, but I think a lack of tools to expand the game is what's really holding the community (and sales) from growing. Even without a manual, I'm sure we can all figure it out. This is getting to feel like a big long ridiculously boring prelude to the real thing, which is quite disheartening. I don't believe we need some great fanfare, we just need the base tools to really start getting the gears turning. All in favour?

Then again, who knows if this will even be read. :(

If you want "developer tools," as is, the Darwinia map editor can be used to make Multiwinia maps. There are a few things that you will have to tweak by hand, but you can probably figure that out. Realistically, until and unless the map editor is released, that is likely the best you are going to get. However, since the release of Darwinia+, IV have likely had more time to work on other projects. For instance, there is a Defcon patch which should be out soon. Hopefully, this bodes well for the release of the Multiwinia map editor.

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Postby elexis » Mon May 17, 2010 8:31 am

And trust me, you don’t want them to release the current version of beta to the public. (cant explain more due to NDA)
@IV: If you do resume the beta tests for the map editor, perhaps you should make the changelog publically available? It would go a little way to making people interested again.
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Postby Mataro » Mon May 17, 2010 10:46 am

What I don't understand is they used the tools to make the current Multiwinia maps, as per Chris' post. Obviously these tools are fully functional. Why not release as-is for those inclined to perhaps deal with the difficulties, and patch in usability when they can? It just doesn't make sense to hold the tools back.

As for the Darwinia editor, I don't have Darwinia (nor do I have a means of acquiring it). If I happened to have had it I would have delved into it already. On that note, if the Multiwinia editor really can't be touched right now, how about releasing the Darwinia editor as freeware? No one can play the game with just the editor and it would at least appease folks like myself for a while. Or is it already? Am I missing something, or am I just running on outdated logic here? :S
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Postby Montyphy » Mon May 17, 2010 11:18 am

Mataro wrote:What I don't understand is they used the tools to make the current Multiwinia maps, as per Chris' post. Obviously these tools are fully functional.


Chances are the tools are far from perfect since their main use was for the developers to quickly hack together some levels and wasn't aimed at being a polished product to be used by the end-user. As such, it didn't have to be pretty or easy to use and the developers would know the limitations of their code, know where the bugs lie and know how to work around them. The ordinary user wont want to put up with buggy, unpredictable code. Even if the limitations and bugs could be documented how many people would take the time to understand it? Not many.

Mataro wrote:Why not release as-is for those inclined to perhaps deal with the difficulties, and patch in usability when they can? It just doesn't make sense to hold the tools back.


The biggest publicly and interest will be generated with the initial release. Releasing it too early would reflect badly on the developers and only serve to kill off that interest because the average Joe wont take the time to look beyond the problems or wait for them to be fixed. The best chance of regenerating interest in Multiwinia would be to release a polished tool that just works out of the box, not something that needs to be treated with caution or weeks more of development before it can actually be used.
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Postby elexis » Mon May 17, 2010 11:59 am

A lot of the official maps were fine-tuned through editing the raw text file. I am happy to say that this aspect of the Multiwinia map editor is fully functional and can be used by anyone. The problem with the map editor is twofold, the first is what Montyphy said. The second is that the map editor was only designed as far as was needed by the developers. The end user has an uncanny tendency of finding new ways to break things like map editors. Look at all the new map ideas that have been discussed around this forum. Now, imagine what ideas the guys who have access to the editor could come up with. Trust me, there are some really weird ideas there. But that's our job, to break the system. The system currently can't handle everything the end user can throw at it. Until this changes it is in Introversion's best interests to NOT release the map editor.
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Postby xander » Mon May 17, 2010 2:18 pm

Mataro wrote:Obviously these tools are fully functional.

Certainly... for a very specific definition of "fully functional." The tools that IV used to make their maps are, as pointed out above, basically the minimum needed to make maps. They are, from the perspective of outsiders, buggy and incomplete. As far as I can tell, IV used the Darwinia map editor to make their maps, then tweaked the generated map files by hand (though they probably did add some features to the map editor specifically for Multiwinia). Others have already pointed out why officially releasing that system would be a bad idea.

With regard to using this system yourself, what prevents you from getting Darwinia and the Darwinia editor? The game is not that expensive, and is available on Steam or from the IV website.

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Postby Mataro » Mon May 17, 2010 8:05 pm

There's not much point in me reiterating myself, though I did say we don't need a fanfare but at least releasing the Darwinia editor for free so it may be used for Multiwinia by those with the patience to do so would be a step in the right direction. I don't have a means to get it, for one, because I'm broke and in the process of getting a job, and for two, because I do not have a credit card. That said, it all boils down to this. I bought Multiwinia years ago and was told there was a map editor shortly on it's way. Years. I really shouldn't have to buy another of their games just to access a map editor that just happens to work for Multiwinia as well when I was already told Multiwinia was really meant to have it's own editor from the get-go. To be honest, with incredibly indepth knowledge of the game's functions, I'm sure someone's bare minimum would be a text pad to make maps. But that's hardly the point. Even if the current Multiwinia editor is the Darwinia editor with very minor changes, that's at least something approaching the promised editor. Much more than my current notepad is, anyway.

TL;DR, To me at least it reflects more poorly that were approaching a quarter decade and still have nothing at all approaching the promised editor, than if we at least had a start in that direction. The current map tools released without fanfare and with an explanation to the public that they are very incomplete would suffice for those like myself that would delve into it regardless. The average Joe just wants to play maps anyhow, not be arsed to make 'em. :X

EDIT; Oh, and I meant to say. I really do appreciate you guys at least conversing about the issue with me. Better than me just throwing my two cents out with no response.
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Postby jelco » Mon May 17, 2010 8:28 pm

Although there's an official NDA in place to prevent beta people from mentioning details, I will say that I have repeatedly mentioned the possibility of releasing the MW editor in its current form for Multiwinia (i.e. per patch). It's not perfect and definitely requires some getting used to, but then there are few map editors that don't have those traits. I really think that it will at least keep the modding community alive (create one in the first place even) and requires little effort from IV's side, which leaves them enough time to work on other stuff. I still have a prototype of a map management database (the basis of which was mostly written by zanzer7) to go alongside the Ladder, and enough scripts to make the whole sharing thing as easy as pie. Hell, I made the GGT in the hope that it might have a positive impact on the modding community and some input from IV, but it was not meant to be.

I'm still all for the release of the ME currently in beta, if only because it's been in there for something like a year and it really isn't going to get tested/improved much at this point. As long as IV puts a disclaimer in place that it might not be the most stable editor ever, I don't see how they would have anything to lose by doing so.

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Postby Mataro » Mon May 17, 2010 8:50 pm

My sentiments exactly, Jelco. Anything is better than nothing, at this point. Hell, have any of you used the Company of Heroes world builder? That thing has crashed on me many times, and is confusing as hell. But it's a hell of a lot better than nothing. And I feel that's where this is all at. Having a map editor with quirks is better than no map editor at all.
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Postby Shwart!! » Tue May 18, 2010 1:16 am

That thing has crashed on me many times, and is confusing as hell.

That's basically where the map editors are at, both for MW and DW. There aren't as many features to get confused by, but what are there are rather painful to use.
Of course, they are usable, and 'a hell of a lot better than nothing'... but then, having been using it, I wouldn't wish it on the end-userbase.

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Postby Mataro » Tue May 18, 2010 3:45 am

That said, I still made some maps with the Company of Heroes world builder, and to this day pick it up every now and then to make some new maps for one of my favourite RTS'. Because, a few crashes really is better than the alternatives.

Plus as said before.. All we really need is the ability for some of the more inclined people to start putting out a few maps for the general userbase to dig into. Not every person is going to want to make maps, most are just going to want to have cool new maps to play.
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Postby Phelanpt » Tue May 18, 2010 9:35 am

There have been a few maps made, have you checked those out?

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