Monday, February 20, 2012

Testing issues

As I've mentioned previously, I wanted to create a beta version of the introductory part of The Shattered War for testing by some players while I continue to work on the mod.  While for the most part this has gone smoothly, there have been a few issues that keep cropping up and causing me trouble.

One of the most frustrating is the audio for a particular dialogue not working properly - the character simply does not speak. Oddly enough, the lines work perfectly in the toolset, and I can export the dialogue without hassle. I can then even extract the sounds from the exported .fsb file and listen to them. Unfortunately, for some reason, they refuse to play in the game itself. This occurs with a couple of characters, but I can't identify any consistent issue across the various dialogues or sound files. If anyone has experienced this and/or has a solution, please let me know.

Of course, the other problem is that some characters aren't yet voiced, but that's a problem that I understand and will hopefully get the right people to solve before the final release. I've still have to produce properly annotated scripts for some of the dialogue that still needs to be recorded, which is a significant undertaking in its own right.

Taraz looking concerned (maybe about voicing issues?)

Another hassle appears to be within character creation. Specifically, the game doesn't seem to give the player enough attribute points if the player happens to click "Quick Play". If they do, then a whole lot of attribute points simply disappear into the ether, and I can't find a means to fix this.  If the player decides to create their character by going through the entire customisation process, there's no issue, but it's a potential problem.

Another problem that has come about a number of times is objects not interacting correctly.  There have been several cases where objects to do not react correctly to player manipulation. In some cases this is due to me attempting to use pre-existing mechanisms for interaction in a way that isn't supported. This generally has to be discovered by trial and error, as documentation of many of these mechanism is minimal to non-existent.  The other alternative is to simply code all my own scripts, an option I have been resorting to more frequently, albeit at the expensive of additional time.

At least we can interact with this corpse...

All that being said, testing is coming along quite well, and everything is fitting together reasonably well.  So if you're keen to check out the beta version of the introduction of the mod (and haven't already contacted me) please shoot me an email (I have a gmail address for AmstradHero) and I'll be in touch.

I do work in a bit of a vacuum at times, completing individual segments separately before doing the work that brings them together.  There are a lot of individual parts (particularly dialogue) that are complete, and I can see the end in sight for writing of dialogue.  The Shattered War may be a long time in the making, but a beta version of the introduction shouldn't be far off for those interested. With any luck, people won't have to wait a really long time for the full product!


  1. I had the Quick Play issue too, and I *thought* I did something about it. The only thing I can find though is this reference in the Dirge readme:

    "- Quick Play is buggy due to your immeadiate ascension to level 15."

    Which implies I never solved it. Broken City and Eye and Shadow are add-ons and wouldn't have needed the fix, so I probably never got around to it.

    I would suggest seeing if there's a way to disable the quick play button.

  2. I vaguely remember finding a workaround for the quick play missing attributes bug, but I can't check my old database files because they're all either corrupt or simply refusing to work on my new computer. Though I'm wondering: are you starting the player at a higher level through the chargen screen (like Awakening) or by granting them XP immediately after chargen?

    If you're using the first one, I think there may be a part of the code before quick-play assigns the attributes where you can manually insert a change to the player's attribute points to make sure they have enough. I'm a bit rusty on the code, though, so I'm not entirely sure...

  3. I was mostly trying to do it through the chargen screen - this made it nicer for when the player gets their first companion (immediately). I'd much prefer to keep it this way, but I'll add investigating a fix onto the long list of things to do. It may just end up in the "don't do that" basket. We'll see.