Author Topic: GA Creation Tips & Tricks  (Read 16771 times)

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Offline GrapeFruit

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GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« on: July 05, 2009, 10:50:10 am »
Collect here all the nifty tricks you came up with to get around the restrictions of the GA Editor.
(Note: "How to..." thread -> General queries to how things work     This thread -> non-standard solutions to specific tasks)



My first one is about how to create a timer within one act (partially without using up a goal).
This one's especially useful if you want to creat a time delay between the completion of the last goal in an act and the actual progression from the current act to the next.

Let's say you want to add a time delay between the killing of a creature and the change of the act without adding another goal. The trick is, to assign the goal "kill creature X" to a (how I call it) trigger victim. Since to complete the "kill" goal the actual killing hasn't to be done by the captain.
The circles in the following diagram represent the creatures involved. C = captain, X = Creature X you want to get killed, V = Victim Creature, T = Trigger Creature

Usually you would assign the "kill" goal to the creature X (dashed line), but to get the timing, assign the "kill" goal to the victim creature V. V can be any creature you want, however it needs its own cast spot. The trigger creature T will do the actual killing, it can also be any creature you want, but again, it needs its own cast spot. Now we place T and V close together in a small confined area as far away from the real action as possible. You need to turn the awareness radius of T to the max. T and X have to be placed in a manner that X will never leave the awareness area of T. This can be a bit restricting concerning the placement of the real killing action (C vs. X).
To initialise the "timer" you have to work with the advanced behaviour settings of the trigger creature. In this example we want the trigger creature to do absolutely nothing until Creature X dies. That means the first behaviour of T is "Idle when Aware of Creature X". The second behaviour is "Attack any always".
The victim creature is set to only "Idle Always".
So, if the captain kills the Creature X, the trigger creature T will start to attack the victim creature V. As soon as V is dead, the game acknowledges the goal "Kill Creature X" as completed and advance the acts (granted this goal is the only or the last non-complete goal in the current act). To manipulate the time passing between the death of X and the advancing you have to tweak around with the HP of V and the attack bonus of T (you can get times between ca. 0.5 s and (probably) more than an hour).
If you want the goal description in the upper left corner to actually say "Kill creature X" instead of "Kill creature V" you can simply name your victim creature the same as your creature X.

Downsides:
- Needs two extra cast spots.
- The indicator on the radar would lead you to the victim creature instead to X. Better off making this goal invisible.
- If V and T are not properly confined, the player might screw things up (by killing T and/or V beforehand)
- As mentionend before, geographical restrictions.

I'm currently working on a way to open gates by a similar trigger system, so the captain doesn't need to open it by himself.
Gates are really really interesting, you can do a lot with them disguised as anything.

I made an adventure using this technique (Lost Crystal Empire - EP1), you can check out how I did it there (slightly different than this example). I also used it to time the effects (you can see them if you can make it so far, seems like people have difficulty finishing it)


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Offline Hydromancerx

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 12:21:40 pm »
How to Make an Underwater Level

1. Pick a planet with canyons or place your own.

2. Lower the water level all the way down to to nothing.

3. Turn off all flora and select rocks for the grass.



4. Use your terrain paint so it had a blue tint to the lowest elevation of ground in the canyon.

5. Possibly recolor your cliffs and beaches to a blue that matches.

6. Move the atmosphere to very foggy and turn off hazards button.

7. Change the atmosphere color to a blue that makes the fog look like water.



8. Go to the special fx part and pick out the pond surface fx.

9. Move it up on the Z axis to it sits on top of the canyon. Copy this and place again and again adjusting to any elevation changes below so they all seem to sit on the same level.

10. You could also place bubble fxs you want to.

11. Manually place sea flora such as the seaweed looking trees or even creatures that look like sea flora (make sure they are mindless and immobile).

12. Place shells or rocks on the ground.



13. Select sea creatures from sporepedia that you like.

14. Select any underwater buildings or vehicles such as submarines.

15. Place appropriate sound fxs or music such as the "Underwater Echoes" one.

16. You could possibly force your captain to be something that belongs underwater such as a fish, aquatic alien or scuba diver.

Now you should have a whole underwater world in which to make your own adventures in. Remember that the pond ripple fx takes a lot out of the complexity meter. So you may only want a small canyon since the more you use the less of the other stuff you can add.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 12:32:09 pm by Hydromancerx »

Offline DaMuncha

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 03:25:29 pm »
Great ideas guys.

Offline Woulfe

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 06:41:52 am »
Hydro, I think w/ a little tweaking one could also make a faux domed "underwater" city as well nes-pa ?
Or even a domed city like ones we place on T0 planets in space phase.

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 09:05:36 am »
Hey Hydro, have you tried enlarging the pond effect's size with Shift+Mouse Wheel? If you didn't you might be able to save on complexity the more area a single effect can cover.

Offline Hydromancerx

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 05:10:11 pm »
Hey Hydro, have you tried enlarging the pond effect's size with Shift+Mouse Wheel? If you didn't you might be able to save on complexity the more area a single effect can cover.

Yeah. Its the largest I could re-size it to. :(

Offline MisterBibs

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 07:45:25 pm »
A tip for designers:

If you're planning on having your player fight 4 or more enemies at once, be sure to remove or drastically reduce those creature's Charge ability. At odds greater than 2:1 with creatures of equal, you'll force the player into stunlock, and stunlock forces the player to downvote your poorly-balanced adventure.

Offline Spartan King 95

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 08:13:56 pm »
How to make flying levels:
1. Select some buildings/flying vehicles.
2. Press and hold Control and move your mouse up or down with the buildings selected.
Optional: Select cloud/weather fx and place them.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 09:33:14 am by Spartan King 95 »
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Offline Uroboros

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 06:37:20 am »
I don't recall being able to alter the height of flying vehicles or UFOs. Odd...

Offline Spartan King 95

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 09:07:44 am »
I mean flying vehicles for decoration.
You can probably find me, if you have pesterchum, under burningOrigins or cantankerousZealot.

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2009, 09:10:20 am »
Yeah, I can never adjust the height of a flying/UFO vehicle. Ctrl never works. So I don't really get how you do that.

Offline Spartan King 95

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2009, 09:33:37 am »
The flying vehicles are for decoration and stuff, like land vehicles. And you only move it up or down on buildings.
You can probably find me, if you have pesterchum, under burningOrigins or cantankerousZealot.

Offline Cow

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 07:50:31 pm »
Stop making me want this! Urge to recreate Cloud City.... so strong.... can't hold out much longer!

Offline Hydromancerx

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 08:50:16 pm »
Stop making me want this! Urge to recreate Cloud City.... so strong.... can't hold out much longer!

You know you want it!  8)

Offline Hydromancerx

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2010, 05:46:52 am »
Sorry to bump such an old topic but i figured it was better than making a new one about the same thing. You see in my search to find a program that I could make my own RTS I re-discovered Spore and the cool tricks you can do with advanced AI and a little creativity. I have learned so much, where to start ...

RTS
When it comes to Spore RTS it is quite limiting however from viewing other topics I have basically figured out the core of it.

1. Lock up units somewhere that the PC cannot get to them. Which means behind a gate.
2. Use keys to open the gate(s).
3. Have the NPCs either follow an object the PC has or follow another NPC and then have that one follow an object or even have it become part of a crew.

As you can see there are many variations on this. Basiclly what i have been trying to do is this; each key color represents a diffrent resource ...

Red = Food
Green = Wood
Blue = Minerals (maybe iron)
White = ? (maybe stone)
Yellow = ? (Gold maybe?)

You collect the resources from various sources (more on that later). And then bring them back to the holding cells. For instance lets say unit A requires 5 Food and 2 Wood. It would have 5 red gates and 2 green gates blocking the pen. Once the pen is open your units would become available You could also limit it so the last gate is say a yellow gate and make the yellow key only drop once per act. This way as each act progresses you can unlock more and more types of units. This would be helpful if you made them hallways where if you open a level 1 room, then next act you can either open up another level 1 room or a level 2 room from the level 1 room you just opened up last act.

Likewise you could get very complex by merging a shopkeeper system with teleporters. You give the shop keeper x object and then it goes to the back room and sends another guy back from an inaccessible area. Depending upon what object you gave the shop keeper could allow you to send back a diffrent unit.

Resources

Through experimentation i have come up with a few ways to get resources.

1. Mining - I have a hole in the ground with holdable obsidian. On top of the hole is a breakable object. Once you break the object you can access the holdable resources under it. After a few mins the hole will recover and you will have to mine again to get more resources. Likewise the resources will re-spawn if you use them up on any "blue gates".

2. Creature Drop - You have a creature holding and object. When you kill the creature its drops the object. The down side is it cannot attack when holding the object. I have heard of ways to have a little dude that holds the resource while you kill the creature and when the creature dies the invulnerable due will drop the object. I have yet to get it to work properly.

3. Far Away - You have resources that are just there on the ground ready to picked up in far away locations. They are just so far away from where you need to take them that they are a pain to gather.

4. Act Drops - These would be resources that only appear after an act has passed. These you must be careful about since you only get 8 acts.

Other

1. Power-ups - In addition there things like power ups which could be used where you open a re-spawnable gate to get access for a type of power up.

2. Unit Triggers - You could lead units to other units who once aware of the other unit will do an action. This becomes infanatly complex but very cool.

3. Old School Quests - You could use resources to complete old school quests that do things you cannot do without acts. Such as collect X amount of wood and X amount of stone to make a building. And then said building will appear in the next act.

Anywho so far my own experiments have taught me a lot and i think if i use all the tricks I can find or think up then just maybe I can pull off an RTS-like adventure that is how I imagined Spore to be before it came out.

Offline Crazen

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2010, 03:51:09 pm »
just found something: if you want vehicles as props, go to gameplay objects and select  a gate or something (dont place the other end), and disguise it as the vehicle you want. usefull if you want landed aircrafts especialy
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 03:57:00 pm by Crazen »
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Offline BlagStar

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Re: GA Creation Tips & Tricks
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2010, 07:31:46 pm »
Okay, oh and, how do I get a basic 'item shop'?

I'm looking to make a freeroam, where there's a couple of quests (NPCS talk to you) such as 'Steal the Figurine of X out of the Museum and I will give you a statue of Y which will let you get into Z'.

But how do I get an npc to pick up an object or have it near him, then when I give X to him, he picks up Y and gives it to me?

Also planning to make a quest version that's more forced.