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Take 8: CS+ Community Project Discussion Thread


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#1 23 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

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Okay I've taken pretty much every courtesy I can think of before posting this idea publicly, so here it is. I propose a collaborative community effort, the main aim of which will be to produce a mod of substantial size for the first planned CS+ update in December. In this post, I will attempt to preemptively answer as many questions/concerns as possible, so that if there's enough interest we can get this show on the road ASAP.

MY RATIONALE
We currently have very little to offer Nicalis in terms of what they want, but are also fully capable of producing such. However, I don't really like the idea of everyone trying to rush out a bunch of minimods in time for the first release, or even later updates. Rather, a community project has the potential to:
-Give everyone a chance to contribute,
-Produce a large amount of high-quality content without enormous efforts on behalf of a single person, and
-Be wholly representative of the talent we have here, enabling us to present Pixel (and potentially a very large number of Steam users worldwide) with the best we have to offer given the outlined restrictions.
This is a unique opportunity that very few communities or fanbases are actually given, so I think it logically follows that we should all do our best to chip in and make it stick.

WHY THIS ONE WILL WORK
Simply put: We don't need new graphics, music, story, ASM or a group of people all trying to work on the entire thing at once. With the plan I've come up with, nobody will be limited by what somebody else is doing or have to wait for a certain part to be finished. All that will be required to participate is mapping and scripting experience, and knowledge of the game's mechanics. After someone's idea has been approved, they will (hopefully) only need to worry about working on their section, and anything that remains unfinished by the deadline will either be trimmed to fit or be excluded. There is no preset goal for completion aside from 'big enough'.

HOW IT WILL WORK
-Each person will be assigned up to 4 maps to work with whatever ideas they see fit, with encouragement to come up with something that isn't being used by somebody else already. (I'll make up an example list when/if the production thread starts, so don't worry about this yet.) I say 4 because I expect something in the order of up to 20 participants, and there are only 94 maps available, some of which can't be used (intro and title screens, etc. - adding more makes porting difficult). If someone doesn't think they will need all 4 they will be able to specify this, freeing up space for others. And really, that should be more than enough to get the most out of a single set of ideas; you can fit an awful lot of work into 4 maps, you just have to think in terms of <MOV rather than <TRA.
-Each map will grant the user up to 50 usable flags, starting at 1000. E.g., the first person gets flags 1000-1199, the next 1200-1399, etc. This way, nobody will have to worry about what another person has set or unset. Skipflags may require more severe rationing, so for the time being I suggest designing levels where they won't be needed.
-Obviously, there will be a limit of one tileset and one NPC set per map, as well as a limited supply of music, so there will be further encouragement not to use the same stuff as everyone else. There is little we can do about this, so we may ultimately have to deal w/it.
-Event #0500 will be used as the universal connection from one person's area to another (inter-area numbers are free). Users will provide the appropriate <TRA command to be added to the previous map. All items and item flags must be removed at the end of someone's area, with the new person adding in what they want as if from a fresh start (and so they will also have to provide things like their own exp crystals if needed). Coordination between consecutive mappers is optional and expected to be done properly.
-When a user submits their idea (probably via a submission form outlining everything needed), they will also need to specify the amount of HP they desire the character to have over the duration of their area (or if it doesn't matter, e.g. for a puzzle-type area). The maps in the final compilation will be sorted based on HP amount (min of 3), so the issue of Life Capsules is also removed. (Secondary sorting may take place on the basis of intended difficulty.) A save point and heal point will be mandatory at the start of each new area, making each one a self-contained challenge representative of the one who made it. This may mean that the map order and flag order don't line up perfectly but I don't think that's a big deal?
-Upon completing all the areas, I'm thinking of putting in a room allowing players access to each area individually for practice (admittedly at whatever the max HP ends up being). A speedrun could also be made available at the start of the game, which would remove all save points (and potentially some puzzle maps if any are made, as there's not much point in doing a 'static' puzzle more than once).
-There may be some difficulties regarding map-specific bosses, so I'm open to suggestions regarding these. (Can they be moved within their own maps? I can't remember...)
-There will need to be some kind of intro area, where the start point will have to be set. I am fairly certain this means that the maps that are sent in cannot begin from a start point, and so must all start with a <TRA from somewhere else.

THE ISSUE OF STORY
I think this should be fairly straightforward. You are allowed to put NPCs and dialogue in your areas to add some flavour, but don't try to write an entire fanfic. Funnies and references to other games/media are okay as well, provide I don't see any LOL XD INTERNET HUMOUR dickery.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER
I think that's everything needed to make sure that each area runs smoothly into the next. andwhy has offered to join the maps together, so I'll let him describe the way he wants them to be submitted (I'm a bit unclear on this myself). I'd like to put together a couple of beta mods as areas start to flow in, so if he doesn't want to connect them all together every time I can handle that. I have suggested the deadline for map submission as midnight on Monday November 21st American WST; I think this leaves enough time for us to put together and playtest the finished product for when Nicalis wants it. This is just under a month a way, which should be long enough for everyone provided we get stuck into it.

EDIT: There will probably be a lot of individual testing of maps/mods before they're added in as well, in fact this should probably be the first step before doing so.

BUT I WANT TO DO MY OWN THING
That's fine too, go ahead :p

Please, do not parrot your mod ideas in this thread, ask a question I've already answered or just generally complain. I want to see suggestions regarding what I've missed, or what could be simplified, or how to make this more feasible. That way I can hopefully start up the dev thread in a day or two. Support will be provided (and already kind of is) for people who want help with ideas/TSC scripting/mapping etc if/when this gets started, but for now I just want to cover everything needed to make sure that a set of maps is all that anybody has to submit. The specifics such as number of maps per person and idea submissions are flexible, and will remain so should the project begin, so again, don't bitch about the numbers.

As a final note, I do like Take 8 as a working title :debug:

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#2 23 October 2011 - 01:53 PM

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Should each member get their own tileset to help differentiate the sections?
Also, I woud like to contribute to this.

#3 23 October 2011 - 02:04 PM

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Should each member get their own tileset to help differentiate the sections?

I'm not sure there are enough and I don't think it's absolutely necessary. Ditto for backgrounds.

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#4 23 October 2011 - 02:06 PM

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I didn't read all of your post, but I guess I could contribute a few maps with a few sidestories.

And WoodenRat never liked you in the first place


#5 23 October 2011 - 02:10 PM

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This is a very good idea. I would rather have the December update include one astounding mod instead of 4-5 mini-mods no one will enjoy playing.
I'm in.
Errdit: I'm fine designing only one map, I'm still pretty new to the whole process, and I don't want to take up too much of your guys' sunlight.

I think Cave Story is quite capable of giving you mental issues. Just look at some of our fine members on the forum.


#6 23 October 2011 - 02:18 PM

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I don't understand :S
Will this have any contiguity at all?
If not, how is it different from a bunch of mini-mods?
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#7 23 October 2011 - 02:31 PM

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I didn't read all of your post, but I guess I could contribute a few maps with a few sidestories.

Please do read the "Issue of Story" bit

I don't understand :S
Will this have any contiguity at all?
If not, how is it different from a bunch of mini-mods?

I think of each area as a different 'world', like in The Show/WTF Story/etc.

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#8 23 October 2011 - 02:37 PM

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About maps, we need to make sure that no one uses the same map twice because we aren't allowed make new maps. Also, keep in mind that none of the map sizes can be changed.

#9 23 October 2011 - 02:45 PM

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About maps, we need to make sure that no one uses the same map twice because we aren't allowed make new maps.

I was wondering about this, but I think the desired map files can just be renamed and copied over the appropriate map slot, if not then that's where the map allocation will come in

Also, keep in mind that none of the map sizes can be changed.

tyrone said that we can change the map data, and I don't know how we'd be expected to offer mods if we couldn't

EDIT: Also, I am going to bed now

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#10 24 October 2011 - 11:56 AM

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Alright well if nobody can think of anything else I guess we're good to go, and I can start up the project submission thread tomorrow. I did not foresee the discussion being this brief :momo:

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