Visual Quest Editor

For all talk about quests. Creating, testing, bugs, and development progress.
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Visual Quest Editor

Post by JorisVanEijden » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:28 pm

I started playing with xNode today.

GraphPlay.png (147 KiB) Viewed 984 times

What do you think? Is this a viable way to create/edit quests?
Should I continue building on this?
Or are my efforts better spent elsewhere?

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by Firebrand » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:50 pm

Seems like a great idea :)

I think it could help visualize complex relations, thus favoring better quests 8-)

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by Jay_H » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:56 pm

A big question behind this, I think, is if it motivates anyone to begin/continue writing quests. That'll be a good determinant to continue working or not.

I recuse myself from this discussion for reasons explained elsewhere :)
Come join Lysandus' Tomb, a Daggerfall Unity fan Discord.
See the Daggerfall Unity Wiki on the UESP.

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by Hazelnut » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:45 pm

Personally I don't think it's worth it, but I'm a programmer who is very used to writing text to make stuff happen so I'm not really the target audience either so I'll follow Jay's lead on this one. :)

I also wonder if it would still be easy to parse and follow the diagram once a significantly complex quest is implemented?
See my mod code for examples of how to change various aspects of DFU:

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by JorisVanEijden » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:50 am

I do see some advantages:
- no need to memorize all the syntax and verbs
- no need to guess or look up available monster types, spells, etc.
- access to additional "internal" properties for more fine grained control of quests
- limits you to constructions that work, meaning less experimenting with syntax
- more accessible to non-coders

And some disadvantages:
- Serializes to the json format you see in your savegame's QuestData.txt, not really readable.
- Tighter coupling to QuestMachine implementation means it needs to be maintained.
- Can quickly become a big spaghetti mess for more complicated quests.
- It takes a lot of work to build which can also be spent on fixing bugs.

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by Ferital » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:04 am

I think this a great idea, especially for non developers! I face a very similar problem at work: I work with researchers who happened to develop a quite powerful software for mechanical and structural engineers. Now, this application can only be controlled through Python scripts. And even if Python is a very easy language to learn, most engineers don't care as they are not developers and don't want to deal with a programming language. So, the solution we found is to provide exactly what Joris does here: a node editor letting them build their system and model, which generates a full Python script in the end.

Now, considering that Template is a much more ugly language than Python, I definitely agree an xNode based solution would be ideal for most DFU players wanting to make their own quests.

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by Kamer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:48 pm

I'll be honest, this look scary as hell. Def wouldn't use myself. If it gets more people to write quests then I'm for it.

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by hello » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:08 pm

would definitely play around with it and check if im any good at making quests.

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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by jayhova » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:43 am

I like the idea of having a thing that allows you to visually assemble a quest. It would be great if it then allowed you to see the code generated by doing this. Something like that is very helpful to me. I like visual HTML generators that output code that I can then see and play with the see what changes then happen.
Remember always 'What would Julian Do?'.
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Re: Visual Quest Editor

Post by Dalebvr » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:45 am

Anyone who has delved into the shader tree system they use in Poser would eat this for breakfast (or flee in terror, depending), and it would be a good way to permit those who don't have a coder's touch to get in on the fun. I agree with Jayhova, having an option to see the code output would be a way to aid those who can write stories to get a grasp on a new language format.

If you proceed with this, I would suggest finding out if Xnode supports capsulizing subroutines (allowing the user to turn a minor pile of spaghetti into a nice, neat node that could be archived and reused easily. It would also reduce the congestion). Scaling the node field would also be a nice option, as the bigger your monitor, the more you can display at a readable font.

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