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Development recruitment?

Discussion in 'Gaias Retaliation ORPG' started by Jumbo, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Hello Zwiebelchen. I wonder if you have considered recruiting someone to help you with the more tedious parts of development. I know you have had limited success recruiting anyone over the past 5 years or so of development, but maybe if Patreon/PayPal donations were set up again you could hire someone to do the more tedious parts of development for payment. For instance, if you prefer working on D4 you could pay someone with donation money to add new spells or vice versa. All of this being designed 100% by you and then simply implemented by them.

    I personally dont have time to learn a proper level of coding, but I (and surely others) would be willing to donate a small amount for something like this. I'm sure there are many talented coders on Hive that would be interested if they received payment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  2. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    Doesn't work. Teaching someone to do it takes longer than doing it myself. And all good coders have their own projects.
     
  3. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Seriously? All the good coders have projects even if they can earn some money and lots of community love from helping Gaias ? It should be possible to get a good coder to help if they see it as a side job instead of as their hobby.
    What if for instance you asked a good coder to make all new class abilities (2 for each class) for 100-150 dollars? We could easily donate such an amount in the community I'm sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  4. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    If I am going to get paid, I will prefer it to be something I can add to my portfolio. A warcraft 3 map isn't one of those things. Also, since things in wc3 modding typically don't have a proper framework, this means that working on wc3 maps professionally is literally more painful than any other proper job. If I am employed to work on a project based in the spring framework in Java, for example, I know what kind of knowledge I need and how the framework works.

    Theoretically, if Zwiebelchen employs me to work on his map, I have no fucking idea how any of the systems work and interact, and I have to go through all the code to gain understanding, at which point IT IS NOT WORTH THE MONEY.

    So why would anyone do something that
    1) requires more work
    2) doesn't reward more
    3) isn't worth anything in a portfolio
    4) does not provide real world work experience

    If someone's bad enough they can't land a SE/programmer job, then chances are, they'll suck at writing jass code for this map, as well. If they are, why would they ever choose to do this?

    This isn't meant to be an attack on Zwiebelchen's map, his project's bad structure that takes ages to learn isn't the product of him being bad at this, but because wc3/jass are shit at providing a good framework to work with, and also his project is huge.
     
  5. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Thanks for the answer HT. It makes sense on the one hand. Though, honestly speaking, most Wc3 projects are extremely ambitious and just die out after a few years. This is a waste of time since we have amazing, working, projects like Gaias. I fail to see why everyone wants to reinvent the wheel of RPGs in Wc3 when Zwiebelchen and a few others already invented the formula 1 car years ago. All these trashy projects over the years have taught their developers a lot, I'm sure, but why not learn whilst contributing to a quality product that is already being played by a community of around 1.000 players instead of throwing all that good work in the bin? The latter could be so much more rewarding with people actually appreciating one's efforts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  6. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    Because wacraft 3 projects are a shit framework to have multiple people work on them unless the roles are highly segregated. There are some solutions for this development-related issue, for example, wurst fixes this by creating a github-oriented work environment and generation of object data through code and automatic indexing, as well as a map file that's mostly unrelated to code and obj data (so terrainers can work without caring about compiling the map's script), so it is possible for two (or 20) developers to work on a well structured project and track changes and bugs easily.

    But since most projects aren't using this framework, that means that they're stuck with multiple people who have to work directly on the map, which is more trouble than it is worth, and Zwiebelchen is well aware of this.

    I wasn't even aware that wc3 development had this problem until I started working with people on real world projects that require everyone to contribute simultaneously without affecting the other person's work unintentionally, under a single framework.

    To answer your question, two people who randomly start working on different highly ambitious projects aren't just going to join forces to create something better because they both have the same role, and the lack of any framework makes it impossible for them to effectively work on something together.

    Every project needs 1 leader, not 10. And everyone who works directly on the map is a leader, terrainer, object data editor, etc, in how wc3 development is designed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  7. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    If Zwiebelchen takes a break from development (which he does occasionally) it will work well. Especially if he tells an experienced coder something like: "look, you need to make x ability with y and z properties".
    Since this is a hobby, people are never working full time and so it is possible to work on the same file but at different times. This could easily double development speed in certain periods of otherwise inactivity. I realise that on a full time gaming development job this would not be the case at all, but in the casual 'when I feel like it' kind of environment things are different.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the TKoK team have a lot of success working together?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  8. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    What you don't realize is that if one person at a time is working on the project, they all need to both be on the same page in terms of what needs to be done, and track and document changes carefully, and also Zwiebelchen needs to give detailed instructions... at which point, as he said, he can just implement those things himself. The problem of multiple people working directly on the map is not just timing-related, it is related to what aspects of the map are changed in general.

    And everything you suggest is an extremely hacky approach that shouldn't be applied to a healthy project of any sort.

    I don't think you yet realize that while this is a hobby, it can take more work than most real work, because of how shit wc3 framework is for doing anything. This map isn't some random stuff thrown together, it has so many interdependent factors it's insane. Adding additional systems requires the full knowledge of all things that can interact with it. Changing already established code without understanding of why it is the way it is can lead to chaos, too.

    This really isn't about whether it's possible to pull this off with multiple people - it definitely is. It's just stupid to do it, for multiple reasons, and it requires a special type of masochism.
     
  9. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    I get that when it comes to introducing advanced new features and systems. But mundane slave labour work (which I have helped with in Gaias on a spell a while ago) should be possible, adding stuff inside the existing framework. I know that Wc3 editor is a pain and you have to do a lot of time consuming things manually, which are exactly perfect for an assistant to work on while the proper developer does the interesting stuff. Zwiebelchen knows exactly what features the map badly needs at the moment (look at his latest public poll) and those different features are easily separable - spells, new bosses/zones, items. Because of this, Zwiebelchen can tell an assistant to work on X spell within a given deadline. If the guy explains to Zwiebelchen exactly how the spell was made, I fail to see how it would not boost development speed. What I'm saying here is that if a bug is found, the development log made by the assistant will quickly explain how the spell was made and thus how it can be bugged. No need for a long back and forth between Z and assistant here. It only works if documentation is strictly provided by the assistant. Also, like I said teamworking seemed to work well for TKoK team.


    I don't question your points at all, actually I agree with them (I have also spent countless hours in World Editor since 2002 so, even as GUI noob, I know what you mean), but it still seems to me that a middle ground is possible, and ultimately more fruitful, generally speaking. You are the pro at this though, so I can't really pretend to know better. The only reason I have for questioning the complete validity of your statement is the evidence provided by great WC3 maps being made by team effort.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  10. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    HappyTauren basicly answered this question in detail. And yes, that's pretty much the problem here.


    The thing is: If I could ever turn back time and start over in 2009, chances are I would take a much different approach to game design.
    There is a lot of stuff in this map that was never meant to be designed for future changes. And I changed up A LOT of things over the years. This resulted in some weird and unusual quirks in the whole structure of the map's design. Don't get me wrong: the internal systems of this map have changed over the years. A lot of refactoring and restructuring has been done behind the scenes over the last years, but there is still a lot of stuff where I'm asking myself: 'What the hell was a thinking when I made this?' - and unfortunately, this even includes things like spell and status effects. Add to this the many weird quirks and workarounds that WC3 still needs to this day to properly function (like its dependency on abusing bugs to manipulate object data).

    One of the latest changes to the game was moving away from hardcoded debuffs and buffs and moving to a modular status effect approach. This led to me having to rebuild almost all of the existing spells and abilities in the game. It's a lot better and allows me to code spells a hell of a lot faster and with less bugs in them, but it's still not good enough to allow other people to code spells for me that will just work without the knowledge of many of the internal systems.

    If I were to start over, I would take a behaviour based approach to spells and change weapon attacks and spell effects into a unified structure instead of having them two completely different things.
    If I were to start over, I would make hero design completely modular and interchangable.
    If I were to start over, I would make items and loot auto-generated by an algorithm, instead of hand-made.
    If I were to start over, I would get rid of all the weird extra systems like souls and the archive and instead just extend the inventory by moving to a custom made inventory system.

    And here's the thing: If I were to start over, I would probably not start over.
    I outgrew WC3 mapping. Too many roadblock limitations, too many issues with bugs that are still not fixed until this day. Blizzard Classic promised us the world and never delivered. And I'm tired of waiting.

    And the thing is: all the issues of WC3 mapping are fixed in SC2. At first I thought it was way to complicated to use, so I never picked it up. But now I know that the things that made SC2 modding complicated are also its biggest strengths: It's made by professionals. And professionals use professional tools.


    Players have a weird view on what mapping for Gaias is like. It's not the creation process that takes time. It's fixing all the weird bugs and issues. Creating a new spell or mobs takes only an hour or two, including the testing. I could probably rush out new content in a couple of days if I wanted to. The problem is: that would mean all the bugs would remain unfixed. And I have a 3 pages list of bugs to squash first. This is what takes time. Not creating content. And it's also the thing that is most demotivating for me.
    The whole design of Blackfire annoys the shit out of me. It's literally hacks upon hacks upon hacks. It's cool in the way that it is unique and hasn't been done in this level of quality for WC3 before. But in the end its still grounded in a pile of bugs that were never meant to be in the game in the first place.
    Many of the current bugs in the game are somehow related to Blackfire Deep. Part of me just wants to get rid of it entirely, but its too much fun to remove it completely. So I'm thinking of ways to fix these bugs without closing off that section of the game entirely. Or maybe I will. I don't know. The whole design of Keystones is fucked and annoys the shit out of me. I want to discard them so bad, but I can't, since its an integral part of the design.
    And then there's the eternal problem of the purpose Blackfire Deep: It devaluates the current game content. There are just so many problems with it:
    - It's currently THE way of getting legendaries
    - ethereals completely remove the challenge of it
    - the leveling curve is pretty boring until level 25 when advanced abilities become available
    And I'm not sure how to solve all that

    And then theres also that part of me that just wants to create a new map and a new game, possibly using all the art assets I made for Gaias. Something smaller and better. With a design at a much better work-input-fun-output ratio. A tactical RPG similar to D:OS with turn based combat and randomized loot. Or a single player dungeon crawler based on the Dungeon & Dragons ruleset with an interesting story.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  11. Jumbo

    Jumbo

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    Aight. This makes a lot of sense. Objectively speaking (yeah, I dare to make such a claim) it would be a futile effort to start a new map in WC3 due to the limitations in the game/editor, as you already mentioned. But also because WC3 is old as hell and many things only look good from a nostalgia point of view. If you were ever to start over, I would suggest another game. I really hope you won't make turn based as those systems have the problem of always ending up with 100% playstyles. Without the realtime element, human error is not a factor and hence you can simply memorize the best way to play in every situation and execute it perfectly as well. This is a problem in everything from HoMM games to Hearthstone. Also, and this is more a personal opinion, I hope it will be multiplayer as playing together with other people is both lots of fun and further increases the chance of unexpected outcomes instead of constant metagamed control. Note how successful a project like Curse of Tristram has become in SC2, by the way.

    Returning to Gaias, I just hope that D4 will be completed. It would be a well-deserved ending to the best map ever made in WC3 (no competition whatsoever in its genre). Story will be complete, a full story from lvl 1 to post-50 endgame will be in and all of the mentioned problems of BF gear will become obsolete as better endgame gear is released.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  12. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    I will make several severe changes to Blackfire Deep soon. In a way, it's gonna get nerfed hard. But it will allow me to fix some of the issues I have with its design. Keystones and ethereals will probably get changed a lot because of that. But it's a necessary change to handle the issues the Gaias has currently.
     
  13. VakarlanS

    VakarlanS

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    SeemsGood