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Request ROL Quest Vault Compatibility

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I think it would be great if we were able to produce quests that are ROL compatible. I really think that the app has made my collection hit the table a lot more often as I usually play with my son (only 2 of us) and I don't really want him to have to contend with my evil ways. Furthermore, asking him to control several characters is also a consideration. 

Let's hope they will consider it. 

 

Ceazor

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It would be great if FFG released a Road to Legend quest/campaign editor system, however don't underestimate how complicated it is to generate AI content...

Producing quests for Overlord play using the Quest Vault is pretty simple, you're just drawing your map and adding some text explanations (although doing it well is a bit more difficult). But creating a quest for an AI app like RtL or Valkyrie requires all of that PLUS coding the interactions for everything you see, as well as all the stuff behind the scenes like monster activations, counters, timers, exploration etc... And tying multiple quests together into a campaign requires an enormous amount of work.

If you're experienced playing both ways (Overlord and coop with the App) you'll know how different the format is between the two - there's a LOT of small (and some large) differences between how the quests/campaigns actually work, enforced by the fact that Descent was not initially designed to be played with an App. Having done some work on The Shadow Rune Project and also a bit of my own stuff with Valkyrie, there's stuff that you just don't think about in an Overlord setting that requires pretty complex handling in an app environment...

Granted, Valkyrie's quest editing system is not particularly polished, and I'm sure some of the stuff that's a pain to do in Valkyrie might not be so difficult with a different system - but coding limitations aside, generating AI content is still incredibly complicated...

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On 1/8/2019 at 6:01 AM, Xyphistor said:

It would be great if FFG released a Road to Legend quest/campaign editor system, however don't underestimate how complicated it is to generate AI content...

I don't think it would be that complicated.

Most monsters already have their "AI Cards" bundled. All you need to do is specify which monster group. May be add specific "actions cards" for some quests and lieutenants, but that's about it.

There is no need to add "user AI" for something like this.

Here's about 90% of the things required:

-Intro Text
-Intro Map
-Triggers

  • On start
  • On monster group defeated
  • On interacting with tokens

-Tokens on map

  • Text
  • Potential buttons (which can be triggers)

-Triggers functions

  • Add monster group
  • Reveal map portion
  • Show Text
  • Reveal more tokens
  • Go to next map (restart to intro)
  • End the quest

-Perils

I'm not even sure if there are specific perils for some quests or they are all the same.


Then if you want to go on Campaigns, you need to add branching and potential sidequests. You could go into city events. These are basically all text-based. Easy to do.

I don't see anything hard in there. The functionalities are already all there, and if it's well done, it should be easy to add. The biggest problem is handling the "marketplace" and how to add/download/vote these quests/campaigns.

I don't even see the downside, as custom campaign using expansions could even potentially boost sales from their own.

Edited by Amuny

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Delphi, myself and others spend significant amounts of time converting quests of the Shadow Rune campaign to RtL style quests using Valkyrie. I can assure you that it is a significant effort to get even one encounter into a shape that is technically sound, interesting, challenging and fun to play. We are talking about 5-10 hours+ to get one encounter done.

Edited by Sadgit

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Amuny I think you are not on the same level as Xyphistor, Sadgit and the like (me included 😉) ...

Indeed when they(we) hear Custom Quests and RtL we think to Quests / Campaigns like the ones on the Boxes .. try just to make a Quests like "A Fat Gobelin" (Shadow Rune) or "Rise of Urthko" (Heirs of Blood) on RtL and you will see that your triggers are not enought to give and imply a goal to the monsters ! they are design for a human OL and so the mechanics are not easily converted to AI !

Of course on the RtL Campaigns it's easier ... and yes FFG could do a Quest editor for RtL ... but I'm afraid that the texts put aside it will end to be similar quests like you hinter :
- open door / reveal map with tokens and monsters
- once monsters are dead and a new door opened... return to previous step
It's a little bit overdone, probably ... but with simple triggers I don't think you could create the diversity of Quests that has been done with the Existing Quest Vault !?


There will always be people to like going through the same process a lot of times ... but for me I will do these type of Quests once perhaps twice ... but not more ! 😉

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22 hours ago, Felin said:

Indeed when they(we) hear Custom Quests and RtL we think to Quests / Campaigns like the ones on the Boxes .. try just to make a Quests like "A Fat Gobelin" (Shadow Rune) or "Rise of Urthko" (Heirs of Blood) on RtL and you will see that your triggers are not enought to give and imply a goal to the monsters ! they are design for a human OL and so the mechanics are not easily converted to AI !

I don't think the goal should be to convert existing quest into RtL format, but to allow completely new custom Quests *designed for AI*.

My point was more about a simple and efficient tool to help design fan-made RtL content, not convert existing quests, that as you perfectly said, are designed with the idea of an overlord behind it.

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13 hours ago, Amuny said:

My point was more about a simple and efficient tool to help design fan-made RtL content

I think that if FFG were able to release a 'simple and efficient' quest generation tool then the reality would probably be somewhere half-way between our views and yours Amuny.

A lot of the pain with the Valkyrie work of Delphi, Sadgit, myself and others is probably due to the editing environment which frankly isn't very user-friendly... I suspect the quest creation tools which FFG use internally to generate RtL content are probably much more sophisticated (as some of the images in this article suggest).

However, even taking out the complexity of actually coding the backend, there are a couple of things which you gloss over in your first post above...

1) As you say, your list probably does contain 90% of the things required for a single quest - although implementing that list is still quite a few hours work. But the remaining 10% is going to be the complicated bit, if you want to do anything clever/special with your quest.

2) Generating a whole new campaign setting is not straightforward. Thinking about it, I actually doubt that that functionality would be made available in an RtL Quest editor at all - most likely you would have one of the existing map settings (probably the basic Rise of All Goblins/Kindred Fire one with Arhynn) and fit your quests into that structure. It would also be necessary for it to be integrated with the existing travel events and side quest system (as all current RtL campaigns are), because the amount of content you need to generate for those aspects is massive. (For reference, the Travel Events text file the guys put together for The Shadow Rune Valkyrie implementation is 2,847 lines long just for the events structure (without any of the text))... So I guess if there was a streamlined campaign editor which just allowed you to insert quests into it, that would be pretty straightforward. But if you wanted to do anything novel in your campaign (like the new town stuff in the Embers of Dread campaign) I have no idea how the implementation of something like that could be done easily.

Assuming that the quest/campaign generation tool handles all of that, and has enough flexibility to do what people want, then I agree the challenge for FFG would be managing the library of user-made quests/campaigns. That would be their problem though 😛

And I also agree that it would be a massive boost to FFG sales to have something like this - if they can figure out how to make a robust, flexible quest/campaign editor then it's a license to print money - they can just sit back and let the fans generate new content for them.

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Xyphistor's answer is pretty much dead-on. Just to add my 2 cents:

If FFG ever released something akin to a RtL quest builder, it would most likely be for single encounter one-off quests. As already laid out, building a campaign structure is pretty complex, and custom campaigns simply won't have the refinement and graphical fidelity of FFG campaigns from a quality standpoint.

One thing I could imagine though, would be to have curration system. Using this, FFG could perhaps take the top rated quests, improve them up to their standards, and then add them as side quests for regular campaigns.

Sadly, I don't think any of this will ever happen with RtL, as it would require a somewhat dedicated support team (which of course costs money), and I believe that Descent is too late in it's lifecycle for them to start this kind of experiment.

That said, user generated content definitively is something, that increases the lifetime (and with that sales) of a game. If FFG would have thought otherwise, they wouldn't have created the quest vault in the first place. On the other hand, that was a long time ago, and their perspectives might have changed, for which the seemingly abandoned quest vault could be an indication.

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I wouldn't rule this out for D3E. Valkyrie has taken off pretty well for MoM2E, proving that their is demand. D3E will need something to differentiate it, and this is a nice draw card.

As has been stated a few times, there is a big jump between doing a quest and doing a campaign. Even a single quest is significant work with the best of tools.

Some more insight on the complications are available here:

 

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I'm not, it isn't a good idea. Valkyrie was intentionally designed so that those making quests don't even need Unity, let alone additional expensive third party add ons. A graphical layout of connect events may be added to the existing editor, and other improvements are continually being made.

PS: Just FYI I am not currently an active Valkyrie developer, but there is a great team working on it.

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