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ErikH2000
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icon We Don't Need No Stinking Preambles. (+4)  
There's no time for preambles (pre-ambulating?). I've got so much important DROD stuff to talk about this month, it would be a crime to waste one millisecond of your precious attention span on pseudo-relevancies.

Journey's End Released

We took forever to get this latest Smitemaster's Selection out the door, but now it is posted on CaravelNet for all members to download. Journey's End includes two outstanding holds with great puzzles, story, and voice acting. Larry Murk brings us Master Locks, which is set just before Beethro reaches the infamous Rooted Hold. As Beethro solves the three locks, he will discover evidence of the Empire's beginnings. Smitemastery 101 is Jacob Grinfeld's much-anticipated introductory hold for children, newbies, and the less-determined. Towards the end of this hold, you will hear a song that gives important advice about choosing a name for your sword.

There's three ways to get Journey's End:
included with a CaravelNet membership
with a Smitemaster's Selection download credit
on a Smitemaster's Selection CD with other nifty bonus material

CaravelNet is Changing

Yes, we are going to change it. That weirdly complex thing we call "CaravelNet" is morphing once again. Why does it have to change all the time? CaravelNet is highly experimental. There is no equivalent in the world of online gaming services, and we are figuring out many things for the first time. We are encouraging you to participate in this experiment with us, but it's our duty to give you an easy way out if things aren't going how you want. So keep in mind, as I discuss the dramatic changes that are coming, that a no-questions-asked refund is available for the following people:

* CaravelNet members may receive a full refund for any membership purchased before 3/31/2007 which has not come to an end.
* Smitemaster's Selection CD subscribers may receive a refund for any Selection CD purchased before 3/31/2007 which has not yet been shipped.
* Smitemaster's Selection download credit owners may receive a refund for any download credit purchased before 3/31/2007 which has not been redeemed for a Selection.

Although the refund only applies to purchases made before 3/31/2007, there is no deadline for when you can claim this refund. E-mail erikh@caravelgames.com if you would like a refund or have any questions about how it works.

Is your attention span still intact? Let's talk about what is changing.

CaravelNet Will Not Include Smitemaster's Selections

Smitemaster's Selections will be sold separately as individual products, and will no longer be automatically given to CaravelNet members. That's going to sound immediately tragic to almost everyone who has a CaravelNet membership now, but relax! All current CaravelNet members will be given Smitemaster's Selection download credits that provide the equivalent of four Smitemaster's Selections per membership. So you will get the same number of Selections either way. Also, you won't need to worry about getting less Selections due to Caravel releasing them late.

Unlinking Smitemaster's Selections from CaravelNet allows us to be more flexible with release schedules. We might put out two Selections in one quarter, and wait a half year before releasing the next. Selections won't get rushed out before they are ready. We won't be forced to drop other important projects to get a Selection released.

Smitemaster's Selections Will Get Better

The DROD 3.0 engine has been vastly improved to support all the storytelling we've packed into our upcoming DROD: The City Beneath game. What will this mean for Smitemaster's Selections? Many of the limitations we worked with before will be gone. It will be possible, for example, to embed artwork for a special character into a hold. Branching plotlines, cut scenes, player accomplishment tracking, and many more features have been added to the engine. We can even have a Smitemaster's Selection where the main character is someone besides Beethro. Using the editor that comes with the DROD 3.0 engine, you can create holds that are a hybrid between puzzle-solving and adventure RPGs.

Now, the other thing that will make Smitemaster's Selections very interesting is our plans to release some of them simultaneously with one or two new elements added to the game engine. You will no longer need to patiently wait two years for a release of the next full-length DROD game to play with new monsters, traps, obstacles, and other gameplay devices. We'll start to see some Selections released that showcase new game elements added to the engine.

So there will be a lot of toys for you to play with this year. Speaking of which...

CaravelNet Will Get Better

Here is a list of confirmed new CaravelNet features that are already coded and working in the DROD 3.0 engine:

* Room styles can be embedded in holds and downloaded from CaravelNet. When a CaravelNet hold utilizing new room styles is downloaded in-game, DROD automatically downloads these published room styles through CaravelNet.
* A chat room screen, with in-game global and private chatting. Will forum posts go down as a result, I wonder?
* You can rate CaravelNet holds in-game.
* Inside the game, you can sort CaravelNet holds by rating, difficulty and number of votes received.

Schik has also been hard at work on an online multiplayer version of DROD in the style of our famous Smite to the Death contest. CaravelNet members will be able to control a swordsman in an arena full of other players via a web interface. The arenas will open this year, and then you can say goodbye to all your free time, because this thing is going to be very addictive.

Design a New DROD Interface

My sincere apologies to NiroZ for doing almost nothing to help bring people to his contest. Thankfully, he did not need my help, and his interesting contest is alive with participation. As I write this incredibly late newsletter, you actually still have five days to create an entry and submit it to the contest. Yeah, it's not too late! Go check it out.

Contest info

Half-Illuminated

I'm going to leave February half-illuminated. March will have a proper, fully-fledged Illumination with a "Don't Ask" award, Contest Announcement, Topic Picks, and maybe even a Preamble. Heh. Or a Pre-ramble, in my case.

-Erik

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[Last edited by mrimer at 02-20-2007 05:38 AM]
02-20-2007 at 05:18 AM
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TripleM
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I think I'm going to have to rethink my 'I don't need Caravelnet, I only really want TCB anyway' plan.
Online multiplayer? Wow.
02-20-2007 at 05:24 AM
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Ravon
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As I read this, I literally jumped out of my chair, and cried out with excitement. Luckily, I was at home, in my room and didn't get any funny looks.

I am heartily looking forward to being creamed in multiplayer DROD.
02-20-2007 at 05:35 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:

Smitemaster's Selections Will Get Better
Branching plotlines, cut scenes, player accomplishment tracking, and many more features have been added to the engine. We can even have a Smitemaster's Selection where the main character is someone besides Beethro. Using the editor that comes with the DROD 3.0 engine, you can create holds that are a hybrid between puzzle-solving and adventure RPGs.

:thumbsup I take it that by branching plotlines you mean something similar to my 'Flags' feature request?

AND CUTSCENES!!! My life is complete!
quote:

Now, the other thing that will make Smitemaster's Selections very interesting is our plans to release some of them simultaneously with one or two new elements added to the game engine. You will no longer need to patiently wait two years for a release of the next full-length DROD game to play with new monsters, traps, obstacles, and other gameplay devices. We'll start to see some Selections released that showcase new game elements added to the engine.
Ah, so their more like expansion packs?

quote:

CaravelNet Will Get Better

* A chat room screen, with in-game global and private chatting. Will forum posts go down as a result, I wonder?
This will be interesting.

quote:

Schik has also been hard at work on an online multiplayer version of DROD in the style of our famous Smite to the Death contest. CaravelNet members will be able to control a swordsman in an arena full of other players via a web interface. The arenas will open this year, and then you can say goodbye to all your free time, because this thing is going to be very addictive.

Oh, god...

My life is no more.

quote:

Half-Illuminated

I'm going to leave February half-illuminated. March will have a proper, fully-fledged Illumination with a "Don't Ask" award, Contest Announcement, Topic Picks, and maybe even a Preamble. Heh. Or a Pre-ramble, in my case.


But master, how can we be only half enlightened? :lol

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02-20-2007 at 05:36 AM
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Syntax
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quote:
Ravon wrote:
Luckily, I was at home, in my room and didn't get any funny looks.

I got funny looks... bloody wireless access.
02-20-2007 at 05:38 AM
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eytanz
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quote:
NiroZ wrote:
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:

Smitemaster's Selections Will Get Better
Branching plotlines, cut scenes, player accomplishment tracking, and many more features have been added to the engine. We can even have a Smitemaster's Selection where the main character is someone besides Beethro. Using the editor that comes with the DROD 3.0 engine, you can create holds that are a hybrid between puzzle-solving and adventure RPGs.

:thumbsup I take it that by branching plotlines you mean something similar to my 'Flags' feature request?

AND CUTSCENES!!! My life is complete!



It's even better than it sounds, really. The improvement in the power of the engine from 2.0 -> 3.0 is comparable to the improvement from 1.6 -> 2.0.

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02-20-2007 at 05:40 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
eytanz wrote:
It's even better than it sounds, really. The improvement in the power of the engine from 2.0 -> 3.0 is comparable to the improvement from 1.6 -> 2.0.


AH! Quit hyping it up already, I'm excited enough as it it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and I think I need to take exclamation mark rehab!!!!!

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02-20-2007 at 05:46 AM
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DGM
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
I'm going to leave February half-illuminated. March will have a proper, fully-fledged Illumination with a "Don't Ask" award, Contest Announcement, Topic Picks, and maybe even a Preamble. Heh. Or a Pre-ramble, in my case.

-Erik


I feel cheated. I want my inane ramblings, damn it! :P

Seriously, though, how will the multiplayer work when you're down to the last 2 or 3 players? I can see a Beethro vs. Slayer dynamic - where neither side can finish off the other - popping up very frequently between skilled players.


EDIT: One other question. Will we be able to get older Selections that we missed?

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[Last edited by DGM at 02-20-2007 06:06 AM]
02-20-2007 at 06:03 AM
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Syntax
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I need help on leve 3 with the snake. Please PM me if you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEAH!!!

(Im NeW by the w a y!)

YEAH!!!

[EDIT]

Oh right... thought it said is "Stick in some ramblings" ;)
02-20-2007 at 06:10 AM
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DGM
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quote:
Syntax wrote:
Oh right... thought it said is "Stick in some ramblings" ;)


Thank you, that... doesn't make me feel any better, actually. :rolleyes :D

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02-20-2007 at 06:16 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
DGM wrote:
Seriously, though, how will the multiplayer work when you're down to the last 2 or 3 players? I can see a Beethro vs. Slayer dynamic - where neither side can finish off the other - popping up very frequently between skilled players.


Considering 'Smite to the death' had people play 'rounds' of 5 moves, I think that that problem won't come up.

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02-20-2007 at 06:50 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
Design a New DROD Interface

My sincere apologies to NiroZ for doing almost nothing to help bring people to his contest. Thankfully, he did not need my help, and his interesting contest is alive with participation. As I write this incredibly late newsletter, you actually still have five days to create an entry and submit it to the contest. Yeah, it's not too late! Go check it out.

Contest info

I know. There isn't even a bit of scrolling text!

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02-20-2007 at 06:51 AM
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Syntax
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
* A chat room screen, with in-game global and private chatting. Will forum posts go down as a result, I wonder?

------------------------------------------

Schik has also been hard at work on an online multiplayer version of DROD in the style of our famous Smite to the Death contest. CaravelNet members will be able to control a swordsman in an arena full of other players via a web interface. The arenas will open this year, and then you can say goodbye to all your free time, because this thing is going to be very addictive.
-Erik

Brilliant post... however just a quick opinion, if I may, on the 2 points above.

I like this forum. Actually, I love this forum. It's the only thing which keeps me from playing DROD. Will this be a "Send message" -> "Appears as PM" or will it be Ajax style live chat (with SDL interface or whatever is required)? It's a brilliant concept and am sure it will work really well... I just want to cast a small shadow of doubt. When there are highscores and an online community, chat could become a corruptable tool. I dunno...

Maybe I'm just scared of change. After all, when VodkaAndCoke plays, I'll talk to her. Mostly though, we're all geeks locked in our bedrooms who maybe only want to chat in slow-motion ;) Hope the forums survive this change...

As for the second point... Well, I was very surprised the first time I read that. By the eighth time I read it, I got suprisingly bored of reading, yet still surprised. Sounds amazing. Sounds plausible. And knowing Caravel, will no doubt work just fine.

Definitely great concepts, and huge steps to take. They will no doubt boost the community and become as necessary as the high scores, demos, move counter, SmS concept, forum smileys, H&S' new button, hold art and everything else to do with DROD.

Personally, I cannot wait, yet not with perfect peace of mind.
02-20-2007 at 06:52 AM
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Oh boy!

First I check the forum and find a new Illumination before receiving it via email. Already I'm glad I checked. It feels good to be part of something. As this is the only forum I post in, this is big for me.

I'm excited enough watching the bar inch closer to 100%, and I can't help but think it is very, very, extremely, utterly close now. These new features sound great! And the new SmSs... I'm so busy this week, and then going on a vacation, the timing couldn't be worse, in a good way. ;)

Let me at it!

One issue: I hope someone is testing TCB with Windows Vista. Not that DROD:JtRH has had any problems, but...

BbJ

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[Last edited by bflatjeff at 02-20-2007 07:18 AM]
02-20-2007 at 07:14 AM
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Maurog
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Amazing news! And there's so many new features, it's scary.

Ooh, Master Locks comes in two different difficulties?

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02-20-2007 at 07:18 AM
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BDR
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:yahoo:

Not much else to say beyond that. I especially like the SMS structure changes; they will give me (and other newer users) a chance to catch up on what I've (they've) missed so far.
02-20-2007 at 07:33 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
Syntax wrote:
Brilliant post... however just a quick opinion, if I may, on the 2 points above.

I like this forum. Actually, I love this forum. It's the only thing which keeps me from playing DROD. Will this be a "Send message" -> "Appears as PM" or will it be Ajax style live chat (with SDL interface or whatever is required)? It's a brilliant concept and am sure it will work really well... I just want to cast a small shadow of doubt. When there are highscores and an online community, chat could become a corruptable tool. I dunno...


As for the second point... Well, I was very surprised the first time I read that. By the eighth time I read it, I got suprisingly bored of reading, yet still surprised. Sounds amazing. Sounds plausible. And knowing Caravel, will no doubt work just fine.


Yeah, it is scary. Lets hope that the forum etiquette transfers over to DROD chatrooms.

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A morning filled with 400 billion suns
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[Last edited by NiroZ at 02-20-2007 07:48 AM]
02-20-2007 at 07:45 AM
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Jason
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:surprise

Awesome! I can't believe this! Prepare to be bombarded with, umm, greckles!

:surprise



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[Last edited by Jason at 04-21-2007 12:24 PM]
02-20-2007 at 07:48 AM
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BDR
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IMO, the quality of the discussion anywhere depends entirely upon its participants. If the participants are of high quality, it doesn't matter what the medium of discussion is, since all participants will know/learn the rules of ettiquette and stick by them. Same for low quality participants, who will flaunt disrespect for the rules no matter where they are.
02-20-2007 at 07:49 AM
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Blondbeard
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The ones that will definitly profit from all of this is us losers that buys both SMS CDs and CaraveNet ;)

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02-20-2007 at 07:56 AM
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Briareos
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
CaravelNet Will Not Include Smitemaster's Selections

Smitemaster's Selections will be sold separately as individual products, and will no longer be automatically given to CaravelNet members. That's going to sound immediately tragic to almost everyone who has a CaravelNet membership now, but relax! All current CaravelNet members will be given Smitemaster's Selection download credits that provide the equivalent of four Smitemaster's Selections per membership. So you will get the same number of Selections either way. Also, you won't need to worry about getting less Selections due to Caravel releasing them late.

Sooo... is this a one-time only offer, or does this mean that instead of 4 fixed SMSes you'll get 4 credits per year of CaravelNet membership? And if this will happen just once - will the price for SMS holds stay at 9 USD?

Other than that - RELEASE TCB ALREADY!!!1oneone :lol

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02-20-2007 at 08:00 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
BDR wrote:
IMO, the quality of the discussion anywhere depends entirely upon its participants. If the participants are of high quality, it doesn't matter what the medium of discussion is, since all participants will know/learn the rules of ettiquette and stick by them. Same for low quality participants, who will flaunt disrespect for the rules no matter where they are.


I think that the medium does play some part into it. Chat rooms are alot easier to play 'hit and run' so to speak, and the comparative ability to communicate faster could mean people don't spend so much time thinking about what their just about to say. Plenty of times I have typed up a post, and then decided against posting it.

Then there is the fact that I severely doubt that the chatroom would have a rank point system, something that I reckon really improved the quality of the posts in general. (If you want to see for yourself, check posts before February 2004 and after.)

However, I would think that it really depends on how easily accessible the chatroom is. If it came packaged with TCB, the people many not have actually wanted it, thus wouldn't really care how they behave.

But anyway, I'm inclined to agree with syntax on this one, I trust that Caravel have already thought this one out thoroughly . (no pressure guys ;) )

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02-20-2007 at 08:03 AM
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DGM
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quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
The ones that will definitly profit from all of this is us losers that buys both SMS CDs and CaraveNet ;)


Don't you mean the winners that we losers are buying from? ;)

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02-20-2007 at 08:03 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
Briareos wrote:
Other than that - RELEASE TCB ALREADY!!!1oneone :lol

Considering that Erik is ready to spill the beans on all the groovy features, I'm fairly sure that it's release is just around the corner.

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02-20-2007 at 08:04 AM
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Syntax
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quote:
BDR wrote:
IMO, the quality of the discussion anywhere depends entirely upon its participants. If the participants are of high quality, it doesn't matter what the medium of discussion is, since all participants will know/learn the rules of ettiquette and stick by them. Same for low quality participants, who will flaunt disrespect for the rules no matter where they are.

Well... I almost agree. I agree totally that the quality of interaction is a direct consequence of the respect and understanding shown by the participants. Etiquette comes into that. As does politeness etc

However, the medium is *extremely* important and changes everything, hence my worry. If everyone on the forums met played DROD in a room and could only communicate face to face... well... I'm not sure I'd even know about DROD. I'm fine with verbal communication, but feel more relaxed with a keyboard. Optimising verbal speech is stressful.

The inverse exists too... I speak to people at work all day, say. They add me to MSN and there are a few people I have never said a word to. The medium just doesn't work in this case. Funny girl at work who makes everyone laugh. Brightens up our day. As soon as I see her on MSN I realise she uses old-skool txt abbrevs evryware.

The medium portrays her as someone I would probably not like to meet, and her jokes are so hard to read (for me) that I don't bother. If I did, the punchline would arrive so long after the initial joke that it would no longer be funny.

You must have a perception of me, for example. And me one of you. That is solely based on respectful and though-out posts we make on the forums.

The medium is important, and I'm just worried about the arrival of in-game chat as I personally prefer thought-out arguments by which I mean the real meaning of argument.

I would not like to see the following in my in-game DROD chatbox:
W000000T
Noo)B!!!!!11!!!!
Your mum
Who mine?????.//./
78 Ur3 pwned

I doubt that will happen lol but yeah... I'm just slightly apprehensive yet excited by the possibility.

[EDIT]

Post collision (though mine took a while). Agreement with NiroZ on this one :)

[Last edited by Syntax at 02-20-2007 08:09 AM]
02-20-2007 at 08:08 AM
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Kevin_P86
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icon Re: We Don't Need No Stinking Preambles. (0)  
I would say it's not too far off:

quote:
zex20913 wrote on February 18th:
Note: Mike just said that TCB is eleven days of work away.

:D


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02-20-2007 at 08:31 AM
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NiroZ
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quote:
Kevin_P86 wrote:
I would say it's not too far off:

quote:
zex20913 wrote on February 18th:
Note: Mike just said that TCB is eleven days of work away.

:D


I hope your right :D

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02-20-2007 at 08:52 AM
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TripleM
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Now that I've calmed down somewhat, I have one thing I just want a little clarification on.. I'm assuming the new additions to the editor will be available for free; its just that the Smitemaster's Selections will be using them / showing them off? Is that right?
02-20-2007 at 09:17 AM
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Schik
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icon Re: We Don't Need No Stinking Preambles. (+1)  
Gee, I'm glad there's no pressure on me to make sure this automated SttD doesn't suck.

:blink

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02-20-2007 at 11:53 AM
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zex20913
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icon Re: We Don't Need No Stinking Preambles. (0)  
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
*Lots of awesome stuff* player accomplishment tracking, *even more awesome stuff*


I love you.

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02-20-2007 at 11:54 AM
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