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ZC's future - the elephant in the room


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#1 James24

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:26 AM

I would appeal to everyone not to get emotional about this topic but its one that I feel we should have.  Please try your best to stay rational, calm and keep an open mind about this because its not going to be easy.

 

In recent years, there can be no doubt that there have been fewer quests made and fewer people coming to purezc.  Indeed, looking over the past few months we can see that very few quests are being made.  If the trend continues, and there's no reason to assume it won't, then it should become obvious what will happen.

 

For the record I will say that I've correctly predicted the "sales" outcome of Mike's Fun House and The Slipstream.  In addition, in real life I'm a wealthy and successful businessperson whose job it is to predict and forecast sales of certain products and improve their sell ability if possible.  So I've had no shortage of experience with these kinds of matters.  And I feel its my duty to speak out and inform the community of my expert opinion.

 

 Lets start by asking a fundamental question.  Why was Zelda Classic built?  It was built to make Zelda 1 quests that were really popular with the fanbase of its day.  And Phantom Menace did a fantastic job - Zelda Classic could do everything the NES Zelda quests could do and the author didn't have to learn 1 line of scripting.  The fanbase of its day LOVED NES Zelda quests and you could build your own in a very small amount of time and it would likely have a good fanbase when it was done.  In its day, Peteo's Mega-Man was the flagship quest and if you liked it you could theoretically build your own after modifying a lot of tiles.  All the tools were there for you to use and you didn't need any special know-how to do so.  Look at how well Mega-Man sold to the fanbase of its day - see all the 4 or 5 star ratings.

 

But lets just imagine that Phantom Menace had said.  "Oh well you know what guys, I'm too bothered to write this Manhandla boss".  If you want it, here's ghost.zh and you guys figure out how to script it and put it all together.  "Oh well you know what guys, I can't be bothered writing shutter doors, bomb-through walls or walk-through walls, but hey here's a scripting know-how manual and you can write a ffc script for it".  Can you imagine that?  Zelda Classic would have sunk right there and then like a lead stone.

 

Fact of the matter is that for every Evan, Russ, Avataro, Jamian and Mitsuraka who have successfully learnt how to script there are hundreds if not thousands of potential quest makers who are turned away by the very idea of having to spend 6 intensively months learning how to script even before making the first screen of their dream quest.  As they should rightly be.  Think of how much 6 months of work is worth - $20 - $25k if you went out to work a modest job.  From personal experience of having 0 knowledge of scripting I know that's how long it would take.

 

Is scripting necessary to make  "sell-quality" quest?  For today's fanbase you can bet your bottom dollar it is.  Where would IoR be without scripting?  Link and Zelda without one line of code?  Rite of the Storm without Avataro's know-how?  Even the modest Slipstream quest requires intense know-how of scripting.  Would they be selling right now if their authors had not taken the time to learn how to script?  I highly doubt it.  More recently there was South by Southrule by Flynn which I though was very good but it didn't sell because it was an old NES Zelda quest that had minimal if not 0 scripting.  Have a look at Mega-Man.  No scripting and it flops when trying to sell to today's fanbase.

 

If Zelda Classic is to have a large pool of quest makers once again then the scripting requirement for making "good" and "sellable" quests to today's fanbase MUST go.  It MUST.  6 months for a user to learn is too long.  The average quest maker wants to make their dream quest quickly and have it sell to today's fanbase with zero scripting effort.  If the average quest maker thinks they can't make their dream quest cheaply and have a modest chance of it selling then they simply won't bother with ZQuest and wait for the "pro" quest-devs to make something they like.

 

They want to make their IoR, their Link and Zelda, their Rite of the Storm without having to learn one line of code like the old ZC for Zelda 1 quests.  The current ZC needs to do just that.  But I think the task is too mammoth for the ZC devs to do something like this.  Phantom Menace only had one game that he had to emulate.  Modern Zelda has dozens of titles that Nintendo has produced over the years and for the devs to incorporate all the main features of them into ZC for the average user to use is too much to ask.  One only needs to follow their thoughts through to logical conclusion to see where this is all headed...

 



#2 Shane

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:35 AM

In recent years, there can be no doubt that there have been fewer quests made

This was literally debunked.

 

585 Total Quests (This list may be off by one or two, but [Anthus] tried to make it as accurate as possible)

34.41 Average per Year
Highest: 88 Quests in 2013
Lowest: 16 Quests in 2008
 
2018 - 22 |||||||||| |||||||||| ||
2017 - 31 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |
2016 - 36 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||
2015 - 38 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||
2014 - 68 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||
2013 - 88 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||
2012 - 32 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||
2011 - 29 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||
2010 - 24 |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||
2009 - 30 |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||||
2008 - 16 |||||||||| ||||||
2007 - 32 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||
2006 - 48 |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||
2005 - 22 |||||||||| |||||||||| ||
2004 - 28 |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||
2003 - 24 |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||
2002 - 17 |||||||||| |||||||

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#3 Zaxarone

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:41 AM

can we just, let people make what they want?


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#4 Shane

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:55 AM

To expand on the previous post in case people didn't check the link. Quest releases spike whenever there's a new ZC version. While 2.53 didn't have such a spike as it was just a nice needed upgrade from 2.50.2, 2.55 should have a spike that will see a lot of quests get released a year or so after.

 

To also imply you can only make Z1 clones without scripting also implies you're severely limited in creativity. There are a lot of neat things people did and can do without scripting, you're only limited to your own imagination. And besides, quests like The Hero's Memory and Golvellius la Quete du Second were all received quite well despite being Z1-esque. A lot of people just don't have time to see the same old classic looking Z1 clone, giving the impression that these sorts of quests don't do well. It all comes down to having good design at the end of the day, and/or sticking out from the crowd. Both things that don't require scripting.

 

To provide more quests that didn't script on their own, and used public resources and did really well in spite of that, here's a random list. Note that all of these were released when scripting was in high gear and some are pretty much top rated:

Second Chance / Necklace of Adrian by Joelmacool

The Legend of Amy Rose 3: Oracle of the Emerald by Eddy

Nostalrul by Einsiety

Lyrics of Death / The Remake by Luspeon and Shoshon the Elegant respectively

To The Top by TheOnlyOne

The Islands of Zelda by Lightwulf

 

Making the next big thing was always going to be hard with or without scripting. It takes a lot of creativity, experience, patience... if people are giving up that easily, they probably had no chance to begin with. It's always been like this, just now scripting has been introduced to make things more interesting. That's how it was, and that's how it is.

 

Rite of the Storm without Avataro's know-how? 

There's no denying Avaro helped make Rite of the Storm. But to say it was just him that made it is disingenuous and ignorant, and I'm sure my partner would fully agree. There was more beyond just scripting that made it what it was. We both worked as a team, the level design, ideas were both our efforts. We came up with them when discussing extensively, as he wrote scripts and helped with level design along with me, I helped make the graphics and wrote the story both of which were pointed out as positive things that made Rite of the Storm successful just as much as the scripts did. To imply otherwise really sheds light on your expertise. And not a positive light.

 

And the part I quoted isn't the only disingenuous thing about your opening post. Not only are you lying about quest releases dwindling, you also lied how Mike's Fun House fared. You literally were debating with 5 star reviewers. This feels like you're just reaching for yet another debate. It's just too bad it's not off to an honest start. And if that Discord discussion is anything to go by, you'll ignore all this and continue with your narrative that quests are dwindling, you're right on things, etc. And thus, this debate isn't worth having with you. I'm here to convince those that might buy into this narrative of yours and will gladly discuss things with them.


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#5 Einsiety

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:11 AM

Scripting isn't even close to a requirement. The features that are actually important are being implemented in 2.55 to my knowledge and there's already a dedicated community when it comes to the scripting side of things who can largely mitigate whatever large learning gap scripting has.

With all due respect though, if you can't be bothered to learn how to use premade scripts for things you actually want, then maybe you just weren't passionate enough to want to finish a project in the first place?

Another thing, the quest I'm working on is very script light and the one I made years ago are both explicitly Z1-esque. My old quest was incredibly well received and someone has even called it their favorite, and from what I've been told, there's a lot of excitement and support for my current quest.

The point of that humble brag is to debunk the theory that z1 style quests are poorly recieved. They aren't, quests are well recieved when people have fun playing them or hell, end up enjoying it because the community around the quest is good. At the end of the day, PureZC is about the community itself, and always has been.

And just real quick, just in case the reason you think there's less people is because people don't post on the forum, that's not ZC's fault, that's discord's.
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#6 venrob

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:47 AM

I would appeal to everyone not to get emotional about this topic but its one that I feel we should have.  Please try your best to stay rational, calm and keep an open mind about this because its not going to be easy.

K. Let's stay calm.

In recent years, there can be no doubt that there have been fewer quests made and fewer people coming to purezc.  Indeed, looking over the past few months we can see that very few quests are being made.  If the trend continues, and there's no reason to assume it won't, then it should become obvious what will happen.

See: Shane's post. This has been debunked. There was a SPIKE in quests on 2.50's release, as makes sense, as it added a bunch of new features. Since then there has not been another big release, so there has not been another spike, nor should one have been expected; the next time one might expect such is upon 2.55's release.

For the record I will say that I've correctly predicted the "sales" outcome of Mike's Fun House and The Slipstream.  In addition, in real life I'm a wealthy and successful businessperson whose job it is to predict and forecast sales of certain products and improve their sell ability if possible.  So I've had no shortage of experience with these kinds of matters.  And I feel its my duty to speak out and inform the community of my expert opinion.

Spoiler

Lets start by asking a fundamental question.  Why was Zelda Classic built?  It was built to make Zelda 1 quests that were really popular with the fanbase of its day.  And Phantom Menace did a fantastic job - Zelda Classic could do everything the NES Zelda quests could do and the author didn't have to learn 1 line of scripting.  The fanbase of its day LOVED NES Zelda quests and you could build your own in a very small amount of time and it would likely have a good fanbase when it was done.  In its day, Peteo's Mega-Man was the flagship quest and if you liked it you could theoretically build your own after modifying a lot of tiles.  All the tools were there for you to use and you didn't need any special know-how to do so.  Look at how well Mega-Man sold to the fanbase of its day - see all the 4 or 5 star ratings.

Keywords 'of it's day'. Times change.
Standards change, so even things which may have been considered good may not always be considered good. Key point, see NES games. At the time they were revolutionary. Now, compared to modern games, they lack many common features; not to say they aren't still good, but they are a completely different style. Comparing an NES game and a Switch game is absurd; they are non-comparable.

But lets just imagine that Phantom Menace had said.  "Oh well you know what guys, I'm too bothered to write this Manhandla boss".  If you want it, here's ghost.zh and you guys figure out how to script it and put it all together.  "Oh well you know what guys, I can't be bothered writing shutter doors, bomb-through walls or walk-through walls, but hey here's a scripting know-how manual and you can write a ffc script for it".  Can you imagine that?  Zelda Classic would have sunk right there and then like a lead stone.

Relevance? When have we done this with anything? At all?
Anything we have said "We aren't adding that to the engine, use a script" are things that cannot be reliably added to the engine; for instance, Z3 Scrolling requires custom handling of literally everything, as it entirely changes how everything works; to add that to the engine would require literally rewriting the entire engine. Such would take years and years to get done. In a few WEEKS, we can add features that make it easier for scripted Z3 scrolling to be made.
 
Ref: 2.50.2 (under different dev team): Sideview. Sideview was lacking in many basic features, most notably sideview ladders so that you can go up against gravity aside from jumping. This not being included in 2.50.2... well, I can't say why they didn't include it. If anything, I'd probably guess that they ran out of time before they wanted to release; do note that after this they abandoned the program entirely. As one of the CURRENT devs, aside Zoria as the only 2 active devs, I find the lack of sideview ladders ridiculous. ...Which is why I added them to the engine. As of 2.55, you no longer need scripting to do sideview ladders. Because I saw it and went "This is necessary". As a questmaker, I learned how to script BECAUSE of the lack of sideview ladders; it was important enough a feature to get me to use scripts. Such an important feature should be included. (See spoiler'd video for 2.55 sideview ladders)

Spoiler

Fact of the matter is that for every Evan, Russ, Avataro, Jamian and Mitsuraka who have successfully learnt how to script there are hundreds if not thousands of potential quest makers who are turned away by the very idea of having to spend 6 intensively months learning how to script even before making the first screen of their dream quest.  As they should rightly be.  Think of how much 6 months of work is worth - $20 - $25k if you went out to work a modest job.  From personal experience of having 0 knowledge of scripting I know that's how long it would take.

And how long does quest development take in general anyway? Developing a good quest takes time, regardless of if you use scripting or not. The database is full of scripts for those who don't want to write them themselves. There is a script requests forum for non-scripters to request scripts. There is a scripting channel in the PZC discord for script discussion. Hell, there are even basic scripts being included in 2.53 and 2.55 packaged with ZC, pre-set-up in the default quest file.

Personally, I learned scripting over time; I released LGA2 with minimal scripts, and they work pretty well for the quality of the quest. LGA3 I then created some more complex scripts, playing around with how to use it. Meanwhile, you can clearly see by looking at LGA3 that I can't draw tiles for shit. Making custom graphics or custom music is FAR more difficult than making custom scripts, to me. Emphasis: TO ME. I'm a computer science major, coding is my thing. (For the record it was NOT something I knew how to do much before starting ZScript; I learned ZScript before I went into proper coding classes, so I went in with very little coding experience). To draw custom tiles is one of the biggest things I struggle with. At that, a quest with AMAZING scripts would be considered bad if it had terrible graphics. "But wait, there are tilesets on the database!" you say? Well there are also scripts on the database, and music on the database. Hell, custom music isn't something I think I could even TRY to do! All of these things influence how good a quest is. 

Is scripting necessary to make  "sell-quality" quest?  For today's fanbase you can bet your bottom dollar it is.  Where would IoR be without scripting?  Link and Zelda without one line of code?  Rite of the Storm without Avataro's know-how?  Even the modest Slipstream quest requires intense know-how of scripting.  Would they be selling right now if their authors had not taken the time to learn how to script?  I highly doubt it.  More recently there was South by Southrule by Flynn which I though was very good but it didn't sell because it was an old NES Zelda quest that had minimal if not 0 scripting.  Have a look at Mega-Man.  No scripting and it flops when trying to sell to today's fanbase.

You can do plenty without scripting. Given, sometimes it is easier to do something with scripts than in the engine; or you can make something slightly smoother with a script than with the engine. Considering I know how to script pretty well, I'd much sooner script a cutscene than do it with warps,  moving FFCs, and such; but you still can do those things. A quest not having scripts does not automatically make it bad; a quest having bad/outdated design makes it bad. Not many well-designed quests don't use scripting, but that doesn't mean that a well-designed quest without scripting, making full use of everything the engine has to offer without scripting, couldn't be made. The enemy editor, item editor, and FFCs can do a LOT.

 

At that, if we look to the FUTURE here, 2.55 only adds MORE to the engine. See the sideview ladder video in the spoiler further up; those ladders are a placed flag. No scripts. The enemy editor can make large enemies. A lot of QRs for items are now flags, so you can have them be different for different levels of an item. New features have been added, too; you can make flippers able to be cancelled by pressing dive again while diving. You can make the dive last longer, or shorter, and the cooldown before diving again can also be adjusted. This then is per-item; so you could add a level 2 flippers that lets you dive for longer, or such, which was not doable without scripts in 2.50.2. The lens has customization options relating to what it reveals; you can even make it not reveal secret combos! You could make it so the lens only reveals lens-only FFCs + lens marker flags, if you want, allowing for much stricter control, and making it a better item. Also, in both 2.53 and 2.55, the bug allowing the lens to steal properties of other items (including sfx and magic cost) was fixed.

If Zelda Classic is to have a large pool of quest makers once again then the scripting requirement for making "good" and "sellable" quests to today's fanbase MUST go.  It MUST.  6 months for a user to learn is too long.  The average quest maker wants to make their dream quest quickly and have it sell to today's fanbase with zero scripting effort.  If the average quest maker thinks they can't make their dream quest cheaply and have a modest chance of it selling then they simply won't bother with ZQuest and wait for the "pro" quest-devs to make something they like.

I completely disagree. If you are willing to put the time into quest dev, you can make a good quest, regardless of scripting. What matters most is that the quest looks and feels good for it's target audience. Target audience, then, is also a keyword; some people like a really tough challenge, so high difficulty is something they enjoy, while others prefer an easier time; that is purely user preference. Quests of both types have their place. Not everything is for everyone, and everyone will always have their own opinions.

 

The thing I find odd here is that you say scripting takes forever to learn, and yet, you don't recognize the fact that a good quest can take far longer than that to make. It depends on the time you are willing to invest, and how you invest that time, as to how good your quest will be. If you half-ass it, it's going to be a bad quest. Even if you are a scripting expert using tons of scripts, if you half-ass it, it's going to be a bad quest.

 

The thing I find silly here is that you speak as though making a good quest can be done quickly. You talk like you'll just spend a couple weeks and make a masterpiece. Also, you talk as though you need to learn and understand every single thing in ZScript before you can write any scripts. One of the best ways to learn scripting, I find, is to write scripts and put them into practice, and see what it does. It is perfectly fine to learn scripting by making a quest and trying things out. To say that "learning scripting took 6 months" is silly; how long before you could write a simple script? Something like the Z2 auto-lantern (included script in Classic.zh for 2.53) is EXTREMELY basic, and I think even a beginner could have made something like that within a week or two; on the slow end. And you also act as though the script database doesn't exist; there are plenty of scripts available that can mostly just be plugged into a quest and work. Beyond that, there are places (Scripting Discussion / Script Requests, as well as channels in the PZC discord) where you can certainly ask for help, either with learning scripting, making a particular script, or asking someone to make a script FOR you to fulfill your idea.

I can't actually find the original thread... anywhere (maybe it was deleted?) but Sans requested a VERY complex script at one point- NOT one I would think a beginner could script well. Here is the result of him making a simple post in the thread, scripted for him within about 3-4 days: Wind Waker Stealth

They want to make their IoR, their Link and Zelda, their Rite of the Storm without having to learn one line of code like the old ZC for Zelda 1 quests.  The current ZC needs to do just that.  But I think the task is too mammoth for the ZC devs to do something like this.  Phantom Menace only had one game that he had to emulate.  Modern Zelda has dozens of titles that Nintendo has produced over the years and for the devs to incorporate all the main features of them into ZC for the average user to use is too much to ask.  One only needs to follow their thoughts through to logical conclusion to see where this is all headed...

We are adding what we can, and plenty of people are perfectly happy, even ELATED, at the new features of the incoming 2.55 version; both scripted and unscripted features. Again, see the sideview ladder; that was based directly off the mechanics in GB Link's Awakening, with a couple QRs to allow you to change some of how they work. Why don't you check out what we're adding, before spouting doomsday?


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#7 ZoriaRPG

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:54 AM

Preamble

Scripting isn't required to make a quest in the classic style, but it can be handy. I built and included Classic.zh specifically as an easy to use way for people who don't script to add some modern effects to classic quests. All that the user needs to do is copy an ffc icon from a swatch on map 0, screen 0x82, and paste it anywhere else in the game environment to add that script to the screen.

 

The basic examples are a chain of scripts for Z1 bosses to play boss music, explode the boss, and drop the Triforce piece.

 

I scripted and included new items and enemies are scripted, too, and built into the Classic tileset. They are simple enhancements that do not need to be hardcoded in the game engine.

 

Examples:

 

Magic Map, Compass, Bosskey : Same as normal items, but work in all dungeons, like the Magic Key.

Scrolls, such as Learn Slash, so that you can place 'slash' as an item upgrade.

 

None of this interferes with making a quest in the NES style, and it is all specifically designed for that application.

 

 

Script Complexity; the End-User Perspective

To be frank, the issue of complexity with scripts, and the difficulty that end users have in using them in quests, is a problem of their limited implementation in 2.50.x.

 

In versions before 2.55, if you wanted to make an enemy script, you needed global headers, ffcs, and bizarre mechanics to copy over behaviour between the npc sprite and your scripts. In general, this meant a massive global system, plus ffc scripts, plus configuration that was not at all spelt out in the ZQuest GUI.

 

In 2.55, the exact behaviour for such an enemy script is contained in one file, usually 1/4 the length or smaller than whatever you needed before, and set directly in the Enemy Editor, with visible purpose strings for what each editor arg that you are using for the script actually do.

 

Modules allow you to predesign scripted systems that are completely invisible to the user, too.

 

In short, the complexity involved with using scripts before, is mostly a non-issue now. Other game engines absolutely require you to learn a scripting language (e.g. Lua), to do literally anything, and they supply packages of enemies, characters, weapons and whatnot purely in the form of scripts. In ZC, you now have the option to do that too, but you can use default properties as well.

 

 

Modular Design

I think that one of the fundamental design differences between ZC and other engines like Solarus or RPGMaker, is that the main interface does not require anything coded by the end-user, but it allows plug and play modules and scripts that the end-user can utilise, and combine in any way that they want.

 

Likewise, 2.55 allows appending ASM scripts for all of these sprite types and other new types, so a properly designed module will include not only the script basecode, but also precompiled ZASM scripts and now object files such as .zitem and .znpc, to allow integrating them individually as desired anywhere.

 

 

Engine Legacy Compatibility; Expansion

One of the greatest benefits of extension to the engine by scripting, is that we can add features via modules without gigantic rewrites and alterations to the ZCengine basecode, that could, and likely would make earlier quests unplayable.

 

Scripting is simply a cleaner interface for changes to the functions of the game engine, and it allows code insertion both by end-users and developers alike.

 

 

Who Are the Users?

On the topic of who is targeted as a userbase: ZQ/ZC now allows any sort of target. The Zelda Classic Module allows easy creation of Z1 style quests. The RPG Module that I'm writing allows all GUI-driven creation of Dragon Quest style RPGs. BigJoe is working on a module to allow easy creation of Eggerland/Lolo style games.

 

Eventually I plan to release a Z3 Module for easy creation of Z3-styled quests with appropriate enemies, items bosses, and gameplay mechanics; and a Gameboy Module for Oracle/LA style stuff.

 

The original intent remains, as part of the Zelda Classic Module, and that will never change. It can only be improved to add to the end-user experience, to encourage creativity, and innovation; and to expand the enjoyment of the programme to all end-users.

 

In short, it is a far more open and free game engine, and you can either build a type of game for which there is a module, or create your own modules from scratch.


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#8 Jamian

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 04:47 AM

IMO

 

In order to have a good look at ZC's popularity, we should not just take into account how many quests were released every year, but also how much they were downloaded and how many reviews/comments they received. If someone wants to tally these numbers, we could see how much community interest quests generated over the years. Keeping in mind older quests are more likely to have more downloads/reviews since they've been around longer, but still, the bulk of these numbers are made around the time a quest is released.


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#9 klop422

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 06:10 AM

IMO

In order to have a good look at ZC's popularity, we should not just take into account how many quests were released every year, but also how much they were downloaded and how many reviews/comments they received. If someone wants to tally these numbers, we could see how much community interest quests generated over the years. Keeping in mind older quests are more likely to have more downloads/reviews since they've been around longer, but still, the bulk of these numbers are made around the time a quest is released.


Related - other database submissions, and who's submitting them, are also activity. Might be worth seeing how much of that is happening.

I don't gave much to say here which hasn't been said, but I just want to say that, while An Item Fantasy (my quest I've been working on since like 2013) uses scripts, I've personally written a total of three scripts in my life. One was an example attempt from years ago. One was something very specific and I forget it - I asked for help and just got a replacement :P. And one was a couple weeks ago, a Hot Springs script which Rob also made redundant a day later!

My point is, the script database and script request forums, for the majority of cases, works fine. I can't speak for the quality of my quest (I'm looking for testers, if you'll let me shill for a moment :P), but in terms of functionality it seems to be working fine.
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#10 DarkFlameSheep

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 06:17 AM

I don' t play The Slipstream yet. But I believe MFH is the one of most excellent quests, it's full of very fun or interesting things, but very hard.
You can see my MFH playlist on YouTube.


Edited by Stray Sheep, 20 October 2019 - 11:07 PM.

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#11 Russ

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:43 AM

In recent years, there can be no doubt that there have been fewer quests made and fewer people coming to purezc.  Indeed, looking over the past few months we can see that very few quests are being made.  If the trend continues, and there's no reason to assume it won't, then it should become obvious what will happen.

 

IMO
 
In order to have a good look at ZC's popularity, we should not just take into account how many quests were released every year, but also how much they were downloaded and how many reviews/comments they received. If someone wants to tally these numbers, we could see how much community interest quests generated over the years. Keeping in mind older quests are more likely to have more downloads/reviews since they've been around longer, but still, the bulk of these numbers are made around the time a quest is released.


Shane already responded to the first point, but since Jamian brings up a nuance, let me link to my post in that same thread, which analyzed trends of quests that made a large impact on Pure.

Anyways, I could pick apart the whole post, but there's a few things I want to zero in on. A lot of your post seems to be a very wordy way of saying this: "ZC was made for Z1 games. People like scripted games now. Scripting is hard and people won't learn. Therefore, people will make less quests." I think there's several points here that are fundamentally wrong. As a random example from your post:
 

Is scripting necessary to make "sell-quality" quest? For today's fanbase you can bet your bottom dollar it is. Where would IoR be without scripting?

I'm not sure if you're aware, but the original public alpha build of IoR, which went through level 9, had only 4 scripts in it, for the bosses of levels 6-9. It was still very well received. So where would IoR be without scripting? Probably still sitting up near the top of the database.

To go into more examples, you claim that to make "sellable" quests, the author must know scripting. I call bullshit. Purusing the top two pages of the database, we find quest's like The Hero's Memory, done with zero scripting, Lost Isle, which used only a single script for an unimportant trap, Second Chance, which uses only the Newbie Boss script publicly available on the database, and Quest 755 and Eiyuu, done with only a few database scripts and minimal scripting requests. Clearly, your argument that a author must know scripting to make a marketable quest holds no water.

Your next point is that users won't learn scripting as it takes too long. I think this is wrong on multiple counts. One, scripting does not take 6 months to learn. Using IoR as an example again, it took Evan literally one day to go from zero scripting knowledge to making simple minibosses like the Zu and Krampus. Two, people will learn if they can't make their game without it. Three, this is hardly a problem that plagues ZC and ZC alone. Most other game engines out there require scripting knowledge to do anything, so I'm not sure why you're singling out ZC.

Lastly, I know Rob and Zoria already brought this up, but your point that the ZC devs won't do anything about this is pretty insulting. I'm not sure if you've taken a look at 2.55, but those two are working hard to add features that previously required scripting.
 

For the record I will say that I've correctly predicted the "sales" outcome of Mike's Fun House and The Slipstream. In addition, in real life I'm a wealthy and successful businessperson whose job it is to predict and forecast sales of certain products and improve their sell ability if possible. So I've had no shortage of experience with these kinds of matters. And I feel its my duty to speak out and inform the community of my expert opinion.

This is hardly the most important point here, but I'd suggest trying to dial back the narcissism just a little. When you start a post with "I am very smart and very important, and so I feel the need to enlighten the community with my wisdom" you're gonna alienate a lot of your readers right off the bat.
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#12 Moosh

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:27 AM

So if I'm understanding James' OP correctly here, the ZC community is "dying" because the expectation of scripting prevents people from successfully "selling" the traditional Zelda 1 style quests which ZC was originally made for. Extrapolating further on this, the demand for scripting stems from people being unsatisfied with the dated gameplay found in older large scale quests like MMDWR and others. One might say the current community (or at least prominent figures in it) dislike the Zelda 1 design philosophy that's the root of ZC's existence to the point of trying to replace it. We're designing games in an engine that we don't actually like.

 

So if we go forward from this conclusion, I see three possibilities:

  1. We change what people like
  2. We abandon ZC altogether
  3. We form a new community out of people who would actually appreciate ZC for what it is

The third choice would imply going out, socializing, and marketing the program to others on the internet. Nobody here's about to start doing that. The first choice I hope everybody here realizes is impossible, so...

 

James has made a very compelling argument for abandoning ZC and letting it die. :clap:


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#13 IronCreator

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:33 AM

I think you picked the perfect title for the thread. Think about it for a second.

 

Disclaimer: I do not mean this as an insult. I often create humor at my own expense as well.


Edited by BigJoe, 19 October 2019 - 10:34 AM.

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#14 peteandwally

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:40 AM

Everyone has a different context for value. I rarely play quests, rarely make quests, but immensely enjoy the forums and creativity of other members. The community is supportive of each other and visiting every once and a while makes me happy. That experience is difficult to quantify into sales, but I bet if you measured weekly visits by unique members that those 'sales' are skyrocketing.



#15 Soma C.

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:54 AM

As someone who hasn't even touched scripting at all, let alone thought to work with it in a quest, due to the long time required to learn coding, I don't think it's entirely necessary to ensure a top-rated quest.  For a while I thought so, but that was when I was first starting as a member here a couple years ago.  Sure, I suppose it helps alot, and as someone said there are ready-made scripts that can just be plugged into a quest and there you go.  I love IoR, and it's in my top 3 favorites actually.   I was blown away by the scripted bosses, yes, but other than that, everything felt normal as far as the engine was concerned.  If there are a bunch of other scripts I didn't notice, that's fine.  I also love To the Top and Lost Isle, both of which used minimal scripting, if any at all, and I don't think the former had any.  It is disappointing in retrospect, though, to notice that some people feel like they have to learn scripting to make a fine quest, and that might turn them away from doing so.  For my 'dream quest', which may or may never happen, it will almost certainly require scripting due to the huge ideas I have.  I'm almost thinking that it might  be better suited to a different engine entirely, but I dunno.   :shrug:   But if I can pull it off with little or none, I'm happy no matter what people think of it.  Staying positive is certainly a good thing.  :)

In short, I don't think ZC is entirely dependent on scripting to ensure a fantastic quest.  If someone has the drive and the ZQ skills I think anyone can put out a great adventure for people to enjoy.  But I'm just a simple-minded fellow, and this elephant is rather much larger than I, so I don't think my little post amounts to much.  But I just thought I'd toss my opinion out into the waters as well ;)

 

EDIT: I still love this community regardless.  We have helped to transform one of the greatest games of all time into something as cool as this, and I think that's something to be very proud of.  Well done, devs and everyone who contributed to make ZC as interesting to play as it is to watch/create today:D


Edited by Soma C., 19 October 2019 - 11:55 AM.



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