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mapman

The Art of Scenario Design

211 posts in this topic

Well, I think that once that you think the stuff is complete, you should contact me. I will then have to send out copyright assignment agreements to every contributor so we can then offer the compiled wisdom as a PDF or in a similar way as an addendum to the SB2 documentation. As much as I agree that it should me me and Al in the first place to write up all this, we just don't have the time for it, so I think this is the only way to come to a point where we have a condensed summary of all issues realted to scenario design.

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Agreed - I propose the purpose of this "Scenario Bible" be for the Good of SB and for the furtherment of the SB community - NOT the accolade of any one or more individuals.

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sounds good to me - has someone suggested otherwise for this current iteration? It might be fun to have the contributors listed on the finished product, but if that is problematic it could be dropped.

Also, the draft effort by MM et al should be editable so Al and Ssnake can make changes as they require them.

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I suggest HTML as the most open standard, and be it "Office HTML". Word since version '97 can export documents into that format.

Alternatively simple ASCII text is a good choice since it allows copy & paste editing to bring it into a form that pleases the eye, too.

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... the purpose of this "Scenario Bible" be for the Good of SB and for the furtherment of the SB community - NOT the accolade of any one or more individuals.

Too right. There are so many good scenarios by good designers that to tag this project under the name of one person is arrogant silliness anyway.

It might be fun to have the contributors listed on the finished product, but if that is problematic it could be dropped.

Not at all. Do it like the masthead of a magazine. No one reads that anyway.

:)

... be it "Office HTML". Word since version '97 can export documents into that format

That should work fine. I do my work in W97, though converting to ASCII text shouldn't be an issue. Who, besides Map who will have his already-full plate piled higher, is really good with HTML? I can do it. I can even put together Javascript animations, but if someone out there is willing to do the HTML that would be a lot of help.

Shot

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Poker wrote:

MM - reiterate that none of this will be copyrighted, and that way E-Sim may include it in the SB2 manual, or at least on the CD, and we'll have no worries from the publisher about infringements.

Works for me.

Shot?

Absolutely. As previously noted.

Shot

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You can build the guide anyway you want, I can just import the whole thing into acrobat. I really dont see the need for "Office HTML" which produces the ugliest bunch of code I have ever seen. Maybe RTF or just plain .txt would be a better choice. HTML can get messy real fast. Is this intended as a living document where anyone can contribute and comment, or is this going to be a one time manual?

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Recommend that rights either be assigned to eSim or explicitly placed in the public domain.

Let's face it. This is not going on the NY Times best seller list or winning a Pultzer Prize. It is for the furtherment of OUR enjoyment of the game.

I am easy with either one, though I think public domain should be fine. Does anyone out there really expect to sell a million copies of a Dummies Guide to SB Scenario Design? :lol:

Regarding format: Word 97 is a very nice editor for writing and editing. It can save to txt or html and is very flexable. It can also import both.

I use Dreamweaver for HTML and it will convert Word HTML to correct HTML with very little fuss. So I vote for Word 97 or txt for all those contributing. Shot can compile, Snake & Al can proof read and I (or any other HTML volunteers) can publish to the web.

I would suggest to you that you not use any of WW's material then - better to have non copyrighted material if you're going to put it up w/ the FAQ's.

A matter of avoiding legalities.

WW responded to my email. He gave permission to use what he had written, but threw in a few provisos which I think will be counter productive to what we are doing. So, if you wish to reference it, there it is, but please do not copy or plagurize it.

Is this intended as a living document where anyone can contribute and comment, or is this going to be a one time manual?

Why not both?

Another thought....

We could have an example scenario conceptualized, sketched out and built step by step as one of the chapters/appendexes complete with pictures, logic and diagrams. That would be cool!

And of course we can continue writing the guide when SB2 becomes available.

~mm 8)

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MM and Shot - the TOC draft actually took a couple of hours, but already there is plenty of improvement possible. Pls advise if you want another version for the purposes of assigning to contributors.

Ssnake says HTML and Sean says RTF or TXT. Barring violent disagreement, I will swing my vote to RTF which preserves some formatting and once everything is set, Sean can make a PDF out of it. I don't have Office97, but I do have Office2KPro and OfficeXP - any reason why I can use those and then save as RTF? WRT to editability, lets get the first one out and then discuss. I think that this will be a project that takes at least a couple of months. After which we will want to take a break, after which we can regroup. The timing of the release of SB2 should matter here.

I really like the idea of building an sce as we describe the process. I am not sure if you embed this in each chapter or add a chapter which goes through the steps one at a time. Also, we are going to need an CM process, especially with multiple contributors and different blocks of content floating around. Recommend that one person take CM control and serve as the librarian, checking work in and out from each author, so that each piece is only 'open' in one place at a time.

I know this kind of admin drudgery is icky, but the value is really high!!

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Another thought....

We could have an example scenario conceptualized, sketched out and built step by step as one of the chapters/appendexes complete with pictures, logic and diagrams. That would be cool!

I'd intended to use Escape from Core as an example, mostly because it was my first scenario and it had a couple of non-standard items of window dressing. If that's okay with everyone else, let's do that, especially since I can tell you what I was thinking when I designed it. This will likely come as welcome data for anyone asking what I was thinking, when I designed it. Other/better suggestions are welcome.

As for the extant stuff, I had pretty much decided not to use it anyway. Too many complications, and the writer in me would demand I write new stuff anyway.

...really like the idea of building an sce as we describe the process. I am not sure if you embed this in each chapter or add a chapter which goes through the steps one at a time.

I was thinking that we'd do the building of a scenario as a separate chapter, using the previous chapters as example and/or to provide insight.

Shot

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WAS ESCAPE FROM CORE EVER DOWNLOADED TO THIS SITE? I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE IT A TRY IF IT' :) S A SINGLE.

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WAS ESCAPE FROM CORE EVER DOWNLOADED TO THIS SITE? I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE IT A TRY IF IT' :) S A SINGLE.

Escape from the core was Fulda Gap battle #6 and can be downloaded along with the rest of them there.

Go to http://www.steelbeasts.com/fuldagap/ and click on the image. Then click on scenarios and you will find them there.

It is a full MP scenario, not SP...sorry.

Which brings up a point. Perhaps an example of a MP scenario and another example of a SP scenario.

Not only would they be illustrated, but then they can be downloaded and played with in the mission editor to facilitate learning.

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Harder to build a good SP than a good MP. Sorry if someone already stated this.

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So let's do it anyway, both as a test of mettle and a means by which we are judged to be worthy.

Shot

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Gentleman - this sounds like a great idea. Just one thing to keep in mind, and its a small thing - remember file size for our lowspeed connection Tankers... it sucks enough to be them already...

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These scrs would be for instructional purposes and allow new designers to look at and play around with the mission in the mission editor while refering to the manual.

Nice Avitar Chryst!

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I would like to extend an invitation to the many excellent scenario designers that have been with SB for some time now to join us in this endevour. This would include, but not be limited to:

Volcano

R&R

Skip

Colin

Gary Owens (already promised to work on the boolean logic for routes, conditions and events)

and all the others who have something to contritbute!

If you would like to be included in our email updates as we go along, please email me at:

MarcP AT ocweb DOT com

and put Scenario Design in the subject field.

Looking forward to hearing from many of you!

~mm 8)

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I will put together a list of advice to avoid the pain I went through. What would be great is a clear explantion on how the variables work with typical examples. Because if you don't get it, none it looks clear without seeing in front of you. good work guys

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I will put together a list of advice to avoid the pain I went through.

That'd be great. Just the sort of thing we're looking for. Also, it occurs to me that a prospective designer would benefit from a checklist annotating that all the details of the design are, in fact, in the design. Anyone wanna gin one up for the Guide?

Results can be e-mailed either to myself or Mapman, who'll pass them on to me. Be sure I know who you are, so you get credit for it.

Shot

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Update:

I would like to remind all interested parties that Shot and Rat are waiting to hear from volunteers to contribute.

If you have not done so already, please visit the new website at:

http://scenariodesign.steelbeasts.com

If you have something in the way of an idea, question or contribution, you will find forums there for posting as well as emails for Shot, Rat and myself.

Shot expects to the the TOC ready this weekend and then we will start working on the Chapters.

He also suggested having a check list for scenario designers to be able to print out and use as they put their scenarios together.

Ideas for what should be put on the Check List and in what order are appreciated.

~mm 8)

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Poker sent me something that looks good, for the checklist. He's working on it some more, but if anyone has something else they use, or want to submit, I'm sure we can fuse the results into a seamless whole. You expert designers out there, if there is a particular process or processes that take you from scenario design idea to finished product, I'd like to hear it.

As mentioned, we're going to do a step-by-step walk-through showing how to build a couple of scenarios, the more input I get the more complete and less one-dimensional the walk-throughs will look.

Shot

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Here is a copy of the rough draft - take a look and add your suggestions - we each do things differently, and so no set way is correct, so if you disagree with something, say so, you may have the better way to do it.

sb_sce_chk_list_zip.e4d90f11d485ff59d9cf

sb_sce_chk_list.zip

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