Author Topic: Question from the devs: How do you want to gain access to the level editor?  (Read 4459 times)

Offline tigersfan

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Maybe I'm missing something. How would using the editor let you cheat pass the campaign?  Would they be able to replace the actual campaign level with their edited one?

I guess I was thinking that while they could go into a level wih the editor they would only be able to save a copy. Not replace the existing level. Which doesn't really help them cheat, only deconstruct pieces of the level. Or am I missing something?

Weather you can save over it or not, going through the editor gives a LOT of info. Like where all the good stuff is hidden. :)

Offline madcow

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Ahh. I see.

Offline Penumbra

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One thing I want to clarify is that we're mainly just being paranoid.  Having been burned a number of times by players having unexpected reactions to things we thought were positive, we're second-guessing things.

How about this. You implement a microphone hijack and a keylogger. Then, only unlock if a player either says or types: "Man, stupid Arcen isn't letting me use the editor! @#$*@#*[email protected]#$*!1!!eleventy!"

Of course, this could, maybe, lead to other problems......  ;D

Offline zespri

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This is kind of double-edged, but an option could be to let the editor out a bit later than the game itself. The perception as I understand it is formed in the early days when you have peak sales. Let people know that there will be an editor but not yet.

Of course there is obvious drawback that you are blamed that you promised the editor from the get go and then do no include it in the (initial) release.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Quote
How about this. You implement a microphone hijack and a keylogger. Then, only unlock if a player either says or types: "Man, stupid Arcen isn't letting me use the editor! @#$*@#*[email protected]#$*!1!!eleventy!"

Of course, this could, maybe, lead to other problems......  ;D
I think SH could benefit from some biofeedback input.

"User is tense, have grays hide"
...
"User is relaxing, have grays pounce"
...
"User is frightened, queue Pablo's creepiest track, add stalking gray to level"
...
"Alert user to replace undergarments"

;)
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Offline madcow

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You could always disable editing the campaign levels. But then publish them on the website or something so editors can still have access to them. Cheaters could cheat still. But it would be less obvious for them ;)

Edit: cheaters are also less likely to go into that map editor sub forum whereas editors are quite likely and could notice a stickied topic.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 02:14:50 PM by madcow »

Offline Deekay

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You could maybe put up a kind of warning when loading up the editor that states that using the editor before playing through the game could
detract from the experience or something? Just basically let them know the effect it could have on the game for them.

Or maybe make it a separate download that you gain access to at the same time as the game (if this
isn't already the case), maybe that would discourage some people from using it on a whim?

I can understand where you are coming from not wanting people just getting into the editor too early or too often and ruining their experience and
therefore view of the game as a whole. But I think this would be the very small minority, and I think more people would appreciate full access to
the editor than those that would use it in such a way.

Offline Greywolf22

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I guess, another way to look at this is...how many people are going to actually consider going into the editor to look at the current level and find a way around them.

To be honest, a number of games ship with editors, but I've never considered (either because it wasn't possible to modify the existing maps, or I simply never considered it) to use the editor to find a way to bypass a level.

Generally it's far easier to go out to YouTube where someone has posted all the levels...watch how they did it, and then do it yourself. Not saying that folks will be posting Youtube videos of all the levels here.  Just generally speaking.

So maybe the other option is not to advertise that the existing levels can be modded.  Sure people who enjoy modding and are buying the game for modding will go in there and might muck around with it...but I think the average game player (not necessarily the ones who'd even come to the forum)...will look for other avenues to get past a place where they are stuck instead of the editor.

As I find most folks who play games (at least for entertainment), aren't interested in learning an editor...at least not right off the bat.  And once they play enough to say "Hey lets build our own levels", they'll already be past the point where they'd consider it to cheat with.

Just some additional thoughts.

Offline Teal_Blue

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One thing I want to clarify is that we're mainly just being paranoid.  Having been burned a number of times by players having unexpected reactions to things we thought were positive, we're second-guessing things.

I can certainly understand the second-guessing part, you guys have been through a lot. And even though I personally feel that letting players have the editor as is from the get go is a good thing, it is really only my opinion, and one based more on my own feelings about how I would feel about it.

So... to be honest, it's really a tough call. If you go with just putting it out there, it might engender some sense of "The game is too easy... or the game is too hard..." that tigersfan mentioned.
Then again... it may not.

If you hold it back, or put limitations on it, like you have to explore x, to unlock it, or you can only edit your own levels, or there are labels that say "Official" and "Not Official"... or whatever... well, that could explode back too! With people resenting it.
Or perhaps not.

I really don't know what to tell you that will make the decision, or the difficulty of the decision easier. Is there a majority of opinion one way or another? Have you asked, not just us forumers, :)  (who tend to agree with you mostly anyway) But people outside? (But then again, I read a review and the guy was an idiot, so talking to people outside might be worse instead of better.) Ask the people in your family, in the crew that works on the game, ask them what they think, and then make a decision.  :) 

If you are of a mind, you might go to a quiet place and just let your instincts tell you what to do, or pray if you feel it. There is no easy way around this. What ever you decide to do, most of us forumers will probably be with you. (or is that backwards?) :)

Anyway, best to all of you, hang in there and keep making games, i think they are pretty cool, and even if i'm not 100 %, i still buy them.  :)  In the end, all you can do is your best, and make what you feel is the decision you feel is right. That is all any of us can do.

Take care,
-Teal
 

Offline Aziphos

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If the editor would be restricted it could cause an aditional problem.
Many players tend to play through the campaign and abandon a game for some months, till a patch/addon is released or till other reasons ocure.
It could be really frustrating to lose editor access through not backupped saves (ok it would be hackable but that would have the same gameinpact as my suggestion below).
I would simply include a warnig:"Using the editor before finishing the campaign is a kind of cheating and will spoil your gameexperiance" (its a bit like enabling cheatingmode in AI-wars, the player knows he isnt playing fair and has no reason to complain if the game is to easy)

Offline Mick

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I don't even think you need a message. If I wanted to simply use the editor, I would find that kinda obnoxious. If someone is using it to cheat, they know they are cheating, it's not like it will be a surprise to them. It's not like they will say "Oh dear me, I didn't realize I was cheating, well never mind then I won't do that."

The game doesn't need to wag its finger at the user and condescend to them if they open up the editor. Other games that have editors don't do this, they simply are there and that's that.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Mick, you may have the key right there, "in other games the editor is simply there" is what i think you said. Maybe that is then the best way. The same way that all the other games are doing it!  :)

-Teal


Offline LaughingThesaurus

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If people cheat, they're ruining their own experience. Here's what I think:

1. Players should be able to load the original game levels, but cannot change anything or save it without some kind of password after finishing the game... or maybe ever.
2. The level editor itself should be fully featured and available from the start.
3. If the level editor is in-game somehow, you might include an achievement for finishing a playthrough without opening the level editor.

I don't know, I'd be a bit more concerned with people trying to publish the official levels somewhere else or something. As cheating goes, I really couldn't care less, and I really prefer it more when a game isn't telling me how to play it. You've been pretty open with this kind of thing with other games. AI War and Valley 2 both give you full access to developer features. The only thing you don't really get is the source code or whatever. In this case, you get to see all the secrets when you open the file (boo hoo, you could do that in many, many older games) when you can just go online and look it up in the first place. As long as people aren't actually editing the levels and replacing the campaign, it shouldn't be an issue. You still have to actually WIN the levels.
So really, if you do anything, you definitely need to make it impossible to actually save over the campaign. That would just be silly.

Offline Teal_Blue

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If people cheat, they're ruining their own experience. Here's what I think:

I disagree...
-Teal

 
edit -  p.s.   Well i guess i need to grow up and stop getting defensive, or offensive as the case my be. my apologies for the rather rude words. LaughingThesaurus has at least as much of a right to his opinion as me. So anyway, sorry for my unfortunate blabbing.

-T

 


« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 08:42:05 PM by Teal_Blue »

Offline x4000

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At this point, we've decided just to enable it from the start and leave it at that.  That's the path of least resistance, and it leaves us free to focus on more important aspects of the game while not angering anybody, I think. 

The game definitely is not short on content, by the way, so it's not that we're looking for players to fill out the content of the game.  Any edits to the main adventure are likely to always remain unofficial and not hosted by us.  However, that said I think it's really cool as a way to extend replay value and get more out of the game when there is an editor; many of my favorite PC games as a kid were my favorite games precisely because they had an editor -- then again, I grew up to be a game designer so I guess that's no surprise. ;)

And yes, the editor is built right into the game.  You just click a button on the main menu and there it is, right in the main game engine itself.
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