Difference between revisions of "Weapons Editor"
From Worms Knowledge Base
Revision as of 20:13, 27 January 2007
The weapons editor proposed on this site contains an incredible amount of customisability. So much in fact, that each individual weapon would have a whole page of crammed-in options to itself - over 20 basic editable parameters, a "Repeat Usage" control panel, and a "Time Dependency" control panel.
With so many options it's important to get a sleek, no-nonsense and uncluttered interface for maximum efficiency and minimum fuss. Not long ago I created a concept graphic to show a suitable way of cramming all these options for each weapon onto one screen, and you can see that here. Additionally, though, the editor would provide summary displays allowing you to view a particular setting for all weapons, much like the way the Worms Armageddon weapons editor works. Here I propose a few conveniences to make the editor easy to use.
Clicking the "Simple/Advanced" toggle to bring up the Simple editor would make many of the displays disappear entirely. The settings in those displays are never lost, though, and will return when the Advanced editor is recalled, just in case you accidentally click it. Once the scheme is saved in Simple mode, however, all Advanced options are lost.
Obviously you'd be at a complete loss if you encountered that editor for the first time - there's nothing to explain what anything does. The most efficient help system would have to be tooltips that appear when you hover over something, explaining in detail what it does.
On the left side of the concept graphic is a weapons panel - this I believe is the easiest way of selecting a weapon to edit it. Left-clicking should bring up the weapon's edit page on the right, while right-clicking could be reserved for totally removing the weapon from the scheme including crates - easier than going to each weapon's edit page and disabling it's ammunition and crate settings. It would also act as a quick and easy way of seeing which weapons are in the scheme or not, as disabled weapons would be greyed out.
You'll have noticed that the weapons panel is a bit... big. Space for 120 weapons in fact, enough for all Worms Armageddon weapons and all the weapons suggestion archived on this site, with enough space left over for 7 more.
Basic Editable Parameters
So... what things can be edited in your average worms weapon? Worms Armageddon allows four: ammunition, power, delay, and crate probability. I can count far more things than that.
For a start, power can be divided into many things. Injury, the maximum amount of health damage inflicted on a worm; Damage, the radius of the crater left behind; Blast Power, the maximum force applied to objects caught in the blast; and Blast Range, the extent to which Blast Power has an effect. That's four.
Additionally, there are effects like Fire, Poison, Radiation and Ice that could be included in any weapon that creates an explosion. For Fire, there would be a setting to dictate the number of "pieces of fire" released, and also a setting for how many turns for the fire to decay (with zero being immediate decay, and an option for everlasting fire). Radiation is slightly more complicated, requiring Contamination Strength (the degree to which it inflicts health damage), Contamination Radius, and Radiation Decay, which would be similar to the Fire decay setting. Ice would have the same settings as Fire. Poison needs only one setting - the Toxicity of the poison, which would dictate how much health is lost by poisoned worms between turns.
What's more, all of these options could be applied not only to the initial explosion, but seperately to any clusters released. And again, if those clusters release more clusters. This brings up two extra parameters: Number of Clusters and Cluster Spread (you may have noticed that some weapons have different cluster spreads - the Ming Vase has a narrow spread while the Sally Army has a wide spread). This could make for some crazy weapons. Perhaps you might want a cluster bomb to release fire and clusters when it explodes, then have those clusters release poison and release more clusters, then have the final clusters irradiate the land.
Then there would also be Wind Susceptibility (the degree in which the weapon is susceptible to the wind) and Retreat Time, specific to that weapon.
The potential for such chaotic and unexpected weapons is obvious but these options aren't designed to be used all at once - they are there for fine-tuning weapons for specific schemes and purposes. There will always be people to overcomplicate the game (as there are now), but their schemes won't be popular, so the problem solves itself.
Of course, not all of the above parameters apply to every weapon. And some weapons have unique parameters that no other weapon would have. For extensive detail on this, taking every weapon into account including 'fictional' weapons (i.e. weapon suggestions, as archived on this site), please visit this page.
Worms Armageddon allows you to set "Relative Crate Probability". This is a graphical way of representing the probabilities: choose a setting from 0-5, and the game will compare it to all other crate settings to generate a precise crate probability in a pecentage format. But why can't we see and edit this crate percentage directly for maximum control? In Worms Unlimited you would be able to: there would be both a Relative Crate Probability (RCP) and Exact Crate Probability (ECP) setting. Adjusting one would not automatically change the other - instead you select which system is used through the Crate Control system in the game editor (see Crate Control, Game Editor, below). This would allow you to flip between the two, or adjust both and then decide which one is best when finishing the scheme. Furthermore, adjusting the ECP for one weapon would not automatically adjust the ECP for other weapons; instead the editor would tell you when they don't add up to 100% and the scheme would default to RCP until they do.
In Worms Armageddon the crates work in a curious way: most crates contain one weapon but some contain more. Petrol Bombs come in packs of two, while Clusters, Ropes and Cows come in packs of three. There's no way to change this, but there should be. In Worms Unlimited you would have full control over the Crate Contents number you get, so if you wanted 50 moles in a crate, you could have it, you crazy person you.
This panel is simple, allowing you to choose the method of detonation for the primary, secondary and tertiary explosions of any given weapon, between Impact Detonation, Manual Detonation, and Fuse Detonation (which would be editable). The Super Banana for example has manual detonation for both its explosions, while the Sally Army has manual for its first and impact for its second.
Repeat Usage Control
This is where things get a little more complicated. In Worms World Party there is a Wormpot option that allows you to fire as many weapons as you can in ten seconds - in other words using a weapon doesn't end your turn. And many transport tools and utlities can already be used again and again without ending your turn. The "Repeat Usage" control panel expands on this concept.
The first and foremost option here would be Repeatability, the number of times the weapon can be fired in one turn. For most tools this would be unlimited, and for weapons like the Shotgun and Longbow, it would be 2. Next, there would be four mutually exclusive options concerning what can be used in conjunction with the weapon:
- No Other Weapons Can Be Used; (Typical of the Shotgun and Longbow)
- All Other Weapons Can Be Used; (All transport tools)
- Specific Weapons Can't Be Used; (boxes would be available to select these)
- Specific Weapons Can Be Used (boxes would be available to select these)
So, if you wanted a player to be able to teleport and retain his turn, but stop him from attacking, you could do, using the Specific Weapons Can Be Used option. Or maybe you want to allow players to fire a petrol bomb, and then make liberal use of the transport tools while their turn time ticks down. Or perhaps you want to allow all players to let rip with their entire stockpile of uzis to their heart's content, and then place a girder. All these possibilities are available with the Repeat Usage Control panel - arguably the most important feature for the creation of new unique and exciting schemes.
Other options available in the Repeat Usage Control panel concern what happens to the turn time:
- Turn Time Counts Down As Usual;
- Turn Time Pauses While Situation Stabilises;
- Turn Time Is Fixed At Specific Value
The second option refers to the period of time after a shot where the game lets things stablise, such as waiting for mines to stop bouncing, worms to stop falling, and fire to stop eating through terrain. Not using this option would allow the worm to move while these things happen, but turn time would continue to tick away. Another set of options available concern the delay between using weapons:
- No Delay Between Using Weapons;
- Use Of Weapons Delayed While Situation Stabilises;
- Specific Time Delay
It should be noted that if a different weapon is used, the Repeat Usage Control panel for that weapon decides how it is used. So, for example, if you use a grenade and there is No Delay Between Using Weapons, but then fire a mortar, you might find that there is a delay - because the settings for the mortar are different.
Configuring ammunition could be as simple as choosing a number, but with the Ammunition Control panel it could also be very complicated. Ammunition Control does far more than picking a number.
The unique thing about Ammunition Control is that it configures the number of weapons you start any particular turn with. So on your first turn you might have 5 bananas, on your second it increases to 8, then on your third turn all your bananas have disappeared.
On any particular turn, which you can cycle through using the Time Dependency control panel (see below), you can choose from three options:
- Infinite Ammunition
- Force Ammunition To A Specific Quantity
- Carry Ammunition Over From Last Turn...
And, two sub-options in addition to that third option if selected:
- ...And Expire A Specific Number
- ...And Reinforce With A Specific Number
These options would allow you to do a huge range of interesting things. You might want a weapon to be available once only on the tenth turn, and never again. You might want the quantity of a particular weapon to rise steadily throughout the game. You might want each player to have precisely three of a weapon on every turn, irrelevent of how many they have used or collected. You could even set it so that a particular weapon is available only on alternating turns. Like Repeat Usage Control, this has massive potential for scheme creations.
The Ammunition Control panel also allows you to set delays, by setting ammunition to zero for the first few turns and then setting the ammunition to a specific quantity on the nth turn. Ideally, there would be an extra Delay option that would appear when Simple editor is activated, just to make this easier.
The Time Dependency control panel is basically a big extension on the "specific turns" concept used in Ammunition Control (see above). And I mean big: Time Dependency covers everything. Whether it's Blast Radius, Retreat Time, or Relative Crate Probability (ECP wouldn't cope), Time Dependency allows these values to change over time for any specific weapon. It could potentially lead to horribly confusing chaos and mayhem, but in moderation it has strategical uses in creating new schemes.
For example, you might want a weapon to gradually become more powerful throughout the game, giving players an incentive to save it for later. Or, you might want it to become less powerful - giving players an incentive to use it early. You might want it to be available in crates, but only after a specific turn. The list goes on. A host could even set it so that the entire game switched from one scheme to another at some point.
It is important that this Time Dependency feature has an unconfusing interface, since it is clearly a confusing feature. The graphic that I created poses a possible solution: the panel at the bottom contains a number of boxes that correspond to turns. They act as tabs; clicking on one will open up the settings page for that turn. Obviously, this would have to be as convenient as possible to use, as you would not want to be constantly making the same changes on every turn. A drag-and-drop system on the Time Dependency panel would allow you to quickly "copy" settings from one turn to another. Colours or shapes inside the boxes could be used to differentiation between settings, so if you wanted an alternating scheme, you might want blue-red-blue-red-blue-red, for example. The final turn for which settings have been configured would last the rest of the game. Or, in the case of alternating gameplay, the final few turns would repeat themselves in pattern. Special mouse commands would have to be assigned to manipulating the panel in this way.