What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

Red_King_Cyclops
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What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Wed Jun 19, 2019 16:15

This has probably been discussed before, but what if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story? Currently, the one thing Minetest mods lack over Minecraft is a story. Minetest doesn't need a story, but giving the game an objective could motivate players.

Edit: I came up with an idea for a story here.

Second edit: I just realized that "story" can refer to either lore/background, campaign/missions, or both.
Last edited by Red_King_Cyclops on Sat Jul 13, 2019 19:14, edited 2 times in total.
Most Minetest space mods are set in/on Outer Space, the Moon, and Mars, but I am making mods that take place on moons of gas giants.

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Wed Jun 19, 2019 19:03

Mantar wrote:Wait, Minecraft has a story?

Not exactly, but it does have a quest. In Minecraft, you have to go through the following steps to "end" the game:
  1. Mine diamond
  2. Make diamond tools
  3. Mine obsidian
  4. Mine gravel
  5. Make a flint and steel
  6. Make a nether portal
  7. Find a nether fortress
  8. Kill many blazes
  9. Kill many endermen
  10. Make many eyes of ender
  11. Locate a stronghold
  12. Activate an end portal
  13. Go to the end and kill the Ender Dragon
  14. Read the poem
  15. Get the Dragon Egg
Additionally,
  1. Return to the nether fortress
  2. Kill many Wither Skeletons
  3. Summon the Wither
  4. Kill the Wither
  5. Make a beacon
There are also a couple of extra dungeons, such as the woodland mansions and the ocean monuments.

The unofficial story is Herobrine's mansion.

A problem with Minecraft's quest is that it involves a lot of grinding.
Most Minetest space mods are set in/on Outer Space, the Moon, and Mars, but I am making mods that take place on moons of gas giants.

The Minetest Modding Book can be useful for beginners. Check out Mesehub, the open-source equivalent of Github for Minetest.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Hugues Ross » Wed Jun 19, 2019 21:21

A story could be interesting, but it sounds to me like what you're looking for are long-term goals to work towards in-game. As it stands right now, there's not a lot of that in most content that I've tried: Many upgrades just make you slightly faster at gathering more materials and there's often very little payoff, in terms of content, to encourage the player.

I've been thinking about making a game that can offer these sorts of things, but I haven't started anything yet. If I did, it probably wouldn't be anytime soon though.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Wed Jun 19, 2019 21:31

Hugues Ross wrote:A story could be interesting, but it sounds to me like what you're looking for are long-term goals to work towards in-game. As it stands right now, there's not a lot of that in most content that I've tried: Many upgrades just make you slightly faster at gathering more materials and there's often very little payoff, in terms of content, to encourage the player.

I've been thinking about making a game that can offer these sorts of things, but I haven't started anything yet. If I did, it probably wouldn't be anytime soon though.

A game with a story could be a good idea, since as a mod the story could get in the way of other mods.
Most Minetest space mods are set in/on Outer Space, the Moon, and Mars, but I am making mods that take place on moons of gas giants.

The Minetest Modding Book can be useful for beginners. Check out Mesehub, the open-source equivalent of Github for Minetest.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ThorfinnS » Thu Jun 20, 2019 15:20

Red_King_Cyclops wrote:A game with a story could be a good idea, since as a mod the story could get in the way of other mods.
Probably would not. As pointed out, most mods (all the ones I've tested) just add some tweak; different resource gathering (mostly pointless from a story perspective), slightly different gathering rates (ditto), blocks that give your buildings a different appearance (ditto again). Even things like Hunger and Thirst wouldn't get in the way of the story; it just means you have to bring food on your quest, and if its a long quest, some seeds and dirt and maybe a meselamp would be a good idea, too.

I could see the Beanstalk mod being fleshed out into a story. Some of the Villagers mods might do it. Dwarves who build their underground cities. Maybe some sea critters have an underwater city that that you need to lay in enough supplies from Brewing to give underwater breathing, or enough Airtanks or whatnot. (The trick is how to do this without hogging the CPU.) Building your own thriving kingdom with people working the fields and machines. (Rather than having a Gravelsieve that runs itself, you have to provide safe housing and food supplies to get some NPC to move in and operate it for you. And shear your sheep and milk your cows and gather your eggs and tend your fields and chop and replant your forests and build your tools.) None of these goals would get in the way of any of the existing mods or vice versa.

But you are essentially correct. At most, mods like Hunger, Thirst, Mobs, etc. just present small stumbling blocks to the basic game:

  1. Mine diamond
  2. Make diamond stuff
  3. Start a new game
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Thu Jun 20, 2019 20:24

ThorfinnS wrote:
Red_King_Cyclops wrote:A game with a story could be a good idea, since as a mod the story could get in the way of other mods.
Probably would not. As pointed out, most mods (all the ones I've tested) just add some tweak; different resource gathering (mostly pointless from a story perspective), slightly different gathering rates (ditto), blocks that give your buildings a different appearance (ditto again). Even things like Hunger and Thirst wouldn't get in the way of the story; it just means you have to bring food on your quest, and if its a long quest, some seeds and dirt and maybe a meselamp would be a good idea, too.

I could see the Beanstalk mod being fleshed out into a story. Some of the Villagers mods might do it. Dwarves who build their underground cities. Maybe some sea critters have an underwater city that that you need to lay in enough supplies from Brewing to give underwater breathing, or enough Airtanks or whatnot. (The trick is how to do this without hogging the CPU.) Building your own thriving kingdom with people working the fields and machines. (Rather than having a Gravelsieve that runs itself, you have to provide safe housing and food supplies to get some NPC to move in and operate it for you. And shear your sheep and milk your cows and gather your eggs and tend your fields and chop and replant your forests and build your tools.) None of these goals would get in the way of any of the existing mods or vice versa.

But you are essentially correct. At most, mods like Hunger, Thirst, Mobs, etc. just present small stumbling blocks to the basic game:

  1. Mine diamond
  2. Make diamond stuff
  3. Start a new game

You make a good point of how other mods would add to the story. For example, instead of adding in weapons, the story mod could just depend on mods that already did.
Most Minetest space mods are set in/on Outer Space, the Moon, and Mars, but I am making mods that take place on moons of gas giants.

The Minetest Modding Book can be useful for beginners. Check out Mesehub, the open-source equivalent of Github for Minetest.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ThorfinnS » Thu Jun 27, 2019 19:13

It seems that most mod makers are interested in high-tech approach to extending the game. If that is not the game you want, once you get fully equipped with diamond, you might as well restart. The exception is that mods like mesecons and technic gives you the ability to automate things that, so far as I can tell, you wouldn't care about without those mods.

"If the only reason for going on an expedition is the killing and looting and the only reason for the killing and looting is to pay for the next expedition, they cancel each other out.".
-- Erik the Viking"

Is there even an interest in methods (particularly low-tech) to replace things like crafting? For example the Biofuels mod requires special equipment to accomplish the same exact thing that Basic Materials does instantly with the crafting grid.So if you had to provide housing and food and facilities for a blacksmith, would anyone actually install it in lieu of carrying steel ingots/blocks and logs to just make a new pickaxe?
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Thu Jun 27, 2019 19:37

ThorfinnS wrote:It seems that most mod makers are interested in high-tech approach to extending the game. If that is not the game you want, once you get fully equipped with diamond, you might as well restart. The exception is that mods like mesecons and technic gives you the ability to automate things that, so far as I can tell, you wouldn't care about without those mods.

"If the only reason for going on an expedition is the killing and looting and the only reason for the killing and looting is to pay for the next expedition, they cancel each other out.".
-- Erik the Viking"

Is there even an interest in methods (particularly low-tech) to replace things like crafting? For example the Biofuels mod requires special equipment to accomplish the same exact thing that Basic Materials does instantly with the crafting grid.So if you had to provide housing and food and facilities for a blacksmith, would anyone actually install it in lieu of carrying steel ingots/blocks and logs to just make a new pickaxe?

Another good point. Mods should use crafting more and focus on things other than getting better stuff, such as a story. There's needs to be something to do after getting diamond equipment.
Most Minetest space mods are set in/on Outer Space, the Moon, and Mars, but I am making mods that take place on moons of gas giants.

The Minetest Modding Book can be useful for beginners. Check out Mesehub, the open-source equivalent of Github for Minetest.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ThorfinnS » Fri Jun 28, 2019 04:09

I don't know. Personally, I prefer the Biofuels approach, if only for the possibility of "hiring" workers to keep things functioning smoothly. If you can just craft anything you want, anywhere you want, there's not much game point to building anything. Maybe it's just an activity (much like farming is when you install the Hunger mod) but at least it's something. Without Hunger. there's no point to finding seeds or anything. Get your diamond stuff, restart.

I'm still undecided. Without Hunger, it's pretty easy to just dig straight down pretty much wherever you start, gather diamond, and "win". With Hunger, you have to make a feeble attempt to find something for food, then start digging. Mobs Redo helps, but if they tough enough to be interesting after you get steel armor (10 minutes or so into the game) they are way too tough with anything less than steel. So your best play is to just dig straight down pretty much wherever you start..

I'm not sure what the answer is. The monsters are tougher the further from the origin? OK, but that just further encourages digging straight down. Tougher as you descend? I think that's what Mobs Redo does now. Why bother with biofuels or any other mods if wood (particularly apple and jungle) provides plenty energy for the furnaces? If you don't burn it, it's just going to fill chests anyway. Unless you build rails, why bother mining more than 50 or so iron? Without gravelseive (or arguably bows), why bother with gravel? Without Biofuels, there's not much point to mining more than 1 tin and more than 8 copper, and even that adds only 6 more tin. And you only need the bronze for the binoculars if you intend to scout around a bit before you finish your diamond stuff and restart.

Those who play for building are golden. They want a house made of copper, that's a reason to do some more mining. The rest of us, who are not enthused about building the greatest virtual house that no one else will ever see need a different reason. And I'm trying hard to come up with one. Building a functioning town/society, yeah, that might do the trick. But if you can craft anything, anywhere, why?
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:32

The best motivation for doing a lot more than just mining diamond would be completing a story, since story quests could make players get resources of all kinds and give them things to do with their diamond equipment. Also, the achievements mods could motivate players to do a lot of things in order to achieve the goal of doing all the achievements.

What if ores were rarer and deeper and mobs became more difficult over time? The player would be forced to get the best equipment to survive as soon as possible, and since the ores would be rare the player might find some other way to get resources (such as trading with NPCs).
Most Minetest space mods are set in/on Outer Space, the Moon, and Mars, but I am making mods that take place on moons of gas giants.

The Minetest Modding Book can be useful for beginners. Check out Mesehub, the open-source equivalent of Github for Minetest.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ThorfinnS » Sat Jun 29, 2019 04:26

Depends a lot on your assumptions.

Single player, yeah, you can scale up foes by time (or even by equipment) and keep a player on his toes. But that makes it really hard for multiplayer. Boring for one, impossible for another. You need to separate characters of vastly different power levels.

The random/unique ores looks to have some great potential for a "neverending story". Coupled with something like Realms, one could advance into "new" areas where your old equipment is not suitable for the more powerful monsters of this new realm, so you immediately have to dig to find the special ores of that realm. That would also work well with your sample story, where you are essentially defeating however many different "boss" battles. In a way, it would be kind of like Terraria, except you aren't limited to just pre-hardmode and hardmode. You get however many "modes" Realms supports. Underch also has a lot of potential for short one-offs, where the player learns of some special location he can visit to accomplish some story goal.Playing around with monster drops you could also come up with some craftable story goals.

Rather than a hardcoded "story", I think I'd prefer something procedurally generated, though. So in some games, the first boss battle might be cold-based, others fire, others poison, etc.

[EDIT]
Spitballing things here, one might set the low-end ore of the new realm minable by the highest end pickaxe from the previous realm, and the higher-end ore by the lower grade ore of the current realm. Obviously, the armor and weapons would have to scale by realm, but the tools would not, with the exception mentioned. I think that should work without massive rework of the mod, but I'd have to reread the code. And implement toolranks. ;)

And technically, there's no reason you HAVE to use only 2 random ores per realm just because that's how it is currently coded...
[/EDIT]
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ShadMOrdre » Sun Jun 30, 2019 23:27

Game mechanics, or even more fundementally, game genre.

Is this an RPG? Is it an RTS? Is this a 3D shooter? Is this a puzzle game? Parkour? CTF? Escape Room? 2D side scroller?

Game mechanics, game rules, and many other factors regarding game development are dictated by the above question. Even amongst some of those, the mechanics of playing the game can alter. Is combat handled via formspec, or actual inworld action? Are node interactions formspec based, or inworld? Are quest instantiated inworld, via mob, award, node, or position? Is game data feedback handled naturally via the HUD, or do I need to dig through more formspecs, or worse, know the chat command, have the correct privilege.......

I do NOT like formspecs as a gameplay element. If a node requires me to input something, I should simply right-click place the wield item onto the node. Instead, most MT based games still resort to a formspec to add an item to a node inventory. This is only applicable in some of the above genres.

There are some basic questions that really need to be asked first, as all the rest of this discussion is really moot without it.

Follow this link posted by texmex, read the wikipedia articles on game development, game theory, and the articles on game genres, styles, and so forth. Let's at least start with a common foundation.

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ThorfinnS » Mon Jul 01, 2019 16:01

I'm not really interested in a change in genre or mechanics. If I were, I'd just use a different game. That simple.

All I'd like is a reason to play the game a little longer before starting a new world, or, ideally, something to breathe a little more interest in existing worlds. And that means it has to be more than eye candy, more than just some differently shaped or colored blocks. At present, the only reason to play for more than a few hours is if you have some kind of massive, elaborate structure you want to build. Otherwise pretty much every "goal" can be satisfied in a couple hours. Maybe a half-dozen at the outside. Accumulate one full stack of every farmable plant in the game. Done. Accumulate one stack of metal blocks (not ingots) of every metal. Done. And once you accomplish these goals, what have you actually accomplished? Just some filled chests in a world that that no one bothers joining any more.

I've only been using the game to help teach coding (mostly scripting, really) and, frankly, the kids I'm teaching are getting ready to move on. The game has become stale. The computer lab used to be filled, waiting lists for machines. We had to dedicate many of them to coding only. Granted, it's summer now, but it's getting so much of the time I'm the only one there. They aren't out on bikes or playing ball or anything like that, either. They are sitting on the couch at home playing a different game. It's hard to get any interest in learning to code when they know as well as I do that almost no one is going to bother playing their mods. And certainly no more than a couple "rush to diamond" or "make one stack of each" runs.

[EDIT]
It's not that the mods they were working on weren't worth anything, but rather that they didn't add enough to make up for the lack of a reason to slog through all of the rest yet again. Which is why I think the story needs to be procedurally generated, so it doesn't become yet another "the best way to kill Skeletron" game.
[/EDIT]
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by FreeGamers » Wed Jul 03, 2019 03:05

I'm not personally fond of incorporating a story into Minetest's base game. Players and developers can create their own story if they'd like.

I always felt like story didn't fit in to Minecraft. I was a MC-Alpha or Beta player. It never had a story back then and it never felt like it intended to. I think Notch was just a programmer working on a fun concept. When Minecraft built a huge pool of fans and lots of hype, it sort of felt like story got shoe-horned in to appease that hype. I never worry about story when I play Minetest, you sort of make your own experience. I just saw the ending of Minecraft in a video I watched the other day. After reading the text that scrolls when the ED is killed, it just seemed corny and lame to me. It tried to overlay a sentimental message and quasi-deep concept to an otherwise simple and fun game.

However, that said, I do like the concept of adding bits of world lore. I like the mod lore-books (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19894&hilit=lorebooks) and what the author attempted to do there. If the community ever settles on some generally accepted concepts, maybe they can find their way into there. I think there could be some interested ways to drop lore to players through gameplay though. Everyone more or less gets that Mese is an otherwordly material. Your imagination can fill in the gaps if you need it to.

Audio-logs are a similar concept and that was very popular a few years ago and I would imagine it still is in many games. But even lore-chunks can be an annoying way to introduce story, lots of reading, and less time playing the game... Some people argue that games just aren't the medium for stories, reading books seems to be one of the most efficient mediums for stories, not games. Its a tricky thing to get right, sometimes games do get it right. I always liked when games introduced the world to me through gameplay and level design.

There are some mods and servers that use RPG elements to create quests and XP for the player, but without a story, quests never made sense to me. I get using XP has a tiered ranking system for player access, but quests feel meaningless without context to the world around you and there are gaps in the way things are communicated to you. Why is a sign speaking to me and giving me a quest? Who wrote it? Who is this for? Even if that isn't an active question on the players mind, there is still the sense that context to things is missing. I guess what I'm getting at is that a proper story is a big endeavor that takes a lot of thought and good implementation otherwise it just feels forced and unnecessary, I suppose.

Some videos I thought sort of relevant:
Thief Game Design vs AAA Gaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPqwDGXxLhU
ZP - Bioshock - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGxo2X4B_LE
ZP - Minecraft (Alpha/Beta) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wgQvij3rVE
Last edited by FreeGamers on Wed Jul 03, 2019 03:49, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ThorfinnS » Wed Jul 03, 2019 03:48

I hate being every other post here.

I'm not sure "story" is the right word for what I'm thinking might add interest. "Quest", maybe. It does not have to be a signpost or something, There's no reason a town of villagers, dwarves, elves, sahaugin, lizardfolk, etc. (called whatever to avoid possible copyright issues) could not have a sage, merchant, alchemist, whatever who offers clues about where adventure might be found. Some NPC might offer a reward for a dozen snowblossom, which only grow in such and such "realm", in snowy mountains, and only bloom at night. Or some vessel needs to be refilled with troll blood. Or some NPC priests ask you to return the Crystal Chalice to the Altar of Tears, deep in the heart of some underch region.I'm not a fan of "boss" battles, but that's not required for the ideas Red_King_Cyclops mentioned. Rewards might be anything -- some equippable amulet that gives (additional) healing (3dArmor obviously required.) Some tool (weapon, maybe) you cannot build or otherwise acquire. Maybe just a bunch of gold, assuming you had some way to put that to use. Merchants or traders or something. Special blocks that maybe you can't get anywhere else -- placing them increases growth rate of farming, or gives protection (armor equivalent) some distance, or you get a set of xlocate mod crystals, or whatever.

What I'm getting at is that I don't think you need some Elder Dragon or whatever MC's story is, and certainly nothing that is the same old, same old, every game, As you say, that adds basically nothing. But there are all kinds of "quests" that could be procedurally generated that might add interest. I don't know, maybe they wouldn't. Its just something a little different.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ShadMOrdre » Sat Jul 06, 2019 21:09

ThorfinnS,

This is actually a good topic, the word story is good, for this context.

On that point. There are plenty of self-publish websites, as well as, self-published blogs, in addition to Project Gutenberg. There are plenty of premade stories available, and just looking for a new medium in which to tell them.

I've made a proposal for a larger project, but a decent mechanism for allowing players, game devs, or even modders, to easily and simply add story elements should be a part of the project I've proposed. This would be a good place to work on the story telling aspects.

To that end, look at duanes gutenberg mod and dokimis loor_books mod. I believe a workable system for loading stories from text files without overloading the server could easily be assembled from the resources available.

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by FreeGamers » Thu Jul 11, 2019 23:10

I'm flirting with the idea of dropping clues for tips into the game via books. Currently, I have a server autoannounce system that every 30 minutes drops a random tip into chat. These are mostly survival basics, clues, things like that. However, I'll likely sit and compose some text for books to be dropped in world that contain clues like "By the way, you can make a portal to the nether". But in a fashion more akin to a tale from a storyteller or an account. Certain things need to be communicated to players to help them out since there isn't a standard Wiki like there are for bigger games with more standard item sets and functions. I don't think I'll take it as far as having a larger story theme planned out for the entire game/server, I still think in this case thats best left to players. The idea of introducing concepts to encourage imaginative thinking are appealing too. A lot of scifi shows or films go into introducing concepts without exploring them too deeply. That could perhaps be a fun approach with story tidbits that could tease that behavior out of player's heads.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ShadMOrdre » Fri Jul 12, 2019 07:47

I've always been a fan of Civilization, both for it's rich historical content, but also, because it was just a fun strategy game. I like the idea of a tech tree, instead of crafting. I like the idea of objects in world being the source of new items, instead of using a crafting grid. I really don't like how formspecs remove the immersive feel.

In Civ, in game screens are used out of necessity of the depth of the game. In MT, all that can be effected simply by how interactions are programmed by modders. This leaves the tech tree, which is the progression of items to the end goal. What is the end goal? Everyone complains of bloat, but honestly, content bloat just means content depth, a source from which to draw ideas and well, content. Hahaha.

I like the idea of books containing hints, suggestions, lore. Dokimi has the lore_books mod and duane has the gutenberg mod. Both are a great start for "story" material, lore, legends, mythos. With content from Project Gutenberg and elsewhere, there is room for a mod, or at least a library of code that can make the process of presenting text inworld in an attractive way easier for modders to then use.

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by DrFrankenstone » Fri Jul 12, 2019 09:05

jeremyweston wrote:dropping clues for tips into the game via books... ...I'll likely sit and compose some text for books to be dropped in world that contain clues like "By the way, you can make a portal to the nether".


Great minds...

I'm working on the Nether mod to expose its portals as an API so other realms can register portals - since Minetest can and does have many realms, this generates a "Book of Portals" (like Dokimi's lore_books) so players can find out about them. The book is found in dungeon chests etc.

Image

I hope to place a resource in the Nether earmarked and flavor-texted as another kind of portal-making material - like how obsidian has that role, allowing a realm to lock its portal construction behind the quest/progression of mounting an expedition into the Nether, which is behind the progression of getting to the Nether (obsidian) and the progression of finding a book of portals etc.

I feel that exploration and tech'ing-up are two of the three pillars that hold up Minecraft's gameplay (creativity/builds being the other, as we do not speak of the digital hoarding), as when one becomes boring you kind of switch gears to one of the other goal-pillars instead of changing games.
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Dokimi
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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Dokimi » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:44

Ha ha, I'd forgotten about Lorebooks!

The main thing I was going for there was not so much story, as meaning.

Currently the world feels empty. Mese is just some stuff, dungeons exist ...because dungeons exist. It makes the world feel pointless. Ennui? Anomie?

The reality is that all those things exist because someone here made them.

Someone decided we want dungeons and coded them. A little piece of that person is in the game. Every feature in Minetest does have meaning, and a real story. We just never know what it is.

Lorebook's aim was to get those real stories inside the game, our real stories, so that the world comes alive with real meaning. Of course it all gets fictionalized and therein lies the fun e.g. Mese actually exists because the "creator god" had to give the world something to mine and named it after a Finnish joke word.

This is the kind of "story" that only a community like Minetest could ever tell, because it is our story. It would be chaotic, crazy, make no sense, and would be, I think, a lot of fun.

~~~
As to coding it:
The Lorebooks mod is not set up right (and I'm not skilled enough to fix it!). Some requirements:
- add a minimal number of book items, but able to access an infinite number of texts (otherwise crafting gets spammed by books)
- Limit to short texts (i.e. 1-2 min reads, so they can be read during pauses in play without breaking immersion).
- Can handle custom fonts.
- Can accept book collections released as mods by anyone (so that anyone can easily add their own set, remove sets they dislike etc)
- Natural ways of getting them into the world. e.g. libraries, bookshops, loot.

~~~
(Some interesting thoughts guys. Story/meaning/goals etc is certainly a bit of a gap in Minetest at the moment. The Lorebooks concept is just one possible answer to that (I like the portal's book there too! That kind of thing was another aim of lorebooks))
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by FreeGamers » Sat Jul 13, 2019 18:48

I'm personally OK without a story, but I'm more interested in making the mechanics fun and fair and using books to introduce contextual clues via story is just a way to provide players with some essential information for me.

I don't mind having some peices of lore in the game. I think there are types of players that thrive off of the immersive context of a story for motivation and certain types of players that thrive off challenges, feedback loops, and progression. I'm not saying they are mutually exclusive, but it seems some people prefer one or the other. I know I'm in the game-play camp, I used to play Quake Live for hours without ever knowing a single thing about the world or why a bunch of people were in a death-match without any context. I've been running a server for a month or so now and there is a player in my community who just like to walk around in the world looking at things and exploring. Also, there is a player in my server who pursues minerals, technic machines, and progression with a dedicated focus.

I can't really think of any game stories that have really floored me, and I've played a lot fun narrative/linear games, but nothing really felt epic or more memorable than solid gameplay mechanics to me. But when I think of something like Portal, the narrative, settings, and antagonist all really do enhance the fun basic puzzle mechanic of the game. Same with Half Life, DOOM, etc etc. So there is something to be said about those things when they are done properly. I think I was more sensitive to that immersion when I was younger too.

The MT modding community seems to be composed of people that primarily write content and code. I think those types of people tend to be a bit more skeptical and scrutinizing. You know that old stale cliche about the right/left side of the brain? Creative and Logical parts? Maybe we could encourage people to come up with creative ideas or story-packs to try to spruce up those story elements somehow?

As for deities and religion, I understand some people have apprehension for introducing those elements into a game. I don't have strong feelings for it one way or the other. Having the lore mention divine elements does not necessarily mean confirming a divine presence into the game or in real-life. Divine or mystic elements could always be wrapped in the context of perspective from an ancient culture or theology (such as an archaeological perspective like Indiana Jones) or something along those lines.

I feel like Minecraft went on a downhill path because they kept adding content in the wrong area without enhancing core gameplay too much. Story, boss battles, expanding too much on villager/illagers, flying, skin packs, etc. My personal taste was with the determinism and spelunking of the game. But maybe there is only so much you can do with the survival mechanic and basic concepts.
 

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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by ShadMOrdre » Sat Jul 13, 2019 19:45

I completely failed to mention Wuzzys doc modpack, which is an easy to support in world help system.

Dokimi, what if the color of the book denoted the content of the text. Historical books, red, Technical books, blue, Nature books, green, Atlases, yellow, Help books orange, Story books.........

And I'll look at the code for both lorebooks and gutenberg. I believe it should be easy to read text from files in segments for larger story type books, while also allowing for small text files of these wonderful real world stories regarding the content being exposed.

Shad
MY MODS: lib_ecology lib_materials lib_clouds lib_node_shapes ---- Inspired By: Open Source Virtual World Simulator Opensimulator.
 

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Dokimi
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Re: What if there was a mod that gave Minetest a story?

by Dokimi » Sat Jul 13, 2019 23:19

jeremyweston wrote:... I'm more interested in making the mechanics fun and fair and using books to introduce contextual clues via story is just a way to provide players with some essential information for me...


Agreed. It is a game after all. To try and treat it like a novel would just fail. It is best suited to "emergent stories", e.g. like in Crusader Kings, or Rimworld.

jeremyweston wrote:...As for deities and religion, I understand some people have apprehension for introducing those elements into a game. ...


Lorebooks was an experiment. I'm not even sure I like it! Best is to do it in the spirit of open-source. Let it evolve. Let people pick and choose. Hence it needs a system that allows that to happen.


ShadMOrdre wrote:...Dokimi, what if the color of the book denoted the content of the text. Historical books, red, Technical books, blue, Nature books, green, Atlases, yellow, Help books orange, Story books.........


That's how lorebooks currently does it, the problem is that each book is a unique item. Add too many and crafting guides etc get spammed. So... maybe 5-10 unique items (color coded) with the actual text linked in metadata??

~~~
My thoughts more generally.

Emergent story is the way to go. I think it emerges out of three things:
1) Meaning: e.g. character, history, sense of place.
2) Progress: the gameplay elements, goals, etc. A constant sense of forward momentum.
3) Dynamism: a world that changes by itself, and in response to the player.

Crusader Kings is a good example that gets all three right. The player can get sucked into stories of incest and murder (story), or just try take over the world (game mechanics) according to preference.
 

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