Does anyone know if or when they are going to add more quests to the refugee center, such as the doctors quest line or new quests at the tacoa commune (whatever the place at the ranch is called)
Who are “they” you are referring to?
when people who volunteer their free time for free feel like doing it
You can always add your own quests as a mod. May even get it mainlined. I am actually working on a mod that adds a new npc to the refugee camp with a romance questline. You may not like my tastes tho.
I think this question has merits. I just ended my latest campaign in a state where I had pretty much all skills and stuff you can get and had done all the quests I could find. The experience was mainly good. The engine has certainly improved a lot lately. Crafting and combat have proper depth and are interesting even for a longer campaign.
But if I had to name a complaint, it would be the lack of story and lore substance. Being used to these post-apocalyptic rpg-styles being intensive in the narrative (e.g. Fallout games), the lore layer of C:DDA unfortunately feels too thin. There are hints to a deeper story underneath, but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere to be found. Most of the existing quests seem to be more busywork than parts of an actual story arc. Some of them are outright boring with the structure of either going to a spot X and back or collecting ten billion items Y.
I realize it’s a game done by volunteers and I know not to expect a full port to Unreal anytime soon. Still, writing a meaningful story and quests would be well within the possible scope for a game like this. With many of the earlier shortcomings now amended, my opinion is that narrative should be the next main focus for the project. In its current state, the game lacks immersion and closure.
If a suitably skilled volunteer doesn’t exist, I’d be perfectly willing to contribute financially to hiring one for the project for a limited time. I’m sure I’m not the only player with this sentiment.
P.S. I read my post again, and it may come off as unnecessarily negative. That’s not my intention. The game is wonderful. I keep coming back to it. Maybe that’s the reason why I feel so strongly it needs more meat on its bones. =)
Please come add some. I’m happy to consult on the storylines in mind. I will get back to the refugee center at some point, but my plate is full and my available time to work on things has gotten shorter, not longer.
Please keep in mind: This isn’t a finished game like Fallout you’ve mentioned (although, looking at the state of one of the Fallouts - and I’m sure you can guess which I mean - it looks like that one also was published in an unfinished state).
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, at least in my understanding, is in active development. You can say it’s in “alpha” (hence the 0.[…] version count).
As it is, a lot of things are inexistent in the game that are thought they should exist, some are at least outlined in the design document, some more concretely defined on the related GitHub’s Project page.
Quests, more end goals, and generally “more” are just a few of the things missing.
Just in case you or someone else considering this didn’t know; there are multiple ways to support the project, with or without money…:
- You can request and/or vote for your favorite feature to get implemented over on FeatHub.
- You can contribute to GitHub directly. This doesn’t necessarily mean writing code, you can also work out (as an example) the storyline of a quest and post it as a suggestion (can also be done here in the forum, but it might or might not get implemented).
- You can generally support the project financially by donating to the Patreon of the Project or to some of the developers.
- You can put a bounty on an issue that’s up on GitHub. You can also post an issue/suggestion and put a bounty on that.
I guess one way to get access to some more background would be a quest where you rescue someone from the inside, such as a scientist in a lab, or a more or less willing cyborg subject in one, in which case it would have to be someone who’s not as broken as the standard variety, and who does remember things. That character might have info to share, and the location may have info either on terminals, SD-rom (if text is supported), or “books/lab journals” that might use the newspaper pages as a foundation.
How to get the quest? A base camp with a radio might pick up a distress call (but that would presumably require coding for incoming message events), and you might get it from a Melchior terminal, since these seem to be hooked up to radio towers, and thus might be able to communicate with the surroundings to some extent.
Thank you for the list, Valase. I must admit I didn’t know all this. I think especially the bounty system looks promising, although many of the posted issues and feature requests seem to be about technical details.
As for writing consistent lore and a super story arc for the game, I don’t think it’s feasible to leave such a task for the players. If a large number of people write a little lore, it’s going to end up becoming a confusing patchwork of contradictory storytelling.
Something so essential and extensive will only work out, if someone with a pretty good idea about the world, preferably the project leader, actively coordinates it. I don’t see a bounty or two from an individual player cutting such a large scale effort. Also, the responsibility should be centralized - it’s just too much to ask from casuals.
Like you mentioned, the game is in an alpha state when it’s quite understandable that a lot of the intended substance is missing. Still, it has been in development for quite a long time now. Being realistic, it’s going to take some actual cash influx (at minimum in the order of tens of thousands) and a couple of full time paid developers/designers to finish the game in any sensible time scale. Raising cash for that would be a logical step, but I think the initiative has to come from the current developers.
I’d be happy to throw in a stray hundred euros every now and then for a planned out Kickstarter -type project for creating quests and storyline for the game. Patreon could work just fine for the money transfers, but people would have to know what they’ll be getting and at what price. That’s the way I like to support the creation of good games. I just lack the time and mental fortitude to constantly participate in the actual process.
You are taking CDDA development wrong.
I don’t suppose you want to elaborate on that.
I think what Zhilkin means with that (unless s-/he addressed my post) is, that this game is probably never going to be coded/designed/developed by hired programmers/designer on a salary, as it’s less a “game” and more a “project” which will develop dynamically with its community (feel free to correct me on that).
During the years, the lore of the game also shifted quite a bit. This can be seen as good and/or as bad, depending on your viewpoint.
This will be harder or impossible to do - if necessary in the future - when there’s a team of full time developers.
A lot of the community aspect and influence would be lost.
I can appreciate that. My intention was never to downplay the role of the community. Rather what I was trying to suggest was subcontracting some of the parts that don’t suit well for this kind of communal development style. The lack of almost all plot even after all these years emphasizes this challenge and money is a proven solution for such problems.
If paid devs are unwelcome, then the next best thing would be to provide the community with better boundaries for the lore development and a good scripting interface for quests.
I still believe one or a few individuals will have to outline the super arc and core quests. Also, a style guide would be necessary. Individual contributors could then pick items from the list one by one and write/implement them. Without central coordination, I’m afraid any attempt at building an overarching plot would turn out really messy.
Interesting idea. It does make me wonder if the devs even WANT a core/main quest experience or not, at least in the usual open world game sense (like Alduin in Skyrim, or the Master in Fallout 1). I’ve seen that they want to expand factions and have more impact via player interaction with them, leading to changes like new settlements on the map or areas being patrolled by certain factions, possibly even ‘safe zones’. But this is a lot of coding, and so goes to the back burner until someone gets around to it. But not necessarily anything more than emergent quests. Basically, core game seems to be intended that your character will never find out what happened per se (you can get snippets in the labs, but those are for the player and not the character), has no meaningful impact on the world long term, and even post human cyborg mutant demigod end game is still just a faceless survivor who, despite securing a future for the Refugee Center, will immediately be forgotten. So kinda like Rust, but with more NPCs.
The main problem is that those who are working on it have different priorities, and quests might not be what they care about (or feel comfortable working on). As far as I’ve seen from my rather brief time with the game, there are a few individuals that provide coordination, so the main problem probably isn’t coordination but individuals prepared to bit off sizeable chunks to coordinate. It’s not surprising that the game and lore moves about as the group of people doing the coordination changes.
If you really care about improving the plot, the first action would be to dive in and implementing it yourself. Since that does not seem to be an option, recruiting people to do it would be the next best thing (where recruiting doesn’t necessarily have to be hiring: it could be finding suitable people and convince them that it’s a worthy/enjoyable/challenging thing to work on. I agree a good quest scripting interface probably would make scripting quests easier, but whoever is implementing that interface isn’t implementing quests, so it will trade longer term rewards for short term “boring infrastructure with no immediate benefit for the player” work.
I would say we definitely don’t want a “main quest”, in part because the game is designed so that contributors can add lore where they want. It’s always going to be an open world game where you find stories as you want, and the more different from each other they are the better. The vast majority of good playable content needs no special lore knowledge.
AFAIK there is no way we’d ever consider raising money to hire a bunch of dedicated programmers. It’s in total violation to the entire point of the game and I’m very unconvinced it would produce a better project in the end.
Hmmm, I wonder if the basic “physics engine” could be separated from the storyline such that a player could load a story pack that contained set pieces, NPCs, quests and critters. Or is that how it works already?
I suppose it’s ok not to want a main quest for replayability reasons, although I don’t see it hurting either Nethack or Fallout games. Not having a strong lore background, however, is counterproductive. Worlds with engaging backstories are the ones getting the most fan fiction. I think having almost none is what’s keeping people adding more - they don’t know where to begin. Also, they can’t be certain what will be accepted as part of the game canon, which can be discouraging.
As for the hired help part, I just don’t understand that one. If something is needed but isn’t getting done, why wouldn’t one pay someone to get a little assistance? That’s kinda one basis of modern society. I can’t count the number of times when a little outside consultation was exactly what our team needed. Paying is what allows getting exactly the skillset required at the time and making sure the hours are put in in a timely fashion. I’m very unconvinced it wouldn’t produce a better end result when applied properly.
At least it’d be a damn lot better than the elitist answer one keeps seeing on the boards: “If you want something, do it yourself.”
I don’t mind changing my opinion when I’m met with good arguments, but this one is somehow starting to sound more and more like an attitude problem and a matter of arbitrary principle.
i don’t think we would exactly turn down someone hiring someone else to do writing on the project. I’ll admit that i’d be pretty jealous that someone else could jump in on the project being paid for it, but i suppose them’s the breaks. To add context, I’ve been pushing my github sponsors a little bit more, though i really hate pushing it too much because it is by no means an obligation. erk’s the one who added the most NPCs in the past year and a half, and he switches back and forth between a lot of things as well.
At least it’d be a damn lot better than the elitist answer one keeps seeing on the boards: “If you want something, do it yourself.”
The reason we say this is because noone currently on the project is being (directly) paid to do it, which means they’re doing it as a hobby. they may take inspiration or suggestions, but at the end of the day it’s about what the contributors want to do. There was a bounty of $350 on nested containers. Do you know how many manhours I put into that? I can’t give you a precise estimation, but more than 600 hours for sure. Definitely spent about a year and a half on it off and on so it could possibly be more than double that. I did that not for the $350, but for the actual feature itself. The kudos from reddit was pretty nice, too I even started mentioning my GitHub sponsors a little while ago, though I don’t always feel comfortable pushing it because it is by no means an obligation.
The Object Creator tool I am working on will hopefully make it easier for people to translate a story into json so that maybe we get a few more contributors after that, though there’s still a bit of a road ahead.
Note that there was also a kickstarter a while back that attempted to hire someone to implement… something idk what. They did the bare minimum and then left afaik.
If something is needed but isn’t getting done, why wouldn’t one pay someone to get a little assistance?
As a general statement this is quite reasonable, but if you take dda as the example, you’ll see that the joy of most of the devs come from actually implementing things, writing things, coming up with new things. The point isn’t the destination, but the project itself. We’re all in it for the ride, and we’re happy that many people enjoy the (unfinished) product we’re still working on. If the project suddenly restructures (somehow) and people start demanding specific things from specific people, that’ll end up with them leaving. The project doesn’t have any kind of income to speak of as well, so how are we going to pay a developer? how are we going to get them to stay to finish it? how are we going to get them to finish what they were doing if we run out of funds? People who do something as a job have money as their motivation, so if ever there’s no money, they’re gone.
they can’t be certain what will be accepted as part of the game canon
You absolutely can. We have an official discord where 90% of the developers hang out and talk about dev all hours of the day. If you want to add something but are not sure about it, it’s easy to ask. The worst we can say is “no” but tbh the most likely thing we could say (besides “sure”) is “can you change x thing”
I apologize for the stream of thought reply. It’s not very well-structured but I am pretty sure I covered most of the points I guess, except for the argument about the game’s lore direction which I try to stay out of since that’s not my favorite area.
Thank you, KorGgenT. This actually clarifies a couple of concepts about the project which I may not have understood properly earlier.
I’ve been under the impression, that the devs are striving to get the game to some point where it could be called 1.0 and then it’d be catered, even possibly marketed for wider audiences. Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen anyone say that. I just kinda assumed the end goal of game development is to publish the game.
If the project is mainly about the developers having a hobby and expressing themselves, then I can understand why not having strict project management nor anyone getting paid is the way to go. Hobbies shouldn’t be very goal-oriented. In such a context even having players at all is just a bonus, not a necessity.
Also, I didn’t know someone had already tried to raise funds and failed. Perhaps the player base is too small to sustain enough cash flow to keep even a small team paid. And considering what you told about the number of hours you have put it, voluntary work is probably the only feasible way to do it as it is.
Now at this point, the engineer in me starts saying that these things are related. If no active effort is put into increasing the player base (especially players willing to pay something), it’s no wonder there isn’t cash flow. Of course in this case it may be intentional. I guess I expected the developers to just be waiting for the project to get big enough for them to start doing it full time and leave their day jobs like it is with many game projects. Perhaps not with this one.
And this of course makes me a little sad. I don’t mind people having hobbies, but this particular project has so much potential it could well yield a polished commercial game under the right circumstances. It’d take someone with a businessman attitude rather than that of a hobbyist and those two may not mix here. Unfortunately from a casual player’s point of view, these premises mean that also in the future things will take their good time to evolve.
Anyway, I still hope the devs will consider the storytelling aspect in future development. While some people may prefer high variance and unrelated lore snippets, I strongly believe that a consistent setting is the foundation of all good adventures. And no matter how much one prefers it bleak and minimalistic, if you want to have an emotional impact on your audience, it’s always better to tell the stories than not.