Tags are Magic

I was going through some playtester comments, one of which noted that diplomacy-related magic wasn’t as useful as it might be. So I did a quick review of the four blessings that seemed like they would relate to diplomacy. And while I’m not sure I was looking for exactly what was reported, it did seem like they could be more important.

Understanding: Helps our dealing with foreignersI’ve mentioned before that scene tags have been very useful. One of the diplomacy-related blessings is called “Understanding.” It’s implemented as

+1 in scenes tagged @foreigners

Diplomatic missions can be sent to a variety of people, so scripts like news_GiveGifts (which reports on simple gift-giving) can’t simply have the tag. But tags can be dynamically added, so making the magic more broadly useful was a matter of

RemoveSceneTag(ThisScene, "@*")    # Any previous dynamic tags
[otherClan.culture = 'other] AddSceneTag(ThisScene, "@foreigners")

Even though it takes two lines of OSL, I like this better than something like

[HasBlessing(ourClan, "Silvertongue")] b += 1

(which another blessing needed) because it affects the entire script, rather than just a specific branch.

The game makes extensive use of tags. The scene compiler uses a few to make sure scripts with very particular conditions are triggered from a single spot. Unit testing uses ten tags so it can set up the right context for running scripts. The UI code checks for tags that determine that a scene needs special elements like a text field. And there are over 100 tags that help categorize scripts, including whether magic applies to them.

Author: David

Creator of Six Ages and King of Dragon Pass

8 thoughts on “Tags are Magic”

  1. Very interesting! I’m getting more excited by the day. Okay, by the month. These things seem to resemble KoDP quite a bit. So will the game basically be the mechanics of KoDP but refined and with a few changes, except with all-new scenes and story lines? Or will the mechanics also be quite different? I couldn’t find a comparison between the games anywhere. Or perhaps that’s still a secret, just as well.

  2. Nice, I like that you’ve made things so easy to rebalance or adjust.

    Is there any possibility for the game to eventually be moddable by players? It looks like your OSL scripting could be fairly approachable to learn for people with some basic coding knowledge, and I’d love to try my hand someday at scripting a new event or heroquest or three. 🙂

    1. How much longer were you willing to wait so that you could add an event?

      No, it’s not moddable. OSL is supposed to be approachable though, so anyone on the team can at least read it.

      And no, 'other is a numeric constant.

  3. Amazing! 4 years of development, based on a decades-long improved world setting and with the experience of KoDP. Being a well balanced game was one of the countless aspects of KoDP -my favourite game. And reading how much effort you put into Six Ages for the balancing issues and being bug free, that’s something “modern” game developers don’t do. They just rush into the market, leaving everything later for the patches. I admire you guys, since 1999, and thanks a lot for all the hours I’ve enjoyed with KoDP!

    I’ve some questions thou I dunno if they may be answered before the release (or even after the release)

    – Will there be any reference to Dragon Pass? I remember blurry that Six Ages won’t take place in Dragon Pass, but it would be awesome to be able to send some emissaries, explorer there or having frequent visits from Dragon Pass. 19 years with Dragon Pass, feels like home 🙂

    – What did happen to the Lunar King (the guy that Tarsh guys were fighting a lot).

    – Dragons. I was always nice towards them. They aren’t bad. I’m sure it was humans who acted funny. Dragons had the power to raze all the clans of Dragon Pass during KoDP but they did not unless provoked – well provoked. So do we have any dragons or dragonewts in Six Ages?

    – Ducks ? 🙂 I was also a pretty good neighbor for them.

    – Non-human clan members. Yep, Orlanthi are not friendly towards non-human beings and non-humans so not favor humans, but in an environment with full of different races, will be able to recruit some non-humans into our clan? Maybe even in the clan ring?

    – Clan ring Chronicle. Oh please add a chronicle/legend section. I had to separately hold the record of my clan leaders, kings, warchiefs, head emissaries, legal advisors, head merchants, tricksters and other clan members (animal, plant, magic etc I just tagged them as ‘other’ hehe) with their birth year, serving on clan ring years, death year, death cause (exploration and old age were common), known for events (success at a battle, made peace with a clan etc) and completed hqs. I even gave them nicknames (the white beard, dragonslayer, founder etc). Good old days hehe.

    – kids and kids. Will we be able to see sons and daughters of our noble clan ring members as the next candidates as well?

    – don’t feed the troll…hahahahaha. was a good way to get rid of the useless members to spawn new ones. Cruel thou.

  4. You know, returning to KoDP in 2018 having played it as a really young fellow in 2006, I can truly appreciate the game and it’s mastery. It’s funny too, because the raiding soundtrack features bagpipes and I’m learning the pipes. It all loops around I suppose, haha.

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