AvernumScript/Introduction To Scenario Design

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Welcome to the Blades of Avernum Scenario Editor! The Blades of Avernum system enables you to make fantasy role-playing adventures of great detail and complexity. And, hopefully, fun. It is a demanding program, and creating the next great adventure is not for the faint of heart. However, with time and ingenuity, you can create stories that will captivate Blades of Avernum fans all over the world. Using the editor is a long journey. So, before you start, here are a few words of advice, intended to make your job a lot easier:

Introduction To Scenario Design[edit]

If You Are a Beginner, Read the Tutorial[edit]

If you’ve never used this scenario editor before, be absolutely sure to read Chapter 1.1, “Making Your First Scenario, Step By Step”. It’s the very first chapter. It will take you, step by step, through all of the most important features for scenario design. For the novice, it is absolutely invaluable.

Play the Game![edit]

Don’t even think about starting to use the editor until you have played through all of the scenarios that come with Blades of Avernum. Before you can work in this medium, you have to really understand how the game works. You should be comfortable with how the game flows, how the terrain works, and what the game system is like. That is the only way you can really understand what you are doing.

Don’t Expect Miracles[edit]

I won’t lie to you. You can create very basic, simple scenarios with this editor without a lot of work. However, you will have to put in a lot of hours if you want to figure out how to make this editor truly shine. Scripting is powerful, but it is not always easy.

Expect Limitations[edit]

The Blades of Avernum system is not created to be infinitely versatile. You can’t create arcade elements. It won’t lend itself well to making science fiction adventures, or adventures in settings far from Avernum. Also, you are sure to think of something extremely clever you want to do that the engine doesn’t make possible. I tried to anticipate everything, but I am sure I failed many, many times.

It Is Work[edit]

People are often surprised at how much work and concentration is takes to make adventures. It takes time to make good stuff. I strongly suggest, for your first a adventure, aiming small. A few outdoor sections. Ten or twenty towns and dungeon levels. Don’t try to make the world-changing epic until you really understand what you’re getting into. It is better to release and share one small adventure than to make half of a huge one that nobody ever sees.

Learn From Examples[edit]

The best way to learn how to do anything is to work from an example. If, for example, you want to see how to place a locked door, open one of the scenarios that came with the game and look at the doors in it. If you want to see how to make scripts, read the scripts in scenarios already completed. Do not be ashamed of looking at the work of others. It is the very best way to learn.

Back Up Your Work![edit]

I have lost count of the times that some poor user has relayed to me a tale of a crashed machine, file corruption, or similar problem that destroyed their scenario (along with many hours of work). Computers are machines, and machines can fail! Back up your work frequently!

Use Online Resources![edit]

Scenario design is complicated, but you don’t have to face the struggle alone. Go to the Scenario Workshop to read helpful tutorials on scenario design, and go to the Blades of Avernum forum on our web site to ask questions and trade tips. Designing role-playing games can be really fun, exciting, and satisfying. I’ve been doing it for ten years, and I’m only just getting started. So if you want to give it a shot and see what people really think of your work, read on. If I haven’t scared you off... let’s go! —Jeff Vogel, Keeper of Avernum