Amazed and FRUSTRATED by the Dungeon Maker Activation Gadgets.

Level 2
9 months ago

I'm new to Solasta, been playing it for about 2 weeks. Back in the day I coded a lot of NWN and had great fun building new adventures. But I am finding myself more frustrated the more I use the Dungeon Builder.

The documentation is slim, but there are some good sources (thanks SirMadnessTV). The documentation on NWN was just incredible, I will say. Not so much with Solasta.

I am new to this system, and perhaps I have missed some points and don't have enough time invested yet. Or, maybe I have a different view of how it looks like it should work. Maybe I am just out of touch, but whichever it is, there are some major issues in my opinion.

The idea of a node system is great, but the implementation is lacking in I/O capabilities. It is painfully obvious to me at least that the Activator gadgets are very limited and somewhat flawed.

The BIG issue for me is ENABLE and DISABLE gadgets are too limited.

There are hundreds of cases in a D&D game where the DM makes silent rolls, and this is very difficult in Dungeon Maker as it stands.

I want to be able to cascade events across a Dungeon. Triggering events from OTHER events, and so on.

Case in point:

1. Any room.

2. There is a torch on the West wall. It has an ENABLED Roll Activator, so the players get the manipulation icon when cursoring over it.

3. There is a sewer grate on the East wall. It has a DISABLED Roll Activator.

4. When they click the torch they trigger a Roll Activator for an INT check.

5. On FAIL they get a message from an Activated Lore gadget. Nothing else happens.

6. On a PASS, they get a different message, and they SILENTLY ENABLE the Roll Activator on the sewer grate on the East wall.

7. After the PASS on the torch, the Roll Activator on the grate comes into play and if the group is looking around, now the grate has a DEX check with another set of PASS/FAIL options.

8. Perhaps this then activates another gadget and the process continues.

As it stands right now, I can't make this work. And it doesn't work because you can't ENABLE/DISABLE a gadget from a Roll Activator PASS/FAIL conditions.

Case in point:

1. I want to trigger a Roll Activator from an Area Activator, silently or with a message, without a button press, to then ENABLE/ DISABLE other gadgets.

It can't be done with the gadgets as they stand, which is a shame.

The Messy hack to place multiple Gadgets is cool, but it's a hack, and it doesn't help here.

Perhaps I can use VARIABLES to make this work, but that is a lot of EXTRA effort for something that appears to be doable in the base system. Because you can attach gadgets that will not function, and get no error messages along the way, I can make the connections THAT LOOK LIKE THEY SHOULD WORK, but don't.

The terminology for Activate/Deactivate and Enable/Disable is also somewhat confusing and not always obvious.

I understand this is not a AAA game budget. I also realize that the window is probably closed to make any major changes to the system. I wish I had found the beta years ago and could have added some input. My bad.

It's a great game. I'll keep playing, but I might not have the patience to stick with the Dungeon Builder for the long term.

Thanks again, and keep up the great work on this game. It really is a wonderful attempt to make D&D pen and paper into a computer thing. Best thing since NWN for sure.


--My specs: Windows 10 Pro, 21H2 b19044.2251, PC, i79900K, GTX 1070 Ti, 64GB Ram, Nvme 2GB, Game Pass Windows version.

7 months ago

This sounds crazy, but I deal with this situation with variables, This way I have access to the "update variable" activators.   In the dungeon, you have "Updated Variable Activators" to enable or activate things when the variable changes. 

So you might have a variable for "Sewer Grate" where 0 = player hasn't interacted yet. 1 = they have lit the torch. 2 = they have passed the skill check at the gate (which activates a virtual exit).

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out how to test if a torch is lit or not, so instead I place a chain on the wall and interacting with the chain (skill check) results in something happening - like an activated a lore that they hear grinding gears from the direction of the grate.

Maybe this will help?