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New map Pentachoron Garden

I'm building a new map for DS1 LoA and I'd like to share the progress!
I've put the files up on github over here:

The map is meant to be pretty and exploratory, rather than epic or challenging. Also supposed to be open-worldey but until now there's only one way to go so yeah.
There's a mill, a farm, and a park in between; plus a somewhat rusty teleport system called the Flip-Flop.
- 6 NPCs
- 3 quests
- A shop with beginner items
- A packmule rental
- A few light enemies & a little loot

I've added some nice music that is royalty-free with attribution ( and it's in its own .dsres file because it's orders of magnitude larger than the rest of the map. If not present, standard DS music is played.

As said this is Work in Progress - I want to add several more regions. I don't know when I'll get around to that tho so no guarantees. But if anyone here would like to try out this map I'd love to hear your thoughts about it!

With DS1 Start the Witch's flip does the same thing. Will go back to DSLoA and check the flips that worked before.

The Mill and Farm Flips are working correctly. The Inn, Smithy and witch flips do not work, all produce a black screen when you flip back.

That's weird, I've never observed this behavior, and I think I tried all of them. I certainly tested the Inn flip a lot because I went back & forth to hire all the NPCs. And the flips should all be implemented in the same way, but I'll double-check.
One thing that might have happened is that the black-out flip mood was activated, but the mood of the destination place was not. Weird because there's at least half a second in between iirc.
If it happens again, could you try the following:
- flip again - the screen might be dark but you should still be able to click on the flip switch, gotta search a bit in the dark
- walk around in front of the inn entrance / in front of the witch's house / around the smitty flip, in the hope to collide with the mood trigger that is set up for the starting-point area, or to find a mood trigger at a building entrance

For the meantime I also want to advise you to hit that quicksave button frequently Wink It's very frustrating to lose an hour of progress when you run into a klaw, and even more so if it's because of a bug.
Actually for the final release I'm planning to put a few one-shot autosave triggers here & there...

Edit: Could you disable your far-sight mod? Maybe it interferes with the moods

I turned off see far LoA. This was done to verify it was not conflicting with the flip mood. As I had the exact same issues with DS1 that has no see far hack it was really unnecessary. I also set the camera distances to default. Does not Help. I do not believe that it is a problem with video card or the fact that I run windows 7. As nothing has changed with my system between the previous revision of the garden which worked perfectly and the current version of the garden. Please will someone else that has played the previous version try the new version as Foerstj and I might go crazy if this is not resolved.

Love that witch's cottage. Including the "pet" in the cellar.

Flip-flops OK so far.

Running from previous save game, at inn, with 0.5 map and resources downloaded last night. (Haven't tried the music - I usually play without, i.e. music volume set to zero.) Windows 10, 64-bit, retail LoA CD. LoA start.

Started at inn with one hero, five tasks completed (three flip-flops activated, phrak and wolf killed). Hadn't been through the orchard. Accepted the two girls, Bailey because she comes for free and Millie because an archer is always useful. Tested teleporting around the three original places. Spent, at the mill, what money I'd left; then went through the orchard from farm to inn (killing both the boss gremal and Lord Hovart).

Teleported to mill again then walked through the wood to the witch. Tested the flip-flop witch->witch, witch->mill, mill->witch, witch->inn and inn->witch. Unable to reproduce bare_elf's blackout problem.

Crossed bridge from cottage heading for where ahead for krugwood (inn) or left for graveyard (farm) - game crashed (Windows exception). Unable to reproduce this. We do know the game to be pretty stable but not perfectly so, and since I was restarting after lunch, problem may have been caused, for example, by anti-virus trying to butt in with a "background tasks completed" message box.

One problem to report - klaws passing through graveyard east gates, when closed, without impediment. Whereas a party on one side of the south gates is protected from a klaw on the other. The north gates certainly stopped gargoyles and the undead from getting out.

[EDIT - on further testing, I now think it is a time lag when closing the gate.]

I must have destroyed the skeleton captain but which of the skeletons with buckler was it? In Ehb map the skeleton captain, who we meet alone, has no glowing column to distinguish it. Here, it could do with one.

The large chest inside the klaws' hut, at the back, faces the door. Despite that, my hero opened it by running round to outside the back of the hut. And after that the chest was empty, just like the large one in the spookeywood. Despite which my trio have reached the farm with not quite full loads, but enough to say, "lets rent a mule".

Again, which of the undead was the particular "ancient corpse" we were asked to kill?

I know I killed the Hulking Gremal. The quest journal tells me I did. When I walk through the orchard a second time, the hulking gremal is generated a second time.

@bare_elf I have an idea: Did you download the latest .dsmap file, but not the accompanying .dsres files?
The problem might be that some moods are undefined.

Whoa, just continued with a savegame from a previous map version? Courageous Smile

Phew, I was a bit worried about the witches' pet that people who didn' save for 1h wouldn't find it very funny. Also don't touch the shrine in the witches' backyard lol. (I'm adding a few savegame triggers currently, just to avoid this kind of problems.)

You killed Lord Hovart in the Orchard with 3 party members after barely reaching the Inn? Not bad. I've had lots of complaints about him being too hard (it's an open-world map with teleports, duh, come back later!)

I'll have a look at the Graveyard east gate & klaw chest, thanks!

About chests I get a lot of complaints that they're empty. They are taken from the original Ehb map and have random content and might be empty. But on the map there are very few chests and always in a place that should be a player reward - like after defeating a boss. I should just customize them to make them always contain something.

Ancient Corpse or Skeleton Captain? There's a Skeleton Captain in the Spookeywood and an Ancient Corpse in the Graveyard. And yeah the Graveyard is full of undead enemies that are none too hard so it's really a big fest of slashing rotten meat and bones, and then suddenly your quest is fulfilled. I've added a "boss rays" aura to the Ancient Corpse.

Thank you again for playing and the detailed feedback! Smile

Edit: The Hulking Gremal occurring again might be an issue of loading an old savegame with a new map. Maybe the Hulking Gremal doesn't have the same SCID anymore and therefore isn't recognized as being slain already.

First is this the correct version? Pentachoron Garden 0.3 "The Brook"
foerstj released this 29 days ago
New regions: Inn, Orchard & Snapper Pond.
When I downloaded the map and resources files yesterday the .dsres was 13.5 kb today when I redownloaded the .dsres it was 10.5
I did not use a previous save when starting the game I will have to try that.
Still broken.

The releases are here:
The newest is 0.5 "The Mount" Smile
13.5 kb seems about right for 0.5 tho, that must have been the right one...

Did you also continue a savegame from an old version? I was doing lots of changes on the existing regions as well, so I'd really recommend you to start anew. The 0.3 version wasn't even half the size anyways...

Lots of minor changes from 0.5 after the playtester feedback. The music overlay dsres of 0.5 should still work with this

I've started a new game on 0.5.1, so am getting all the latest quests, and have got to where I was first thing yesterday morning - at the inn, with three flip-flops activated and two boss beasts killed (phrak queen and alpha wolf). This time my hero is better equipped and has more money (already has a mule, and could afford to pay two recruits, besides Bailey).

Lord Hovart is waiting at the snapper pond this time, which has been cleaned out of everything else hostile. I wouldn't want melee fighters to mess with him, but for everybody else he will be simple target practice.

EDIT - Hovart has been banished. I was wrong - hostiles closest to him hadn't been lured away, so when he dropped Burn Body spell my hero treated Bailey and Millie to chargrilled snapper. They then discovered that alpha wolf had respawned (nothing else had).

I'm quite positive about this. I did have to get quite close to where it lives before noticing it.

UPDATE - the phrak queen has NOT respawned. My route through the snapper pond, first time, meant I spotted the alpha wolf before Lord Hovart. I did not kill it immediately, but only after circling round to the other side, which I think was after spotting Hovart. At the inn I saved and exited, so when I went back to deal with Hovart, finding the wolf there again, this was a reloaded game.

Teleporting back to the inn, my trio collected Kale the Farmer boy for a gremal hunt. Keeping the river on their left, they found and killed the hulking gremal (quest complete), followed the return loop, then received, and did, the Hovart-in-the-orchard quest (no blood armor from him this time, of course - well thought out there). Now to go back the other side of the river - will the gremal respawn? - no.

By the way, two of the farm's three cows have the same name.

I have no idea how that Alpha Wolf could have respawned. There's nothing special about it or about any Hovart either, they are simply enemies I put on the map (they have triggers to activate & complete their quest, of course). They are not intended to re-spawn. If I knew how to re-spawn creatures actually I'd respawn all of them except the bosses - quest completed, boss is gone.

Also about Hovart's blood armor you're giving me too much credit. I think the game does it by itself - I noticed for example that the first trolls always drop a troll club but then it stops...

Thanks for reporting the duplicate cow name!

I wish the witch sold fewer spells up to level 17 - is there any chance of advancing a mage that far on this map? - fewer copies of Resurrect and Revive, but more spells levels 4 and 5, and especially more levels 2 and 3. I had to reload more than half a dozen times (from the autosave when leaving the spookeywood) for her to stock even one copy each of Explosive Powder and Flash at the same time.

Trolls having been downgraded so much (slightly too much? - twice the health might let them last long enough to actually be a nuisance) makes their troll clubs (weapons needing strength 16) disproportionately valuable as loot (I've just sold three at the mill for 442 gold each).

UPDATE - Thu 2020-11-19

Another day of testing - all five flips done. All 5 beast quests in the woods done; just the two on the mount remaining. All five recruits recruited. Hovart sent packing again, this time from the krugwood.

Is there still a chance that, another time playing, he might show up in the park? Is it just coincidence that the two games where I spotted a respawned boss monster, it was in the segment where I first saw Hovart?

The dwarf combat mage's robe needs changing from what Lorun in the Ehb map wears (garment, intelligence 15) to one his intelligence 12 is enough for. Just giving him a better staff is enough for the game to take away the robe and drop it on the ground.

In my current game he came with Fireshot in his spellbook and four random (?) spells loose in inventory, two of which were Explosive Powder! If I'd known I wouldn't have been so insistent on finding a copy in the shop to buy for my hero. The thing is, not only does it make a big difference, it is great fun. At the very least improve its chances of being in the shop from lucky-to-get-it to unlucky-not-to.

How could I possibly spend all the money I've been getting, not least from those troll clubs? Answer - buying amulets from the dwarves. So my complaint about the commanders in the krugwood isn't that the weapons they drop give me even more money, nor that they were too difficult for my party, just that they do not "belong" with Huskar and Futak. Certainly not three of them together.

Thanks, will try to balance the witch's spells better.

I didn't downgrade the trolls, they are as they come in the original resources. I don't think the weaker variants were actually used in the original maps though. And yeah the clubs are quite valuable - I never understood why playtesters complained about not having enough money to hire the NPCs lol.
(The only enemies I modified are the big orange skrubbs, they were ridiculously weak, not just for their visual size but also for the XP they give.)

By the way I found out how the translation system works and I'm building a German version now. The translation will come in a separate small dsres file and probably won't make any difference to you if your DS isn't configured to use available German translations.

Although I was never able to get the flips to work right, I discovered a way to complete all the quests including the flips. After making sure that the mill flip was active. I went to each flip location completed the quests in that location. Did a quick save. then took each player (3 total) down the flip to the hub. Then up the mill flip one at a time. repeated the steps for the other flip locations. I know this is not the way it was designed, but it worked for me with my old windows 7 computer. Foerstj your map was a great deal of fun to play, the quests where sometimes tricky to solve. A well planed, designed and executed map. It will remain one of my favorites. Thank You.

All finished. Great fun. Well balanced. So many little jokes.

I recruited all five NPCs, in stages, because why not? let them all have an outing, but made no attempt to use them and advance them equally - the two mage boys, who I'd invited late anyway, gained the fewest levels.

Had an "exception detected" lock-up partway up the Peak from the Smitty. Not reproducible.

Graveyard's east gates work fine provided both halves are opened and then closed. The problem comes if only one side is used.

I could afford both Millie and Kale this time, before going through the orchard, because my hero found a torn leather armor in the park, and a short recurve bow early on too, so didn't spend much money with Mrs. Miller. The orchard gave me enough for the other two but I chose to add the witch boy for going to the cottage and the dwarf boy only when about to head for the smitty.

The only trolls I know from the original game start with the forest trolls (540 hit points according to my notes!) then the swamp ones. I wonder how many other monsters, or variants, there are that never made it into the original maps.

My game did not autosave leaving the rats den for the farm, nor when entering the winterwood from the inn. It might be that I'd used up triggers the day before, going a short distance away from the farm, ditto from the inn, before turning back - cannot remember.

I did end up getting Hovart's armor a second time. Kale could have worn it but the girls told him not to be stupid.

Thank you both for playing! Bare-Elf I'm so glad you found a workaround for that bug. And Rumpelstilzchen thanks I'll check those autosave triggers, they should be in place but maybe they're hovering above ground and therefore not getting triggered...
There are lists of the enemies online BTW, like here and your notes seem correct Wink

... for such a clever, entertaining map. Nice to see the classic, familiar monsters, buildings, various objects in such a fresh, original setting.

So nice of you, thanks Smile
Quick reminder that it's the last weekend for bug reports Wink on the other hand I'd maybe wait for the final polish before replaying Wink
- Latest news: translation is finished, the autosave triggers are fixed thx, witch's shop is better balanced, and I just added player world locations ("Player X has entered the Mill.").

Thinking through why it feels "off-kilter":

- entering from the inn: a singleton krug commander to get past first - YES
- entering from the cottage: a singleton krug commander to get past first - YES
- coming from the inn: first side area has three klaws (one of them a miniboss) - YES, especially with graveyard having its three at the side hut
- coming from the cottage: first side area has merely Hovart-in-the-krugwood (plus the usual lesser fauna) - IS THAT ALL? EASY QUEST - whereas main path, besides Huskar, has three - three! - commanders all together.

Suggested adjustment - turn the three commanders into three krug guards (where the commanders are now) and two commanders somewhere else - guess where I'm thinking.

By the way - I had four Hovart quests trigger on me altogether - is this the correct number? Or a correct number, if you've partially kept the either-or randomness idea.

Minor detail - Millie's undershirt shows where Naidi had been wounded during the krug attack on Stonebridge.

Another order in which the woods beast quests could be listed, that in which they might be acquired, i.e. order of "starting" places (mill, farm, inn):-
4. skeleton captain 5. giant spider 6. ancient corpse 7. rats 8. Huskar

There are five Hovart quests, one for each place.
Since the Hovart quests are not meant as "checkbox quests" like the flip quests (one for each place) and boss quests (one for each way), I used them to surprise the player and encourage exploration. The only miniscule hint you get is that the quest descriptions say e.g. "... near the Mill". Didn't manage to implement randomness.
Here's the spoiler Wink
Hovart near Mill: Snapper Pond (island)
Hovart near Farm: Orchard (keep left/east, at the ledge)
Hovart near Inn: Winterwood (keep left, on a smaller skylet)
Hovart near Witch: Krugwood (keep left, on a skylet on the side)
Hovart near Smithy: Peak Mount (second skylet between some trees)

Sorry, I misremembered, my log does show all five completed. So that test is successful. I remembered the winterwood as my fourth and should have recalled that Peak Mount was where I got his blood armor for the second time (my first copy, from the pond, having long since been sold).

Thought I'd share some more of my screenshots... These are from milestone 4 "The Witch"

I also uploaded it on nexusmods:

And I made a Youtube playlist of a playthrough / Let's Play of the map Cool

Now that Thanksgiving is over I have some time again. Your map looks quite polished and fun!

I've had some fun with the video editor and made a little teaser Smile enjoy

foerstj wrote:

I've had some fun with the video editor and made a little teaser Smile enjoy

Nice, I like it! You just need one of those melodramatic voiceovers "In a world of flip flops gone crazy, only they can save the Garden..."