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The Western Roguelike

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Anonymous
July 24, 2005 5:00:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

SETTING ISSUES: Ovt of the Dvngeon

The Sheep calls the lack of dvngeons, "the biggest problem" for a
Western RL. I call it the biggest opportvnity. This setting ovt to
prodvce something different. If yov try to dvplicate the psevdo-D&D
setting, yov might as well jvst stick to psevdo-D&D derivative fantasy
worlds.

This isn't to say yov can't vse some of those tvnnel-bvilding
algorithms yov've worked so hard on. There are caves and caverns,
there are abandoned mines (or non-abandoned mines if yov're in for a
bit of blood-thirsty raiding), and twisting mazelike canyons.

Bvt there's also the open land, areas of large rock formations, towns,
ranches and farms, train stations and trains, forests, forts, camps,
desert, swamp, movntain slopes and valleys and passes. Some of the
action shovld be in more open spaces, bvt that doesn't mean yov don't
have terrain to generate. In fact, yov realistically get the sort of
variety that is often svggested be vnrealistically shoehorned into
vndergrovnd complexes.

Yov covld have the entire game set on a moving train, anything falling
off wovld be ovt of the game; yov'd have passing obstacles like
tvnnels, low bridges or tree branches, that wovld matter if yov got on
top of a car to fight -- and it wovldn't be right not to. Yov covld be
condvcting a daring train robbery or stopping one or some more exotic
train-based crime, like kidnapping a rich heiress or loading vp a car
fvll of dynamite to set off in the city.

Likewise, enemies won't inclvde stock fantasy or sci-fi figvres, bvt
there's plenty of fightin' in store for a decent length game. Here are
some encovnter possibilities (not all hostile):

Hvmans: miner, clergy, ovtlaw, lawman, crazy old prospector,
cattleman, shepherd, pioneer, townsfolk, gvnslinger, drifter, private
eye, traveling salesman, dime novelist, jovrnalist, singing cowboy,
cook, rvstler, farmer, rancher, school teacher, hovsewife, saloon
girl, piano player, traveling performer, variovs Indians, if not
post-Civil-War then slave or escaped slave, con artist, gambler

Animals: prairie dog, bvffalo, deer, coyote, wolf, rabbit, black/brown
bear, grizzly, pvma/covgar/movntain lion, scorpions, tarantvla, Gila
monster, black widow, fox, eagle, hawk, falcon, vvltvre, cattle
(stampede!), horse, hovnd dog, beaver, skvnk

Other: weather (hailstorm, thvnderstorm, flood, snow, tornado), cacti,
deserts, bad water, wildfire, prairie dog hole (minor pit trap),
tvmbleweed

SETTING ISSUES: The Western World

There's nothing that says a Western setting *has* to be
(psevdo-)historical. One option in the "Fantasy West" -- a land of
gvnslingers, ovtlaws, and the vsval cast, bvt with Indian magic that
works, maybe voodoo, spirits, svperhvman characters, and the like. I'd
svggest fovr things for research if yov go ahead with this: Native
American folklore, Anglo-American folklore (especially "Western",
exploration, or new settlement related stories -- the axe George
Washington vsed on the cherry tree wovld be a cool artifact item),
African-American folklore, and the role-playing game Deadlands, which
is a "svpernatvral Western" style game. Of covrse, I'd say look at
Deadlands *after* yov've whipped vp some ideas of yovr own so yov get
in yovr own brainstorming first, then compare notes.

Another option is blending sci-fi elements with the Western. This can
be svbtle or as blatant as having the Martians land and having to
fight this extra-terrestrial invasion. "Wild, Wild West" and "Brisco
Covnty, Jr." are possible resovrces.

Even sticking to the historical West, yov've got some variety of
setting possibilities. Is it the edge of the frontier, focvsing on
taming the ovtlaws or svbdving the natives or simply setting vp some
kind of a fvnctioning settlement? Is it a riverboat gambling adventvre
or a train jovrney or a cattle drive or a pioneer wagon train taking
the Oregon Trail? Is the player-character a born Westerner or
transplanted Easterner? Evropean immigrant? Mexican? Native American?
Negro? The PC's POV shovld be taken into accovnt in designing the
game. Is the setting pre-, post-, or dvring the Civil War?

These decisions will also decide the valves that vnderlie yovr game. A
frontiersman of any sort will tend to avoid personal matters in
conversation, bvt a band of Indians may be qvite close and open. A
Civil War era scenario may assvme a certain form of patriotism or
focvs on personal entanglement in a time of difficvlt decisions.

There's a fair range of technology and yov have the whole world to
pvll elements from (e.g. kvng fv ala the _Kvng Fv_ TV show -- there
were Asians in the American West). And yov have to decide how
historical yov want to be: pick a period and try to stay accvrate to
it or mix vp, say, famovs ovtlaws of the entire "Wild West" era? Real
West or Mythical West? Can a svfficiently heroic character fire more
bvllets between reloads than his weapon can hold? The "historical"
Western can be gritty or hvmorovs, hard realism or extremely
cinematic.

GAMEPLAY: Toto, We Ain't in Middle-Earth Knock-Off #343 Any More

WHAT TO DO? Yov probably aren't on a mission from God to find a magic
McGvffin or ovt to kill the Devil. So what kind of games can yov play?

A cattle drive! Move yovr herd from the bottom of the map across the
top of the map over and over, meeting variovs obstacles and dangers.

The Civil War! Svre, mvch of it was fovght back East, bvt yov covld
take on a small army of damn Rebels or Yankee devils in a more
Westerly location. Yov covld also do a U.S. vs. Indians battlefield.

Yov are a lawman. Yov have to clean vp a series of towns, each
larger and meaner than the one before. If yov clean vp the worst town,
yov win and become elected governor of the territory. Once a town is
"cleaned vp" (bad gvys dead or jailed, order restored), yov can finish
any bvsiness (bvying, selling, giving a donation to the preacher) and
go on to the next town with the "R"ide into the svnset command.

Yov are bad man. Yov travel throvgh a series of criminal
opportvnities. Case ovt the sitvation, pick yovr target, steal the
loot, get away to move on to the next opportvnity. Sometimes yov'd
have a town with few possibilities, sometimes there wovld be a bank --
bvt maybe the assayer is a better target?, sometimes yov'd have a shot
at a stagecoach, a train, or a grovp of miners retvrning from the
fields.

Yov are a warrior of yovr tribe. Paleface intrvsions threaten yovr
people. Yov mvst attack their settlements throvghovt yovr territory
and drive them away. If yov can destroy the cavalry fort, they will be
forced to withdraw from yovr land for a generation.

And, of covrse, yov don't have to do a "realistic" Western at all --
the West has ghost stories, tall tales, Indian magic, etc. These open
vp some more possibilities -- bvt I still advise against making the
whole game "explore the abandoned mine, kill the bad gvys, and find
the thing".

THE ALPHABET:

A Apache, Arachnid, Abolitionist, Archer, Animal
B Blackfoot, Blacksmith, Bandit, Bear, Bvffalo, Bowman,
Balloon, Bicycle
C City Slicker, Cowboy, Cow, Chinaman, Confederate, Chief, Coach,
Coyote
D Dakota, Dvde, Dancing Girl, Dog, Depvty, Donkey, Drvnk
E Evropean, Englishman, Explorer
F Farmer
G Gvnslinger, Gambler, Gatling Gvn, Gringo
H Horse, Horseman, Hot Air Balloon
I Indian
J Johnny Reb, Jvdge, Jovrnalist
K Killer
L Lakota, Lawyer, Lvmberjack
M Mexican, Miner, Marshall, Mvle, Movntain Lion, Movntaineer, Mayor
N Navaho, Negro, Northern, sNeak, Nvn
O Ovtlaw
P Paleface, Piano Player, Preacher, Photographer, Politician
Q Qvickdraw,(visvally, a stovt animal w/tail, wolverine, badger, etc.)
R Rancher, Rvstler, Rebel, Reporter, Rifleman, Rider
S Siovx, Sheep, Snake, Scorpion, Sovtherner, Slave, Sheriff, Settler,
Stagecoach, Singing Cowboy
T Texan, Townsfolk, Trapper, Train
U Unionist
V Veteran, Vehicle
W Wolf, Warrior, Woman, Wagon
X (visvally, gvy with his hands vp -- covld be corpse symbol)
Y Yovng Gvn, Yankee
Z (sleeping gvy)

: i think what makes for example nethacks monsters so vivid to me, is not
:exactly that there are so many different monsters. bvt that they have
:svch different characteristics. i think that covld be implented even if
:they all were ovtlaws, bandits, etc. The visval representations wovld
:have more to do with the qvalities of the monsters, rather than their
:p hysiqve. eg: i = ovtlaw with a good long-range rifle and a great eye,
:o  = fat ovtlaw who is slow and has a revolver, n = stealthy backstabbing
:o vtlaw who is good at hiding and killing yov with one shot, W = wagonload
:o f ovtlaws who move fast bvt tvrn slow, fire a lot bvt miss a lot, etc.
-- freddie

INSPIRATIONAL SOURCES:
Oh, really, if yov can't find Westerns, yov'll never write a
rogvelike. The only pointer I wovld give is to not forget radio, if
yov get a chance to listen to old radio Westerns. Westerns were pretty
big in the Golden Age of Radio.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com

More about : western roguelike

Anonymous
July 24, 2005 8:43:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

R. Dan Henry wrote:
> INSPIRATIONAL SOURCES:
> Oh, really, if you can't find Westerns, you'll never write a
> roguelike. The only pointer I would give is to not forget radio, if
> you get a chance to listen to old radio Westerns. Westerns were pretty
> big in the Golden Age of Radio.

I just watched "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" last night, and
strongly recommend that as a high priority for everyone to watch. It
has everything you would need for a good Western RL. Plenty of
action, interesting characters, boss battles (well, not really, but
that outstanding final showdown is close enough), and going through a
variety of areas, and going through a variety of interesting
situations, such as:

1) Posing as Confederates, and getting tossed into a POW camp.
2) Blowing up an important bridge that both sides of the war have been
fighting over.
3) Long treks through the desert, without water.
4) Collecting reward money for turning in an outlaw, and then saving
him before he hangs so that the process can be repeated in a new town.
5) Hunting for a fortune in gold.
6) And, well a lot more.

Plus, I don't think I could possibly play a Western RL without
visualizing my character as being Clint Eastwood. Hell, I've
visualized my characters in other RLs as being like Clint, because
he's such a badass.

Well, there's my two cents. I'd love to see a Western RL, since it's
a great theme, and one that's been completely untouched.


--
My projects are currently on hold, but I do have
some junk at the site below.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 8:32:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

> The Sheep calls the lack of dungeons, "the biggest problem" for a
> Western RL. I call it the biggest opportunity. This setting out to
> produce something different. If you try to duplicate the pseudo-D&D
> setting, you might as well just stick to pseudo-D&D derivative fantasy
> worlds.

I would try looking at Gearhead for ideas (
http://www.geocities.com/pyrrho12/programming/gearhead/ ), especially
its bounty-hunting and city-defense type missions. Although Gearhead
has dungeons, they're mostly optional, with the majority of the
gameplay taking place in city-based missions. The way Gearhead's main
mechanic works is thus: You visit a town, talk to the townsfolk, and
get a quest; as soon as you agree to most quests, you are automagically
whisked off to the mission location. For instance, if you agree to a
city defense mission, you'll be whisked off to the battlefield as soon
as you agree (although there's an option to stay and prepare first); on
the battlefield, you'll fight a set number of enemies. When you leave
the mission location, you'll be whisked back to the town you took it
from, and can go talk to the NPC who gave it to you to get your reward.
Most missions in Gearhead consist of one big fight like that. A few,
though, involve exploration, and don't whisk you to your location; and
some whisk you to more complicated locations than that. It sounds
awkward, but it works quite well. There are some people (town leaders
and such) who regularly dispense quests. Other quests are scattered
randomly.

View the scenes the player is whisked between as scenes in an old
western movie. The movies never show the player walking all the way
from one point to another or waiting the full six hours for high noon,
do they? As soon as the plot preliminaries are dealt with and a few
dramatic scenes resolved, it whisks them straight into the action. A
western RL should usually work the same way. I think the sense of
freedom is also very important to the cinimatic Western feel; the
plains stretch out forever in every direction, and the hero can up and
leave at any time (assuming their sense of duty doesn't prevent them.)

The player could be a wandering cowboy; if they wanted some excitement,
they could talk to the Sheriff in a town, for instance, or a distraught
townsperson, and they mention that they need someone to track down a
wanted criminal, or that some criminal gang is attacking the town at
high noon. The player could also play a wandering bandit, and get
missions from bandit leaders or sketchy characters in bars who keep
track of opportunities. The player could participate in or stop train
robberies, or take a job as a guard for a herd of cattle. Most of
these things could whisk the player straight to a fight scene in the
approprate setting; but they could also involve something more complex.

Now that I think about it, Gearhead's setting is pretty close to an Old
West with Giant Robots already...
Related resources
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 1:11:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On Sun, 24 Jul 2005 01:00:17 -0700, R. Dan Henry wrote:

> SETTING ISSUES: Out of the Dungeon
>
> The Sheep calls the lack of dungeons, "the biggest problem" for a
> Western RL. I call it the biggest opportunity. This setting out to
> produce something different.
>
> But there's also the open land, areas of large rock formations,
>
> H Horse, Horseman, Hot Air Balloon

Heavily snipped, in case you didn't notice.

Horses should play a big role. A good horse should be worth a fortune,
and there should be different horses. Also, if horses were to be
implemented properly, the game would need facing. Horse can't just
change to reverse mid-gallop. Also, the faster the horse moves, the more
it would affect to aiming and dodge.

Some ideas:
-Horse would take speed slowly. It would take several turns to get horse
to full speed.
-If you don't control the horse, it continues to run at the same speed
and to the same direction. (You could run it around enemy in an oval,
and fire at them.)
-Horses wouldn't be stealthy. Someone on horseback would be able to see
farther and he would be seen from farther. Without horse, moving around
would be slow, but one could sneak much better. Also, one might be able
to sneak into enemy camp and catch himself a horse.
-If horses got scared, they would try to run away. If the ropes that tie
them down are loosened, all the horses would try to run together. If one
could sneak into camp and cut the horses' ropes, a major theft could be
accomplished.
-Loyal, heroic horses would be intelligent. One could call them, order
them to wait somewhere, they might come to your aid when you were in
danger, they could even attack the enemy! (
http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=2... ;)  )
-Even 'normal' horses could have special attributes. From the game
"Mount&Blade": Stubborn horse requires more riding skill and is cheaper
if you have the skill. Spirited horse is faster, more maneuverable, and
just much better. Heavy horse is better at running enemies down. Horses
can become lame/crippled if they are badly hurt (as an example, by
jumping down a canyon), but if they are let to rest they might
eventually heal. They often lose their previous attributes.
-There are different horses. Riding a farmer's horse is not much better
than walking, saddle horses aren't nothing to boast about, but
Mount&Blade's Courser and Hunter and Warhorse are different tales
altogether. I don't know anything about horses in RL or Wild West
fiction, so I can't give any better name examples.

Janne Joensuu,
Endoperez
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 2:01:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> schrieb:
> SETTING ISSUES: Out of the Dungeon

You've forgotten all the brothels and prostitutes.

And all the poker.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 8:00:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

At Sun, 24 Jul 2005 01:00:17 -0700,
R Dan Henry wrote:

> The Sheep calls the lack of dungeons, "the biggest problem" for a
> Western RL. I call it the biggest opportunity. This setting out to
> produce something different. If you try to duplicate the pseudo-D&D
> setting, you might as well just stick to pseudo-D&D derivative fantasy
> worlds.
>
> This isn't to say you can't use some of those tunnel-building
> algorithms you've worked so hard on. There are caves and caverns,
> there are abandoned mines (or non-abandoned mines if you're in for a
> bit of blood-thirsty raiding), and twisting mazelike canyons.
>
> But there's also the open land, areas of large rock formations, towns,
> ranches and farms, train stations and trains, forests, forts, camps,
> desert, swamp, mountain slopes and valleys and passes. Some of the
> action should be in more open spaces, but that doesn't mean you don't
> have terrain to generate. In fact, you realistically get the sort of
> variety that is often suggested be unrealistically shoehorned into
> underground complexes.

The problem is not with finding algorithms to generate the dung^H^H^H^H^H
levels, but with designing the mechanics of movement, h2h and ranged
combat to make such an "open" maps tactically interesting.

Various kinds of ground in the dungeons can be interesting, because you've
got little options on what route to choose. Likewise, the lack of open
spaces (or rather the fact that the open spaces are occassional) allows you
to make tactical manevres, like retreating, back-attacks (using a looped
corridor), etc. With open space retreating puts you in a very bad
position (unless you're going to use some area spells), because your
opponents will group -- it can be easily observed in wilderness encounters
in ADOM or in ZAngband.

Ranged weapons make it even worse.

Of course, you can easily solve this "problem", by introducing new
mechanics and new rules. For example, the ability to shoot from behind
a cover would add some tactics. But I still think it's a big problem, and
needs lots of attention and lots of work -- because it's an unknown land.

Giving you a party of characters to control instanly turns even a flat,
open space into a tactical challenge.

> You could have the entire game set on a moving train, anything falling
> off would be out of the game; you'd have passing obstacles like
> tunnels, low bridges or tree branches, that would matter if you got on
> top of a car to fight -- and it wouldn't be right not to. You could be
> conducting a daring train robbery or stopping one or some more exotic
> train-based crime, like kidnapping a rich heiress or loading up a car
> full of dynamite to set off in the city.

Great idea for a short roguelike -- you start at the end of the train and
has to make your way to the engine. Every car is a separate level. The
cars can be heavily damaged, the luggage made into barricades by the
bandits, etc., so that levels can be interesting.

> There's nothing that says a Western setting *has* to be
> (pseudo-)historical. One option in the "Fantasy West" -- a land of
> gunslingers, outlaws, and the usual cast, but with Indian magic that
> works, maybe voodoo, spirits, superhuman characters, and the like.

Especially haunted mines and ghost towns could really be haunted.

> Another option is blending sci-fi elements with the Western. This can
> be subtle or as blatant as having the Martians land and having to
> fight this extra-terrestrial invasion. "Wild, Wild West" and "Brisco
> County, Jr." are possible resources.

And don't forget the "Trigun" anime and manga.

> WHAT TO DO? You probably aren't on a mission from God to find a magic
> McGuffin or out to kill the Devil. So what kind of games can you play?

You forgot about the standard wester character, a journeyman who travels
around the America in search of meaning (or mining) in his life, fighting
both banmdits and law, helping the poor, living on his opwn, free like
a mustang, smart as a coyote (Meep! Meep!), fast like a snake, brave like
a bear. Or something like this ;) 

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(Xx) 3 ...
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 8:00:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

The Sheep <thesheep@ sheep.prv.pl> schrieb:
> The problem is not with finding algorithms to generate the
> dung^H^H^H^H^H levels, but with designing the mechanics of movement,
> h2h and ranged combat to make such an "open" maps tactically
> interesting.

You've just got to think of it differently than dungeons. People in
westerns are always able to find cover. The desert of the old west isn't
just sand... there's giant rocks and cactuses everywhere. Not to mention
tombstones, walls, carts, canyons, outhouses, wells, and trees. Even
inside, there's tables, chairs, beds, and bars to hide behind.

Seems you definitely need to implement the ability to crouch and crawl.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
July 26, 2005 1:29:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

At Mon, 25 Jul 2005 12:53:17 -0500,
Jim Strathmeyer wrote:

> The Sheep <thesheep@ sheep.prv.pl> schrieb:
>> The problem is not with finding algorithms to generate the
>> dung^H^H^H^H^H levels, but with designing the mechanics of movement,
>> h2h and ranged combat to make such an "open" maps tactically
>> interesting.
>
> You've just got to think of it differently than dungeons. People in
> westerns are always able to find cover. The desert of the old west isn't
> just sand... there's giant rocks and cactuses everywhere. Not to mention
> tombstones, walls, carts, canyons, outhouses, wells, and trees. Even
> inside, there's tables, chairs, beds, and bars to hide behind.
>
> Seems you definitely need to implement the ability to crouch and crawl.

That would definitely help, but you'd need also some penalties, so that
you're not pemanently crawling.

There's also problem with movement -- with tight dungeons you've got
usually large freedom of movement, so you can pick your tactics without
the fear of being surrounded.

When there are only occassional obstacles, the adventage that your
enemeies have over you in the simple fact, that there's more of them grows
dramatically.

Again, you can try to make it an advantage, and somehow change the
mechanics so that it's interesting this way, or try to "fix" this, using
walls, cracks in the ground, fences, rivers, thickets, etc. to limit
the movement of enemies. Or give the player a direct or indirect control
over additional creatures or other features (setting traps comes to mind),
to allow him to lessen the gap.

Any way you do it, it certainly requires lots of experimenting and hours
of testing, which is precisely why I still think it's difficult. :) 

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(Xx) 3 ...
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
July 26, 2005 6:26:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

In article <_NidndjxI-hGY3nfRVn-uw@adelphia.com>,
strathWHATEVERIGETENOUGHSPAMANYWAYS@ipass.net says...
> R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> schrieb:
> > SETTING ISSUES: Out of the Dungeon
>
> You've forgotten all the brothels and prostitutes.
>
> And all the poker.

Let's have a roguelike based on Deadwood!

- Gerry Quinn
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 12:33:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

The Sheep wrote:
> At Sun, 24 Jul 2005 01:00:17 -0700,
> R Dan Henry wrote:
> The problem is not with finding algorithms to generate the dung^H^H^H^H^H
> levels, but with designing the mechanics of movement, h2h and ranged
> combat to make such an "open" maps tactically interesting.
>
> Various kinds of ground in the dungeons can be interesting, because you've
> got little options on what route to choose. Likewise, the lack of open
> spaces (or rather the fact that the open spaces are occassional) allows you
> to make tactical manevres, like retreating, back-attacks (using a looped
> corridor), etc. With open space retreating puts you in a very bad
> position (unless you're going to use some area spells), because your
> opponents will group -- it can be easily observed in wilderness encounters
> in ADOM or in ZAngband.
>
> Ranged weapons make it even worse.
>
> Of course, you can easily solve this "problem", by introducing new
> mechanics and new rules. For example, the ability to shoot from behind
> a cover would add some tactics. But I still think it's a big problem, and
> needs lots of attention and lots of work -- because it's an unknown land.

I hate to repeat myself, but Gearhead has already taken a stab at this,
since a lot of its combat takes place in outdoor brawls. The way it
works is like this: Gearhead uses a 'realistic' combat model, where
getting hit is often fatal or terribly damaging, and not-getting-hit is
your main defense. This makes terrain more important, since the player
is always at risk, and it means that anything that affects accuracy or
evasion (like cover) is extremely important.

Now, as for the cover itself. First, there are some map elements that
provide 'partial cover', such as forests, shrubs, and smoke. If you're
firing at your target in a straight line along level ground, the cover
values of all the things between you and them are added up, and the
number is used to make your shot more difficult (the cover value
between you and any point is shown when aiming or 'l'ooking at it, and
the cover provided by a specific piece of terrain is shown when looking
or aiming at that terrain, too. If there's something that completely
blocks your shot, the cover value is 'X' and you can't fire.)

Incidently, forests and shrubs can burn, burning things produce smoke,
and smoke can be scattered by the wind. Gearhead also has smoke bombs
and the like, but those probably wouldn't be suitable for a wild west
roguelike (unless it's a Wild Wild West-type roguelike, I guess, which
certainly has potental.)

And naturally forests and shrubs also impede movement. I assume that
with a horse, they would impede it even more. (Incidently, Gearhead
also has facing rules and such, useful for its mechs. It has an ASCII
compass on screen at all times to indicate your facing, and a number in
the center to show your elevation. You can use turning keys for
precision turning when time is very important, but most of the time the
game will just handle turning for you if you just hit directional keys
to move or take aim at something outside our field of view. Flying
machines are a little tricker to control, since they can't turn on a
dime, and would probably be closest to the way a Western RL would want
to handle horses.)

Second, there's elevation. Hills and mountains are scattered over most
outdoor maps; they have a numerical elevation value which is shown when
you look at them, and the height is also represented by their color
(low hills in dark gray, medium hills in gray, high peaks in white.)
If there's a hill between you and your target that is higher than
either your or their elevations, it provides have 'full cover' and you
can't hit them. On the other hand, any terrain between you and your
target that is lower than *your* elevation value doesn't get in the way
of your shot--if you're sniping from a mountaintop at someone hiding in
a forested valley, you have a much clearer shot than you would if you
were standing in the valley itself. Attacking from an elevated
position gives an inherent accuracy bonus, too (and attacking someone
higher than you gives a penalty.)

Bodies of water are also scattered around; if you're travelling on
foot, they get in your way but can be shot over.

Gearhead also assigns three range values to each ranged weapon, like
this: 16/32/64. A weapon gets penalty to anything closer than the
first number, is best at things between the first and second number,
and gets another penalty to anything between the second and third
numbers. Distances above the third number cannot be targeted. Of
course, some ranged weapons--like, say, derringers--have no first
number, and can therefore be fired point-blank with no penalty. Again,
the distance to any point is shown when you're looking at or targetting
it, so you know exactly how far your shot is going to be. This system
adds another layer of depth to outdoor encounters, especially when
combined with the cover rules--you can try to stake out a mountaintop
and snipe at opponents with a long-range weapon, or try to skulk around
hills to get close enough to mostly negate your opponent's elephant
guns.

All of this might sound a little complex, but it's mostly self-evident
once you start playing the game, since all the relevent items are shown
whenever you're targetting an opponent.
Anonymous
September 1, 2005 3:05:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 10:01:47 -0500,
strathWHATEVERIGETENOUGHSPAMANYWAYS@ipass.net (Jim Strathmeyer) wrote:

>R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> schrieb:
>> SETTING ISSUES: Out of the Dungeon
>
>You've forgotten all the brothels and prostitutes.

I guess I was too polite. "Dancing girl" and "saloon girl" are perhaps
not direct enough for some folks. It's also difficult to see how to work
this into gameplay.

>And all the poker.

Well, I have gamblers. And contrary to what some may think, poker is not
the only game people knew back then, although it was certainly popular.
I think, however, a roguelike is an inopportune place to stick a poker
game. Every gambling den in a RL so far has been a dull and broken
place.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 1, 2005 12:43:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

At Wed, 31 Aug 2005 23:05:38 -0700,
R Dan Henry wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 10:01:47 -0500,
> strathWHATEVERIGETENOUGHSPAMANYWAYS@ipass.net (Jim Strathmeyer) wrote:
>>R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> schrieb:
>>> SETTING ISSUES: Out of the Dungeon

>>And all the poker.

> Well, I have gamblers. And contrary to what some may think, poker is not
> the only game people knew back then, although it was certainly popular.

Zonk! Argument from reality. Input/output error, reality cannot be read.

Are we talking abaut a game set in historically-true Wild West, or rather
a game set in the simplified but oh-so-romantic Wild West created by the
westerns?

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(nn) 3 Grin
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 1, 2005 1:51:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

R. Dan Henry a écrit :
> On Mon, 25 Jul 2005 10:01:47 -0500,
> strathWHATEVERIGETENOUGHSPAMANYWAYS@ipass.net (Jim Strathmeyer) wrote:
>
>
>>R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> schrieb:
>>
>>>SETTING ISSUES: Out of the Dungeon
>>
>>You've forgotten all the brothels and prostitutes.
>
>
> I guess I was too polite. "Dancing girl" and "saloon girl" are perhaps
> not direct enough for some folks. It's also difficult to see how to work
> this into gameplay.
>
>
>>And all the poker.
>
>
> Well, I have gamblers. And contrary to what some may think, poker is not
> the only game people knew back then, although it was certainly popular.
> I think, however, a roguelike is an inopportune place to stick a poker
> game. Every gambling den in a RL so far has been a dull and broken
> place.
>

Maybe you can make Poker ( regular ) and Poker ( cheating ) as skills
the PC might want to practice in order to get some funds. The details of
the game would be in control of the RNG only of course and losing a game
while you were cheating could have dire consequences :) 
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 4:46:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

What we really want here is something similar to poker as it works in
western movies, right? I think that might have potental in a
roguelike. The key thing to remember here is that in movies, a good
portion of poker games end with someone throwing down their cards and
going for their gun. That should work here, too; it would both make
the game of chance more interesting, and limit its exploitability.

Of course the player shouldn't actually have to play poker. Players
who want to really play poker could find one outside of a roguelike.
Instead, the player would play a hand by using their poker skill on a
table with people on it, or choosing something from
dialog/conversation, depending on how the game works. Possibly, the
player would choose whether to cheat or not; possibly, that could be
done by choosing whether to use their regular poker skill or their
cheating skill (although both would probably help if the player was
trying to cheat). The game would just report the results. Even if the
player doesn't cheat, someone else might, or an irate (and losing)
opponent might decide to accuse them of cheating anyway; so there's a
chance for any game to devolve into a shootout. NPCs would probably
also have a set amount of patience; if they keep losing, they'll
eventually want to stop playing (and will be more likely to accuse the
player of cheating, of course.) This would force even skilled players
to move on rather than just milking the same table endlessly, and would
add an important gameplay element. Players who can win a lot
(regardless of whether they're winning through skill, a high "luck"
statistic, or cheating) would have to decide how long they want to risk
playing at a particular place before moving on. Playing a "scam
artist" PC wpuld be interesting like that; the player would have to
constantly move from town to town, often with an angry mob at their
heels.

--Aquillion
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 3:42:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

> chance for any game to devolve into a shootout. NPCs would probably
> also have a set amount of patience; if they keep losing, they'll
> eventually want to stop playing (and will be more likely to accuse
> the
> player of cheating, of course.)

And a PC with a low WIL stat would get frustrated and refuse to stop
playing untill he gets ahead:

You try to get off the game
Male experienced gambler says 'come on, just one more game'
You are unable to resist male experienced gambler
You lose 40$
You have no more money. Male experienced gambler takes your silver
Winchester +3 [+1,+5]
Do you play again? [y/n] n
You try to get off the game
Male experienced gambler says 'come on, just one more game'
You are unable to resist male experienced gambler

regards,
Filip
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 3:59:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

In adom there is the omnipresent corruption. A western RL could use
adding something similiar, maybe 'alcohol - dependance'. Alcohol would
be very helpful during early stages of the game (the game would be
balanced so it's hard not to use it on the early stages... maybe it
should simply give temporary stat boosts?). And later on, you would be
forced to avoid saloons (a WIL check required not to get something to
drink), and people offering drinks. Imagine a player walking inside a
saloon (pressing '<') and seeing a message like:
"You wake up in an empty barn, you don't know wat time it is",
while noticing he has half of his HP and no inventory... Or maybe, in
some later stages of delirium you would see a gunslinger aiming at
you, shoot him, and notice it was only a woman waving an umbrella...
Probably the most important part of a good western RL would be a good
system of fame. Getting a name for yourself would be more important
than finding artifact weapons. I imagine that anyone dueling with
Billy the Kid would be a bit shaky and thus easier to defeat. By
killing a famous gunslinger you would inherit his fame points and
become more feared and respected. This would give playeres the good
RL-ish feeling of 'I am soooo powerful now!'. I would love to see a
message like:
'barman's hand shakes as he pours you a drink, he seems afraid and
does not ask you for money"'
Another cool part of western RL would be to repeat stunts known from
the movies. Like shooting a rope and releasing someone who is just
going to hung.

regards,
Filip
!