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About my pre-Alpha RL

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Anonymous
August 2, 2005 1:28:18 PM

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

Since I already made a post and mentioned as an aside that I am
creating an RL, I thought that I should describe it to the folks here
who, being veterans of the RL "genre," would be valuable assets to give
feedback.

The game is meant to be a RogueLike decendent of the Final Fantasy
series - in as far as the series has an anime feel and deals with a
sort of sci-fi/fantasy blend. I am trying very hard to keep the game
fairly unique, without losing the randomization and customization that
is typical of Rougelikes. There will hopefully be a good backstory, and
enough plot to keep the player interested in their characters. I am
hoping to implement ASCII cutscenes. Im not sure if anyone else has
done this - if they have, what sort of response did this receive? Im
hoping to implement some semi-sophisticated layers, for instance having
smoke rolling out of a chimney, or having some scenes in a non-top-down
view.

The world is a blend of magic and technology, and one of the
significant plot points is the conflict between the two. There will
also be a fairly well-developed party system with menu-based attacks a
la early Final Fantasy games (notably IV and V).

Im trying to balance the game between the roguelikes and the final
fantasy series so there are certain points where I will have to make
tough decisions. How should I implement the inventory? Should
encounters be avoidable or random? Should I include a hunger system?
(I've never been a big fan of them, since Im kind of forgetful...
admittedly) How much variety should there be between conventional
(non-magical) weapons and magical weapons?

One thing I will hopefully be very proud of is the skill system itself.
I've tried to create some novel skills mixed in with conventional
fantasy staples. I haven't really sat down to think about how to
implement the magic system, and now to display special effects (I'll
probably need to implement them via a secondary layer of graphics).
Several Final Fantasy games, and many RogueLikes include a sort of
Alchemy system - each game features different recipes for alchemical
processes which will include more than just potions.

Right now, here's some things Im NOT concerned about: program speed,
game balance, monster diversity. These are ALL things I'll worry about
after getting the initial engine working.

More about : pre alpha

August 2, 2005 2:56:24 PM

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

Interesting. I would be curious to hear what people have to say about
an alchemy system. Should all recipies be randomized. Do you as a
player have to figure them our or do you get recipies as you raise your
alchemy or brew skill or what. I know my rl will have alchemy and i
already have way too many ways of foing it. I was thinking of something
like.

Potion of acid has the domain of pain and strength. Potions of sleep
have the rest domain. fi you mix the two you get a potion of the domain
pain, strength, and rest. Well there is nothing with a domain of
strengh and rest but a potion of entrapment has the domain pain and
sleep and maybe the strength makes it blessed. Or maybe you would then
get a potion of entrapment and a small negative magical sideeffect from
the stregth runoff and the more runoff (more unused domains) the more
powerful the effect. The only problem is that this is not very random.
Thoughts?

I also like the idea of both tech and magic. I like RLs with just magic
better personally but yours sounds interesting. I dont know what final
fantesy is so i cant really make any comments about that.

-Thomas
RL: CHAZM
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 2:57:35 PM

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

Good points, thank you for your input. I understand the pessimism that
most people feel when responding to these sorts of questions, so I'll
try to get something workable soon so folks can try it out and give
feedback. :-D
Related resources
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 4:42:29 PM

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

The way the alchemy system currently works is that with each Alchemy
skill, you learn some 'basic' recipes (there's a skill for potion
making, one for powders, another for salves, etc), which includes some
recipes along with the training. Throughout the game (as part of quest
rewards, or killing boss-style monsters, your character might find a
new recipe.
The ingredients themselves are divided into categories with harder
monsters dropping the rarer ingredients. Recipes are partially
randomized to include consistent items (a recipe for a light healing
potion might always call for an aloe leaf, for instance) with
additional 1-3 ingredients being random each time you play.
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 4:47:54 PM

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

Wildhalcyon <wildhalcyon@hotmail.com> schrieb:
> Im trying to balance the game between the roguelikes and the final
> fantasy series so there are certain points where I will have to make
> tough decisions. How should I implement the inventory? Should
> encounters be avoidable or random? Should I include a hunger system?
> (I've never been a big fan of them, since Im kind of forgetful...
> admittedly) How much variety should there be between conventional
> (non-magical) weapons and magical weapons?

Sounds like you need to play more of the major roguelikes, so that you
can understand the different implementations of these things and why
they exist.

Roguelikes exists as a near perfected genre; the fact that many people
play them despite their known huge shortcomings is a testament to that.
Roguelikes are also a draw for many programmers/game makers because
they're easy to make, but thinking you have an idea for a fun and
interesting roguelike is the same that you have an idea for a fun FPS or
RTS and that you're somehow going to be able to make a game that will be
fun to people who play the genre-definers.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 4:51:27 PM

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

Jim Strathmeyer <strathWHATEVERIGETENOUGHSPAMANYWAYS@ipass.net> schrieb:
> Wildhalcyon <wildhalcyon@hotmail.com> schrieb:
>> Im trying to balance the game between the roguelikes and the final
>> fantasy series so there are certain points where I will have to make
>> tough decisions. How should I implement the inventory? Should
>> encounters be avoidable or random? Should I include a hunger system?
>> (I've never been a big fan of them, since Im kind of forgetful...
>> admittedly) How much variety should there be between conventional
>> (non-magical) weapons and magical weapons?

Also, these are questions we will be much more likely to answer once
you've made a playable game. Everyone would spend a lot of time talking
if we just discussed inventory systems for games that people would like
to make. In the end, the things that are going to take most of your time
are things you aren't even considering, and it's impossible for us to
comment on something that only exists in your head and probably will
never see the light of day.

Once you have something that I can run and play I'll be able to comment
on your weapon variety.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 9:14:28 PM

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

Well, regardless of the genre-bending I may be attempting, I'm trying
to decide which library to use. The game will be ascii done in C++, and
I'm debating about using a curses, SDL, or something else. One problem
I suppose I need to deal with first is deciding which extended
character set to support, if any. This will have a big impact on
portability obviously. I'd also like to include a rudimentary GUI with
classes for windows and buttons. I could probably design this with a
wrapper, but if, for whatever reason, one of the libraries included
this, that's even better.
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 10:07:16 PM

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

On 2 Aug 2005 10:56:24 -0700, "Thomas" wrote:

>I also like the idea of both tech and magic. I like RLs with just magic
>better personally but yours sounds interesting. I dont know what final
>fantesy is so i cant really make any comments about that.

It has in intricate balance where a sword, fire bolt, crossbow and gun
are of equal power. *wink*
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 1:42:58 AM

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

"Thomas" <comments@foresightsagas.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:1123005384.686363.78330@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Interesting. I would be curious to hear what people have to say about
> an alchemy system. Should all recipies be randomized.

No that would be no fun,i would like recipes that make some kind of sense
more.

>Do you as a player have to figure them our or do you get recipies as you
raise >your alchemy or brew skill or what. I know my rl will have alchemy
and i
> already have way too many ways of foing it. I was thinking of something
> like.
>
I would let the player figure them out,that gives him something else to
explore beside Dungeons.

> Potion of acid has the domain of pain and strength. Potions of sleep
> have the rest domain. fi you mix the two you get a potion of the domain
> pain, strength, and rest. Well there is nothing with a domain of
> strengh and rest but a potion of entrapment has the domain pain and
> sleep and maybe the strength makes it blessed. Or maybe you would then
> get a potion of entrapment and a small negative magical sideeffect from
> the stregth runoff and the more runoff (more unused domains) the more
> powerful the effect. The only problem is that this is not very random.
> Thoughts?
>
You could make it a 50/50 chance if the potion stays a potion of acid with
added rest or if it turns into a potion of entrapment with added
strenght,if you want to make you Alchemy more random.
Anonymous
August 3, 2005 12:00:50 PM

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

"Adrian Fänger" <Faenger@heliweb.de> wrote:
>"Thomas" <comments@foresightsagas.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
>news:1123005384.686363.78330@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> Interesting. I would be curious to hear what people have to say about
>> an alchemy system. Should all recipies be randomized.
>
>No that would be no fun,i would like recipes that make some kind of sense
>more.

"recipes that make sense" are half of why alchemy is desperately
overpowered in Nethack, of course. (The other half is the fact that
the "alchemy" mechanism has no meaningful upper bound on how many
potions can be converted with a single dip.)
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
illusion/kinetics controlling is love
Anonymous
August 4, 2005 1:08:13 PM

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

On 2 Aug 2005 10:56:24 -0700, Thomas wrote:

> Interesting. I would be curious to hear what people have to say about
> an alchemy system. Should all recipies be randomized. Do you as a
> player have to figure them our or do you get recipies as you raise your
> alchemy or brew skill or what. I know my rl will have alchemy and i
> already have way too many ways of foing it. I was thinking of something
> like.
>
> Potion of acid has the domain of pain and strength. Potions of sleep
> have the rest domain. fi you mix the two you get a potion of the domain
> pain, strength, and rest. Well there is nothing with a domain of
> strengh and rest but a potion of entrapment has the domain pain and
> sleep and maybe the strength makes it blessed. Or maybe you would then
> get a potion of entrapment and a small negative magical sideeffect from
> the stregth runoff and the more runoff (more unused domains) the more
> powerful the effect. The only problem is that this is not very random.
> Thoughts?


What about another layer to that thought. Ingredients would each have
multiple spheres of effect, and if two ingredients share a sphere it
will become a domain in the potion. However, the potion would still have
the spheres, and mixing it with another potion would bring out these
hidden abilities. All potions would be randomly made from different
ingredients, so that Potions of Sleep might have spheres of e.g. poison,
blindness and/or confusion.

Alchemy skill would probably be needed to identify potions. If some most
generic potions were pre-identified, player could leave alchemy out and
live without more powerful potions. If the character could tell some
most common ingredients used in the making of a potion, player could
decide to take a risk this potion with GoodHerb3:
[healing][rest][antimagic] is a potion of healing, but unless he was
outside a battle it would carry a risk... and some characters would have
more to worry than others. On the other hand, if a character was already
low on both hp and mana, or didn't yet have much to use magic for (very
early in the game), the risk would be smaller.

And if this still isn't random enough, there could be a small
possibility of a sphere negating itself or a domain withering down to a
sphere in each new "generation", and maybe even a possibility of s
sphere strengthening into domain, making the system produce random
results within boundaries.
Anonymous
August 5, 2005 2:15:35 AM

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

As a sort of aside, at least two schools of magic, and most potions,
have timed effects, which vary in power over the duration (typically a
delay immediately after the potion is imbibed, followed by a rapid
increase in effect, and a slow decrease). Potions can therefore be both
"stronger" and "faster" - a quick-acting healing potion could be WAY
more valuable in a fight than a fairly stronger one that takes a LOOONG
time to react, but after a tough duel with the armies of the undead,
when no ferocious horrors lurk about, a slow-acting potion while you
loot for treasure might be just what you need. Assuming a turn-based
system with a speed rating of 1000, the potion's effects can be
prorated as well. If your character drinks the potion at time 250, and
the delay phase lasts for 1000 ticks and heals 20 HP total, followed by
the sharp rising phase that lasts 0 ticks and heals 100 HP, followed by
the slow decreasing phase that heals 10 HP every 250 ticks for the next
2 turns, you would see this:

turn 1 - character drinks potion, at the end of the turn, 15HP is
healed
turn 2 - character swings sword at 250 again, healed for 5HP, at end of
turn, healed for an additional 100 + 10 = 110HP
turn 3 - character swings sword again, healed 10HP, at end of turn,
healed for another 30HP.
turn 4 - character swings sword AGAIN, healed 10HP, and no more healing
at the end of the turn.

Similarly, a potion of speed or strength would work the same way, with
a bit of a delay, a sharp rising phase, and a long decreasing tail
phase.
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 10:58:14 AM

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

Hmmm... well thats a bit of disappointment I suppose...
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 1:28:59 PM

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

So, its been about a week, and I've spent most of the time working on
pre-development issues, like story/style and some coding concerns.
Still, nothing at all to make anyone suspect that this might actually
lead somewhere, but I appreciate the help and dialogue from everyone
here.

Ive decided to have typical RL encounters. It keeps the dungeons
dangerous and interesting, and I think it gives me a little more
freedom to work with the AI. The rest of the decisions I was mulling
over are going to be mainly balance issues, and Im currently working on
the skill system. I played Guild for a bit, and liked the way they
implemented the party system, but I think I'll try to keep the game
primarily focused on a single character, and introduce some friendly
NPCs who go along for the ride.

I was surprised to see some of the ideas I was focusing on in some
other RLs as well. I thought they were fairly original ideas, and
suddenly "Whoa, Zangband has that!". I'd been discussing the game with
a group of other programmers for a while, and it was originally going
to be not-so-roguelike, but the decision was made so that I could focus
on the content and worry less about graphics and sound. I don't know if
I'll keep those ideas or not. I suppose it might be fairly hard to come
up with all new and original skills. I'll do the best I can for now.

Here's the DevCode, with some explanations behind some to clarify where
I think it might be needed:

L:C++ E++ T+ R++/+++ P+ D++ G+/++ F:ADoM/*Band RL-- RLA--
W:AF Q+++ AI+/++ !GFX !SFX RN++ PO--- HP+++ RE-- S--

E++
Graduate student in EE, computer imaging

R++/+++
I plan on adding RFEs once I have ANY features to begin with ;-)

P+
I won't be doing any porting, but Im using pdcurses and will
provide source...

D++
Im in the process of creating a Design Doc

RL---
However, my game WILL be ASCII, WILL be random, WILL feature
permadeath ("hardcore" in Diablo II-speak), but will NOT be based on
AD&D.

W: AF
Steampunk/victorian/futuristic ... its a crazy genre!

Q+++
As I mentioned, I think plot is fairly important, and I'm doing a
lot of work to make sure that the ASCII graphics engine I am creating
can be used for such things as cutscenes and a variety of special
effects

AI+/++
The first AI will be somewhat simple (I consider that AI+ to be
simple), but once Ive got a stable release, maybe I can sit down, fix
some bugs, and perform an AI-overhaul.

!GFX
Im hoping to get the most out of ASCII that I can. A later release
might feature more sophisticated ASCII graphics not based on the
console, but Im not sure how that would go over...

HP+++
"A few hundred"... bah! thousands!
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 1:29:32 PM

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

At 4 Aug 2005 22:15:35 -0700,
Wildhalcyon wrote:

> Similarly, a potion of speed or strength would work the same way, with
> a bit of a delay, a sharp rising phase, and a long decreasing tail
> phase.

I tried it and I'm not very pleased with the results.
It makes it hard to get what's really going on and to estimate the results
of your actions -- which makes it feel like it's totally random and
uncontrollable.

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(--) 3 ..zzZZ
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 1:14:13 AM

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

On 6 Aug 2005 09:28:59 -0700, "Wildhalcyon" <wildhalcyon@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Steampunk/victorian/futuristic ... its a crazy genre!

Glad to see the "/futuristic" or I'd have had to tell you that you were
retreading on Steamband's ground!

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 3:08:07 AM

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

No, I definitely don't plan on treading on the wonderful path that
Steamband has created, and Im much less interested in victorian
steampunk than I might have led on with that. Predominantly, the theme
is swords-meets-robots, and although I mentioned that technology v.
science would be significant to the story early on, Ive been having to
go through enough plot revisions to make myself sick as I write
features in and out of the design doc rough draft. The original intent
of the game has changed since I had originally thought it out. It
wasn't going to be an RL to begin with, which meant that there were
several issues concerning the plot/details that had to be revised to
fit with the flavor of the genre. Long drawn-out plots aren't great for
games which feature permanent character depth around every corner.

There's still a lot of surface that I think RLs can cover while still
adhering to their genre's roots and fundamental beliefs. Im not
expecting my game to be ground-breaking and something every RL fan just
MUST play. Half the reason for this project is just to see if I have
the moxy to go through with it, but I figure while Im at it, I might as
well see if there's a slightly new spin on it that I can create, all
while giving some novel gameplay for an RL.


Since Im making a post, I might as well make an inquiry.. I've been
looking at various sites over the week, trying to get some feedback
from sources as to what sort of graphics I can dish out with text-mode.
VGA seems pretty set in its ways as far as 16 color text. Obviously
portability and pdcurses would be pretty much pointless if I moved up
to a more modern graphics approach that used 256-color text with
monospaced truetype fonts... would it be worth going down that route,
or should I stick with conventional text-mode ASCII? Thoughts,
comments, or violent objections?
Anonymous
August 8, 2005 2:52:35 PM

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

In article <1123481287.363148.53180@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>, "Wildhalcyon" <wildhalcyon@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Since Im making a post, I might as well make an inquiry.. I've been
>looking at various sites over the week, trying to get some feedback
>from sources as to what sort of graphics I can dish out with text-mode.
>VGA seems pretty set in its ways as far as 16 color text. Obviously
>portability and pdcurses would be pretty much pointless if I moved up
>to a more modern graphics approach that used 256-color text with
>monospaced truetype fonts... would it be worth going down that route,
>or should I stick with conventional text-mode ASCII? Thoughts,
>comments, or violent objections?

Scalable fonts are much smoother to read, especially on an LCD with
ClearType, or equivalent, enabled.

Alan
!