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Guild - YABDR??

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September 3, 2005 11:25:13 PM

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

Hi RGRDers,

After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
wondering what to do with it.

Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
whole game (or even the second quest???)

I'd appreciate any feedback on
-why Guild didn't take off
-from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
-how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
-how the game could be marketed to be more successful...

A.

More about : guild yabdr

Anonymous
September 4, 2005 5:02:25 AM

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

Antoine wrote:
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off

I haven't tried Guild yet, but it is one of the games on my to-play
list. Ironically, the most recent RL I have played is QuickBand. Here
are my thoughts on why Guild may not have taken off.

- Yet another generic fantasy. I know there's probably more to Guild
than just blandly copied DnD-isms, but there was nothing on the web
page to really hook me into the game and make me interested in trying
it. In fact, looking through the Guild pages again, there is nothing
about the game world at all. In general background and story are less
important for RLs than other CRPGs but with so many other generic
fantasy games out there you need something for your own game to stand
out.

- What does it do? The big thing that attracted me to Guild is the fact
you can have an entire party of adventurers. However, other than this
one feature, there's not much information about what the game's like.
Some info about the character generation system could have been helpful
(races, classes, and other options), as it would inspire players to
download the game and try their hand at making a party.

- How complete is it? You do mention that there are several dungeons,
four quests, and advancement to level five, but it's not clear whether
this qualifies Guild as a limited but playable game or just a tech
demo. Maybe if some information could be provided about the dungeons
(are they different from one another or just sequentially difficult?)
or the quests (are they complicated endeavors or of the "slay me 13
goblins" variety?) potential players would have a better idea what to
expect.

Here are my suggestions: If you enjoy developing and playing Guild,
you'll need to promote it better. Highlight the things that are unique
about Guild, and also the reasons why Guild is fun to play. Until you
get a fan base started, people aren't going to know about the cool
things in Guild unless you tell them, so tell them about it. Write a
summary of Guild's features that can be used when making update notices
on usenet and elsewhere.

- JH.
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 6:09:51 AM

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

Antoine wrote:
> I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP.

Well, it's hard:)  It doesn't even have an easy beginning like most
other roguelikes (or games). It requires tactical thinking that
I believe many rpg players aren't used to deal with. When I
repeatedly died in the _first_ level I stopped playing it:) 
The learning curve could be easier, so you could become familiar
with the game.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 11:44:42 AM

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

Antoine wrote:
> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.

You should keep playing and polishing it.

> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)

Well... It wasn't until the 62nd public release of POWDER that the
first victory post was posted. That was after two years of development
and eighteen months of it being available to the public.

Likewise, I'd safely state that Guild has sparked more threads in RGRD
than POWDER has - POWDER's only threads usually begin and end with a
post from me talking about how some current discussion point relates to
POWDER.

> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off

This sort of comment in rgrd always annoys me. I also think this sort
of mindset kills more roguelikes than anything else.

For the sake of @, stop chasing after "success"! Instead, concentrate
your energies on making a good game. An audience will find itself -
maybe not a huge audience, but if you make one person in addition to
yourself happy, no one can accuse you of being selfish. And, if you
only make yourself happy, the world is still a better place as a result
of your game being written.

> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...

- Add a link to guild from your signature.
- Update your entry in the RogueBasin
http://roguebasin.t-o-m-e.net/index.php/GUILD. Look at the POWDER
entry for an example of the sections you should have. Unique/rare
features and Versions/Platforms are important to direct people.
- While a Linux release is always good, it likely won't make a
difference. There is about a 10:1 windows:linux ratio among those that
download roguelikes.
- Stop worrying about popularity and uptake. Worry about making a game
that you enjoy playing. No one is paying you for this, so there is no
reason to cater to the masses.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 12:41:23 PM

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

Jeff Lait wrote:
> - While a Linux release is always good, it likely won't make a
> difference. There is about a 10:1 windows:linux ratio among those that
> download roguelikes.

My experience with that is different. When I release a new version of
GearHead, I get more clicks from HappyPenguin.org than I do from any
other game news site. Of course this might have more to do with the
other game news sites that report on GearHead than it does with the
relative number of Linux users playing roguelikes, but still I think
it's significant.

> - Stop worrying about popularity and uptake. Worry about making a game
> that you enjoy playing.

Agreed.

- JH.
September 4, 2005 5:00:42 PM

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

> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.
>
> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)
>
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off
> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...
>
> A.

Echoing what some of the other posters are saying regarding promotion, you
didn't include a link in this post! I thought, "Hey, I was going to check
that out! Now where is it?"

The reason I didn't look at it before is that I find the concept of a
party-based game offputting, even before I've looked at the game. It makes
me think: "complex and fiddly turns, probably an inventory nightmare...
aaaagh!" I'm sure this is all utterly unjustified, but considering how much
I enjoyed DoomRL, perhaps it's a sign that my brain is deteriorating to the
point where I can only deal with simple things.

However, I wouldn't be put off. A prod is probably a good idea.



:-)
September 4, 2005 5:42:07 PM

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

Antoine <mail@guildgame.com> wrote:
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off

Absence of source code and/or Linux binary slowed me down. On the
upside, it was an interesting enough idea to finally prompt me to set up
WINE so I could try it.

> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it

I am the wrong audience because I don't like Angband.

I don't like non-persistent dungeons.

I do like Rogue, but that's because you have only one choice of
direction to travel in. I get bored if I'm not forced deeper, and I
prefer a game which has been balanced to make this necessary and
desirable. In *band, I have the choice of being bored or dying.

I do like the feature of not healing within the dungeon.

I do like the small level size.

I do like the idea of having a party, but I would prefer to begin alone
or with one companion (preferably a pet rather than a humanoid), and
then pick up interesting individuals in my travels.

I didn't play many games, because I quickly got the "this feels like
Angband" problem. Obviously not a problem if you like Angband. And it
felt less like Angband than most of the games derived from that
codebase, a big positive in my mind, but the whole game balance set up
by the non-persistent dungeons is a really big issue for me.

> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or

The things which would make it a more enjoyable game for me are probably
not things which you want in your game: persistent dungeons and a game
balance to match.

> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...

I like the website frontpage.
I looked at it about five times before I ever downloaded it, though,
because I hit the "Oh, it's only got a Windoze installer" wall. Clearly
again, I am not part of the target audience and this won't be a problem
for most people.

I'm not suggesting you modify your game to suit my desires, just
explaining that while I think it's a very promising idea, I'm very
unlikely to spend more than half an hour (if even that) on a game
which has that *band feel to it.

--
--jude hungerford.
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 6:15:25 PM

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

This is sort of unrelated, but twice now I've had crashes (with generic
guild.exe-has-crashed messages) when hitting the 'w' key to wear
something. The first time I thought it might just be a coincidence,
but it just happened again. It doesn't happen *every* time I hit 'w',
of course; it's only happened twice so far. I don't think that's why
it hasn't taken off, though, since this is the first crash I'd heard
reported and I played for a while before it happened; but I thought I
should report it. I'm playing under Windows ME if it makes a
difference (ugh).

Anyway. Other people have touched on several of the reasons why it
might not have taken off--the steep difficulty curve, the generic
setting, the description on the webpage which says you can only advance
to level 5 and gives the sense that the game is incomplete (I wasn't
even aware it was possible to win yet until you mentioned not seeing
any YAVPs.) I'm not a big fan of the Angband non-saved-dungeon system
myself, but I suppose that's a design choice, and there must be people
out there who like it.

Another possibility that occured to me, though, is the lack of party
generation. A roguelike where you control a 4-person party has lots of
opportunites for interesting character generation at the beginning; but
Guild just hands you a generic 4-person party. There are 4 party
members, and (as far as I can tell) only 4 classes, so the player
doesn't even get to make any choices about who they bring unless they,
say, want to skip having a thief to get two clerics or something.

I don't think character generation should be *too* detailed; manually
rolling up stats on all 4 people would be too much. But it might be
interesting if there were a few more classes, even if they were just
small varients on the existing ones, and the player got to choose the
composition of their initial party. This would also make it less
frustrating to get wiped out--I stopped playing Guild for a while when
one of my parties got killed, since I knew that if I started a new game
I'd have to take an identical party and would basically just be doing
the exact same things over again in a slightly different dungeon.

For class ideas... Some class varients could just differ in their
starting equipment and spells. For instance, an Illusionist might be a
mage who starts with illusion-related spells and a wand that supports
them, while an Enchanter would focus on enchantments. Additionally,
they could get bonuses with spells related to their specialty, and
their spell lists could differ somewhat, with each having some spells
unique to them and others they can never learn.

There could be a "berzerker" class, a tough warrior who wears light
armor and scorns shields, but sometimes goes berzerk in combat, getting
even more bonuses to toughness and damage. Naturally, they can't be
controlled while berzerk, and wouldn't listen to orders.

A Sage is a priest who can learn mage spells, although they can't
memorize as many of them as a true mage and get their priest spells
more slowly. They are as weak as a mage, with the same equipment
restrictions, and use holy symbols to cast spells instead of wands (so
they can't wield wands and don't get the wand bonuses). However, they
are better at avoiding magical wards, and can tell more things about
items when examining them.

Extra classes like these would also make checking the tavern for new
party members a little more interesting.

Other suggestions, let's see... The AI that controls thieves needs
some working on. The other party members are at least half-decent;
fighters will fight on their own, mages and clerics cast their spells,
etc. Thieves don't do what they're supposed to at all. There's no way
to ask them to scout around for traps without manually sending them
from point-to-point; they won't disarm traps on their own even if they
find them; they'll never sneak unless you order them to; and even when
they do sneak, I've never seen my thief backstab or pick pockets under
their own initative. This basically means that the player has to
control their thief almost 24/7 if they want to get any use out of
them.

Does Guild's system allow thieves to spot traps at a distance? I
haven't seen it happen, but now that I think about it it's almost
essential. The thief can't really help the rest of the party with
traps if they have to walk on every single space in a room in order to
make sure that it's safe; that's fine in a single-character roguelike,
but doesn't work for a party.

Allowing the party to have a pet might be an interesting idea, too...
A little dog or some other animal that follows them into dungeons feels
like it would fit into the game's theme.

Anyway, just some suggestions. Maybe I'll think of more later.

--Aquillion
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 7:58:36 PM

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

Antoine wrote:
> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.
>
> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)
>
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off
> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...
>

No source.
No linux binary.
Doesn't work on any of my machines.

Bear
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 7:58:37 PM

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

Ray Dillinger <bear@sonic.net> writes:

> Antoine wrote:
>> I'd appreciate any feedback on
>> -why Guild didn't take off
>
> No source.
> No linux binary.
> Doesn't work on any of my machines.

What he said, basically - no source + no Mac binary = I don't get to play.

sherm--

--
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Hire me! My resume: http://www.dot-app.org
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 8:03:13 PM

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

edward@lore.net wrote:
> Antoine <mail@guildgame.com> wrote:
>
>>I'd appreciate any feedback on
>>-why Guild didn't take off

> I do like the idea of having a party, but I would prefer to begin alone
> or with one companion (preferably a pet rather than a humanoid), and
> then pick up interesting individuals in my travels.

This is the only point in the post I disagree with; Starting up with a
party allows you to have characters that aren't very survivable on their
lonesome, and have that be balanced all the way from the start. Buffers
partly fall in this category (especially if they primarily have group
buff spells), powerful ranged attackers with no defense definitely fall
in this category.

>>-how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
>
> The things which would make it a more enjoyable game for me are probably
> not things which you want in your game: persistent dungeons and a game
> balance to match.

That would make it a more enjoyable game for me, too.
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 10:59:12 PM

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

"Joe Hewitt" <pyrrho12@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1125848483.497771.180780@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Jeff Lait wrote:
> > - While a Linux release is always good, it likely won't make a
> > difference. There is about a 10:1 windows:linux ratio among those that
> > download roguelikes.
>
> My experience with that is different. When I release a new version of
> GearHead, I get more clicks from HappyPenguin.org than I do from any
> other game news site. Of course this might have more to do with the
> other game news sites that report on GearHead than it does with the
> relative number of Linux users playing roguelikes, but still I think
> it's significant.
[...]

While there is probably a 20:1 (or even bigger) Windows:Linux ratio among
gamers in general, there is easily a 3:1 Windows:Linux ratio on RL players.
Obviously this is not an exact statistic, but it is based on some realistic
assumptions about the community of RL players:

- Many RL players have very likely been around since Rogue, before Windows
existed.
- Many programmers are attracted to Linux; the algorithmic/random nature of
Roguelikes appeal largely to other programmers/game developers.
- Linux gamers don't have as broad a market of recently published games
available to them, so indie games like RLs that are compiled for Linux get a
lot of attention.

A game can obviously be successful being exclusively for Windows, but at
least at the development phase, before the game builds up a large enough
fanbase, there will be a lot of interest coming from Linux users.

--Nolithius
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 11:27:55 PM

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

Hey Antoine,

As you probably remember, I was very interested in the development of Guild
when you first started to provide playable versions. I am still deeply
interested, but since I got a job as of a few months ago I have, as my
friend said, "dropped off the face of the earth", and definitely not been
able to keep up with RGRD discussions. But now that I am back at school and
working less I have a little more time for this kind of stuff.

My main problem with Guild was the difficulty, as was mentioned earlier. You
should have some beginning dungeons to get the players accustomed to the
style.

Also remember that you are doing quite a few things differently from the
standard RL or RPG in general. Because of this, it will require more
iteration and heachaches to get it right. For example:

- No healing within the dungeon: While this is an interesting choice, it
pushes up the difficulty of the game by quite a few notches. This also
forces the player to go in and out of the dungeon several times thereby
automatically forcing the player to adhere to a specific playing style. If
some players prefer going deeper and deeper and visiting the town sparsely
(and most do) they will find themselves at a huge disadvantage. This can
easily translate into tedium.

- No leveling within the dungeon: Same issue as described above.

- Clumsy inventory management: In the bit of time I've had lately I picked
up Dungeon Siege II, a game that far surpassed my expectations and that,
surprisingly, has very satisfactory party AI. Now, in that game, each
character has his own inventory just like Guild-- but switching items
between two characters is as easy as dragging it into the other character's
portrait, as you would expect. Because of the technical limitations of RLs
(although they can use the mouse, but often choose not to), it would not be
a bad idea to have a shared party inventory, where the total amount of
encumberance is the sum of each of the party members'. This obviously brings
up the issue of how to handle characters being encumbered, for which you
have two options: 1) Inventory space is rigid, that is, characters cannot
pick up any more than what their max weight allows (effectively removing the
encumbered state). or 2) Encumbering everyone equally, which might not be
horribly elegant, but at least will ensure your characters all keep the same
pace. Yet another option you have is to keep the individual inventories, but
to list your whole party's inventory like:

Guybrush
- A knife
- A skull
- A piece of tofu

Lothar
- An axe
- A piece of meat

etc.

All in one screen, and allowing easy switching of items from one inventory
to another by means of some menu with options like Examine, Equip, Give,
Drop.

Clumsy party management: I guess the DS2 AI comment should be here instead
;) . For some reason, and I can't quite put my finger on it, the party AI is
somewhat hard to control effectively.

Angband-like feel, specially towns: I haven't played the latest release, so
I don't know if you restructured the towns, but this is something that both
ABCGi and I pointed out a while back: If you push for the players to surface
from the dungeons very often and to visit the town, at least make the towns
interesting, not a numbered list of options.

If I think of anything else I'll let you know. Sorry if I seem overly
critical but I really would like for your project to succeed, and well, you
asked for what people thought ;) .

Regards, and please don't give up,

--Nolithius
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 2:52:56 PM

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

> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off
> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it

I played Guild, and enjoyed it enough to play it a number of times,
although I never got very far. I definately think there are some things
you could do to increase its appeal, especialy to first time players.
(last version played, 1.0)

- The Town
The Guild town always seemed somewhat of an obstacle to gameplay. Its
list-like nature makes it tedious to operate, and a first time player
is going to be put off by the number of options presented. He lacks a
clear sense of purpose. Should he skip the town and go straight to the
dungeon? Or is it necessary to stock up on equipment and visit some of
the other buildings first? Guild's party oriented gameplay is what
makes it fun. The player shouldn't be forced to worry about too many
factors before getting into combat. I would even advocate starting the
player immediately in the dungeon, with some cheesy but plausible
backstory, and giving him access to the town later. Adding town
functions over time would also streamline things.

- The Party
As someone suggested, having the player by himself or with a single
companion or pet at the beginning would definately help to not
overwhelm him. Perhaps a mandatory first quest where the player goes to
rescue an animal or person who joins his team. You could also use this
to set the story or goal for the rest of the game. The player should
have to play for some time before having a full 4 or even 3 person
party. This is also important because a first time player will have
trouble managing a large party. The party memebers also need to
remember their orders from last dungeon. Having to reorder everyone
each time you enter the dungeon is annoying.

Other suggestions:
-Persistant dungeons
-larger dungeons, more open space and/or double wide cooridors
(to accomadate the party)
-less Angband like dungeon structure/feel (personal preference)
-parties that are different from game to game

Main recomendations:
-Make the game simpler towards the beginning, and gradually introduce
features.
-Give the player a sense of direction and purpose, which may require
making the game more linear.
-Sometimes removing things can be has helpful to a game (or any work of
art) as adding things. This tends to be a difficult thing for
developers to do, however.
-Dont give up! Definately not Born Dead.
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 3:02:39 PM

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

Seco One wrote:
> Main recomendations:
> -Make the game simpler towards the beginning, and gradually introduce
> features.

Although I can see an advantage to this, one big problem with it is
that this is a roguelike. Sooner or later (at least under the current
system), the player's party will be wiped out and they'll have to start
the game over again. Having to go through the "simplified" section each
time could be a major annoyance.

One possibility is to make that section take the form of a tutorial,
which is offered to the player when they start: After they've created
their characters, a little old man comes up to them and offers to teach
them the basics of dungeoneering. If they agree, they're taken (alone
and blindfolded) into a 1-level practice dungeon, which they have to
escape from with the old man shouting instructions from outside. Along
the way they encounter their teammates and learn how to command them
and so forth. At the end of the practice dungeon, the old man could
offer to show them what the town has to offer adventurers, too.

--Aquillion
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 3:28:59 PM

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

At 3 Sep 2005 19:25:13 -0700,
Antoine wrote:

> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.
>
> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)

Don't panic, it's normal. Give it some time.
I've never heard anybody finished Z-Day either, even when it only takies
20 minutes of play to finish it ^^).

You've got to choose now, whether you want to continue development and
turn this game into a game of your dreams (people with similar dreams
will gather eventually), or just leave it and let it die.

On a side note, I don't think the r.g.r.d is the best place to look for
audience -- everybody is usually busy with their own games. Altrough it's
true that developers make very good beta-testers, because they will
usually be able to describe th problems well... or maybe not ;) 

And what's that you don't like in your game?

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(`') 3 Grrr!
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 4:17:56 PM

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

In article <1125800713.947776.10180@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
mail@guildgame.com says...
> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.
>
> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)
>
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off
> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...

For me the ASCII thing writes off Guild, as well as other more well-
known ones.

I thought the party system was neat and quite well done, though.
Balancing may be harder.

The only fear is that each level may take four times as long, i.e. if
there's nothing interesting to kill in a normal roguelike you just fly
through it to the stairs.

As somebody said, inventory could be an issue too.

But I didn't play enough that these are more than unsupported
speculations, and the game may not have any such problems.

- Gerry Quinn
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 4:17:57 PM

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

> For me the ASCII thing writes off Guild, as well as other more well-
> known ones.

Agreed. The worst part about the ASCII interface isn't the map (as one might
expect - though that is bad), but the huge number of keys that one has to
remember (this is worse for games like nethack than it is for Guild). People
want user-friendly software, even if they don't articulate that desire. If I
*have* to, I can, for example, figure out how to edit makefiles for gcc. But
I don't *want* to. The unix-like mentally of many RL developers vis a vis
useability makes the learning curve too high for a lot of games and kills
the fun, in my opinion.
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 6:05:28 PM

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

To clarify the crashes I had in the previous post, I've had them a few
more times, and it seems that they only happen when I try to access my
rogue's 'w'ear/wield screen. Doesn't happen for anyone else, and
doesn't always happen even for the rogue.

Anyway, another minor suggestion: If I try to take a wounded and
recovering character to my house, I get the "so-and-so is recovering
from their wounds and cannot travel." I think that you should be able
to bring wounded characters into the base, at least.

--Aquillion
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 6:09:54 PM

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

Ah, no, I see now. Correction to my clarification: Guild crashes
every time if *anyone* tries to use the wield/wear key while their
inventory is empty. It was only happening with my rogue because
everyone else always at least had a bag on them, but the real problem
is hitting 'w' with an empty inventory.

--Aquillion
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 7:55:30 PM

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

"Antoine" <mail@guildgame.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:1125800713.947776.10180@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
[snip]

> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or

Graphics. There are probably only a few thousand people in the entire world
who play ASCII games.

> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...

Put it on mainstream gaming sites (requires graphics).


copx
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 10:30:25 PM

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

Shedletsky wrote:
>>For me the ASCII thing writes off Guild, as well as other more well-
>>known ones.

> Agreed. The worst part about the ASCII interface isn't the map (as one might
> expect - though that is bad), but the huge number of keys that one has to
> remember (this is worse for games like nethack than it is for Guild). People
> want user-friendly software, even if they don't articulate that desire.

*SOME* people want newbie-friendly software with a nice shallow
learning curve. *SOME* people want interfaces that make a very
wide variety of different actions all easy to do and allow a very
high degree of mastery and skill, but may take some time to
learn. It's better to me to make the thousandth game interesting
and easy and the first game hard, than make the first game
interesting and easy and the thousandth game boring. Sure, I try
to make both the first *and* thousandth game interesting and
easy; but the thousandth game takes priority every time.

My concession to the learning curve is a slowly-scrolling "option
line" at the bottom that will tell you what you can do at any
given moment if you take time to watch and read. I picked the
"option line" to make the commands discoverable without slowing
down or interfering with the keyboard interface. I expect the
experienced user to be entering five commands a second in some
situations; forcing them to use a mouse would be slowing them
down, and making the keyboard commands shortcuts for mouseable
commands requires a "mode switch" part way up the learning curve.

I'm sick of dumbing things down for newbies. I've had to do that
in code I write for money, and without fail, it always produced
less-capable systems. I cannot describe to you the horror I feel
when I take excellent and capable systems that suit their problem
domains well and are as simple as the problem allows, and my
orders are to make them easier for newbies to use. You cannot
solve a problem with a system that doesn't reflect at least the
complexity of the problem.

If you put a simple interface on something that's actually
a complex problem, it works about as well as steelframe
construction where you get rid of the rivets the rivet guns
and the welders and the wrenches and the nuts and install
the bolts using a very big hammer. Hey, it's simpler. It's a
shame that it's harder work and doesn't solve the problem as
well.

Several times now I've taken systems a smart user could use to
effect better solutions than any competing software, and gutted
their capabilities in order to make them "usable" by people
unwilling to understand the problems they're attempting to
solve or unwilling to comprehend what all the configuration
options they hate do. Inevitably, once the idea that
newbie-friendliness is all that matters takes hold, every
excellent tool I've ever built has been reduced to fricken
vaporware, with the marketing drones still spouting about
capabilities the effective use of which depended on things
they've required me to rip out of the systems.

I'm not gonna do it on a project I'm doing for recreation.
'Designed by geniuses to be used by idiots' is insulting and
frustrating to the non-idiot user, just as 'optimized search'
is insulting and frustrating to those of us who who were
more than able to say exactly what we wanted using full-text
binary search and hate that all modern search engines wind
up trying to herd us to the same two thousand or so 'popular'
sites all the time no matter what we're looking for.

All the best tools, and all the best games too, are designed
_by_and_for_ geniuses. Besides, I don't want to deal with
and support idiots, and nobody's gonna pay me for a
roguelike game, so what is my motivation for making a game
to appeal to them?

Bear
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 10:54:22 PM

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

Aquillion wrote:

> One possibility is to make that section take the form of a tutorial,
> which is offered to the player when they start: After they've created
> their characters, a little old man comes up to them and offers to teach
> them the basics of dungeoneering. If they agree, they're taken (alone
> and blindfolded) into a 1-level practice dungeon, which they have to
> escape from with the old man shouting instructions from outside. Along
> the way they encounter their teammates and learn how to command them
> and so forth. At the end of the practice dungeon, the old man could
> offer to show them what the town has to offer adventurers, too.

Oddly enough, I think your father's ghost at your elbow
whispering instructions about how to carry on the family
dungeoneering tradition would require less suspension
of disbelief than an old man shouting instructions from
outside.

Bear
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 1:35:34 PM

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

> It's better to me to make the thousandth game interesting
> and easy and the first game hard, than make the first game
> interesting and easy and the thousandth game boring. Sure, I try
> to make both the first *and* thousandth game interesting and
> easy; but the thousandth game takes priority every time.

If everyone gives up long before playing the 1000th time, it doesn't matter
if the 1000th time is really fun, does it? That's basically my point.

As for the "screw you, it's my roguelike" attitude, I completely agree. You
must write games that you enjoy playing. To do otherwise would be silly.

--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:09:24 PM

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

Ray Dillinger wrote:
> *SOME* people want newbie-friendly software with a nice shallow
> learning curve.

You don't have to think it that way if you keep the overall
difficulty of the game hard. Nethack has a nice example of a
shallow learning curve, which is just tied to the character
development. But, if you prefer to scare *MOST* of the people
away from your game with HC attitude, then it's ok for me:) 

> I'm sick of dumbing things down for newbies.

This has nothing to do with the UI and how good or bad it is. I think
RL developers should think about their UI and develope them
further, not just copy from the roguelike canon. Let's just say that
Angband UI is horrible. That's a fact and nothing can change it:) 
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 10:22:09 PM

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

Quoting Shedletsky <mylastname@stanford.edu>:
>>It's better to me to make the thousandth game interesting
>>and easy and the first game hard, than make the first game
>>interesting and easy and the thousandth game boring. Sure, I try
>>to make both the first *and* thousandth game interesting and
>>easy; but the thousandth game takes priority every time.
>If everyone gives up long before playing the 1000th time, it doesn't matter
>if the 1000th time is really fun, does it? That's basically my point.

But manifestly this is not in fact a problem for the games that have the
interfaces you decry. It's clear that some of these games are enormously
popular and "everyone" does not give up long before the thousandth game.
--
David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is Gloucesterday, August.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 3:06:07 AM

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

Krice wrote:

> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>> *SOME* people want newbie-friendly software with a nice shallow
>> learning curve.
>
> You don't have to think it that way if you keep the overall
> difficulty of the game hard. Nethack has a nice example of a
> shallow learning curve, which is just tied to the character
> development. But, if you prefer to scare *MOST* of the people
> away from your game with HC attitude, then it's ok for me:) 
>
>> I'm sick of dumbing things down for newbies.
>
> This has nothing to do with the UI and how good or bad it is. I think
> RL developers should think about their UI and develope them
> further, not just copy from the roguelike canon. Let's just say that
> Angband UI is horrible. That's a fact and nothing can change it:) 

I agree completly with what you say ! A good UI isn't a newbie UI. A good UI
needs only a short time to learn the basics and then, as an advanced user
it must never get in the way !

On that point, I'm agree than Angband UI is bad but only in half. One could
say the UI for newbies part is good. Not too complex, easy to learn and
discover etc... but it is incredibly annoying to use for advanced players.
And so mankind created one of the stupidest things ever : the macros :) 

At least, they tried to please both ends of the spectrum and the most
pervert part about macros is that you *can* become efficient with them so
now, a lot of users don't want to change :( 
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 5:03:59 AM

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

Angband is better than some. My favorite 'traditional' roguelike is
Dungeon Crawl, which doesn't even have item-management menus and still
inexplicably has seperate commands for wield, wear, and put on ring
(because Rogue did it, I know, but it still doesn't make any sense),
and uses an ugly kludge for quick-weapon switching (it just switches
between the first two items in your inventory, whatever they are; you
have to use the "manual sort inventory" command to make sure they're
the two you want to switch between.) As a result of these sorts of
things, the Dungeon Crawl key reference is a page and then some of
densely packed two-column text, often using inscrutable shorthand. The
Angband UI is at least easier to pick up than that.

On the other hand, Crawl does have keys to cycle through nearby
targets, which as far as I can tell the Angband interfance lacks. I
guess every game has their UI ups and downs.

One minor annoyance with the Angband interface, as least as it appears
in Guild, is that if you're standing over a pile of containers on the
ground and hit '<' or '>', it will query you for each and every item in
the stack instead of giving you a menu like it would if they were in
your inventory. This probably isn't a real problem in Angband itself,
but it can be in Guild, since you end up having to manage a ton of
stuff in your home base.

I also think it's kind of silly that you can't use the "use item" key
to light/extinguish a wielded torch (or even to wield an unwielded
one), but that's fairly minor.

The other half of UI complaints, in my experience, are from people who
are accustomed to one game's UI and just don't like moving to a
different one.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 6:51:30 AM

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

Krice wrote:
> Ray Dillinger wrote:

>>I'm sick of dumbing things down for newbies.

> This has nothing to do with the UI and how good or bad it is. I think
> RL developers should think about their UI and develope them
> further, not just copy from the roguelike canon. Let's just say that
> Angband UI is horrible. That's a fact and nothing can change it:) 

Most of the time when people complain about UI, they want a
UI that's specifically newbie-friendly - even if it gets in
the way of experienced players or, in professional software,
cripples users with a better understanding of the problem.

This has been my experience, anyway. Yours may vary.

I don't think the Angband UI is particularly horrible. The
only *real* mistake as far as I'm concerned is the help
system and means of discovering what commands do and what
commands are available. It supports key/command remapping
anyway.

Bear
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 6:58:34 AM

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

Christophe Cavalaria wrote:

> On that point, I'm agree than Angband UI is bad but only in half. One could
> say the UI for newbies part is good. Not too complex, easy to learn and
> discover etc... but it is incredibly annoying to use for advanced players.
> And so mankind created one of the stupidest things ever : the macros :) 

I don't particularly like Angband's implementation of macros.
'I'nscribing items to make macros work with them or commands
act differently on them is annoying, cryptic, and badly
documented, and no facilities for macro conditional branching
or macro editing are provided.

Further, Angband is repetitive enough that after sufficient
macro-tweaking, you can in some circumstances just "leave a
golf ball on the key," go to work in the morning, and come
home to a character that's up three levels and three years
older - and that's clearly broken.

But that's not to say macros are a bad idea from the outset.

> the most
> pervert part about macros is that you *can* become efficient with them so
> now, a lot of users don't want to change :( 

Um, excuse me? That's a sign of success, not failure.
And quit bashing perverts; perversion can be fun.

Bear
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 10:39:44 AM

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

At Wed, 07 Sep 2005 02:51:30 GMT,
Ray Dillinger wrote:

> Krice wrote:
>> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>
>>>I'm sick of dumbing things down for newbies.
>
>> This has nothing to do with the UI and how good or bad it is. I think
>> RL developers should think about their UI and develope them
>> further, not just copy from the roguelike canon. Let's just say that
>> Angband UI is horrible. That's a fact and nothing can change it:) 
>
> Most of the time when people complain about UI, they want a
> UI that's specifically newbie-friendly - even if it gets in
> the way of experienced players or, in professional software,
> cripples users with a better understanding of the problem.
>
> This has been my experience, anyway. Yours may vary.
>
> I don't think the Angband UI is particularly horrible. The
> only *real* mistake as far as I'm concerned is the help
> system and means of discovering what commands do and what
> commands are available. It supports key/command remapping
> anyway.

I especially like the look/targetting mode that automatically
jumps to the nearest interesting object in the general direction
you pressed. Any chances of using something similar in Dweller?
(at least a 'cycle monsters' key in the targeting mode)

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(*+) 3 Sparkle
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 12:35:08 PM

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

At 7 Sep 2005 01:03:59 -0700,
Aquillion wrote:

> On the other hand, Crawl does have keys to cycle through nearby
> targets, which as far as I can tell the Angband interfance lacks. I
> guess every game has their UI ups and downs.

Angband has it and it's very comfortable.

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(Qq) 3 Sob?
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 2:23:55 PM

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

Ray Dillinger a écrit :
> Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
>
>> On that point, I'm agree than Angband UI is bad but only in half. One
>> could
>> say the UI for newbies part is good. Not too complex, easy to learn and
>> discover etc... but it is incredibly annoying to use for advanced
>> players.
>> And so mankind created one of the stupidest things ever : the macros :) 
>
>
> I don't particularly like Angband's implementation of macros.
> 'I'nscribing items to make macros work with them or commands
> act differently on them is annoying, cryptic, and badly
> documented, and no facilities for macro conditional branching
> or macro editing are provided.
>
> Further, Angband is repetitive enough that after sufficient
> macro-tweaking, you can in some circumstances just "leave a
> golf ball on the key," go to work in the morning, and come
> home to a character that's up three levels and three years
> older - and that's clearly broken.
>
> But that's not to say macros are a bad idea from the outset.

Macros are powerful in the end, just like assembler is powerful. If I
had to do a stupid analogy here, it would be like giving your users and
assembler and saying : "You think it's too difficult to use ? Then by
all means you only need to create a C++/Pascal/... compiler and it'll be
easy again !". Some users will do that, others will flee in terror. You
on the other hand want to "improve" the macro system by making it even
more like a programing language ? When I play a game it's to get away
from work, not do more programing. I can create my own roguelike if I
want to do that.

The Tome automatiser suffers from exactly the same problem in my eyes.

>> the most
>> pervert part about macros is that you *can* become efficient with them so
>> now, a lot of users don't want to change :( 
>
>
> Um, excuse me? That's a sign of success, not failure.
> And quit bashing perverts; perversion can be fun.
>
> Bear

That's not really a sign of success. It's more like a direct application
if the theory of evolution : only those who can stand the macro system
as the only mean to get things done in Angband are left. If the system
was really inefficient, something else would have been created in its
place. Maybe even something better.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 2:28:49 PM

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

Aquillion a écrit :
> Angband is better than some. My favorite 'traditional' roguelike is
> Dungeon Crawl, which doesn't even have item-management menus and still
> inexplicably has seperate commands for wield, wear, and put on ring
> (because Rogue did it, I know, but it still doesn't make any sense),
> and uses an ugly kludge for quick-weapon switching (it just switches
> between the first two items in your inventory, whatever they are; you
> have to use the "manual sort inventory" command to make sure they're
> the two you want to switch between.) As a result of these sorts of
> things, the Dungeon Crawl key reference is a page and then some of
> densely packed two-column text, often using inscrutable shorthand. The
> Angband UI is at least easier to pick up than that.
>
> On the other hand, Crawl does have keys to cycle through nearby
> targets, which as far as I can tell the Angband interfance lacks. I
> guess every game has their UI ups and downs.

Angband as an intelligent autotargeting system. Press * as many times as
you want and it'll cycle through all visible targets.

> One minor annoyance with the Angband interface, as least as it appears
> in Guild, is that if you're standing over a pile of containers on the
> ground and hit '<' or '>', it will query you for each and every item in
> the stack instead of giving you a menu like it would if they were in
> your inventory. This probably isn't a real problem in Angband itself,
> but it can be in Guild, since you end up having to manage a ton of
> stuff in your home base.

I don't recognise that part of the Angband UI. < and > are used to go
through stairs. There are no containers in Angband, except for chests
but are really uncommon, and they can only be emptied. If you mean the
pickup item command, a lot of variants have a menu for that situation.

Myself I would try to reduce the huge amount of junk generated by the
game instead of trying to imporve that part of the UI :) 
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 5:22:17 PM

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

Quoting Aquillion <frogwind@gmail.com>:
>Angband is better than some. My favorite 'traditional' roguelike is
>Dungeon Crawl, which doesn't even have item-management menus and still
>inexplicably has seperate commands for wield, wear, and put on ring
>(because Rogue did it, I know, but it still doesn't make any sense),

It certainly makes sense to separate "wield" - what if you want to wield
something that isn't designed to be used as a weapon?
--
David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is Leicesterday, August.
September 7, 2005 6:10:31 PM

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

Antoine wrote:
> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.
>
> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)
>
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off
> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or
> -how the game could be marketed to be more successful...

Got this reply by email. I was very pleased to see it - many thanks to
the writer, if you see this post! you made my day.

I don't think it's inappropriate to post it, as it was only not posted
in the first place due to lack of access. So here we go:

------------------------------------------------------

hello.
my environment cant afford to connect to news server.
so I "re:" by mail.


first of all,I like the concept of Guild quite much.
and this is the one of the very game I've been waiting for the new
version.

Because of my environment?, it keeps crashing when I try to equip
secondGuy(#2).
so I can't play much though.
still "Guild" by any means is one of the most outstanding game,I think.

the term "guild" is so common. so difficult to find related info
through google. I'd want it to be renamed such like "Guild1234".

if the ai of party can be easily selectable such like style of "dragon
warrior 5"'s, then it'll attract Japanese game-loving people.

I've met Guild when I was reading Japan's most large RogueLike BBS.
http://jbbs.livedoor.jp/bbs/read.cgi/game/9358/11049910...
(even though you can't read Japanese,you can see how often people talks
about Guild by searching "guild" letter.)

I translated what they said form the thread,
143.moving keys aren't hjkl so I quit playing.
145.don't like the game coz key bindings are so different from other
rogueLikes.
158.the party moving tangling is so CUTE!
the game is wizardry style(menu -> go dungeon/town).
the game is confusing coz when leaving the floor,target character
changes.
159. automatizer and such interfaces are sophisticated.
162. new warrior has quite poor equipment...
since I couldn't sell weapons/armour to shop,I threw away all the
pickups.
163. multiple characters make gameplaying "not lonely". and I like it.
164. sounds interesting I gonna prepare my engJap dictionary.
167. I found "fine steal helmet" and was so glad to take back and found
it
cursed...
it is fun to dare collect items and return to home.
new priest doesn't seem to learn "cure spell" and such makes the game
quite hard.

my conclusion how to make "Guild" attractive are
1.implement *band features as much as possible(key bindings) to attract
conservative Rl loving people.
2.make party play convenient as much as possible to attract to attract
progressive Rl loving people.
3.apply tiles/spaceKey-command-Window to attract CUI style game
beginners.

I apologize of my terrible English.
hope this letter could give any help to you.
bye now.
September 7, 2005 6:12:22 PM

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

Antoine wrote:
> Hi RGRDers,
>
> After finishing the Quickband project I've come back to Guild, and am
> wondering what to do with it.
>
> Guild is looking alarmingly like YABDR (yet another born dead
> roguelike) at this stage. I'm not quite sure why, but it's received
> very little attention since it was first released - no discussion on
> RGRD or RGRM to speak of, only a few emails and not one single YAVP. In
> fact, I'm not sure if anyone but me has ever actually completed the
> whole game (or even the second quest???)
>
> I'd appreciate any feedback on
> -why Guild didn't take off
> -from those who did try it, what they liked and/or disliked about it
> -how the game could be improved to be more successful, or

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I had also this reply from Ilya Bely, whose advice I value highly.
Again, I posted it here, as I think Ilya would have done if access
obtained.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Hi there!

I'm using a free read-only news server, which prevents me from posting
on
rgrd, so I'm mailing you directly.

The Guild looks very promising and it would be very sad if you will
abandon
it. A lack of visible attention shall not dissapoint you - most people
just download it, play for some time and then leaving with a thought of
"a nice game, I shall check it later when it will be more complete". I
myself had enjoyed it for a couple of days and didn't wrote you because
I hadn't hit any outstanding bug :) 

For the moment, it doesn't feel like complete game for some reason.
I'll try
to explain what made this impression on me:

Need to backtrack to the town often. Having limited healing and no
means of quick return to town forces the player to put more thought of
his action, but, on the other side, he still need to return to town
quite often, which is repitative and not very exciting, but still
requires attention to not to lose health and mana on way down.
Suggestion to use persistent dungeons doesn't seem to fix it, as going
forth and back through the same empty levels is even more boring. I
think
party
shall be more autonomous and be able to make a longer trips in dungeon.
Potions of healing and mana are too expensive for this, but if they
were cheaper, the game will be far less dangerous. Increasing mana when
descending now is
a
right thing, but it's not enough. There shall be some additional means
of restoration, but without making dungeons safer.

Town menu isn't very nice and feels inconsistent with the rest of the
game. Using actual map with houses would be much better. A text menu
appears when you enter a building, like shops in Angband. Making a
special event involving fight in town will be nice. Once a bug in
earlier versions of TAngband caused an orc unique with escort appear in
town, making the most interesting fight ever, as me party was forced to
use tactics very different from usual dungeon combat. At very least,
please use some blank lines to break the list into groups.

Money doesn't make many sense: it's easier to obtain items from the
dungeon. The only things I ever really had to buy are armour (if the
warrior isn't you main character, he starts without one) and potions.

More varity in dungeons would be nice. Wide corridors and open areas
can change tactics.

Description of the books found in the dungeon says that you shall read
them
in
town, but you can read them in dungeon.

I'm waiting impatiently for a new version :) 

--
May your code work forever and never have a bug.
At your service, Ilya Bely
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 11:29:43 PM

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

On 6 Sep 2005 13:09:24 -0700, "Krice" <paulkp@mbnet.fi> wrote:

>This has nothing to do with the UI and how good or bad it is. I think
>RL developers should think about their UI and develope them
>further, not just copy from the roguelike canon. Let's just say that
>Angband UI is horrible. That's a fact and nothing can change it:) 

No, actually, that's an opinion.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 1:18:12 AM

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

On 07 Sep 2005 13:22:17 +0100 (BST), David Damerell
<damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

>Quoting Aquillion <frogwind@gmail.com>:
>>Angband is better than some. My favorite 'traditional' roguelike is
>>Dungeon Crawl, which doesn't even have item-management menus and still
>>inexplicably has seperate commands for wield, wear, and put on ring
>>(because Rogue did it, I know, but it still doesn't make any sense),
>
>It certainly makes sense to separate "wield" - what if you want to wield
>something that isn't designed to be used as a weapon?

Not just a theoretical consideration in Crawl, either. Magical staves
and rods aren't "weapons", but must we wielded for effect. In fact, all
the 'E'voked items must be wielded for use. And several spells require
or benefit from wielding non-weapons.

Wearing and putting on also work somewhat differently in Crawl, although
whether this is of benefit is an open question.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 1:18:18 AM

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

On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 10:23:55 +0200, Christophe <chris.cavalaria@free.fr>
wrote:

>That's not really a sign of success. It's more like a direct application
>if the theory of evolution : only those who can stand the macro system
>as the only mean to get things done in Angband are left.

Which is rubbish. I can play *bands at a good speed without ever having
bothered with the macros or with inscribing anything but a few very
occasional precautionary ones to require confirmation before certain
actions (accidentally activating your only Rod of Recall is too annoying
to risk even as a very rare typo).

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 2:28:01 AM

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

Christophe wrote:
> Ray Dillinger a écrit :
>
>> Christophe Cavalaria wrote:

>>> the most
>>> pervert part about macros is that you *can* become efficient with
>>> them so
>>> now, a lot of users don't want to change :( 

>> Um, excuse me? That's a sign of success, not failure.

> That's not really a sign of success. It's more like a direct application
> if the theory of evolution : only those who can stand the macro system
> as the only mean to get things done in Angband are left. If the system
> was really inefficient, something else would have been created in its
> place. Maybe even something better.

So it doesn't count because you don't like the users it
attracts?

Bear
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 4:32:16 AM

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

Ray Dillinger wrote:

> Christophe wrote:
>> Ray Dillinger a écrit :
>>
>>> Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
>
>>>> the most
>>>> pervert part about macros is that you *can* become efficient with
>>>> them so
>>>> now, a lot of users don't want to change :( 
>
>>> Um, excuse me? That's a sign of success, not failure.
>
>> That's not really a sign of success. It's more like a direct application
>> if the theory of evolution : only those who can stand the macro system
>> as the only mean to get things done in Angband are left. If the system
>> was really inefficient, something else would have been created in its
>> place. Maybe even something better.
>
> So it doesn't count because you don't like the users it
> attracts?

I never said that. I said that the fact that current users like the system
is in no way related to the quality of the system, it's because those that
don't like it aren't users anymore.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 4:32:17 AM

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

Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>

>>So it doesn't count because you don't like the users it
>>attracts?
>
>
> I never said that. I said that the fact that current users like the system
> is in no way related to the quality of the system, it's because those that
> don't like it aren't users anymore.

My point is that it has sufficient quality to attract and hold
a user community; And, as such things go, a very large one.
Sure, if you can attract and hold a bunch of users who don't
like it, the world will be sweeter; in that case I will say
that *both* systems have sufficient quality to attract and hold
a user community.

But to admit that it can attract and hold a user community,
without a marketing department or vendor lock-in effects is,
IMO, to admit that the system has some quality. Just
because the people aren't your ideal of who you *want* for
a user community doesn't mean the system doesn't have the
quality to attract and keep them on its merits.

Success, when there's no compatibility lockin issues and
no "spin" manufacturers and no marketing and no etc, etc,
etc,.... usually is a pretty good indicator of merit, or
at least "fitness" in the evolutionary sense.

Bear
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 5:22:00 AM

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

Ray Dillinger wrote:

> Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
>> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>>
>
>>>So it doesn't count because you don't like the users it
>>>attracts?
>>
>>
>> I never said that. I said that the fact that current users like the
>> system is in no way related to the quality of the system, it's because
>> those that don't like it aren't users anymore.
>
> My point is that it has sufficient quality to attract and hold
> a user community; And, as such things go, a very large one.
> Sure, if you can attract and hold a bunch of users who don't
> like it, the world will be sweeter; in that case I will say
> that *both* systems have sufficient quality to attract and hold
> a user community.
>
> But to admit that it can attract and hold a user community,
> without a marketing department or vendor lock-in effects is,
> IMO, to admit that the system has some quality. Just
> because the people aren't your ideal of who you *want* for
> a user community doesn't mean the system doesn't have the
> quality to attract and keep them on its merits.

I never said that. I said that the system would be better and appeal to more
people with something sane to fill 95% of the macro system usage. I never
said you had to replace the users for that. I never said the current users
where bad.

> Success, when there's no compatibility lockin issues and
> no "spin" manufacturers and no marketing and no etc, etc,
> etc,.... usually is a pretty good indicator of merit, or
> at least "fitness" in the evolutionary sense.

I don't see success, I see a failed opportunity. That's what you don't whan
to understand. Also, it would be very hard to argue that the macro system
is an important factor of the angband "success". You could as well say that
the amount of junk you can find in a dragon's treasure is an important
factor too.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 7:07:16 AM

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

Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>
>
>>Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
>>
>>>Ray Dillinger wrote:
>>>
>>
>>>>So it doesn't count because you don't like the users it
>>>>attracts?
>>>
>>>
>>>I never said that. I said that the fact that current users like the
>>>system is in no way related to the quality of the system, it's because
>>>those that don't like it aren't users anymore.
>>
>>My point is that it has sufficient quality to attract and hold
>>a user community; And, as such things go, a very large one.
>>Sure, if you can attract and hold a bunch of users who don't
>>like it, the world will be sweeter; in that case I will say
>>that *both* systems have sufficient quality to attract and hold
>>a user community.
>>
>>But to admit that it can attract and hold a user community,
>>without a marketing department or vendor lock-in effects is,
>>IMO, to admit that the system has some quality. Just
>>because the people aren't your ideal of who you *want* for
>>a user community doesn't mean the system doesn't have the
>>quality to attract and keep them on its merits.
>
>
> I never said that. I said that the system would be better and appeal to more
> people with something sane to fill 95% of the macro system usage. I never
> said you had to replace the users for that. I never said the current users
> where bad.

You know what? You're right. I was reading things into
what you said, that weren't actually there. You don't like
the macro system because it takes too much thinking and
effort. I like it because it rewards thinking and effort.

Given the fundamental disagreement there, it's unlikely
that we're going to agree what's a "good" game.

In your proposal to rip out the macro system, I saw an
insult to and dislike for users who enjoy thinking and
effort; it wasn't actually there. In your claims that
angband's user base didn't mean it had any quality, I
saw a discounting of the users who enjoy macros as being
somehow "not real" or unable to discern quality, or at
least not your preferred kind of users. It wasn't there.
Sorry, I get maybe a bit defensive.

So maybe you can come up with an intermediate ground that
less-advanced users can enjoy. But advanced users, those
who actually like thinking and effort, will always prefer
games with macros (and hopefully a better macrology than
angband) to games without.

I think there's a cool subgame to be had in the macrology;
Writing the borg is *really* beating Angband.... but of
course, the fact that someone can means that angband is
way too easy.

Bear
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 1:08:38 PM

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

One suggestion that occured to me...

A lot of people have been complaining about the repetitive nature of
the early game, constantly diving into the upper dungeon over and over.
On top of this, the player has no clear goal at that point beyond
earning experience points and the occasional bit of money or loot,
which makes it aimless and somehow worse.

So I suggest that you add random quests. Random quests do have their
limits, of course, and a lot of people don't like them; but diving into
the dungeon to kill X monsters of type Y on level Z, to retrieve item X
from from level Y, or to kill big monster X on level Y is at least a
little bit more interesting than just diving in to get xp, and would
give the player some sort of goals and a sense of accomplishment. The
rewards for these quests don't have to be big... potions, handfuls of
gold, spellbooks that may or may not be useful, whatever. The
important thing is to give the player some sort of goal and to make it
so things change, so they're not just exploring similar
randomly-generated small cave levels over and over again. If the
player could go into the tavern and pick up some random quests, it
would satisfy this to some extent.

Another way to keep things interesting and to add more uses for gold
(which someone else brought up) might be to have random merchants
appear at the tavern from time to time, selling things you can't get in
the town's normal stores. This would add another interesting thing to
do in town, and would break up the monotony of the early game a little
bit more.

--Aquillion
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 2:08:24 PM

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

R. Dan Henry a écrit :
> On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 10:23:55 +0200, Christophe <chris.cavalaria@free.fr>
> wrote:
>
>
>>That's not really a sign of success. It's more like a direct application
>>if the theory of evolution : only those who can stand the macro system
>>as the only mean to get things done in Angband are left.
>
>
> Which is rubbish. I can play *bands at a good speed without ever having
> bothered with the macros or with inscribing anything but a few very
> occasional precautionary ones to require confirmation before certain
> actions (accidentally activating your only Rod of Recall is too annoying
> to risk even as a very rare typo).

It was probably a little over the top to say you can't do anything
without macros. Still, they help a lot when you change characters often.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 2:33:06 PM

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

Ray Dillinger a écrit :
> Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
>
>> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
>>>
>>>> Ray Dillinger wrote:
>>>>
>>>
>>>>> So it doesn't count because you don't like the users it
>>>>> attracts?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I never said that. I said that the fact that current users like the
>>>> system is in no way related to the quality of the system, it's because
>>>> those that don't like it aren't users anymore.
>>>
>>>
>>> My point is that it has sufficient quality to attract and hold
>>> a user community; And, as such things go, a very large one.
>>> Sure, if you can attract and hold a bunch of users who don't
>>> like it, the world will be sweeter; in that case I will say
>>> that *both* systems have sufficient quality to attract and hold
>>> a user community.
>>>
>>> But to admit that it can attract and hold a user community,
>>> without a marketing department or vendor lock-in effects is,
>>> IMO, to admit that the system has some quality. Just
>>> because the people aren't your ideal of who you *want* for
>>> a user community doesn't mean the system doesn't have the
>>> quality to attract and keep them on its merits.
>>
>>
>>
>> I never said that. I said that the system would be better and appeal
>> to more
>> people with something sane to fill 95% of the macro system usage. I never
>> said you had to replace the users for that. I never said the current
>> users
>> where bad.
>
>
> You know what? You're right. I was reading things into
> what you said, that weren't actually there. You don't like
> the macro system because it takes too much thinking and
> effort. I like it because it rewards thinking and effort.
>
> Given the fundamental disagreement there, it's unlikely
> that we're going to agree what's a "good" game.
>
> In your proposal to rip out the macro system, I saw an
> insult to and dislike for users who enjoy thinking and
> effort; it wasn't actually there. In your claims that
> angband's user base didn't mean it had any quality, I
> saw a discounting of the users who enjoy macros as being
> somehow "not real" or unable to discern quality, or at
> least not your preferred kind of users. It wasn't there.
> Sorry, I get maybe a bit defensive.
>
> So maybe you can come up with an intermediate ground that
> less-advanced users can enjoy. But advanced users, those
> who actually like thinking and effort, will always prefer
> games with macros (and hopefully a better macrology than
> angband) to games without.
>
> I think there's a cool subgame to be had in the macrology;
> Writing the borg is *really* beating Angband.... but of
> course, the fact that someone can means that angband is
> way too easy.
>
> Bear
>

As a matter of fact, I don't think removing the macro system would be a
good idea because a lot of people like it :) 

Still, I don't see a reason why we couldn't add something else and keep
both systems in place. In fact, it might even be easier to make use of
the macro system to build it. Something like a mix of autoinscribe and
automacro creation.

For example, as a player you want an easy access to that Rod of Trap
detection you just found. The standard way for now is to inscribe it
with @z1 ( replace 1 with the number you use for Detection ) and just do
z1. Or you also create a macro to do z1 for you and you bind it let's
say in key F1. The second system as the advantage that you can also bind
a spell in that same spot in case you have it.

If we have for example a menu like this :

Bind which item ( here we show the complete inventory/equipment list ) :
a) Mage book 1
b) Rod of Trap Detection

You select b
Bind to which key :
a) F1
b) F2

You select a. Now all Rods of Trap Detection will be inscribed with @z1
and the macro to use that is automaticaly set in the F1 key.

If you select a spell book, it'll show you the spells in it first.
If you select an item which needs a direction, it'll ask you it you want
an autotarget marco or not.
If you select a piece of equipment, it'll inscribe only that specific
item. And if it can be activated, it'll ask you if you want to equip or
activate it.

Also, if you bind items with charges, you could show a status bar with
the remaining number of charges in the inventory. And if you bind an
item that recharges you can show it's status there too.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 3:23:47 PM

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

Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
> Radomir 'The Sheep' Dopieralski wrote:
>
> > At Thu, 08 Sep 2005 16:45:49 GMT,
> > Ray Dillinger wrote:
> >
> >> David Damerell wrote:
> >>> Quoting Christophe <chris.cavalaria@free.fr>:
> >
> >> For what it's worth..... I would rather uninstall a roguelike
> >> game than touch the mouse in order to play it.
> >>
> >> Well, okay, that's a little too extreme. I might forgive having
> >> to touch the mouse once or twice to do things like configuration
> >> options that you only have to ever do once. But if it becomes
> >> necessary for ordinary minute-to-minute play, or even for starting
> >> each new game, forget it. To me that just wouldn't "feel" like
> >> the game I want to be playing.
> >
> > Heh, how about mouse gestures to cast spells? ^-)
>
> Mouse gestures have already been done in a game as a gameplay feature. Arx
> Fatalis I beleive. You have to draw the runes constituing the spell to cast
> it.

Black & White also used mouse gestures for all of its interface.
Caused no end of frustration and anger.

The greatest error is that there was no way to signal the *start* of a
mouse gesture, so you'd accidentally send a different gesture half way
between two attempts to get the right gesture.

> There's also the other version of mouse gestures ( both can be considered as
> nearly the same thing ) with radial pop up menus. Neverwinter Nights uses
> such radial menus and casting a specific spell fells exactly like a mouse
> gesture once you know where to find it. IIRC, The Temple of Elemental Evil
> also makes great use of radial menu.

It's odd you mention Neverwinter Nights. I found the *KEYPAD* to be
the ideal interface to the radial menu. So much so I wanted to be able
to hit the '5' key to bring up the radial menu over where the mouse was
rather than hitting the RMB.

The radial menu was, I thought, a good way of training me to memorize
obscure keyboard short cuts like "2313" to cast one of my buff spells.

The downside of radial menus is that for them to be useful, it is
imperative that their order never changes. I had planned quad-radial
menus for POWDER, but ended up ditching that for just plain lists.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 4:59:53 PM

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

Jeff Lait wrote:
> Black & White also used mouse gestures for all of its interface.
> Caused no end of frustration and anger.

The big problem in Black and White, if I recall correctly, was that it
required that you draw gestures *on the ground*, instead of just
drawing them on your screen in a sane fashion.

Arx Fatalis' system seemed a bit better, at least to me. Partially
this was because you could 'hang' up to three spells for later
one-keypress use without having to draw them. I wish they'd expanded
that system a bit more, though, starting with the ability to only store
one spell and increasing it much higher as your magical abilities
increased, like D&D memorization or something... Also, if I recall
correctly, you had to release stored spells in the order you stored
them, which was silly.

And there was something inherently satisfying about drawing glowing
runes in the air in front of a wooden door, then having it explode in a
shower of scorched splinters.
!