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Anonymous
September 6, 2005 2:08:14 PM

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

It's hard to say for sure, but I think I've just about reached the halfway
point to having a basically playable roguelike. I did my first semi-major
rewrite (ughh...) of my tile system and entity management system over the
weekend. I've got simple melee combat working, and a simple inventory
system. I've got a general plan for how to polish those things up.

There are some issues that I'm not quiet sure of, so I thought I would ask
people what they like.

Encumberance System -

How complicated is too complicated? My first thought was to do something
very simple, like limiting the number of items a player can carry to ~30ish
(items being anything that can be carried). But it doesn't really make sense
for a player who is carrying 30 suits of armor to be equally as burdened as
a player with 30 potions. So I guess I need to account for the weight of
individual items. I was thinking of doing an system like Diablo, where you
have a set amount of space to fit everything into, but I always found
shuffling items around in that game to be tedious.

Currency -

I like the idea of having stacks of different types of coins lying around in
my dungeon (copper, silver, gold, ect). Ideally when the player goes to the
bank, all his money would get converted to gold pieces for easy
carrying/storage. But there's fractions and you have to give change, so the
player always has some of every coin cluttering his inventory, and it seems
like a mess.

Monsters Picking up/Using/Dropping Items -

How do people feel about this? I think it would be neat if the AI of the
smarter creatures in my world could pick up and use anything that the player
can. There are several problems, though. First is representational. If you
are in a room with 20 gnomes and one of them has a Wand of Inevitable Doom,
you'd really like a graphical representation of that, once you find out
about it. I was thinking of marking weilders of special items somehow and
then display a tooltip window on mouseover. But there are also gameplay
issues. To the extent that it turns out to be possible, I plan on loading my
entire dungeon/world into memory with the intent of updating it either every
turn, in a worker thread while waiting for player input, or maybe even as a
screensaver. Call me a Plato-ist, but I find the idea of a game universe
that has an independent existence outside of the player's observation
appealing. Anyways. If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however, going
to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
items like potions and scrolls. It also makes killing things the only way to
get treasure (killing things is kindof what RLs are about, I'm mainly
worried about low level balance for weaker characters).

--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 2:08:15 PM

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

Shedletsky wrote:
[...]
> If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
> give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
> up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however, going
> to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
> items like potions and scrolls. It also makes killing things the only way to
> get treasure (killing things is kindof what RLs are about, I'm mainly
> worried about low level balance for weaker characters).

It doesn't need to be so bad; your worries are a result of mixing a
realistic feature (monsters act on their own, picking up and using
items) with incompatible conventional features (monsters are randomly
generated in a vacuum; generated levels, including monsters, remain
inert waiting for the hero).
I'd try the realistic extreme: monsters arrive from outside the dungeon
or are created in meaningful states and places (e.g. from the 1-square
Dimensional Gate that sweeps through Monsterland or summoned (and
selected) by the mad wizard on the last level); they move around, find
items and probably fight each other. The population of monsters remains
steady thanks to immigration and reproduction balancing natural and
violent death. Permanent objects are unlikely to remain strewn around
and temporary objects can be used before the hero arrives, but monsters
make new objects, arrive with their own objects from outside, hide or
abandon objects, free up objects when they die.
Monsters are't necessarily powerful: some can have severely restricted
magic item use (e.g. plants, molds, animals), guaranteeing they are
affordable opponents. Weak monsters and their weak magical items could
naturally float towards early (easy) dungeon levels: either they
stopped before entering deeper, too dangerous regions or they were
driven out by nastier ones.
The player could get items from monsters without defeating them in
several ways: stealthy theft, specific spells to steal (Teleport Item
>From Hand and the like), a spell or other attack to make a creature
spill its whole inventory on the floor (other monsters could pick up
the goods first).

Lorenzo Gatti
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 7:02:49 PM

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

At Tue, 6 Sep 2005 10:08:14 -0400,
Shedletsky wrote:

> Encumberance System -
>
> How complicated is too complicated? My first thought was to do something
> very simple, like limiting the number of items a player can carry to ~30ish
> (items being anything that can be carried). But it doesn't really make sense
> for a player who is carrying 30 suits of armor to be equally as burdened as
> a player with 30 potions. So I guess I need to account for the weight of
> individual items. I was thinking of doing an system like Diablo, where you
> have a set amount of space to fit everything into, but I always found
> shuffling items around in that game to be tedious.

Well, it depends heavily on what sort of roguelike game you want. The
limit on your inventory is supposed to force you to make trade-off
decissions. How you enforce the limit affects what decissions will be
better.

In roguelikes with persistent levels, the limit on inventory is rather
annoying, because it merely forces you to come back to your 'stash' once
in a while. In this case you'd probably want to limit only some of the
most powerful items -- orthe ones that are especially valuable, like
a dragon corpse, for example.

In a roguelike with shops, where you can sell the items you found, the
inventory limit is supposed to make gather-and-sell boring and less
profitable.

In multi-dungeon roguelikes with themed dungeons, the limit on your
inventory is supposed to force you to think ahead and plan your equipment.

See, inventory limit interacts with many other game elements. You've got
to choose carefuly to get what you want.

As for how complicated it should be -- I think a message 'you've got no
room to pick up this foo of bar' and some kind of estimation on how much
you've got to drop before you can pick it up is sufficient.
Don't forget to clearly inform the player about any penalties for
encumbrance.

>
> Currency -
>
> I like the idea of having stacks of different types of coins lying around in
> my dungeon (copper, silver, gold, ect). Ideally when the player goes to the
> bank, all his money would get converted to gold pieces for easy
> carrying/storage. But there's fractions and you have to give change, so the
> player always has some of every coin cluttering his inventory, and it seems
> like a mess.

And what kind of behavior you want to promote/penalize by such a system?
A trade off between exchanging small amounts of coins often, and losing
the change and exchanging large amounts less frequently, but being
encumbered?
What is the purpose of money in your game in the first place?

> Monsters Picking up/Using/Dropping Items -
>
> How do people feel about this? I think it would be neat if the AI of the
> smarter creatures in my world could pick up and use anything that the player
> can. There are several problems, though. First is representational. If you
> are in a room with 20 gnomes and one of them has a Wand of Inevitable Doom,
> you'd really like a graphical representation of that, once you find out
> about it. I was thinking of marking weilders of special items somehow and
> then display a tooltip window on mouseover. But there are also gameplay
> issues. To the extent that it turns out to be possible, I plan on loading my
> entire dungeon/world into memory with the intent of updating it either every
> turn, in a worker thread while waiting for player input, or maybe even as a
> screensaver. Call me a Plato-ist, but I find the idea of a game universe
> that has an independent existence outside of the player's observation
> appealing. Anyways. If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
> give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
> up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however, going
> to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
> items like potions and scrolls. It also makes killing things the only way to
> get treasure (killing things is kindof what RLs are about, I'm mainly
> worried about low level balance for weaker characters).

Allowing monsters to use items greatly increases diversity -- suddenly,
instead of 10 monsters and 10 items you've got at least 110 differently
equiped monsters (assuming they only equip one item each).
On the other hand, will the change be meaningful? Is a goblin with a short
sowrd really that different form goblin with a sabre? Will he ever be able
to put into a good use a scroll of enchant armor? Is there any effect when
the monster drinks a potion of amnesia? Who is going to program all those
options into all the different monster AIs?
Woudn't it make some combinations of monster/item too powerful, leading to
insta-death situations?

As for picking things up, I don't think it's a real problem -- the
mosnters aren't likely to carry all the stuff they find with them all the
time -- they'll most probably stash it somewhere. And they won't probably
pick up each and every item they find -- "I've got a bigger choppa
already, I don't need this one". The monsters could be specialized in what
sort of items they are interested in.

If you assume that the monsters don't identify all the items automatically
on sight, then there's also the question of whether a monster will risk
using an unidetified item. I assume it'd be funny and very goblinish to
see a goblin zap himself with a wand of magic missile. And once we're
here, it's also important to note that if you allow the monsters to use
items, it's better to make them use them only when it can be actually seen
by the player -- otherwise your hard work goes to waste.

It also solves the representation problem, as you can simply display
a message 'The goblin equips a wand of death ray' and ither highlight the
goblin when the message is displayed, or simply allow the player to [l]ook
the right goblin up.

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(: ) 3 Snap!
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
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Anonymous
September 6, 2005 8:17:05 PM

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

> I assume it'd be funny and very goblinish to
> see a goblin zap himself with a wand of magic missile. And once we're
> here, it's also important to note that if you allow the monsters to use
> items, it's better to make them use them only when it can be actually seen
> by the player -- otherwise your hard work goes to waste.

Well I envision my game as being only half roguelike, the other half being
an A-life simulation between factions of monsters. I haven't gotten to the
point where I've got enough working to see how {fun, not fun} this might be.
It's too early to tell, but I don't think I will need to "cheat" at all --
making monsters act differently when the player can see them. The nature of
a lot of consumeable items (combat-oriented) will ensure that the player
sees some action.

I'm hoping this could turn out to be kind of neat, if I for example two
large factions of critters clash out of sight of the player. Then the player
wanders into a clearing and notices piles of corpses and burn marks and
rusty weapons lying around everywhere. In short, I am experimenting with
simulating situations that the random dungeon generator might not be able to
spit out directly. Maybe my example isn't the best since the RDG could
always be programmed to throw corpses and burn marks everywhere.


--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 8:19:42 PM

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

Those are some good ideas, thanks.

As for where the monsters come from, I was thinking of simulating a dungeon
and some of the wilderness around it - and random monsters would wander in
from off the sides of the map (and potentially from the bottom level of the
dungeon).

--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 8:38:00 PM

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

Shedletsky a écrit :
> It's hard to say for sure, but I think I've just about reached the halfway
> point to having a basically playable roguelike. I did my first semi-major
> rewrite (ughh...) of my tile system and entity management system over the
> weekend. I've got simple melee combat working, and a simple inventory
> system. I've got a general plan for how to polish those things up.
>
> There are some issues that I'm not quiet sure of, so I thought I would ask
> people what they like.
>
> Encumberance System -
>
> How complicated is too complicated? My first thought was to do something
> very simple, like limiting the number of items a player can carry to ~30ish
> (items being anything that can be carried). But it doesn't really make sense
> for a player who is carrying 30 suits of armor to be equally as burdened as
> a player with 30 potions. So I guess I need to account for the weight of
> individual items. I was thinking of doing an system like Diablo, where you
> have a set amount of space to fit everything into, but I always found
> shuffling items around in that game to be tedious.

Modern Diablo-like have usually more inventory space and auto organise
functions. You could do that.

> Currency -
>
> I like the idea of having stacks of different types of coins lying around in
> my dungeon (copper, silver, gold, ect). Ideally when the player goes to the
> bank, all his money would get converted to gold pieces for easy
> carrying/storage. But there's fractions and you have to give change, so the
> player always has some of every coin cluttering his inventory, and it seems
> like a mess.

Do you want the player to bother with the convertion ? If not, just go
for the angband way : "you pick up a stack of platinium coins worth
75GP" and add 75 to the player money count.

> Monsters Picking up/Using/Dropping Items -
>
> How do people feel about this? I think it would be neat if the AI of the
> smarter creatures in my world could pick up and use anything that the player
> can. There are several problems, though. First is representational. If you
> are in a room with 20 gnomes and one of them has a Wand of Inevitable Doom,
> you'd really like a graphical representation of that, once you find out
> about it. I was thinking of marking weilders of special items somehow and
> then display a tooltip window on mouseover. But there are also gameplay
> issues. To the extent that it turns out to be possible, I plan on loading my
> entire dungeon/world into memory with the intent of updating it either every
> turn, in a worker thread while waiting for player input, or maybe even as a
> screensaver. Call me a Plato-ist, but I find the idea of a game universe
> that has an independent existence outside of the player's observation
> appealing. Anyways. If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
> give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
> up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however, going
> to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
> items like potions and scrolls. It also makes killing things the only way to
> get treasure (killing things is kindof what RLs are about, I'm mainly
> worried about low level balance for weaker characters).

If you are worried about pseudo realism, one could say that with
constant roaming monsters which pickup everything they see, there
shouldn't be items on the floor anyway. I would say then that it's OK
for monsters to leave everything on the ground where you placed it, or
to place no item of value on the ground in the first place :) 

Maybe you can instead generate monsters with items in their inventories
and you prevent them to pick up items on the ground.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 1:17:59 AM

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

At Tue, 6 Sep 2005 16:17:05 -0400,
Shedletsky wrote:

>> I assume it'd be funny and very goblinish to
>> see a goblin zap himself with a wand of magic missile. And once we're
>> here, it's also important to note that if you allow the monsters to use
>> items, it's better to make them use them only when it can be actually seen
>> by the player -- otherwise your hard work goes to waste.

> Well I envision my game as being only half roguelike, the other half being
> an A-life simulation between factions of monsters. I haven't gotten to the
> point where I've got enough working to see how {fun, not fun} this might be.
> It's too early to tell, but I don't think I will need to "cheat" at all --
> making monsters act differently when the player can see them. The nature of
> a lot of consumeable items (combat-oriented) will ensure that the player
> sees some action.

If you don't want to tread the player character specially (but he *is*
special, n'est ce pas?), you might consider making the monster actually
wield their weapons or drink stat gain potions when there's a hostile
creature approaching. You must remember that the monsters live there, and
are unlike to wield/wear all of their equipment all the time.

> I'm hoping this could turn out to be kind of neat, if I for example two
> large factions of critters clash out of sight of the player. Then the player
> wanders into a clearing and notices piles of corpses and burn marks and
> rusty weapons lying around everywhere. In short, I am experimenting with
> simulating situations that the random dungeon generator might not be able to
> spit out directly. Maybe my example isn't the best since the RDG could
> always be programmed to throw corpses and burn marks everywhere.

It might be interesting to encounter such a scene *occassionally*, but
a dungeon filled with remains of battles between monsters, with an
occassional survivor -- well, not that it doesn't have it's own appeal,
but seems weird.

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(`') 3 Grrr!
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 3:04:17 AM

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

In article <dfk7sg$5q0$2@news.Stanford.EDU>, "Shedletsky" <mylastname@stanford.edu> wrote:
>individual items. I was thinking of doing an system like Diablo, where you
>have a set amount of space to fit everything into, but I always found
>shuffling items around in that game to be tedious.

Hence the existence of the (bloody useful!!!!!) autoarrange
inventory button in Dungeon Siege.

Alan
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 3:06:45 AM

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

In article <dfk7sg$5q0$2@news.Stanford.EDU>, "Shedletsky" <mylastname@stanford.edu> wrote:
>appealing. Anyways. If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
>give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
>up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however, going
>to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
>items like potions and scrolls.

Not if their INT stat is too low, or they're illiterate, or eyeless,
or lack opposable thumbs, or...


Alan
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 10:08:56 AM

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

"Shedletsky" <mylastname@stanford.edu> wrote in message
news:D fk7sg$5q0$2@news.Stanford.EDU...
[...]
> Encumberance System -
>
> How complicated is too complicated? My first thought was to do something
> very simple, like limiting the number of items a player can carry to
~30ish
> (items being anything that can be carried). But it doesn't really make
sense
> for a player who is carrying 30 suits of armor to be equally as burdened
as
> a player with 30 potions. So I guess I need to account for the weight of
> individual items. I was thinking of doing an system like Diablo, where you
> have a set amount of space to fit everything into, but I always found
> shuffling items around in that game to be tedious.

As mentioned in other posts, there are serious gameplay applications to what
type of inventory system you pick. I like a weight-based inventory system,
as in ADOM or D&D, but the answer to this question might be different for
your particular design:

Since you are worried about monsters picking up items around the dungeon,
etc. You can kill two birds with one stone (this problem and the inventory
problem) by having a smaller carying capacity than traditional games. By the
sound of your design you want monsters to act to some level like the player,
so if you force them to make the same sort of decisions as the player
regarding picking up items then you might end up with a good result, i.e.
the items you find on the floor will almost always be worse than the items
you find off of monsters. This system has the unfortunate side-effect of
hampering exploration a bit, but you can always have the ability for the
player (and monsters) to create "secret/hidden stashes" of loot. Also, the
less intelligent monsters won't necessarily be able to select the best item,
so they might leave the good one on the floor after all.

With a strong AI you can get some interesting results in this system. More
thoughts below.

> Currency -
>
> I like the idea of having stacks of different types of coins lying around
in
> my dungeon (copper, silver, gold, ect). Ideally when the player goes to
the
> bank, all his money would get converted to gold pieces for easy
> carrying/storage. But there's fractions and you have to give change, so
the
> player always has some of every coin cluttering his inventory, and it
seems
> like a mess.

Or you can take the WoW approach and have the copper/silver/gold/platinum be
an abstract way of dividing a base currency (say copper). You can build
functions to always display $1,305 as 13s 5c or $1,421,448 as 1p 42g 14s 48c
just for cosmetic reasons, but the amount is always automatically converted
when you make a transaction (in fact no conversion is taking place because
you should store the $ amount in a base value, like copper, the display of
different coins is just for show).

> Monsters Picking up/Using/Dropping Items -
>
> How do people feel about this? I think it would be neat if the AI of the
> smarter creatures in my world could pick up and use anything that the
player
> can. There are several problems, though. First is representational. If you
> are in a room with 20 gnomes and one of them has a Wand of Inevitable
Doom,
> you'd really like a graphical representation of that, once you find out
> about it. I was thinking of marking weilders of special items somehow and
> then display a tooltip window on mouseover. But there are also gameplay
> issues. To the extent that it turns out to be possible, I plan on loading
my
> entire dungeon/world into memory with the intent of updating it either
every
> turn, in a worker thread while waiting for player input, or maybe even as
a
> screensaver. Call me a Plato-ist, but I find the idea of a game universe
> that has an independent existence outside of the player's observation
> appealing. Anyways. If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
> give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
> up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however,
going
> to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
> items like potions and scrolls. It also makes killing things the only way
to
> get treasure (killing things is kindof what RLs are about, I'm mainly
> worried about low level balance for weaker characters).
[...]

I discussed part of this issue above, but I have a few things to add:

-- Intelligence determines a monster's ability to discriminate between one
item and the other, selecting the superior one when necessary and leaving
the other one behind.

-- The AI should definitely be personality & need driven, so that in
addition to the needs of the different monsters, they also have different
personality traits, one of which includes item preference. They can prefer
bigger items, smaller items, shiny items, wooden items, rock items, sharper
items, or more specific categories such as clubs over swords or spiked clubs
over morningstars.

-- Instead of creating all of your monsters at once, if you are concerned
with them taking everything in the dungeon, you can create a few monsters at
a time and have a slow but steady/exponential spawning system, so what was
at the beginning of the game only 3 goblins a few thousand turns down the
line is a small tribe.

-- Item creation is important. There should be all sorts of item creation,
both from the player's side and the monster's side specifically. Monster
personality/culture should play into the types of items they create and the
features they put upon them (as you'd expect). Intelligence and other
factors play upon this, at your discretion. Monsters may also need to find
raw materials, creating additional interesting AI scenarios.

-- Food and water. In a "living" world like this one, with such rich AI, it
is important to have SOME sort of system of upkeep, whether it be hunger,
thirst, or both. This, as the other features, would ideally be implemented
both for the player AND for the monsters. This is a method of natural
population control and also an influence into some of the needs of the
monsters (which, as I mentioned, should have some kind of need-based AI).
This, of course, can also create interesting AI situations.


I know it may seem like a lot, but for the system you envision to flourish,
it must have some features that have never before been fully/successfully
implemented in any RL or game in general. This is obviously not impossible
but definitely a challenge. You can obviously have a good game with a fun AI
without many of these features, but to emulate the sort of faction-based
design you mention, you need to implement some of the natural
motivations/restrictions which promote or restrict certain complex AI
behavior; otherwise you might end up with a very predictable system.

Just some thoughts, might be too crazy, as usual ;) 

--Nolithius
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 4:44:20 PM

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

Your comments about relating monster intelligence with the ability to pick
out/discern the best items is interesting. I also like the idea of
restricting the inventory size of most of the monsters - who, after all,
only have two hands to carry things and probably aren't equipped for an
expedition like the player is.

> -- Food and water. In a "living" world like this one, with such rich AI,
it
> is important to have SOME sort of system of upkeep, whether it be hunger,
> thirst, or both. This, as the other features, would ideally be implemented
> both for the player AND for the monsters. This is a method of natural
> population control and also an influence into some of the needs of the
> monsters (which, as I mentioned, should have some kind of need-based AI).
> This, of course, can also create interesting AI situations.

On one hand, I agree. However, I'm not yet sure that I want to implement a
hunger system in my game, as it is one thing that bothers me in other RLs. I
don't like the idea of there being any time limit hanging over the player's
head. I might get around this by creating an "auto-eat" function that would
decrement the amount of food in the player's stash every so often and by
making it easy for the player to buy a lot of food. Thus hunger would only
be a consideration occassionally, like when the player loses all his stuff
somehow.

> I know it may seem like a lot, but for the system you envision to
flourish,
> it must have some features that have never before been fully/successfully
> implemented in any RL or game in general. This is obviously not impossible
> but definitely a challenge. You can obviously have a good game with a fun
AI
> without many of these features, but to emulate the sort of faction-based
> design you mention, you need to implement some of the natural
> motivations/restrictions which promote or restrict certain complex AI
> behavior; otherwise you might end up with a very predictable system.

This is the real problem. If you abstract away all the RL-specific details,
I am trying to design a chaotic (non-converging) system that exhibits
interesting behavior. This is probably a very hard/impossible thing to get
right. I accept that it might be necessary to cheat at some level to get the
dynamics I want, we shall see.

--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 11:29:46 PM

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

On 06 Sep 2005 21:17:59 GMT, Radomir 'The Sheep' Dopieralski <thesheep@
sheep.prv.pl> wrote:

>If you don't want to tread the player character specially (but he *is*
>special, n'est ce pas?), you might consider making the monster actually
>wield their weapons or drink stat gain potions when there's a hostile
>creature approaching. You must remember that the monsters live there, and
>are unlike to wield/wear all of their equipment all the time.

Actually, that's not true. Contrary to what the arrogant, characterist
@s believe, those "dungeon dweller" are themselves simply adventurers of
other species, seeking wealth and glory much like an @. Of course, the
greatest hoards are carried by @kind and they provide the most fame and
honor when slain, which is why all other creatures tend to prefer
attacking them.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 7:15:41 PM

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

> Actually, that's not true. Contrary to what the arrogant, characterist
> @s believe, those "dungeon dweller" are themselves simply adventurers of
> other species, seeking wealth and glory much like an @. Of course, the
> greatest hoards are carried by @kind and they provide the most fame and
> honor when slain, which is why all other creatures tend to prefer
> attacking them.

A game where every monster was an @ would be bloody hard! I do think it
would be fun for the PC to player against several "borg"
(computer-controlled) @s though... so many ideas so little time. *sigh*

--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
Anonymous
September 13, 2005 8:33:59 PM

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

On 6 Sep 2005 08:56:32 -0700, gatti@dsdata.it wrote:

>I'd try the realistic extreme: monsters arrive from outside the dungeon
>or are created in meaningful states and places (e.g. from the 1-square
>Dimensional Gate that sweeps through Monsterland or summoned (and
>selected) by the mad wizard on the last level); they move around, find
>items and probably fight each other. The population of monsters remains
>steady thanks to immigration and reproduction balancing natural and
>violent death. Permanent objects are unlikely to remain strewn around
>and temporary objects can be used before the hero arrives, but monsters
>make new objects, arrive with their own objects from outside, hide or
>abandon objects, free up objects when they die.
>Monsters are't necessarily powerful:

Except that you've created a crucible of survival of the most powerful.
If such a scenario has been going on long, then there would be a
predominance of powerful creatures preying on the new arrivals. Only a
few of the most lucky and capable newcomers would survive much beyond
their origin point.

There is no such thing as a realistic, playable dungeon environment.
Realism is entirely the wrong approach to the dungeon. You want realism,
stop crawling around underground and take on a walled city, or a forest,
or a swamp.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 13, 2005 8:34:15 PM

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

On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 23:06:45 GMT, amonroejj@yahoo.com (R. Alan Monroe)
wrote:

>In article <dfk7sg$5q0$2@news.Stanford.EDU>, "Shedletsky" <mylastname@stanford.edu> wrote:
>>appealing. Anyways. If I create a dungeon with loot all over the floor and
>>give monsters an indeterminate amount of time to wander around picking it
>>up, there's going to be nothing left on the floor. There are, however, going
>>to be a lot of heavily armed monsters. They might use up all the one-shot
>>items like potions and scrolls.
>
>Not if their INT stat is too low, or they're illiterate, or eyeless,
>or lack opposable thumbs, or...

So, they all wind up giving their items up to Leroy, the Kobold with a
Wand of Fiery Death and now Leroy is the Kobold with an Invincible
Copper Mail Shirt +5, a Mace of Might +7, a Wand of Fiery Death, 4
Potions of Fighting, 3 Potions of Healing, and a Scroll of Summon
Spiders. But Leroy doesn't read so good, having been too cool for
school, so he won't be using the scroll, so there's a bit of luck for
the player.

If you're giving monsters the ability to use items, it's better to
modify item generation to account for this. Few, if any, items generated
on floor, except "junk items", although maybe some "junk" isn't always.
But this means powerful items will generally have to be generated in the
hands of powerful monsters or threat evaluation becomes difficult to
nigh-impossible for the player. A player finding a powerful potion,
wand, or scroll on the first level is generally a very short-term
imbalance. A monster having the same find may be an unfair game-ender.
If the Soldiers of the Empire all have a Shiny Spear, Well-Made Armor,
and a Potion of Healing, the player may soon have a Shiny Spear and
Well-Made Armor himself, but unless he can kill Imperial Soldiers in a
single round, he may not get his hands on any of those potions. So put
in a potion vendor, or a cache of imperial supplies, or some other means
for the player to get potions.

If there are friendly monsters, maybe the player can work some swaps, or
get items as quest rewards. Don't forget the gods, either. If you've got
boon-granting gods, they can supply materials you think the player
should not be without, possibly even based on some formula estimating
the player's needs for this game.

Monsters may leave some items "at home", but not basics of defense -- if
you've got a Wand of Death, you don't leave it for someone else to find,
you carry it or give it to someone you trust (Oliver the Orc might leave
the Wand with his wife, Alice the Also-an-Orc, to guard the kids while
he hunts with his Big Axe of Chopping). Spare items might be stored and
stuff that you don't need right away when trouble comes up, like heavy
stones of summoning grumpy earth elementals. Also, items the monster
cannot personally use or which it knows are cursed/bad or cannot
identify. Such items are probably locked up, if not guarded by traps or
creatures. Definitely, nothing useful for killing or healing gets left
lying in the middle of a hallway. You don't leave a weapon around for
the kids to hurt themselves or some psycho to pick up and start hurting
people.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 13, 2005 8:34:36 PM

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

On Wed, 7 Sep 2005 12:44:20 -0400, "Shedletsky"
<mylastname@stanford.edu> wrote:

>This is the real problem. If you abstract away all the RL-specific details,
>I am trying to design a chaotic (non-converging) system that exhibits
>interesting behavior. This is probably a very hard/impossible thing to get
>right.

And it is not an effective way to create a world for a playable game. If
you want to create a dungeon simulator, go ahead. If you do a good job,
I expect you'll find an audience. Just don't kid yourself that you're
making a game. Pick one goal or the other and stick to it or you'll have
a muddle.

--
R. Dan Henry = danhenry@inreach.com
Anonymous
September 14, 2005 1:57:06 PM

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

At Tue, 13 Sep 2005 16:34:15 -0700,
R Dan Henry wrote:

> So, they all wind up giving their items up to Leroy, the Kobold with a
> Wand of Fiery Death and now Leroy is the Kobold with an Invincible
> Copper Mail Shirt +5, a Mace of Might +7, a Wand of Fiery Death, 4
> Potions of Fighting, 3 Potions of Healing, and a Scroll of Summon
> Spiders. But Leroy doesn't read so good, having been too cool for
> school, so he won't be using the scroll, so there's a bit of luck for
> the player.

Well, there are still several ways:
- monsters that collect and carry items, but don't use them (jellies?
thief bugs? gnomes?)
- items locked in chests or vaults (they are supposed to be already
collected by someone)
- items produced from monsters corpses or dungeon objects (clubs from
shattered doors, rocks and pebbles as ammo, unicron horn and long
tooth from nethack, bones from skeletons, armor from animated armor,
etc.)
- items hidden, guarded or enchanted so that they can't be used by
monsters
- multi-part items (like the wand in Heretic) -- you've got to find
and assemble several parts to use it (also, most ranged weapons
will fall in this cathegory, as it needs proper ammo)
- wands and scrolls that require minimal magical talent to use

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(Qq) 3 Sob?
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 14, 2005 8:52:54 PM

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

R. Dan Henry wrote:

> If the Soldiers of the Empire all have a Shiny Spear, Well-Made Armor,
> and a Potion of Healing, the player may soon have a Shiny Spear and
> Well-Made Armor himself, but unless he can kill Imperial Soldiers in a
> single round, he may not get his hands on any of those potions. So put
> in a potion vendor, or a cache of imperial supplies, or some other means
> for the player to get potions.

Actually, I think this ought to be a benefit of running a
"sneaky" character. If you steal stuff before they know
you're there, or at least before they figure out what you're
up to, you get the cool one-shot items that the frontal-
assault types make them use up. If anything, I'd play it
up by making most of the one-shot items very useful to
thieves; this establishes a local optimum strategy for
sneaky characters, while leaving open the possibility
of other local optima for different types of characters.
(major benefit; let different characters be different!)

> But this means powerful items will generally have to be generated
> in the hands of powerful monsters or threat evaluation becomes
> difficult to nigh-impossible for the player. A player finding a
> powerful potion, wand, or scroll on the first level is generally
> a very short-term imbalance. A monster having the same find may
> be an unfair game-ender.

There are more-subtle and less-subtle ways to do it though; you
could have monsters swap items when they meet giving the most
powerful item to the most powerful monster, and not worry about
generating it in particular kinds of hands. Or you could just
make a point of warning the player about differently-equipped
monsters.

I think that items become an important part of monster
identification at that point; you may want to color differently
equipped monsters differently, even if they're the same species.
So the red k is "a kobold with a wand of firey death and red
dragon scale armor" and the blue k is "a kobold".

Even if you don't color them differently, I'd advise
referring to them differently in messages about monster
movements and actions. So the player may be looking at a
herd of undifferentiated blue k's, but then sees "19
kobolds draw their swords. 1 kobold draws her wand of
firey death." or "1 kobold enters the room. 1 kobold
with a wand of firey death enters the room. 1 kobold
enters the room." And ought to know to get busy with
the 'l'ook command right now, to see which one it is.

Bear
Anonymous
September 15, 2005 6:40:09 AM

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

Ray Dillinger wrote in news:GzYVe.13630$p%3.58281@typhoon.sonic.net:
> R. Dan Henry wrote:
> > But this means powerful items will generally have to be generated
> > in the hands of powerful monsters or threat evaluation becomes
> > difficult to nigh-impossible for the player. A player finding a
> > powerful potion, wand, or scroll on the first level is generally
> > a very short-term imbalance. A monster having the same find may
> > be an unfair game-ender.

[snip]

> I think that items become an important part of monster
> identification at that point; you may want to color differently
> equipped monsters differently, even if they're the same species.
> So the red k is "a kobold with a wand of firey death and red
> dragon scale armor" and the blue k is "a kobold".
>
> Even if you don't color them differently, I'd advise
> referring to them differently in messages about monster
> movements and actions. So the player may be looking at a
> herd of undifferentiated blue k's, but then sees "19
> kobolds draw their swords. 1 kobold draws her wand of
> firey death." or "1 kobold enters the room. 1 kobold
> with a wand of firey death enters the room. 1 kobold
> enters the room." And ought to know to get busy with
> the 'l'ook command right now, to see which one it is.

I think the last thing we want is to have people 'l'ooking at every
monster they fight. Once or twice for each letter the first time we
play should be more than enough, otherwise we are just slowing things
down during a battle, which is a bad thing.

Therefore I think that the letter/color/name that represents a
monster should indicate the information that is most important to the
player. I think that when a monster picks up a powerful item that it
can use, it's type should change. For example: when a talking bug
picks up a wand of ultimate doom, that bug gets a new letter and is
called a wizard of doom. Sure, it's still a talking bug and if the PC
ever got a hit in the bug would squish, and the player could discover
that with 'l'ook, but none of that matters much when the PC is facing
a wand of ultimate doom. Really, the ASCII representation of the
monster should only indicate its race when it is using the standard
equipment of the race or worse.

If we use the quick and obvious tools that we have for distinguishing
one monster from another to make it so that a player who doesn't use
'l'ook won't get any nasty surprises, we are free to give our
monsters whatever weapons we feel would make the game interesting.
Anonymous
September 15, 2005 1:20:49 PM

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

At Thu, 15 Sep 2005 02:40:09 GMT,
Brendan Guild wrote:

> Ray Dillinger wrote in news:GzYVe.13630$p%3.58281@typhoon.sonic.net:

> I think the last thing we want is to have people 'l'ooking at every
> monster they fight. Once or twice for each letter the first time we
> play should be more than enough, otherwise we are just slowing things
> down during a battle, which is a bad thing.
>
> Therefore I think that the letter/color/name that represents a
> monster should indicate the information that is most important to the
> player. I think that when a monster picks up a powerful item that it
> can use, it's type should change. For example: when a talking bug
> picks up a wand of ultimate doom, that bug gets a new letter and is
> called a wizard of doom. Sure, it's still a talking bug and if the PC
> ever got a hit in the bug would squish, and the player could discover
> that with 'l'ook, but none of that matters much when the PC is facing
> a wand of ultimate doom. Really, the ASCII representation of the
> monster should only indicate its race when it is using the standard
> equipment of the race or worse.

What an excellent idea!

Or, in a much simplier game, you could implement the monsters picking
up and using items by actually polymorphing monsters when they encounter
the right items.
Altrough it won't increase the number of possible monsters exponentially,
like it would with the standard approach (altrough there could be some
things, like stats, left from the previous form of the monster).

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(*+) 3 Sparkle
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 15, 2005 1:37:41 PM

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

At 15 Sep 2005 09:20:49 GMT,
Radomir 'The Sheep' Dopieralski wrote:

> At Thu, 15 Sep 2005 02:40:09 GMT,
> Brendan Guild wrote:
>> Therefore I think that the letter/color/name that represents a
>> monster should indicate the information that is most important to the
>> player. I think that when a monster picks up a powerful item that it
>> can use, it's type should change. For example: when a talking bug
>> picks up a wand of ultimate doom, that bug gets a new letter and is
>> called a wizard of doom. Sure, it's still a talking bug and if the PC
>> ever got a hit in the bug would squish, and the player could discover
>> that with 'l'ook, but none of that matters much when the PC is facing
>> a wand of ultimate doom. Really, the ASCII representation of the
>> monster should only indicate its race when it is using the standard
>> equipment of the race or worse.
>
> What an excellent idea!
>
> Or, in a much simplier game, you could implement the monsters picking
> up and using items by actually polymorphing monsters when they encounter
> the right items.
> Altrough it won't increase the number of possible monsters exponentially,
> like it would with the standard approach (altrough there could be some
> things, like stats, left from the previous form of the monster).

You could also polymorph the monster back if it get's hit with an attack
that's supposed to destroy this kind of item.

Like in Chrono Trigger, where there are two kind of Trolls: a normal
troll is just a normal monster for the character level you reach by the
time you get to it. But there are also Hammer Trolls, which are trolls
equipped with large, wooden hammers, and which are much tougher (not only
in their ATP, but also DFP and HP). But there's a trick -- if you attack
a Hammer Troll with a fire-based attack, his hammer gets burned and he
turns into normal Troll. All his stats scale down to those of normal
trolls and he's much easier to beat. The trick is, there's only one
character in the game that has fire-based attacks :) 

--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
(nn) 3 Grin
. . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
Anonymous
September 15, 2005 4:00:59 PM

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

Radomir 'The Sheep' Dopieralski <thesheep@ sheep.prv.pl> schrieb:
> At Tue, 13 Sep 2005 16:34:15 -0700, R Dan Henry wrote:

>> So, they all wind up giving their items up to Leroy, the Kobold with a
>> Wand of Fiery Death and now Leroy is the Kobold with an Invincible
>> Copper Mail Shirt +5, a Mace of Might +7, a Wand of Fiery Death, 4
>> Potions of Fighting, 3 Potions of Healing, and a Scroll of Summon
>> Spiders.

> Well, there are still several ways:
> - monsters that collect and carry items, but don't use them (jellies?
> thief bugs? gnomes?)

Or, you could just implement a proper weight/encumberance system. Those
wands of fiery death are heavy!

--
Jim Strathmeyer
!