Surveying potential features

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
21 answers Last reply
More about surveying potential features
  1. 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
  2. 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.. .
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.. .
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    "Shedletsky" <mylastname@stanford.edu> wrote in message
    news:dfk7sg$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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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.. .
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.. .
  20. 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.. .
  21. 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
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