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Announcements / Re: Nethack Fourk (now at v4.3.0.4)
« Last post by Avagart on December 10, 2017, 04:06:46 PM »
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But I wonder why Nethack (fork) even needs an installer.

I asked that question via reddit. It seems that developers decided to use *default system recommended paths* - on Windows, game will be installed in Program Files, and moving game files to our directory-of-choice will break things (like save system). Why? Because "This is the way Microsoft recommends doing it." It doesn't make sense for me.
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Are you asking a question to avoid answering to my questions?
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Allure of the Stars v0.7.0.0 and LambdaHack v0.7.0.0 are out!

This release is dedicated to our recent and future contributors. We need you! Also, hacking a game in Haskell is even more fun than playing games! :)
But there are also gameplay tweaks and fixes in the release. In particular, the high drama of getting from 0HP back to life is quite possible and even common now, if you can pull if off. See the changelog in the post above. Gameplay feedback and any kind of advice are very appreciated.

Some of the places where hacking help is needed are described as github issues:
https://github.com/LambdaHack/LambdaHack/issues?q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aopen+label%3A%22help+wanted%22
https://github.com/AllureOfTheStars/Allure/issues?q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aopen+label%3A%22help+wanted%22
Please write on the issue that you consider implementing it and I will add to it more info, we will discuss things and that will benefit the project even if you eventually pick another issue, e.g., created especially for you.

See also the post above about the grand plan of "breaking through the eternal 80x25 characters barrier".
You are, as always, welcome to create your own game using the engine and the assets of the existing games.
Help from (ASCII-)artists and from literary minded English speakers would be invaluable.

Whether you just enjoy coding games or wish to polish your Haskell on a single easy task, don't hesitate, give it a try, there is a lot to gain for all involved, even just by random two-way feedback.
The Haskell code of the engine is large, but elementary. We don't use lens nor advanced type-level programming. The focus is on architecture and modularization, so there is relatively little entanglement among individual tasks. Consequently, the easy tasks should really be easy, while there are extremely difficult tasks as well. You are welcome.

Edited: Allure github issues, etc.
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I don't mind level restrictions for equipment under the condition that either equipment follows some sort of material progression (ie: Iron -> Steel -> Mithril -> Adamant -> Godlikemetalatite), or the character can equip the weapon, but sucks at using them (like Dark Souls, where you can barely swing the weapon, or where you get only a minor attack buff, because you are too ill-skilled, weak, or ill-knowledgeable to wield this material correctly). Hell, if done right, even a crafting system is not a bad choice for handling equipment progression, so long as the necessary materials are qualitatively hard to obtain (requires you to take down a boss), and not quantitatively hard to gather (does not force you kill 100 trash mobs). If I recall, Monster Hunter uses this crafting progression system quite effectively.

The problem with The Witcher 3 is that it takes none of these paths. You either get a butt-load of randomly enchanted loot (after playing hours of Diablo, Torchlight, Borderlands, Dying Light, and even TOME, I sure know I'm sick of such systems), or you grind for a whole bunch of random materials, gold, and diagrams to craft the Witcher sets, which are the best gear in the game, and which make that random loot even less appealing.

The problem with RPGs giving characters super good gear early on is that it kills progression, and would probably make the game tedious. After all, while it is certainly fun to smash through hordes of enemies, at some point, you'll get bored, and will want some kind of challenge to keep you entertained. It also feels good to watch your character go from near-nudity (or perhaps full nudity) to well-equipped (I'm really into the whole rags-to-riches thing), as you get a visual representation of your progression.

Roguelikes get away with giving good gear early because players expect an imminent death, and as a result, are likely planning to replay the game another hundred times over anyway (although perhaps not in the moments directly after death :P). So, it doesn't matter if you give a player an "Eternium Double Sword of Devastation" at level 1 because they won't necessarily win/complete the game with it anyway, and will feel less like that item is theirs for the keeping. In a way, Roguelikes balance progression through their meta, where the real-life player progresses based on their knowledge of the game, and how close they come to winning the game, rather than on the amount of quests completed, or the amount of fancy items they have equipped or are hording.

I hate to say it, but The Witcher's strength — its story-telling —, I feel, is exactly what's holding its gameplay back. When you have a large amount of stories to tell, there isn't much room for randomness, especially as it could mean breaking a big budget game and not knowing how to fix it before the deadline. That said, The Witcher 3 is CD Projekt's first properly open world game, and if their interviews are anything to go by, the designers never previously had to account for the condition whereby a player starts a quest mid-way, or has completed one set of quests and not another, or has overpowered or underpowered gear, and so on. And so their experience making such a game was severely limited. It definitely makes me interested to see how they cope with the even more ambitious Cyberpunk 2077. :D

I definitely agree that gameplay should come before story in games, but I'll give The Witcher 3 a pass since I adored its world. It's nice to have a dark fantasy game where there isn't a cliche orc invasion lead by some Evil! necromancer overlord, and where I have to question morals before making a decision, only to feel awful while trying to be a hero no matter what I choose. :D
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I just finished playing one very successful non-roguelike game, Witcher 3.
Great graphics and music, thousands of conversation lines, very polished under many aspects.
I only enjoy hard games and it was satisfying to manage to win the game in the hardest mode, "death march".
And that soundtrack.. magnificient! Felt like dancing with eurofolk music while mutilating ghouls with my beautiful long silver sword, dodging attacks with extraordinary agility, feeling the adrenaline.
The ending was so so but the story overall very good with several characters with their own personalities which I felt attached to (in particular Lambert, Vesemir, Keira Metz, and also minor characters such as Thaler, Dijkstra and general Morvran Vhooris or some sadistic villains like Whoreson Junior and his gang and that Nicolas Pastodi whoremonger priest). Let alone how beautiful were some of the cinematic sequences, such as when Ciri gets inside that cave to find the three Crones drinking random body parts soup whilst in form of absolutely gorgeous naked girls, just with blood all over them from their human meat feast. It was great to have choices affecting the game plot and the final ending of the game.
And I could happily disregard minor plot holes, issues and inconsitencies such as potatoes selling for 30 golds each, the freaking horse constantly getting stuck, the whole crafting thing being completely useless for exception of witcher gear, etc.

Having said this, the good parts I have highlighted are all components which I normally could appreciate also in books and movies - it is the artistic part of the game.

However in terms of the "gaming" part of the game, I can't say it was a particularly remarkable experience.
For instance there's stuff like "level loot" which ruins everything.

It completely ruins the free roaming aspect of the game.
It is never interesting to go back to location with low level enemies because only low level enemies will spawn there, which constitute no challenge nor reward to the player.
On the other end, it would be interesting to explore areas where the player knows they are likely to find out of depth enemies, but the problem is that it ends up being unrealistically tough boars or wild dogs which are 100 times stronger than a lower level arch griffin or dragon, and on top of this the loot is capped to the level of the player. There's also minimal experience gain to slay those enemies.

This sucks.
So much effort in polishing all the smallest technical visual and audio details of the game, and such poor design.
It feels like you are locked in a story and all the rpg component is merely a facade.

It made me think that the following components need to always be present together in order to obtain an ultimate gaming experience:

- possibility to find out of depth enemies (possibly alongside free roaming)
- uncapped loot
- no level restrictions for equippable items
- no monsters levels (ok with legendary ones to be tougher but that's about it)

The question is how to then manage to keep the game interesting after an out of depth item is found and equipped.
Well we all know how cool it is to find an eternium double sword of devastation in the small cave in Adom with your level 1 character, or start a Caverns of Qud game and find out that  you have in your backpack an Electro Crossbow or some other ultra powerful technological device.
It feels freaking good!
But does it spoil the game? No way! Because there's always the possibility that either
- that item could break or be stolen or destroyed by some trap, monster, etc
- the pc could develop some sort of corruption, or illness, or anything that could then make being strong in combat go on a second scale of importance
- permadeath is worth mentioning but ok, I understand a 100 hours game such as Witcher 3 would need to find ways around that
- the pc could become cocky and then find himself surrounded by randomly spawned enemies which happen to be not particularly susceptible by that equipment

And more and more could be done! But that is the way to go. "Level loot", equipment level restriction, non randomness of spawns and all of that are very lazy way to circumvent the potential risks of giving freedom to the player, and in my opinion they make that freedom disappear when it comes to gaming experience.
This is a great game for what concerns what should be the quintessential property of it: the actual gaming experience.

Then there's other things I like about roguelikes such as the minimalistic graphic interface, turn based tactics, etc - but the random and freedom components I have discussed above are what I really love the most and unfortunately I have yet to find in a non-roguelike game as of 2017.

Any thoughts?
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Announcements / Re: Xenomarine (now at Alpha 4 Steam EA) $
« Last post by getter77 on December 08, 2017, 11:55:40 PM »
Alpha 4

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Time for a pretty big update! 40 new alien types/variants, alien plants, destructible environments and lots more…

NEW ALIENS
NEW: Added 'alien plants' which grow in alien caverns (from level 2; 8 variants)
NEW: Added new base enemy type: ‘slicer’ (from level 9; 12 variants)
NEW: Added 3 new enemy variants for all base alien types: 1) phase-shifted, 2) dark blue and 3) multicoloured
MOD: changed level generation to increase range of enemy variants on levels 1-10
MOD: improved drone AI to allow targeting at up to range 3
MOD: improved alien AI so they find alternative route when blocked by other aliens

NEW ITEMS:
NEW: 3 new base scanner types for detecting traps and secret doors

DESTRUCTIBLE ENVIRONMENT
NEW: Walls, furniture and doors can now be destroyed by weapons with 'explosive' damage type
MOD: Weapons with 'explosive' damage type automatically destroy crates and barrels

UI
NEW: ammo now shown numerically for equipped weapons
NEW: camera follows player option now uses smooth camera panning
NEW: improved map scrolling with mouse (scroll speed frame-independent and relative to zoom level)
FIX: ‘no ammo’ pop-up text now shown for weapon equipped in left hand
FIX: added info about scrolling map with mouse+alt-key to controls screen
FIX: increased width of top-left ammo display text to avoid text-wrapping with more than 99 ammo

GAMEPLAY/BALANCE
MOD: increased rocket launcher to hit chance
MOD: power of mind globes increased from level 8
MOD: can now retain battery when scrapping flashlight with full (>=1000) battery power
MOD: reduced duration of radioactive damage debuff by 40%
MOD: increased weapon range of combat drones

HACKING
MOD: improved display for results of hacking data terminal
MOD: more detailed information shown for hacking electronics data
MOD: hacking aliens data now includes drones, eggs and alien plants
FIX: bug with data shown when hacking electronics data

OTHER
NEW: 7 new random tips added
NEW: New Unity splash animation
NEW: pressing F1 shows random tip in main log
NEW: added log message for when combat drones become hostile on taking damage
NEW: character stats screen now shows effect of encumbrance on weapon skill
NEW: added support for Mac Retina screens
FIX: information panel (e.g. for achievement) sometimes hidden behind terminal/inventory panels
FIX: log message for destruction of barrel no longer refers to ‘crate’
FIX: destroying a barrel no longer unlocks the ‘vandal’ achievement
FIX: error with item description for blade converter, and for weapons with blade conversion
FIX: removed visual artefacts (white vertical lines) while scrolling map on high-spec systems
FIX: speed of movement with keys held down now frame-independent (better for high-spec systems)
FIX: bug with mechanic for missed thrown weapon attacks
FIX: bug with target indicators when using mouse to target area effect weapon
FIX: stimpacks introduced in Alpha 3.3 can now be used from inventory
FIX: bug with occasionally failing to unpause game after using security terminal
FIX: hallucination visual effect not loading from save
FIX: improved log message when aliens trigger traps
FIX: improved formatting of mousehoverinfo for drones
FIX: bug with description of traps in inventory screen
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Are you posting on a forum to complain about posting on a forum?
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Announcements / FIQHack (now at v4.3.0)
« Last post by getter77 on December 08, 2017, 01:19:36 PM »
https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikes/comments/7i7uhz/announcement_fiqhack_430_released/?st=jaxxt407&sh=8a835cb7

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Today on December 7th, alongside Fourk, and exactly two years after the release of NetHack 3.6.0, I am happy to announce a release of FIQHack.

FIQHack is a NetHack variant aimed at polishing the base game, adding quality of life features, and improving monster AI, behaviour and symmetry with players. It also has various other changes such as buffing weaker items, making the later parts of the game tougher and reducing reliance on spoilers by attempting to provide more information in-game. The variant is based off NetHack4 and thus comes with the NetHack4 interface. (Effort has been made, however, to provide options for those who prefer the "classic" NH3 interface.)
Play online (Recommended)

Playing online allows you to share your score with other people, discuss the game and encounter each other's death piles, perhaps with a tough challenge awaiting.

US server (Vermont): https://hardfought.org/hterm or ssh nethack@hardfought.org

EU server (London): ssh nethack@eu.hardfought.org

EU server (Germany): https://ascension.run/hterm or ssh nethack@ascension.run

You can chat with other online players at the #hardfought freenode IRC channel. You can also participate in the #nethack-variants channel on RLdiscord at https://discord.gg/9pmFGKx
Download

Windows: https://github.com/FredrIQ/fiqhack/releases/download/4.3.0/fiqhack.msi

Linux/Mac: See https://github.com/FredrIQ/fiqhack for how to compile it.

Major changes
    Object searching: use Ctrl+F to search for objects you've seen
    Autoswap: automatically swap a melee and a ranged weapon as you whack/fire projectiles
    Spell maintenance: recast self-buffing spells automatically spending energy
    Monster lookup: Upon farlooking monsters, click on them with : to get information about their attacks, resistances, AC, etc
    Object lookup: Inspecting items for more information gives actual useful details
    Energy regenerates much faster, making it easier to cast spells early
    Monsters will use far more items and will do so far more intelligently
    Improved monster/player symmetry in general, monsters can now do several things only players could (e.g. getting intrinsics from corpses, wishing), and vice versa (players can be slowed/cancelled)
    Dragons are twice as fast and twice as smart as before
    Innate resistances are now typically partial, reducing damage by 50% or effects by up to 67%. To get complete immunity, wear items that grant the resistance, including magical properties that now spawn on mundane gear!

Full changelog: https://nethackwiki.com/wiki/FIQHack

Bug reports
You can report bugs with the game at http://trac.nethack4.org

Contact me
You can either reach me in #hardfought or #nethack4 on Freenode's IRC, or by @FIQ on RLdiscord. You can also send mail to fredde1994 (at gmail.com)

 :o
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Announcements / Re: Nethack Fourk (now at v4.3.0.4)
« Last post by Krice on December 08, 2017, 10:30:56 AM »
Btw, using installer that won't let you specify, and even don't show *where* the game will be installed, is kinda red flag for me.

Some programs (in Windows) throw data in Users which has several confusing folders for program data etc. I still have Jade's crap in Users - username - .jade. I recall that Jade could not remove itself properly so I left it there. Thanks again Biskup. But I wonder why Nethack (fork) even needs an installer. It's not like casuals are going to play it anyway.

Why it's bad? Because most forks are bad, they often just "add" stuff without considering gameplay balance etc. And that stuff is just more items, maybe some new level theme or something like that which doesn't really add anything interesting into the game.
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