Author Topic: Corridors considered harmful  (Read 6617 times)

Paul Jeffries

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
    • Vitruality.com
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2016, 08:59:22 PM »
I take the point, and agree that games where corridors are always the optimal place to fight are boring, but a game where corridors are never the optimal place to fight because there are no corridors would also be pretty dull.  And where do you go from there?  Fighting with your back to a wall is always optimal so you take out all the walls?  I would say that a lot of roguelikes would be improved by having significantly less corridors, but I wouldn't get rid of them entirely.

In the same way as everything else in a tactical game, you ideally want to make it so that fighting in a corridor is sometimes optimal and sometimes not.  Fortunately, there are an absolute shit-tonne of mechanics you can employ to this end, some of which are so common as to be almost ubiquitous in Roguelikes anyway.  Such as:

- The risk of getting trapped between two enemies
- Limited time to kite enemies back to corridors (hunger clock)
- Limited vision in corridors (darkness, corners)
- Enemies difficult to kite (ranged enemies, fast enemies, teleporting enemies, smart enemies, fleeing thieves)
- Area-of-effect abilities (spells, Brogue-like weapons)
- Bouncing spells (magic missile)
- Allies
- Different terrain types (water, high ground)
- Mana-/Stamina-limited abilities
- Reflecting explosions
- Dodging mechanics that require an empty space
- Barriers to retreating indefinitely (closing doors)
- And Many More!

Something I've not seen any roguelikes do but that might be quite cool would be to model the way that in Dark Souls and/or real life, you don't want to fight in enclosed spaces with certain weapons because of the difficulty of getting your swing on.  An accuracy modifier based on your weapon and the number of wall tiles you're next to would be a pretty straightforward way of doing it, and may make the choice of where to fight a bit more interesting.

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2016, 09:57:48 PM »
I take the point, and agree that games where corridors are always the optimal place to fight are boring,

This describes a lot of roguelikes, particularly the older and more successful ones.

Quote
but a game where corridors are never the optimal place to fight because there are no corridors would also be pretty dull. 

This is a leap to put it mildly and almost certainly false.

Quote
In the same way as everything else in a tactical game, you ideally want to make it so that fighting in a corridor is sometimes optimal and sometimes not.  Fortunately, there are an absolute shit-tonne of mechanics you can employ to this end, some of which are so common as to be almost ubiquitous in Roguelikes anyway.  Such as:

[long list]

You get that half the items in this list either make the situation worse (allies, special terrain) or already are in a lot of the classics and don't change the situation, as addressed elsewhere in thread, right?

Yes, you can come up with complex rules that will not be evident through the interface without explicit tutorials (e.g. dodging and hit rolls affected by number of adjacent walls, "reflecting explosions") and that a typical player will not grasp through simply playing the game just so that you can have a low-density, one-dimensional feature in your dungeons. Or, you know, you could just generate your maps differently.

chooseusername

  • High Priest
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2016, 10:04:53 PM »
Is there any chance you could write a long essay detailing this confusing notion about corridors?

As it is, it's like that one guy who makes a post alleging some unsupported contentious thing, and then he pops back in to make further unsupported contentious confusications over anyone's responses that try and make sense of it. 

Insert picture of someone urinating into the global air flow which happens to be flowing their way at the time, and any time they happen to be standing in that location.

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2016, 03:51:40 AM »
I don't know, I usually need a whinier request than this to screw up the motivation to write a careful exposition.

Holsety

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2016, 08:12:24 AM »
Most of the thread boils down to "Guys corridors are bad; trust me I'm right and also all the classic roguelikes are shit." though.
Please offer an alternative.

I'll agree that corridors are almost always the worst element of a map, right up there with the porous cave bullshit often seen in certain *bands.
[edit: most of what I said was already covered, snipetty snip]

Game design aside, aren't corridors more of a by-product of room generation? Certainly in Rogue, if you want to fit 9 (variously shaped) rooms on the screen in a 3x3 grid, you're going to end up with a lot of connecting corridors.
So your options boil down to what?
Generate rooms connected by doorways? People'd just fight in the doorway, so that's straight out.
Generate big rooms connected by 2-3 tile wide "tunnels" (totally NOT corridors!) that curve around? That might help a little...

I don't think generating one big room is the answer. As has been said, people will just fight with their back against a wall (or get swarmed and die). I wouldn't want to play a game where I go down the stairs and find myself standing in a wide open space facing 20 enemies AGAIN and AGAIN.

The core problem might be that the player occupies 1 tile and doesn't require any external tiles to be unoccupied in order to swing his weapon and bring the hurt.
http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=Swift_Swurd
The above tried to do position-based fencing. Judge for yourself how fun/successfull it was.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 08:24:57 AM by Holsety »
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

jere

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 224
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2016, 01:12:09 PM »
^Swift Swurd looks really cool. I've heard of it before but never tried it. Maybe I'll try later this week.
Golden Krone Hotel -- available on Steam Early Access now

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2016, 07:56:04 AM »
Most of the thread boils down to "Guys corridors are bad; trust me I'm right and also all the classic roguelikes are shit." though.
Please offer an alternative.

I would remind you that the typical level of engagement in this thread has been along the lines of "What?? If you don't have corridors, you won't have any walls at all!!!" See your own post, for example. Like, people are genuinely baffled by the concept of a map in a roguelike game that doesn't have corridors in spite presumably having lived in a society filled with top view, 2-dimensional video game settings for decades. The level of imagination there doesn't inspire one to make a careful exposition accessible to all comers.

Quote
I'll agree that corridors are almost always the worst element of a map, right up there with the porous cave bullshit often seen in certain *bands.
[edit: most of what I said was already covered, snipetty snip]

I'm glad we agree.

Quote
Game design aside, aren't corridors more of a by-product of room generation? Certainly in Rogue, if you want to fit 9 (variously shaped) rooms on the screen in a 3x3 grid, you're going to end up with a lot of connecting corridors.

No, they are a by-product of a fairly literal-minded transcription of dungeon generation routines from dungeons and dragons. There are many ways a collection of rooms can hang around in an ambient 2-dimensional space. The particular choices made in rogue reflect what it says in the dungeon master's guides of the time.

Antsan

  • Priest
  • **
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2016, 04:12:36 PM »
Most of the thread boils down to "Guys corridors are bad; trust me I'm right and also all the classic roguelikes are shit." though.
Please offer an alternative.

I would remind you that the typical level of engagement in this thread has been along the lines of "What?? If you don't have corridors, you won't have any walls at all!!!"
Nah, that post here seems very much more comprehensive:
I take the point, and agree that games where corridors are always the optimal place to fight are boring, but a game where corridors are never the optimal place to fight because there are no corridors would also be pretty dull.  And where do you go from there?  Fighting with your back to a wall is always optimal so you take out all the walls?  I would say that a lot of roguelikes would be improved by having significantly less corridors, but I wouldn't get rid of them entirely.

In the same way as everything else in a tactical game, you ideally want to make it so that fighting in a corridor is sometimes optimal and sometimes not.  Fortunately, there are an absolute shit-tonne of mechanics you can employ to this end, some of which are so common as to be almost ubiquitous in Roguelikes anyway.  Such as:

- The risk of getting trapped between two enemies
- Limited time to kite enemies back to corridors (hunger clock)
- Limited vision in corridors (darkness, corners)
- Enemies difficult to kite (ranged enemies, fast enemies, teleporting enemies, smart enemies, fleeing thieves)
- Area-of-effect abilities (spells, Brogue-like weapons)
- Bouncing spells (magic missile)
- Allies
- Different terrain types (water, high ground)
- Mana-/Stamina-limited abilities
- Reflecting explosions
- Dodging mechanics that require an empty space
- Barriers to retreating indefinitely (closing doors)
- And Many More!

Something I've not seen any roguelikes do but that might be quite cool would be to model the way that in Dark Souls and/or real life, you don't want to fight in enclosed spaces with certain weapons because of the difficulty of getting your swing on.  An accuracy modifier based on your weapon and the number of wall tiles you're next to would be a pretty straightforward way of doing it, and may make the choice of where to fight a bit more interesting.
But you answered that with such an infuriatingly dismissive attitude that the impression is that you just want to rave about some pet peeve instead of making a coherent point.

Holsety

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2016, 08:30:46 AM »
No, they are a by-product of a fairly literal-minded transcription of dungeon generation routines from dungeons and dragons. There are many ways a collection of rooms can hang around in an ambient 2-dimensional space. The particular choices made in rogue reflect what it says in the dungeon master's guides of the time.

I'm not seeing the alternatives (then again, I'm also not very imaginative). There's already been mention of wider corridors as a semi-viable option.
If you just use ONLY doors like in this below monstrosity I just made, you're creating an "optimal fight place" IN the doorways, which is the tactical equivalent of fighting in hallways.
http://imgur.com/VR9pkIB

Are you saying that that is STILL preferable to having hallways? It's true that you have more real estate now for "rooms" and the tactical advantage is slightly less compared to a hallway, but you're still soft-forcing the player to fight in a certain location.
Wouldn't the better solution be to give any entity inside of a hallway an across-the-board speed penalty (because of the cramped quarters)? Seeing as how ranged attackers outside of the hallway would get more attacks and the "faster" ticking of the food timer, you'd have given a sufficient trade-off for the safety you get from the tunnel.

The thing with maps from dungeon crawlers like Eye of the Beholder or what have you is that walls don't take up space.
In a roguelike you're dealing with the following
Quote
..#..
..#..
......
###
(^ 3x4 grid, yes?)
but in a dungeon crawler that very same architecture would be
Quote
..|..
......
___
which is in fact JUST a 2x2 grid, with some squares being non-traversable in certain directions.

If there was a way to leverage THAT in a roguelike, then you'd REALLY open up options for good/creative map generation.
Quote from: AgingMinotaur
… and it won't stop until we get to the first, unknown ignorance. And after that – well, who knows?

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2016, 09:30:09 AM »
Regarding your picture, if the doors are more than one square wide and all of their tiles open together, then that's not terrible. The main bad thing is being able to body block monsters into collecting such that you fight only one at a time. Fighting a group of monsters one at a time should require retreating over explored territory to maneuver them around corners and so on. It is important for combat tactics to interact with dungeon features and map space.

Tight doorways have a problem of funneling groups of monsters, limiting their flow in too facile a way. It's not as extreme as corridors, but I am not convinced about doors either.

As for what I actually favor, amorphous cavern formations with soft walls (vegetation, fog, etc.) as described by AgingMinotaur seems to me to be the most compelling model for connecting rooms.

Elystan

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2016, 04:14:50 PM »
I have to refer back to Angband again in that while it's a broken game which only works by piling broken mechanic on top of broken mechanic, it's still pretty difficult to corridors scum wolves and especially spiders.

I will concede the point that corridors are bad design, but their disadvantages can be mitigated.

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2016, 01:30:22 PM »
The thing about angband is that for a significant part of the game, dangerous monsters move way faster than you and for the rest of the game the main danger is being summoned or breathed on. The solution to the second problem is to build zigzag corridors and fight one monster at a time or just use stealth to avoid the fight entirely. In both cases, you just don't move in combat. This is terrible at such an early stage of the analysis that it doesn't even matter what the dungeon layouts are like from a tactical perspective. There are no real tactics in angband anyway. You just have to understand how the consumables work.

That raises a related point: If generating corridors is bad, letting players make corridors is even worse.

Elystan

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2016, 09:29:28 PM »
Is it possible to consider the behaviour of certain pack monsters (notably wolves and spiders) independently of the other idiosyncracies of the game though? I mention it because in other roguelikes I've played enemies tend to just blindly follow you down corridors single file.

mushroom patch

  • Protector of the @
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
    • View Profile
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2016, 04:35:18 AM »
Oh right, angband has that behavior where animal packs hang around in open areas as though you'll come out to get them. I haven't played angband in a while, but as I recall there's an easy way to deal with this: The monsters only stay at the mouth of the hallway if you're within a certain range, otherwise they approach. So you retreat farther down the corridor and they'll come after you. You can then go back at them and fight them one at a time. I don't remember whether they retreat again, but I think not.

If they're hounds, you just arrange to meet them at a corner or better one of angband's silly turnback corridor formations.

This is a case that should add to suspicions about monster AI overcoming dungeon geometry. Geometry wins every time.

edit: Okay, I went ahead and tried this. In the version I tried, I saw this pack AI with jackals. When you retreat to a corridor, they just hang around in the room they started in. Maybe that would work if you had a game where it was desirable for monsters to guard places. That game isn't angband obviously. You just walk away.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 04:53:26 AM by mushroom patch »

Elystan

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Corridors considered harmful
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2016, 01:27:07 PM »
Right, but with persistent floors and finite resources it could be. Monsters that guard stairs, treasure vaults, chokepoints etc. Or just having to deal with it every time to earn experience at all.

Not generating corridors would be an easier, more comprehensive and neater solution to the corridor problem and this thread is motivation to get on with generating forest/outdoor maps but not until I've made a traditional dungeon work.

Throw ranged combat in though and the requirements on the AI to decide whether to rush in, hang back or dive for cover become more complex. I'll post again when I have a working implementation.