Author Topic: More Limited User Keys?  (Read 580 times)

SarahW

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More Limited User Keys?
« on: March 02, 2017, 04:37:20 AM »
Would a more limited set user keys ruin the game play experience? I'm considering narrowing down to only a few sets of keys, rather than say the entire keyboard it seems like for Crawl.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 08:21:05 AM »
The general consensus these days seem to be that simpler interfaces are mostly better. Each game/UI needs to find its own balance, of course. I guess one of the main selling points of a complicated key set is that it makes the game smooth to play once you've mastered the keys, so that it even makes sense (in a twisted sort of way) eg. to have separate commands for wearing armor, jewelry, and weapons. Also, having more involved commands may open up for more complex item interaction – although I'm still waiting for the game where you can eat a scroll.

Personally, I aim for a very simplified key set in my own game, but using context-sensitive menus, so that might make the UI less smooth to some tastes. Basically, there's an always visible list of available commands in a menu that you can enter and navigate, or use 1-9 as shortcut keys. If you're next to a door, your basic options might be (1. open, 2. bash), next to a person (1. attack, 2. chat). It has its charm, such as if you learn a skill to pick locks, that option will automatically appear in your menu at appropriate times. Less elegant the fact that it varies which key is used for which action[1]. I've tried to make up for this somewhat by having a shortcut key which always attacks, and one which picks the default environment interaction (open door, pick up item, etc). I'm even considering letting the player assign custom shortcuts to particular actions. That way, people who think it's a hassle to move their eyes from the map to the menu can elect to play with "o" for "open", "c" for "chat" etc.

At the end of the day, just design what best suits you and your game. If you have a gazillion keyboard shortcuts to memorize, though, a lot of people will think you're being old-fashioned.

As always,
Minotauros

[1] And consider that edible scroll I hinted at earlier. If I wanted that in my game, I'd have to explicitly display the option, effectively making the "puzzle" obvious. On the one hand, that takes away some opportunities to let the player be inventive. On the other hand, I guess that puzzle in particular would actually be bad RL design anyway, since it has zero replay value/challenge, and risks just putting unspoiled players at an arbitrary disadvantage.

edit: typo
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 09:52:13 PM by AgingMinotaur »
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Krice

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 10:22:27 AM »
I guess one of the main selling points of a complicated key set is that it makes the game smooth to play once you've mastered the keys

I think this is an unfortunate misconception. The actual reason why there are lots of keys assigned to commands is that there are lot of commands in the first place. You have to be able to use those commands somehow. It's either more keys or then using menus etc. which can sometimes work better, but not always. But there are also other ways to reduce the amount of commands, for example making some stuff more generic (like using only one command to wear/wield/put/take off items on your character) and/or context sensitive.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 09:49:34 PM »
You're probably right about that (why traditional RLs have many keybindings). However, I was thinking more about the actual merits of such a system, ie. that it becomes very fast and easy to use once you learn it. And just to be clear, I do think the classic case of separate wear-commands for jewelry and armor is really just an example of sub-par design ;) (but understandable since designers back then were mapping out some mostly unexplored areas).

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

SarahW

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 11:41:26 PM »
Ah Ok so it's not you have to, it's just traditional to do so.

I really enjoyed playing crawl. Also enjoying Random Adventure Roguelike.

But I'm actually limiting the commands at the moment to essentials: Go Up, Go Left, Go Right, Go Down, Check Menu, Open Laptop.

Within Open Laptop, Write Progress Report and Read Progress Report. Progress Report is encrypted so only authorized persons read the progress report. So for example, someone else playing the game can't read your progress report and find out solutions to door locks.

Forgot to add: Progress reports are a temporary solution until I can actually figure out how to code a viable save function.

I don't plan on perma death though. I'm considering more of a semi-permanent death approach. I realize that sounds like semi boneless ham, you're either a dead ham or a live pig.

But rather in this one (currently building the generators) your MC (that is you, not a random character) stays alive. The user name you log in to the virtual world with is randomly generated every time you are either: booted out of the program (like when you lose a battle), or if you step on a trap. In practice, this would mean something akin to a temporary user name being corrupted.

So if you log into a fantasy world like one I'm creating, your avatar permanently dies but you as virtual player does not.

Items will be things like pass phrases hidden in dungeon to defeat enemies. (Enemies can't be beat by hitting them, you have to solve a cipher.)

For extra delightful difficulty, the progress_report is written over when you lose a battle and get kicked.

But exploring alternatives to perma death.

Edit: Maybe I'll go with progress_report. But it's still weird there is almost no information about what an .rsav file is. Although I have seen in the Hamster Game Engine.

Edit: Found the solution. I have each dungeon be on a separate file. When you reach the next dungeon, you're prompted with a password to continue. The problem with this method is all your levels are reverted to zero.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 12:10:34 AM by SarahW »

Ancient

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 01:46:40 PM »
I'm still waiting for the game where you can eat a scroll.

I have just the thing you need! Behold ... The Slimy Lichmummy!

Note that eating scrolls besides granting single health point has 50% chance of killing you by choking. However, if you have polymorphed into unbreathing feel free to eat all the worthless scrolls you have. You will still choke but "fortunately, you do not need to breathe" and finally get it all down.

The Slimy Lichmummy also features eating swords (you cut yourself up and die), shotgun shells (you die of lead poisoning), potions (game says "let's hope it emerges in one piece", no other effect) and seaweed cloaks (this actually makes sense and additionally can you identify unknown seaweed cloak that way). Oh, you can also eat shoes with the same risks as with scrolls. Yes, it also heals you for that single hit point if you do not choke.

It made me regret Prime has no eating besides digestion mutation. Those cyborgs could then eat floppy disks of antivirus to obtain cure poison effect.


About the topic itself. I do not think less keys ruins a game. In the contrary roguelike with less keys is easier to learn. On the other hand I really like having quick keys for everything and considering the depth of typical traditional RL it is likely to offer lots of options for the player. If each of those is to be available as a single key command in non-modal gameplay be ready to bind lots of them.

There is one distinct advantage of your approach. If you only need six commands you could skip doing key remapping feature.
Michał Bieliński, reviewer for Temple of the Roguelike

SarahW

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 03:14:50 AM »
I'm still waiting for the game where you can eat a scroll.

I have just the thing you need! Behold ... The Slimy Lichmummy!

Note that eating scrolls besides granting single health point has 50% chance of killing you by choking. However, if you have polymorphed into unbreathing feel free to eat all the worthless scrolls you have. You will still choke but "fortunately, you do not need to breathe" and finally get it all down.

The Slimy Lichmummy also features eating swords (you cut yourself up and die), shotgun shells (you die of lead poisoning), potions (game says "let's hope it emerges in one piece", no other effect) and seaweed cloaks (this actually makes sense and additionally can you identify unknown seaweed cloak that way). Oh, you can also eat shoes with the same risks as with scrolls. Yes, it also heals you for that single hit point if you do not choke.

It made me regret Prime has no eating besides digestion mutation. Those cyborgs could then eat floppy disks of antivirus to obtain cure poison effect.


About the topic itself. I do not think less keys ruins a game. In the contrary roguelike with less keys is easier to learn. On the other hand I really like having quick keys for everything and considering the depth of typical traditional RL it is likely to offer lots of options for the player. If each of those is to be available as a single key command in non-modal gameplay be ready to bind lots of them.

There is one distinct advantage of your approach. If you only need six commands you could skip doing key remapping feature.

Thanks for the input, I may have to try your method sometime! Pun not intended.

I'm thinking of string input. My reason is, in a more narrowly focused statement: Key press is good if you don't want to wait for player action. However I'm eventually going to make a system of password based navigation that uses "phrases" to evade detection.

Ex: 1-3 3-6 6-14 14-25

This animates the @ so that the timer only detects one step the player took, but they really took between 13-15 steps. This way one can avoid battles altogether except boss fights if one is quick on their feet.

So for example, your strings you commonly use: Go Up, Go Down, Go Right, Go Left. But it's highly suggested you use Navigate By Pass Phrase. This way you can avoid tripping the alarm.

It's sort of like mouse movement with the keyboard.

Open Laptop carries out email functions, Remote Viewing, and other functions during updates.

Still kind of making the engine for it, so it might take a while to release. One thing I'm wondering though is if some of these features I'm designing will end up being completely useless in RPG Boss and RPG Maker.

This text-based game is more of a Proof Of Concept game. But wanting to do a graphical JRPG with rogue like features: semi-permanent death, procedurally generated dungeons.

Not to worried about procedural generation for the proof-of-concept, as RPG Maker actually has plugins that can do this.

I only want to program the features I know that say RPG Boss or RPG Maker absolutely cannot do. It already handles levels, graphics capabilities, save functionality. I just want to test to see if more artsy fartsy stuff can even be done.

I figured it's better to test them out myself than annoy people by asking.XD
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 03:23:42 AM by SarahW »

AgingMinotaur

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 09:40:45 PM »
I have just the thing you need! Behold ... The Slimy Lichmummy!
Ooh, thanks for the tip. I did briefly try it some years ago, but after reading your inspired post I'll be sure to check it out again.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

SarahW

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Re: More Limited User Keys?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2017, 07:30:34 AM »
I have just the thing you need! Behold ... The Slimy Lichmummy!
Ooh, thanks for the tip. I did briefly try it some years ago, but after reading your inspired post I'll be sure to check it out again.

As always,
Minotauros

I don't have anything against other engines per say, it's just I have certain game play I'm currently uncertain whether they can be ported. I eventually want to port my project over into RPG Maker, but keep things like Permanent Death and Procedural Generation. Those I know that engine can do, however I tried writing cipher solvers in the way RPG Maker has you do as a work around, but it doesn't really work for Ciphers using letters for anything beyond eight or so letters.

Then there is the issue of input functionality, I very recently figured out (sort of) how to do waiting for keypress and pressing a key causing player action. Up till that point I had used the default string input function built into Ruby.

And so a lot of the things I'm building, I'm unsure how switching to Javascript is going to translate over from Ruby.

I'd really rather do a pure puzzle roguelike, but I've been craving Active Time Strategy Roguelikes lately.

Active Time Tactical battle system is just a Tactical Battle System whose turns are based around Active Timing rather than through a set order of specific turns. Such timing being based on characters stats. And the navigation is based on clusters rather than individuals blocks. Such as one cluster of tiles that the player can navigate in real time until their turn is over.

But I suspect this may be beyond my abilities. And almost impossible in ASCII.

I'm already struggling (but was able to manage) puzzle battle systems, or battle systems where one must exploit an AIs weakness by solving a certain kind of puzzle like a cipher.