Author Topic: Land of Strangers  (Read 21866 times)

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #75 on: December 14, 2015, 08:53:55 PM »
I hear you. So it's back to the inkstone. I think the abstract icons were worth the consideration, if only to remember that it's usually best to hightlight and refine the unusual aspects of a project in development. Also, yes, the tiles will be bigger than in the screenshot I posted. And Tzan's reminder re: line thickness is sage advice.

Avagart, thanks for the funky window placement bug. With a bit of luck, it will fix itself once I implement doors :) Place building in general needs a bit of loving. Regarding this:
It's... 'harder than it could be' to manage items quickly.
I think I understand what you mean. I'll have to think a bit about how to solve inventory, with regards to system and UI. I think the player will only be allowed to carry 6 items, but maybe with containers, and traits/skills like "Burro = you can carry 2 extra items". It seems difficult to have eg. hotkey 1 always assigned to your sixshooter, because the player might be carrying zero or several handguns of different types. One idea might be to add shortcut keys, akin to "q"aff and "z"ap in traditional RLs, which scan your inventory and either filter the list or equip the first item of a certain kind. "G" might stand for guns, "M" for melee weapons, "T" for tonics, etc. (The player would be able to rebind the keys, of course.) Typing out the idea here and now, I get the feeling a system like this would need some adjustments to work. Anyway, I'll keep your comment in mind.

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

Avagart

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #76 on: December 14, 2015, 11:40:25 PM »
I was in bad form in that day, I could write it in simple words. I think that the simplest way to making it 'as in my mind' would be just abandon removing item from slot when item equipped.

How the queuing of action actually works? There is hidden 'attack speed' implementation or something similar?

Some footsteps leaves footprints which looks very unnaturally.

AI is good in following player unless he enter 'home' (or another space in similar 'properties').

Sometimes creatures aren't displayed even if in FOV. I left house, I went straight and something blocks me. Tiles was empty (grass meadow), but 'This is mad prospector' has shown.

Another strange thing. I has three 'lives' when wagagab attacked me. After his first hit, I has... three lives and one 'waste life'.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 11:52:24 PM by Avagart »

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2015, 10:11:43 AM »
I much appreciate your comments, Avagart.

I think that the simplest way to making it 'as in my mind' would be just abandon removing item from slot when item equipped.
That makes sense, and would be easy to implement. I think you're right something like this might make inventory handling more straightforward.

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How the queuing of action actually works? There is hidden 'attack speed' implementation or something similar?
Every action has a speed/initiative value, and actions are carried out simultaneously after each actor has decided upon what to do. The basic order of actions is this:

1) speed of thought
2) melee attacks
3) missile attacks
4) movement
5) tool use

Apart from movement, an action can be interrupted if the actor is attacked. So if you're trying to fire a gun (initiative=3), and you're hit in melee (initiative=2) in the same round, your action is canceled. It makes for some slightly tricky situations (for instance, the "ventriloquism" skill works best if used in the same round as an enemy approaches you, not when they're standing next to you). And there are skills like "iron mind" and "focus" which affect initiative.

The system is currently outlined in the game's rather messy manual. I'm thinking about rewriting and expanding that document. Maybe I should also add a line like "initiative=N" to skill/prop descriptions; displaying the value might help players get an intuitive grasp of the concept just from playing.

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Some footsteps leaves footprints which looks very unnaturally.
I've noticed this, as well as the other display bug you mention, where critters become invisible for no apparent reason. Going over the sprite rendering routines is high on the todo-list.

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AI is good in following player unless he enter 'home' (or another space in similar 'properties').
The AI is quite primitive at the moment. Things will improve as I add more definitions of "action patterns", but pathfinding in particular is really just a placeholder right now. A simple implementation of A* will make critters noticably smarter (including going around lakes and evading thorns when chasing the player).

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Another strange thing. I has three 'lives' when wagagab attacked me. After his first hit, I has... three lives and one 'waste life'.
Wow, that's very weird, and something I wasn't aware could happen. Will have to look into it.

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

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #78 on: March 17, 2016, 05:01:55 PM »
So, I'm still tinkering on this. Visit the devlog for various tales of progress (although I'll be announcing releases here, as well). In broad terms, I'm working to "make the game world interesting" … whcih might include anything. Right now, I'm fiddling with a sustainable UI for speech, so that I can start adding dialogue, bounties (quests), etc. I have a couple of mock-ups, not sure if the text and border should just fade in, or if it should emulate a brush stroke, or something. Prepare to spammed with some gifs!

fade-in effect:


animated border:


A possible problem with the animated border, is that I'll need quite a lot of frames for big blocks of text, which makes it fiddly to set it up in a consistant way ...


In other news, I'm hoping to pin down some more permanent decisions regarding inventory items. Some ideas currently being kicked around:

* Constrained inventory: Beings will only be allowed to carry 6 items. This fits nicely with the hexagonal grid, as upon death, you'll just drop your stuff in a circle around you. If this gets too cramped, I may raise the allowed amount, or (in any case) add a "Burro" perk that allows you to carry more, or add containers. Containers tend to be a hassle to work with, though … There should be a good system for stashes (maybe even building a head quarters in town). What I hope to achieve, is a system where the player has to carefully choose which items to bring along on a dangerous mission.

* Encumbrance: There's no detailed weight system, but items come in three main categories: in addition to normal props, there are stackable items (several fit in a single inventory slot), and cumbersome items (carrying them slows you down).

* Lead slugs (♄): Lead slugs double as ammo and cash, and may serve as some kind of general "resources" stat. Certain skills might cost some ♄ to use, representing materials spent. And I'm considering, instead of a food clock, to have a system where you need to "camp/rest" once every 1000 turns or so. Camping would cost 1 or 2 ♄, and if you have none left, you might receive a penalty the next day. Conversely, some items (eg. sleeping bag) or skills (eg. cooking) might grant you a bonus. There'll be little incentive to waiting around the map in any case. In particular, lost health levels will only regenerate if you stay at a hospital or saloon for a prolonged time (costing many ♄, and possibly forfeiting current bounties).

* Crafting: I guess there may come a crafting system later on, although I haven't thought this through yet. With such a cramped inventory, I guess it could make sense to allow the player to invest in particular items, eg. improving his favorite sixshooter over time.

* Gift giving: I'm hoping to implement gift offering simply as dropping an item in front of an NPC. This can then be used to alter your standing with that person (and their faction), as well as trigger fetch quests and the like. Bounties on criminals' heads will probably be collectible by bringing their actual head to the right officials. This strikes me as an idea that sounds very obvious in theory, but might require being pointed out with flashing signs, to make sure that everyone gets it.

* Wearables: The kind of weird west setting I'm aiming for doesn't seem to fit so well together with the typical paper-doll RL hero, and at the moment there's no system for wearables. I'm thinking of adding items that grant some kind of boost if you keep them in your inventory, though. It may feel silly if in effect you're wearing three hats at the same time, but it could be explained as your character automatically switching to the appropriate wear. Such "carryables" might grant resistances (gas mask, bullet proof vest), or increase vision in dark areas (lantern), or give some social bonus, like the possibility of recruiting people (law badge) … Again, it feels like this may play well with the idea of a constrained inventory. In any case, there will be no stuff like "sombrero [0,+1]" or "snake skin boots of sneakiness" :P

* Item ideas: Again, there's not the huge array of stuff that you get with a fantasy or scifi setting. But I have some ideas, of course: Various bombs (smoke bombs are already in place, and I might add poison gas, perhaps, or "firecrackers" that stun and deal moderate damage?); fuses and trip wires (there's barb wire that you can roll out on the map, and a fuse might work similarly, burning one hex per turn until it reaches the bomb, with more expensive wires going off the instant someone steps on them, or with a detonator); ropes and lassos ("the lariot" should be a central object later on, it should be possible to capture live people and animals); poison and medicine (not like potions and venom in typical RLs – non-magical medicine takes time to work, after all, but there might be adrenaline syringes that you can inject in the heat of battle); periscopes and spying glasses (allowing you to see locations currently out of view); books and scripture (not sure how this will work … the newspaper might list some current gossip, a book could perhaps teach a skill) … And time will always bring new ideas.

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

Aleksanderus

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #79 on: March 17, 2016, 05:55:49 PM »
Love the taunts  ;D. Keep up the good work!

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #80 on: March 18, 2016, 10:15:06 AM »
Thanks. Personally, I've always felt like sexually explicit swearing kind of misses the mark – the thought of genitalia conjures only fond memories in me ;) I'll probably make a random cuss word generator for LoSt, if only for the joy of having a module named "swear_engine.py" in the sources. Probably there'll be an option to keep it down a notch, for those who see no problem in a game portraying mass murder as the order of the day, but raise an eyebrow at dirty words. The censored version might produce exclamations like "fox-strangler" and "nose-wiper" (and, by extension, "fox-wiper" and "nose-strangler"), or just $@X#!!! and the like.

And I'll probably go for the hovering/fading speech scroll. It'll just be less hassle to work with each speech scroll as one sprite, instead of a bunch of frames that need to be rendered in sequence. Especially as the game should probably do things like take into consideration neighboring hexes, trying not to print text on top of important sprites/features. And, I'll be adding onomatopoetic effect. Hovering the word "click" above the head of a goon who just cocked his gun, I'm sure that'll add some suspense, as well as effectively putting as much info as possible on the tactical map, rather than constantly relying on the text log.

I'm about to add a simple bounty (quest) to the game world now, so let's hope that shakes things up a little. Once I have the basic systems for speech, trade and bounties in place, I guess I'll make an interim release to see if I can harvest any comments.

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

akeley

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #81 on: March 18, 2016, 08:29:28 PM »
I think fade is the best one though this incarnation ain`t smooth enough.  Ideally you`d want (well,  I would, of course :) the least fuss possible so you can read it instantly. It`s a pet peeve of mine if the text is being obfuscated ibn any way - probably from years of playing jRPGs (some will dole out descriptions letter by letter, literally)

Onomatopeias are a great idea. I was thinking the other day the lack of "sound" is what`s  sorely missed in RLs in general - I mean "text" sounds of course. Why can we not hear heavy monsters round the corner, doors opening, traps being sprung and so on? It`d add an extra layer to strategy (yeah okay there`s that money being counted or something but it`s more abstract)

As for others, these sound great (roll out a barb wire? wow...and of course bounty system inspired by Sam Peckinpah can only be applauded) but as per usual, hard to say something without seeing it in action. Can`t wait for another release.

abraksil

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2016, 01:23:40 PM »
Just downloaded this game - i like the hex based map

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2016, 10:28:20 PM »
abraksil, thank you. I'm glad the project generates interest at this early point. Hopefully there'll be something interesting in the next few releases.

akeley,  I much appreciate your enthusiasm, and taking so many odd references :)

I think fade is the best one though this incarnation ain`t smooth enough.
Hm, from a usability perspective, you definitely have a point. It's fun to strive for cinematic/slapstick effects, but also important to remember that the player will see these effects a bunch of times. Animations, in particular, should utilize their timespan to communicate pertinent game information. Anything that reeks of flashy effects should be reconsidered twice. For this speech scroll, for instance, it might make sense to skip the transparency, and just hover the text in a pretty and legible fashion.

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

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #84 on: December 03, 2016, 03:10:47 AM »
The project is Lost, not dead. Here is an interrim release, before a proper beta, which will hopefully follow suit.

LOST #10: BLOODSHOT VISTA <=== download from the blog page, please :)
(windows) (sources) (linux build will be up in a few days)

Quote
MAIN CHAINGES

* BUG: Corpses etc. sometimes overwrote existing props on map
* BUG: Loading a saved game messed up screen settings
* BUG: Sprites left ugly residues, or conversely turned invisible
* BUG: Stackable inventory multiplied indefinitely when picked up
* BUG: Climates would skip filling some floor tiles
* UI: Reverted hand drawn tile set
* UI: Speech bubbles
* UI: Continuous tiling of walls etc.
* UI: Inventory items stay in same slot, even when wielded
* UI: The basic wizard modes (omniscient, savescum, immortal)
* UI: (Hopefully) improved item/action menu in various small ways
* Content: Scalping knives, derringers, severed heads, javelins, spear throwers, triguns, salt crystals, bricks, barb wire, smoke bombs, gravel, smithereens, stumps, splinters, shards, dust, ladders, doors, ditches, shit holes, gun slits, named corpses, adrenaline shots, armed proles, wheelin' judges, and more.
* Content: Rudimentary settlements layout
* Content: Shops, and other constructs and places of interest
* Skills and quirks: Steel chewer, the bone way, the meat way, trick shooter, fusileer, whip expert, long sting, magnetism, swimming, unpromising, everybody's asshole, unfancy shooter, musky, one-eyed, war wound, daft smiter, limp
* Starting careers: duelist, swordfighter, pilarist, neophyte, mudfaced goon
* Game/events: Simple drowning
* Game/events: Use anything as an improvised melee/thrown weapon
* Game/events: Sprinting as a default action (incomplete)
* Game/events: Extended actions (digging, demolition etc.)
* System: Rudimentary day and night cycle
* System: Tiles grant temporary flags ("drowning", "in the shitter")
* System: Slightly improved AI
* System: Basic functionality of critter factions/loyalties
* System: Basic system for dialogue
* System: Basic trading, cash value of props
* System: Still working on overworld/climate map generation …
* System: Fleshed out character generation a bit
* System: Outlined a system for careers and skills
* Kits: Migrated many effects from sources to data files
* Kits: Merged "sledge hammer" and "pick ax" as "sledge pick"
* Kits: Simplified several variables, added a few more
* Plus various many small tweaks under the hood

I'm more or less on the verge of starting to add content in earnest. I might write a few more lines about the release later. In the meantime, all comments are welcome.

As always,
Minotauros

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

Avagart

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #85 on: December 03, 2016, 02:45:32 PM »
Haha, I was re-downloading latest build just few days ago! Nice to see new version of LoSt :)

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2016, 01:58:13 PM »
The Linux build (*.deb) is up. Also. I updated the windows/sources downloads with a tiny patch that makes wheelin' judges a bit more interesting (version 10.1).

An annoying issue with the current version, is that the game sometimes freezes for a few seconds when building a settlement. I'll have to fix up the map building routines for version 11. Also, present in this version are "foibles and shticks", which I might scrap for the future. The shticks just feel too much like skills in how they're implemented, so the whole subsystem feels a bit obsolete. I may also want to find a more interesting/unique implementation. We'll see ...

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

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #87 on: February 02, 2018, 04:48:49 PM »
I keep bumping this thread :) I just posted on the blog about January's development. I'm implementing a new system for wounds, and have been making some changes to the UI as well. Here's a shoddy gif of how it's looking at the moment:



I've gotten a very bare bones quest in place. Apart from a bit more content, the most important feature I need to add before next release, is a system for long term resting. So #12 is on the horizon, definitely ;)

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