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Topics - Etinarg

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Design / Calculating Monster Drops
« on: March 20, 2014, 01:51:00 PM »
There are many ways to handle treasure and item drops from slain monsters. I've set my corridor so that in my project I want both treasure and item drops, and that the items should fit to the monster but can still be quite random.

Now the problem is, I'm in the early stages of this project, and I want to design for expandability. So the question is, how to organize monster drop calculations/data so that is easy to maintain and still expandable - also expandable "backwards" so that newly added items will appear for old monsters without digging through 563 monster drop entries in some data sheet.

Diablo II (If I remember right) had treasure classes and monsters were assigned one or more treasure classes instead of drop lists. This way a new items could be added to a treasure class and all monster which could drop from that class now also could drop the new item. Problems were the balance between treasure classes with many items and classes with few items, in order to keep some items common and other fairly rare.

Are there better ideas? What do you suggest, how should I go at this?

Design / Monster ideas for a "color" themed game?
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:12:23 PM »
I'm working on a roguelike-like which has color and the lack of color as the main theme. The player side will be colorful, the others are the gray side.

I'm looking for ideas, which monsters would be fit in as typical gray or color stealing monsters.

Also I'm looking for interesting monster names like "Gray fader", "Minor Bleacher", "Hand of Gray", "The uncolored". If you have ideas, please let me know. English isn't my mothers tongue, and my vocabulary is just too limited to make up good names in this style.


Design / Brainstorming - places to hide items
« on: March 10, 2014, 11:10:40 AM »
Assuming, you are the evil overlord who just stole some valuable items from the humans. Now you want to hide them, and watch adventurers struggling to retrieve the items.

Where would you put the items?

Dungeons are a classic choice. Towers, pyramids ... well, I'm looking for ideas, so just let me know :)

Design / Item pricing?
« on: March 06, 2014, 10:27:54 PM »
I'm currently working on a RPG project once again, and once more I face the question how to set reasonable prices for my items. The items are the standard medieval-fantasy collection, axes, mace, sword, magic rings and amulets and the like.

How do you set up the item prices in your games?

Off-topic (Locked) / Are humans scavengers?
« on: June 28, 2013, 12:49:48 PM »
Scavengers feed on dead animals, which they find in their habitat.

Scavenging is both a carnivorous and herbivorous feeding behavior in which the scavenger feeds on dead animal and plant material present in its habitat.

Humans don't search for dead animals, we usually kill them actively. But the meat that we eat is usually dead, most often dead since quite some time. And it's not deep-frozen all the time.

Dry-aged beef is beef that has been hung or placed on a rack to dry for several weeks. After the animal is slaughtered and cleaned, either the entire or half will be hung.

In some cultures a slight putrefaction taste seems to be even considered good, but I found no English reference for that, so I can only show a google-translated Wiki page:

Nevertheless, a slight haut gout is estimated by some as a condiment and deliberately caused by prolonged storage.

Doesn't this qualify humans to be scavengers? At least it seems to indicitae we have no real problem in eating (long) time dead meat unless it's spoiled by bacteria, fungus or insects and their larvae.

I know we are actually omnivores and do not need to eat meat. But we can eat meat. And we obviously eat meat as well when it's been dead for a while, or sometimes even a long time. IMO this would put us in the category of scavengers also.

Design / Why to play games - permadeath discussion followup
« on: June 26, 2013, 09:52:18 AM »
The discussion about permadeath made me think about why we play games (or may why I play games). And why permadeath is seen as an important part of a game to some players, but not to others ("only permadeath gives meaning to the players actions").

I see two basic types of players:

- The ones who play for entertainment
- The ones who play for the challenge

and maybe this one:

- The ones who play out of curiousity

I think "permadeath" is mostly important for the ones who play for the challenge. It might help the discussion to understand that for the other player types, permadeath is not a core feature to their gaming experience, and forcing them to think alike the ones who play for the challenge is futile, because they expect different things from games (being entertained, learning about new things, even if only relevant in context of the game).

Maybe this can help to relax the discussion a bit, and understand that a feature which is  very important thing to some players, is irrelevant or even annoying to the other player types. There is no "true way to play games". As so often, there are many ways, and I'd want to avoid calling one better than the others.

Recently a PM from this forum woke me up, and renewed my interest in Iso-Angband. But after the long break, isometric display didn't seem to be so appropriate anymore, and the name of Iso-Angband didn't fit any longer, so I continued the idea under the new name of Yanotavar which actually just means Yet Another Angband variant. Well, at the moment it's just a display frontend.

I've set up a Sourceforge project for it, to prevent loss of code and screenshots a third time:

The project goals are much the same which I had before, just without the requirement of using an isometric display:

- World representation by (symbolic abstract) shape+color combinations
- Depth illusion by stacked graphics

The idea is close to traditional text mode, where colored ASCII symbols are used to display the game's world, just that I want to replace the ASCII symbols by shapes which resemble the shape of the represented objects. (Aka change "nonsymbolic abstraction" to "symbolic abstraction"). I want to keep it quite abstract, and "realistic" graphics are not a primary goal (although I have to admit, the screenshot below isn't looking very abstract - monsters and items will be outlined shapes though, and much less detailed that the rooms and walls). "Good looking" is a goal though, whatever this means ;)

To give the illusion of depth, these shapes will partially overlap. This also allows to condense the map display in one direction, offering more information in the same space.

At the moment the map display looks like this:

and this:

There are a lot of graphics missing, at the time being replaced by huge hovering letters (they are left from Iso-Angband and not aligned for the new floor tiles), but I have put together a first preview release to try:

Download, Windows version (5mb):

It should compile for Linux too, but I haven't tried that yet. I'd think it's enough to cd into "src" directory and type "make". You'll need developer versions of SDL, libpng and libz installed to compile it.

Due to some implementation quirks, you'll have to use the numpad keys to move, aim, etc. and the arrow keys to navigate in game menus.  I hope this won't pose too much hassle.

Iso-Funband is my try to create a variant which is more forgiving and suitable for new players. I hope that eventually I can adjust the whole set of levels, but I started with the early levels, these are the most important for the beginners anyways. In the long run, I want to adjust the late game, so that monsters which are usually just avoided, or levels which are skipped, become a more interesting part of the game - or be left away altogether, if they can't be integrated better. At the moment, below level 15, it's just Angband 2.9.3 with a bit higher monster density (so rather harder than easier I guess ...)

Also, it features the latest incarnation of my isometric display frontend, and I have tried to tailor the Angband core a bit to work better with it. (Screens are not quite up to date, but very close to the release).

Click for full size.

Click for full size.

Click for full size.

Iso-Funband Changes

- Less OOD monsters on early levels.
- Room shapes slightly adjusted to work better with the iso view.
- Third page for shops and home.
- Moved all early artifacts but phial up one level.
- Moved level 10 artifacts to level 8 and level 15 to level 14.
- Entering home will restore max HP.
- Added "of vita" ego armor with +1 CON .
- Raised default no. of monsters per level from 14 to 20.
- Lowered HP of some of the early monsters.
- Mushroom patches now have a 30% chance to drop edible mushrooms.
- Hobbits now also have a 30% chance to drop mushrooms.
- Since edible mushrooms had to be level 1 to be dropped from level one monster mushrooms, they were dropped frequently by monsters on the early levels as well.
-> Made them more rare (rarity 5)
-> Moved up some level 3 items to level 1, to have more drop options on level 1
-> Added hard biscuits as possible level 1 drop. I see no reason why some of the monsters wouldn't have such.
-> Items had a base chance of level+10% before to become good, now they have level+15% - this evens out at higher levels, and is generally capped at 75%.
- Added ego lights,
-> of Brightness, +1 light rad
-> of Sight, see invisible
-> of Bright Sight, +1 light rad, see invisible, up to +5 to hit.
- Light sources have 10% chance to become ego lights.
- Code for 9 part walls reactivated.
- Lightable features, doors, stairs.


For Windows users, there is a precompiled executable included. Also two starting batch files, "start_small.bat" and "start_large.bat" which choose a smaller or larger font, and therefore start with a smaller or larger window.

Sources and images are included as well. I think it should compile for Linux, too, but I had no chance to test that yet (See for help with compiling).

Programming / Roguelike Game Kit Development
« on: July 27, 2010, 10:06:13 AM »
I don't want to clutter the announcements thread with development news too much - also I think Slashie set up the forum so that only new releases should be announced there and general development talk should go here ... so I make this new thread in development.

First, a new screenshot of the wilderness map generator. Same code as already released, but with a different configuration set, that includes ponds or pools of water:

Then the real news. I'm working on a new generator for mines and cave like structures. It's mostly complete and will be released soon unless I find serious flaws in my tests.

It takes a "branch chance" setting, that influnces how dense the mines will be dug out.

With a 20% branch probability it generate almost sparse mines:

At 23% branch probability it generates quite a maze of corridors:

And with a 50% branch probability it generate wider, cave like structures:

I hope this will be a useful addition for the roguelike game kit.

Off-topic (Locked) / Studies of the Angband "mold" type monsters
« on: July 24, 2010, 10:55:29 AM »
When I started playing Angband I was surprised of the mold type enemies. "A strange growth on the dungeon floor", if I remember the description correctly.

Lately I felt inspired to work on some studies about such "strange growth on the dungeon floor".

The latter two are the same image, just with different color and contrast.

Programming / Grouping the ASCII symbols?
« on: July 20, 2010, 02:38:12 PM »
I'm wondering how to group the ASCII symbols into "sets" of related symbols, so that players quickly get an idea what a new symbol might be about. I tried to group them, but I'm not entirely pleased with the chosen groups:

Shops?    0123456789
Beings?   abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
Items?    ?!"§$&/()[]{}=`'^°*~-_|\
Terrain?  .,;:
Features? +´<>#%
Players?  @

I'm not sure if the § is normally used in roguelikes? Also the group of ´`and ' seems odd, maybe use only one of these? The ~ seems to be an item symbol in some roguelikes and a terrain in others?

Are there usable ASCII symbols that I have forgotten in the list?

How do you group the characters in your roguelikes?

Programming / Symbol for a key?
« on: July 20, 2010, 09:48:31 AM »
I haven't played any roguelikes yet, that included keys, so I want to ask: What is the common symbol used for a key?

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Roguelike Game Kit
« on: July 07, 2010, 02:12:18 PM »
Over the years I worked on so many game projects, and wrote code that might be useful for other game developers too. I want to release some of it under the GPL.

So I've set up a project at Sourceforge:

At the moment there is a module for map data in the SVN (a layered map, e.g. ground, features, items, monster/player layer, but in a very generic fashion), and an example dungeon generator.

Also, a display module for such map data, showing funky colored ASCII characters in rectangular and isometric styles (sorry, couldn't resist).

I hope I can provide more of such modules, field of view calculation, generic item and monster data structures and the like.

Maybe the modules will be helpful for the one or other. For study, or to use for any kind of open source project, roguelike, crpg or just anything. The code is Java, and should work with Java v6.

It's a very early stage, the code needs more cleanup, but I have some hope that it will get somewhere.

Off-topic (Locked) / Tilemaster - A tile set editor and drawing tool
« on: June 04, 2010, 10:09:21 AM »

Tilemaster is a simple tile set editor and drawing tool. At the moment it is in an early stage of development, but the basic functionality to manage tile sets and draw tiles is there. There is definitely room for expansion, though.

Similar to my Itemizer application, this allows to edit a number of tile attributes, add new attributes or remove no longer needed ones. File formats are not entirely fixed yet, but I'll try to keep futures versions compatible to the current ones, or provide easy upgrade paths.

Tilemaster needs the Java runtime version 6 or newer installed to be run.


A Java application in the well known Metal look and feel. Some day I hope to replace this with a better looking theme.

Already working

- Loading and saving of tile sets
- Importing PNG files into tile sets
- Exporting PNG files from tile sets
- Importing tiles from other tile sets
- Importing tile sheets
- Simple drawing operations
- Editing of tile attributes
- Resizing of tile sets
- Zooming and panning the painting area
- Support for background images or tiles
- Loading, saving and simple editing of color maps

It allows to edit true color images. The color palette can be edited to create palettes that have more suitable colors for a particular project (right click a color to open the color editor).

I hope I soon can provide functionality to re-order images in a tile set. At the moment this can be done only by importing tiles from the same set at a new position.




I don't know if this is helpful for roguelike developers, but there seem to be a raising number of roguelikes developed with graphical tile sets. So I decided to post about it here. At the moment it's simple but does the job for me, so I have some hope it might be useful for someone else too :)

Off-topic (Locked) / Itemizer - A generic (c)rpg item editor
« on: June 02, 2010, 09:22:10 AM »
I've been working on a little tool to edit and manage lists of item attributes. I'm not sure how useful it is for other people, but I want to introduce it here.

The edit functionality of Itemizer is twofold.

Once you can edit the structure of the data, that is, which attributes items have, their types and their names. This set of data is called an item configuration, and can be saved and loaded from Itemizer.

Second, for an item configuration one can create item catalogs, that's more or less lists of item data sets.

This message also contains a brief introduction into the functionality:

The tool looks like this:

I've limited the data types to strings, integers and so-called triplets, groups of three integers. Once I had to put limits somewhere, second I found that these should be suitable for many uses.


I tried to keep the file formats plain and easy, in the hope Itemizer data will be easy to import into games. I've tried to document the file formats over here:

There is also a plugin concept to read and write data in other formats. Two sample plugins are provided with the tool as Java sources with a script to compile them.

Some more details about plugins:

The latest release and download links:

Itemizer is written in Java and needs the Java runtime 6 or newer installed.

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