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Messages - Trowel

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Programming / Re: Physics of Magic
« on: December 05, 2013, 05:45:44 PM »
Thanks for all the interesting responses to this thread guys, I'm still working on another project which is eating most of my time but as soon as that is done with in a few days I'm going to try and write a simple experiment to test some concepts for this game idea. A sort of unofficial seven day roguelike and I'll post up the results here.

I really love the ideas here anyway and I have some more stuff to say, so I'll come back and reply to the discussion properly once I've got time a little later today (I'm on a super short break now).  ;)

Programming / Re: Physics of Magic
« on: November 22, 2013, 06:00:23 AM »
Thanks for the responses guys and sorry I'm so late in replying to this! I've been really busy working on a Drupal project that is just eating up my free time. As soon as I get that project out of the way I'll try to get a demo up, just something to toy around with ;)

I toyed with an idea a bit like this a while back - there were particles of magic flying around the map, and you could draw symbols on the map to influence how they behaved. Instead of standing in place and casting a spell, you would move around drawing symbols that made the particles do something that accomplished your goals. The particles could change between different energy states and magic types (standard four elements plus a few other things).

That sounds pretty fun actually. My thinking was rather more boring I'm afraid. I was thinking of creating some kind of 'visual magic editor' which you could unlock in the game and that would allow you to combine various components into spells. I haven't really figured out the exact implementation yet though, I might extend it into being a central game-play mechanic if I can think of a way for that to be possible. Currently though I'm just thinking of having spells that can be influenced by symbols or by the environment etc. So you might fire a spell only for it to pass over some hidden symbol and explode into several different missiles killing several monsters in the area but injuring yourself as well.

Thinking about it theoretically is surely fun. But putting all this together in a consistent way is hard job.
And once you will have more or less consistent system, another problem will appear. Balance.
'User made magic' systems tent to be really hard to balance.

Really good point here actually, balance will probably be the most difficult thing to implement. Creating your own spells could be fun but how would you stop someone from creating a 'super spell' which they could just recreate each time. One idea I had is that the more powerful spells might have an element of 'corruption' to them, meaning they could lower your accuracy each time they're used.

Or how about spells that degrade over time. Who says magic stored in a wand or staff can't decompose? Think of it a bit like lighting a ten year old firework, sure it could make a pretty display but there will be a bigger chance that it will miss-fire. Perhaps this could be a way to add a strategy element to spell selection? (though it could just get annoying, like another form of food clock).

Thinking about it theoretically is surely fun. But putting all this together in a consistent way is hard job.
And once you will have more or less consistent system, another problem will appear. Balance.
'User made magic' systems tent to be really hard to balance.

What's even more difficult is making them mechanically compelling.  But on the other hand, it's really easy to thematically justify any mechanics you come up with.  That's why it's better to start with a good set of rules and grow a setting around them than the other way around.

Another good point actually, how can you make a system that is both compelling and yet simple enough to operate with just a few keybindings? I think to a certain degree some clever on screen 'visual effects' can add excitement to an otherwise straightforward system. One thing I like the idea of that I haven't seen implemented is chain reactions. I like the idea that a spell can bounce off a wall, taking a chunk out of it and take out several monsters before exploding in the middle of the dungeon.

As has been pointed out already in this thread though, it's all ok to sit here and type up all these 'great' ideas but there is probably a good reason why they haven't been implemented yet and it's not because people haven't thought of them already :)

Programming / Physics of Magic
« on: November 17, 2013, 10:54:51 PM »
Well it's been a while since I posted here (real life got in the way) but I've got some free time on my hands now and wanted to put it towards making a roguelike with a difference.

I've always been interested in 'pseudo-physics', as a kid I would draw up a bunch of physics theories for everything from time travel to the creation of an entire universe.. Though being terrible at maths it was of course all made up. But of course what makes sense in real life, doesn't necessarily limit what can make sense in a video game ...

And that got me thinking about magic. What if I created a roguelike world where magic logically existed and had it's own set of coherent properties that actually were actually based on 'magic physics'.. Eg: Rather than a magic missile firing in a straight line because I pressed a key, how about the missile being composed of a structure of magic particles which can be affected by the environment as much as the caster.

So what about having a particle that represented 'thrust', which is bound to a particle which produces a huge amount of 'energy' when it 'decays', thus in simple terms, creating a magic missile. But what if each of these particles had 'spin' and could destabilise each-other under certain conditions by 'spinning themselves apart', that is another logical way the spell energy could be created. And it could have interesting effects if for example we have an 'interdimensional particle' which spins in harmony with time and space. Imagine if that particle was ripped apart, it could create a tear in time, giving us a logical reason for a portal to appear, or teleport etc.

It probably all sounds crazy and I'm not explaining it well at all (don't write posts when your tired), but I'm thinking of turning this all into a game. I just wondered if anybody had any thoughts for where else I could go with this sort of theme, my current thinking is to integrate it with the plot so at least all of this 'complexity' has a purpose and becomes a part of the game rather than an unnecessary chore.

Perhaps I'll come refine the idea when I'm feeling more awake, until then feel free to laugh at my craziness and imagine my torment trying to implement quantum physics into a roguelike..  :'(

Design / Re: An old wild west roguelike? Ideas.
« on: November 17, 2013, 10:40:08 PM »
Why not fire up a beginners python tutorial when your fresh off a high from thinking of all these cool ideas, start making your game on paper (write down the features you want, plan the gameplay etc).. Then after a month or so when you feel comfortable with python (it's not too difficult to learn), grab a copy of libtcod and get making the game yourself (in ascii at first).

It's a much easier to ask for help making some tiles for your game than it is to try to 'inspire' someone into making your perfect game  ;)

Besides, what could be more fun than watching your game gradually come to life as you become a better and better programmer? Isn't that part of the point of making a roguelike?

Programming / Re: keep an Endless Sci-Fi Roguelike interesting?
« on: August 24, 2013, 09:58:17 PM »
I had an idea for a science fiction roguelike a while ago where you could take control of a terminal station and 'hack' into remote satellites and manipulate them to your advantage (perhaps disrupting enemy communications) or download surveillance data etc.

The process would be a sort of game in itself where you would have to manipulate memory values in a stack... I never did flesh it out into anything more than a concept, though I imagined it would be some sort of pseudo puzzle where you would have a password value stored somewhere in the stack and you had to manipulate the execution program to overwrite the password value...

Another idea I had was to include some sort of genetics system, whereby you could alter the DNA of monsters resident on a planet. Perhaps you could craft a virus and infect a corpse with it, other monsters eat the corpse, the virus spreads and affects the monsters in some way, changing their characteristics either positively or negatively. But you have to be careful not to infect yourself with the virus then, if an infected monster bites you or you eat the monster corpse for food etc.

Programming / Re: Damn The Rats
« on: August 24, 2013, 09:45:15 PM »
Thanks for the ideas guys, some real good stuff in there  :)

So, rats, for example, may deal more damage or be harder to hit when the user is wearing Plate Mail or wielding a Great Sword. Because we´re in an area where the diversity of enemies would demand Plate Mail, Rats are now a peculiar challenge. However, in earlier levels, where there are ONLY rats, we don´t even have to think about the equipment we´re using, we just pick the best for the job. Perhaps, instead, rats deal more damage the more rats are adjacent to you and now we´re in a wide open space... there are many ways to allow the rules of the game to weave greater complexity without messing with numbers.

I hadn't thought of it that way before, but you are most certainly right. One thing I like in roguelikes is the feeling that your decisions matter, I think creating that is definitely a mark of good gameplay.

Programming / Damn The Rats
« on: August 21, 2013, 05:21:29 AM »
So I'm working on my own roguelike at the moment and I started thinking about character progression. I really like the idea of being able to 'level up' or gain more strength as time goes on and come back to those level 1 rats I barely managed to hit when I started to just wipe several of them out in one shot. But of course once you can do that it quickly gets boring, there's no point to killing the rats anymore.

On that note I was thinking of alternatives to the whole 'you level up, they level up' system, and I thought, what if the stronger enemies could use the weaker enemies as a deadly weapon?

So for example, a high ranking goblin casts a spell on a couple of rats and turns them into dragons, or perhaps the goblin kills a few of the rats to summon death then casts a curse (curse of death perhaps) on you so when death shows up in a couple of turns you have to try to fight him off as well whilst the goblin runs and locks himself away somewhere. Excuse the wildness, I'm just a fan of novel AI.

Just a couple of ideas off the top of my head... Anyone got any thoughts?

Programming / Re: "Realistic" magic casting criteria
« on: August 17, 2013, 02:38:56 PM »
I think what you're saying is you want to build a magic system that exists for some logical reason, not simply by some unexplained or mystical method like the god of magic etc...

You could always explain it with symbols that need to be 'charged' or activated by the element they represent in order to release their power.

So for example, a goblet inscribed with pictures of the sun can only be used where there is sunlight, stone magic items need to be placed on a rock to activate etc.

Programming / Re: Fluff
« on: August 17, 2013, 02:33:22 PM »
To me, the bigger concern would is that too much of this sort of thing could lead to a divided and unfocused game.

That's a very good point actually. My ultimate design goal is to create a defined game world and within that world you can either choose to play the traditional roguelike structure (encouraged) or you can go off and speak to characters, explore places and play more rpg or adventure mode. The idea being that you can dip into the side quests (fluff) when you need to stock up on some resources or gather knowledge etc.

I see what you mean about Omega though, very unbalanced.

Programming / Fluff
« on: August 17, 2013, 01:44:45 AM »
Hi guys,

New guy here...

I've just started developing my own roguelike (started work a few months ago but suspended it till now), anyway the whole development thing has got me thinking, I want to make a roguelike that is a full, immersive game but with enough 'fluff' in there to make it work as a coffee break roguelike too.

By fluff I mean, if you don't want to explore the dungeons, go on quests etc, why not stay in the overworld town, sneak into a rival guild, set some traps, stand back and watch as the members chase you out and set the traps off, a healthy loot available... That's just an example of course.

Anyway my point being, is there a point at which you can have so much 'fluff' content, non essential, optional 'story driven' interaction available that your game stops being or feeling like a roguelike?

I think it would fit into my game quite well as they'll be an active overworld community full of interaction (all of course, procedurally generated) but I can't picture whether or not this 'depth of play' outside of a dungeon would make it less of a roguelike...

Maybe I'm overthinking this whole thing, I'm fairly tired..

Anyway, see you around

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