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Messages - CoachWade

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Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 05, 2009, 09:03:15 PM »
Seeing as the 7drl challenge starts in 2 days, let's do it after it's over, ok?

Roger that. Have fun and good luck!


Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 05, 2009, 08:43:39 PM »
Hi folks!

I haven't had a lot of time to respond. I'm preparing for a coaching presentation I'm giving this weekend in Texas, but I appreciate the advice and responses to my ideas.

Ido, I got your email and I like your idea. I'll get back to you more, later on. (I'd do it now, but my school has Hotmail locked out for all staff members as well as all students. Grrr!)

Thanks everyone. Have a great weekend and I'll be back to pester you with more questions on Monday.


Early Dev / THANKS!
« on: March 03, 2009, 02:25:34 AM »
Guys, I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for their comments, feedback, and suggestions. I'm not even a novice programmer, and I'm barely a novice roguelike gamer, but everyone has patiently answered my questions and tried to steer me in the right direction in a respectful and courteous manner.

I really appreciate it. You guys make the roguelike community shine. I'm privileged to consider that I'll eventually be among your number.



Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 03, 2009, 02:22:38 AM »
It's not so hard.  I picked programming up from scratch last September, and got a basic game out in January, in spite of having very little time to learn or do work on it.  And I started from absolute scratch, inventing my own line-drawing algorithms and so on (because I was too dumb to read other peoples code). 

Yeah, but you're smarter than I am, Darren. :)

Free Pascal helped a lot - it's very easy to learn if you have no coding history.  If you want to code purely for gaming then you really don't need to know much programming - just some basic display and math libraries and how to handle conditions and loops.  If you want a well-coded game you can learn pointers and OOP, but it's actually not necessary.  Another important thing to remember is to start out small - your ideas are big, and won't get anywhere unless you start out with an extremely stunted version of them.

For help on learning some basics it can do a lot of good to read some article on RogueBasin.  An excellent starting point is this one:

This is more great stuff. I was looking at Free Pascal earlier today and there seemed to be a lot of resources out there to support new learners. I noted there was something that Christian Knudsen of AsciiSector used called "SDL" that apparently makes the games easier to code as well. (But I haven't got a clue what that is.)

I would like to proffer the game cross platform. Does Free Pascal require anything special to compile software for multiple operating systems?

In speaking of starting small, I think the easiest way to start out would be to code a single character class (fighter comes to mind) a single monster type (kobold or orcs or something) and a basic randomized dungeon with a single type of treasure. Once this is stable other aspects can be added on a piecemeal basis.

Maybe I should solicit for previous experience: how did everyone here code their first-ever game?

If there's one thing I've learned from coaching football, it's that reinventing the wheel is a waste of time. I'm sure someone else here came up with something way more cooler than I'm likely to come up with to start.

Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 03, 2009, 02:10:16 AM »
Maybe right the story? make the quests more interesting?  Talk to the programmer and figure out how to make existing stuff better, and so on.

I have definitely considered that and I think it would be great. If nothing else it would help me cut my teeth.

Actually, I really like that idea. Right now I'm a student teacher, which means that I'm working in a classroom under the watchful eye of a host teacher with 23 years of teaching experience.

The most ideal way to gain experience in this sort of project, in my (inexpert) opinion, would be to work on someone else's project, have them give short assignments ("Code this dungeon." "Insert these new weapons into the game.") and keep them out of trouble.

This is the way teachers are trained, coaches are trained (usually a coach spends years as an assistant before taking a position as a head coach), and even military and civilian jobs train their people. It's almost like "shadowing."

I really think it's a GREAT idea.

So, who needs a complete and utter liability... er... I mean who needs a writer with no coding experience to help them develop their roguelike?

Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 03, 2009, 02:00:55 AM »

Actually if you look at the AD&D CRPGs they in fact often improvised a little with the spell effects.

As rule system for a CRPG or roguelike its just not an ideal choice because there are too many rules and too little system. Its not impossible or stupid to try, its just .. a bit on the tedious side to implement  faithfully.

Magellan, this is EXACTLY the sort of feedback I was looking for on my ideas! Thank you!

I've been thinking about exactly how I might implement various of these. I think your idea of adding a seventh statistical variable (to cover the variance from strength 18/01 to 18/00) is a solid one.

As for the spells, I think that it would start with selected spells at first, especially direct damage and direct defense. (Magic Missile and Shield, for example.) These would have immediate and easily developed affects, I would think (Everything is easy when you haven't got a clue how the hell it's done!)

I was also considering how spells would recharge, and I think that "sleep and study" might not be as effective as the standard gaming tradition of "spell points" that gradually recharge (I was thinking of about one point per round.)

This is great stuff, guys. Thanks everyone for the feedback and ideas! I don't know if this will ever happen, but if it does it'll be as a result of all your input!


Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 02, 2009, 10:47:32 PM »
I'm afraid you have a rather low chance of finding someone to program your design for you (unless you offer to pay for it of course).  You'd probably be better off learning how to program, it's not so difficult and you will gain a remarkably marketable skill in the process.

You're probably correct. However, learning to program with an end goal in mind is a bit different than having programming experience and moving on to an extensive project.

By that I mean that learning to program from scratch is one thing. Learning to program from scratch on a multi-thousand line programmed game is something else. At my current "Hello World" level of programming expertise, simply understanding the dungeon creation algorithms and how they are used is asking quite a bit.

Realistically, I think most people, and I am no exception, would hit the wall of frustration early, put the program away, and never complete it. I'd rather work with a programmer who can help me along as I gain expertise, but generally prevent me from stepping on my weenie.

It's not so much a desire for someone else to program my opus as it is a desire to actually complete the darn thing once it's started. I know where my skills and talents really lie, and programming ain't it, so I'd like to play to my strengths and shore them up with the talents of others.

IF, of course, that's possible, and it may not be.


Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 02, 2009, 09:45:27 PM »
as you confess you are neither a roguelike afficionado nor a programmer.
Let me therefore tell you that the retro look of the roguelike is decieving!

Actually, I didn't select rogues based on a perception of simplicity, but on a perception of complexity. There are about two dozen 3D game engines out there that could be used to develop an RPG with a AD&D flavor, but I wanted something that met the following five criteria:

1) Minimal processor and graphics use. I want this to be playable on my Asus EEEPC 901 as well as on a top of the line gaming system.

2) Complexity in character. AD&D uses six traditional statistics that all have affects on gameplay: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. The best engine I found other than a rogue was a 3D engine requiring some preposterous graphics card-- and that only allowed four player stats that actually had a noticeable affect on the game.

3) Unlimited scope of weapons, treasure items, and monsters. AD&D 1E has four key books FULL of detail that can be added: DMG, PHB, and both MMs. Rogues allow for this more easily than drawing 3D graphics. (Even a tile set would take forever.)

4) Story over graphics. Tying into #3, I would rather spend time writing a decent storyline than drawing pictures. For one thing, I have much more talent as a writer than as an artist, and for another, pretty pictures look nice during the first ten minutes of gameplay, and then they are forgotten in favor of the story-- if the story is well done. The local gamestop has shelves of games with pretty graphics and atrocious story and gameplay.

5) Flexibility and inflexibility where needed. AD&D has a lot of interpretation for the rules. (Who, for example, EVER uses level limits for non-human PCs?) Rogues seem to offer unlimited flexibility in delivery of content, and yet can also be set to be rigid where necessary to keep players focused on a goal.

Random levels are not: It basically means that you need to program something that can compete wit a human level designer. And there are people out there who can make a living out of designing levels.

I'm not certain what you mean by this. Every roguelike ever programmed has an engine capable of developing levels at random that can compete with a human level designer (apparently). I mean, we're all still playing them for one reason or another, right? (Although I just started, of course.) About the only necessary change would be to assign specific sections to each level and randomize the rest.

Take Diablo. The levels are random, but "somewhere" on level four will be the Butcher's den.  and "somewhere" on level five will be the poisoned well. Everything else, including monsters, is random.

2nd straight AD&D.
Dont get me wrong, i love 2nd ed and wouldnt touch 3rd ed with an 11 foot pole. But there are 2 reasons why it doesnt lend itself well for a computer game in general, and a roguelike in particular.

I think you misunderstood me. I want to do this in AD&D FIRST edition. Second edition, as you mentioned, has too much flexibility to work well without a human referee. First edition is a different game than anything d20 based.

1) Exceptions, exceptions, exceptions to each and every rule.

Not really. Everyone plays by house rules, thus the game would have its own rules assigned by the DM-- in this case the game designers. It's the same philosophy that brought us "Pool of Radiance" and "Baldur's Gate."

2) its party oriented. single L1 wizard going adventuring? In a roguelike? (Go to dungeon, cast magic missile, run away, get out, rest 24 hours, repeat) ;)

I had actually considered this and come up with two potential scenarios.

a) A multiple-character party. This would be more like real tabletop gaming and more fun, but harder to program and likely necessitate the development of an engine just for this game. If this were to be the final solution decided on by the development team, I would envision a four-character party similar to Ultima III: Exodus. (Especially when considering that there are four character classes available: fighter, mage, cleric, and thief.) Players could double up (two fighters, one thief, one cleric) or go nuts (four thieves) just as they did with the eminently playable UIII. (Still one of my favorite games, thank you Leon of Lairware!)

and b) Playing mages is damn tough. If you pick a mage you're at a disadvantage. Consider the original Diablo. About 1/3 of the monsters were magic resistant, including Diablo, who was resistant to ALL forms of magic (except Holy Bolt, I think-- like you're going to use a weapon that does 3-6 points of damage against a creature with 1400 hit points!) Playing a mage meant you got dead most of the time.

Really, I don't see it as all THAT much different from Castle of the Winds, where magic is key to survival, and resting means that you generally get bum-rushed by every creature within a 600-square radius. If a mage needs to rest to regain spells, fine. He does so at his own risk-- after all, no one bent your arm and demanded that you play a mage.

If you are mainly interested in AD & D check out this site and forgotten realms unlimited adventures:

I will, thanks!

Please don't misinterpret my responses. You are both a programmer AND a roguelike afficianado, so I value your input. I'm not arguing with you, merely stating the things I have thought through as I have considered this project. Your responses made me do some further thinking, and I appreciate that.

I still think this is a doable project, but I need someone with some programming expertise involved. I'm not sure that even a preprogrammed engine will be able to cut the mustard on this bad boy.

Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:56:18 PM »

Thanks for that link. I ran several searches and didn't see anything reasonable come up. I'll give it a look see and let you know what I think.



Programming / Re: Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:42:25 PM »

why 1sted over 2nded or 3.5ed or boring d20? why not any of the other million classic rulesets?

Hi Stu;

I think you answered your own question there, actually. While I have played every published edition of AD&D I absolutely detest the direction the games have moved since 1998. Wizards, especially, has taken the focus less from role playing and more towards roll playing. Where 1stE thieves had to disarm a trap by using their wits (I take a tent spike from my pack and use it to jam the pressure plate.) now it's simply, "I roll to open the lock. There, done! What treasure did I get?"

I don't want to spark off a firestorm here. D20 is someone's favorite system after all, but I don't care for it. (And I'm not interested in an argument about it, either. I don't like lima beans and I'd rather no one else tried to convince me that they are better than snow peas, which is an argument that makes about as much sense as trying to convince someone else what version of AD&D is the best.)

1stE is simple enough (Four character classes, no kits, no weapon proficiencies, basic skills, if used. Simple character leveling) and well documented enough (Full random monster tables, expansive treasure system, effective weapon lists.) that it could be used with minimal trouble-- provided that some clown with more talent for coaching football than programming doesn't cock up the works.

I also feel that 1stE and 4E (or any step in between) are pretty much different games with different mechanics and systems. Really, there isn't a whole lot that is the same between 4E and 1E-- you could just as easily compare GURPS and 4E or Earthdawn and 1E. All of them are fantasy RPGs with different rolling systems.

So that's my rationale. Next on the horizon: a Star Wars roguelike.

Maybe I should finish this one first, eh?


Programming / Roguelike Game Engines or Developer Wanted.
« on: March 02, 2009, 05:07:31 AM »
Greets everyone.

I have been kicking around an idea for a video game for some time, and I've decided that the best way to develop the idea is not to go with the graphics intensive look that permeates modern gaming, and instead stick with traditional ASCII graphics. I've not been a big player of Roguelikes myself because I don't care for things like permadeath. Also, for some bizarre reason, the authors I'd most want to see games for have been largely left out (David Eddings, Terry Pratchett-- although there is a Discworld version of Angband, Christopher Bunch, etc.) in favor of authors I don't really care for. (No one beat me, please, but I seriously can't STAND J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffery, or Roger Zelazny. It's like there's a conspiracy to make roguelike games ONLY in worlds I personally don't like!)

Having said that, I'm astonished of two things: 1) There are no game engines out there for development of your own roguelike. I'm not sure why, but every RL I read about has been programmed from scratch using source code. Since I'm not a programmer, this leaves me with a creek and a canoe but no paddle.

And 2), why has no one developed a roguelike for the granddaddy of them all? I'm speaking of AD&D 1st edition.

We have at our fingertips a complete gaming world that needs only to be programmed into a roguelike gaming system. We have monsters, courtesy of the Monster Manual I and II. We have a campaign setting, courtesy of the DMG, and we have three classes with five races to draw from in the PHB.

This is my plan. I'd like to develop a roguelike game (preferably a cross-platform one) that would be based in the AD&D worlds (Likely some setting similar to Forgotten Realms). It would have an overarching storyline (I've actually written three or four of them already.) but would feature the traditional roguelike random dungeons and monster placement.

If anyone can point me in the direction of a rogue game engine or a developer looking for his next project, I'd like to see this thing moving forward. I think there's enormous potential for a great game series there.



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