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Messages - mariodonick

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Programming / Re: Sword of Light
« on: May 15, 2009, 07:10:15 AM »
I like the writing style of the intro and world generation text very much. Remind me of my own *g*

Sorry, but this is not interesting to read. It is generic and boring without any "soul", and after a few turns you will recognize the patterns a text is built of.

Good IF should have sool and unique writing, style, atmosphere. This is why I don't play MUDs anymore, but stick with real IF, because esp. the newer ones are more literature than game. I agree, however, that many players might play a generic singleplayer RL-MUD.

What about distance as a form of language.  "You enter the vault and see before you a Berserker 3 steps/paces away/to the East/South/Northwest/etc, an Archer 5 "" away, and a glowing Scroll Scroll 1 step ahead of you sitting in a large pool of blood.  Action"

This is the description part. And now make it interesting to read.

A IF + RGP game, putting in a random world will cross over into IF + RL quite well.

This sounds as if it's enough to have a random world and gameplay with RPG mechanics to create a roguelike. For me, the main problem is: in a RL, you see a rather big part of the world, 'cause you have a certain view distance. In a MUD or IF you often see only one "tile" and its exits at a time.

So how do you want to describe the following from the player's position as text?


In a roguelike, you can plan tactically. In IF or MUD you had to write tons of texts just to describe this situation AND to make this text interesting to read.

Of course you could say that the tactical approach of RLs is not important; but then, imo, its not a RL anymore.

A random generated MUD would surely be an option as a game genre on its own, but I wonder how someone would implement the tactical gameplay (based on FOV and LOS) of roguelikes. I also think that a single player MUD had to go very strongly in the IF direction to be entertaining, just to avoid boring descriptions. A MUD for multiplayer works well, because it is a room for socializing; there are more important things to do than interacting with the barely described environment. (I know that there a MUDs with very good descriptions; the works of Iron Realms are a very good example of this, like Achaea, Aetoilia etc.)

Whatever, if the simple, often boring "just facts" descriptions of MUDs without any artistic prose were added to the normal dungeon view of a RL, this would not improve anything, as everything important is visible (and better visible as texts could describe it) on the map anyway.

I believe that the IF part in a RL should add things not possible before. Add spice to the dungeon view, so to say.

I agree to AgingMinotaur and his link to structuralism might be helpful. However, just some thoughts of my own on the topic, as I'm struggling with both sides (IF and RL), too.

For me, the most important point in IF is to provide a relevant (in the sense of pragmatics and psycholinguistics), aesthetic and interactive textual experience. This does not only include prescribed plots one can explore in the classical "you're standing in front of a tree. It's leaves are bright green"-style, but also smaller parts of texts with a coherence (again in the sense of linguistics) of some kind. Thus, a classical story is not necessary for intriguing IF, as long as there is a minimum set of elements adding to cognitive representations that can be filed under a certain "topic". In easier words: Give me bits of text and as long as these bits create a coherent imagination, the coherence requirement is fulfilled. However, I will only "play" this IF if it fulfills the aesthetic requirement (consisting of a good writing style, atmospheric descriptions etc.) as well as the interactive requirement (possibilities to manipulate the environment, to talk with NPCs etc.)

I think the 1st, mainly structural, requirement is the connection to RL, at least as long you imagine something while playing (I know, however, that many players don't connect the symbols to anything; not fighting the dragon which is associated by convention with that D, but indeed the actual D). So it is possible to have random generated environments which nevertheless offer texts that add to the coherence I spoke of. Legerdemain is a good example, the descriptions in Incursion also to this category, and I try to achieve something similar in LambdaRogue -- giving lots of information on plot, background story etc. while at the same time not forcing the player to read anything of it, to not reduce the replay value. The player should have fun while caring about the plot, but also while just diving into the dungeons and killing enemies.

It is a difficult task.

Programming / Re: Advanced Dungeons of Freedom
« on: January 08, 2009, 08:02:31 AM »
It won't work. Not because you can't provide the framework (might be possible), but because nobody will write these modules for you.

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Re: Mines of Morgoth v0.76
« on: December 31, 2008, 12:25:28 PM »
Perhaps the movement animation is slowly because it's written in Visual Basic 6.0 ... although DirectX seems to be required. Perhaps the author will optimize it in the final version.

However, I would be happy if it could be played in 800x600, 'cause the default resolution does not fit my netbook screen (1024x600).

I think the start of the game is rather typical, seen esp. in games that follow the Moria-path (e.g. Angband, Diablo 1, LambdaRogue and probably some others). It can be indeed annoying, as I recognized yesterday, while preparing my "Playing LambdaRogue" series in which I want to walkthrough the game with the same character. Being inattentive for just one turn can be the death, and trying to start with a nearly same character again is not that enjoyable. :)

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Re: Mines of Morgoth v0.76
« on: December 31, 2008, 10:40:06 AM »
Ah, months ago I have noticed that game. Thanks for the info and in general your efforts to motivate developers with their projects. :)

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Re: LambdaRogue 1.4 released
« on: December 28, 2008, 08:23:32 PM »
I thought you have to talk to characters in order to advance, but you don't need to do that?

Depends. You _have_ to talk only to 3 or 4 (I don't remember exactly :-P ) NPCs for just winning the game (and the game tells you who these NPCs are). This is mainly for people who are not interested in any store, but just want to dive into the dungeons. But if you want to know more about the background, you have to talk to more NPCs and solve their side-quests. And from these, especially one sidequest is important for the story and changes the way how the game is won.

the details in the game world, something which tells its story without words

This is true, of course. And I think you are again referring to the levels in LambdaRogue which you find are boring. It is great if Kaduria will manage to have many interesting level themes, but obviously this is one of the reasons that this game never will be finished. ;)

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Re: LambdaRogue 1.4 released
« on: December 28, 2008, 03:48:30 PM »
For a person with such a great level of creativity as Krice, it should be piece of cake.

Sounds ironically, correct me if I'm wrong. I just don't like this eternal Krice-bashing. His creative non-roguelike output on his website as well as Teemu show that he indeed _is_ creative. That Teemu gets very repetitive after a while and that Krice is snobistic and arrogant are other questions ;)

I don't know if changes in graphics are counted. Playing feels the same

I explicitly did not mention graphical changes, to avoid this argument. For me, interface is the way how to access gameplay functions, for example entering the name of a saved character instead pressing an associated key to load that savegame.

Or directly pressing F1, F2, ..., F12 to chant associated spells instead first opening the songbook, pressing c and then selecting a spell by pressing an associated key.

Too many turns and too large range

Here you're right, I have a bad feeling about the duration, but for this release I kept it that way.

Now the most disturbing thing, the story question.

You invented the most boring way to advance in a game.

I invented nothing ;) Telling a story in a roguelike is very difficult. You have to ensure that all story elements the game forces you to recognize are as short as possible, to not annoy the player with it when he/she plays it the 5th, 10th, 50th ... time. Thus, most things are told by lore that is optional to read, and players who are not interested in the background don't need to do it. Other players, however, who want to know more about the setting, the world and the events that lead to mankind's current situation have the possiblity to get these information.

It is like appendices in fantasy novels. You can read Tolkien's explainations about languages and culture of the people in Lord of the Rings, but nobody forces you to do so.

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Re: LambdaRogue 1.4 released
« on: December 27, 2008, 02:56:31 PM »
Krice, it is impossibe to fulfill your requirements on a game.

The story is quite generic. I could not concentrate into it or characters which I guess is a bad sign

It's still a roguelike, not a CRPG. For a roguelike it is rather detailed, but you still need to connect the things told ingame with your own imagination -- you are the hero and you have to imagine. Of course you also have to talk to all NPCs and you have to read the scrolls and books.

Didn't see any changes in user interface.

None?? It starts with the replacement of status numbers with graphical bars in SDL mode and ends with the save game menu which does not require you to enter the name of a character anymore. Shops and inventories show if an item is better than your currently equipped item, and messages are shown in a message log. This all counts to user interface.

but the web didn't disappear

It disappears after about 20 - 100 turns. It is true that it can't be destroyed if you are on it, because you can't move. But you could try to pray, for example.


Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / Re: LambdaRogue 1.4 released
« on: December 24, 2008, 08:51:28 AM »
please do consider some method for one to just order the goodies with a credit card

Sending me a (real world) postcard shows me much more that somebody really likes the game and the effort I put into it than sending me money by credit card or paypal ever could.

A button is clicked quickly; throwing a postcard in a postbox is not _that_ easy.


Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / LambdaRogue 1.4 released
« on: December 23, 2008, 08:27:34 PM »
It is done. I have released LambdaRogue 1.4, the most important update of this roguelike RPG since the 0.3 beta version.

Changes include:

* enhanced main quest and new sidequests, including the epic search for a danger from the past
* re-balanced nearly everything, to smoothen the gaming experience
* new dungeon features
* enhancements to the magic system
* lots of interface improvements, both in SDL and in console mode
* an overall new look and feel (at least in SDL mode)
* two additional music tracks
* sound effects (in addition to the music)
* tons of bug fixes and minor changes


Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / LambdaRogue 1.3 released
« on: November 22, 2008, 11:53:50 AM »
I have released an update of the LambdaRogue roguelike. Currently only Windows binaries (installer as well as zip-archive) and the source are available. The linux version will follow within the next days.

This version introduces some features which make the gameplay more interesting, although most things are known from other roguelikes:

* find your way through dark rooms where nothing is visible
* beware of spider webs which entrap you as well as monsters
* search for hidden doors
* sit down on stools to regain PP
* use bookshelves to study and train your skills when no academy is in sight
* destroy barrels to reveal items
* if you're a thief, steal money from NPCs or items from traders

Please note that the total attack value is now your Fight-skill plus your current weapon's WP. If your related weapon-skill is lower than your weapon's WP, the difference is subtracted from the total attack value.

This change has been introduced to make the different weapon skills more useful. Formerly you could just spend lots of skill points to your Fight-skill, ignoring the weapon-skills, and still perform well. Now you have to train your weapon-skills if you want to use a weapon as efficiently as possible.

Besides these changes, there have been numerous (and some major) bugs fixed, among them are:

* you can now quit and save the game when your character is paralyzed
* quests which were broken in LambdaRogue 1.2 can now be solved again
* non-working items should be fixed now
* ammunition is always visible again

Finally, thanks to rayres, corremn, stu and radio_babylon for hints on the battle system, in r.g.r.misc and in comments in the LambdaRogue blog.

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