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Messages - Paul Jeffries

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Programming / Re: Order of Execution In Turn Based Roguelikes
« on: August 07, 2020, 04:20:04 PM »
I'm assuming the context of this is mainly scenarios where an AI is deciding between moving/attacking/whatevering two or more different tiles which are equally 'attractive' so far as the AI is concerned?

In situations like that I usually add a randomised modifier to the scoring for each tile which depending on the magnitude can be used to tie-break or (if big enough) to make the AI occasionally make 'mistakes' and not always take the optimal path.  So, technically I go clockwise but in effect it's randomised.  I can see how that wouldn't work in a more puzzle-orientated game where enemy behaviour needs to be 100% predictable, however.

Early Dev / Re: Golden Krone Hotel
« on: November 07, 2016, 12:14:52 AM »
I did douse the lights, but it didn't help much since her lightning bolt attacks were illuminating the area, which let the seven-odd other humans she had around her spot me and clobber me to death.  To be honest, it's probably a good thing she was difficult, since the 19-intelligence-and-L3-lightning build I had was letting me blast through most other enemies without issues (provided I could stay human and find food).  Hmm... maybe next time I'll try the same build but take Swap as another one of my magic slots and use it to pull her away from her bodyguards into a side-room somewhere before vamping out...

The vamps-ignore-vamps and humans-ignore-humans mechanics don't really make sense and seem a bit artificial and ridiculous when you are murdering their supposed allies right in front of them or switch from one to the other mid-fight (and receive their immediate forgiveness), plus of course there shouldn't really be anything stopping me as the player attacking others of my own kind if I wanted to... but it does lead to some interesting gameplay trying to work around that system, so I'm not too sure what to suggest there.

Early Dev / Re: Golden Krone Hotel
« on: November 06, 2016, 09:38:12 PM »
Bought it, played it, loved it!  It's cool seeing how far this has come from the 7DRL all those years ago.  My best run so far has been as a scholar focusing on magic - got 3/4 rings but then got slaughtered in the library because my vampire-fu was weak.  Is there a way to aggro humans while in human form?  I managed to turn one of them into a werewolf though not entirely sure how.  (Magic + moonlight?)

Come across a couple of minor interface bugs:
- When selecting a spell to learn using the A or D keys, you also move.
- I once turned back into a human and was killed the same turn, but the spell-learning interface from the grimoires I'd been carrying still came up instead of the game over message.

Design / Re: Corridors considered harmful
« on: June 23, 2016, 08:59:22 PM »
I take the point, and agree that games where corridors are always the optimal place to fight are boring, but a game where corridors are never the optimal place to fight because there are no corridors would also be pretty dull.  And where do you go from there?  Fighting with your back to a wall is always optimal so you take out all the walls?  I would say that a lot of roguelikes would be improved by having significantly less corridors, but I wouldn't get rid of them entirely.

In the same way as everything else in a tactical game, you ideally want to make it so that fighting in a corridor is sometimes optimal and sometimes not.  Fortunately, there are an absolute shit-tonne of mechanics you can employ to this end, some of which are so common as to be almost ubiquitous in Roguelikes anyway.  Such as:

- The risk of getting trapped between two enemies
- Limited time to kite enemies back to corridors (hunger clock)
- Limited vision in corridors (darkness, corners)
- Enemies difficult to kite (ranged enemies, fast enemies, teleporting enemies, smart enemies, fleeing thieves)
- Area-of-effect abilities (spells, Brogue-like weapons)
- Bouncing spells (magic missile)
- Allies
- Different terrain types (water, high ground)
- Mana-/Stamina-limited abilities
- Reflecting explosions
- Dodging mechanics that require an empty space
- Barriers to retreating indefinitely (closing doors)
- And Many More!

Something I've not seen any roguelikes do but that might be quite cool would be to model the way that in Dark Souls and/or real life, you don't want to fight in enclosed spaces with certain weapons because of the difficulty of getting your swing on.  An accuracy modifier based on your weapon and the number of wall tiles you're next to would be a pretty straightforward way of doing it, and may make the choice of where to fight a bit more interesting.

DoomRL seems like the obvious answer.

7DRLs / Arachne [7DRL 2016 - Success!]
« on: March 13, 2016, 01:15:48 PM »

Long ago, it is said, Arachne the Spinner was cursed by the goddess Athena, mutated into a spider as punishment for her arrogance.  Arachne now dwells far below the earth in the caverns of the underworld, ruling over a kingdom of monsters and sending out her children to spy on the world above.  Bitten by one such spider, you find yourself succumbing to the same curse, slowly transforming into a terrifying half-spider monstrosity.

Cast out from your village, you have but one hope to undo what has been done; to travel deep into Arachne's domain and slay her before the transformation is complete.  No mere human could possibly hope to navigate the web-filled caverns, but your new form has granted you powers that mean you may just stand a chance...

Arachne is a roguelike that takes place on dynamically deforming spiderwebs that you can use your amazing spider-powers to alter in various ways.


Incubator / Re: Would you play Pirate Rogue?
« on: March 10, 2016, 03:12:15 PM »
I created a 7DRL a few years ago called 7DArrrrL, which had a basic premise that sounds very similar to what you are trying to do.  It was pretty much a total failure, but that's largely because I wasted most of the week creating an overly complex sailing simulation and forgot to put in any decent gameplay.  I still think the basic concept was good.

One lesson from that failure that I'll pass on was that you need to decide how realistic you want ship-to-ship combat to be.  I went for 'very', but it's hard to make that accessible and fun because in real life sailing ships are big, slow and not very maneuverable.  A lot of players didn't really understand the underlying physics, tried to steer directly into the wind and then were upset when the game wouldn't let them do that.  I played Assassin's Creed: Black Flag a little while afterwards and was slightly annoyed that it treats ships as basically big wet cars that can turn on a sixpence, but I have to concede that the combat in that game was a lot more fun.

Off-topic (Locked) / Re: Chaos Reborn aka Julian Gollop Returns
« on: February 28, 2016, 06:32:52 PM »
They did say they'd be back...

On topic:  I've been playing this a bit recently and it's nice but I don't like how chance-dependent it is.  All spells, attacks etc. have a % chance to work and outcomes are entirely binary (i.e. you either kill something or you don't, there's no hitpoints), which means that a run of bad luck can be absolutely catastrophic because there's no incremental success or failure to average out the vagaries of fortune.  I never played the original Chaos so I don't know whether that's just in the spirit of the original, however.

7DRLs / Re: Question about 7DRL rules - previously written code?
« on: February 17, 2016, 09:22:14 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it too much; 7DRL is largely a personal challenge with no prize except (possibly) recognition, so the only person you can really cheat is yourself.  The important thing so far as other people are concerned is just to be honest about what was done in the week and what wasn't - the only major bit of controversy I remember was one group who claimed to have made all their art during the challenge when the datestamps on their asset files showed differently.

Design / Re: Issues with Rogue-likes from a Rogue-like dev
« on: February 03, 2016, 09:58:03 PM »
I listened to this mainly to see whether the Black Shell guys sounded like the dodgy used-car-salesman stereotype I had in my head.

The Roguelikes-as-Slot-Machines thing is something I think you have to take game-by-game; I don't see it being intrinsic or endemic to the genre.  I thought that the 'Roguelikes are easy to balance' comment a little later on betrayed a certain lack of insight; where Roguelikes are chance-driven is largely not the result of design intent but of poor balancing of generated content.

Design / Re: Sorting order of inventory
« on: November 09, 2015, 09:16:37 PM »
Something that I like in Wazhack (and maybe some other games?) is that the first category in the inventory is 'recent & marked' items, so items that you've just picked up or have specifically marked as frequently used always show up at the top of the list.  (One thing I don't like about this system, though, is that they don't also show up in the categorised list, so I sometimes scroll all the way down to the bottom to find a weapon, then realise it's 'recent' and have to scroll all the way back up to the top again - I recommend showing it twice instead).

Development Process & non-technical / Re: a question regarding balance
« on: November 04, 2015, 09:52:23 PM »
Setting aside things like damage reduction, critical hits and so on, there are two important unknown factors to consider in the dagger vs sword question as-asked:

1. Are you modelling DPS (I think it's perfectly obvious what you meant by that term) using wind-ups or cool-downs?  i.e. when using the sword do you skip a turn, then inflict damage, or do you inflict damage, then skip a turn?  If the former the dagger has the advantage, if the latter the sword does because in those cases there is a 50% chance of the weapon killing the enemy one turn before the other would.  An additional disadvantage of the first option is that the enemy could potentially 'dodge' the attack by moving away in that first turn.
2.  What other options do you have in combat other than attacking and how frequently will they be decisive?  This is really a question of how much worse the sword is than the dagger because the sword is locking you into a certain course of action for a turn.  Whether or not this matters depends on what else you could be doing during that turn - drinking potions, casting spells, running away and so on.  The dagger will give you a faster 'reaction speed', better able to adjust your tactics on-the-fly to changes in the situation, but if all you're likely to be doing is bumping away turn after turn anyway then that may not work out to be all that much of an advantage.

Early Dev / Re: Aliens R Loveable
« on: October 30, 2015, 12:04:00 AM »
I had a quick play with it, but I found it pretty much impossible to control because the key repeat rate is so high - if I hold down a key for a fraction of a second I end up halfway across the map.

The opening cutscene is pretty cool, though - not many roguelikes have one of those!

Design / Re: Thoughts on this "Hunger" system.
« on: September 01, 2015, 09:05:06 PM »
I'm not sure I see the point of having two separate bars when the effects of each seem to be basically the same.  Something like dehydration causing HP damage while hunger just reduces strength might be a bit more interesting.  Having two sets of resources also seems like something that would be more aggravating than fun.  In a typical roguelike if you can't find food on a floor (perhaps because it's been placed in a hidden room or something) you can decide to hurry down to the next one to get the food there.  With your system the risk of missing food/water becomes harder to mitigate because finding a resource of one type won't help you if you're low on the other.  That makes the player very dependent on the RNG providing both food and water drops in convenient places and intervals.

I also don't really see the point of having starving/dehydration starting at 50 and running out twice as fast.  Why not just start at 25 and run the normal speed?  The only difference I can see would be that with your system if food/drink added the same amount to the starving/dehydration meter as it did to hunger/thirst it would be much harder to recover from going into those states in the first place because you'd need twice as much food/water for each turn.  This sounds like a prime case of what I call a 'Fuck-You-Feedback-Loop' (of which I am not a fan).  I would say you should actually do the opposite - i.e. make starving/dehydration go down half as quickly as normal.  That then gives the player an interesting decision - by starving/dehydrating themselves they become weaker but can make their resources last longer overall, so 'rationing' becomes a viable tactic (with the added bonus that it also seems like a more realistic representation of the way human metabolisms actually work).

Design / Re: My thoughts on deep mechanics.
« on: August 20, 2015, 07:37:13 PM »
But eating a prophetic book to achieve prophetic powers, hell yeah, that's what I'm all about.

I can confirm that this really works.  I ate a copy of The Prophesies of Nostradamus and immediately had the strong and 100% accurate premonition that I was going to throw up.

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