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Messages - AgingMinotaur

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Design / Re: Against the concept of balance
« on: April 22, 2019, 10:28:28 PM »
To be sure, unpredictability is the name of the game. And single player games need to take balance less into account than competitive games. Of course, there are games like Brogue, designed around being very balanced from the outset. That has a distinct coolness, and allows for clever use of bottlenecks and other map features. But to discuss the other end of the scale, RLs do seem to lend themselves well to unbalanced design. Random generation itself tends to lead down this road, perhaps, since the outcomes are less predictable to the designer, as well :P But if you have enough moving parts, the odd unbalanced situations may even each other out in the long run 8)

It's a tried and tested recipe in RLs, and Rogue itself had this: Randomness decides that some positions are unwinnable (like starting in the middle of a monster zoo), whilst others give rare advantages. It becomes very much like a game of chance: You keep rolling the dice, hoping for what you need to show up. It can work if the turnaround of characters is quick/interesting enough, or other factors make the game well rounded. Typical of many classics is that leveling up (aka grinding) can give a more stable mid-to-end game. Or features like nonpersistent levels and random loot provide various ways out of most tight spots. Some RLs are just open ended enough that even locally unwinnable positions are possible to overcome: by backtracking, taking a detour, running for your life, or somehow mac gyvering your way out ;) Some very expansive games like Caves of Qud excel in this department.

Done well, random unbalance provide some very exquisite pleasures, on both ends of the power scale – from beating a very difficult position by spending your resources wisely, to reaching the godlike level where you're slicing through previously feared foes as were they butter. The funny thing is that even with lucky characters, odds are you will make a wrong move at the exact worst moment and still end up bulldozed by some random mob.

As always,

Early Dev / Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« on: April 21, 2019, 12:32:23 AM »
Mark! Glad to see you are back in the saddle 8) All the best.

As always,


As always,

https. I just tried to enter http in the address bar, but the url is automatically corrected to https, and I get the same prompt.

As always,

Yep, still happening.

As always,

Temple of the Roguelike / Re: The Temple is crumbling down...
« on: March 26, 2019, 06:58:12 AM »
To be clear, I don't think many users have ran away scared because you're so edgy, krice. It's rather that people come here to discuss Roguelikes, not listen to some random dude's whining and mostly off topic rants (flame wars about genre definitions and languages get old fast).

Lacking moderation may well have something to do with the declining activity the last years, as well as a general tendency towards newer forums. Not sure what, if anything, can be done to turn the trend around. I'm also becoming more and more of a sporadic forum user. When I do, I usually turn to reddit's rldev board, which is okay, but maybe I'm just old fashioned for missing the temple's glory days.

As always,

Off-topic (Locked) / Re: Which operative system do you use?
« on: March 07, 2019, 12:03:33 PM »
Oh, right :-[ Talking to bots again… Didn't see that little link in the signature.

As always,

Off-topic (Locked) / Re: Which operative system do you use?
« on: March 06, 2019, 03:39:36 PM »
i would want to try something different for a change.

Maybe try and see if you like one of the "user friendly" Linux distros, like Ubuntu or Mint.

As always,

Programming / Re: PYTHON: pros and cons for rougelike development
« on: February 02, 2019, 01:38:45 AM »
@Minotsur, great reply thank you; what are the reason for the bottleneck effect you are referring to? do you know any roguelikes which would be not working good enough if they were written in python for this reason you mention?
It can for instance arise with nested loops (loops of loops). I mentioned AI, because if you have a lot of actors moving at the same time, you risk doing a lot of calculations between each turn. For instance, my game sometimes has forests of semi-intelligent plants, which would mimic critter AI to do stuff like seed spitting at passers-by. But just adding all the plants to the game's list of actors caused the application to start to lag, so I had to build in some shortcuts to let the plants not be actors as such, but still able to do their thing.

Map generation can also be a CPU sink, especially if your code is a bit clunky, like searching through a lot of empty space multiple times, failing and retrying from scratch a lot, etc. At least, that occurs as loading before levels. In my game, it takes a few seconds now and then to generate a new chunk of the world map. I've looked into process threading as a way to avoid visible lag, by letting the game dynamically generate surrounding areas in the background, simultaneously as the player is playing.

Regarding other games this applies to, I can't with authority name any in particular. But I would imagine stuff like Dwarf Fortress, with a lot of moving parts and dwarfs minding their business. In any case, a fairly complex AI is still a lot less CPU-heavy than real time 3D rendering and such. If Python won't allow you to brute force your way through any grotesque mass of data, you can at least strive for good design in the first place. Ie. make the game's rules in a way that makes sense to you as the game master; instead of having a zillion things testing for a zillion conditions, focus on the interesting things/conditions that will actually occur 8)

As always,

Programming / Re: PYTHON: pros and cons for rougelike development
« on: January 30, 2019, 11:30:20 PM »
I mistype too often to be cool with a language where you don't explicitly declare your variables.
That's actually a very good point! ::)

As always,

Programming / Re: PYTHON: pros and cons for rougelike development
« on: January 30, 2019, 11:27:29 PM »
I didn't know any programming when I started with Python. But I found it easy to get into, and so far it's been able to do what I want, so I haven't regretted my choice. The official documentation is clear and thorough, and there are tools available for many specialized tasks, often in the form of modules. For example pygame, libtcodpy or ncurses can provide you with a framework for quickly getting an @ moving on screen. I don't know how the documentation on libtcodpy is, but there's at least one tutorial that's supposed to be good.

In the context of (underground) Roguelike development, Python is adequate for many kind of projects. It can be quick'n'dirty enough that you can cough up a prototype for an idea in a day or two. But it can also be used for much larger projects. On computers, Python is quite portable, and it's easy to make binaries for at least the three major OSes. However, Python is not the thing if you want to develop for Android or iOS.

One objective weakness of the language is in terms of pure computational speed, but that probably won't matter much for many Roguelikes. But bottlenecks might come instead with stuff like AI if you have a lot of actors walking around and observing each other.

To mention it, Python is the closest thing to a "real" programming language I know at all. And while I don't know if Python encourages sloppy programming, I know I "get along" with my own, so you may have to take my advice with a grain of salt ;) I've thought about trying a game engine, but maybe for a different kind of project than my current clunky masterpiece. I imagine you get some more freedom with Python. Of course, you get even more if you drop down to deeper-level languages like C/C++. It would depend on your needs, tastes and way of thinking what fits best. I do sometimes feel the urge to learn at least a bit of C, if only to get a clearer grasp of the fundamentals. But I also wouldn't mind the possibility of merging C code with the Python scripts to speed up calculations here and there (those AI bottlenecks).

As always,

Wow, it's really cool to see LambdaRogue resurface. We've kept you in our hearts all this time. Congrats, and good luck ahead!

As always,

Early Dev / Re: Nihilist -- Experimental
« on: November 28, 2018, 10:14:39 AM »
Hey, I did take a look now. It's still pretty bare bones, so the main comment at the moment is just to carry on building on what you have.

Interface-wise, it felt a bit odd to have to press enter after each single letter command. It'd be smoother if wasd-movement (and maybe arrow-keys as well) registered instantly. I was also a bit perplexed that you use "<" for stairs down and ">" for stairs up, opposite of conventional RLs, but maybe there's some hidden meaning to that?

Regarding the mini-games, I looked in the source to find out how to "solve" the encryption puzzles ;) The current implementation is obviously a placeholder, so difficult to comment before there's actual gameplay in there. Combat: Felt a bit bland at the moment, or rather, again, like a placeholder for a more fleshed out system. I like the idea of deterministic combat, but there wasn't much going on now, just trading blows until the opponent decides to flee, without much risk since hp regenerates to full between each fight. Currently, it's actually impossible to lose, I think? But I can see the basic system working as more variety comes into play, like health and other depletable resources, different actions/items interacting in a rock-paper-scissor-like way, perhaps? It felt like you're going for something influenced by Interactive Fiction. For inspiration, you might check out RL/IF hybrids like Kerkerkruip and Anamnesis, which use similar premises.

Dungeon layout: Again, there's not much practical variety between the two different room types, and it still felt unclear where you're headed with the tactical map, since there's no real interaction going on. Will there be monsters walking around that you have to avoid or bump to fight/interact with? Or other features that lend "meaning" to the map? The point of a tactical map is of course that choosing the right path should be a challenge, and I currently got the feeling that the basic game might work just as well without an actual map (ie. taking the IF inspiration even further), since the meat of the game, as it stands, is confined to the combat and crypto modes. Again, it's hard to say without knowing more about what you have planned.

In conclusion, the one thing I would like to see is key presses registered instantly, if you're going with single letter commands. Other than that, the premise seems interesting, with a lot of room for experimentation. Good luck going ahead!

As always,

Early Dev / Re: Nihilist -- Experimental
« on: November 16, 2018, 01:04:03 AM »
Please let me know if the link is broken, and I'll replace it!
Yup, seems broken. I at least get an indefinite "Loading" when I open the URL.

EDIT: Actually, it works (now?). Maybe my connection was just bad at the time. I'll give it a whirl and try to come back with some comments.

As always,

Linux *.deb and binary are up. Download #13 directly here:

Windows binary
Linux deb
Linux binary
Python sources

As always,

Grid view generated too big for screen (crashed in Windows)
Trying to give/drop props crashed in Windows
Typo in data files sometimes caused game to (region hogging ai)
Game sometimes crashed when sightblocking objects were destroyed
Plants sometimes marked as dead (when not)
Newly dead corpses no longer curse at you for killing them
Sprites in upper left corner vanished between turns
Speech bubbles flicker less in this release
Some speech bubbles were getting supressed
Drifting smoke wasn't spawning/working properly
Dilettante didn't have access to "shooting" shtick tree
Skills with direct damage (eg. Butt whipping) weren't working
Spawning corpses could cause game to crash
Shtick T.Y.T. didn't show up during character generation
Skip repeating messages in log
Removed msg "You stand in uffish thought" when passing a turn
Removed "Trick shot" shtick (not very interesting)
Sledgepick damage set to 1♥
Modified critical hit of knifes (always inflict 1☠ extra)
Nerfed shtick Feel no Pain
Removed shtick Iron Mind (obsolete)
Renamed shtick The Breathing Way to The Blood Way
Shtick Burro is back in the game :)
New critters: Traveling saleskid
Added more cash to the game world
Description of shtick Skillful -> "Gain a random skill."
Scissors now tagged as a blade
NPC AI can use distance measuring in more varied situations
NPCs now accept gifts (and are pleased at getting things they like)
Autopickup no longer works on items marked as corpses or trash
Character generation: Random choice won't pick 3 point foibles (most severe)
Crashlog now includes python traceback, when applicable

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