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Design / Re: creating compelling monsters
« on: October 16, 2014, 10:40:49 PM »
A compelling monster is one you can tell stories about.  It has desires and perceptions and gets angry or afraid.  One of the cheapest ways to make a monster more compelling is to have it declare what it is perceiving or what it wants.  for example when an enemy humanoid notices you it could say something like "you're not Fred" or "thief!" or so on.  You don't even have to make the monsters take any action,  simply stating a desire is often enough.  A dragon can say "I smell gold" a guard can mutter to himself "I'd rather be having a nice drink".  As long as they don't get too repetitive this makes it feel like the monsters experience the world and are not just mindless automata.

Random connection but, I have heard that octopuses grew big brains because they have so many enemies that no one tactic works against all of them.  I believe that one of the things that makes a monster compelling is that it takes different tactics to deal with it.

Some Octopus inspired tactics
  • Disguising yourself as a dangerous creature such as an orc (perhaps by wearing orcish armor) to scare away weaker critters and allow you to cross open areas more safely
    Decoys to distract opponents so you can run in the opposite direction
    Holding absolutely still so that large predators lose interest.
    Walking without rhythm so sand worms don't detect you.

Programming / Re: Neohack progress report - I'm being chased by wolves!
« on: October 02, 2014, 09:53:47 PM »
If you make it available I will play it.

Design / Re: randomness as a replacement for identification
« on: June 15, 2014, 04:55:54 AM »
Yes removing randomness is meant to be directly analogous to partial identification.
The intention is to make as small of a change from the current system as possible.
Potions still come in colors so removing an effect from a red potion, removes it from all red potions
This is metered by access to an "identification" consumable.

What I expect to happen is people will shape particular potion kinds until they have things like "escape potion" "out of combat potion" "in combat buff".
Yes there will be potions that never get any love (the rarer colors), but I hope to mitigate that by giving the rare effect like gain strength or less variability.

Design / Re: randomness as a replacement for identification
« on: June 14, 2014, 04:20:13 PM »
This is very interesting idea and worth exploring more. Would all potions start the same and have all possible effects in them? Or would there be different kinds of potions that have different starting set of effects?
  I was planning for different potions to have different overlapping sets of effects because it is more interesting.

In my opinion (and I think it's more widespread than that), the identification aspect of roguelikes is slightly tedious and is usually just another boring part of the early game. What you're suggesting would stretch it out into something that stays with you as long as you have the patience to play.

That is interesting, what it is that makes identification tedious and boring?

Design / randomness as a replacement for identification
« on: June 14, 2014, 05:34:32 AM »
As I understand it in Rogue unidentified scrolls and potions are designed to push people out of their comfort zone, and to make items more situation rather than immediately good or bad.

An unidentified potion can be though of as an item that produces a random effect from list of potion types.  A potion that either blinds you or heals you is an not normally an attractive prospect, but when you are low on health it becomes worth the risk.  If scrolls and potions are innately random rather than just being random due to lack of knowledge then it becomes easier for the designer to balance risk vs reward.
The replacement for identification would be an ability to remove an effect of your choice from an item, whittling down the results until it is more predictable.  It is also easier for new players because the range of possible effects can be listed on the item.

I like the way you think, I got fun effects by allowing each critter to modify the dungeon in different ways.  Putting two different critters in the same level got substantially different architecture than either alone.

I have wanted to write creatures that would modify the level, but haven't yet. What kind of approach did you choose and in what ways are they modifying levels?
I started off with wall modifiers because walls vs floor is the most meaningful terrain distinction for the player.
The function "koolaidman" looks at a 3 by 3 square of tiles and determines if changing the center tile could change the connectivity of the map. (this is because the koolaidman bursts through walls)

Rockworm larva move only orthogonaly and can burrow into walls that do not change connectivity.  The creates a maze with walls a single tile thick.
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###      ###
.X.  no  #X. yes
###      ###

Dwarf miners dig in straight lines turning 90 degrees whenever they find gold. When they collect enough gold they turn into dragons.
They occasionally create dwarf civilians.
Dwarf civilians remove exposed corners (unless it is next to a door)
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and place doors sometimes when they enter a room
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This combination creates a room and corridor layout.

Cave bison burst through walls that are only exposed on two opposite sides.
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this greatly increases connectivity and allows grass to spread so they can eat it.

Antelope clean up by removing walls that are exposed on three sides and do not change connectivity or wall connectivity.  The finishes the transition from corridors to grassland.

There are also ants that carve a tunnel if
Code: [Select]

this creates a network of natural looking tunnels with plenty of short side tunnels.

Early Dev / Re: Game
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:05:48 PM »
That sounds interesting, Is it available to play without downloading anything?

My current approach is to create creatures that are varied and have distinct behaviour or traits. Then, hopefully I'll get something emergent when they are put on the same level. Like when I created rats that like walking alongside the walls and fire beetles that prefer areas away from walls.

I like the way you think, I got fun effects by allowing each critter to modify the dungeon in different ways.  Putting two different critters in the same level got substantially different architecture than either alone.

"kill player" isn't a game designer's goal.  A goal would be "make open areas dangerous" or "force player out of safe corridors" and the creatures that fulfill this might be a swarming creature, or a creature that spawns enemies (requiring the player to address it sooner rather than later).

Woops, I didn't see this thread here.

Off-topic (Locked) / Re: How are you feeling right now?
« on: May 30, 2014, 06:32:10 PM »
Good Evening.

Tell me your problems.  Please terminate input with a period or a
question mark.
Feeling both excited and tired and really in need to talk to a bot because you guys are great listeners.
Why do you say that just now?

Off-topic (Locked) / A game about editing the game's code.
« on: May 30, 2014, 06:24:31 PM »
Every level starts out unsolvable and you have to change the level generator's code to progress.

I think it would fun to incorporate this idea into a roguelike as the magic system (yes I know everyone else has had the same idea) so that the magic system truly could manipulate the stuff the world is made of.

7DRLs / Re: 7DRL Success: Hellspace
« on: March 25, 2014, 11:47:34 PM »
In other news, I got a review where I was rated a 1 in scope (which the reviewers guide says is for "@ on a Map") with the comment "I have played the older games by Numeron. I do not see much new here." ... The score seems super harsh and I'm actually quite upset about it. I can admit the game lacks some innovation, but there is a separate category for that...

The game (in my opinion) exceeds the defined criteria but I'm pretty much at my limit, and can't possibly put any more work into it this challenge than I do with 14 hour days + 26 hour sprint at the end (as I have every year), there's just too much new content and too many new tiles to draw!!! :( Totally bums me out. </rant>

Get revenge by giving all the games you review a 3 in scope.

Design / Re: Usefulness of general math parser in your roguelike.
« on: March 24, 2014, 02:43:32 AM »
Hi: Do you mean the Cauchy distribution?
Thanks, Yes I did.

Design / Re: Usefulness of general math parser in your roguelike.
« on: March 24, 2014, 12:18:59 AM »
There is the Cauchy and related probability distributions, that have a mean of infinity.  (flip a coin until you get heads, damage is 2^number of tails) but if you play around with them you'll see that for any finite sample the mean is much lower.

How about a weapon that does damage as 2d(your max health - current health). 
Or one that is best for the final blow because it does damage (opponents max health - current health)d2

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