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Programming / Re: Multithreading
« on: March 26, 2014, 01:02:23 PM »
Okay I really need to study up more on the basic principles of multithreading/core. I was totally lost at the second paragraph of your reply.

How about handling user input, user interface and rendering in a separate thread than the game logic? That way pressing keys should feel responsive even if the game logic slows down? It would also free *some* load from thread/core that handles game logic? But maybe that's not how it works at all :P

Programming / Multithreading
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:02:13 AM »
I'm doing a project to get some experience about multithreading (which I know very little about). For this I'm making a game that will play a bit like Dwarf Fortress. I'm thinking this should be a good type of game for this. I've seen discussions about using multithreading for DF and how it would benefit that game, since it tends to become really slow with lots of creatures moving around.

I have some basic stuff set up in a common single thread already (game loop, rendering actors, some utility functions, etc). The first draft will just be a benchmark demo, probably not even handling user input. I want to see what the limit is for map size and number of actors moving around with pathfinding, and how far I can push that limit with more effective algorithms and (hopefully) by using multithreading.

I do have a clear idea of a game I want to make from this though. I think what I have in mind would be an awesome game, so I'm excited about that too, and I don't intend to stop at just a technical demo. Of course I'm not going for something so huge as DF(!), this would be a much simpler game. Hopefully it can be a fun challenge.

I came here to ask for some advice about multithreading. In a game similar to DF, what would be good to put in separate threads? My first idea was "pathfinding of course", it's one of the most CPU-intense parts for sure. But can it be run in parallel with the rest of the game? It doesn't seem so - you calculate this before a creature moves. I guess when the time comes for calculating paths for all creatures, you could calculate as many paths as possible in parallel though. I'm also looking at bidirectional A* pathfinding - wouldn't that benefit from running in two threads? One thread would search from the origin and the other from the goal.

Would be interesting to hear your ideas. What could/should be put in separate threads? Would there be a lot to gain from all this?

Quote from: Legend
Instead of the "!" for showing the shock, maybe it would be better to highlite the player instead. Like when the enemies don't notice you.
I could try something like that.

Quote from: Legend
I think a Miss sound would be nice for melee combat.
Some *swosh* sounds should be easy to find. Will try it. I'm a bit concerned it will be too much sound spam though, especially when surrounded. Perhaps only the players attacks should make miss-sounds?

Quote from: Legend
Also, a pain sound for the enemies when they get hit would be nice.
That sounds like a big project. All the different types of monsters would need separate sounds. It's hard enough to provide the sounds they make when alerted.

Quote from: Legend
I think a light footstep sound for the player as they move would add a bit to the lonely and desolate atmosphere.
I could try it. Though I did have a sound for walking in liquid for a while, but I thought it was too spammy. It was particularly bad when you held down a key and the sound repeated every 60ms.

Quote from: Legend
And maybe an additional sound of the player breathing at random intervals when the area is fairly calm or the player is wounded.
Could be cool. There could be a timer to keep track of how long since you last spotted a monster. If it's more than X turns and/or more than Y seconds some nervous breathing, heart beating or something is played.

Quote from: Legend
I also found a little graphical glitch.
You can see what looks like a magenta "!!" where the character @ should be surrounded by the zombies and rats and ooze. Next to the zombie corpse.
It's not a glitch, it's a feature:
Quote from: v16.0 RC1 change notes
To make it easier to notice when shocking events happen, exclamation marks (“!”) are now drawn on the player character if enough shock is received during a turn (up to three marks can be drawn)
Perhaps I should make an option to disable it. Some people could consider it annoying and ugly.

Quote from: Legend
Maybe a way for the player to customize what sounds are played.
If you don't want a certain sound to play, I'm pretty sure you can just remove it from the audio folder or rename it. You could also easily replace a sound with a different one.

Just thought I'd drop in to say that "npte" was almost certainly meant to say "note". You've probably realised that by now but just in case..
*smacks forehead*

No I didn't realize it, I was too sleepy yesterday. I thought it was some abbreviation from the military or something. Kinda like ASAP, SNAFU or FUBAR :P

Quote from: Legend
Quick npte after (very) first play.
Npte? What's that?

Quote from: Legend
Melee sounds only play when the enemy is killed by a melee weapon. Not hit.
I'm gonna have to disagree with this one. Melee attack hits always plays for me, not just on kills.

Edit: Or was that a suggestion that I should change it so it only plays sounds when killing?

Uploaded a release candidate of v16.0:

Regarding features, this version is complete, and the proper release will be very close or identical to this. There may be some minor adjusting and bug fixing before the actual release though. Would appreciate feedback on difficulty and gameplay.

Quote from: Legend
Would also need a way to confirm that you succeeded.
Yeah there's a text message, plus the corpse gets gibed.

Quote from: Legend
As for the weapons, are you saying that it currently works that way, or just in the dev branch? Cause after I noticed that they never seem to stay down at all, I stood and waited by everyone I took down, and every single one got back up. Even by shotgun blasts.
It has worked that way since forever, if you kill them with enough damage they don't leave a corpse. They only rise again if they leave a corpse of course. How much damage is needed is determined by their max hp. IIRC the rule is something like if the damage from the killing blow is greater than MAX_HP / 3, they are gibed.

Try attacking low HP monsters like spiders and rats for example. They rarely/never(?) leave corpses since you deal a lot of damage compared to their max HP.

Quote from: Legend
A way to keep a zombie down after the first kill would definitely be a nice addition.
Yes I'm considering having some melee trait have that effect (for melee attacks only then).

Quote from: Legend
It would be nice if it were possible to throw potions without having to equip them first.
Yes it's a planned feature to be able to throw any item. Not for next version though.

Quote from: Legend
I encountered this in one of my plays that I started in a room with deep mud. Zombies seemed to appear out of nowhere right next tom as if they came out of the mud. Is this intentional?
I did discover and fix a bug that could cause the player to descend too close to monsters. It seems this problem already existed in v15 then. It should be fixed in next version anyway.

Quote from: Legend
Zombies seem to always get back up after getting taken down the first time unless they are blown up. It would be nice if there was a chance at least that they would stay dead after the first time. I recall in Blood that they did tend to get back up, but not all the time.
Currently, on the develop branch, I have made it so you can (b)ash corpses lying on the ground (you have 1/3 chance to succeed IIRC). This can be used for preventing zombies from rising again. What do you think of this feature? I haven't fully decided yet if I should include it in the release or not.

However, you can prevent them from rising again when you kill them the first time - if you deal enough damage. Sledgehammer and pitchfork tends to do that, probably also the pistol, and definitely shotguns. I'm pretty sure the axe and machete should do it occasionally too, but it could be rare.

Quote from: Legend
Is there a way to remove the mouse cursor from the screen?
Not at the moment. I'll see if there's some SDL call to remove it. Otherwise you could just hide it in a corner?

I see. It seems the only solution then would be to provide an option for tiles scaled to 32x48. I might give this a shot again after next release is out. It's too big project to do for now though. At the moment I'm only implementing minor things and doing balancing, trying to finish the next version soon.

Quote from: Legend
I know the tiles must currently be in 16x24 font. But I meant would it ever be possible that they could work in 8x12 font or to make them display larger in the future?  They look really nice and I would like to play with them, but I simply can't play with them cause the 16x24 font appears far too small to really recognize thing (for me and my shoddy eyes anyways). I can only play in 8x12 font cause the characters actually appear larger.
I'm not sure what you mean. You want to scale them down to 8x12, then scale that up again (losing a lot of detail)?

I did an attempt one time to scale up the tiles to double size, and implemented scrolling. But with the map being much wider than tall, it turned out that the map (mostly) just scrolled in the horizontal direction - I thought it looked a bit ridiculous.

Quote from: Legend
I see your point with the music. I think the ambient sounds could play at slightly more often intervals. I could have sworn there was intro title music that played the first time II fired up the game, but for some reason has not played since.
The intro music should play every time you start the game. Although I think if you go into the options menu and disable sounds, then enable them again, when you go back to the main menu the music will not play - but it will play again if you restart the game.

Now, rats can be mowed down without slowing you down so much. Except if you get infected of course, but that's ok.

I probably shouldn't say anything until I try the new version, but imo enemies you can mow down without thinking shouldn't be in the game at all.
It's not like you fight thousands of them like in Angband. And like I said,  there is the infection mechanic,  which makes them non-trivial.

What the?  You removed that awesome healing system?
The new healing system is effectively just a more detailed version of the old system. You still have to find a secluded place and spend many turns to heal. The difference is that now you don't have to do it for every little paper cut. In the new version, wounds are a serious problem, but losing a few HP is not something that requires active treatment.

A wound is caused if you take more than 4 damage from a single attack.

Because of this, you will never take a wound from fighting rats for example. And I think that is as it should be. In previous versions, fighting rats were damn annoying to me, because they always managed to gnaw of a couple of HP, and I could never resist the urge to heal it even if it was a strategically bad choice. So even the most trivial encounters felt like a big speed bump to me.

Now, rats can be mowed down without slowing you down so much. Except if you get infected of course, but that's ok.

Quote from: Legend
Finally got around to the new version. Very nice.
Thumbs up.

Quote from: Legend
I like the title music and the sound effects are nice. Although missing melee attack sound effects. at least for sledgehammer. A simple swipe sound would be enough for all melee weapons. Or maybe more thuddy sounding ones for blunt weapons and the swipe for edged ones.
Then you'll be happy to hear there will be melee attack sounds in the next version!

Quote from: Legend
Would be nice if there was music in the game levels or an ambient track (the changelog says there is one, but I'm really not noticing anything).
I don't think I'm gonna put music in the game, as that might get repetitive, and it would be hard to find a decent number of consistently sounding tracks.
But - there *are* ambient noise in the current version already. There's 30 ambient sound effects. Most of them are around a minute, a few are even 2-4 minutes, and a few are just a couple seconds. At certain points (e.g. when descending the stairs)the game rolls the dice to decide if an ambient sound should be player. It also plays them at a random volume, but with preference towards low volumes, so usually it will be a bit subtle. My recommendation is to raise the volume of your computer to the maximum level for which the door smashing, shooting etc is the loudest you are comfortable with. Then you will hear even the subtle ambient sounds - especially if you use headphones.

Quote from: Legend
I kinda miss the old healing system. The new one is interesting, but I rarely had wounds and never got an infection. I did get diseased though and could never figure how to undo it.
I think the old system was pretty annoying. Every minor scratch you took forced you to consider if it was worth healing or not (which was a hard decision, and not in a fun way IMO). Especially things like sprains from bashing doors was a big annoyance to me.
Wounds won't happen so much when fighting weak monsters on the early levels, but it plays a bigger role after the first couple levels.
Infections are very common when I play at least, you can get them from the clawing corpses and rats for example. I like the infection mechanic too, because it puts pressure on you to finish the fight quickly and find a safe place.

Quote from: Legend
I like the new starting traits but was hoping to be able to build the character each level like before. 
Yeah I missed building a character over the course of the game too. So I added back the old traits again - from the changelog:
"The traits system has been changed back to how it was in v14 (i.e. you pick traits when gaining levels)  - many traits have been added in addition to the old ones."
"You now select a background when starting a new game, the choices are “Occultist” (magic), “Rogue” (stealth), and “Soldier” (fighter/firearms) - Your background determines which trait(s) and items you start with, there are also special background-specific abilities, and some traits have background prerequisites."

Quote from: Legend
Is it possible to play with the tiles in 8x12 mode?
No, the tiles must be 16x24.

Quote from: Legend
Also, is it possible to have the nice tiles version title screen while actually playing in ascii mode?
No it's not possible. And allowing this would be a problem, since the main menu logo would be bigger than the window for the smallest fonts.

Quote from: Legend
Anyways, Very nice release. I look forward to the next one as usual.
Me too, the next one will be a much more polished and fun game.

Quote from: Legend
HOw exactly does the current experience/trait system work? I didn't see it explained in the manual.  I understand the perks of what you pick at the beginning of the game, but when the character levels up, does eveything just upgrade randomly, or at set intervals, or according to what you use the most, etc?
IIRC you gain HP each level. Every third level you gain additional bonuses, such as increased attack skills. In the next version you will pick traits again when gaining levels (probably every second level).

Quote from: Legend
Bug? Noticed that the ambient tracks do indeed play but don't loop. So they just seem to play once, but not again. I also noticed that The title music only played the first time I started the game and has not played again since whenever I start the game.
The ambient sounds are not supposed to loop. They are just supposed to play occasionally to intensify the atmosphere. I think it would be repetitive and distracting if they played all the time.

Quote from: Legend
p.s. will I ever see a spike mace?  :P
Okay then! :D

Player's Plaza / Re: Suggestions on what to play next?
« on: February 05, 2014, 01:05:53 PM »
Quote from: Stone Dog
You might also try Infra Arcana.
It uses anoter set of Oryx's tiles, has a Lovercraftian theme and it's bastard hard (no reported wins, IIRC).
People have won it. Although the difficulty have varied a lot between different versions. And each version has its own particular exploits and imbalances which are no longer applicable :)

Quote from: Stone Dog
It uses anoter set of Oryx's tiles
IA is the first roguelike to use his tiles.

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