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Messages - Hamish

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Programming / Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« on: December 24, 2011, 11:35:15 PM »
Sorry, if I appear negative. I think what you've made so far is so attractive and compact that it deserves an equally compelling mechanic behind it. What I meant by saying the movment was fiddily is that at the moment the player has a fairly arbitrary decision about their movment that has limited impact on how the level pans out.

What the game needs are meaningful choices for the player, and as the mechanic so far is about monster death effects the players choices should be about when and where those effects are triggered.

I think a good solution might be a combination of my and luleros suggestions.

So each turn the player could choose to:

A) move - one square only, with the ultimate aim of reaching the exit.
B) throw a rock - the player would have no melee attack, but instead can attack the monsters in any order. This would give the player options about which effects to trigger when.  If you limit the number of attacks for each island then they would have to come up with strategies to maximise their assets. For example you could freeze all enemies at a precise moment allowing you to sneak past a tough enemy, or trigger a monster that causes splash damage when it would do the most damage.
C) push a monster- instead of moving or attacking the player could push an adjacent mister away, this could be to create space to move, to reposition a monster powerup for better effect next turn, or to destroy an enemy by pushing them off the island (at the expense of their powerup)

each turn the player would have three distinct choices that would effect how the level would play out and would have the opportunity to stratagize.

If you add to those mechanics different monster types in different combinations on different island layouts you have an infinite set of puzzles.

I don't know, it might play like a load of crap, but its worth trying out.

Been, typing this on my phone, its taken ages :-)

Programming / Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« on: December 22, 2011, 10:40:18 PM »
I don't know if the kill then move thing is distinct enough as a player option. It does help that there is now more choice involved but i think the second move needs to be something that contrasts with the attack rather than a slightly improved attack. It also makes the lack of a skip turn option more jarring, because you have already entered into some quite fiddly movement rules (if that makes sense)

Programming / Re: Tile set project
« on: December 21, 2011, 11:29:30 PM »
Version 0.1 of my tileset is now ready to download - just head over to and click the download tab.

It's only the basics at the moment, some level graphics and monsters. Item graphics will come a little later but there should be enough stuff for people to get started with.

I am desperate to see these make it into someones project, so as a little incentive to get people involved I am offering a small prize for the first person who posts a working level generator that uses my tiles.

Thats right folks, the lucky winner will receive any three of these exclusive Dungeoneer posters designed by myself -

printed using state of the art equipment (colour copier at work) and finished in a luxury high gloss (laminated) Don't miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!

*a bonus forth poster will be awarded if i can walk a little dude around the map :¬)

Programming / Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« on: December 20, 2011, 10:56:54 PM »
I just thought that an octopus that leaves slippery ink would make more sense than an ice gnome.

Programming / Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« on: December 20, 2011, 10:50:57 PM »
yeah, its neat and pretty, I'd waste time on my phone with this as it is.

Having played it, I think my initial idea might possibly work. What I meant by shunt was pushing enemies as a way of positioning them and maximising their effects.

Single clicking could attack, double clicking could push an enemy backwards. If they are not directly by the water they would go back two spaces(So as to give them the initiative if they come back at you) or one if that brings them to the edge. If they are directly by the water then pushing would send them over the edge, killing them without getting their death effect. This might give the player more choice regarding the order they engage enemies.

You could also vary the way enemies react to pushing. flying creatures could hover over the water and return to the island on their next move - heavier enemies could resist pushing all together and some enemies would be able to push you, giving you reason to stay away from edges.

Additional enemies you could add:

Mario style turtles, that leave a kickable bullet behind
Spider - leaves a sticky spot that traps an enemy for 3 turns
Bats - can fly over water
porcupines - do not attack you, but cause you damage if attacked directly - they would move at random and block your movements - could be destroyed when frozen or with an indirect attack (turtle shell)
frost gnome {okay the monsters suck but their effect are ok :¬) } would leave behind an ice patch. any creature who walks onto an ice patch immediately slides on to the far square, this would provide a means of speeding movement or extending the effects of pushing.
Lug - 3 hearts but moves every other turn (can still attack every turn of you are in range)

Also, if you wanted a mechanic to stop players from skirting around all the monsters and moving onto the next island you could introduce a boss character. They would occupy the far bridge and only retreat if you kill enough monsters. While they sit there they could lob obstacles like fire and ice, stickystuff etc.

Programming / Re: Can a Roguelike with only monsters be fun?
« on: December 19, 2011, 11:21:22 PM »
This sounds like it needs a puzzle element involved. Perhaps if the player was able to shunt enemies without killing them it could add a little risk - 'should I try to move this powerup/monster and risk a few hits to get more from its death effect?'

You could also add some environmental hazards to manipulate - lava to be frozen, holes to be filled in (with crabshells or something) rocks to be smashed.

Programming / Re: Spell casting types of costs
« on: December 18, 2011, 12:44:51 PM »
For the tileset I am making I have made spell tiles that are written in blood - I like the HP related spell casting as it forces hard choices and gives magic a little dramatic potency.

I don't have extensive knowledge of all the roguelikes out there so I don't know if this has been done already, but how about having manna as a property of the environment rather than the character.

In Larry Nivens 'burning city' books manna exists as a non renewable ambient energy. Areas that see a lot of magic use loose the manna and magic ceases to work. The stories all revolve around wizards looking for alternative sources of manna.

Terrain based manna points would create lots of new areas for strategy, magic users would have to move around a lot and would be drawing on the same manna as there enemies. Non magic users would also be able to take advantage of different levels of ambient manna by keeping to dead zones.

Also in the Larry Niven books the wizards are able to drain magical items of their manna if there is no ambient source - this could allow the player to cast spells by desiccating magic rings, weapons and trinkets.

Unrefined gold is a major source of manna in the books, and cold iron acts as a sink for manna - this could be used to explain why magic users are only allowed staves and silver knives.

something to think about.

Programming / Re: Talents/Feats/"Special skills"
« on: December 17, 2011, 11:12:16 PM »
I like what Getter and Pueo have said about conducts and challenges. It would create a lot of nice interaction and encourage different styles of play to have the grand master of shadows test your sneekyness to see if you are worthy of the smokescreen spell (or whatever) - ideas like that would be a lot harder to implement in other game genres.

Programming / Re: Need more monster names
« on: December 17, 2011, 10:44:12 PM »
I have to say having classically named monsters with completely random stats and abilities sounds pretty horrible. What would be the point labeling them if it has no correspondence to anything.

If your set on having random monsters why don't you make them mutants or something, you could compile a list of mutations and base there skills and descriptions on those.

Atmosphere is really important in games, but its better to base your theme on your gameplay mechanic.

Programming / Re: Tile set project
« on: December 17, 2011, 10:24:57 PM »
Well I posted a link on TIGs, and have had a whole blast of traffic from there. You guys are still my favorites though :¬) a far more refined level of conversation here.

I have failed to sort myself out and get a download ready but now I have all the advice I need with regards to indexing and what not. I'm off work for Christmas from next Thursday, so I will make sure I get it done before Christmas to leave in your stockings.

Programming / Re: Tile set project
« on: December 14, 2011, 01:29:58 AM »
Thanks for the tips folks. It's a Shame about transparency, but I take your points. I think i'll just leave it out for now. If people are interested I can add it in later without much trouble.

I'm going to do my best to bundle what I've got by the weekend.

@eclectocrat - yeah I looked at posting on the tigs forums weeks ago, but couldn't decide which board to post on, their forums are vast. Also there seemed to be enough "hey, I totally rock at pixel art and have loads of great ideas, who wants to make my game for me?" kind of posts. Although that's pretty much what I'm about, I'd rather not come off that way :¬)

Programming / Re: Tile set project
« on: December 11, 2011, 10:48:14 PM »
Howdy folks.

Although I've still got a lot to do, I probably have enough stuff done to make my first version sprite sheet, but I need a bit of advice.

I know basically what to do (correct me if I'm wrong) - take out all the spaces between the sprites, set them against a transparent background and save them as a PNG. I've not done it before though and have a few questions.

Should I save monsters to one image file, furnature to a second and background tiles to a third? or should I save them all to one large file?

I don't want to mess up peoples referencing by moving things around later when im adding content. Should I leave empty space for later additions? For example, at the moment I have ten pirates, is it a good idea to make the file 15 blocks wide and leave the extra space for other piratey stuff I add later?

Is transparency ok to use? specifically I was thinking to put 50% opacity shadows under monster sprites to help ground them a bit. Will this cause problems for anyone and should I make a shadowless version of the files.

Would it be helpful if I included a reference table for the sprites, and if so what format should it be?

The only thing I was planning on animating was water and fire - just two frame boils. Do i just set the two frames next to each other on the tile sheet or what?

Sorry for the big dump of questions, I just want to package this stuff up in the most accessible and useful way possible. Any advice you guys can offer would be great, or if you know of any resources I could look at let me know.

Basically, how do you want it served up?

Programming / Re: Tile set project
« on: December 10, 2011, 02:15:46 AM »
Many thanks for the encouragement once again guys.

@Jo - yeah, I might not have made it clear but yes, i'm releasing all this stuff on a creative commons licence. The only thing I'd rather people didn't do with them is start editing the graphics themselves, I'm happy to make additions if someone asks me.

@JasonPickering - I was worried that all the dungeon tiles might be a turn off but your right, people can just use the first two tiles on the list if they cant cope with the extra code.

I've tried the monsters against various backgrounds and they seem to work ok as long as i keep the floors dark. No snow for me I think :¬( My only real worry is that when the sprites are tight up against one another they might block together -I've tried to minimise that risk by setting them all as far to the right as possible (when they are facing left) It gives them a fighting chance of a bit of space when they square off against each other - we'll see if it works in motion I guess. Thanks for the constructive feedback, spriting has quite a bit of theory involved and its great to have more input.

@Ido - yeah I'll be putting together a proper sprite sheet soon, I'll be back for a bit of advice on the best way to order them and whether transparency is ok first, but my brain is too dried up to think about it right now.


Programming / Re: Graphic Designer Needed: Small Project. Apply Inside
« on: December 06, 2011, 10:37:42 PM »
yeah, i'm up for it, what were you after? I could most probably create an icon in any style.

Ive got another blog for general design and image making - probably nothing there that's like what you're after but you could have a look if you wanted to check my artistic credentials.

Programming / Re: Tile set project
« on: December 06, 2011, 10:30:37 PM »
Thank you for the feedback guys, its much appreciated.

I take the point about some of the sprites looking very similar, there is a lot of brown going on. Perhaps I could shift some of the colours to get a bit more differentiation.

On the other hand, I'm hoping that people use the different enemies discreetly, only mixing coherent groups - like bandits with wolves or centaurs and fawns. I always find it a big turn off when I enter a dungeon in a new game and encounter a thief, a giant amoeba, a dragon and a poltergeist all on the same floor. What are they supposed to be doing together, playing poker?

I'll try to get some more detailed mock screens up soon, with more by way of scenery and stuff. It's really encouraging to know people are taking an interest.

@pueo - yeah princess bride is awesome, I love low-key fantasy like that, there is nothing more fantastic in it than a big dude, some large rats and an albino, but it's still totally epic. I'm definitely going to have to make scenery for a thieves forest :¬)

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