Author Topic: Realtime or semi-realtime turns  (Read 11040 times)

OrangyTang

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Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« on: October 31, 2011, 02:01:11 PM »
Has anyone around here experimented with realtime or semi-realtime roguelikes? I've played one (a 7DRL IIRC) and the forum search comes up with a couple of multiplayer ones, but I'd like to get more thoughts on how a semi-realtime roguelike would be for a 'proper' game.

At the moment Albion ( http://roguetemple.com/forums/index.php?topic=1330.0 ) is a bit too slow, due to it's party-based nature. I'd like to speed up the tedious moving aspect but without loosing the turn-by-turn nature and fine grained control.

Thoughts (especially from people who've played Albion) and suggestions very welcome (unless your name is Krice). Thanks.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 11:14:21 AM by OrangyTang »

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 04:03:48 PM »
I haven't played Albion yet, but I personally like the way pyromancer does it - complete realtime, but the monsters are rather slow windshield kills. Until they're too many and themselves become the windshield, lol. But I think this only works with weak enemies, because a single enemy is very hard to keep track of (that especially applies to pyromancer's lighting, but to other games, too).
And that is a major problem with realtime-based RLs, I think. You have rather weak and rather powerful enemies, and the problem with more diverse monsters is to capture the player's attention early enough to make him realize that a powerful monster is there and to give him time to think about how to defeat it. Otherwise it will just walk up to him and kill him dead. ??? One thing that is done in RTSs or RPGs is size, but that doesn't work in RLs due to obvious reasons. Another way that can be done in RLs is preattentive colors, but that of course limits your options on the variety of monsters.
That applies to both realtime and semirealtime RLs. The only question is - what do we understand as semirealtime? Is it waiting a specified time for the player to make an input? That is the only way to do it I can think of. Then we have the question: How much time should we give the player? Enough to think? Or barely enough to react? It depends on the granularity and intended difficulty of the game. In a simple game, say, DoomRL, you really don't have many options - either walk or fight. Both doesn't take much time to think about. A shorter time would be optimal here, I think. Do we have the complexity of Nethack or Crawl? More time should be given. I don't think you could turn these into realtime or semirealtime games at all, but I dislike the idea of speedchess, too, so that might be just me.

Anyway, these are my ideas.  ;D

OrangyTang

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 04:35:23 PM »
All good points, and I would urge you to try Albion so you can see why I'm trying to speed things up.

I think it'll definitely need a 'panic button' where you can hit enter or something and halt time so you can think about your next move. I'm not against people agonising over every turn if they want to, but I want easy battles and actions (like walking from one side of the room to another) to be quicker and smoother.

Perhaps an automatic stop-time if a monster X levels above your party comes into view would be a good idea too...

Darren Grey

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 05:40:50 PM »
Turn-based can still be quick to play.  Check out Powder or ToME4.  ToME4 especially, since it paths to wherever you click on, making traversing maps quick and easy.

burnmp3s

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011, 05:36:10 PM »
Quote
I think it'll definitely need a 'panic button' where you can hit enter or something and halt time so you can think about your next move. I'm not against people agonising over every turn if they want to, but I want easy battles and actions (like walking from one side of the room to another) to be quicker and smoother.

Perhaps an automatic stop-time if a monster X levels above your party comes into view would be a good idea too...

A lot of tactical squad-based strategy games (X-Com, etc.) had to deal with these kinds of issues.  In an actual firefight, you want turn-based combat because that's the only way to let the player make complex tactical decisions.  But in between battles when you are just wandering around the map, turn-by-turn control of a squad of six characters or so is a big pain.  Plus by the time some of the later games came out, turn-based strategy was largely dead due to the rise of RTS games so there was a lot of pressure for new games to include real-time aspects.

Most of the games dealt with these sorts of problems by making everything outside of combat real time, and everything in combat turn-based.  The transition would be handled by "interrupts", when a new enemy came into view of a character, time would stop and that character would get a chance to take a turn.  Generally if the enemy didn't notice the player and the player didn't do anything to attack, play would resume to real-time, otherwise it would continue turn-based after the interrupting player had their turn.  Some games had weirder systems, Space Hulk for example was a FPS squad-based strategy game, and it had a "freeze time" concept.  At any time the player could exit out of the FPS view and see a tactical map, where they could give squad members orders to move, cover an area, fire at will, etc.  But the freeze time was limited, so the player had to give orders quickly and then go back to the FPS view.

Krice

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2011, 08:34:51 PM »
suggestions very welcome. Thanks.

This is a forum for roguelikes. You can talk about realtime games elsewhere.

stu

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 11:59:57 PM »
I'm biased, I like the  semi realtime/realtime, as you can see in my 7drl (tomb of rawdin) and non-7drl game, Cracks and Crevices. Both use the same mechanic. You get so many seconds per turn, or its implied you passed and everyone else gets a turn... makes for some interesting tactics imo.
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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 03:36:05 AM »
suggestions very welcome. Thanks.

This is a forum for roguelikes. You can talk about realtime games elsewhere.

  Ha! You can count on Krice!

OrangyTang

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2011, 12:20:48 PM »
Most of the games dealt with these sorts of problems by making everything outside of combat real time, and everything in combat turn-based.  The transition would be handled by "interrupts", when a new enemy came into view of a character, time would stop and that character would get a chance to take a turn.  Generally if the enemy didn't notice the player and the player didn't do anything to attack, play would resume to real-time, otherwise it would continue turn-based after the interrupting player had their turn.  Some games had weirder systems, Space Hulk for example was a FPS squad-based strategy game, and it had a "freeze time" concept.  At any time the player could exit out of the FPS view and see a tactical map, where they could give squad members orders to move, cover an area, fire at will, etc.  But the freeze time was limited, so the player had to give orders quickly and then go back to the FPS view.

Yes, I have toyed with this idea. The thing I don't like is when there's a small/distant enemy who you're just trying to ignore and you keep being forced back into combat mode, when you really want to just walk away. And I still want non-combat commands (open chest, set trap, disarm trap, etc.) to be turn based, so it doesn't entirely fit.

It may be the best compromise though, so it's definitely something I'm keeping in mind.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 12:23:13 PM by OrangyTang »

OrangyTang

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2011, 12:25:37 PM »
I'm biased, I like the  semi realtime/realtime, as you can see in my 7drl (tomb of rawdin) and non-7drl game, Cracks and Crevices. Both use the same mechanic. You get so many seconds per turn, or its implied you passed and everyone else gets a turn... makes for some interesting tactics imo.

Playing a few of the semi-realtime 7drl's is what's nudged me down this road. I can't remember if I played your though, sorry. :S

Did you ever consider/try adding a pause button for when things get particularly frantic?

OrangyTang

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 12:28:06 PM »
suggestions very welcome. Thanks.

This is a forum for roguelikes. You can talk about realtime games elsewhere.

How about some constructive criticism rather than sniping from the sidelines like you always do? Have you considered that 'semi-realtime' and 'roguelike' are not mutually exclusive, or does that not fit in with your exceptionally narrow world view?

Skeletor

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2011, 12:39:42 PM »
Krice integralism is well known, he wouldn't call roguelike even DoomRL ("Doom, the RogueLike").

I kind of agree with him about the fact that a real time roguelike is an oxymoron being not rogue-like as one of the most important factor in rogue was the possibility for the player to take his time before taking a choice.. but I have to say I've always been fascinated by real time and action rogue-like projects, because I find the best elements in rogue and roguelikes to be other elements than the turn-basedness one (which I enjoy of course), and this is also a far less explored horizon.. but things are starting to change and I'm happy to see a thread like this.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 12:43:11 PM by Skeletor »
What I enjoy the most in roguelikes: Anti-Farming and Mac Givering my way out. Kind of what I also enjoy in life.

OrangyTang

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2011, 12:48:05 PM »
I kind of agree with him about the fact that a real time roguelike is an oxymoron being not rogue-like as one of the most important factor in rogue was the possibility for the player to take his time before taking a choice.

Yes, having time to sit back and think is something I'd rather not lose, which is why I said 'semi-realtime' rather than full realtime. Part of my dilemma is exactly how much control to give the player and in what way. Pausing at any time is high on the list, and I'm trying to figure out how to integrate single turn stepping for really tricky bits.

st33d

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 01:13:34 PM »
You can give the player the option to pause the game and make decisions. Baldurs Gate worked in that fashion quite well - exhausting actions in the pause state and then letting it run to see what happened.

A good analogue of a real-time - yet grid based - dungeon experience would be the classic Dungeon Master. They handled turn-based-but-real-time really well.

OrangyTang

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Re: Realtime or semi-realtime turns
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 01:27:37 PM »
For semi-realtime I think Baldurs Gate gets more right than it gets wrong, but the lack of explicit turns is a definite mark against it (even though it's turn based under the hood). It does a very good job of keeping the flow going even with a large party though.

I've not played Dungeon Master, so I'll try and hunt that out. Cheers.