Author Topic: Land of Strangers  (Read 61423 times)

reaver

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2014, 12:10:14 PM »
"your uncle - a noblewoman" is semantically wrong though, so take into account that while the results can be wacko, if they have errors like that, people will think that your generator is buggy.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2014, 04:51:40 PM »
I couldn't agree more. So I added a clause to make it clear that the generator knows when that particular case arises, and made sure that similar cases are corrected (eg. "your aunt, the monk" gets corrected to "your aunt, a nun"). Polish if of the essence, absolutely. I just didn't have the heart to rip out transsexual noble uncles from the generator, once they showed up :)

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Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2014, 11:35:12 PM »
Slaves, and some foibles

lp;dr: tinkering with it  ;)

The current released version place som fellow mine slaves as extras. Currently, they only work as meat shields. I've been thinking they should have a will of their own, and some might even join you in the revolt. In future releases, chain gangs may actually be chained to each other (use a pick on the chains to break them). If facing battle, some may want to run and hide, others fight against the masters, and some even backstab their fellow slaves, whether in the hopes of gaining the masters' favor, or because they've succumbed to the madness that accompanies lead poisoning.

If you can get fellow slaves to act as independant allies, it seems reasonable to add a skill to try and convince NPCs to join your cause. At first tier, it may only work on non-hostiles (ie. just your fellow slaves). Try once, 1/6 of success; if no success, the person gains a slight dislike (not much, but prohibit trying to recruit again). This skill fits quacks, agitators, officers, lynching artists, preachers, salesfolk, etc. Higher up a skilltree ("or something", however that might end up looking) you can have feats to appease hostiles and so forth.

I was also thinking about adding "foibles" to the character generation. They would entail weaknesses, from "animal phobia" (minus to rolls in presence of animals) to "epilepsy", various reductions in fighting stats etc. I might try a system where the player collects "points" by choosing a foible, and then buys abilities with the points afterwards. The game would keep three lists of foibles, ranked by worth. For each character, the player gets to choose between three random foibles, but we always make sure there is one foible of each worth (1, 2, 3 points). Then the player gets to choose one of three affinities/abilities, all three of which are worth the same amount of points as the chosen foible. So you might get to choose between the foibles "late sleeper (1 p)", "doppleganger (2 p)", and "one-eyed (3 p)", and choose "doppelganger". Then, you would choose from three virtues, all worth 2 points.

Before adding foibles to the mix, I have to rebalance encounters, since the game is much too hard at the moment.

Thinking more long-term, I'm envisioning one category of foibles as a "code of conduct". This might come together with a system for reputation, quests, conduct. The basic 1 point foible is that you receive a penalty to all rolls (lasting for a certain amount of game time) if you break your personal rules (indulge in alcohol, harm a member of the other sex, break the law, assume too much wealth, etc). It is worth an extra point if the restriction is very broad (never kill, vow of silence). For yet an extra point, call it "taboo" and make the punishment more severe: If you break your oath, you simply lose all/most skills and abilities, including the "taboo" foible. So a taboo against eating meat would be worth 2 points.

Some vaporware for y'all: Characters who start with the "taboo" foible might bump into an NPC called The Button Moulder, who resides either at Boot Hill (the cemetary where I plan to keep an in-game hiscore) – or at some crossroads, of course. The Button Moulder will use speech bubbles, inciting the character to break the taboo. If @ does so, losing all assumed experience (but not loot, physical conditions, etc), and returns to The Button Moulder, he/she will start the character off with a new career. Solving this quest once would work as an achievement (oh rly?), that unlocks The Button Moulder to the pool of NPC templates that any character may encounter. Meeting a PC without the "taboo" foible, Button Moulder offers to re-career the hero – free of charge – as if @ had broken a taboo and returned: stripping career-related foibles and abilities, and restocking with some skills fitting a ("level 0") random career. Towards characters with the "taboo" foible, Button Moulder acts as usual: suggests to break the taboo, and only then offers to assign a fresh career. I can see this NPC becoming an important player later in the plot.

The point of including Button Moulder as an achievement wouldn't so much be to appease min/maxers as to portion out the setting a little bit for the player. I hope for a rich setting in the long run, with details about species, culture, different factions (secretive societies, from revolutionary clubs to sororities of lynchers favoring the breaking wheel, as well as various circles of officials, trading companies, etc). The careers a player can choose from must obviously tie in with the setting. There are already careers like lynching artist and avenger, which could do with some backstory, plot relevance, and polish. Even the raillayers should be a recognizable social group, maybe renowned for their endurance or anarchistic inclinations. I could take a career like travelling salesperson and turn it into some kind of cowboy/bard (salesboy, salesgirl, salesfolk), who travels the land, peddling goods and picking up rumors, delivering messages and undertaking secret missions. Not to mention tropes such as cattle runs (maybe not necessarily with cows – how'bouts schools of blubber-yielding brutes of the deep that must be transported underground, or something like giant goats who graze in the mountainous outskirts of the desert) … My only hope is to slowly grow the setting from what I have, adding yet a few interfaces to put in the first few pieces of lore, maybe kickstart the overworld with a pseudorandom quest, like a bounty announced at the train station office. When/if I add something like, say, riding later on, it would be neat with mounted starting careers: cavalerist, circus rider, horse charmer. But to ensure the player learns the basic stuff first, I could implement these careers to be unlockable, only accessible after the player has tried to ride a horse with a character of a less specialized career.

In conclusion, well, thanks for reading my entire rant (if you even did (note to self, DDAP)). In light of all these vague plans, I'm quite happy about the stripped-down backstory I'm working with for the mine slave release: I can keep it simple (since the character, a slave, is dressed in rags and deprived of all juridical freedom), just hint at the setting by fleshing out a few details, such as the importance of lead in this society: it's rare, used both as ammunition and as a currency, and there is also a motif like lead poisoning, which may open up to stuff like mad miners retreating into natural cave systems and cohabiting with the underground bestiary, as well as representatives of this nadirian order of life making their way into the companies' mine shafts, rumors of certain things in the deep, which shamans or philosophers may begin to try to comprehend, etc.

Here's a screenshot of current character generation:



As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #48 on: July 04, 2014, 10:18:19 AM »
Sneak preview: Version 7 ("The Lustre of Freshcut Lead") now available as Python sources and *.deb package. Windows binary and more info coming up. In the meantime, check out (and comment? ::)) the tentative manual (which is also available from the game's main menu).

As always,
Minotauros


This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #49 on: July 07, 2014, 10:29:28 AM »
Version 7 ("Freshcut Lead's Lustre") is now available:

Windows exe
Linux deb
Python sources

Compared to v. 6, the gameplay has mostly remained the same. The game has been rebalanced, though, giving the player a fair chance (I am able to beat it most of the time). The other big thing is backstory generation, which hopefully lends the setting some life (I did eventually decide to lose transsexual nobles, as per reaver's comments – with a heavy heart, but «kill your darlings», I guess, and I can always come back later to implement this properly). Apart from that, there's mostly changes "under the hood", but I decided to release this, as it might be a while until v. 8, which will focus on a better AI for mobs and NPCs.

Also, for this release, I managed to compile the Windows binary from within my working Linux installation. Hopefully, this works well for y'all, as it entails several advantages: I don't have to seek out a Windows computer to pack the *.exe, saving a lot of time. Also, I managed to slim the Windows archive down to a much nicer format (just an *.exe, not a bunch of *.dll files). So at this point, I'm curious to hear if anyone gets it working under Windows :)

Changelog for this version:
Code: [Select]
* Various fixes, tweaks and refactorings
* Added random backstory to character generation
* Added brief manual
* Made dogs a bit more interesting
* Rebalanced and refactored encounter tables
* Bugfix: Game sometimes crashed when player's movement blocked
* Bugfix: Charge skill is working better
* Bugfix: Graphic glitch in character creation
* Bugfix: Fixed bug in world seeding
* Bugfix: Fixed bug in damage calculation
* Added option to delete savefile in starting menu
* Added more-prompt
* Added status line to menu (and tidied it up a bit)

The next release will feature better AI and "more stuff" (loot+features, as well as encounters for the (currently empty) side-tunnels)

All and any comments welcome ...

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

reaver

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #50 on: July 07, 2014, 10:50:37 AM »
Working under windows :)

Just a suggestion here: If you have somewhere a few screenshots or a vid of how the game should look like (for example on your machine) it will be easier to verify if a user of another platform sees what he's supposed to. For example, I saw some footsteps as my PC icon and I was wondering if there was a @ missing, but I could not say for sure unless I have a "definitive" video/screenshot that is the latest version.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #51 on: July 07, 2014, 11:25:59 AM »
Thank for the heads up :) I'll put up some screenshots, or maybe even a video, as you suggest. The footsteps are probably correctly displayed, there's no "@" – although I could quite easily add that as a config option, if it's of interest. In any case, sprites and such are definitely just placeholders. I'm planning on rewriting the display code more or less from scratch, but I'm pushing that particular task ahead of me until the time comes for speech bubbles (probably v. 9). Then I'll do some sweeping changes, getting rid of graphical glitches (pixels that hang around after an actor has left a particular hex), drawing new and nicer sprites, and getting a system that makes it easier to plug in stuff like animations for hit/cricical/graze and such.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2014, 09:26:27 AM »
I decided to move my rantings about LoSt over to a blog. I'll still make announcements about releases and such here, but spare more in-depth ponderings for that place. The first post already includes a screenshot of the current version :)

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #53 on: December 01, 2015, 09:03:58 PM »
edit: updated links

(cross-posted from http://agingminotaur.blogspot.de/2015/12/released-lost-v8-still-life.html)

Released: LoSt v.8 «Still Life»
I decided to release the game in its current state, This is version 8, titled «Still Life». Hopefully, someone might have interest in trying it, just to stifle their own curiosity, and perhaps to leave a comment or two.

Get your fresh bloodshed here:
Windows executable
Python sources

Linux users: Apologies for delayed Deb package this time. I'll put it up shortly; in the meantime, Linux and Mac users can quite easily run the game from source, by following the readme inside the archive. Also note, save files are not backwards compatible. This even goes for the configuration file, so if you're reinstalling LoSt, your safest bet is just to delete your old configuration folder (named ".LoSt" and contained in your home directory).

«Still Life» is very much a pre-alpha release. Compared to the last version, which featured a dungeon and a win condition, I've rolled back to something even less reminiscent of a real game! Let's hope the one step backwards precedes a leap onwards … Highlights of «Still Life» include randomized species of plants and animals, basic overworld generation, and snazzier graphics (with configurable resolution and animation options).

There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes, which will make it easier to add more content to the game from now on. I guess the basic setting will take shape within a release or two, and hope to start working on humans in the next release. Implementing NPCs will entail getting more or the basic engine in place, including speech, trade and bounties (quests).

I'd be happy for any comments, even (especially) if it's just that someone didn't get the game to work or didn't understand how to play it. At the current point, I'm curious as to how people find the interface and combat system, both of which are quite unconventional.

Ideas and requests for content and features will be given high priority, as a carrot for those interested in the further development of LoSt. At the current point, the game is a bit lacking in theme. There are not many objects to find, and practically no lore. Also, the random animal species doesn't yet yield really memorable creatures. I'm sure the animals will get some more personality once text descriptions are added, but I'll also need some inspired ideas for how to take this feature a bit further. In general, I'm looking forward to getting the setting more or less in place. So if anyone want to see telescopes implemented before lassos, or would love to play a travelling quack in the next release, make your voice heard, and I'll try to accomodate.

As always, Minotauros
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 10:42:23 AM by AgingMinotaur »
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #54 on: December 01, 2015, 09:33:40 PM »
Random screenshot:


As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

akeley

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #55 on: December 01, 2015, 10:23:41 PM »
Y..you really stole from the ol` Argyve? Barbarian! I love this guy ;)

Sorry, just got distracted by this comic. Feedback?...ah, yes...downloading....

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2015, 08:23:42 AM »
Ha, I know it's heartless, but I can never resist the temptation to rob Argyve in Caves of Qud. Later, when I lay my hands on some plastic trees, I head straight back to the same to Tam and Irudad ;)

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

akeley

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2015, 09:34:34 PM »
Some random thoughts (blame the lack of cohesion on weekday tiredness)

- the overall aesthetic is very impressive - if I was to use one word it`d be "elegant". What`s most refreshing is that your design is original and not just another Unity shop asset or one of the 2 indie gfx trends (Flash 2.0/pixelart)

- the "feet" - ha...too clever :) Must say, I just realised you always see your avatar or monsters from the top or side, never from the bottom. Videogame first? My inbuilt reaction is "I wish I could see more" but i`m sure I will eventually get used to it...especially with the more intriguing quadrupeds and hopefully more to come. Any snakes or fish planned (ha!)?

- I don`t find neither interface nor combat that unconventional...interface is slightly "different", perhaps, but nothing that should be particularly puzzling I`d say, even to a novice. In fact, it`s rather, as they say :p "accessible".

- I was extremely pleased to see someone implemented my trifecta of petty requests from the beginning - namely: redefinable keyboard, random char generator and fullscreen/choosable resolution. Phew! No, really, it seems unimportant to gameplay at large and yet these "small" things make a game soooo much more approachable - especially keybindings (at any time, without messing with .inis and such...Mr. Biskup, take note!)

- I didn`t play that long , since there`s not much to do atm - so no bugs to report. A possible one:  a grouping of "happy stones"  generated half on solid terrain and half in some water. Though, it could make sense if they`re ancient enough (erosion etc)

-are there any stats for my character apart from health?

-design is great like I said earlier, one niggle: there`s that big empty space between top and bottom windows on the right side - anything planned to fill it in the future? if not it`d be better to move the bottom window below the top I think or generally group it together somehow so my firstworldproblem eyeball doesn`t have to move too much

-I think more things to "do" would benefit the project more than more things to "read" - as in, gameplay before lore. So, animals for example - I`d prefer them to have a specific action or reaction than some text flavour - I think it would differentiate them much better...though of course you can (and should) combine the two.

Actually, too tired for any in-depth analysis - vide last paragraph :) All I can say I hope there is more to come - this could be another Qud in the making here and its about as high an accolade I can bestow on a prealpha... exciting times :)

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2015, 03:26:30 PM »
Many thanks for taking the time to test and comment, akeley! I'm pleased to hear that the interface is accessible, as that has obviously my goal. But there's always the danger of developing myopia with regards to one's own creations, so I wasn't sure if other people would find it cryptic.

Happy stones generated in water is a bug. I'm going to have drowning and swimming, so water isn't tagged as obstacles per se, but I'll have to add a clause in the object placement routines to make sure things aren't randomly generated in water unless specifically told so.

Also glad to hear you like the footprint aesthetic. I'm still figuring out how to use eg. colour to differentiate critter types. Snakes are definitely on the wishlist, along with centipedes, locust swarms et al. Here's a very early sketch I did, which also shows how snakes are planned to look:


I wholeheartedly agree regarding the gap in the right hand menu. I'll try to move the tactical log a bit further up, as you suggest. In the future, a few more elements will probably be added to the menu (such as current time and date).

Apart from health, there are no stats like intelligence and dexterity, but every character has a few skills and quirks (which can be seen by moving the "look" cursor to your own position). In place of traditional stats, there will be quirks like "weak" and "strong" to reflect areas where your character differs from the norm. The plan is for such quirks to have quite specific effects rather than affecting your actions on a gliding scale. Say, a boulder might be too heavy to move for most characters, but possible to roll to the side for people with the "strong" quirk.

Also, I'll take into account your advice regarding adding stuff to do rather than stuff to read at this moment. I've been thinking perhaps to give each type of animal a fixed trait, for instance giving all pachyderms an extra body level. Also, rather than a complex routine to generate flavour text for the animals, a function to give species more evocative names might be just as effective, and quite sufficient in the short run. Consider something like: "This is a floobalux. The floobalux is a nocturnal feline that stalks the desert in search of its prey. It's lean body is covered in inch-long quills that it uses to defend itself," vs this much simpler string: "This is a quilly bobcat."

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Avagart

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Re: Land of Strangers
« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2015, 11:38:20 PM »
I should run LoS via terminal - v0.8 crashes more often than 0.6 which was latest version what I checked.
Last time - I was wandering long time, killed some 'wilds' which was not aggressive. Later I spotted pair of green shoes (probably). After few steps game just crashes.

It's a bit sad, I really love setting and design of Land of Strangers.