Author Topic: looting my corpse  (Read 7150 times)

Yyrkoon

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looting my corpse
« on: January 22, 2010, 11:26:49 AM »
After playing Hack (it wasn't called nethack yet) for the first time in the mid 80's I was blown away at "how cool" the concept of BONES files were, and that the game allowed you to battle the spirits of your former persona's in order to retrieve your former self's belongings.  Granted all the items were cursed, but hey, if I can't take off my +14 cloak of invisibility for a few rounds, so be it.

What surprises me is that the roguelike world is famous for sharing/stealing/lifting/borrowing ideas.  Yet I can not remember a single other roguelike that had this feature.  Can anybody else think of another roguelike that has it?

Wolfmilf

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 12:35:28 PM »
IVAN or Iter Vehemens ad Necem has this feature :)
And ofcourse, Nethack.

Yyrkoon

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roguelike idea - Ancestor Quest
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 01:06:06 PM »
For each of the Races in the game the AI generates 3 or 4 previous ancestors.  Characters own a house with portraits scattered throughout.  Examining a portrait gives you the randomly generated background for each ancestor and how/aproxhowdeep they died trying to recover a lost family heirloom in the "bottomless caves outside of town".

Characters have a basic town (moria style) to equip and trade in.  If character dies (which they should, since it should be crazy hard) on quest attempt then the next time a player chooses that race they should be a descendant of the previous character, and another potrait should be added to the home with the previous characters info.

Ancestor levels should be similar to Nethack except there can be variations based on the aligment of the previous character.  If previous character was good, perhaps the spirits interaction with the ancestor is enough to release it.  Leaving uncursed booty.  If the previous character was neutral perhaps a randomly generated quest will release it's spirit.  Leaving mixed cursed/uncursed items.  But if the previous character was evil then perhaps combat is all that can set the spirit free.  Leaving cursed items behind.

Obviously you would have to set limits for the number of ancestor levels that could be saved.  Perhaps the last half dozen for each race plus the four originals for a total of ten.  As the ghosts are beaten, released, or pushed.  The portraits could be removed and their names permanently entered into the family geneology book, also located in the house.  If all ancestors for a particular race are dispatched then 4 new randomly generated ancestors can be added at the top of geneology.  So player characters follow the ancestry down, whereas computer generated get added at the top.

Other than that, throw in a kick ass batch of skills, monsters, items, magic system, etc, and you'd have a pretty cool roguelike.

Anybody with skills for progamming for the xbox360 want to work on this with me?  Dungeon Adventure has inspired me to give that console the roguelike it deserves.

Resume on request.  I've some commercial software to my name.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 02:42:10 PM by Yyrkoon »

Yyrkoon

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Re: roguelike idea - Ancestor Quest
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 01:20:32 PM »
If previous character was good, perhaps the spirits interaction with the ancestor is enough to release it.  Leaving uncursed booty.

I'd make it extremely hard to be good in the game.  For instance besides an attack command I'd have a fend off command that could be used with non intelligent, weak, animal monsters, that just shooed away the monster (only getting 1/4 of exp of killing).  Killing weak animal intelligence monsters would count as a small hit to alignment.  Killing dangerous animal intelligence monsters would be a neutral act.

Obviously killing a Good NPC or friendly wandering monster would be a big hit to alignment.  Killing an evil monster or character would likewise do the reverse.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 02:09:45 PM by Yyrkoon »

Yyrkoon

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Re: roguelike idea - Ancestor Quest
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 02:31:06 PM »
Oh yeah.  You win if you find the family heirloom.  Maybe we can make nice garden in town with the statues of the six highest scoring heroes that managed the impossible.  I guess the heirloom can save the town or something.  Maybe it makes rain and the town has been suffering a horrible drought for a decade or something.   Details to be filled in later...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 02:48:39 PM by Yyrkoon »

getter77

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 04:07:45 PM »
Sounds like you're onto something nifty...I'd recommend a fully focused topic on this game outline in the Dev board as you piece it together.

You'd probably also do well to drop a line along the XNA community boards for technically helpful folk, as that might as well be the Merry Old Land of Oz as far as C# goes nowadays.
Brian Emre Jeffears
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Yyrkoon

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 05:40:26 PM »
I'm not sure if nethack does it, but I think a neat idea would be to have the players highscore a dynamic variable.  That is if you leave behind an evil ghost, or a character chooses to fight a neutral or good ghost, and that ghost wins.  Then the player's original score on the scoreboard should be adjusted to reflect the exp gained from that victory plus an adjustment for the gold / items it just aquired.  Items should be merged into the Ghosts stack up to a set limit.  After that limit you could start eliminating items based on value so the piles stay extra rich.  You could also create a follower variable for ghosts, and each time they kill a player character they could be granted one random undead follower.  The follower will keep the player characters former name, but race will be changed to Ghoul, Ghast, Zombie, Skeleton, etc... and new stats will be generated based on the formula for that particular undead.  Portraits will not be added for these lesser (named) undead, but the geneology book and scoreboards should reflect the current statis of that character.  Lesser (named) undead do not gain experience and cannot be permenently killed until their ghost master is released.  If you kill Zombie Bob but decide not to battle or evade it's master, then Zombie Bob should be back the next time that ghost is encountered.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 06:05:32 PM by Yyrkoon »

Ex

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2010, 09:04:33 PM »
Crawl has player corpses/ghosts. I think a few other games keep bones files too. I think they don't get used a lot because a lot of players either hate bones files or consider them cheating.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 09:06:59 PM by Elig »

Yyrkoon

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2010, 10:14:33 PM »
Crawl has player corpses/ghosts. I think a few other games keep bones files too. I think they don't get used a lot because a lot of players either hate bones files or consider them cheating.

Crawl does?  Really?  I've played the NDS version of crawl a decent number of times, and don't ever remember meeting my ghost.  As for cheating.  How so?  I suppose if there was a percentage chance that a character could have a heart attack and drop dead in the town or level one that might be cheating for the following character.  But if a character gets killed in the game.  It stands to reason that there was something of sufficient strength to defeat his str/lvl/bonuses.

At least the way I remember it Nethack leaves the monster that killed you wandering the level plus the ghost.  Seems to me that defeating that combination is a difficult enough scenario to warrant the big haul.  I also plan to apply some of the attributes of the actual former character to the ghost.  Nethack's ghosts are extremely difficult to hit, but they do almost no damage, and once you have a magic weapon they are pretty easy for anybody to dispatch.

*EDIT*  Thanks Elig.  I'm installing Stone Soup and look forward to finding my ghost.  I was just reading the Crawl wiki.  I think that is so bizarre that I've never met my ghost in that game.  But actually I like bits about how both games do their bones files.  Crawl keeps much of the players stats for their ghosts, and that is something that I like.  But it doesn't save the level or the monster that originally defeated you.  Nethack has much weaker ghosts but does save the original slayer.  I'd like the ghosts to be the central focus of this game, so I'd like to use the nastier parts of both ideas.  The way I envision the game working.  You should probably be stopped by the appearance of a ghost and temporarily spend alot of time on the previous level getting your character as tough as possible for what is going to be a very nasty level indeed.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 10:44:25 PM by Yyrkoon »

Ex

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2010, 01:34:02 AM »
It can be used for pseudo cheating by intentionally killing yourself on the first few levels of the dungeon with an inventory full of fantastic equipment. Then, your new character goes and collects the amazing stuff.

Fenrir

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2010, 01:51:06 AM »
It can be used for pseudo cheating by intentionally killing yourself on the first few levels of the dungeon with an inventory full of fantastic equipment. Then, your new character goes and collects the amazing stuff.
Fenrir tilts his head in a puzzled manner.

You mean this as a joke, yes?

Vanguard

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010, 03:58:57 AM »
Ragnarok had this feature as well.  You drop everything except for items related to the main quest where you die, and when a later character arrives at that location, everything will be exactly as it was when you were last there, except your old character's ghost will be present as a hostile monster.

There's also a hidden Crypt area where you're likely to have a rematch with many or even all of your previous characters' ghosts.

Bone files are considered cheating by some because they mean that each subsequent play is (potentially) easier than the last for reasons other than player skill.  You could let them build up over time (intentionally or not), and end up with a much easier game since sets of powerful equipment are just lying all over the place, ready for your use.  Sure whatever killed you last time will be there, but you'll have the advantage of being forewarned with the knowledge of exactly what it is and where it's waiting.

Yyrkoon

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2010, 04:23:07 AM »
Yeah I was trying to remember if they were present in Ragnarok.  It has been so long since I played it, I couldn't remember.  As for cheating, so you're saying that if I take my Lvl 20 fighter who is having trouble at say level 30 of the dungeon and give all his equipment to a new character, then the new character is going to somehow be at an advantage over the old character?  I Imagine the way I build games you will find that IF you can beat a ghost you'll generally get comprable or lesser items to the ones you currently have.  It only makes sense if I allow the ghosts to keep their stats.  And if you purposefully kill off a super tough character on level 2 of the dungeon, get ready to never see level 3 of the dungeon.

By the way.  The hook here is the ancestry of the various characters.  Do you tell your next door neighbor he is cheating when he inherits his deceased parents wealth?  Taking a hex editor and modifying data files is cheating.  Write protecting a character file to prevent it from being deleted after death is cheating.  Inheriting valuables from your dearly departed is a pretty true depiction of life.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 04:36:02 AM by Yyrkoon »

getter77

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2010, 04:28:53 AM »
One example of something that could make things a bit off, and not even a great example:  Character has rare/unique ring that is findable/generated once in a game.  Player suicides awesome character in some decent place in game.  New character rolls up, gets rare ring as the last one did, then also loots last one's corpse to result in both rings being worn at the same time and thus a headscratcher is born.

Or something.   You'd just need to be sure and bear in mind eq/item/balance/generation dealies a bit different than the usual Roguelike Bear.
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Yyrkoon

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Re: looting my corpse
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2010, 04:37:57 AM »
One example of something that could make things a bit off, and not even a great example:  Character has rare/unique ring that is findable/generated once in a game.  Player suicides awesome character in some decent place in game.  New character rolls up, gets rare ring as the last one did, then also loots last one's corpse to result in both rings being worn at the same time and thus a headscratcher is born.

Or something.   You'd just need to be sure and bear in mind eq/item/balance/generation dealies a bit different than the usual Roguelike Bear.

Just a variable for unique items that keeps track of whether they are on the board or not.  Nothing difficult.