Author Topic: Multi-tile Creatures  (Read 21978 times)

AquaTsar17

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Rogueliker
  • *
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Multi-tile Creatures
« on: December 02, 2009, 03:55:42 AM »
Alright, I've got another set of questions for everyone out there about creatures that are larger than a single square. ZZT has those centipede like creatures, and Dwarf Fortress has seige equipment and wagons that take up multiple tiles, but are there any other roguelikes with large creatures like this?

Do you think it'd be good to have large creatures like this? I can see wagons and catapults (or workshops) being big, but in that case would a dragon be the same size? And how would it show up? Just a larger D or some other sequence of letters?

I know tile-based games can simply show a larger tile (and those games are valid enough to be listed here) but what would be a good way to do this in ascii?

Cirrus

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 03:59:27 AM »
I was thinking about doing this, and just using multiple letters for each monster.  For ASCII/Text, there really isn't another way of doing it.

Z

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 905
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Z's Roguelike Stuff
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 08:35:47 AM »
NetHack has long worms. IVAN has 2x2 creatures. Ragnarok has slightly related ivy creepers. Some other games which are not exactly roguelikes but have similar tactical gameplay have large creatures (X-Com, Exile, also HoMM which is quite different).

DD
DD

For a 2x2 dragon, I think the ASCII representation above is the best. It is unambigous unless there are several dragons nearby.

Etinarg

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 424
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Idea archivist and game tinkerer.
    • View Profile
    • Gedankenweber Blog (German)
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 08:49:08 AM »
Do you think it'd be good to have large creatures like this? I can see wagons and catapults (or workshops) being big, but in that case would a dragon be the same size? And how would it show up? Just a larger D or some other sequence of letters?

You get a new class of problems, finding out if a creature or object can pass a 1-tile corridor. It might not be too difficult, but it's an additional source of mistakes and some extra work.

Z is right, the square D is a good solution.

Personally I'd like to have longer dragons than wide ...

Dd

With the D part being front and d being tail.

I don't know if it's a god idea. Roguelikes are usually fairly abstract, and the "one object per tile" rule works well in this abstract world. I don't see a need to break this for a more realistic approach (real sizes), since I don't see big benefits ...

... also, if you have a

DD
DD

Dragon in a room with only one-tile wide entrances, the question arises how the dragon got in there.

Rya.Reisender

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 09:18:58 AM »
The bosses in Chocobo's Dungeon are usually 2x2 or 3x3 tiles big. I think the movement / attack range is solved quite well there.

Z

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 905
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Z's Roguelike Stuff
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 09:38:58 AM »
You can have 2x2 creatures only in places where this makes sense (i.e. on the surface or in caves without any narrow corridors). IVAN solves the problem in another way, by having all 2x2 creatures either completely immobile, or able to break down walls.

purestrain

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 11:29:14 AM »
Skip tiles (for movement) and allow arbitary sizes.

Fenrir

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 473
  • Karma: +1/-2
  • The Monstrous Wolf
    • View Profile
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 02:37:57 PM »
If you use SDL or something to simulate ASCII, you could use larger letters.

D

instead of

DD
DD

Vanguard

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 1112
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 10:29:22 PM »
Incursion has large creatures, and they're represented by an ascii character in the center of a box, if I remember correctly, so a large dragon would look something like this:

         
|      |
|  D  |
|      |

I think it was a pretty good way to implement it.

Z

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 905
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Z's Roguelike Stuff
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2009, 12:31:42 AM »
Nice that large dragon, but it requires monsters of size 3x3... that's very large.

SDL-simulated ASCII usually looks bad :) Although with large letters and other special effects, like e.g. having characters representing weapons superimposed on characters representing monsters to represent weapons wielded by monsters, or fiery letters to represent monsters on fire, it could make sense. (I don't know whether special effects such as big letters are possible in libtcod, which looks good in general.)

AquaTsar17

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Rogueliker
  • *
  • Posts: 57
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2009, 05:48:57 PM »
I think the big SDL letter accurately describes the notion that "this dragon is much larger than you", certainly better than the 4 D's in a block. This is only because how do you know the 4 D's are one large dragon instead of 4 smaller dragons that happen be standing very close by? Or, even more confusingly, if you unfortunately walked into a dragon nest you could see this:

#######
#DDDD
#DDDD
#######

Now, without using color what on earth is this? A very long dragon? Two large dragons (knowing that 4 D's are one big dragon)? 8 small dragons (where D is one tile in size) or some combination? Color would help immensely, and case could help too. But if different casing is used, then we run into issues of "d" being part of a dragon or a dog that happens to like standing beside a dragon.

Incursion's idea is quite nice, and I can see that being necessary given its source material. If I was to go with multi-tile creatures I'd probably use that, and say "based on Incursion's multi-tile creature display" or something similar. How do they do creatures of size Tiny or smaller just out of curiosity? Or has anyone encountered that before? (I need to play more Incursion.)

I didn't like the Chocobo Dungeon bosses (or at least the bosses in the 3rd game, since that's the one I played). The bosses were far too trivial since spatial strategies could not be used. It basically came down to making sure you could do enough damage to the boss before it could attack you, because once it was on an adjacent square you could never escape it.

Ivan's idea of having immovable creatures can work, since large things might not need to move. Wall breaking could be exciting too, but it might be more interesting if you're walking along and see broken walls ahead of you (suggesting some large creature made its way through there). Otherwise, you'd need to use corridors larger than 1 tile in many places. This isn't necessarily bad but it does require strategies other than "move to a narrow area so only one enemy can attack you at a time", and depending on the game that could effectively make it impossible to win.

AgingMinotaur

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 805
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Original Discriminating Buffalo Man
    • View Profile
    • Land of Strangers
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 05:51:40 PM »
I think the most important question, that's already been hinted at in this thread, is: which benefits do you get from large monsters? I'd like to see what answers are given by the people who consider adding big creatures to their games, or already have. I can't seem to remember having run into big monsters in any RL I played ...

I can imagine some interesting features of course, eg. a <giant earth worm> that will split into smaller parts when a (one-tile) segment has taken a certain amount of damage. I also had the idea once for adding rat kings as a monster, that would be several tiles wide, and act like a "writhing mass"-kind of beast, ie. trying to engulf its victim.

I'm sure there are several ideas that can come up in a private or public brainstorming. Apart from that, there's the problem of monsters not fitting into one-tile wide corridors, which could actually be made a strategic feature, if you balanced it right, by making most corridors wider.

I remember Blood Bowl (the board game upon which corremn's Sewerjacks is based) had an extension with rules for "big monsters", that occupied four squares, and used a round to turn 90°. But the implications are entirely different on an open arena than in a cramped dungeon.

I just don't know if I think it's worth the hassle. Anyone care to enlighten me?

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

Z

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 905
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Z's Roguelike Stuff
Re: Multi-tile Creatures
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 02:19:22 PM »
I think it's the matter of imagination and immersion. Fighting huge monsters feels very good, but  it just feels strange when e.g. ancient wyrms in ADOM, whose descriptions suggest that they are gigantic, still take the same amount of squares as a rat, and they easily fit in a corridor which is so narrow that a human could not be attacked by two people coming from the same side (actually, even two rats). It is also more interesting when some monsters have properties which are really something new rather than just stronger versions of previous monsters.

Huge monsters make no sense on traditional roguelike maps with rooms connected by 1 tile wide corridors, where they would just get stuck, but there are lots of way to solve this problem in an interesting way, either by changing the map, or by giving special powers to the monsters. Like the Genetrix Vessana plant in IVAN, which does not move at all, but still the player will probably fight it in melee, since otherwise it attacks by creating lots of smaller plants next to the player, and the player usually does not have better attack options by the time when he reaches the Genetrix Vessana.

Kind of offtopic in this thread, but actually, immobile monsters seem to be an idea which is overlooked in roguelikes. One of my favorite monsters is the rosebush from Alphaman, which does nothing except smelling nicely. The nice smell lures the player character to touch the rosebush, which is painful, as it has thorns. (A great way of turning a well known flower into a interesting monster.) Also this mighty water monster from Mission Thunderbolt, who does not like to leave pools, but when enough missiles are thrown at it, it will, and try to destroy the responsible character on the land.