ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Loremaster

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Location: London, England
This year's 7DRL challenged has been announced for 10th to 18th March. In that time you have 1 week to make a completely new roguelike. Do you think you're man enough to succeed?! Last year there was one 7DRL made using the T-Engine and it was ranked 4th by the evaluation committee. Anyone think they can manage to do better? (Oh, and there was a failure too - sorry, Zonk...)

The T-Engine really should be used more, and if amateurs like me can succeed at this then some of the more skilled coders here have no excuse not to enter. So clear out your diaries and declare your intention to join in!

My rough plan is to make a minimal UI combat-centric game that aims to make bump-to-attack both enjoyable and interesting. If I can use tiger_eye cool hex code then all the better. Working title is "Rogue Rage".

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:01 pm
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Grey wrote:
Oh, and there was a failure too - sorry, Zonk...

No need to say sorry - my fault for changing my game concept basically daily during the contest... :lol:

*IF* I try again - and I doubt it, because I will likely be extremely busy - I want to have a good, workable concept first.
I do have something sketched...the PC would be is a nigh-immortal entity(a demon, undead revenant, rampaging monster) that is however not invulnerable.
Enemy attacks will mostly cause debuffs, as the PC is crippled, weakened, loses limbs...
Only a few very specific things/situation would be able to trigger player death/game loss.
Title was meant to be 'Relentless'.

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Addons (most likely obsolete): Wights, Trolls, Starting prodigy, Alternate save/resistance system


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:53 pm
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Grey, as a veteran of 7DRLs can you give us some pointers? Common sense points to having a clear, fairly simple design and sticking with it but nothing beats experience. I think I actually will have time to devote this year so count me in.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Sher'Tul

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Marking it down now. I have so many ideas floating around that I'm sure I could accomplish something; the hardest part will be choosing something simple and staying on it.

Recently I've been mulling over an intricate ID game, where learning about your equipment is equivalent to character advancement. I have some desire in developing this into a full game; maybe the 7DRL challenge will help me nail down core mechanics. I'm also hoping to keep away from an entirely Tolkienesque setting, though for the 7DRL that will probably just mean "not goblins." The hex engine looks really cool but I could see it being something of a time sink.

Heh, yufra beat me to my question.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:32 am 
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Loremaster

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Well, since I had a few people asking me for tips, I made a blog post with a whole bunch of them:

http://www.gruesomegames.com/blog/?p=157

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:49 pm
Posts: 243
This looks great. I need to post my ideas on shortcuts you can take (and shortcuts that I took). Do you mind if I include a link on 7drl.org?

Still, I have no experience developing games with the T-Engine. However, it looks like it will be a huge timesaver, as I will be able to generate dungeons quickly.

Questions:
1. Can I include other entities in room layouts like monsters? Like with vaults?
2. How do you add new talents? I tried adding another talent to the example module, but it didn't work?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:07 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:10 pm
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Just realized that this is over my spring break. That might be a great thing, though it might also be a terrible thing...

My previous 7DRL idea has turned into a far more unwieldy beast than I intended, so instead I'm going to focus on one small aspect of it and hope momentum helps me implement the full game later. :) Much like how Grey wants to make bump-to-attack interesting, I want to make stealth interesting and dynamic. AI opponents will suffer from limited information, just like the player, and will have to make decisions based on their propensities and knowledge (golems might not be smart enough to search for targets, for example). There will probably still be "stealth" checks, but they will exist primarily for avoiding encounters, not for getting an advantage, and bonuses to stealth/perception scores will be in short supply. If basic mechanics work, I'm going to add some other detection types (sound and telepathy). Equipment progression will be short; apart from artifacts, most every item will have a purpose. This is both to keep me focused and to help balance the game (player tactical skill over equip collection).

Motivation: I've never cared for "stealth" mechanics in any video game, with the possible exception of Oblivion/Skyrim (and those have their own tremendous weaknesses). Moreover, I dislike how stealth is rarely an escape option, and more of a minor positioning/first-strike bonus, especially when "stealth" is a sustained skill. Honestly, the genre is called rogue-likes; I'd hope the adventurer would naturally practice discretion when exploring monster-filled caves.

I've got a six-day schedule (plus one for whatever) that I think I can manage. The AI will probably be the trickiest part.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:43 pm 
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Which was the 7DRL to get 4th? (Also a link to the ranking in general would be great!)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Loremaster

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Broken Bottle, linked in my sig. The evaluation report is here:

http://www.roguetemple.com/7drl/2011/

Of course I plan on doing better this year :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:42 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:49 pm
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bricks, your stealth 7drl idea sounds interesting. For ideas, I would suggest analyzing Brogue. In that game, stealth is an escape option, if you have a highly enchanted ring of stealth, as monsters will occasionally lose track of you while chasing you. Additionally, it is possible to attack monsters and not have them notice you (sometimes with ranged attacks). Its fun to poison a monster in Brogue, and then stalk away, while the monster slowly loses hp and dies. There is also a light mechanic, where sticking to the shadows gives you a stealth advantage. Many monsters that are awake will patrol around the dungeon.

As character advancement in Brogue is mostly tied to finding items and improving them with scrolls of enchantment, avoiding them is viable, especially at lower levels. There are also items that enhance the stealth approach or provide alternate means of stealth, such as staves of blinking to move close to the monsters and dispatch them, rings of clairvoyance to scout monsters through walls and maybe ambush them if they open a door, and staves of digging to go around monsters.

Incursion also had a different stealth mechanic similar to d20, where you only needed to make a single check to sneak around a monster, instead of a check each round. Also, it was possible to earn xp by simply sneaking through a room and taking treasure. Unfortunately, stealth was overpowered in that game, but it could work if your game is focused on stealth.

I like this idea and hope that you will take it in a good direction.

For my seven day roguelike, I want to make positioning a tactical element in combat, and make where you move relative to your opponent important (but I will need some good AI like with your idea). Unlike many other roguelikes, where having your back to the wall is usually a good defensive position (as it prevents swarming), having your back to the wall will be a bad position in this roguelike. I dislike having melee being just boring bump moving into the opponent, but I want to take a different approach from Darren.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:54 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 1262
Thanks for the input, eliotn. Brogue is a definite inspiration. Light/shadows will be very simple (partly because writing a lighting system is nontrivial, but also because complicated lighting systems are harder for the player to interpret). I'm thinking that both lighting and stealth will follow a three-level system; for stealth, this means that one level of perception checks will always result in detection, the opposite level will result in never being detected, and the middle range will behave with some randomness. Kinda like how saves vs. powers work for ToME. For lighting there will be "lit," "shadowy," and "dark," which will each in turn give stealth penalties/bonuses.

Your ideas for tactical combat sound like a lot of fun. In Caves of Qud, some monsters are designated as "swarmers;" when more than one swarmer surrounds you, you suffer a defense penalty for each above the first. That or similar could be a good approach. You're probably familiar with DoomRL's "run" tactic; I think it adds a lot of depth to that game. One tactics/combat idea I've had for some time is allowing the player to take an action when they are attacked, with specific bonuses/penalties for each. Parrying, dodging, and blocking attacks would all be specific actions, as would other special moves like switching places, rolling out of the way of an attack, or grabbing an attacker's weapon. The T-Engine doesn't really support that sort of action system natively, though, so that could be a lot of work.

Unfortuantely it's looking more like I won't be able to do this during the official 7DRL challenge. Maybe I'll try the week after.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:49 pm
Posts: 243
bricks wrote:
stealth, this means that one level of perception checks will always result in detection, the opposite level will result in never being detected, and the middle range will behave with some randomness.


Do you mean that the monster has an idea of where the player is to go investigate? Interesting idea.

One idea could be the ability to make noise to distract monsters.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Well hello there,

I am new to all that roguelike stuff but would like to participate in this contest, too. I have a few questions though. (Please excuse my bad english; it is not my native language)

(1) Does the game you create have to be a "classic roguelike"? I mean how different may it be in comparison to it's traditional roots? Am I allowed to implement a menu-based UI for equipment, shops and similar stuff or do I have to use the classic keybindings? Can I have a different kind of battle system? (To make it short, I am thinking of an "overworld crawler" where you fight through different dimensions. Each tile represents a specific kind of terrain the hero may cross. Events are hidden on these fields until you step on the specific field. I would like to use random battles in combination with a turn-based combat system, but I do not know if it is allowed to use such different stuff. I thought it would be better to ask before participating. I never finished a project though, so this is my first real try. If I am not allowed to use such systematics, please tell me this so I can reorganize my ideas!)

(2) How much can you prepare? During the time of the competition, I have to be at the university. I would like to prepare the manual in advance, nothing else. Preparing that piece of the game would be a great help to me. I only have two days to code and this is not much for sure, so it would be a smaller project.

(3) For which operating systems do you have to compile the code?

Thanks in advance for answering my questions and have a nice day,

CLW


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Loremaster

Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 pm
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Location: London, England
1. Whatever you like really. Generally your should have procedural content (random levels), permadeath and be turn-based, but beyond that the mechanics are up to you.

2. Preparation without coding is fine. I have a full design doc types up, though of course I may change ideas during the week. writing a manual is perfectly fine.

3. Whatever you like. Most people want their game to be accessible on the main 3 OSes, and usually folks release their source too. One guy did his 7DRL on the C64 a few years back (turned out to be very accessible actually, since C64 emulators exist on all systems).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Hello Grey,

thank you for your fast answers. The three main points you mentioned (permanent death, random levels and turn-based game systematics) are totally given, but I have to ask about the battle system one more time to be sure. Is it OK to create a battle system that has its own screen once the battle starts, where you can give commands to your hero and as soon as you win you are back to the map? (Instead of the classic "move against the enemy to attack". More like the classic CRPG turn-based battle systems, for example the system of Might and Magic 1).

Now I am really excited to do this. This seems to be an interesting challenge for sure.

Thanks for your answers in advance and have a nice day,

CLW


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