ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:58 am
Posts: 30
I think identification could work if it was pervasive *without exceptions*

So there wouldn't be actually be a "scroll of identification" or something.

There would be a artifact, that the more you used, the more you knew about. And you'd use them because you wanted to know about their properties.

Once in a while, by accident or directed testing (in this case preferably against a resource the player doesn't control, like fighting against rust monsters), you'd discover a property, and it would be automatically 'filled in' the description. In this example, "rust-proof".

Cursed items could work the same way: they'd remove/add stats bad or good, but they'd wouldn't actually prevent you removing them... the game would be to figure out they're bad.

One of the player stats, lore or something could partially fill up this stuff for artifacts (that should still be visually distinguisable anyway). Or maybe not, not sure it's a good idea to offer a escape hatch.

Of course, the real fun would be then to find ways to test 'dangerous to test' properties that aren't dangerous to you or the item, like the rust monster. That sort of 'heuristics' probably aren't fit for ToME. Can you think of a adventurer over a rust monster corpse, sharpening his sword to see if the dust that falls on it corrodes? You're the kind of person who would enjoy this.

To be honest, i'm not against this sort of thing in tome 4 if
a) once you figure them out once, they are used automatically if the conditions are appropriate (not combat, stand on a rust monster corpse, a sharpening tool and a untested sword in this example), so not to make it busy work, but something you figure out once, and when it happens again you think 'nice!'
b) not only one method to test each property, so that even if you're not spoiled you eventually figure out one or two.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:11 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 1262
If you based a roguelike around the ID game, that could be fun. I don't think it would work well for a larger project, especially when some attributes would require very specific knowledge and strategy to discover, like your rust-proof example. I'm mixed on the ID game in general - it does add a lot of 'oh shit!' moments to the early game, but it doesn't age or scale (to the number of items) very well. I really appreciate roguelikes that give you a screen showing which items haven't been identified yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:58 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:58 am
Posts: 30
Yeah, tome has probably way to many items for this to be enjoyable without the automatisms i mentioned.
My idea is that you first have to solve a 'puzzle' to find a alternative, more or less risk free way to do it, execute it perfectly, and then you either execute it automatically or get a new menu item to execute it in two clicks or something.
Solving a puzzle is fun, solving it again and again repeatedly is not fun (the game could also be organized so that each run has different puzzles for the same result, kinda like in nethack the scroll names get randomized).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 261
Just to offer a voice from a different viewpoint:

1) Nethack is a popular game, even if not with the previous posters in this thread, and without identification or hunger, it would be a shadow of what it is. You don't need to be spoiled to identify things, although it certainly helps. Hunger stops being meaningful in the late game, but it's a serious concern in the early game, not a trivial one.

2) Realism is not necessarily the enemy of good design. For one thing, your players aren't some monolithic group of people that all agree on what's fun. Some of us lean more towards gamey things, some of us lean more towards simulationey things. One of the oft ignored benefits of realism is that it aids some of us in immersion in the setting, in the game's particular fantasy. And that's important, and why children are playing Cops and Robbers and not Point and Shout.

My opinions? I like some elements of hunger, but when it stops being realistic (eat every fifteen minutes or die!) I get irritated. I don't like having a huge inventory of stuff, I prefer sticking with one thing rather than switching according to the circumstances. I like identification, but only when it's an interesting puzzle, and it rarely is-- scrolls of identification take the fun out of it. Overall, I like realism, and when unrealistic constraints are presented (starvation in less than a month, a lvl 50 warrior not being able to tell which sword is sharper) I lose interest. When unrealistic, but unheroic abilities are presented (like carrying around three suits of plate mail like it's no big thing), I lose interest too.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:52 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Nate makes a lot of great points. These are all questions I've gotta ask myself in making a hacklike.

So I think I've settled into offering four modes:

Easy: No hunger, no identification, squares (but with orthogonal movement).

Normal: Hunger never kills you, lots of identify scrolls, squares.

Hard: Hunger kills, few if any identify scrolls (I like what Nate said about it being a puzzle. I might work that in.), hexes.

Custom: Any of the above.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:03 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 261
I think that a gradated experience like that makes sense, except for with hexes/squares. How you lay out your game grid is going to affect so many game decisions that I can't imagine it varying between difficulty modes. Do you really want to make two versions of your engine, two versions of your maps, two versions of your pathfinding? With something so fundamental, you can get away with saying, "Hey, if you want to play my game, you're going to have to play with hexes." Or squares, or whatever.

A great author once had one of his characters say, "Write what you would want to read." As opposed to what other people would want to read, or what you would want to write. That was in reference to fiction, of course, but I think the advice applies equally well to independent game design. Few of us are so weird that there aren't any others who share our tastes! If you make a game that you wouldn't want to play, because you think that's what most other people would like to play, you're going to have a hell of a hard time making a good game. It's like a vegetarian trying to cook a good steak. Possible, but unlikely.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:52 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
See, the T-engine switches between hex and squares SO easily, I'd feel like a jerk for not offering the option to change it.

Really, you do not have to change all that much to switch pretty flawlessly between hex and squares. I guess I'll see what happens when I move out of the forest generated maps and onto dungeon maps though.

I want to play all sorts of different games! Sometimes a hacklike like Nethack is fun, and sometimes a diablolike like Legends of Yore is fun. I want my game to be a roguelike to suit my fancy, but backed up by an awesome story of you having to escape from this hell that is spreading behind you, and ultimately destroy it.


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