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Old June 4, 2011, 23:21   #1
Angband Devteam member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London, UK
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So you want to contribute but can't code?

I got inspired to post a list of outstanding tickets that could be done by someone who doesn't know how to code. All contributions welcome - please base your changes on the versions of the edit files to be found here. (If you are a coder, there are over 300 other tickets, so please don't feel tempted to do these ones!)

Disclaimer: this doesn't mean that whatever anybody produces will automatically be included - at the very least it has to get a nod from takkaria as a good enough solution/implementation. My assumption is that anybody inspired to work on one of these things will post a new thread linking to their work, and discussion will ensue automatically. If that doesn't happen, I'll make sure I start a thread myself before committing any of these.

Come up with better names for Banishment and Mass Banishment.

Fix the mage spell list so that the mage's damage output scales smoothly throughout the game, and so that resistable attacks do more damage (per unit mana) than unresistable ones. Also make sure that the spells are spread across the books in such a way that makes none of the books useless (or so essential that you can't live without it). Yes this will need subsequent work to code the changes, but an updated spell.txt is the best way to start this. (Ok so actually this isn't a straight text file edit, because the actual numbers are in here ...)

Remove branding spells from both realms. To do this properly means editing p_class.txt as well.

Review which monsters have NO_SLEEP, NO_CONF, NO_FEAR and NO_STUN. In general fewer monsters should have them, to make those effects more useful (the monsters still get a save), but there could be some which don't but ought to. While you're there, you might as well do the same for IM_FIRE/COLD/POIS/ELEC/ACID too ...

Add monster mana - there's a branch which has support for this already, but we need someone to go through monster.txt and assign a mana rating to each monster (0 for those with no spells, obviously). We also need a mana cost for each monster spell (RSF_FOO). Both Sangband and NPP have monster mana (and probably FA and others), so please look at those for some guidance. Hint: takkaria likes the NPP implementation.

monster spell messages - lots of people have noted that the messages in the latest dev versions are less flavourful than their predecessors. So we need a text file for these, which has this format (one stanza per spell):

A: Message that is printed when the spell is cast by a visible monster (use %^s for the monster's name), e.g. %^s points at you, incanting terribly!
B: Message that is printed when the spell is cast by an unseen monster, e.g. Something utters a terrible incantation!
C: Description that is printed in monster recall after "It can", e.g. cause critical wounds
D: A message which is printed when the player saves (i.e. anything more flavourful than "You avoid the effects!"), if the spell allows a save

The list of monster spells is here - this file also contains the fragments of the above messages which are currently used, so this is what you need to improve on. If anybody does do this one, there are two more tasks like it (for the messages arising from the GF_ types and from all the side effects, so feel free to have a go at those too.)

Add more monster races - this is as simple as creating new RF_ flags for new monster races and adding them to the relevant monsters in monster.txt. If you're feeling clever you can add them to this as well.

Add more monsters - this is a general free-for-all ticket which contains a bunch of recommended sources (and also links to other monster tickets mentioned above).

For races and classes:
Rebalance classes - some of this stuff will need coding, but again an updated p_class.txt file would be good.

Update races - likewise for p_race.txt.

... and some non-gameplay-related tickets:
Context-sensitive help content - this should be in a file like this:

C: context for this help (e.g. light has gone out)
D: description of this help (e.g. You need to refuel your light source, or find another one).

... yes it'll need coding, but it will help to have the content available.

A help file for editing the edit files - the edit files themselves contain a little bit of info, but it's aimed at people who already know the game's internals. To make the game more easily moddable, we need a help document which explains the fields in each edit file and how to edit them (e.g. including some of the formulae etc.)..

Check font licences for the new fonts (the ones ending in 'x'). Ideally we need the licences for all of them concatenated into a single text file (but showing clearly which font uses which licence).

Design a new scoring system - open season on this. Yes it would need coding, but a document which describes it would be a great start (and would be included as a help file).

Last edited by Magnate; October 24, 2011 at 17:10. Reason: Updated after v4 fork
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