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Old February 18, 2012, 22:20   #1
xibalba
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Adding 3 dimensions to a 2D roguelike

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/19667...reams/61975735

Azure Dreams is a proprietary game for the PlayStation 1. It's a 3D roguelike, with elements of townbuilding sims, dating sims, and monster raising and fighting games. The game uses 3D graphics to represent the terrain of each floor in the Monster Tower (which is the tower you must climb in the game, just like you have to descend into a dungeon in other roguelikes), but the actual player character and non-player characters are 2D sprites. Items and effect animations are 2D sprites as well.

I'm no programmer, so I'm wondering; how hard is it to add a z-axis and 3D graphics for terrain to an existing 2D ascii roguelike? It doesn't have to be a fully functional z-axis (in that you can have a something on a floor above you, at the same x and y co-ordinates), but it would instead allow you to have hills and ravines to traverse on the current floor, which would change battle mechanics.

The battle mechanics in question:
*Height Variance = Damage Variance.
//Attack from above, and you deal more damage. Attack from below, and you deal less damage.
*Line Of Sight
//Ranged weapons and spells which use LOS can be blocked when there is something between the actor and the target.
*Arcing
//Weapons like bows - but not crossbows - and some spells activate along an arc. As such, they can be fired over an obstacle, but not around it to either side. Depending on the position of the obstacle relative to the actor and the target, the obstacle may block the attack.
*Knockback
//Some attacks can knock a target back one square. If the target falls from a higher square to a lower square, the target may suffer fall damage.
*Fall Damage
//Fall Damage increases the greater the distance you fall.
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Old February 19, 2012, 09:25   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xibalba View Post
I'm no programmer, so I'm wondering; how hard is it to add a z-axis and 3D graphics for terrain to an existing 2D ascii roguelike? It doesn't have to be a fully functional z-axis (in that you can have a something on a floor above you, at the same x and y co-ordinates), but it would instead allow you to have hills and ravines to traverse on the current floor, which would change battle mechanics.

The additional features you are listing should be in the game design since the start, because they are an integral part of the game mechanics.

If you'd be happy with just a fake z-axis, necklace of the eye

NotEye

gives you a first person POV to a generic roguelike which uses pure ASCII output.

edit:
if you are interested in tactical use of terrain, you could try unangband, for example
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Old February 19, 2012, 11:48   #3
Mikko Lehtinen
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Originally Posted by ghengiz View Post
if you are interested in tactical use of terrain, you could try unangband, for example
I've added tables and platforms to the development version of FayAngband.

Standing on a platform while your opponent is lower protects you from its melee attacks 2/5 of the time.

Platforms may also block ranged attacks aimed at the other side 2/5 of the time. If you are standing right next to a table or platform, you may use it as a cover without getting the penalties yourself.

I have Jumping skill for both the player and monsters. You have to succeed in Jumping to get on a table.
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Old February 19, 2012, 12:46   #4
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Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
I've added tables and platforms to the development version of FayAngband.

Standing on a platform while your opponent is lower protects you from its melee attacks 2/5 of the time.

Platforms may also block ranged attacks aimed at the other side 2/5 of the time. If you are standing right next to a table or platform, you may use it as a cover without getting the penalties yourself.

I have Jumping skill for both the player and monsters. You have to succeed in Jumping to get on a table.
very nice!
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Old February 19, 2012, 13:47   #5
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I have other new tactical features in rooms, too. Unfortunately playtesting revealed that no matter how beneficial the room features were, retreating into a corridor was still usually the optimal strategy.

But I really wanted people to take advantage of the platforms and other nifty features, like magical circles. I decided to make a radical change to melee combat: whenever you attack a monster in melee, and there's another monster in melee range, you will attack one additional monster at random!

This may feel weird at first but it works really well in actual play. Now I often have exciting situations where I'm standing on a table surrounded by a horde of orcs, who are bad jumpers.
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Old February 19, 2012, 14:17   #6
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Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
I decided to make a radical change to melee combat: whenever you attack a monster in melee, and there's another monster in melee range, you will attack one additional monster at random!
just curious: does that count as an additional free attack (with thus the whole dice of the weapon in hand), or like an "accidental" hit (imagine a monster (not the one you are attacking directly) near you hit by the rear of a lance) with reduced damage?

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Now I often have exciting situations where I'm standing on a table surrounded by a horde of orcs, who are bad jumpers.
I'm looking forward to try it
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Old February 19, 2012, 14:21   #7
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just curious: does that count as an additional free attack (with thus the whole dice of the weapon in hand), or like an "accidental" hit (imagine a monster (not the one you are attacking directly) near you hit by the rear of a lance) with reduced damage?
It's a full attack sequence with all your blows. So it's optimal to pick fights with either one or two monsters at the same time.
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Old February 19, 2012, 14:38   #8
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Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
It's a full attack sequence with all your blows. So it's optimal to pick fights with either one or two monsters at the same time.
I think it's a great idea...
BTW, is this "one more full attack sequence" a just-once-per-turn thing, or may it trigger again for free and so on?
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Old February 19, 2012, 14:58   #9
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I think it's a great idea...
BTW, is this "one more full attack sequence" a just-once-per-turn thing, or may it trigger again for free and so on?
It happens every time you press the key to attack someone. If there are more opponents in melee range, you attack one of them at random.

This doesn't actually change the combat math that much. It's still usually preferable to retreat to a corridor rather than face three or more monsters in a room. You just have some more tactical options, especially around terrain features.
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Old February 19, 2012, 17:20   #10
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I've thought about trying to make a roguelike with height variance in the tiles. I came to the conclusion that the result would basically look like your average tactical RPG (c.f. Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Fire Emblem, etc.). Doesn't mean it'd be a bad idea -- I sank way too many hours into Disgaea 2. The main thing about height variance is that it needs to be an integral component of the combat system, to make up for the costs of implementing it. Some potential issues that you'd want to think about:

* Do you know how to do 3D graphical work? OpenGL is a lot more complicated to work with than just blitting pixels to the screen.
* You'll need a mobile camera so you can look behind tiles and see where monsters are hiding.
* Units will need different capabilities when it comes to traversing the terrain. Snakes should probably not be able to just jump up over a short cliff, but they might be able to climb its side.
* Testing for line-of-sight becomes more complicated.
* Area-of-effect spells should probably also be tweaked, since presumably they aren't all going to be lightning bolts out of the heavens.

And so on...
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