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Old December 12, 2011, 10:03   #1
ISNorden
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[Norseband] I'm back--but where to go from here?

Since real life has pretty much slowed to a crawl here, I thought I'd resume work on the Norseband project that's been stuck in alpha for quite some time. I have two major questions, though:

  1. To fork or not to fork? I'd begun outlining how Norseband would look/feel as a standalone variant, with Furyband as a starting point. The code I've gotten help with so far looks OK, though some classes need the bugs worked out to make it even semi-playable. (The variant page will be going up in a few days, after I've updated some dead links; it will include the source code and a to-do list arranged by priority.)
  2. If I don't fork, then what? Since I've been out of the Roguelike scene for over a year now, this is the first I've heard of T-Engine's latest release...and a few other Roguelike engines out there as well. If using an engine for Norseband would save work without losing the "look and feel" I had in mind, which engine would be best for the job and why?
Please let me know which direction I should take from here (besides forgetting the whole thing ); I'd appreciate any polite, constructive help I can get. Thank you!
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Old December 12, 2011, 14:32   #2
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Last I tried it, T-engine 4 had major problems - namely hogging over 2 GB of RAM and almost locking me out of my (Linux) OS. I've heard similar from other Intel chipset users, from ATI chipset users, and even from Windows users. So I would unfortunately have to recommend against it for now.

That said I'm not sure what the alternatives are. I don't think a whole lot of variants are as extensible as T2. FAAngband might be forkable though, I think (but the "look and feel" might not be the same).
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Old December 12, 2011, 21:51   #3
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Lots of the other engine options, like Roguelike GCS and Neon are still pretty early yet. Legend of Siegfried aims to compete with T-Engine 4/Tome4 in this "modules" space, but thus far dev seems(?) to have sadly stalled out as T4 continues to rock ahead. Within another release or so DoomRL will have rather significantly boosted modding capabilities, but that could very well be awhile considering Chaosforge operates on a timescale unto itself on the whole not so unlike the various merry things kicking about here in the land of Rephial.

T4 continues to get better here and there technically as the content for Tales of Maj'Eyal gets wrangled, and the recent release morphing into it some "add on" capabilities should help tons, but it is hard to say how a larger project would fare as the only modules thus far have been experimental, shorter Roguelike ventures.
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Old December 13, 2011, 01:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therem Harth View Post
FAAngband might be forkable though, I think (but the "look and feel" might not be the same).
It might well be forkable, but the look and feel would definitely not be the same.

Things that would definitely need to be changed would be the edit files, the wilderness map and associated definitions (in tables.c) and some of the special case quest and generation code.
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Old December 13, 2011, 03:32   #5
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Hmmm...given the limitations of my own machine (a 4-year-old PC with Windows XP and 2 GB of RAM), a huge engine that might crash the system is not a good starting point. I might have been able to use T-Engine 3 when it was still current: it kept the required coding knowledge to a minimum, but still distinguished the way various parts of a game behave. (Object-oriented game code doesn't feel like the *band style I've learned over the years: I'm used to a distinct set of rules for player races, a distinct set of rules for terrain, a distinct set or rules for monsters, and so on.)

If I'd known enough C++ to get beyond "Hello world" (), I might have continued developing Norseband on my own, as the standalone game I'd wanted way back when. I'd be glad to offer a storyline and program features for more knowledgeable folks to translate into code, but that's the best I could do without an engine. If anyone out there has enough time and interest to help with a fork, I'll accept; otherwise, my best bet so far looks like T-Engine 3 (where my biggest obstacle would be drawing the maps).

P.S. Therem Harth, I should probably look at FAAngband (both the compiled game and the source code) to see whether it would make a better forking-off point than Furyband. Where can I download FAAngband, if it's still available online? (A lot of variants I miss are no longer downloadable...killed by Link Death. )
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Old December 13, 2011, 11:17   #6
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Re T-engine 4, I don't think it's huge; it just has a memory leak or something. It might or might not pig out and crash on your machine. (Though it has done so every time on all the ones I've tried it on.)
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Old December 14, 2011, 04:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therem Harth View Post
http://angband.oook.cz/faangband/

Re T-engine 4, I don't think it's huge; it just has a memory leak or something. It might or might not pig out and crash on your machine. (Though it has done so every time on all the ones I've tried it on.)
Looked at the FAAngband edit files already; being able to change item flavors, race histories, and similar data directly is a big plus for poor programmers like me. A lot of the core functions are still buried in the source, though. If you've taken a look at the "to-do list" links I posted recently...how hard would making the high-priority changes be to someone with your programming skill? Just asking...
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Old December 14, 2011, 08:49   #8
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I had an idea of forking FAangband into old norse theme for long.
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Old December 14, 2011, 09:11   #9
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Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
I had an idea of forking FAangband into old Norse theme for long.


Really? If you can code, I'd be glad to have you on the development team; it's best to have people who know and like the new theme when a fork changes the whole gameworld. Even if you can't, I'd love to see your interpretation of a Norse setting; some of your ideas may be worth adding to the stable version when it's ready.
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Old December 14, 2011, 10:06   #10
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Well, first of all obvious idea is to change feeling from Tolkien base into old norse myth base. It includes most changes you propose.

However I had another thought about straying away from Angband gameplay into something much less magical, and much more adventure like. This will be absolutely different game.
Basic ideas.
1) No (angband style) spells. At least no spells which can be used in combat, no mana, no books, scrolls, wands, no magical classes, just warrior, rogue, ranger may be enough. Maybe the only active player magic will be artifact activation. No recall of teleportation of any type.

2) True magic still exist, but is only available by gods blessing, which is not controllable by player e.g. if you are in a good realtions with particular god you can be healed on low hp, or become berserk or, maybe even resurrected after death.

3) Potions still exist but are much less magical e.g. no instant healing or curing, only buffs(including temporary + stats), and temporary resist/protections instead (without curing, e.g. you must quaff potion of resist blindness before fight). Permanent stat potions with diminishing returns.

4) Weaker magical equipment, e.g. no +speed(at least not too much), ESP.
Btw it still may be potion of temporary ESP. But more diverse effects on (poisoned)weapons e.g. arrows, that blind or confuse foes on strike.

5) The main point: There are allways monsters that player can never deafeat, and places, player cannot survive. Also there is no hard coded cap for player level, stats, etc, just exponential diminishing returns. Winning is no longer "defeating the strongest monster quest"

So far this is my plan, that I eventually may start implementing.

Quote:
There is ancient Angband wisdom that any players of a variant aside from the maintainer are sheer bonus.
Actually this is a good reason for me to start a variant, since I no longer fear, that nobody will play it because it is too hard

Last edited by LostTemplar; December 14, 2011 at 13:33.
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