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Old June 20, 2008, 22:54   #1
Aknight
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Something a bit different

Hi, I'm a looong time lurker in these forums and a lifelong player of Angband, Moria and, before I had growed up, Rogue. (Still haven't won)

My reason for this post is simple,
I want to suggest a concept for a new Angband variant with a slight difference.

I have become very interested in recent months in pervasive, or ubiquitous, computing; particularly in it's gaming applications. It seems clear to me that the technology is catching up with the theory and we are starting to see the emergence of games that are played by walking around with a handheld computer that positions itself using GPS and augments reality with virtual objectives in the real world.

At present these games are crude, (think pacman where one person with a handheld pc is pacman and several other people play the ghosts) but it got me thinking; would it be possible to translate the king of all dungeon crawlers, namely Angband, into an ubiquitous environment? Instead of pressing left you walk left, treasure is randomly and virtually located at various points in the real world, etc. etc.

While this might seem like a ridiculously ambitious idea I think it can be done, and done well. Not only that but it would bring Angband triumphantly into the coming era of augmented reality and pervasive alternate reality gaming; make it, once again, revolutionary as it was at it's inception.

I feel I should point out that the reason I am so positive about the feasability of such a project is that I am a firm believer in the power of what Jane Mcgonigal calls 'collective intelligence'; a product of bringing the entire world together with the internet and an idea that is already shaping science (the x2 project, world without oil) and gaming (I love bees, the Lost ring).

I might be mistaken but to the best of my knowledge we have a talented and creative community of programmers and experienced gamers right here and a world wide web of knowledge to fall back on if we meet any obstacles.

So what say ye all? Do you think this idea is a goer or would it be impossible to translate the magic of angband to a new and alien, albeit exciting, format? Do we have the expertise for such a project or should I go back to lurking and adding to my already impressive back catalog of YASDs.

Please post your opinions on the matter whatever they might be.

(and apologies for the wall of text)
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Old June 20, 2008, 23:07   #2
Bandobras
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Now turncount will really mean something. 2000000 turns win around your town, anybody?
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Old June 20, 2008, 23:27   #3
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I was thinking the turn based system could be related to a grid, step out of a grid square and the turn is over. I can imagine getting ridiculously fit trying to play Angband as quickly as I've got used to playing it in it's present form.

Seriously, apart from the prospect of having Capital P's chasing you down dark alleys at night, Angband seems perfectly suited to this new technology.
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Old June 20, 2008, 23:35   #4
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Will be hard to accomplish in both very big and very small towns =D
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Old June 20, 2008, 23:46   #5
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Good point. It would break the immersion a bit if your handheld PC is telling you that you are walking down a corridor and your senses are telling you that you are walking through a field. Big towns I think would be perfect for this sort of thing (but then I'm from England where town planning is excessively complicated to confuse the Germans :P) small towns, I'm not so sure; but then I'm only one person. I'm sure between all of us we can thrash out a solution to this problem and any other.
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Old June 20, 2008, 23:58   #6
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Heh... You must have been reading this article:
http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Angband
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Old June 21, 2008, 00:10   #7
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Haha, it took me a while to understand what was going on there.

I've lost count of the number of articles relating to augmented reality, ubiquitous gaming and alternate reality gaming that I've read recently.

This site might give some idea of what I'm on about here.

http://www.mobilegd.com/programming/...ent-today.html
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Old June 21, 2008, 03:00   #8
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This is a very interesting idea. However, I think it would be somewhat limiting if it was indeed actually doable.

What I mean is that there are certain type of games/activities that could never be mirrored in "real life" without losing some of what makes that game/activity so special. Roguelikes may be (and probably is) one of those activities. "Real life" may actually be too limiting.

That being said, I'd sure be willing to give it a shot just for the experience. Sounds like fun.
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Old June 21, 2008, 04:09   #9
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That's a very good point bonzo. The way I feel about it is that such a variant could not be roguelike; i'm not entirely sure how roguelike games are defined and I'd love to see some debate to that effect. The game, by it's very nature would be different and would have to be judged by different criteria even if the underlying mechanics of the game were exactly the same. On the one hand you would be losing the immersion that interfacing directly with a screen would give you; a big negative for such a project. On the other hand you would gaining, and this is where my understanding gets a bit hazy, the pleasure of interacting with your environment in a new way...in the words of Jane Mcgonigal "Realplay, not roleplay" (I'm so in love with her :P) While it wouldn't be Angband in the traditional sense you would be 'actively' adventuring; actually walking to find the treasure, battling Saruman on your commute to work. So yes, I think it would be limiting under the traditional view of how computer gaming is but if you change your perspective, shift that paradigm, it could be seen as liberating! Imagine an Angband exactly as it is but with a map generator that maps onto real life; that requires you to actively explore the real world to explore the angband world. I don't know about you but to me that is an Angband where the rewards are twofold, the ingame rewards we know and love and the real life reward of getting off your arse and seeing the world for real.

My apologies again for the rambling wall of text. It's 4am here and I've actually started sweating caffiene :S.

I want to reiterate that this is just my opinion on this topic and I would really,*really* like to see some debate on any of the points that get raised.
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Old June 21, 2008, 04:15   #10
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*Double post, oops
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