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Old November 13, 2012, 01:02   #21
Derakon
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The goal for Pyrel isn't necessarily to "compete" with other roguelikes for feature sets, though of course a good design will leave the door open for adding new features later. Pyrel just wants to make it easier to tweak Angband to play the way we want it to. I do however hope that the game, when finished, will make a reasonably hacker-friendly system for people who are new to game development.

I'm not entirely clear what you mean by vector support for T4. Do you mean using OpenGL rendering? Because Pyrel could totally do that -- in fact, I considered replacing the existing drawing logic with OpenGL-based logic simply because WxWidget's software text renderer is slow. While the "base" UI code does assume a grid layout, there's absolutely nothing stopping you from implementing a UI that doesn't need it -- you could in fact make a 3D first-person roguelike from Pyrel if you wanted to, and the only extra work you'd have to do would be in the UI.

Mikko: 4GAI is largely just pathfinding and spell selection logic; it ought to port to Pyrel without any special difficulty. It does have big ramifications for game balance though. Pyrel's terrain system is extensible and flexible but at the moment it isn't doing much beyond obstruct movement (i.e. walls and doors).
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:08   #22
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The issue then also comes largely to visibility---Sil has managed to kick up some dust, and 3.4 has done a bit as well largely thanks to the Shockbolt tileset even if it isn't all quite working 100% as per Fizzix's latest video adventure, but NPP is very much in the background as far as public, to say nothing of Roguelike community, awareness. IIRC, due up next for it specifically was a massive overhaul to come focusing on improving the UI and newcomer friendliness----a very good idea as that is the public "weakness" of Angband alongside "just a grindfest, why bother?".

PR isn't quite the operative word, but paying mind to awareness in terms of the mindshare at large is key to getting people into the game and interacting---be it old timers coming back or outright newcomers. There needs to be some slick bits of excitement, like how Angband was THE vehicle tor Roguelike modding in the heyday and that was pretty duly noted by folks at the time. Even Classical Projects have much to gain from staying sharp, like the ongoing transformation of ADOM thanks to that IGG campaign and actually getting a team involved with differing disciplines.

Like, I remember his mockups, and Shockbolts theoretical UI overhauls, as opposed to just the graphics, were definitely food for thought.

Specifics: http://www.roguelikeradio.com/ Part 2 was where the discussion happened, but I'd think both parts have some food for thought at times. Essentially, it came down to the notion of pushing boundaries with graphical styles beyond the bitmap, not getting typecast as just a thing to browbeat people with via Adobe's Flash, etc, SVG, etc alongside Voxel chat and making fonts more interesting. My intimation for it mainly comes down to Best Angband being Scrappy Angband looking to push frontiers on any number of fronts because the core of the game is just that damned awesome as meted out by history and just a solid core. The competition comes from it simply being a better time of it for all if all are in good shape and keeping things lively with panache---not a firefight but a bit o' camaraderie while bearing in mind folks do have finite time that often becomes more spoken for over time.

So having the capabilities is all well and good, but it will be essential to proudly display and polish them with the utmost flair---as well as having a good starting default such that people can still tinker later should they so choose, but they definitely can't if those initial hooks don't quite set.

Last edited by getter77; November 13, 2012 at 01:15.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:29   #23
Mikko Lehtinen
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Originally Posted by getter77 View Post
NPP is very much in the background as far as public, to say nothing of Roguelike community, awareness.
Sil and Antoine's variants Ironband, Quickband and Minimal were built on NPP. Currently variant maintainers seem to prefer NPP to Vanilla.

I've heard that NPP is a very well balanced, "traditional" version of Angband, and many Angband veterans prefer it to the real thing. So it's quite visible in the Angband community, if not in the roguelike community at large.

It's one of those variants that "just" try to make Angband "better", while sacrificing nothing of the game's tradition and playstyle. Oangband is another. They may not be trendy in larger roguelike circles nowadays but who cares. Both are excellent games for Angband-lovers.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:41   #24
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Mikko: 4GAI is largely just pathfinding and spell selection logic; it ought to port to Pyrel without any special difficulty. It does have big ramifications for game balance though. Pyrel's terrain system is extensible and flexible but at the moment it isn't doing much beyond obstruct movement (i.e. walls and doors).
Sounds good!

My own variant doesn't necessarily need 4GAI. Mist's terrain is quite simple to code, too. Once Pyrel is ready, I may well switch to using Pyrel as a base. Python is much more useful to me than C, and I'd really want to learn more.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:44   #25
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I should clarify: I use public in the greater public at large sense, at least in terms of RPG enthusiasts that pay mind to happenings on the PC side of things, and Roguelike community in terms of just that beyond what is starkly *BAND-country.

In those groups, at best, and most due to memories, Angband, Steamband, Z(+), Animeband, are the ones with the mindshare such that it is alongside the still blooming Sil and Halls of Mist----even if Oangband has much to it, which it does, the perceptions don't sync up with the reality and that's to the detriment of posterity. Furyband was so moddable and up there at a time that it could somehow interoperate with the classic ToME---but like the former when things went cold they went deathly cold even if the capabilities were still there. Worst case scenarios are near deaths of isolation and silence, as what is currently largely afflicting Portralis despite the fact that, for all it has going for it, it SHOULD be right up there with LambdaRogue in terms of the lively factor and trying to work in some gameplay aspect beyond the average Roguelike. When dev pace isn't alive to so much as defend itself and wave to the gallery, things slip further awry.

NPP is good, and getting better, but folks of the various walks and groups need to know, see, feel, taste, etc it for said betterment to live up to their true potential and even perhaps bring new people into the fold that could one day bring untold boons to the general development ecosystem.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:54   #26
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Your point's a good one -- players and devs feed off each other. The devs want to know that the work they're doing is being appreciated, and the players want to play new and interesting games.

For what it's worth, in the distant future when Pyrel is completed, I want to make my own variant off of it. I have a few ideas I want to try out that would benefit nicely from having a good RPG framework to work with.

And yes, having a newbie-friendly UI is definitely important, and I'm trying to make certain that Pyrel is reasonably accessible. My ultimate goal is that a new player playing the game should need to know only the following commands:

* Movement
* Open up the inventory / equipment pages
* Look around

And everything else should be naturally exposed. For example, currently when you select an item from your inventory, a menu pops up with a list of actions you can perform with the item, with their associated command keys -- thus you can learn how to drink a potion without ever having pulled up a help file. Extending this to interacting with items on the ground and with terrain should basically accomplish my objective.

That's just an example -- there's plenty more that could be done. The important thing is actually doing them. Fortunately many useful UI ideas aren't actually that hard to implement at a basic level; for example it took me about 15 minutes to code up a window that lists the contents of the tile the mouse is currently pointing at (though in a rather crude, unpolished way). I should go take a look at Shockbolt's mockups sometime.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:05   #27
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I don't really mind Oangband being largely unnoticed in the larger community. At least Angband enthusiasts know and respect it. It would be a tough sell for the new kids.

But Sangband -- that's a game that every roguelike player should know. It's one of the best roguelikes, period. And it has charms that have a real potential to attract tons of new players.

Just before Leon Marrick disappeared last time, he was planning to start a publicity campaign. The game was ready for world wide consumption.

Writing this, I notice that Sangband's fate makes me sad. Maybe I should start my own little advertising campaign for Sangband...
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:56   #28
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For me, I think things work best when duly reckoned and with a serious mind to the essence of history, art, and human culture that such fine works represent. We're still young, so incredibly young versus other pursuits, such that we're still largely in the shadow of the 80's or at least the 90's in terms of what is good and possible in terms of RPG's, Roguelikes, and video games in general on quite a number of fronts. It would be akin to trying to further wrangle the vocabulary while the letters of the alphabet themselves slip away and get muddled...

The holy grail, such that it is, would be that upon the successful unleashing of Pyrel and whatnot----every single substantive variant that stands to gain from it comes back to life, or at least fans are able to bring it back not unlike the nLarn sort of situation. All those good ideas that remains good ideas as ever, with a renewed and superior framework to finish or explore beyond the boundaries they ran into however many years ago. From all that is old being new again, and far more readily available and visible, the new variants could then spring forward and all would be well.

Agreed on Sangband---definitely a case of falling through the cracks despite it really shouldn't have gone down that way in the end. I can't remember if that was one of the one's that Fizzix had planned to do some videos for somewhere a ways down the line or not---but I surely hope he does as his presentation style is excellent.
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Old November 13, 2012, 04:10   #29
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The holy grail, such that it is, would be that upon the successful unleashing of Pyrel and whatnot----every single substantive variant that stands to gain from it comes back to life, or at least fans are able to bring it back not unlike the nLarn sort of situation. All those good ideas that remains good ideas as ever, with a renewed and superior framework to finish or explore beyond the boundaries they ran into however many years ago. From all that is old being new again, and far more readily available and visible, the new variants could then spring forward and all would be well.
You really think existing variant maintainers are going to rebase their variants on Pyrel??

Inconceivable in my view.

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Old November 13, 2012, 04:37   #30
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That's the thing about holy grails...not really a physically attainable thing by and large moreso than an ideal to pursue in earnest. Unless it is just a random old wooden cup, then you are good to go!

Perhaps there will come to be a mechanism of some sort to help migrate existing, relatively modern variants over to the Pyrel side of things----presuming tangible gains are to be made possible with it. Surely there would still need to be much fiddling along with it, but perhaps enough less to to help mitigate it and strike the balance when the time is right for a given one. Much would depend on how Pyrel sparks the fire and inspires folks to tinker at such things.

The better hope would be fan revivals as per the nLarn example and less likely old developers coming back to ones that have remained abandoned----the former being far more likely than the latter. Failing those, the next best thing would simply be for any other variants not fully hopping along the Pyrel train per se to just pay it mind and liberally steal any and all miscellaneous improvements that they can translate to their own codebases and whatnot for a net effect of still having things get better on account of a stronger example to springboard from being available in Pyrel form---not so unlike Sil is the cool thing to crib from at present on account of all the cool things it has going even indirectly at times.

Ultimately, the more strong, lively variants out and about the better in my mind moreso than consolidation of the few that is likely to contract ever further as time passes should things go a more insular route.
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