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Old July 6, 2011, 01:25   #21
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Originally Posted by EpicMan View Post
So what are other options for increasing interest other than giving out more good items?
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Old July 6, 2011, 16:04   #22
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Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
I like the stuff that's been done to vary the look of the dungeon levels so far in 3.3, and I think there needs to be more added along those lines. Some ideas:

* More variety in level layouts and the shape and size of rooms in general. Maybe more use of permanent rock outside of vaults?

* More types of monsters found in pits and nests, and variable sizes and shapes for them. Dragon and demon pits could have toned-down varieties on the lower levels, say smaller rooms containing only baby and young dragons or lesser demons. There could be mixed dragon nests as well as pits containing only one variety. Ants, bats, birds, reptiles, snakes, spiders would all work well as lower-level nests; kobolds, dark elves, naga and hydra could appear in small-scale pits.

* How about nests themed by monster abilities rather than species, e.g. a nest full of all cold/fire/poisonous monsters? How about entire levels themed that way?

* More smaller-scale vault type rooms, with traps and/or monsters guarding say a single mildly OOD treasure, a level appropriate chest, or a guaranteed number of in-depth treasures. (How about 3x3 rooms containing a stash of similar items, such as cash, scrolls, potions or mushrooms? How about evil ones with a mimic or two slipped in there among the items?)

It would be cool if layouts for pits/nests and just general room designs could be loaded from edit files like the vaults, so everybody could have a crack at designing new types and share them around.
1. I think the devs are currently opposed to using permanent rock for purposes other than vaults and level boundaries. There'd have to be a very compelling and interesting reason to do so, I suspect.

2. More variety in pits is definitely a good idea - realistically, humanoids like orcs and trolls would be the least likely of dungeon monsters to pack like sardines into a room, unless you assume that orc pits are something akin to barracks with sleeping surfaces and such. Ant hives, etc. could be interesting, and might be an impetus for creating uniques for the neglected monster categories; I'd be terrified to face, say, a unique Bat of Gorgoroth under the wrong circumstances, for example.

3. Themed levels are something that I'd be a big supporter of. I don't play Unangband, but from what I've read it's done some interesting things in this direction. Overall I just feel like the atmosphere of the dungeon could use a lot more variation. Morgoth, the supreme evil of Middle-earth, decides to create a 5000' deep fortress to protect himself, but apparently he has pretty tame ambitions as to the actual architecture of the place since it's all standard stone corridors and rooms, now with a few natural caverns that he decided to leave in place?

In all seriousness, there's nothing wrong with our standard level generation and what d_m's been doing with the algorithms is pretty cool stuff. However, things like lava levels with predominantly fire-themed monsters, orc fortresses, level-sized ant hives with extremely disorganized/organic one-tile-wide passageways, and any other theme/architectural motif that might be tactically or thematically interesting would be excellent. That's not to say that themed levels should be predictable ones, either - sure, it's an orc fortress, but who's to say they don't have nasty pets, or perhaps a powerful demon as their leader?

4. This ties in with increasing variation, and makes the dungeon make more sense. I like it.
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Old July 6, 2011, 16:32   #23
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Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
* More types of monsters found in pits and nests, and variable sizes and shapes for them. Dragon and demon pits could have toned-down varieties on the lower levels, say smaller rooms containing only baby and young dragons or lesser demons. There could be mixed dragon nests as well as pits containing only one variety. Ants, bats, birds, reptiles, snakes, spiders would all work well as lower-level nests; kobolds, dark elves, naga and hydra could appear in small-scale pits.

* How about nests themed by monster abilities rather than species, e.g. a nest full of all cold/fire/poisonous monsters? How about entire levels themed that way?
Gabe and I have been doing some work in this direction. It didn't end up being ready for 3.3 but I think

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Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
* More smaller-scale vault type rooms, with traps and/or monsters guarding say a single mildly OOD treasure, a level appropriate chest, or a guaranteed number of in-depth treasures. (How about 3x3 rooms containing a stash of similar items, such as cash, scrolls, potions or mushrooms? How about evil ones with a mimic or two slipped in there among the items?)
I've been working on something a little like this. I don't want to say more until I have something working.

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It would be cool if layouts for pits/nests and just general room designs could be loaded from edit files like the vaults, so everybody could have a crack at designing new types and share them around.
I've been trying to make the dungeon generation code easier to read. This is a great idea, although it could be pretty challenging. I may try to do something like this for 3.4.
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Old July 6, 2011, 16:35   #24
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So, I've been working in this direction (although recently haven't had a lot of time, what with 3.3 bugs and "real life"). I'm glad people are advocating for more interesting levels, and hopefully 3.3 is a step in the right direction.

Here's an excerpt from a TODO list I wrote awhile ago about Angband:

Code:
 * possibly improve illumination in caverns
 * work on creating more dense/connected/twisty levels
 * add monster towns
 * add graveyards/libraries/weapon rooms/alchemy rooms/etc
 * add sub-caverns/sub-labyrinths to default gen
 * write new level gen:
   1. generate minerals/walls first
   2. add streams/lakes
   3. add cavern sections (w/ relevant monsters)
   4. carve rooms/passages (w/ relevant monsters/items)
   5. random mutations
   6. stairs

 * add new floor types (e.g. water, dirt, grass?)
 * add new wall types (e.g. dirt, ice, trees?)
 * add flavor items
 * make mushrooms better
 * add more food types
A lot of these ideas have come from variants I've played, although I think Takkaria is opposed to a lot of the more variant-ish aspects of terrain, so I probably won't do a wholesale import of NPP/Un terrain, or other variants. We'll have to see how it goes.
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Old July 6, 2011, 20:55   #25
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Also an interesting idea, but I still maintain that the destructed levels were great for flavor and interesting to fight in.
Yeah, I like to stumble into a destructed place as a rare variation now and then. Sure I'll probably try to avoid it, but the experience of unexpectedly finding a different kind of terrain is good in itself in my opinion.
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Old July 6, 2011, 20:59   #26
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Originally Posted by Jazerus View Post
3. Themed levels are something that I'd be a big supporter of. I don't play Unangband, but from what I've read it's done some interesting things in this direction. Overall I just feel like the atmosphere of the dungeon could use a lot more variation. Morgoth, the supreme evil of Middle-earth, decides to create a 5000' deep fortress to protect himself, but apparently he has pretty tame ambitions as to the actual architecture of the place since it's all standard stone corridors and rooms, now with a few natural caverns that he decided to leave in place?
In Cthulhu Angband there was an orc tower and a necropolis, among other things. I haven't played Unangband, but it sounds interesting.
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Old July 6, 2011, 22:29   #27
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Everyone says that and I don't understand why. I always found them to be interesting.
We all have one of these. Yours is destroyed levels. Mine is haggling. Dos's is connected stairs ;-)
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