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Old November 19, 2014, 17:48   #1
Therem Harth
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Party based roguelikes?

As in "dungeon crawl with more than one player character", not "booze and loud music and inebriated singing yeeks." Are there any?

Asking because I'm discovering that party logistics are one of the more interesting things about old RPGs. Controlling a few specialist characters instead of one ubercharacter would, I think, make a game like Angband more entertaining.

(I'll also admit I'm hoping for a preexisting code base to mess around with, and look at for examples of how to implement a party system.)
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Old November 19, 2014, 18:31   #2
Estie
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I would love that, too. My approach would be tomenet base, change features to enable party roles (tank/healer/dps/cc/whatever), remove friendly fire.
Realtime as turnbased gets awkward with more than 2 players.

For partying to be worthwhile, the synergy needs to be substantial, otherwise people will rather use solo play and trick killing (like pillardance). As a rule of thumb, nothing that can be killed headon by one character should yield noticable XP. Of course, things like healing potions and phasedoor scrolls need to be removed or at least severely restricted.
You also want health/mana bars of all party members displayed.

Other things that come to mind:

Maybe have staircases free of monsters so party can set up before fighting; stairtraps are unfair when people have varying connection speeds.

The minimum role spread would be tank/healer/dps, other jobs possible but not necessary to create enough synergy. MMOs typically have restricted party size to enable balancing of encounters.

Some kind of aggro mechanism is needed to enable tank/dps roles to function.

A possible job would be "puller" (the name in everquest, other games have similar roles but different names for it), that is a class that gets the attention of (few) monsters and leads them to the party to fight. Assuming monsters start out sleeping, waking up 1 monster (by getting close with bad stealth or shooting some ammo at it) might result in it waking up everything in a radius ("alarm shout"). Puller gets abilities to wake up only one or a few.

Crowd control is another possible job, maybe a spellcaster who casts sleep monster in various forms (single target, ball or LoS).

Hurt monsters run away; if they are made to wake up everything they get close to while on the run, preventing running gives rise to yet another job. Slow spell or burst damage come to mind.

To enable fluent play, it needs a fast way of targeting things. Probably using mouse for that would be best.
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Old November 19, 2014, 18:45   #3
Therem Harth
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I don't mean multiplayer. I mean single player, turn based, managing a party of characters. Like Avernum, or maybe the Final Fantasy games (dunno, never played those).

Friendly fire would IMO be a good thing tactically.
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Old November 19, 2014, 18:58   #4
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Hmmm that would also be interesting. I would suggest copying Dragon Age as state of the art interface, with things like party inventory.
The closest thing existing is a summoner in ToME2 ? Its a party where the AI controls the summons, but you have a (cumbersome) menu to adjust their behaviour.
Yes Im also all for friendly fire in a single player situation.
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Old November 19, 2014, 19:32   #5
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Ha, I was going to suggest you go look at the Exile series as a (now free) example of party-based dungeon crawling, albeit a rather old and somewhat clunky one. More generally, tactical RPGs make a good potential "template" to use for designing a game around party-based RPG combat.

You'll almost certainly need some convenient way to "explode" the party into individual members and then "compress" it back into a party for when you aren't fighting -- if you have to do your dungeon exploration by manually moving every single party member, then your players will revolt in short order.
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Old November 19, 2014, 19:50   #6
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Look up tangband if you want to see how to make this idea completely unplayable.
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Old November 19, 2014, 19:56   #7
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Antoine (author of Quickband, Ironband and minimal Angband) had a roguelike called IIRC Quest before he started *band programming - I never played it, so know nothing more.

I thought of the possibility of adding multiple players like this to FAangband at one point, but then I thought of a lot of things that never happened.
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Old November 19, 2014, 20:04   #8
Therem Harth
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I've been a longtime fan of the Exile games. Personally I think they're less clunky than the Avernum ones. Unfortunately they don't work on modern OSes.

Blades of Exile is now under the GPL as it happens, but its code base is horrifying. I'd wanted to do some work on that, but it's all very platform-specific and I had no idea where to start.

(There's also a cross-platform version that was in the works, but it uses an obscure and very minimal graphical toolkit, right now still only works on Mac platforms that I can't afford, and its development is also halted.)

Anyway this is all speculative, as between work and sleep I have little time these days.

(Also have I mentioned I'm still terrible at programming?)
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Old November 19, 2014, 20:45   #9
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I'm not aware of any good party roguelikes. In general roguelikes produce enough commands for a single player, nevermind 4-5.

I think the best method might be something akin to the old school Eye of the Beholder games, or the modern incarnation, Legend of Grimrock. These aren't roguelikes by any stretch, they're first person, have set storylines, and are not turn based. However, there's no good reason that I see why the engine couldn't be used to create something roguelike-like.

Tales of Maj'Eyal has the option of playing an alchemist class where you have a golem and can switch control from the character to the golem. But I found this mechanic to be very cumbersome.
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Old November 20, 2014, 07:42   #10
Antoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Antoine (author of Quickband, Ironband and minimal Angband) had a roguelike called IIRC Quest before he started *band programming - I never played it, so know nothing more.
Yep thanks Nick,

It was a proof-of-concept game called Guild. You had a party of characters, you controlled one at any given time, the rest moved round using their AI and you could give them commands which they would at least think about obeying.

You can download Windows binaries here:
http://www.roguetemple.com/guild/

and let me know if you want the source.

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