Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > Variants

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 17, 2011, 04:07   #1
Thomas Larsen
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Thomas Larsen is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb Improving Z+Angband

I really like Z+Angband. Zangband was always my favourite variant, and Z+Angband has just made it even better. So thanks, "mangojuice", for developing it!

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Have smaller, richer dungeons. Maybe even make them permanent to reduce scummability?
  • Have more continuity between quests. At the moment, they don't really seem connected in any way. I suppose to do this well would require a plot, and I don't really know how (if?) that could work.
  • Implement autoexplore (DCSS style).
  • Create more incentives to go through the early levels of the game. At the moment it's far more tempting for me to make my first-level character buy a wand of lightning bolts from a store and seek out a troll or giant camp or somewhere dodgy in the wilderness---that way I can get my character up to level 20 in ten minutes or so.

Cheers,
Tom.
Thomas Larsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17, 2011, 19:36   #2
Camcolit
Scout
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 30
Camcolit is on a distinguished road
I definitely agree with the auto-explore suggestion. I played DCSS for a long time and the 'Philosophy' statement for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is something I think all games could learn a lot from, regardless of genre. I will post what I believe are the most important sections -

Crusade against no-brainers
---------------------------
A very important point in Crawl is steering away from no-brainers.
Speaking about games in general, wherever there's a no-brainer, that
means the development team put a lot of effort into providing a "choice"
that's really not an interesting choice at all. And that's a horrible
lost opportunity for fun.

Anti-grinding
-------------
Another basic design principle is avoidance of grinding (also known as
scumming). These are activities that have low risk, take a lot of time,
and bring some reward. This is bad for a game's design because it
encourages players to bore themselves. Even worse, it may be optimal to
do so.

Interface
---------
The interface is radically designed to make gameplay easy - this sounds
trivial, but we mean it. All tedious, but necessary, chores should be
automated. Examples are long-distance travel, exploration and taking
notes.


They apply these principles, which made DCSS the fantastic game it is, though I prefer traditional class systems rather than the skill system it has.
Camcolit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19, 2011, 02:12   #3
Thomas Larsen
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Thomas Larsen is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camcolit View Post
I definitely agree with the auto-explore suggestion. I played DCSS for a long time and the 'Philosophy' statement for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is something I think all games could learn a lot from, regardless of genre.
Agreed.

Tom.
Thomas Larsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19, 2011, 02:55   #4
Antoine
Ironband/Quickband Maintainer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,009
Antoine is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camcolit View Post
I definitely agree with the auto-explore suggestion. I played DCSS for a long time and the 'Philosophy' statement for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is something I think all games could learn a lot from, regardless of genre.
I think *band developers should consider the DCSS Philosophy statement, but not necessarily adapt it. Angband is not Crawl and attempts to use a Crawl approach can lead you astray. Some would argue that this had been the case in some recent V development initiatives.

A.
__________________
Ironband - http://angband.oook.cz/ironband/
Antoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19, 2011, 06:50   #5
zaimoni
Knight
 
zaimoni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 590
zaimoni is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camcolit View Post
I definitely agree with the auto-explore suggestion. I played DCSS for a long time and the 'Philosophy' statement for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is something I think all games could learn a lot from, regardless of genre. I will post what I believe are the most important sections -

....

Interface
---------
The interface is radically designed to make gameplay easy - this sounds
trivial, but we mean it. All tedious, but necessary, chores should be
automated. Examples are long-distance travel, exploration and taking
notes.

...
Auto-explore is the one major misfeature that Crawl has; it positively doesn't belong in Crawl. On any level where @ isn't overwhelmingly overpowered, autoexplore has a non-zero plausibility of instant-killing @ in one keystroke. [This is why auto-explore does belong in NetHack: NetHack actually allows the @ to always be overwhelmingly overpowered in the mid-game and later.]

For a game that is intentionally designed to be a threat to any @ at any point in the late game, auto-explore is merely a death-in-one keystroke button. The only thing it seems to be good for is real-time speed runs.
__________________
Zaiband: end the "I shouldn't have survived that" experience. V3.0.6 fork on Hg.
Zaiband 3.0.10 ETA Mar. 7 2011 (Yes, schedule slipped. Latest testing indicates not enough assert() calls to allow release.)
Z.C++: pre-alpha C/C++ compiler system (usable preprocessor). Also on Hg. Z.C++ 0.0.10 ETA December 31 2011
zaimoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19, 2011, 22:00   #6
Magnate
Angband Devteam member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,057
Magnate is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to Magnate Send a message via Yahoo to Magnate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
I think *band developers should consider the DCSS Philosophy statement, but not necessarily adapt it. Angband is not Crawl and attempts to use a Crawl approach can lead you astray. Some would argue that this had been the case in some recent V development initiatives.
? I can't think what the last sentence is referring to, but I personally agree with all three limbs of the Crawl philosophy wholeheartedly. Having said that, I also agree with zaimoni that auto-explore is a colossal misfeature (and would be so in Angband).
Magnate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19, 2011, 22:26   #7
Mangojuice
Z+Angband Maintainer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 318
Mangojuice is on a distinguished road
1: Smaller richer dungeons - have you tried playing with "ironman_small_levels" on? It's definitely a bit risky but things do feel tighter that way.
2: Oh man how I would love to. The only way I can really think to do this, though, would be to have canned plots instead of canned individual quests. I'd love to make the game world feel more real, but I'm not sure this will.
3: Meh. I'm not particularly interested in having Z+ be the first variant to import that feature; it seems a bit odd for a 'band.
4: It's been my experience also that rapid advancement in the early levels is possible, and though your character risks death, you risk very little because you've invested almost nothing in them. I think that's actually a good thing! But there's a nice way to create a greater incentive to focus on the early game - play in competition mode. You may be able to find a way to get your (one and only) character to advance quickly but if not you'll just have to play the low levels slower. And of course some race/class combos are harder to get a fast start with than others...

But what I really wanted to talk about was the idea of having non-random levels. So I like it, from the point of view of the world being totally consistent. But it's daunting. It's bad enough keeping track of monsters on the current level - how do we keep track of monsters on all other levels that have ever been visited (and walls, traps, objects, doors, etc., too) without a complete explosion in memory? Also, how do we deal with the stairs problem? Right now, stairs allow you to scum for low-hanging fruit. With fixed levels, stairs would give you an absolutely safe escape. Should monsters be able to chase you up or down stairs? I'm worried about messing with the game balance, but it's interesting to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Larsen View Post
I really like Z+Angband. Zangband was always my favourite variant, and Z+Angband has just made it even better. So thanks, "mangojuice", for developing it!

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Have smaller, richer dungeons. Maybe even make them permanent to reduce scummability?
  • Have more continuity between quests. At the moment, they don't really seem connected in any way. I suppose to do this well would require a plot, and I don't really know how (if?) that could work.
  • Implement autoexplore (DCSS style).
  • Create more incentives to go through the early levels of the game. At the moment it's far more tempting for me to make my first-level character buy a wand of lightning bolts from a store and seek out a troll or giant camp or somewhere dodgy in the wilderness---that way I can get my character up to level 20 in ten minutes or so.

Cheers,
Tom.
__________________
-----------------------------------------
Z+Angband: A Zangband evolution
http://tinyurl.com/5pq2bd

Last edited by Mangojuice; April 20, 2011 at 03:08.
Mangojuice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20, 2011, 05:38   #8
zaimoni
Knight
 
zaimoni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 590
zaimoni is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
But what I really wanted to talk about was the idea of having non-random levels. So I like it, from the point of view of the world being totally consistent. But it's daunting. It's bad enough keeping track of monsters on the current level - how do we keep track of monsters on all other levels that have ever been visited (and walls, traps, objects, doors, etc., too) without a complete explosion in memory? Also, how do we deal with the stairs problem? Right now, stairs allow you to scum for low-hanging fruit. With fixed levels, stairs would give you an absolutely safe escape. Should monsters be able to chase you up or down stairs? I'm worried about messing with the game balance, but it's interesting to think about.
I've done some prototyping on this for Zaiband. The savefile code needs drastic restructuring to enable this; the player and dungeon save data are critically entangled in V3.0.6, and I don't see any relevant changes that would make things easier in recent V.

As for the stairs problem: it's a tradeoff. The safe escape also severely impairs stair-scumming (you actually have to make it to a different staircase). Hengband and its descendants have weak level persistence; you need to either Word of Recall or use a different staircase up/down than the the up/down staircase you arrived at to lose the level persistence.
__________________
Zaiband: end the "I shouldn't have survived that" experience. V3.0.6 fork on Hg.
Zaiband 3.0.10 ETA Mar. 7 2011 (Yes, schedule slipped. Latest testing indicates not enough assert() calls to allow release.)
Z.C++: pre-alpha C/C++ compiler system (usable preprocessor). Also on Hg. Z.C++ 0.0.10 ETA December 31 2011
zaimoni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20, 2011, 09:56   #9
Antoine
Ironband/Quickband Maintainer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,009
Antoine is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
I think *band developers should consider the DCSS Philosophy statement, but not necessarily adapt it. Angband is not Crawl and attempts to use a Crawl approach can lead you astray.
For instance, I am very skeptical of any attempt to remove "no-brainer" decisions from Angband.

No-brainer decisions are what Angband is all about. Specifically, what separates a competent player from a poor player is the ability to consistently make no-brainer decisions correctly.

The poor player's weakness is that, when he's been playing for 4 hours and it's 2 a.m., he thinks 'I'm bound to kill that mob in one more round of attacks - it's only got two stars yet right?'. Even though the no-brainer decision is to take a no-fail escape option.

A.
__________________
Ironband - http://angband.oook.cz/ironband/
Antoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20, 2011, 10:25   #10
LostTemplar
Knight
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 670
LostTemplar is on a distinguished road
Angband no-brainer combat decisions actually may become interesting with increasing of game difficulty or getting bad luck e.g. if in ironman game you have very limited supply of fail safe escapes or good healing, it may be worth taking some risk instead of wasting them at first sign of danger.
LostTemplar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Improving the last character dump fph Vanilla 0 April 8, 2010 19:01
Improving the monster list "[" buzzkill Development 8 January 2, 2010 10:27
Improving stealth jv123 Vanilla 7 June 22, 2009 22:07
Improving disturbance andrewdoull Development 0 May 23, 2009 23:12


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:32.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.