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Old November 17, 2012, 19:15   #1
fph
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Some Sil issues

Hi,
since everyone around is excited by this new variant, I thought I'd give Sil a try.

Here is some first feedback on UI:
* compiling the game: there are no compilation instructions at all, I had to figure it out myself. As compiling the game is the only choice on Linux, I'd have appreciated an INSTALL file. I am still not sure whether Makefile.std was the right choice or if I should've used Makefile.gtk.
* I edited silx to read SIL_X11_FONT_4=10x20; export SIL_X11_FONT_4, but nevertheless the recall window uses the smaller font. Changing window position work, but the font apparently cannot be changed
* the tutorial is great - I wish Angband had something similar
* it seems that I have to set "move with hjkl" on every new char, it is not remembered along characters
* it is quite unintuitive how to open saved games. Especially the fact that I have to type in myself the name of the old char - who remembers those, when they are random-generated? Moreover, what happens to old savefile when the character dies? They seem to be retained; should I just use the same savefile over and over or new ones? Why isn't the last character opened by default?
* it would be good to have in the keyboard shortcut recalled in the "main esc menu", like in most windowing systems - if you read CTRL+S close to the "save" command on the menu, you remember it more easily
* since there is room on the left column, it would be nice to spend one more row to write down what the attack and armor/defense stats are.
* is there an option to change what the terminals are? I like to have older messages on a window, for instance, and I don't see much use for "combat rolls".
* [edit: added] how do I give the command 'L' when I have the roguelike movement keys activated?

Please don't think that I hate the game just by looking at the number of things I am reporting - the game looks great at a first play, and I am making these comments to help improving it!
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Last edited by fph; November 17, 2012 at 20:27.
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Old November 18, 2012, 12:43   #2
half
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fph View Post
* compiling the game: there are no compilation instructions at all, I had to figure it out myself. As compiling the game is the only choice on Linux, I'd have appreciated an INSTALL file. I am still not sure whether Makefile.std was the right choice or if I should've used Makefile.gtk.
There is a compile.txt file, but it is in lib/docs/ . I suppose the UNIX standard is to put these files with capitalised names in the main directory. I've always found that ugly which is why I didn't do it, but I can see that this makes the very first step a bit difficult. I suppose I could distribute the source code zip file in this format.

Quote:
* I edited silx to read SIL_X11_FONT_4=10x20; export SIL_X11_FONT_4, but nevertheless the recall window uses the smaller font. Changing window position work, but the font apparently cannot be changed
I'm not sure on this one. I don't use X (or *NIX). I did spend a couple of afternoons trying to get some sensible defaults and creating that silx file, but I think I only have about 2 *NIX players so I'm unwilling to spend any more time on it. If you can make it work, then I could improve the game based on your recommendations.

Quote:
* the tutorial is great - I wish Angband had something similar
Thanks. So do I!

Quote:
* it seems that I have to set "move with hjkl" on every new char, it is not remembered along characters
I'm confused here. Like every option in every variant, it is saved in the character file, and is only kept if you make a new character using the old character's savefile. I think you may not have noticed this previously due to the odd way in which *NIX savefiles are handled in most variants.

Quote:
* it is quite unintuitive how to open saved games. Especially the fact that I have to type in myself the name of the old char - who remembers those, when they are random-generated? Moreover, what happens to old savefile when the character dies? They seem to be retained; should I just use the same savefile over and over or new ones? Why isn't the last character opened by default?
I've switched to the same method of opening savefiles as in all other platforms (they have filenames based on the character names and you choose one to load at startup). I think this is better interface design. You are free to rename the files too.

Quote:
* it would be good to have in the keyboard shortcut recalled in the "main esc menu", like in most windowing systems - if you read CTRL+S close to the "save" command on the menu, you remember it more easily
I think this would make the menu too ugly, and I've never seen this done in a monospaced text menu.

Quote:
* since there is room on the left column, it would be nice to spend one more row to write down what the attack and armor/defense stats are.
I'm puzzled. There is no room on the left column if the terminal is at its minimum size, and one reason for this is that I do include the attack and defense stats there...

Quote:
* is there an option to change what the terminals are? I like to have older messages on a window, for instance, and I don't see much use for "combat rolls".
It is probably a command line option, or achievable by modifying the silx file. This is not ideal for *NIX, sorry.

Quote:
* how do I give the command 'L' when I have the roguelike movement keys activated?
Use control to access any key commands that are covered up by the hjkl keys. (This is mentioned in the last screen of the '?' command)
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Old November 18, 2012, 13:56   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by half View Post
There is a compile.txt file, but it is in lib/docs/ . I suppose the UNIX standard is to put these files with capitalised names in the main directory. I've always found that ugly which is why I didn't do it, but I can see that this makes the very first step a bit difficult.
I see now - I had missed it! I saw the pdf manual in the main dir, and I assumed that this was the only documentation available. Maybe you could move the /docs folder in the main source folder rather than under /libs to make it more visible.

Quote:
I'm not sure on this one. I don't use X (or *NIX). I did spend a couple of afternoons trying to get some sensible defaults and creating that silx file, but I think I only have about 2 *NIX players so I'm unwilling to spend any more time on it. If you can make it work, then I could improve the game based on your recommendations.
Ok, I'll see if I can get font changing working myself, thanks! Do you confirm that the backend I should work on for UNIX is -mx11 and not -mgtk?

Quote:
I'm confused here. Like every option in every variant, it is saved in the character file, and is only kept if you make a new character using the old character's savefile. I think you may not have noticed this previously due to the odd way in which *NIX savefiles are handled in most variants.

I've switched to the same method of opening savefiles as in all other platforms (they have filenames based on the character names and you choose one to load at startup). I think this is better interface design. You are free to rename the files too.
I think the confusion here is that we use the word "character" not to mean "character" as in the common world, but as a substitute for "savefile". A savefile can hold multiple characters (as in: the guys that wander in the dungeon, fight monsters and get killed), and it's not clear that when your character dies the thing that one probably wants is not "new character" but "open saved character" with the name of the first guy that you created.

Quote:
I think this would make the menu too ugly, and I've never seen this done in a monospaced text menu.
In the old days, Borland Turbo C++ and Pascal did it, for instance.

Quote:
I'm puzzled. There is no room on the left column if the terminal is at its minimum size, and one reason for this is that I do include the attack and defense stats there...
Hmm, you are right, I thought there was more free space.

Quote:
It is probably a command line option, or achievable by modifying the silx file. This is not ideal for *NIX, sorry.
No, this is fine - I'll check how one can do it. I asked because terminal configuration is in the options menu in most Angband variants.

Quote:
Use control to access any key commands that are covered up by the hjkl keys. (This is mentioned in the last screen of the '?' command)
I know, but on my platform adding ctrl works for lowercase commands (like 'l', lowercase L, look at object and monsters), but not for uppercase ones (like uppercase L, shift the map around). Is this a UNIX-only issue? If so, I can try and look into it myself.

Thanks for the answers, and once again, excellent game!
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Old November 19, 2012, 11:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fph View Post
I know, but on my platform adding ctrl works for lowercase commands (like 'l', lowercase L, look at object and monsters), but not for uppercase ones (like uppercase L, shift the map around). Is this a UNIX-only issue? If so, I can try and look into it myself.
Ah, I think L might be unavailable given that l is ^l. If you want it, then add it to pref.prf (search for ^l to see where and how to add it). Sorry about that.
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Old November 19, 2012, 23:53   #5
Michael Drinen
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You can hit ctrl-l to get into "look mode" then use hjkl to move to the thing you want to look at. I'm note sure if this does the same thing as the L command is supposed to do...

...Ah, L is the "shift the map around" command (what W does in vanilla when you use roguelike keys). Haven't gotten that to work in Sil, but you can use "look mode" that I described and try to look at something that is off the screen and that mostly works.

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Old November 20, 2012, 12:17   #6
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OK, for future versions, I've made W do this, as it was unused.
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Old November 20, 2012, 15:20   #7
Starhawk
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An interesting bug last night:

I lost my map memory to a Mewlip and was blinded. I was stumbling away from a large group of monsters, bouncing off walls and such, and stumbled into a room (where I'd been before I lost my memory).

A bastard sword lying on the floor became visible while I was still blinded. Very weird.
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Old November 20, 2012, 16:09   #8
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Did you walk over the sword? I think sometimes you might be able to feel what's on the floor. (I could be 100% wrong about that.)
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Old November 21, 2012, 03:48   #9
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No, I wouldn't have thought that to be unusual. The sword lit up when it was two or three squares away.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starhawk View Post
An interesting bug last night:

I lost my map memory to a Mewlip and was blinded. I was stumbling away from a large group of monsters, bouncing off walls and such, and stumbled into a room (where I'd been before I lost my memory).

A bastard sword lying on the floor became visible while I was still blinded. Very weird.
Must be due to the particular way I got these things to work (which was a bit tricky -- items in V can't have different colours depending on circumstances). I've made a note of the bug, though it is obviously not top priority.
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