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Old December 17, 2011, 11:25   #31
Mikko Lehtinen
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Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
There was a window of opportunity in the early 2000s to merge back a whole lot of great ideas from Angband variants (4GAI, monster mana, actually interesting monsters, the TK user interface) into Angband, in order to improve the game, but I think that window has since passed.
I would love to see Andrew and the Angband dev team to work together to make the Vanilla monsters more interesting.

As a start, pick the 50 most interesting monsters from Un and work out how they could be ported to Vanilla. Preferably replacing boring monsters rather than adding new ones.
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Old December 17, 2011, 14:48   #32
Malak Darkhunter
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Might I remind everyone that the dev team work on this game for free and for their enthusiasm to make people want to play angband? To make demands about how you feel the game should be is ony going to lead to nobody wanting anything to do with it. I think Magnate has to worry more about defending himself rather than being able to spend time on development.
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Old December 17, 2011, 16:02   #33
Mikko Lehtinen
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Andrew mentioned that the "window of opportunity" to draw interesting things out of variants into Vanilla has passed.

Is it really? Looks like the dev team is perfectly willing to take contributions from variant maintainers with both skill and vision. Maybe in this era of the the dev team and V4 the window is more open than ever.

It just might be a time to step up, negotiate some kind of deal with the dev team, and get your hands dirty!
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Old December 17, 2011, 17:47   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
Andrew mentioned that the "window of opportunity" to draw interesting things out of variants into Vanilla has passed.

Is it really? Looks like the dev team is perfectly willing to take contributions from variant maintainers with both skill and vision. Maybe in this era of the the dev team and V4 the window is more open than ever.

It just might be a time to step up, negotiate some kind of deal with the dev team, and get your hands dirty!
Yes. I'm not sure what he meant by that statement either. Admittedly we've had certain things on the to-do list for an awfully long time (e.g. 4 years for monster mana), but we're slowly getting round to stuff.
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Old December 17, 2011, 19:29   #35
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Re: harsh Angband critique

In certain contexts, like in the forums here, criticizing Angband too harshly and demanding dev team to do this or that might be inapproriate, and it really often depends on your tone of voice.

But IMO criticizing Angband or any other game in the Roguelike Radio (or in your blog about roguelike history, or whatever) is a totally different case. If you wear the hat of the game critic and historian, you are expected to speak your mind. Being honest and even blunt if necessary is what makes the program worth listening.

That's an important job.
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Old December 17, 2011, 20:14   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
Re: harsh Angband critique

In certain contexts, like in the forums here, criticizing Angband too harshly and demanding dev team to do this or that might be inapproriate, and it really often depends on your tone of voice.

But IMO criticizing Angband or any other game in the Roguelike Radio (or in your blog about roguelike history, or whatever) is a totally different case. If you wear the hat of the game critic and historian, you are expected to speak your mind. Being honest and even blunt if necessary is what makes the program worth listening.

That's an important job.
Yes, that's a fair distinction.
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Old December 17, 2011, 23:38   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter View Post
Might I remind everyone that the dev team work on this game for free and for their enthusiasm to make people want to play angband? To make demands about how you feel the game should be is ony going to lead to nobody wanting anything to do with it. I think Magnate has to worry more about defending himself rather than being able to spend time on development.
I don't blame them about what they do, just how they do it. It should raise some alarm among devs to see that non-devs just plain don't have any clue what's going on.

I also suspect that there is no general plan what to implement in vanilla, or even any method to validate what could be implemented in vanilla from v4. That was the job of maintainer. Now there is no such thing AFAIK.

I asked about roadmap or plan or something soon after Takkaria retired from maintainership. No real answer to that question was given. I guess the reason to that is that there is no plan how to proceed. That should have also raised some alarm, but no.

Devs. Discuss among yourselves about this. Make a plan. Publish it and stick to it unless later there appear to be obvious error. Development without plan doesn't work.
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Old December 18, 2011, 00:41   #38
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I took Andrew's advice, downloaded Brogue and played for about 5 minutes. Even in that short of time I came to the following conclusions:

1) Brogue's UI puts Angband's UI to shame. Information is constantly popping up in the screen explaining what is happening. The player doesn't even have to ask for it. Just move your mouse and the game tells you everything you need to know.

2) The biggest limitation to Angband's UI is that it is married to having a single line at the top and bottom of the screen, and about 18 spaces on the left side to give the player information. The rest of the screen is reserved for the dungeon. It seems other roguelikes make much more effective use of the screen space.

I am going to give TOME, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, and Jade a quick try. I encourage others (especially the other maintainers) to do the same, and post your impressions of the game.
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Old December 18, 2011, 00:41   #39
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Thanks for all the thoughtful responses to what was essentially a throwing bricks in glass houses post.

A lot of what I said was bearing on the point raised earlier in the thread which was asking why have so few people voted on the Ascii Dreams poll for Angband. So what I've said should be taken in the wider context of 'why are people playing roguelike x instead of Angband?' I had hoped I could get away with hiding it in a really off topic forum

Now it is worth pointing out that there are more votes for Angband this year than last year, so the total number of people playing Angband is probably growing. However, in percentage terms, it is about half last years result.

My window of opportunity statement was very much in that context - if Angband had adopted some of the interesting ideas from variants at the time those ideas were relatively new, then IMO there may be more people who play other roguelikes more interested in this game.

Now the question really is:

Do we care whether the Angband and other roguelike communities should be as separate as they currently are?

And a separate, but perhaps unanswerable question is:

What makes Angband a great game?

(Not what made Angband a great game; that is much easier to answer).

BTW I think Magnate is on the money in many ways. The item affix work is very much 'scratching an itch' approach which is entirely the right way to do open source development, and the devteam shouldn't feel guilty about not having a vision for where Angband is going, because that is very much the task of the maintainer, and Angband doesn't currently have a maintainer.

Quote:
As a start, pick the 50 most interesting monsters from Un and work out how they could be ported to Vanilla. Preferably replacing boring monsters rather than adding new ones.

I did something better.
Also see variants which don't add that many monsters.

But as Antoine and others have pointed out, the question really is 'Should every monster in Angband have the ability to be interesting?'. That is in itself a question that needs answering. I know where I stand, but that is not necessarily the right answer.
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Old December 18, 2011, 05:17   #40
Mikko Lehtinen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post

I did something better.
Also see variants which don't add that many monsters.
Great! I'll give that a play and see what can be adapted to Fay.

It would be very interesting to hear a Rogulike Radio episode about Unangband monster design and maybe about roguelike monster design in general, although a designer's point of view would be of more interest to me. Featuring a Top 10 list of your favorite Un monsters.
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