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Old December 26, 2008, 21:49   #1
Antoine
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There are too many variants.

In my opinion:

There are too many variants. It would be better if there were less. Because: at the moment, each positive change made to a variant either
(i) takes a lot of effort to port to all the other variants, or
(ii) is only experienced by a small fraction of the community.

The best way to reduce the number of variants is to combine two variants into a single super-variant that has the best attributes of both.

For instance I would love to see someone turn Quickband into a 'quick mode' of some other variant (or V). I'd then be happy to pronounce the original Quick variant dead and put future coding efforts into the 'quick mode'.

Any other variant authors out there who would like to see their variants merged?

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Old December 26, 2008, 22:20   #2
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1. Not to sound harsh, but wouldn't you also be complaining if there were too few.

2. The best attributes are subject to opinion, and widely varying opinion at that. The "best attributes" and often mimicked and tweaked by maintainers who appreciated them, spreading them across the 'bands.

3. Competition is a good thing. Weak variants will die off. If they survive, it's because they have followers, or a very determined maintainer.

Last edited by buzzkill; December 27, 2008 at 02:27.
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Old December 26, 2008, 22:50   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
3. Competition is a good thing. Weak variants will die off. If they survive, it's because they has followers, or a very determined maintainer.
It's wasteful for a variant to 'die off', I'd rather see it merge with a more actively maintained variant, so that its good features (and fanbase) are retained.

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Old December 26, 2008, 23:11   #4
Donald Jonker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
There are too many variants. It would be better if there were less.
I couldn't disagree with you more. I think each variant expresses an individual maintainer's personal viewpoint and as such provides unique and valuable innovations that wouldn't be possible in cases of greater collaboration.

Quote:
Because: at the moment, each positive change made to a variant either
(i) takes a lot of effort to port to all the other variants,
As a non-coder, I'll take your word on this. As a player, I admit that in switching between variants, I am often disappointed to find certain features missing, but it is rarely a deal-breaker. The only missing feature that will entirely keep me away from a variant is a lack of a squelching system, and few variants are missing this (and those usually have a good reason for it, Steam, for example). In any case, uneven adoption of features seems poor justification for an all-around reduction of feature-generation.

Quote:
(ii) is only experienced by a small fraction of the community.
I'm not sure I believe this, and don't know how you would go about establishing it (oook's ladder isn't, I think, representative enough to deduce playership). Personally, I've given most of the active variants a fair shake, and play around with them from time to time. I like the variety, and I'm sure others do as well - it's part of what keeps me active in the community. And I would guess that simply having a giant library of variants gives coders a wealth of resources to help develop their ideas.

Quote:
The best way to reduce the number of variants is to combine two variants into a single super-variant that has the best attributes of both.

For instance I would love to see someone turn Quickband into a 'quick mode' of some other variant (or V). I'd then be happy to pronounce the original Quick variant dead and put future coding efforts into the 'quick mode'.
Well, it's your baby, and you have the right to dispose of it as you will. It seems to me, however, that changing quickband's status from variant to birth option will make it more obscure than it needs to be, and that seems to be contrary to your previously expressed aim. Sure, having NPP birth options "quick mode" and "Ironman" correspond to your variants would work, but it seems to me that would make them disappear.

Would it really make code-porting any easier? Is anything really changed by having one massive binary with manifold modes instead of a smattering of variants?

I think perhaps I'm misunderstanding your vision, here, because as I understand it, there's nothing to be gained by consolidation.
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Old December 26, 2008, 23:19   #5
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Why not merge the best mods to Vanillia? That would be great to have wilderness and random quests from Z+Angband, a quick mode from Quickband, mouse and double tile mode from Oangband, or skills from Sangband. That would a hell to program too...

In those days of competitions, why not start a poll for the mode of the year?
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Old December 26, 2008, 23:20   #6
Malak Darkhunter
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Personally I think When a variant, has gone far off the map from the original, it's not angband anymore, and belongs in a different classifcation. Take Tome, or Zangband for instance, it's nowhere near the same game as V. It's belongs somewhere out there with Adom, It's not the same game. I think it would be better if variants were grouped by similarity, that way people new what they were looking for when they download one. Variants are okay, but I do believe the original game would be better developed by a team of maintainers with the same basic ideas for the game, sharing each others input.
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Old December 27, 2008, 01:37   #7
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Consolidation might be a good plan if the *band community were a company with a limit on the number of product lines it could have; instead, we are a loose confederation of sporadically-motivated independent-minded weirdos. The process of getting variants created/maintained varies so enormously that trying to impose some sort of order would just cripple most of the creativity.

And dying isn't instead of merging - it's the organic way of merging. Variant dies - new variants feast from it's rotting corpse.

Life is messy, and tidy usually means dead.
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Old December 27, 2008, 03:15   #8
Antoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altefcat View Post
Why not merge the best mods to Vanillia? That would be great to have wilderness and random quests from Z+Angband, a quick mode from Quickband, mouse and double tile mode from Oangband, or skills from Sangband. That would a hell to program too...

In those days of competitions, why not start a poll for the mode of the year?
I totally agree!

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Old December 27, 2008, 03:18   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Consolidation might be a good plan if the *band community were a company with a limit on the number of product lines it could have; instead, we are a loose confederation of sporadically-motivated independent-minded weirdos. The process of getting variants created/maintained varies so enormously that trying to impose some sort of order would just cripple most of the creativity.

And dying isn't instead of merging - it's the organic way of merging. Variant dies - new variants feast from it's rotting corpse.

Life is messy, and tidy usually means dead.
Your words are good.

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about "imposing order" - more around individual devteams having sudden (chaotic and anarchistic) outbreaks of cooperation.

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Old December 27, 2008, 03:37   #10
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Let me expand a bit further on this idea.

One would want to merge bands that are pretty similar in their structure (one is descended from the other, or they share a common recent ancestor).

Also there is little point in merging when the game theme changes (one wouldn't merge Animeband back into V).

So what would be some examples...
- making some hybrid of Heng/Entro with Z+
- pulling O features back into V
- copying possession from Posband into the likes of NPP or TOME
- pulling the best features of S into one of the actively maintained variants...

No doubt several of the above are dumb ideas, but are any of them sensible?

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