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Old August 19, 2010, 11:19   #1
Hajo
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Reviving Iso-Angband, an isometric view addon for Angband

Somewhen back in 2003 I had been working on a graphical frontend for Angband. The project stopped for several reasons, but the idea never really let me rest. A bit less than a year ago, I got my old C compiler working again, and managed to compile the old Iso-Angband sources. Since then I have been replacing and updating a lot of the images, because I wanted to change the style from semi-realistic to a more symbolic one.

In the Roguelike Temple Forums, there is a thread about the development of the last year, including screenshots and download links. It's long but might be a good read to get an idea about the project:

http://www.roguetemple.com/forums/index.php?topic=487.0

Just recently, I had "updated" the core Angband code from 2.9.1 to 2.9.3 (it's a terribly old project ...) and upon the latest announcement, getter77 pointed me to this place, and said it might be a good idea to announce it over here, too. So I do

Announcement of the last release in the Roguelike Temple Forums:

http://www.roguetemple.com/forums/in...sg8738#msg8738

Due to the exchange of the Angband code base, I have no good idea how well this works. In my tests it did, and so I have hope it will do for some other people too.

--------------------------------------------------

Edit:

Announcement and download link for latest Iso-Angband version:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showpos...0&postcount=29

Iso-Funband, a variant based on Angband 2.9.3:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=3645

Iso-Unangband, the newest line of development for the iso view patch:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthr...9977#post39977

Iso-Unangband, WIP 3:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthr...0160#post40160

Iso-Unangband, WIP 4:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthr...0179#post40179

Iso-Unangband, WIP 5:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthr...0343#post40343

Iso-Unangband, WIP 6:
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthr...0510#post40510
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Old August 19, 2010, 12:11   #2
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
Somewhen back in 2003 I had been working on a graphical frontend for Angband.
...

including screenshots
I would like to see what it looks like when you encounter something like Gothmog with 20 escorting demons. Can you tell which one is which kind of demon?
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Old August 19, 2010, 12:20   #3
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I haven't painted any demons yet, so they will show up as colored ASCII characters. I guess you can tell them apart about as well as you can in vanilla Angband

Overall it should be easier with the pictures, since I could split some monsters that were assigned to the same ASCII character into several groups with individual images. It's still very much the same scheme as the ASCII view used - a shape which is common for all monsters of a sort (e.g. all molds have the same image), and the color tells the exact type. Colors are mostly the same as they were in vanilla Angband, too, so a pink frog is still a pink frog.

I tried to keep the "symbol+color" characteristic, just exchanged ASCII symbols with pictograms. One must learn them (as one had to learn the ASCII characters when starting new with a roguelike), but otherwise it should be about the same "readability" as the traditional ASCII display has. I have tried to keep the shapes very simple and distinct, so it should be easy to remember them and tell them apart.

I've tried write a bit of a summary here:
http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopme...#Project_goals

At the moment I think I have about 25% of the monster images, and 50% of the item images done. Maybe a bit less.
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Old August 19, 2010, 14:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
I haven't painted any demons yet, so they will show up as colored ASCII characters. I guess you can tell them apart about as well as you can in vanilla Angband
I mean try situation like this:

Code:
##########
#....UX..#
#....UU..#
#........#
Can you even see that "X" in there properly? What if it is something small like floating eye?

Other than that it looks cool, but simple visual error can easily be fatal in angband (like killing bunch of orcs and then their leader the orange "c"...Ooops)
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Old August 19, 2010, 16:49   #5
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What's to prevent the pictograms for eg. orcs and kobolds looking nearly alike? They're both short bipeds with weapons.
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Old August 19, 2010, 19:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Code:
##########
#....UX..#
#....UU..#
#........#
Can you even see that "X" in there properly? What if it is something small like floating eye?
The X shold be clearly visible. A floating eye pictogram is not much smaller than the average other pictogram. So even those are easy to spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Other than that it looks cool
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
... but simple visual error can easily be fatal in angband (like killing bunch of orcs and then their leader the orange "c"...Ooops)
If the colors differ in vanilla Angband they will also differ in the iso view. If there are orange orcs and orange captains in between them, I must take care that the captain pictogram is different from the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarlost View Post
What's to prevent the pictograms for eg. orcs and kobolds looking nearly alike?
Your warning and my trying to make the pictures easy to read The pictograms do not need to be particularly realistic, so I'm positive there can be some characteristics added to make them distinguishable.

I understand your doubts. I cannot promise that it will work. But I'll try my best to make it playable. Thank you for the warnings and feedback
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Old August 19, 2010, 21:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atarlost View Post
What's to prevent the pictograms for eg. orcs and kobolds looking nearly alike? They're both short bipeds with weapons.
It is easy to keep them clearly different, in David Gervais 32x32 tiles for example all kobolds are green and orcs are given other colours. And even with 32x32 pixels you can give very clear characteristics so that there's no problem telling an ogre from a giant for example, even if their colours are similar.

Hajo, what's the (maximum) size of your pictograms by the way?
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Old August 19, 2010, 22:27   #8
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The tiles are 64x64, but since they are isometric some of the area is not usable for pictograms.

The floor tile has roughly these dimensions:



A small canine would be like this:



And the kobolds look like this currently:



I haven't given them weapons yet ...

The blue hue appears in the proper monster or item color in the game. I have kept the images to outlines, since I don't want to go for realistic images.

There are plenty of options to give orc captains winged or bushed helms, or flags/standards/war banners to make them stand out from the other orcs. It will take some time to find good ideas for everything, but I'm positive that it will work out.

At the moment I'm reworking a number of images, and hope to have a better version to present in a few days.
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Old August 20, 2010, 11:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
The X shold be clearly visible. A floating eye pictogram is not much smaller than the average other pictogram. So even those are easy to spot.
Can you post a screenshot of that situation. @ in those pictures is quite big, extending to block above it and if that applies to other things too those two U:s in right and left + one at diagonal should block the X-spot so much that you can see only very top of it properly.

Maybe "U" is a bad example. Try "M" instead (like fighting medusa which is "n").
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Old August 20, 2010, 11:34   #10
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Timo, I'll happily provide screenshots if you can tell me how to arrange such situations. Maybe there are problems indeed, which need to be fixed, by changing the perspective or the image sizes. But I don't know how I could provide views of the situations that you ask for

Edit: Look at the end of this message, I tried to stage such situations.


Meanwhile I've tried to clean up some of the images and did more testing. At least for me, this version seems to run fairly well.

For Windows users, there is a precompiled executable included. Also two starting batch files, "start_small.bat" and "start_large.bat" which choose a smaller or larger font, and therefore start with a smaller or larger window.

Download:
http://www.funkelwerk.de/data/iso-an...nd-0_2_8_2.zip

Sources and images are included as well, and I think it should compile for Linux, too, but I had no chance to test that yet (try Makefile.isov-sdl for the SDL based code).

No code changes this time, but some new and changed images:

- Food ration
- Mean looking mercenary
- Stairs up/stairs down
- Mold
- Permanent wall
- Normal floor
- Kobolds got weapons
- Scruffy little dog

A preview of the town and one of the first level in this version (taken with the "large" font):


Click for full size.


Click for full size.

Edit:

Timeo, I've have made a mockup of these situations, at least I understood your concerns. The colors are not the ones as they would be in the game, but it should give an idea how much the characters overlap. Color differences will even help further:



I have no images for such high level creatures yet. I focused on the early game so far.
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