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Old January 3, 2012, 18:53   #1
half
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Sil

A game of adventure set
in the first age of Middle-earth,
when the world still rang with elven song
and gleamed with dwarven mail.

Walk the dark halls of Angband.
Slay creatures black and fell.
Wrest a shining Silmaril from Morgoth’s iron crown.


In honour of what would be Tolkien's 120th birthday*, I'd like to announce Sil: a new roguelike set in the First Age of Middle-earth.

Sil is a descendent of Angband, but makes many changes. Indeed almost every mechanic has been significantly altered. These changes have had several directions: to make the game much more true to the world Tolkien imagined, to increase the tactical depth in combat, to reduce the length of the game.

Sil can be downloaded at:

http://www.amirrorclear.net/flowers/game/sil/


(*) eleventy tenth? twelvetieth?
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Old January 3, 2012, 19:34   #2
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Awesome! Congratulations - I've been looking forward to this. Do you know if it can be built for Linux? I'll d/l the source and have a look.
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Old January 3, 2012, 19:44   #3
Mikko Lehtinen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by half View Post
These changes have had several directions: to make the game much more true to the world Tolkien imagined, to increase the tactical depth in combat, to reduce the length of the game.
Perfect. I like your vision of what Angband should be. I'm going to enjoy this one.
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Old January 3, 2012, 20:52   #4
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First of all, you got me at just the right time. I rarely try new variants anymore, but I just happened to be kinda bored and in the mood for trying something new when I saw this post.
I started with a Naugrim, going for a pure fighter type. With my axe proficiency, I found about a dozen curved swords, a couple quarterstaffs, a spear, and a dagger, but never any axes. Also, I don't know how smithing works, and I couldn't find it in the manual, so I guess Naugrim wasn't such a good choice.
The next couple games, I played a Noldor. It seems like you made it so the character always starts in a room with a curved sword on the floor. Why not just make the character start with the curved sword?
EDIT: I like that you can go up the stairs from level 1 to get a different level 1.
I like the vision of going with First Age flavor and shortening the game, but with those things, I expected flavourless monsters like Metallic Green Centipedes would be gone. Generally, I expected a flavour further away from vanilla Angband.
I like the impression I got of the skills system so far.

Unsure if it's a bug:
- I got the 'unable to create notes file' message when I'm the administrator (and only user) on my computer. (Playing windows version)

- Center map continuously doesn't seem to work right: the display keeps shifting up and down when I'm moving to the right.

The Manual:
- The manual references the "I" (inspect object) command from Angband which doesn't exist in this game.

- Under Smithing in the Skills section, it says "See Smithing section for full details." but there isn't any other smithing section in the manual. So how does smithing work?

Interface:
- The game seems to discriminate against roguelike keyset users. Despite having a much shorter list of needed commands, still several of them conflict with the roguelike movement keys. So we have to use CTRL-command for most commands.
- CTRL-l and CTRL-L seem to have the same effect. What's the difference between 'look at things' and 'look around'?.

- Alter without direction option is not an option and is always ON. This is disorienting for me because I press O to open and then the direction. I guess that'll just take some getting used to, but I don't see why you removed options like this.
EDIT: I pressed C to close a door so I could rest for HP before fighting the wolves, then I pressed the direction to close the door in that direction and of course it opened it again. So I died.

- I miss the option for automatically show lists which shows the list of available items by default when I press a command like Wield.

- I can't find any way to choose what the term windows display.
EDIT: I figured out how to get my monster list and previous messages in the term windows how I like it. The interface is actually better than vanilla, I just didn't think of looking there at first.

- I like how you can start another game after you die without ending and restarting the program. That's something I always wished Angband had.

- EDIT2: I'm having trouble figuring out how to survive these orcs without any healing or escapes...

- EDIT3: At the very beginning of a game (dL1), I saw two orc soldiers who were unaware of me go up stairs. I don't know if you want orcs going up stairs from dL1 (not that I mind), but they stayed on the monster list for awhile after they were gone (until I saw another monster).
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Last edited by will_asher; January 4, 2012 at 00:28.
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Old January 4, 2012, 00:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Awesome! Congratulations - I've been looking forward to this. Do you know if it can be built for Linux? I'll d/l the source and have a look.
A good question. It used to work for Linux, but something broke a couple of years ago in its development, and I'd be very grateful for some help with it. I would be very happy to talk with you about getting it running again, as that is one of my main aims for the next month or so. One challenge is that it split off from Vanilla before the source code reorganisation, which might make it harder.
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Old January 4, 2012, 01:01   #6
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Thanks Will. Lots of comments -- I'll try to answer most of them.

Main main piece of advice is to play the tutorial, and perhaps I should have stressed that in the first post. Everyone should start with the tutorial. For example, it explains smithing, and song, the controls, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by will_asher View Post
First of all, you got me at just the right time. I rarely try new variants anymore, but I just happened to be kinda bored and in the mood for trying something new when I saw this post.
I started with a Naugrim, going for a pure fighter type. With my axe proficiency, I found about a dozen curved swords, a couple quarterstaffs, a spear, and a dagger, but never any axes. Also, I don't know how smithing works, and I couldn't find it in the manual, so I guess Naugrim wasn't such a good choice.
Yes, I'd recommend everyone start with Noldor. They are significantly more powerful than the others, and it is a difficult game.

Quote:
I like the vision of going with First Age flavor and shortening the game, but with those things, I expected flavourless monsters like Metallic Green Centipedes would be gone. Generally, I expected a flavour further away from vanilla Angband.
Keep playing and see what you think. Sil includes pretty much every type of monster from Middle-Earth, but that only amounts to about 60 types, including subtypes. There are about 30 others, most of which are in the early levels, and some of which are left in as a reference to V. Compared with Angband, about 400 generic monsters have been removed, leaving only about 7% of them.

Quote:
Unsure if it's a bug:
- I got the 'unable to create notes file' message when I'm the administrator (and only user) on my computer. (Playing windows version)
This is an old bug, which I inherited. In the future, I'll change how the notes file works to avoid it (or ask someone who has already debugged it). I did enable Sil to detect when this has occurred and automatically switch to no-notes mode though.

Quote:
- Center map continuously doesn't seem to work right: the display keeps shifting up and down when I'm moving to the right.
That could be right: I don't think any of our playtesters use that option. I'm happy to look into it.

Quote:
- The manual references the "I" (inspect object) command from Angband which doesn't exist in this game.
That was changed near the end of development to 'x' for examine, so that almost all the keys needed are lowercase, and we didn't catch the reference in the manual. We do have an Angband-like commands option though, which you and others may like to try.

Quote:
- Under Smithing in the Skills section, it says "See Smithing section for full details." but there isn't any other smithing section in the manual. So how does smithing work?
Again, sorry about that. We might add such a section in the future, but felt that the tutorial does a better job of this than a manual section would, and forgot to remove the reference.

Quote:
- CTRL-l and CTRL-L seem to have the same effect. What's the difference between 'look at things' and 'look around'?.
The latter is the old 'L' command. I hadn't realised that it is inaccessible on the roguelike keyset (due to control-shift-character not being distinct from control-character). It will have to be remapped.

Quote:
- Alter without direction option is not an option and is always ON. This is disorienting for me because I press O to open and then the direction. I guess that'll just take some getting used to, but I don't see why you removed options like this.
EDIT: I pressed C to close a door so I could rest for HP before fighting the wolves, then I pressed the direction to close the door in that direction and of course it opened it again. So I died.
I'm sorry about that. It is always very annoying to die to an interface issue. However, I do think that these are the best choices for interface, especially for new players. My general approach to options is rather similar to Takkaria's. Hopefully it won't be too painful to adjust to this.

Quote:
- I miss the option for automatically show lists which shows the list of available items by default when I press a command like Wield.
I can add it if enough people want it. Do you have the terminal windows open? If you can see your inventory and equipment then that achieves a very similar effect already.

Quote:
- I can't find any way to choose what the term windows display.
EDIT: I figured out how to get my monster list and previous messages in the term windows how I like it. The interface is actually better than vanilla, I just didn't think of looking there at first.
I'm surprised V doesn't do it this way.

Quote:
- I like how you can start another game after you die without ending and restarting the program. That's something I always wished Angband had.
Yes, I'm surprised it hasn't been added. It is very natural in a permadeath game.

Quote:
- EDIT2: I'm having trouble figuring out how to survive these orcs without any healing or escapes...
The lack of escapes and resets is very deliberate. In Angband it is difficult to challenge a player without threatening one-turn kills as there are so many resetting mechanisms. In Sil, you can see trouble arising and have many turns over which the situation can deteriorate, or through clever play you can redress the balance. One key is knowing when to start running away, as this shouldn't be left too late.

Quote:
At the very beginning of the game (dL1), I saw two orc soldiers who were unaware of me go up stairs. I don't know if you want orcs going up stairs from dL1 (not that I mind), but they stayed on the monster list for awhile after they were gone (until I saw another monster).
Thanks for the feedback. Creatures leaving to go to 0 ft is no problem (there is such a level and it is not a town), but the remaining on the monster list sounds like a very minor bug: none of the developers or playtesters use the monster list, so we hadn't noticed this.
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Old January 4, 2012, 02:08   #7
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I took the tutorial (smithing was the only thing in the tutorial which wasn't in the manual). One more question- Is pseudo-ID always instant? So if there's no pseudo when you pick up an item, you know there's nothing special about it?

EDIT: Now we need yet another variant ladder so I can post my dump.
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Old January 4, 2012, 03:09   #8
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Yay for nifty sounding new variant thing!

Please be sure to get yourself up and counted on Roguebasin asap so more players can find it and contribute feedback and such.

http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopme...itle=Main_Page
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Old January 4, 2012, 08:09   #9
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I played the tutorial and one quick game. This looks pretty great. I've played enough angband that I probably didn't need to do the tutorial, but I really appreciate the work you've put into it.

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Old January 4, 2012, 09:05   #10
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Other than the aforementioned thing that isn't in the manual (Smithing) there's one addition I'd like to recommend: the requirements to pick specific abilities, whether points spent or other abilities. It's easily accessible in the game, but the manual doesn't list any of them and actually only mentions that they have them once; it says 'specific skills may have requirements', but in the actual game, no skill has no requirement.
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