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Author Topic: Reasons for text-mode interface  (Read 7065 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Reasons for text-mode interface
« on: August 23, 2012, 10:58 »

Let me first state my goal : I'd like to remove text-mode from all ChaosForge roguelikes. Take note however, that by text-mode, I only mean raw console mode -- it would be substituted with a pseudo-console, with variable fonts, fullscreen possibility, full-color possibility.

I don't think this should be a big of an issue, for many roguelikes nowdays use only pseudo-console.

However, I know that some people have strong opinions on that -- please state them now, so we can address them ASAP!

Also, please only note issues that affect you, yourself. I know for example that remote telnet play would become impossible that way, but considering the animations and sound used I doubt anyone uses it seriously.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 12:16 »

As long as you add like an ASCII tileset or something, I'm down. Also, add a classic mode where you get to play the original DRL before the mastermind update.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 13:03 »

Maybe I'm the odd man out, but I don't know exactly what you mean.

Raw text mode is like running a roguelike from the bare code?

I understand that running it "pseudo-console" means it'll still look the same as playing it with only ASCII characters (ie classic style), and that graphical tilesets are "console mode" but what is the real difference?

Does running things open in raw text mean people can monkey with stuff or it crashes more or what?

As a gamer, I admittedly know little about the programming side of things, other than what I am forced to in order to install/get a game running/use other people's mods (which DoomRL has made easy).

Frankly, if I came across a roguelike and I can launch an .exe and play it, I don't feel like I've lost out on anything. I really only ever used TelNet for MUCKs/MUDs, I doubt I would for a roguelike.

I may be wrong, but I think the only reason people use TelNet with Nethack is so that anyone playing on the same server automatically shares bones files to have their dead adventurer's corpse/angry ghost show up in your game.

Rather than why it is an issue for us on the player side, what is the advantage for you to make all future releases console-only? I'm curious now!
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skarczew

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 13:06 »

DOSRecorder won't work :( .
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 13:59 »

I am okay with this on the following conditions:
  • Always have a non-complex graphic tile set available (i.e. exists at least one ASCII tile set).
  • Not have statuses/information representable solely by saturation of colour.
  • Information that is precise (i.e. tell me what damage range I am capable of instead of only some graphical representation).
  • Supports at a minimum display resolution of 800x600 pels (80x25 tiles) without any information loss.
  • Have comparable running speeds on machines which do not have high end graphics cards.
  • Have a means of altering the gamma/brightness of the game.
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Solarn

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 03:23 »

Ewww. I don't care what you say, having an ASCII tileset doesn't look anything like a proper console mode. Please don't get rid of it.
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Tormuse

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 18:19 »

Well, I haven't been active on the forums or played any Roguelikes lately, (been busy with school and work) so I don't know how much my opinion counts here, but, as I've stated before, the main reason I play Roguelikes in the first place is the simplicity of the graphics that don't take any significant processor power.  My computer is a crappy hand-me-down of a hand-me-down and I find that it chugs whenever I play the graphical version of Doomrl, making it unplayable.

If I understand what you're suggesting, it sounds like your changes will make the game unplayable for me.  Of course, I haven't been playing lately anyway, so maybe that doesn't mean anything.  (schoolwork takes priority for me, and I was kind of waiting for Doomrl 0.9.9.7 to come out before resuming playing anyway)  :)

If I may ask, what's the reason for removing the console version in the first place?  Isn't the whole point of having a console version that it's simpler?
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012, 18:42 »

I'd be fine with a graphical text mode. I'm a bit backwards in that I still prefer to play DoomRL in text mode though, no graphics. It's what I'm used to, so I probably won't ever go to the proper graphics mode (I tried it and didn't really like it). To tell you the truth, I haven't got around to setting up Win7 properly on my new box, so I'm stuck in a windowed console, which looks ugly compared to full-screen console anyway. A full screen graphical/texty would look much nicer.

The only problem I can see is setting up colours for various things. I've re-set my enemy colours and a couple of powerups in text mode, so I can see at a glance what the are. I've been shot by too many former humans and sergernts because I didn't realize they were there to not do so. Now formers are dark green and sergeants are light green. It helps tremendously with working out shot-priority and also for simply realizing they're there in the first place. Nothing worse than an enemy looking like a wall or something (colour-wise). The light ones go down first basically. Captains and commandos are similarly dark and light blue respectively.

So yeah. If colour changing is easy to set (even if it's just modding a basic text tileset) then I'm all for it.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 07:10 »

What????"
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE the console mode!
So neat and tidy!
It brings back good memories!


I know that many roguelikes now use pseudo-console, but I really like the console. It's so small, compact, fast, and predictable. I can see everything and everyone on the map at once! Please don't take it away!
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 07:22 »

I only play with the tileset so for me it does not matter either way. I do not mind ASCII or tilesets as long as the tiles look good like in DoomRL, otherwise I rather have none at all :-P Do whatever works for you, man.
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Sylph

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 11:16 »

1- I'm likely to use it for remote interfaces at some point in the future.
2- i was already gutted that the gui controls were 'hidden', making elegant manipulation of the game or controls impossible (hence why I have to rely on pixel colour searches for my mouse-control apps and whatnot).
3- I'm pretty sure this would effect processor power, which is a big concern to me on some of my computers
4- Dosrecorder, which I used for a few replays (and that animated .gif of the wall that you said you liked years ago.. where was it now? ...)
5- Fear that this is the first step in what will ultimately remove the console view in favour of the tileset (which I absolutely hate, btw. Not that it's not a great tileset, simply that unanimated grid-based sprites are no more convincing than letters, but have the potential to look far more tacky, and always do to me. )


Oh, here it is!


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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 15:32 »

Oh, here it is!
Damn, having a plasma rifle and modded red armor to do the wall with would kick ass. Can't do that in this version. Fucking Barons eat way too many shells. You're lucky at dlev7 to even have a double shotty.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 15:33 by Napsterbater »
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AJBuwalda

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 00:13 »

Damn, having a plasma rifle and modded red armor to do the wall with would kick ass. Can't do that in this version. Fucking Barons eat way too many shells. You're lucky at dlev7 to even have a double shotty.
I just go with the Ammochain build... Cells for days
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2012, 12:19 »

Even in a UV run you typically don't get the Master trait until Hell's Armory.
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GrimmC

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2012, 08:39 »

With the same reservations about putting forth my opinion as Tormuse, I also oppose the removal of the console version. It's very important to keep things simple. Accretion is the downfall of all great things.

To me, the whole appeal of roguelikes is that they are so simple, you could play them on a computer from 20 years ago. And yet the gameplay still engages you. It also takes a great deal of control out of the hands of the user, which is against the "roguelike social contract" as it were (at least in my mind). Finally, I also share concerns that it would be one step towards the removal of ASCII format altogether.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2012, 09:55 »

I don't think it would matter much to me. The console mode has a certain technical coolness factor, but pseudoconsole can look visually cool enough to be worth it.

Unfortunately ChaosForge non-console versions don't run on my computer (Win7, Intel graphics). I think it's a driver issue, because they work when I switch to software rendering (although it makes DoomRL unplayably slow). There are a lot of games that don't run (and a lot of games that do run), so this problem is in no way specific to ChaosForge.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 09:56 by slave »
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2012, 17:26 »

No, it's not as aesthetically pleasing as the graphics and tiles, but I for one find Console mode to be a more responsive than Graphical mode. No lag while I'm waiting for all the sprites to slide around.

And now I'm wishing POWDER came in a true Console mode.
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AJBuwalda

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2012, 01:45 »

I don't think it would matter much to me. The console mode has a certain technical coolness factor, but pseudoconsole can look visually cool enough to be worth it.

Unfortunately ChaosForge non-console versions don't run on my computer (Win7, Intel graphics). I think it's a driver issue, because they work when I switch to software rendering (although it makes DoomRL unplayably slow). There are a lot of games that don't run (and a lot of games that do run), so this problem is in no way specific to ChaosForge.
Windows 7 seems to be bothering alot of software. Luckily I only have to work with it when I'm at work. The lack of a clipboard also pisses me. If you have no reason to run it, you might want to think about installing an older version of Windows. Otherwise it will probably take a couple of month for all things to sort itself out.

No, it's not as aesthetically pleasing as the graphics and tiles, but I for one find Console mode to be a more responsive than Graphical mode. No lag while I'm waiting for all the sprites to slide around.

And now I'm wishing POWDER came in a true Console mode.
I have no lag and love the DoomRL tiles so I just go with the standard of the version. I would not mind eitherway, really. I would like a tileset for AlienRL or DiabloRL so people have a choice. But the work that goes into that must be extensive. I think it would pull more of the mainstream into the RL genre which would be great.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2012, 12:59 »

my monitor doesn't display blues all that well, console mode lets me easily redefine what "blue" means to a new rgb value.
I also generally find console games more responsive than pseudoconsole - probably moreso on weaker computers.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2012, 15:02 »

    To clear up what appears to be a common misconception, I'm almost positive that Kornel is removing console compatibility from Chaosforge games entirely. The objective of this discussion, then, is to figure out what parts of the console are important or critical enough to be implemented into the pseudo-console mode. So, going off of this:
Raw text mode is like running a roguelike from the bare code?

I understand that running it "pseudo-console" means it'll still look the same as playing it with only ASCII characters (ie classic style), and that graphical tilesets are "console mode" but what is the real difference?

Rather than why it is an issue for us on the player side, what is the advantage for you to make all future releases console-only? I'm curious now!
By "raw console mode", Kornel means that part of the output is designed to work specifically with a console or console emulator (modern Windows, for instance, has Command Prompt). However, now that the graphical interface of Chaosforge games is becoming more and more complete, it's obvious that there are a number of things consoles can't do that would be very useful. By removing console compatibility, there's no need to worry about those constraints, and the pseudo-console would run essentially as an ASCII tileset (with special modification functionality such as font size and RGB values). AliensRL's standard mode of execution is done in this way, if you want an example.

  • Supports at a minimum display resolution of 800x600 pels (80x25 tiles) without any information loss.
  • Have comparable running speeds on machines which do not have high end graphics cards.
  • Have a means of altering the gamma/brightness of the game.
To be fair, the last two considerations should be in the graphical mode anyway. At the very least, I wouldn't be surprised if there are some inefficiencies in the current engine (that cause one of my CPU cores to churn away at maximum capacity 100% of the time). The first one SHOULD be doable as long as the tilesets can be non-square (graphical version is completely square ATM with the current tileset).

5- Fear that this is the first step in what will ultimately remove the console view in favour of the tileset (which I absolutely hate, btw. Not that it's not a great tileset, simply that unanimated grid-based sprites are no more convincing than letters, but have the potential to look far more tacky, and always do to me. )
The main reason Kornel brought this up was to ensure that there WOULD be a console view (albeit an emulated one) that meets the demands of hardcore console players. Unfortunately there some casualties regardless of the enhancements brought by the pseudo-console (like standardized remote access and use of console recorders) but we'll have to make do.

...but I for one find Console mode to be a more responsive than Graphical mode. No lag while I'm waiting for all the sprites to slide around.
Yeah, at the moment the time it takes to do just about anything on the game screen can throw off console users quite a lot (myself includes). It shouldn't be much of a problem to have options to remove movement and/or firing animations, which I think is the only real issue in this case.

Using the current posts, this seems to be what is desired for pseudo-console operation to be on par with a real console (that is also feasible with regards to its implementation):
  • ASCII tilesets of variable, non-square sizes
  • Ability to control color of ASCII tilesets (i.e., defining RGB values of color presets in addition to continued use of color.lua customization)
  • Minimize processing intensity

The rest of the suggestions tend to depend on Kornel's own design choices IMO. 'Course I could be totally wrong! Kornel is, however, a graphical engine designer, so this direction seems awfully natural for his projects.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2012, 01:07 »

Ah Game Hunter, those conditions I put were what I want to see before we scrape pure console completely.  But other than that, you have interpreted what I said fairly accurately.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2012, 05:22 »

Ah Game Hunter, those conditions I put were what I want to see before we scrape pure console completely.  But other than that, you have interpreted what I said fairly accurately.
So, is AliensRL and DiabloRL BETA pseudo-console a good replacement? Is there something missing?
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2012, 05:28 »

So, is AliensRL and DiabloRL BETA pseudo-console a good replacement? Is there something missing?
...There is pseudo-console? o.o
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2012, 12:54 »

I don't like the font/tileset in the pseudo-console for those two games, personally. I would rather see something like the characters used in Dwarf Fortress. (I don't know if that's psuedo console or not). Nice and raw. AliensRL is too smooth.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2012, 14:10 »

"Pseudo console" is Kornel's version of a fpcvalkyrie specific console emulator akin to PuTTY/win32 console, except that it is using actual graphics as opposed to emulating any of the TTY display standards in existence.

Frankly, I don't have any qualms with that as long as the pseudo-console does not require drastically more powerful hardware than the old text-based consoles that are in existence.  I mean, we need to acknowledge that the times are changing and "pure/raw" console is starting to be neglected/phased out in Windows land, which is the O/S of choice for many users.  Ideally, the font/tileset can be changed easily, perhaps with true TTF/raster font support as opposed to specialised bitmap tiles, but that might be too much to ask for for a game as opposed to a full terminal emulator.
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2012, 01:17 »

I'm cool with it. I hope fonts will be customizable enough to prevent scrolling in 80x25 maps, but if not, I won't shed a tear or anything.

I feel like many people would be more amenable to the change if we knew how it would make your life easier. If it's so that you don't have to have two different codebases for the same game or to introduce a level of standardization among your games I think that's something we can all understand and sympathize with.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 01:20 by Ashannar »
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Re: Reasons for text-mode interface
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2012, 17:00 »

It seems that making this change before the eventual source-code release (of DoomRL) might also make the resulting source a little less useful for other people's projects.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 17:01 by AtavisticPuma »
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