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Author Topic: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)  (Read 6144 times)

cnsvnc

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An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« on: April 01, 2007, 12:17 »

I'm wondering after my recent bout of MGS, is it possible to do a stealth roguelike? Goal is to collect all the loot on the level without being spotted by the guards. Guards are nigh invincible and  can kill @ in a few hits. At best @ can hope is to get to the exit alive if he's spotted. Guards have a fixed sight and hearing. Higher level guards don't get tougher, but get more alert. Etc...

Is this feasible? Would it be too hard to code a ThiefRL or something similar with things such as facing, cone of sight, range of hearing, illumination and shadow, hiding, etc?

Would it be fun to play? I think it would, but I'm not even really certain about that...
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RickVoid

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 16:55 »

A fusion of MGS/SplinterCell/Thief does sound like fun.

And hours of frustration.

I wholeheartedly approve the suggestion.
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Rabiat

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 02:20 »

Actually I'm working on a stealth roguelike which implements some of the concepts you mentioned. I'm using FOV/LOS and range of hearing for noises and alerts, as well as (static) light sources/shadows, somewhat realistically moving enemies, and decent pathfinding. So far it's all definitely feasible in terms of design. Whether such a game would be feasible in terms of gameplay is a different question. ;)

I've been considering to add facing and cone of view - but it's a tricky subject and I could use some ideas. First of all, how do you represent facing in a roguelike? I don't like the easiest option, using a screen character to represent the opponent's direction. I've been thinking of displaying the FOV/COV for opponents by colouring tiles that are within their view. This should be done only for opponents which are themselves seen by the player (and not if only their FOV overlaps with the player's FOV). But in crowded levels, it would be harder to distinguish one opponent's FOV from the others'.

I'd really appreciate if you could share your ideas on FOV/COV or stealth gameplay in general, and especially your ideas on a stealth roguelike. If I manage to put something playable together, I'll put it up somewhere for download if anyone's interested.
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cnsvnc

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 10:35 »

I'm very happy to hear a stealthRL in progress. I'll definitely give it a try when/if it comes out.

Facing would be easy: One dot of noticeble color on the direction the enemy is facing (only displayed if enemy is visible though). Cone of view is tricky however. Maybe it can have two ranges like in Commandos. Cones can start with 3 dots and increase in width every 2 dot (or whatever). If you don't have 8 facings (cones could be difficult on good ol' dotted RL screen) and settle with 4, cones should be wider. Enemy comes to investige if @ is in outer range, sees @ and raises alarm at closer range. Only inner range is displayed, outer will be double/triple in range. Colored tiles is definitely the way to go.

The levels will have to be sparsely populated if the game is to be playable. Unless you can casually kill enemies, in which case it'll be an ordinary RL. The enemies difficulty should increase their awareness, not toughness (which would be extreme anyway). A weak enemy rarely changes his facing, has a short and narrow cone of sight, can ignore @ at outer range, ignore some sounds, and has hearing/seeing penalty for whatever stealth checks. A strong enemy routinely looks all around, moves around possible erratically, has a very long and wide cone of sight, hears very good, always investigates all sounds and @ at outer range and has bonuses on checks.

But either one would one(or two)-shot the @ should he be noticed.


Hope you make it.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 10:55 »

Well, I can comment, that directional FOV was planned for AliensRL, but finally the idea was dropped as being unplayable, and suffering from the "lighthouse" syndrome.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 11:57 »

"Lighthouse" syndrome?
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 13:12 »

Yeah, one step, then turn all around :P.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

Rabiat

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 00:56 »

Quote from: cnsvnc
Facing would be easy: One dot of noticeble color on the direction the enemy is facing (only displayed if enemy is visible though).
That's one of the initial ideas I came up with myself, and with your comment to back it up I guess it must have its merits. I was considering COV in favour of a single tile because it would allow players to determine the risk of being spotted. Of course if a guard is facing a wall an entire wall tile is colour-coded, which may look awkward. But I'll give this idea a try, and see if it works.

Quote
Cone of view is tricky however. Maybe it can have two ranges like in Commandos. Cones can start with 3 dots and increase in width every 2 dot (or whatever). If you don't have 8 facings (cones could be difficult on good ol' dotted RL screen) and settle with 4, cones should be wider. Enemy comes to investige if @ is in outer range, sees @ and raises alarm at closer range. Only inner range is displayed, outer will be double/triple in range. Colored tiles is definitely the way to go.
Initially I'd like to go with a fixed range per guard, limited by shadow. Players on lit tiles are spotted from (say) 10 tiles away, or (say) 5 tiles away if they're in shadows, probably even less if the player is actively hiding. The cones would be anywhere from 90 to 180 degrees wide, using 8 facing directions.

Thanks for your ideas. As for your well-founded "if it comes out"; promises about releasing a game usually have little value. I'll see how much time I can spare, and I'll try and put perfectionism - a problem haunting many RL projects - aside so I can get some feedback on the actual result, however crappy it may be. ;)

Quote from: Kornel Kisielewicz
Well, I can comment, that directional FOV was planned for AliensRL, but finally the idea was dropped as being unplayable, and suffering from the "lighthouse" syndrome.
I can imagine it's absolutely unplayable if the player character has directional view. I'm now using circular FOV for the player, and I intend to use directional COV for enemies only. I'll make sure not to mention the game's "realism". ;)
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zaimoni

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 01:38 »

While AliensRL would be unplayable with directional FOV, stealth RLs can be playable with directional FOV.  E.g.,  Urban Warfare ( http://common-lisp.net/project/lifp/uwar.htm ) (must either be on Windows or capable of building a LISP program).  [Performance is...iffy, at best.  This game can be won; I've lost more games to hangs than to guards.]

Urban War mitigates the "lighthouse problem" by making turning cost a significant amount of time.  If you are sighted, turning to find who sighted you is lethal.
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torch

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 08:26 »

I didn't like the way the urban warfare map seemed skewed in a pseudo topdown isometric viewpoint that made pressing the down button (for example) move the character to the left every few steps.  Not sure what the developer was trying to achieve with that. 

I gave up after a couple of games. 
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zaimoni

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Re: An idea for a roguelike (wishful thinking)
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2007, 10:17 »

My usual "opening" in Urban Warfare:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Also, the "slide" issue you mentioned isn't from a psuedo-isometric rendering.  Facings are stored as floats internally (the turn commands are actually 1 radian at a time), and the facing is chosen from a circle, not just the cardinal directions.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 10:30 by zaimoni »
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