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Author Topic: Working on a roguelike...  (Read 3418 times)

Sereg

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Working on a roguelike...
« on: February 02, 2019, 21:59 »

<Latest version: Demo 0.1.3.0 @ 03APR2019 21:15 CST>


I've been inactive here for quite a long time due to RL commitments, although I have been occasionally (quietly) observing the progress of Jupiter Hell - from what I have seen, it's looking good and I hope to have some time to get into it in depth in the near future.

That said, part of my RL commitments have involved learning to code, and I've been working on a roguelike of my own. I have a very small group of friends I've shared it with, but I'd like to put it out to a slightly larger audience for a better range of feedback, and since it's, at least to some extent, inspired by DRL, I thought this would be a suitable place to make it available.

I've primarily been working with Java, so I distribute it as a .jar. If anyone would like to help me test it, here is a download link - I'm currently hosting it out of my google drive since I don't have any sort of website or anything else at this point.

For anyone playing on a smaller monitor, I recommend enabling the Maximize Screen option - I don't currently support dynamic resizing, so this is my solution to legibility issues on smaller screens for now.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is an extremely early alpha release, and the gameplay is incomplete(although winning is possible), unbalanced, and very unpolished - there are also probably most definitely bugs lurking that I haven't detected during my own testing.  Edit: Already found one! Link updated with a bugfix.

If there is any objection by the Godhand or the Inquisition to my releasing a personal project unrelated to the Forge on this forum, do please feel free to remove the link.

Thanks for reading,

-Sereg

Edit: As of 03 APR 2019, I have iterated from Alpha to Demo. At this point, I had planned to move into a Beta, but due to other projects, I am indefinitely suspending active development on Viridian Abyss. I will, however, continue to support it with balance updates and bugfixes based on player feedback.

Thanks to everyone who helped out with testing the Alpha, especially Tormuse and mihey1993, my most prolific players. Your feedback was essential to getting the game to its current state - I greatly appreciate your participation, and I welcome continued feedback on balance issues and bugs - there are definitely a lot of these still out there, which I'd love to get cleaned up.

I'll also probably bring my other projects here in the future, but that may be a long way out - I intend to spend much more time on design and quality assurance so I can avoid the massive amount of bugs I experienced with Viridian Abyss, and keep the code cleaner and more conducive to continued development.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 20:20 by Sereg »
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 06:12 »

No problems on my side - I'd have issues if this was the only reason you'd register and post, but as a long time community member, you're more than welcome to post your stuff :). I might take a look myself, but probably at work, because I don't want to setup the needed java stuff at home (in the long run you should research the all included deployment setup of java projects).
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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 08:16 »

I appreciate your approval - thanks, Kornel.


I'll definitely look into other methods of deploying projects as I continue my education - this is simply the format I am most familiar with and it's sort of a starting point as I develop my skills, but I do realize how limited it is.


Thanks for the advice - and if you do end up having a look at it, I'd definitely be interested in your thoughts.

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Tormuse

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 17:48 »

Ouch...  that font is not easy on the eyes at all.  :(  Even when I maximize it, I still have to lean forward and squint at my screen to read anything.  (So when I saw the text wall at the beginning, I was like, "F...  that!")  :P

Anyway, it looks pretty cool!  :)  I wandered around for a bit, fighting giant red rats and I'm already encountering a bug that I can't access the menus.  (Like they appear greyed out when I click on them)  They started greyed out when I first ran the program and then I was able to access them briefly after I started the game, but after that, they've been perpetually greyed out and I can't look up the controls, so I have no idea what button does what.  I mean I can guess; I figured out that "i" accesses my inventory and "e" accesses my equipment, and "g" gets items on the floor, but anything else, I have no idea.  For example, I found a chest, but I have no idea how to open it.  :(
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 19:10 »

Thanks for trying it out, Tormuse. Out of curiosity, which version did you download? I've been pushing updates somewhat frequently as I continue to work on it...

I did encounter some menu oddities, but at least during my tests, they have been resolved as of the 0.6.3 release which I've just uploaded - I believe it had to do with how I handled loading existing game files, so if you delete your existing game.sav file that should also resolve the menu issue(this can be done by quitting with ctrl-q instead of ctrl-x - I frequently use the q option in my testing and I believe that's why I hadn't noticed the menu problem until just now).

Typing '?' will load the exact same help screen that the menu option does, so there is some input redundancy available if you continue to have trouble with the menus - but do let me know if that's the case, since I'll want to look into that if my latest fix doesn't resolve the issue on your end.

Typing 'a' will "alter" your environment and is a general purpose command that does different things depending on what you use it on - it should allow you to open chests and doors, among other things.

As far as the text, is it solely the font that's to blame or the formatting also an issue? I can certainly look into changing the font if that's the only problem, but the formatting is dependant on the underlying console program and may prove much more difficult to change... My latest release features additional screen size options and the ability to resize at run time, so give those a try and let me know if anything helps. If not, I'll consider other fixes.

The text walls that occasionally pop up are just some BS lore I've written to give the game a setting. It can certainly be skipped with minimal loss of enjoyment(or perhaps even gain, if my writing is as awful as I suspect, lol) for the rest of the game.

Thanks again for your input - I welcome feedback from anyone, but, having read your commentary on quite a lot of topics during my time here, I find yours especially valuable.

Edit: Alpha 0.6.4 is up with support for font selection from a limited set of common fonts. Please let me know if this helps with readability for you, and feel free to suggest other fonts for future inclusion.

Edit2: Help! Can't stop coding. Must go to sleep... Anyway, 0.6.5 is now available, which features an additional color theme which may help visibility - or screw it up even worse. I suspect lots of fine tuning will be needed to get it to look decent, but give it a shot and let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 00:55 by Sereg »
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MaiZure

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 02:29 »

I found it basically unplayable due to being unreadable on Windows 10

For reference, I had a project going on in the background so you can compare text size and spacing.

Look forward to seeing what this could turn in to though!

EDIT: 1920x1080 on a 14" laptop screen with 150% scaling
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 03:01 by MaiZure »
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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 07:56 »

Thanks for having a look, MaiZure; I apologize for the issues.

I also use Windows 10 - I suspect the issue is the ratio. Your screenshot appears to be significantly wider than it is tall(the image file, at least, is 1911 x 981), which would certainly affect the automatic sizing algorithm my console program uses. In fact, it appears to be off by so much that the menu bar wasn't allocated any space, and without the menu bar, it isn't possible to change the default sizing or the font.

Unfortunately, my testing pool up to this point has been very limited, so this isn't an issue I've encountered yet (which is even more reason to be grateful to those of you willing to do testing under different conditions than are available to me), so I'll have to do some research and see if I can find a way to adjust the console program to be more compatible with different environments.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention - I am not sure that it will be something I'll be able to resolve quickly, but at least I am now aware of that particularly unfortunate deficiency.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 08:07 by Sereg »
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Tormuse

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 10:00 »

Thanks for trying it out, Tormuse. Out of curiosity, which version did you download?

Version 0.6.2.  Also, MaiZure's screenshot shows pretty accurately how unreadable the font was.  I'll give the new version, 0.6.5 a try and see how it compares.

EDIT:  I played around with the fonts and I think I like Verdana the best.  I think the formatting does contribute to the difficulty in reading though; it would help if the letters are closer together when it comes to text that you're supposed to read, though I understand that that's probably a lot harder to implement.  On a related note, I finally read the big text wall at the start and I have to say...  the images of snakes are "unsettling and disturbing?"  Incorrect!  Snakes are cute!  :D
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 10:22 by Tormuse »
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 13:56 »

Alright, so I did some tinkering with the console program in an attempt to avoid the menu bar issue MaiZure encountered. I'm still not sure how to handle that very wide screen ratio, though - that may continue to be a problem, but at least he should now have access to the display adjustment options, which will hopefully make things more tolerable. It's also possible that I've broken something entirely new and unexpected, but it seems to work on my system, at least =P

On the legibility front, I've also attempted to improve contrast for better readability, and I've added two new display themes which might prove easier on certain eyes, so let me know how that works for you.

You are right that the formatting is a much more difficult issue to address - if that's consistently a significant problem, I'll have a lot of work to do to correct it, because the entire console environment is based on tiles of fixed size. I may have to create an entirely new tool for supporting that sort of text output.


And Tormuse, you're not doing a very good job of roleplaying, here - your character finds the snake motif to be unsettling, so it's your responsibility to assume that perspective ;)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 13:57 by Sereg »
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 14:17 »

Can I suggest you put the version number in the file name or at least the folder name?  I don't know what version I'm downloading until I play it!  :P

Also, is there a command for looking at distant objects to identify what they are?  Or for that matter, identifying items that are in your inventory?  I found an "Atlantean Soul cradle," a "flask of Lemurian sacred oil," and a "flask of Atlantean fire water" and I have no idea what they do.  (Though maybe that's the point)  Also, also, the latter two items have their descriptions go off the side of the screen, so I don't know how much they weigh.  (I'm assuming the number in square brackets is the weight?)  Also, also, also, is there some indication somewhere of how much you can carry?

EDIT:  One more question:  is there a rest and/or wait command?

EDIT2:  "You found a ancient chestplate."  (Grammar, should be "an ancient chestplate")
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 14:24 by Tormuse »
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MaiZure

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 14:30 »

No worries -- here's what it looks like on 0.6.6 at 1920x1080 (my last screen shot was cropped, this one is full)

Still not really workable.

If you're thinking that view portability is a sticky problem, you are correct.
If you're thinking that the solution involves manually calculating logical screen size (resolution) and relating it to physical screen size (dpi) and computing scaling factors for display elements, you're on the right track.
If you're frustrated that putting all the work in to solving the problem doesn't actually enhance the 'game', all devs know that feeling :P

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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2019, 17:03 »

@Tormuse

I can start including the version numbers on the zip for subsequent releases.

You can pull up as much information as I provide on any given object into the info window, directly above the player view, by entering 't'argetting mode for distant objects, or 'i'nventory mode for items in your pack (in theory this should work for 'e'quipment mode as well, but I noticed recently that I don't actually do this yet - I'll have to update that). The best way to find out what an item does is to use it (by pressing 'u' or <enter> in inventory mode). You will either attempt to consume it and receive a message that should give you an idea what it does, or equip it, where it will modify the stats, and depending on its slot may provide additional information - for example, equipped weapons display their attack speed and damage type, and equipped armor displays its resistance to various damage types(I should include a legend for this in the help file, though).

You'll also get some help from the item name - Lemurian sacred oil, for example, is an alternate fuel for your lamp(since you will not find any modern lamp oil in the type of dungeon you are exploring), and the Atlantean Soul cradle is a rare type of armor that provides certain non-physical protective abilities(so rare, in fact, that in my testing I've never actually managed to generate one - congratulations on finding it). Try using the fire water and see if the message you get will give you a clue as to its use ;)

Beyond this, stats and uses are intentionally obscure - it's up to the player to learn which items do what. This is because I prefer games where learning is by trial and error, and I want to write the type of game that I will enjoy playing. Don't worry, there are no cursed items, although some items may modify certain stats in negative ways as a balance to their positive benefits(and it will be apparent when this happens) - nor does the game allow you accidentally do something harmful like try to drink a flask of lamp oil.

The capacity of your inventory is listed in the title of that zone of the screen. There's no limit on the number of item slots, as in DRL; rather, the limit is based on the bulk of each item, which is meant as a representation of how much space it takes up inside your pack. I'll see about handling overly long item names - I think I looked into moving the bulk indicator to the front of the description, but the implementation caused me some trouble. I'll revisit that and see if I can get at least a temporary solution.

There is a repeat command which applies to movement, including the pause command ('5'), although when testing it just now, I've discovered that it's broken due to some faulty logic and you won't be properly interrupted if something bad happens - I lost a fairly good run I was on by doing this, lol. I've already implemented a fix and it should be working correctly in the next release, but for now you can still repeat wait if you're willing to take the risk of death =P

As far as your second edit, I honestly haven't even looked at grammar yet - anything that's correct is hardcoded that way. For now I'll rework that particular message to read a bit better("You found an item: ancient chestplate.") - please do let me know if you find other instances like that.


@MaiZure

Most concerning to me is that your menu bar is still missing. I am not sure why that is happening, and it's somewhat distressing.

I appreciate your perspective on the problem, though - good to know I am not simply incompetent(or perhaps I am, but that at least is not the only issue, lol), but it sounds like I'll have a lot of hard work ahead of me to ensure that the game looks acceptable for a majority of users.

I don't personally mind putting in work on quality of life stuff - for me, at least, it's actually more rewarding to see a better looking, better playing result than to add some obscure piece of content that might be really cool if only someone actually ever encounters it (see Tormuse's Atlantean Soul cradle above =P). However, I don't have an extremely clear idea of how to proceed in that regard just now.

It's certainly something that will remain near the top of my to do list, but I'll have to consider the problem and do some more thorough research on both the underlying Java utility(swing) and the general problem of view portability. If all else fails, I can add more input redundancy and allow access to the menu functions via keyboard, but of course that's just masking the problem, and I'd much rather solve it =P I'll also have to find a way to generally improve the legibility of the display text - it really does look atrocious in your screenshot.


Thanks again for all the feedback, from both of you. I've said it before, but it really is quite valuable to have additional perspectives for testing - almost none of these issues came up during my own testing due to my limited test environment and play style, so without your feedback, this stuff could have sat unnoticed indefinitely.

Edit: I've just uploaded A0.6.7, mostly with the changes relevant to Tormuse's feedback. I have not yet made any progress on MaiZure's, unfortunately.

Edit2: And now A0.6.8, addressing inventory issues and a few other minor problems I discovered.

Edit3: Killed by the final boss - damn.

Autopsy: 2019.02.04.23.09.44
Killed by lemurian necrocrat on level 14
Kills:
75x giant red rat
20x cave worm
10x grave worm
38x tomb serpent
9x a swarm of tiny scarabs
5x albino tiger
15x mummified swordsman
1x mummified noble
2x spectral remnant
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 22:11 by Sereg »
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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 16:02 »

I've refactored the underlying console utility to compress the screen horizontally and increase the font slightly. I've also increased the minimum screen size, removed the medium size, and made maximum the default.

Hopefully this will make the larger text screens more legible.

Edit: As of Alpha 0.7.0, I offer a compressed display mode which hides the inventory and equipment panels and redirects messages to the info panel, allowing for a much larger representation of the game state at any given time. Inventory and equipment can still be accessed and now behave like more traditional roguelike interfaces.

I still have no idea why MaiZure's menu bar is not appearing, but I'll address what I can for now.

Edit: A0.7.1 is up, expanding autopsy files and adding info windows for inventory and equipment screens in compression mode.

...and I died again: Here's the improved autopsy:

Autopsy: 2019.02.06.20.41.19

Killed by lemurian necrocrat on level 14

Total XP: 28905

Equipped Items:
an ancient falchion (+2, 4d6+4) [Moderately Damaged]
<no item equipped>
an Atlantean torch <fire water:61%>
a Lemurian noble cuirass [Moderately Damaged]
an amulet of precision

Carried Items:
<70> an ancient khopesh (+3, 2d8+2) [Undamaged]
<25> an oil lamp <no fuel>
<35> an Atlantean torch <no fuel>
<125> a Lemurian noble cuirass [Slightly Damaged]
<2> an ancestral pendant
<3> an amulet of focus
<50> 10x flask [sacred oil] (100%)
<10> 2x flask [fire water] (70%)

Kills:
63x giant red rat
15x cave worm
15x grave worm
32x tomb serpent
16x swarm of tiny scarabs
6x albino tiger
17x mummified swordsman
4x mummified noble
2x spectral remnant

[checksum: 61dfe30c]
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 19:42 by Sereg »
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 22:33 »

(Disclaimer:  I was just playing with version 0.6.5 because I wanted to finish the game I was playing)

Anyway, I just finished a game in which I died...  I think?  It just suddenly dumped me to the desktop without any message.  I thought it crashed, but then I saw the autopsy file, which I'll post the contents of here:

Spoiler: Autopsy (click to show/hide)

I guess I got killed by a Viridian aura?  I caught a glimpse of it just before the end; if that's what killed me, then they do an awful lot of damage, considering I was at full health and wearing an ancient chestplate.  (Maybe they don't do physical damage?)  I had encountered one earlier and dispatched it with no problems; I didn't realize they were so dangerous that they could one-shot me!  :|

Anyway, I took some notes...

Fire water gives the message that it's not compatible with my lamp and then my lamp percentage froze at 55%.  My lamp percentage ceased to tick down for the rest of the game.

At one point, I dropped some flasks of Lemurian sacred oil on the floor of a treasure room to make room for more inventory and they vanished from the ground.

"You start to see red."  What?  What's going on?  Genuinely confused.  It did this without any input from me while the game was minimized, so it wasn't based on anything I did.

When there's a "pile of items," is there a way to see what items are there and choose which items to pick up from the pile individually?

You said that using "T" to activate "targeting" mode lets you identify terrain features, but it only identifies the names of enemies, not for example, doors, chests, items, etc.

I encountered a door which, when I tried to "apply" it, it alternated between saying "You fail to close the door" and "You fail to open the door" a dozen times before finally saying "The door swings open."  It seems to do this for any unlocked door.

Is there a way to look up past messages in the message history?

On a couple of occassions, sudden static effects appeared on screen.  Now, I'm wondering if that, along with the "red screen" effect are insanity effects?  Probably the perspective shift too?  Although it still did a perspective shift after my sanity level was returned to "stable."

At one point, I removed my "Lemurian noble cuirass" to put on my "Atlantean Soul cradle," and it looks like the cuirass vanished!  :(  (Probably because my inventory was too full to accommodate it)  I expected it to be dropped, but it didn't appear on the ground either.

That's all I've got right now.  I'll give the new version a try.  :)
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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 08:30 »


Anyway, I just finished a game in which I died...  I think?  It just suddenly dumped me to the desktop without any message. 

Hmm, yes, currently I don't provide a message on death - I had better update that. I'm used to it since I've been developing it, but it's probably rather jarring for people used to proper games.


I guess I got killed by a Viridian aura?  I caught a glimpse of it just before the end; if that's what killed me, then they do an awful lot of damage, considering I was at full health and wearing an ancient chestplate.  (Maybe they don't do physical damage?)  I had encountered one earlier and dispatched it with no problems; I didn't realize they were so dangerous that they could one-shot me!  :|

Yep, those are bad. They're actually sort of a placeholder relic from the early days of the game when I was testing monsters, and I haven't replaced them with anything more appropriate yet. They are meant to be extremely rare - I haven't seen one myself in quite a long time now. You're quite a lucky guy to have found two in one session!


Fire water gives the message that it's not compatible with my lamp and then my lamp percentage froze at 55%.  My lamp percentage ceased to tick down for the rest of the game.

It's meant to be incompatible - it's not meant to provide infinite fuel =P I'll have to see why that's happening.

At one point, I dropped some flasks of Lemurian sacred oil on the floor of a treasure room to make room for more inventory and they vanished from the ground.

Did they appear on the ground at any point prior to vanishing? Did they drop to the same tile as an existing item?

"You start to see red."  What?  What's going on?  Genuinely confused.  It did this without any input from me while the game was minimized, so it wasn't based on anything I did.

Are you alright, my friend? Perhaps you should see a mental health specialist...

When there's a "pile of items," is there a way to see what items are there and choose which items to pick up from the pile individually?

Currently not. This is definitely on the to-do list, but I haven't got around to it yet. It's a pretty high priority QOL feature though, so expect it (and drop-all, etc.) soon.

You said that using "T" to activate "targeting" mode lets you identify terrain features, but it only identifies the names of enemies, not for example, doors, chests, items, etc.

Terrain items appear on a different line of the info window than monster names. Is it possible you're overlooking this? If not, I'll have to check on that, too - it's not an issue I've encountered.

I encountered a door which, when I tried to "apply" it, it alternated between saying "You fail to close the door" and "You fail to open the door" a dozen times before finally saying "The door swings open."  It seems to do this for any unlocked door.

This *should* have been fixed by a patch in 0.6.7. If not, let me know and I'll open it back up for investigation.

Is there a way to look up past messages in the message history?

Not yet, this is another one on the to-do list.

On a couple of occassions, sudden static effects appeared on screen.  Now, I'm wondering if that, along with the "red screen" effect are insanity effects?  Probably the perspective shift too?  Although it still did a perspective shift after my sanity level was returned to "stable."

Hmm, you really *do* need to see a mental health professional, if you claim to be seeing such unbelievable things in my well-written game. I refuse to believe the screen would suddenly exhibit such disconcerting effects... (Yep, that's your sanity at work. At stable, it's very rare for such things to happen, but anywhere below lucid you might see some odd things... Ever play the old Gamecube game Eternal Darkness? That's the effect I'm going for with this system.)

At one point, I removed my "Lemurian noble cuirass" to put on my "Atlantean Soul cradle," and it looks like the cuirass vanished!  :(  (Probably because my inventory was too full to accommodate it)  I expected it to be dropped, but it didn't appear on the ground either.

Removing an item that won't fit in your inventory will indeed drop it on the ground, and it should also send you a message telling you that. If you aren't getting the message, that's a problem, and if the item is additionally not actually on the ground, that's a much bigger problem. I'll do some digging and see if I can figure out why that might be happening.

At any point during your testing, did an error file appear in your save directory? If this ever does happens, please do pass it on to me, as they'll give me an idea where to start looking for problems - especially if you can describe what happened when the error occurred.

In any case, thanks for playing, and thanks for all of the feedback. I'll do my best to resolve the known issues, track down the unknown ones, and add the requested features (trust me, I want to see what's in a floor pile too! just not enough to prioritize it over trying to improve the legibility of the interface over the last few days).
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« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 08:34 by Sereg »
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Cyberdemon Chaos Colonel

Medals - DRL 27/43 | XA 16/31
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