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Author Topic: Working on a roguelike...  (Read 42914 times)

Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #90 on: March 19, 2019, 17:48 »

I'll try to push a release tomorrow night - I haven't got quite as much done as I'd like, but I'll be away until next week sometime, so nothing new will get done until then if I delay it, anyway.
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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #91 on: March 20, 2019, 19:21 »

And here it is:


20 MAR 2019 - Alpha 0.1.2.0:
   Added new interruption messages for clarity. Revised rarity of center tiles down slightly. Added and implemented Spell Power modification. Grimoires and some amulets will increase this by certain amounts, while heavier armor will decrease it. Added a new weapon and amulet which boost spell power, and added a boost to the warlock's attire. Losing sanity now passes a message which will identify the cause if the player dies of madness. Fixed a bug where scrambled lore as a result of poor language proficiency could lead to bug reports. There is now a lower bound on how much the player learns from studying an unread grimoire - some progress will always be made. Slightly reduced chance to upgrade a loot roll to a higher tier. Reduced the reagent cost of many spells. Added new monster type Reptilian. Wrote lore and spells for new Grimoire 'Ophidian Apostasies'. Rebalanced some casting times and made Chant uninterruptible. Adjusted the rarities of several weapons. Added light override and burst effects to temporary effects to support new spells.
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #92 on: March 21, 2019, 21:10 »

Admittedly, I haven't played this since version 0.9.6 and it looks like there have been a lot of updates!  :o  (And the game I just played was A0.1.1.5, so I'm behind again already!)  :P

Anyway, this is the first time I've played a game with spells and spell-casting ingredients...  lots and lots and lots of ingredients, filling up half my inventory!  :o  (Well, filling it quantity-wise, not weight-wise)  :)

Anyway, I have a couple suggestions right off the bat, since you can't actually use reagents from the inventory screen, perhaps they could be on their own separate screen?  It would look less cluttered that way, I think, and I wouldn't have to cycle through quite so many items every time I want to use a healing potion.  It would be really nice if I could see a listing of my ingredients on the spell-casting screen, since that's when I'm most likely to need to see them.  (And it seems like there's plenty of space...  I mean unless there are a lot more types of reagents than I encountered...  which seems likely, now that I think about it)  :P

As usual, I took some notes:

On the spell-casting screen, text is too dark to read for some ingredients, like sulphur and bone dust.  (They're bright enough to read on other screens, like the regular inventory screen)  I get the impression that they're extra dark if you don't have enough of that ingredient for the spell.  Still, I think it could stand to either be brighter or distinguished in some other way.

(Something I've been meaning to say since the beginning)  What do you think of changing the "Save" button to "Ctrl-S" since I think that would be more intuitive than "Ctrl-X?"  (It can be both, really; just putting that out there)

It displayed a message when my lamp ran out!  Yay!  :D  (Generated an error message when I refilled it, though; attached below)  :|

I found a black grimoire which displays its spell names in black, which are unreadable.

I would post the mortem autopsy from the run, but unfortunately, the game is hanging right now.  It isn't accepting any keyboard input and won't let me save or exit or move or anything.  :(  The last things I did were I found an Atlantean torch, filled it with fire water, then pushed "T" to look at the containers in the treasure room where I was at the time.  It froze as soon as I pushed "T," with the little target "X" showing.  I'll attach a screenshot of my final screen below.
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2019, 06:16 »

I'll send a more complete response Sunday night,  but for now I'm on mobile only so I'll keep it concise... did the hang occur immediately after the refill which generated the error log,  or were there two separate instances?
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #94 on: March 22, 2019, 11:30 »

They were two very separate instances.  Like they happened hours apart from each other.
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #95 on: March 24, 2019, 01:12 »

Okay, I played a game of version A0120 and I won!  :D

I got a bit of wonky RNG action in this game;  I only found one grimoire and didn't find enough books to translate it, so I didn't get to do much in the way of spell-casting, despite (I daresay) having a pretty impressive collection of spell-casting ingredients.  :)  The game buried me in healing sources and fire water, but not so much in the way of calming elixirs, so I spent the late game well lit and physically healthy, but insane.  :P

The amulet of haste made the game a breeze; as long as I was careful and didn't impatiently charge into battle, I was able to avoid taking any damage.  Also, the Embermace is surprisingly effective against the undead!  It was able to take down mummified swordsmen in 2 or 3 hits, whereas the khopesh would take about a dozen hits.

I also encountered a couple Spectral Remnants that "rended my soul."  I don't know what that means, but it sounds bad.  Does that mean they drain sanity?  In any case, I'm glad I had the Soulcradle at the end.  My sanity level was "unstable," but I'm sure it would have been lower without that.

Spoiler: Autopsy (click to show/hide)

EDIT:  Whoa, that's weird...  I just found a bug.  After I won, it took me back to the main menu and there was a "continue game" option and when I selected that, the final level where I faced the Lemurian Necrocrat flashed on the screen for a second, and then it took me back to my previous saved game.  I'm guessing it's not supposed to do that.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 01:20 by Tormuse »
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #96 on: March 25, 2019, 07:52 »

Part of the reason I require reagent containers to take actual inventory space is because a player might at some point want to manage their inventory and remove excess reagents to make space for other things.

Probably it would be better to treat them separately, as suggested, and not display or track them in the inventory, but since they are currently items, this would require either a large rewrite or a hack - either way, probably still worth it to save a headache in inventory management that's not really intended. I'll see about a solution for this.

There are some contrast issues on some screens - I created a solution for this, but it isn't working as intended, so I'll revisit that and see if I can come up with something better - the player shouldn't have to select a different display theme to read their book.

As far as the save command, intuition is not necessarily universal - 'X' actually stands for "E(x)it", of which saving is a natural side effect, as opposed to 'Q', which stands for "(Q)uit without saving", and in my experience, I exit more games with Ctrl-X than Ctrl-S. However, it would probably not be a huge deal to add a line or two under a modifier switch for the s key code to handle this, since as you point out Ctrl-S may be a more intuitive understanding for some subset of players.

I'll look into the lamp message and see if I can find why that's happening. Fortunately it wasn't fatal, but it's a bad thing when Null Pointers start cropping up in unexpected places for unknown reasons.

The second error was probably unrelated to the refill, if it was so widely separated - I suspect that's a separate issue where the display thread dies. In the past this caused an unrecoverable hang, but in the current version, the game does recover from it after some amount of player input because I monitor the thread and attempt to restart it if I find it terminated. However, the conditions which cause it to be terminated are unclear to me, and apparently can persist for several player actions depending on the game state, so the hang is still present, and not particularly nice if it occurs while the player is in a situation where they need to take precise actions. I have had great difficulty finding the source of this issue, since it occurs in a portion of the code that comes from a standard Java library, and I don't understand why my input is producing the output that causes the crash, so my thread monitoring is a sort of temporary patch to make it recoverable when it occurs, but I'll have to investigate the problem in depth and find a proper solution before any kind of non-alpha release.

As far as the RNG behavior in your win, that's definitely within the scope of intended gameplay - and it's one of the reasons language knowledge persists between games.


Haste is probably too powerful as it is - I'll probably promote it to legendary rarity.

Embermace is definitely strong against undead - it doesn't inherently have a damage bonus against the undead enemy type, but the resistance profile of undead enemies is weak to fire, so the effect is similar.

Soul-rending is indeed a sanity based attack - be careful of those remnants, especially when your sanity is also low. Of course in your situation there's little you can do about it without spells, but in a more generous run, they make a great case for using magic instead of melee.

That bug appears to be caused by your save state persisting even after your victory, which is not supposed to happen. I'll trace it and see if I can find out why that important step was missed.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 07:54 by Sereg »
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #97 on: March 25, 2019, 12:55 »

Part of the reason I require reagent containers to take actual inventory space is because a player might at some point want to manage their inventory and remove excess reagents to make space for other things.

Probably it would be better to treat them separately, as suggested, and not display or track them in the inventory, but since they are currently items, this would require either a large rewrite or a hack - either way, probably still worth it to save a headache in inventory management that's not really intended. I'll see about a solution for this.

(Random idea; don't know how viable it is; probably would need to be done in a hacky way...)  Perhaps reagents could show up in the inventory as a single item, "spell-casting reagents" with weight equal to the total weight of all the ingredients you're carrying and when you select it, it brings up an itemized list of all your reagents?

...since as you point out Ctrl-S may be a more intuitive understanding for some subset of players.

...Like people who play DRL for instance?  :)

I'll look into the lamp message and see if I can find why that's happening. Fortunately it wasn't fatal, but it's a bad thing when Null Pointers start cropping up in unexpected places for unknown reasons.

Additional information:  I was refilling it with the lamp oil you start the game with.  The refill that generated the error message used up the last of my oil while filling my lamp up to 100%.

...language knowledge persists between games.

Oh, really?  Guess I need to go play another game now to test that.  :)
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #98 on: March 29, 2019, 00:05 »

Well, that was fun...  I was playing along, doing decently well and got insta-killed by a Viridian Aura.  I started a level two tiles away from it.  I was wearing an undamaged Lemurian Noble Cuirass and was "slightly injured" at the time.  (So good HP and armour, I think)  The only thing I did was switch to my Embermace and died while doing that.  I think those things need a nerf.  I had killed one earlier and I observed that they're a lot faster in this version!  It got multiple moves for each of my own.

Spoiler: Autopsy (click to show/hide)

A couple of Some notes:

Something I probably should have mentioned earlier:  The diagonal arrow keys (from the numpad) only work if Numlock is on.  I don't know if that's a problem per se, but in other Roguelikes I've played, they only work if the Numlock is off, so it always causes momentary confusion when I switch.

At one point, I forgot to check out a locked door, because I wanted to secure the area before unlocking it.  My fault, of course, but it makes me wonder if they could appear a different colour or something when they're out of view so they stand out and remind you that they're there.

The "Partial Eclipse" spell says it "imprisons an undead opponent using fuel from a moonglobe."  Fair enough, so I cast a Moonglobe spell and then cast Partial Eclipse, which used up my reagents, but said it failed, along with the message, "perhaps it draws power from the fuel in your lamp?"  Okay, well, the Moonglobe, displayed in my "lamp" slot says "no fuel," but it won't accept any of my oils.  Is there something else I'm supposed to put in to fuel it?  I got the idea of using "moonpearls," and it used up a bunch of them without anything happening, while giving the standard "you must use this reagent in a spell" message, which I'm pretty sure is a bug.  (EDIT:  In fact, it seems that selecting any reagent makes it disappear from your inventory without any effect; I have a feeling this is unintended)

UPDATE:  Okay, so I figured out that I'm supposed to cast another spell to generate fuel for the moonglobe before I can cast partial eclipse and when I finally cast it, it brought a mummified swordsman, (ie the weakest of the undead) down to "heavily injured" and it immobilized him for about three moves, I guess?  I went up to him to finish him off and he started chasing me again.  Considering all the reading and studying I had to do to be able to cast that spell, and the fact that I had to cast three spells and use up reagents for all three, (note that it used up *ALL* of the fuel in the Moonglobe to "imprison" the swordsman and I use the word "imprison" very loosely here) it was a pretty crappy spell, when you consider I could have had the same effect with one whack from my Embermace.
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Sereg

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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #99 on: March 29, 2019, 20:12 »

Thanks for the additional feedback. Unfortunately, I've been a bit busier lately, and on top of that I've started a new project to build a much better console than the one Viridian Abyss currently runs on, so most of my spare coding time has been devoted to that recently. What this means is that I don't have a new version ready to go, nor is it likely in the immediate future.

However, I do plan to continue supporting Viridian Abyss with bug fixes and balance adjustments, so I continue to welcome such feedback.

Viridian Auras are intended to be the most dangerous enemies you can encounter in the current version. They do magic typed damage, which the player tends to have fewer sources of resistance against(your armor is focused mostly toward physical typed damage), and they move quickly. A weapon change action, while significantly faster than it was prior to recent changes, is still significantly slower than a basic move or strike action, and the Viridian Aura performs those faster than the player. Additionally, there is no monster pause on level creation - the player will have the first move, but every other monster is queued up and ready to begin acting right away, too.

The current balance is not kind to on-the-fly equipment changes. Perhaps this will be a problem in the long run and will need to be looked at, but for now, that's intended - I don't want players swapping gear as a reaction. I prefer to favor advanced planning - selecting the gear that the player believes will be most effective for the type of enemies they anticipate encountering, and carrying extras not for situational swapping, but for backups when their current gear degrades. If informational spells are available, these can certainly be used to plan situational swaps in a timely fashion, and I don't mean to completely discourage a playstyle of keeping a more powerful weapon in reserve to spare its durability, as you seem to have been doing. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to switch to a more potent weapon as a precaution before heading for the stairs, just in case something bad is waiting for you - if you do end up needing to make a few attacks against weaker enemies, it won't cost too much off the durability, since they'll likely die in one or two strikes.

I already hack doors to be brighter than surrounding terrain when lit, to make them easier to notice, so it should be trivial to do the same when remembered.

Good job working out the eclipse spell - it's meant to be somewhat opaque, so that the player does have to work out from the spell book lore or the spell description how to correctly employ the spells(as one might expect of our intrepid adventurer), but they aren't meant to be dragonslayer hard, so I'm glad you were able to find the solution without too much trouble.

You are correct that using a reagent isn't supposed to consume it - I'll address that along with the overall reagent reorganization suggested in your previous post - I certainly need to do something different with displaying those, so I may as well handle that too.

Sounds like Partial Eclipse needs a significant buff - I don't always have a great sense of what's balanced, what's overpowered, and what's too weak, and it looks like I erred on the side of way too weak in this case. Expect a damage increase and a significant lengthening of the root duration for the next release, and please do let me know if you come across other spells that feel underwhelming - Grimoires are rare, the languages aren't easy to learn, and the RNG can play havoc when it comes to finding the precise reagents you need, so while I don't want magic to be godmode, I also don't want it to be disappointing.

I'll try to get some work done on this over the weekend, and hopefully I'll have something to show for it by early next week, but unfortunately I'm not quite able to promise a release date for these changes just now.
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2019, 16:23 »

30 MAR 2019 - Alpha 0.1.2.5:
   Save and Exit now also responds to Ctrl-S in addition to Ctrl-X. Improved contrast in several game interfaces. Spell Reagents are now condensed in Inventory, and appear in full detail in the casting menu. Rebalanced amulet rarities and split protection, resistance, and speed into tiers. Increased the power of Partial and Total Eclipse spells, and significantly increased the root duration. Doors which are closed or locked are now highlighted in memory. Added several extra checks against certain bugs.

Alright, got a lot of that done sooner than I anticipated. As far as the bugs, as the changelog says, I added some extra checks, but I was not able to reproduce either of them, so I cannot be certain I addressed the true cause. As always, do please let me know if they persist.
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #101 on: March 31, 2019, 00:16 »

I haven't played the new version yet; these notes are still for version A0120.  (It should probably say the version number in the autopsy to avoid confusion)  I was doing fine up until I got overwhelmed in the last room.  I tried using an offensive spell from my grimoire, (can't remember what the spell was called) but it didn't seem to affect the Necrocrat.  I died while using my starting medicine.  (Which I thought was supposed to act faster; at least according to the description; oh well...)

Spoiler: Autopsy (click to show/hide)

Notes:

Typo in description of "Third Eye" spell, "hopefully, the insight gainedwill prove worth..."  (there should be a space between "gained" and "will")

I tried reading a Harappan grimoire while having 100% grasp of the Harappan language.  It used up 50% of my lamp oil, even though it showed the message, "You know everything there is to know about the Harappan language."  It probably shouldn't take the time (and lamp oil) if you've already mastered the language.

Hey, I successfully used the Mercurial Font spell!  Go me!  :D  (Used it next to an active fountain and it turned clear elixir from the fountain into mercury; previously, I wasted it by trying to use it on a dry font)

I can't figure out how the Transmute spell is supposed to work or what it's supposed to do.  It won't let me use it on spell reagents at all and it failed while wasting my mercury when I tried using it on one of my weapons or on my sacred oil.  Also, it generated an error message when I tried using it on my ancestral pendant.  (And the pendant vanished from my inventory)  EDIT:  Ah, okay, I figured it out; it turns jars of healing ointment into ancient vials, ancient vials into jugs of healing ointment, and jugs of healing ointment into crystal decanters.  EDIT2:  Or...  maybe not?  Now I'm trying it on those same things and this time, it's failing consistently.  :(  Perhaps you have to not have any of the item you're trying to transmute to?  Either I have to experiment more or I need spoilers.  :P

EDIT:  Oh yeah, I should probably attach the error message.  (From trying to transmute the Ancestral Pendant)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 00:19 by Tormuse »
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #102 on: March 31, 2019, 09:44 »

I'll fix that typo for the next release - thanks for catching it.

Grimoires must still be read to access the spells contained, even if you already know the language, and this will still take a while - but perhaps it would be interesting to modify total reading time with the player's level of understanding of its language. Of course, the intuitive way of doing this would make studying unknown grimoires take much longer, and known ones the same as current - the base time to read a grimoire, if memory serves, is about 20 minutes of game time, which is really fast proportional to reality. Probably in the interest of gameplay I could scale the time from 10-30 minutes or so alongside 100-0% language knowledge.


Glad you figured out the Mercurial Font - another one of those pseudo-puzzles that isn't meant to be *too* hard for the player to solve, but since I wrote it and know exactly how it works, I don't have a good sense of exactly how easy it is for anyone else to understand it =P


Transmute is intended to take a base item and attempt to improve it to an item of a higher rarity tier. Since recent modifications to the loot system, it no longer behaves as it originally did, and will need a review and rework to force it to behave as intended again. Thanks for including the error message - it's part of the misbehavior from the changes, but it's actually a very specific failure I'll need to address differently from the general problem, and may not have recognized without the error, so I'm glad you sent that.
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #103 on: March 31, 2019, 14:33 »

The funny thing about the Harappan grimoire in that case was that it was a second copy of the same grimoire I already had with the same spells in it I had already studied...  so it made even less sense for it to take time to study it.  :)
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Re: Working on a roguelike...
« Reply #104 on: March 31, 2019, 17:44 »

It also makes no sense to study it in the first place, if that's the case. Studying does two things - first, it gives a chance to learn more of the language the grimoire is written in. If you already knew the language at 100% proficiency, you will not gain any benefit from this effect. Second, it unlocks the ability to cast spells from the grimoire. If you already had a read copy of that grimoire, you already have access to those spells. Note that negative effects, such as sanity penalties that can occur for reading certain particularly eldritch grimoires, can still occur, so studying such a grimoire in this situation is not only pointless, it's dangerous without any compensating benefits.

Currently(and probably permanently - this type of effect annoys me, so I am unlikely to add it to my own game), inventory items cannot be affected by external effects(for example, fire burning scrolls or cold shattering potions, as in Angband and its variants), so keeping a backup of a non-degradeable equipment item like a grimoire does not convey any benefit I can think of. Studying it when you already know the language and have access to its spells is just a slow way to get rid of extra oil =P

All that said, I have introduced knowledge based scaling in the development version along the lines I specified before - half an hour for a totally foreign language, down to ten minutes for a perfectly fluent one. Actual times will probably be faster, since casting speed is the base modifier for the studying action - however, you'll definitely still be consuming appreciable quantities of oil, so there will still be an advantage to studying under permanent light if you have access to it.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 20:12 by Sereg »
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