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Messages - Sereg

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Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: April 24, 2019, 21:29 »
The new project will also appear here once I have something ready for public testing.

I'm currently not much past the planning phase on the actual game - I do have a superior console program to the one Viridian Abyss was using, but that's as far as I've gone with actually coding anything. I have lots of ideas for the new game, as I did with VA, but it took me quite a while to realize them there, and that was with rather poor design and rushed coding, leaving me loads of technical debt which contributed heavily to my decision to halt the project.

I will also be busier than usual with real world commitments for the forseeable future, so I expect progress will be slow, and a release-ready version may be a long way out. However, I'm now confident that I am capable of putting together a decent, somewhat enjoyable game, and I fully intend to keep doing so, improving on my previous work as much as possible.

I'm grateful to you and the rest of the alpha testers for allowing me to do so, and I hope to have your feedback on the next one as well, so I'll definitely keep you informed - if you'd like, I'd be happy to send you a private message or e-mail when that time comes.

Well that's quite an impressive return. Two angelics I've never even approached, and you make it look easy. I'll admit I was doubtful when you claimed you'd surpass Tormuse, and while I think that's still a very tall order, you clearly have the talent necessary to attempt such a feat.

Good luck on the next one.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: April 03, 2019, 20:18 »
03 APR 2020 - Demo
   Study time now scales from 10-30 minutes of game time depending on knowledge of the language the studied grimoire is written in. Experience has been replaced by score, which can be increased through kills and additional levels of completion.

I now consider Viridian Abyss to be complete from a gameplay perspective, although there's still a lot of polishing to do. I've posted the following update to the original post:

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.

I look forward to those mortems... good luck in your endeavors, both digital and otherwise.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« 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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« 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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: March 30, 2019, 16:23 »
30 MAR 2019 - Alpha
   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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« 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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« 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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« 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?

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: March 20, 2019, 19:21 »
And here it is:

20 MAR 2019 - Alpha
   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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« 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.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: March 19, 2019, 08:19 »
It is possible not to learn anything new about a language from a grimoire - but annoying. I might remove that total failure chance.

Temporary effects are new, and inflicted by very few monsters and a couple spells, so it's a fairly rare message.

I am aware of a bug report that's generated by a non-fatal crash while trying to read lore for books whose language you haven't mastered - this has been corrected in the development version.

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: March 16, 2019, 06:40 »
Haha that's awesome... I thought to myself while writing that spell... should I make something bad happen if the player stands in the area of effect? As you have discovered,  the answer to that question was: "Yes. Yes I should."

It looks like you had quite the run going, too... that's a lot of loot so early in the game o.O

Off Topic / Re: Working on a roguelike...
« on: March 15, 2019, 12:02 »
Action speed does indeed affect equip and remove times - I believe those are based on attack speed, which implies the use of your hands, not move speed which affects use of legs or cast speed which affects speed of mind/speech.

Armors do not directly affect resistance stats - they behave differently than other gear slots, and their resistances are applied directly to the process of absorbing damage, while in general resistances are applied up front before the damage is dealt. It might seem a bit confusing, but think of the resistances you get from amulets and grimoires as sort of magical enhancements, while resistances on armor reflect the actual properties of that piece of armor.

Radius of a light source is actually directly related to its brightness, so there is currently no way in my lighting system to create a large light radius with a low brightness(although I could certainly override this, and it might be interesting to do for some lights...). However, burning things down from a distance, before you can directly see them, is definitely a valid strategy for managing sanity.

As far as going to the death screen immediately, I might be able to find a way to add an intermediate step that freezes the screen and displays a message, but the death screen does tell you what killed you, so I'm not entirely sure what the confusion is... still, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to capture the screen at death and write it to the mortem. I'll look into that for the next release.

As far as the danger of entering a new floor, that's certainly an intended part of the sanity mechanic - imagining already being in a mentally unstable state from the horrors you've seen, then descending a new level and being immediately faced with several more horrific enemies - the shock very easily could kill you, or leave you completely mad.

If you're frequently finding that such situations are occurring, I may need to slightly rebalance the sanity restoration rates, but at first glance I'd chalk that up to an unfortunate RNG. Bear in mind that some mitigation comes through repeated play - knowledge of languages persist between games, so the next time around you may find you have access to more spells for dealing with Insanity in the books you find.

Edit: By the way, I've got a spell power modification system implemented for the next release, so you should be able to optimize your equipment to create a stronger caster playstyle from now on.

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