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Author Topic: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?  (Read 23234 times)

Vanaheimer

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #90 on: April 03, 2012, 10:31:04 pm »

Tarran:

Which is just more time wasted figuring things instead of acting. DF may be a game of patience in many cases, but that doesn't mean I can't act quickly :lol:
Okay. A statement once again unrelated to what you just said.

I'm giving up on this argument, honestly. I can't see where you're trying to go with your argument. You're repeatedly bouncing between an argument that ASCII takes longer to identify things--which is somewhat true--and as a result that has an actual effect on your ability to respond--which is not true because the game can be paused.

I know the game can be paused, but I prefer to keep it unpaused as much as I can to get more done in the time I'm playing. I only pause the game when it's necessary (like when designating things to be mined or when I've just embarked). The less I have to pause the game the better it is for me, having to pause the game to figure out what's what with ASCII therefore hinders me... if that makes sense.
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Tarran

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #91 on: April 04, 2012, 01:27:59 am »

Okay, that's related to the first argument then. Not the second.
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Quote from: Phantom
Unknown to most but the insane and the mystics, Tarran is actually Earth itself, as Earth is sentient like that planet in Avatar. Originally Earth used names such as Terra on the internet, but to protect it's identity it changed letters, now becoming the Tarran you know today.
Quote from: Ze Spy
Tarran has the "Tarran Bug", a bug which causes the affected character to repeatedly hit teammates while dual-wielding instead of whatever the hell he is shooting at.

Voxel_Squid

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #92 on: April 04, 2012, 02:55:57 am »

I don't think there is any point in arguing over the functional advantages/disadvantages of (faux)ASCII and graphical tilesets. This whole issue is a question of prestige vs functionality rather than just functionality alone.

It is a fact that it takes longer for the average person to become familiar with ASCII than a graphical tileset. However, the culture of DF is tied up with the ASCII tileset, being the default, "traditional" way to play DF. This, in combination with the longer learning curve of the ASCII tileset, gives it a certain prestige and "snob appeal." Although it is possible to come up with a few instances where the ASCII tileset is more useful/looks better than a graphical tileset, the real reason that people feel passionate about the ASCII tileset is the prestige factor.

To give a real world example, the relationship between Chinese characters and its romanization (hanyu pinyin) is very similar to the relationship between ASCII and graphics in DF. While it is universally acknowledged (and from personal experience!) that it is easier to learn pinyin than Chinese characters, Chinese characters are an integral part of Chinese culture and that is the reason why they are still used today.

At the end of the day, comparing ASCII vs graphical tilesets is like comparing apples and oranges. I think we should all agree that although ASCII is the most "dwarfy" way to play DF, it is not really designed to be the most user-friendly GUI. People who prefer one over the other do so for different reasons, not because they don't know what's good for them.

Tarran

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #93 on: April 04, 2012, 03:01:34 am »

It's not just the prestige, it's the flavor. I'd dare say that graphical DF has a different feel to ASCII DF. Heck, I'd dare say that any pack of graphics on any game will have a different feel compared to another graphics pack.

And I don't really believe it all too much myself, but others have said that ASCII also allows 'more imagination' or something to that extent.
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Quote from: Phantom
Unknown to most but the insane and the mystics, Tarran is actually Earth itself, as Earth is sentient like that planet in Avatar. Originally Earth used names such as Terra on the internet, but to protect it's identity it changed letters, now becoming the Tarran you know today.
Quote from: Ze Spy
Tarran has the "Tarran Bug", a bug which causes the affected character to repeatedly hit teammates while dual-wielding instead of whatever the hell he is shooting at.

Deathworks

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #94 on: April 04, 2012, 03:59:29 am »

Hello Voxel_Squid,

I have to object to the claim that choosing ASCII is a snob choice for everyone. I am a casual player, I usually don't embark on aquifers, I turn sieges off, set pop cap to 7, and otherwise evade nasty challenges of the game. And I am open and honest about this being my way of playing the game. How does this fit in with a claim that I choose ASCII for prestige reasons.

One main reason is that I simply got used to it, and I even got used to the stretched, rectangular tiles to the point that even square ASCII just feels wrong to my eyes. Believe me, whenever I install a new version, the first thing I do is copying my stretched ASCII set into the art directory as the square visuals are basically unbearable for me. This is not about the wrong or right way of doing something, but rather the aesthetics I have grown used to.

The important thing is that we have a choice about the looks of the game, and I think we should not deride others for making a different choice. Everyone has their own favorite way of playing and enjoying the game and we should simply respect their freedom rather than denounce them and impose our values on them.

Yours,
Deathworks
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Voxel_Squid

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #95 on: April 04, 2012, 05:19:44 am »


I have to object to the claim that choosing ASCII is a snob choice for everyone. I am a casual player, I usually don't embark on aquifers, I turn sieges off, set pop cap to 7, and otherwise evade nasty challenges of the game. And I am open and honest about this being my way of playing the game. How does this fit in with a claim that I choose ASCII for prestige reasons.


Thanks for pointing that out. Actually, now that I think about it, "prestige" and "snob appeal" might not be the best words to describe what I was trying to say. What I meant was that DF's image and culture is that of a game that is intentionally difficult and complex, and the ASCII graphics are a part of that. I guess Tarran's use of the word "flavour" is a better way to capture this sense.

My general point was just to say that this debate is really not about functionality/ease-of-use alone. People choose to prefer ASCII or graphics based upon many factors beyond functionality, including the flavour of DF and personally being used to a particular tileset. While I don't think that anyone can really make a convincing argument for ASCII based upon purely functional grounds, ultimately each player values different things in DF, and it would not be right for us graphical tileset users to say that our way is the "right" way only because it has better functionality.

Mala

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #96 on: April 04, 2012, 05:36:24 am »

* Japa comes in.

Since NW_Kohaku mentioned stonesense, I feel that I should pitch in here.

I exclusively play in codepage-437. The only time I ever use anything else is when I occasionally open stonesense to get a feel for how my fortress looks.
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rhesusmacabre

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #97 on: April 04, 2012, 07:18:03 am »

When I first started I used Ironhand's graphics set, but eventually started using an "ascii" tileset. One of the many great things about DF is it makes demands on your imagination, not just in terms of planning things out (like SimCity) but also in visualising the characters and action taking place (like a book).

I make and play with my own tilesets at the moment for the fun of it. And besides, the default 'e's are wrong:
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Leatra

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #98 on: April 04, 2012, 07:28:40 am »

ASCII is seen as a sign of being an elite roguelike player. ASCII is like the culture of DF. It's like people who use tilesets are percieved as CoD-playing idiot graphic whores and people who use ASCII are percieved as people who were playing roguelikes since Rogue came out. This is bullshit. I'm using tilesets but not because of graphics. ASCII can't display everything. There is a 256 character barrier. I'm not saying everyone who plays by ASCII is eltist but there are some people like that. I got used to game by playing with tilesets and you may have got used to playing with ASCII but that doesn't give you a superiority. It's just different tastes for different people. I don't know about you but I rather see the information when I look at it. I don't understand why some people find tilesets so dirty they feel like throwing up.

You can't tell a DF newbie that ASCII is actually are great and criticise him for not liking it. We shouldn't appear as an elitist snobby community to new players. Everybody knows ASCII is tough to get used to. I like ASCII in other roguelikes but in DF, there is simply too much information you need to know.

I'm sure if Toady released a new version that makes the game super user-friendly, we would hate the game.
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Deathworks

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #99 on: April 04, 2012, 07:58:39 am »

Hi!

I find it rather interesting, that people preferring graphics regularly accuse player preferring ASCII to be elitist or snobbish in their comments or criticizing newbies for not liking ASCII. I may be wrong, but I don't have the impression that this regularly occurs. However, interestingly enough, people preferring graphics regularly seem to try to claim the superiority of their preference, sometimes thinly veiled, sometimes rather openly. I don't have concrete statistics, but I have the distinct impression, that more hate is expressed from the friends of graphics towards the friends of ASCII than the other way aorund...

Anyhow, while this kind of worries me, I think it is really important that we honestly and forcefully respect the preferences of each other and do not try to diminish or denounce each other by making claims about the nature of the choice or some general superiority.

So, I play with my stretched ASCII, and those who like graphics play with graphics, and we all have fun, each and every one of us in their own, individual fashion. No need for envy, hate, or anger.

Yours,
Deathworks
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banned4trolling

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #100 on: April 04, 2012, 08:27:00 am »

I never play with ASCII.

The graphics in a game serve two basic roles: Functional and Aesthetic.

The aesthetic quality of game graphics is tied to it's complexity. Having more polygons, more animation code, more shaders, raytracing and whatnot doesn't automatically guarantee better quality but permits it. Having 8-bit graphics you can only go so far.

The functional aspect of game graphics isn't directly tied to how complex they are. Functional game graphics means they instantly convey what's going on screen - basically it's about how much information about what's going on you can extract from looking at the screen and how much time you need to do so.

The problem with ASCII graphics is that they aren't functional for DF. There's the issue of non-square tiles. Then there's the issue of having to memorize what different symbols mean. On top of that there's the reuse of symbols for different objects.

The graphics of DF are extremely dysfunctional, let's be honest. There are at least three different commands that display text-based information that would be conveyed graphically in any other game. This is a tradeoff for the complexity and intricacy of course - there are tons of primitive (triple-A) games with shiny graphics but scarce few that do it the other way around - which is why we love this game.

I think we'd all rather have the most functional and aesthetically pleasing graphics possible, if it were to be free. Having physx-enabled plump helmets bouncing around in a woodden barrel being carried by a high-poly procedurally animated dwarf isn't worth the effort (why compete with the industry on THEIR terms?) and isn't something we'll likely run on silocon-based machines anyway..

But having graphics detailed enough to make the "k" command rendered useless would certainly be nice.

For the record, here's high-definition dwarves in 3d:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGO6HcgHUSQ
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Deathworks

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #101 on: April 04, 2012, 09:06:07 am »

Hi!

...
I think we'd all rather have the most functional and aesthetically pleasing graphics possible, if it were to be free. Having physx-enabled plump helmets bouncing around in a woodden barrel being carried by a high-poly procedurally animated dwarf isn't worth the effort (why compete with the industry on THEIR terms?) and isn't something we'll likely run on silocon-based machines anyway..

But having graphics detailed enough to make the "k" command rendered useless would certainly be nice.
...

I am sorry, but I have to tell you that I disagree with your definitions of functional and aesthetically pleasing as far as "we all" are concerned. At least I personally find the ASCII graphics aesthetically very pleasing - as long as they are rectangular and not square. BTW, by default, the ASCII graphics in the current version are square and there seems to be no easy way of getting them stretched except by using a stretched PNG which you have to create yourself - just pointing this out since your information seems to be outdated.

In addition, the graphics give me all the functionality I desire, so I am very happy with the status quo. On the contrary, having a 3D polygon depiction with animated dwarves and things would be likely to be very confusing for me (I am a slow person).

Thus, I do not subscribe to the sentiments you express.

Yours,
Deathworks

EDIT: Maybe you can understand me better if I explain that I am not playing with sieges or wars (I do fair trading with the elves and humans). Instead, I usually embark with history hidden in legends mode in areas that are likely to have seen events in history and have lots of engravings, statues and other art created, so I can explore the history of the place via these works of art. So, looking at the detailed descriptions of items is one of my favorite pasttimes in the game. Therefore, the update that allowed history of engravings to be seen in dwarf mode was one of the happiest moments in my DF career as I finally got the details about the battles that adorned my walls.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 09:14:40 am by Deathworks »
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kingubu

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #102 on: April 04, 2012, 09:15:16 am »

I can't understand these arguments for functionality at all.  Are people having a hard time playing DF?  After the initial weeks of failing are behind, I thought most people were making up challenges for themselves.  "I will now embark with 12 copper serrated discs and a leather cap" sort of thing.

It's like arguing the difficulty of lifting a 30g weight in the shape of a ball or a 100g weight in the shape of a rod.  I'm sure there are points to be made each way, but is anyone on the floor of their living room pinned under a 100g rod?

That said, I will now totally destroy my previous point by saying that tilesets suck :P  And that REAL MEN play in [PRINT_MODE:TEXT] in an XTerm window.  Over ssh if possible.
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Robsoie

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #103 on: April 04, 2012, 09:36:05 am »

Like most people i started playing DF after the Boatmurdered memorable articles. There wasn't any tiles, and it was playable, the major difficulty wasn't the lack of pixel art graphics but was the rather unintuitive interface, it took me a while and a lot of tutorial reading to get used to it.

But when the pixel art tiles graphics started to appeared, i began to enjoy a lot customising my DF visuals with mixing tiles of various artists, and even did my own to mix with them.

There was always something hilarious for me to see a wrestler squad using a self custom " " instead of .
Did it made the game even more enjoyable to me ? yes it did, and there was then no going back after that.

So indeed in the end, the classic "to each his own" is again coming right on the subject, just play how you like to play, that's the point of a game that feature such a sandbox nature.
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banned4trolling

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Re: Am I the only one who actually LIKES the ASCII?
« Reply #104 on: April 04, 2012, 09:54:29 am »

Quote
I can't understand these arguments for functionality at all.  Are people having a hard time playing DF?  After the initial weeks of failing are behind, I thought most people were making up challenges for themselves.  "I will now embark with 12 copper serrated discs and a leather cap" sort of thing.

It's like arguing the difficulty of lifting a 30g weight in the shape of a ball or a 100g weight in the shape of a rod.  I'm sure there are points to be made each way, but is anyone on the floor of their living room pinned under a 100g rod?

There's a difference between difficulty and tediousness. You could argue that using the default built-in job manager without using Therapist constitutes additional difficulty - you can't easily look back and see what jobs other dwarves have, you only have one page at a time so you have to memorize the jobs better and you have to put more strategy into job assignements as they're likely to be more permanent.

I call that tedious and marginal difficulty at best.

The same thing applies to graphics - you wouldn't have to go over each coffin to see if there are any more empty ones, for example.

Quote
REAL MEN play in [PRINT_MODE:TEXT] in an XTerm window.  Over ssh if possible.
On a monochrome CRT monitor. And dial-up. Using a collection of modified Cap'n Crunch whistles and a mic to manually do the handshake.
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