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Author Topic: Decent game...but why no graphics?  (Read 11256 times)

RPB

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2006, 12:15:00 am »

People keep bitching about it being too hard to tell what all the little symbols are, but I think the ASCII characters are a lot more distinctive in most regards than most tile-based games I've seen. When you're working with tiles this small, abstract graphics work better than attempting to depict realistic graphics. And small tiles are important for depicting as much as possible at once. Floor engravings are horribly stupid looking and need to go, but that's really the only issue I have with the ASCII graphics (OK, that and I think the shades of grey are a little too close to tell apart sometimes but that can easily be tweaked by anybody).
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Aristharus

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2006, 01:02:00 am »

I'll just second.. well, about every pro-ASCII comment there was. I'm sure making tile graphics for the game would ruin a very big part of it, at least for me. So if there's ever going to be other graphics, please leave the option to keep these, too. If you only ask me, I'd say forget tiles and focus on gameplay. I agree that there's already very deep gameplay in the game, despite of it's alpha state, but there could always be more.
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Varil

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2006, 01:32:00 am »

For me, ASCII wins 9 times out of 8. I hate tiles in rogue-likes. Even *sim* rogue-likes, such as I think of DF. It isn't 'imagination' vs. 'pretty' for me, it's more of "Glad I instantly know that's a Greater Wyrm of Power, not a multi-hued baby dragon."


A big page of..."letter soup" is easier to quickly sort out, for me at least, than a page of tile-art. The downside is that I first need to know what the letters mean, but knowing the difference between a Tank and a Tank MKII in a graphical game may not be so easy, either, though you might immediately think "Tank!", as opposed to "T!".(You know you're addicted to Angband when you fear the letter D."


That said, DF is more cluttered than most roguelikes, at least notably in Adventure mode, at the very least because the letters need a serious sorting out. I've seen this noted else where in the forum however, and it'll probably get done when it gets done.


Think of it as a book with bad grammar. You wouldn't bother sending it to the editor until you at least finish the durn thing, right?

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Capntastic

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2006, 02:00:00 am »

I agree wholeheartedly that the ASCII should be refined before people demand it be abandoned.   It's not perfect, but fixing it up would be a lot more time-effective than changing the way all of the graphics work and making art for each and every possible thing in the game.
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Arehandai

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2006, 02:07:00 am »

I was all ready to type a book here, but UncleSporky said it best.  This game is being written in the spirit of roguelikes.  It's like asking to play Unreal Tournament from a top-down view.  Same controls, runs the same, it just looks very wrong.  Now Dwarf Fortress II, sure, graphics everywhere.  Let's just finish this game first.  If you don't like it, it's not for you.
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imsabbel

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2006, 03:12:00 am »

Reading comprehension, bandwaggon people.
The problem is NOT the monsters/creatures (for those ascii works nice), but the abiguity that is created in the base-build part.

Did you ever take a look at the finished goods storeroom?

Or how about the whole bin/barrel interface? More than clunky.

Not to mention double detailed rooms looking like a graphics memory corruption.

Nobody is seriously asking for toady to create a tileset, but an engine change that supports:

-a charset with definable lettersize (it should be just two lines. One to read it from the ini, another one to replace the constant with the read variable)
-more than 255 characters. Which should also not be anything but trivial, if the author hasnt been doing some horrid programming (to explain: there are already more than 255 different kinds of repesentations, because of colour coordination. So using chars for variable storage would have been not very bright)

-more tiles visible at the same time. Nethack supports this, angband supports it, so it should even be accepted by the most narrowminded in the bunch here.

-SQUARE tiles. even if they are letters. The current "everything is warped by a factor of 2 in height" sucks just so much. Playing in a window with 2.5:1 AR makes it look ok (hey, square rooms are actually square!), but emphasiszes the lack of screen real estade.

I mean, when i play hengband, i have my normal terminal open, another one for the map and inventory. Plus a 4th one for the message log. And that in a "classic style" roguelike that doesnt even have basic tiles.
So there is no reason to get in a reactive "its great the way it is" mode even though it doesnt have basic usability features of just anything after moria and hack.

Just think about playing dwarf fortress, with 160x120 (which is good-sized characters on a 17") letters visible at once. Plus being able to keep on another screen that ALWAYS shows whats under your curser (like person/bin/tile menues right now). plus having the message log in a different window, not hiding the "idle dwarfs" number.

[ August 29, 2006: Message edited by: imsabbel ]

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AlStar

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2006, 03:45:00 am »

quote:
Nobody is seriously asking for toady to create a tileset

Yes they are. Didn't you read the first couple of posts by Tormy (the OP)? That is exactly what he wants. And, since he's the one who started this topic, it's his posts that most people are replying to, not yours.

You have some valid gripes, although personally, once I got used to all the symbols, I've never really found even a big fortress to be all that overwhelming (note: unless I do lots of level 2 engraving. That adds a lot of clutter. Toady should probably look into some way of improving that.)

Increasing the number of unique sprites (more than 255) would definately be nice. Making it so that we could increase the window size, thus increasing the area we can see would be nice. Hopefully Toady will get around to it.

odd2k

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2006, 05:47:00 am »

All you people asking for tiles are forgetting something: The game is already using tiles. Granted, they are ascii tiles but there's still a difference.

All you die-hard ascii fans: Adding extended tile support would allow you to customize your ascii tiles to better represent things in the way you want. Using extended tiles does not automatically mean hydras will look like small aliens/puppies and so on, because of bad graphics or small tiles. It's all up to how the community decides to use the extended graphics support.

Toady, I don't know how big a leap it would be to extend the tile limit above 255, but by doing so you would cater to both graphics and ascii fans. By the sound of it, I'm getting the impression it would be hard though.  :(

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Janne Joensuu

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2006, 07:17:00 am »

quote:
Originally posted by imsabbel:
<STRONG>Reading comprehension, bandwaggon people.
The problem is NOT the monsters/creatures (for those ascii works nice), but the abiguity that is created in the base-build part.

Did you ever take a look at the finished goods storeroom?
Not to mention double detailed rooms looking like a graphics memory corruption.


Hmm. It seems you made it before me. The OP didn't read the FAQ. He didn't know what we know. However, most of us probably thought that the graphics were confusing in the very eginning. My first post in here mentioned bad graphics, and might have mentioned some suggestions to them. Dwarf Fortress is playable, and very enjoyable, with the ASCII. I hope it will get better. Even though I appreciate the fact that Toady One doesn't feel he has to change away from ASCII graphics, I'm very glad that he will change them if he feels they aren't enough for the game any more. Judging from the original Slaves to Armok, I'd say the change will be for the better.

quote:
Just think about playing dwarf fortress, with 160x120 (which is good-sized characters on a 17") letters visible at once. Plus being able to keep on another screen that ALWAYS shows whats under your curser (like person/bin/tile menues right now). plus having the message log in a different window, not hiding the "idle dwarfs" number.</STRONG>

In the meantime, though... *drool*
Yes, that'd be fantastic. Along with being able to customize what characters represent what ground types, but that's a minor nitpick.

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Tormy

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2006, 08:19:00 am »

I dont understand how can someone say that 2d tiles would be worse then ASCII. ASCII is totally confusing, the screen is full with letters and symbols. There is no point to take a screenshot at all, because it would be a big mess of letters and characters.
The game is playable with ASCII, true. Like I said before, 2d tiles would make this game much more user friendly, and DF is not a 20 years old roguelike game.
Also the biggest power in Wesnoth is that you can edit all tile graphics and make your own graphical world if you dont like the original tiles.
Just think a bit. Wesnoth with ASCII graphics or Wesnoth with 2d tiles. Which one would you play with?

Actually I never said that we need 3d graphics here. 2d tiles would be perfect for this game. It would attract much more people. Most of the people are scared away when they see "ASCII graphics".

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Derek

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2006, 08:36:00 am »

I think it's kind of silly to argue one way or the other!  Some people prefer ASCII, some prefer graphical tiles... so it has been and so it shall be until the end of time.  :)

To start: just a couple of dwarfs in a cave with some rocks.

I'll keep expanding on this scene as I find time (and also as I get to know the game a little better).  What do you think, though?

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Maurog

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2006, 08:45:00 am »

I will repeat my point from another thread. Dwarf Fortress is an awesome game and it doesn't deserve a mediocre half-assed tile system. Coding a full scale tile-system a la IVAN is a lot of work. Work that would come at expense of pushing the game towards beta status. So it really isn't an option right now.
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AlStar

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2006, 08:49:00 am »

quote:
There is no point to take a screenshot at all, because it would be a big mess of letters and characters.  

Um, not if you know what the letters and characters mean. I actually very much enjoy looking at pics of other peoples forts, it's interesting to see how they build differently than I do.

quote:
Just think a bit. Wesnoth with ASCII graphics or Wesnoth with 2d tiles. Which one would you play with?  

That's not really comparable, since Wesnoth (I'm almost certain) never started off with ASCII graphics. But that said, I play Nethack, et all in ASCII - I hate using tiles - so I'd prolly play Wesnoth in ASCII too.

You don't like ASCII - ok, fine, we get that. But you're just pounding your head agienst a wall if you're going to try and tell us that we'd really prefer tile graphics.

Oh, and also, you never answered my point about Wesnoth having a bunch of people dedicated to working on its artwork, vs Toady, an army of one.

Virtz

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2006, 08:58:00 am »

quote:
Originally posted by Tormy:
<STRONG>I dont understand how can someone say that 2d tiles would be worse then ASCII. ASCII is totally confusing, the screen is full with letters and symbols. There is no point to take a screenshot at all, because it would be a big mess of letters and characters.
The game is playable with ASCII, true. Like I said before, 2d tiles would make this game much more user friendly, and DF is not a 20 years old roguelike game.
Also the biggest power in Wesnoth is that you can edit all tile graphics and make your own graphical world if you dont like the original tiles.
Just think a bit. Wesnoth with ASCII graphics or Wesnoth with 2d tiles. Which one would you play with?

Actually I never said that we need 3d graphics here. 2d tiles would be perfect for this game. It would attract much more people. Most of the people are scared away when they see "ASCII graphics".</STRONG>


Please take note that not everyone is pixel-artistically gifted or even has the time to create 200 tiles of graphics just because the default ones might look like ass.

And if Wesnoth were to become more feature-rich and introduce something actually innovative at the cost of graphics and hexagonal tiles, I'd play it in ASCII any day. Currently it's just another Panzer General-like turn-based strategy in a fantasy setting.

And you still haven't addressed the issue of randomly generated monsters, which marks out any proper presentation of the game in 2d and dooms us to furtherly confusing Nethack-like graphics, where 1 graphic is used by 20 different object types.

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Doctor Zero

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Re: Decent game...but why no graphics?
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2006, 09:08:00 am »

quote:
Originally posted by Tormy:
<STRONG>

The game is already working very well. Graphics should be high priority. I think that many people are annoyed with ASCII. It doesnt matter that you grow up roguelike games. Im not saying that we need top end 3d graphics, but a 2d top-down graphics engine is needed badly. Imagine this game with a 2d tile based engine what Wesnoth got for example. I couldnt stop
playing.    :)
Like I said, Toady wont have to make any graphics at all, just add a graphics engine, and WE the players will make the graphics.</STRONG>


Tormy, when you say stuff like "It doesn't matter what the GUY WHO WROTE THE GAME played and likes" and that he SHOULD USE GRAPHICS because YOU think it would be better, you come off like a huge jerk. Some people would like better graphics. Some people wouldn't. Your opinion isn't the only valid opinion in the world. Say your piece, move on, and STOP ARGUING about it.

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