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Author Topic: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc  (Read 22616 times)

Tormy

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Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« on: July 20, 2008, 06:06:28 am »

So Ive just spotted that theres a new version of DF, gonna try it later today.
My questions are the following:
1.  AFAIK after the army arc will be completed, Presentation Arc is next. Presentation Arc will add proper graphical support also? What I mean is: separate text and all game objects, so players could be able to mod in graphics for everything in the game. Is it not possible at the moment correct? [I havent been playing for quite a long time, beacause DF is more of a sandbox mode game now, perhaps it will change once the army arc is completed].
2. Also I have a question about colors. How many colors are supported by DF now? AFAIK only a couple of colors were supported in the past, so in that case the presentation arc might bring 16bit colors?
3. What updgrades can we expect to have in the interface? Right now its very stone age style. :)
4. Can we expect to have full mouse support?


PS. [[Please dont even reply if you want to say: This is ASCII we dont need graphics here :) . Many people including myself would prefer to play DF with graphics. Nothing awesome just simple 2d. Here is a screenshot below for example what is looking good enough for DF also imo.]]


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Grek

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 06:40:49 am »

Why do people keep saying the Presentation Arc is next? I've never seen Toady say that he was going to do it and it doesn't make sense to work on interface before all the content goes in. If Toady did that, he'd have to keep coming back to it every time he added something.

As far as I've heard, he's going to either add random stuff he feels like and avoid working on one arc at a time OR start on the caravan arc for resource tracking and better trading/theft.
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Red Jackard

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 06:54:51 am »

What is that screenshot from? It has a castlevania-like feel to it.
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Sean Mirrsen

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 07:13:06 am »

He did say he was going to work on presentation, but I think that was before he stated he no longer wanted to constrain himself to an arc. I suspect he'll still be working mostly on presentation, because he now needs to make the game more visually appealing, but he'll probably slip in bits of Caravan and Army arcs.

Tormy

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 07:13:19 am »

Yeah indeed, its Castlevania roguelike :)

Ah...well my bad...I swear that I read somewhere that presentation arc is next. It was also said that Toady have that as priority to attract more players. I cant remember where did I read about this, but it was in the time when Toady has started to work on the Army Arc.
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Toady One

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2008, 07:19:06 am »

I don't have a list of what I've said these many months, but I think I said that I would be focusing on it next if I was hurting for donations, and I also said during the Bay 12 get-together in April that I might be doing parts of it (like expandable views and tile support for items/terrain) as a sort of humanitarian action even if the donations are fine.  Although I'm still treading water more or less on donations, I'm not yet hurting, meaning that I haven't liquidated the meager funds I saved while working the math job.  The current idea is to work in some of the things that need to be done as I'm working on other things, at an unspecified ratio.  This makes it a very vague current idea, but that's what I'm working with.

1 - Yes, graphics support for items, terrain and so on, and it's not possible at the moment to attain a separation from the text for anything aside from creatures.

2 - DF uses 24bit color (32 if you count alpha, which is supported by what's there, but not used), but you can only get at that through the creature bmps right now (though you can specify the core 16 colors in the init up to 24bit).  As more support is added, we'll figure out what we want to use the alpha channel for (smoke, miasma etc.).

3 - For the whole presentation arc?  Whatever people complain about the most.  The more specific people are the better.  There are many prior posts/emails on the matter that are fairly specific, though oftentimes the solutions presented aren't really practical (or solutions aren't even considered).  In addition, the more specific the solutions get, the more nailed down the game itself has to be (and it isn't), so there's a bit of a problem, though clearly a robust framework can handle most of what's thrown at it (but not everything, especially as new features oversaturate the current screen real estate, requiring a revision).

4 - Sure.  You can already use the mouse on many of the new screens, but the main screen isn't one of them of course (aside from designations).  Again, the more specific people are the better, keeping in mind the overall context.  I find some of the suggestions about real-time hover sort of impractical, for example, since the critters move on a grid and there are lots of them.
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CautionToTheWind

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2008, 08:28:13 am »

I believe my dream would be a Dungeon-Keeper like interface for DF. Designed from the start to run as a separate thread.

Dungeon Keeper has 3d terrain and buildings, and the creatures are sprites with some pretty decent perspective work. Not terribly expensive by today's computing standards. And sprites are more accessible to modders than 3d models.

One great feature of dungeon keeper is to be able to "possess" one of your creatures and see the world through its eyes. For example if you possess a fly, you even get a visual distortion usually associated with the insect eye.

Well i'm sure many of us could talk at length about how good Dungeon Keeper was, but yeah, that's how i imagine the interface if we had 10 Toadies.
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Tormy

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2008, 08:37:27 am »

I don't have a list of what I've said these many months, but I think I said that I would be focusing on it next if I was hurting for donations, and I also said during the Bay 12 get-together in April that I might be doing parts of it (like expandable views and tile support for items/terrain) as a sort of humanitarian action even if the donations are fine.  Although I'm still treading water more or less on donations, I'm not yet hurting, meaning that I haven't liquidated the meager funds I saved while working the math job.  The current idea is to work in some of the things that need to be done as I'm working on other things, at an unspecified ratio.  This makes it a very vague current idea, but that's what I'm working with.

1 - Yes, graphics support for items, terrain and so on, and it's not possible at the moment to attain a separation from the text for anything aside from creatures.

2 - DF uses 24bit color (32 if you count alpha, which is supported by what's there, but not used), but you can only get at that through the creature bmps right now (though you can specify the core 16 colors in the init up to 24bit).  As more support is added, we'll figure out what we want to use the alpha channel for (smoke, miasma etc.).

3 - For the whole presentation arc?  Whatever people complain about the most.  The more specific people are the better.  There are many prior posts/emails on the matter that are fairly specific, though oftentimes the solutions presented aren't really practical (or solutions aren't even considered).  In addition, the more specific the solutions get, the more nailed down the game itself has to be (and it isn't), so there's a bit of a problem, though clearly a robust framework can handle most of what's thrown at it (but not everything, especially as new features oversaturate the current screen real estate, requiring a revision).

4 - Sure.  You can already use the mouse on many of the new screens, but the main screen isn't one of them of course (aside from designations).  Again, the more specific people are the better, keeping in mind the overall context.  I find some of the suggestions about real-time hover sort of impractical, for example, since the critters move on a grid and there are lots of them.

Many thanks for the detailed reply Toady. :)
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penguinofhonor

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 10:26:17 am »

As far as colors go, I'd be happy with adding just two: orange, and a brown that doesn't look like vomit.
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dreiche2

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2008, 10:33:36 am »

Are there any improvements planned that could get us some significant FPS improvements in the future? Personally, I don't play any more because it just gets too slow on my laptop (and unfortunately dual core doesn't really help).

I'm not complaining, of course there will always be people whose computers are to slow to run DF properly. Just asking here, because maybe general optimization fits under the heading of "presentation".
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Untelligent

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2008, 04:21:39 pm »

We don't need an upgrade to the interface. Works fine for me.
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Reasonableman

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2008, 04:37:46 pm »

We don't need an upgrade to the interface. Works fine for me.

It may work fine for us 'hardcore' gamers, but I know quite a few people who scoff at the idea of a text-based game to the point where they won't even look at it, much less consider playing it. Plus, some streamlining wouldn't hurt; it'd be grand if I could identify dwarves at a glance, and designate things quickly and efficiently.
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Sobaalissimo

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2008, 04:47:03 pm »

It would be best if you could separate the interface completly from the game, ie. make two distinct parts - the DF server which calculates everything that happens in game world and the DF client that controls user inputs and outputs and communicate with the server.
This way modders could create their own clients, relieving you of the hard task of improving the interface.

Imagine a client interface based on 3Dwarf Visualizer

And it wouldn't hurt the ASCII fundamentalists as they would just use the ASCII client...
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 05:17:51 pm by Sobaalissimo »
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Capntastic

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2008, 05:15:21 pm »

Personally, I think a lot of people are jumping the gun in assuming that the Presentation Arc is going to magically cause DF to be 3d isometric models or whatever.   It'd be a long road to get there.
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Sobaalissimo

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2008, 05:21:20 pm »

Nah, it could be made almost effortlessly in the Dungeon Keeper manner - blocky 3D dungeon with flat 2D sprites for dorfs and other objects. No fancy pansy animated 3D models.

And for the 2D sprites we could use ASCII characters :D
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 05:23:46 pm by Sobaalissimo »
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