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Author Topic: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc  (Read 22608 times)

Reasonableman

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2008, 05:23:24 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...

That'd be rather keen, methinks. There has to be a downside hidden somewhere though... hrm.
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Tormy

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2008, 06:09:45 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...

To be honest, I prefer 2D over 3D anytime if we talk about DF. :)
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Davion

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2008, 06:41:56 pm »

I'd just like better tile support, some more mouse support in menus and in game, and maybe some rearranging and better layout in said menus. I think that's about all that's needed for now while stuff is still being constantly expanded.
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Cthulhu

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2008, 06:51:18 pm »

Castlevania roguelike

Wait wait what?  Hold the phone here, a Castlevania Roguelike?  I was about to ask why that guy looked like Alucard.  Where is this Roguelike of which you speak?
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Keiseth

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2008, 06:53:12 pm »

I've talked to a few folks who won't play Dwarf Fortress because of the ASCII; which is to be expected. It takes getting used to and isn't for everyone. However, most of those folks would still play, say, the 32x32 tile based SlashEM (a NetHack variant). It seems like a lot of work to get there though; DF would probably need to abandon its forced 80x25 tile size, for instance.

I'm fine with the interface myself, and I'd probably continue using ASCII as long as it's supported, but I assume a large number of people would require large (24x24 ~ 32x32) sprites for both creatures and terrain before they could really get into it; or any other large visual clues of what is going on.
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MMad

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2008, 07:00:11 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.

I would *never* have played DF without a graphics pack. I tried, and I failed - I couldn't figure out what kind of creature was what, the horrible ASCII mess hurt my eyes and nothing made sense - I couldn't see a field of grass with dwarves and dogs on it, I just saw a bunch of random letters cluttering my screen. I was about to give up on the game, even though it seemed awesome, when I found Mike Mayday's pre-packaged version - and lo! Barrels suddenly looked like barrels, buckets like buckets, gears looked like gears and I could generally start to figure out what the heck was going on. :)

The few other people I've managed to get hooked on the game also used the Mike Mayday version - the fact that I didn't have to install it or do anything in particular to get it working was probably critical. The two people at work who tried it the bare-bones ASCII version when I did both gave up in minutes, dismissing the game as unplayable. When one of them saw me playing with a graphics pack a few days later, he exclaimed "wow, this actually looks like something I'd want to play".

I want the the graphics and the interface to improve in DF more than any other feature, for the single reason that it would make it easier to introduce it to other people. Right now it's hard for the majority of computer gamers to take very seriously. Which is a huge shame. The ability to have unique sprites for every single object in the game (so that a short sword could be made to look different from a long sword, and have a different color) and have these sprites have an arbitrary resolution would probably result in super-sweet graphics packs in a week or so, and increase the potential player base by at least a thousand percent. :)

A suggestion regarding mouse usage: one basic rule I've always found sensible for computer game interfaces is to make sure from the start that the user can do *everything* with the mouse if they want. I realize how horribly time-consuming that would be to implement in DF, but I think it would be worth it.
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Tormy

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2008, 07:30:01 pm »

Castlevania roguelike

Wait wait what?  Hold the phone here, a Castlevania Roguelike?  I was about to ask why that guy looked like Alucard.  Where is this Roguelike of which you speak?

This is it.

http://slashie.net/page.php?6
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Reasonableman

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2008, 07:34:28 pm »

My problem with improving the interface is that, if (when) Toady does, that will attract a completely different group of players than the one we currently enjoy. DF's followers are almost always much more patient and imaginative than your average internet user, simply because both of those things are necessary to have any fun while playing the game. This makes the forum a much more productive place, overall; one that's conducive to the development of the game, and much more, well, reasonable than your normal group of "LOL LEIK WY R DERE LETTERS EVREEWERE HOW DO I MINE FO FISH" 9-year-olds (no offense to 9-year-olds, but most of you are immature and annoying.)
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Jude

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2008, 11:59:59 pm »

I'm not really worried about adding better graphics attracting dumb players since a) so? b) they'd get driven off by the gameplay anyway.

I really don't care if Toady adds graphics support beyond what is already here. I would certainly not have got into the game without the ready-made graphics pack I found  (tried it with ASCII and, even as a longtime Angband player, it was unbearable for me) and I have introduced 2 friends to it, both of whom I'm sure would not have played without graphics either. Since usermade graphics make such a difference in presentability - and really don't lack anything besides the ability to visually distinguish one dwarf of a profession from another - I don't see how that's a big deal.

The interface, that's another story. Now that I'm used to it and have pretty much all the major commands memorized to the point where I can recite them to someone on the phone without being in front of the game (I did that today - to my friend who I was surprised was actually getting into the game) it's easy for me to think "ah, the interface is no big deal, just takes some getting used to." That's true, of course, I learned Angband the same way, except that Angband is a lot more intuitive and the online help is enough; whereas DF is unplayable without heavily consulting the wiki.

However, although I learned by myself, lots of other people would not have the patience - understandably. And this would drive off potential new players. That's bad because more players/more exposure means more publicity for Toady and more chance for his magnum opus to be enjoyed, more potential donors to keep him working on DF, a larger and more dynamic community which would supply more diverse and inventive ideas for development - the good would outweigh any bad which might possibly occur. And really, the notion that people without the patience to laboriously teach themself the skill set necessary to play a game are not worthy of DF, is ridiculous.
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Jay

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2008, 12:07:16 am »

And really, the notion that people without the patience to laboriously teach themself the skill set necessary to play a game are not worthy of DF, is ridiculous.
Wait, so the notion of people without the patience to learn DF being not worthy of playing DF is ridiculous? Did I miss something?
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Lord Licorice

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2008, 01:45:04 am »

If the May Green tileset didn't replace letters in standard text with the new symbols, I would likely use that over ASCII.  I like ASCII, but a clean, easily readable tileset is just as good, if not better (such as the time my dwarves were being harassed by skeletal groundhogs, which were the same color as the dead grass, making them nigh impossible to quickly locate).

A lot of people seem to mistake "Presentation Arc" for "3D Graphics," and of course those people would be wrong. Making the interface more navigable - universal mouse input, standardized menu commands, more intuitive interfaces and multiple possible views (e.g. in-game Dwarf Foreman) - is what the arc is all about.

Adding support for modders to specify custom tilesets would let the community create and maintain its own graphic sets to keep up with Toady, rather than forcing Toady to keep the graphics updated himself.  It would probably resolve a lot of the hassle that would otherwise occur if Toady tried to set a graphical standard in-place before the game itself, since there are more of us than there are of Toady and a majority of the players like the graphics just the way they are. For those that prefer tilesets, they can make and update their own.

If Toady opens DF to specific graphical assignments for each and every entity, you can bet our nearly obsessive-compulsive community will create an image for each and every possible tile and combination, from skeletal groundhogs to burning miners to dead ettins. The default should always be what Toady has right at this very moment, pure ASCII; simply adding support for others to build a prettier world would be more than enough for a lot of players, myself included.

(Edited due to massively long sentence)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 01:48:52 am by Lord Licorice »
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McDoomhammer

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2008, 01:54:27 am »

Here we go again.

Adding graphics will not change the fact that you have to (heaven forbid!) learn new things to play this game, but it will inevitably lead to people entering this community who are disgruntled to find otherwise, and likely leaving in a huff when they are told not to adjust their set.  The worst are generally those who refuse to accept help and instead sit around waiting with bad grace for someone to activate the magic make-it-easy switch.  The sort of person who sits around on MU*s asking how you get into the game and where the graphics are.  It's not worth arresting the development of the game over, but it will change the community.

This is a tense subject for many, presumably because changing its appearance changes its whole tone, and there will always be some people who panic at change on such a fundamental level.  Some people *cough cough* do genuinely feel that it looks fine right now.  Speaking for myself, I'd rather see tiles than 3d jiggery-pokery: I don't think there's any way that could possibly improve FPS, quite the opposite, and whatever happens, an option to default back to the 'classic' appearance would be nice.  (Cue a new generation of No-Items-Fox-Only-Final-Destination 'hardcore' players who insist on old-style DF... oh well.)
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Neonivek

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2008, 02:05:33 am »

Quote
a clean, easily readable tileset is just as good, if not better

LOOK OUT!!! Its a Goat... Or a Mountain Goat... It could be a Gibbon just let me get my Colorwheel out so I can determine the exact shade of grey!

ASCII was used to cut corners or overcome difficulties in programming... However now ASCII is taken as a different artform all together.

One thing Id love Toady to do but I feel is most likely otherwise impossible for the amount of time I feel he would put into it... Is this

1) Allow Icons to Layer as one being for objects and possibly specific to creatures. Why? It allows you to show characters equipped with objects

2) When Objects have individual pictures allow an option to change it based on Quality. (I wonder if the game already allows you to color Tilesets by Material)

3) Icon Change for "Legendary", "Child", and "Baby" (I wonder which of those are possible).

Ohh well I am crazy... I probably shouldn't type this so late.

Quote
The worst are generally those who refuse to accept help and instead sit around waiting with bad grace for someone to activate the magic make-it-easy switch

If the person doesn't learn how to play properly after a while unless he receives the help of the community then it is a flaw in the game not a flaw in the person.
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Sergius

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2008, 02:06:10 am »

These would be the most important improvements to the Presentation, IMO:

-Raws for objects/tiles/whatever - pretty much the same as it's already done for creatures. I think everyone agrees with this one.

-The ability to use any arbitrary resolution for the (fixed, and square) main viewport (the section with the dwarfs) WITHOUT it altering the menu/user interface part. That way we could have 32x32 or 64x64 tiles without needing a 999999999999999 x 1024 pixel monitor. That means doing away with the vintage 80x25 "characters" screen. (you could also fit more menu items if the screen is bigger and the text doesn't scale up)
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pndrev

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2008, 06:48:26 am »

I think tileset support for environment and maybe more screens with mouse support would be the most important parts of the Presentation Arc.

Without the tilesets like Mike Mayday's, I know I wouldn't have even bothered downloading DF, let alone donating. And I also play Angband, but again, only with tilesets - pure ASCII is simply too hardcore.
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