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Author Topic: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc  (Read 22617 times)

CautionToTheWind

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2008, 06:58:01 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.

Well you have to. The image translators work for the construct program. But there's way too much information to decode the game. You get used to it. I...I don't even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head.
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Tormy

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2008, 07:14:49 am »

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.)

I dont want to be rude, but your reply makes no sense. Do you honestly think, that 15 years old WoW players will stop playing their beloved MMORPG, gonna start to play with DF, register on the forum, and troll/flame whatever here, just because we will have full tileset support and better interface/graphics? You gotta be kidding if you think so. Having full tileset support, better graphics or interface is just imporving the quality of the game, also many people who like RPG/strategy games wont be scared away because of the ASCII.
I am playing with roguelikes for a very long time now, but I will be honest, I always preferred graphical roguelikes. They dont have any decent 3d graphics -as we all know it- just simple 2d tiles, but its just perfect for these games. :)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 07:18:05 am by Tormy »
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Koji

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2008, 08:26:21 am »

I have played the game for a long time now, and while I find the ascii attractive and easy to interpret, I would prefer full graphical tile support for creatures, objects, and terrain. I would in fact prefer that more than any other possible change to the game Toady could make in the forseeable future.

Obviously it causes problems. It won't work with the game as it is now, things will have to be changed--but that's the nature of game design.

So Toady, if you're reading this, my number one specific wish is (optional) graphical tiles for terrain and objects. Maybe if you turned on full tile support it would switch to larger tiles or something, too, as I think the current ones might be too small.
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Jiri Petru

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2008, 09:02:28 am »

Don't you someday get bored with the ages old discussion on the topic of "graphics would attract players we dont want"? How about to try to be useful instead and write our personal wishes for the Presentation Arc.

Personaly I'd love to see:

1) As mentioned many times: the possibility to make separate pictures for any game object, not only creatures.

2) (!) Menus and buttons! It would be great to control the game only by mouse AND to have a menu, where I click on buttons (ie. pictures or symbols), not lines of text. So perhaps instead of "Build" there would be a small picture of hammer or something.

I realise Toady doesn't have time to do the buttons personally, and that each player has a different tase. But I like the idea of separating the input/output/interface from the core, so modders can make interfaces of their own, draw buttons and grafical elements, rearrange menus (!), etc.

3) Pop-up windows. I want to right-click on a object and get a pop-up with some informations and choices. This would also list all game objects on the tile. So if you right click for example on a rough gabbro tile with a dwarf, dog, carpenter's workshop, and two beds. the right-click menu would read: "Carpenter's workshop // Urist the Miner // War Dog // +Oaken Bed+ // -Birch Bead- // Rough Gabbro Floor". Choosing any of them would then open the normal menu. If you've played any Civilization, you know what I am talking about.

In other world this means the ability to select game objects with simple mouseclicking, WITHOUT the need to choose "Set building task / view rooms / view items in building / view units / etc." first.

4) Dwarfopedia! You know, something like Civopedia in Civilization series or Colonization. I want to have some in-game info about chert, or alder, or magma, or plump helmet, or anything. Doesn't need to be as detailed as the DF Wiki, a few lines of text would suffice. But I'd like to be able to click on plump helmet, for example, and get something like:

"Plump helmets are popular mushrooms grown by dwarves. They can be either cooked, or brewed into dwarven ale. Brewing plump hemlets leaves plump helmet seeds."

I know this would be time-consuming, so Toady could perhaps externalize the Pedia and let players write their own Dwarfpedia mods?

5) In-game tutorial. By in-game I mean a tutorial that runs while playing the DF mod, not a manual accessible from menu. The tutorial could use the pop-up windows. But this isn't a priority, I know.
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Jude

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2008, 10:23:57 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?

If all that's putting them off is the interface, then yes. That's a pretty elitist notion.

The game itself is complex enough to learn but the fact that actually doing basic things is completely impossible without extensive help, can easily put off anybody.
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Jude

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2008, 10:27:23 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.

Same here, except that, weirdly, I play Angband with ASCII. I have no idea why I can handle Angband with ASCII but not DF.
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McDoomhammer

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2008, 10:27:55 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?

If all that's putting them off is the interface, then yes. That's a pretty elitist notion.

The game itself is complex enough to learn but the fact that actually doing basic things is completely impossible without extensive help, can easily put off anybody.

Yes, the notion of personal worth being somehow tied up in this is pretty stupid.  DF is not for everyone, and more people will find that out the hard way once the presentation arc is presented, but we'll just have to deal with it.  That's life.
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MMad

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2008, 10:28:34 am »

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.

There's no sensible reason why ASCII should be default. The vast majority of players would find the graphics more attractive and useable - an init option to load an old, ASCII-set should be more than enough for the fundamentalists among the current players - they'd certainly be hardcore enough to do the necessary change.

As for all the suggestions wanting a seperated client or an interface API, I don't think that's likely - I remember Toady saying in an interview that he was very reluctant to give away control of the game, and if a third-party interface became a de facto standard it would constrain further development since he'd more or less be forced to support it, even if he wanted to take things in a different direction.

Even so, I hope the community will some day in the future be allowed to contribute substantially to the game, e.g. with content for a future default graphics tileset, to make it as awesome as the best modded ones. Copyright and stuff always gets a bit messy when this kind of thing is handled over the internet, but with the correct license or if it's called non-profit work for hire it should be possible for a few skilled artists to help out. Unless the Adams want to do it all themselves, which may of course be the case. :) I'm hoping not, since it would unavoidably limit the potential final scope of the game.
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Tormy

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2008, 03:22:17 pm »

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.

Same here, except that, weirdly, I play Angband with ASCII. I have no idea why I can handle Angband with ASCII but not DF.

Even tho, that DF is alpha, and lot more features will be added, its [Dwarf mode] already much more complicated than a "simple" roguelike.
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Torak

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2008, 03:50:59 pm »

pure ASCII is simply too hardcore.


Lies. The first time I ever played an ASCII game I thought it would be mind-bendingly difficult to understand. It isn't, at all. It's a matter of familiarity and learning how to use a 'l'ook button (or some other variant, all roguelikes I have ever played have something along those lines).



Or maybe I have a greater mental grasp of ASCII than the average teenage Mountain Dew driven Halo ape.
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Jude

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2008, 03:56:14 pm »

Quote
Even tho, that DF is alpha, and lot more features will be added, its [Dwarf mode] already much more complicated than a "simple" roguelike.

That could be it - there's just so many more items to keep track of.

Also, I think the fact that the default DF ASCII uses so many weird, non number or letter symbols, as basic things, and letters are the relatively uncommon animals. So many unfamiliar things as opposed to just learning a bunch of meanings for letters and punctuation marks, is kind of like learning the names of a bunch of Europeans you don't know, as opposed to learning the names of a bunch of Asians you don't know (assuming of course you're American).

Interface wise, what I would love to see is a little (or big) toolbar just below the main play screen with icons for all the things that are now on the commands menu (obviously this could also use some streamlining) and clicking on one would open its particular submenu below that...clicking another would open up ITS submenu and close the old one...and so on. All this with mouse support would mean you can just click the "hammer and bricks" icon to open up a tray with all icons representing particular buildings...click on the dwarf at work for the workshops...click on the dwarf carving a statue to select mason's workshop, and then use the mouse to place where you want it on the map, and select the material from a popup menu.
And so on. Another nice thing mouse support could add would be to roll the 'q', 'v' and 'k' commands all into one. Just right click on a tile to get a little popup list of who and what is in that tile; if it's an item, you can forbid, reclaim, mark for dumping or melting, or whatever...if it's a unit besides one of your dwarves, you can mark it to be hunted, captured, killed, whatever...if it's your dwarf, you can get the dwarf profile to see wounds, inventory, assign jobs, etc.

Anyway, that's all wishful thinking. It would make the game run much more smoothly, but tbh, adding more gameplay features is a way bigger priority for me than improving the interface, which, although admittedly terrible, is totally usable given a little practice, and I really have no major problems with it. Maybe mouse support like I've described could be modded so that those who want it can use it - anybody know how? (I don't)

As for graphics...I think the usermade graphic sets are just fine, and having ASCII as default is too. It WOULD be nice to have support for graphics built into the game, and maybe have a list to pick if you want ASCII, or one of the major popular tilesets (like in Angband) so that it would be easier for people to make the game look how they want, without editing all kinds of entries in weird text files.

Quote
Lies. The first time I ever played an ASCII game I thought it would be mind-bendingly difficult to understand. It isn't, at all. It's a matter of familiarity and learning how to use a 'l'ook button (or some other variant, all roguelikes I have ever played have something along those lines).
Like I was saying though - DF's ASCII is off-putting even to some people who are hardened roguelike players like me, just because it uses so many strange unfamiliar symbols, and so many of them.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 03:58:18 pm by Jude »
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Lord Licorice

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2008, 04:03:19 pm »

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.

There's no sensible reason why ASCII should be default. The vast majority of players would find the graphics more attractive and useable - an init option to load an old, ASCII-set should be more than enough for the fundamentalists among the current players - they'd certainly be hardcore enough to do the necessary change.

You misunderstand what I meant by that comment; the default should be ASCII because that's what Toady likes and uses. If creating a full tileset for the game were his personal priority, something he preferred to use while playing himself, he would have done so a long time ago.

He shouldn't feel obligated to design a tileset for each and every vanilla DF creature and object if he isn't interested in it; if he just adds support to allow others to do it, they certainly will, and he won't need to worry about updating his own tileset every time he alters the game. All that other stuff about copyright is easily ignored if Toady himself doesn't feel the need to keep a tileset installed with the vanilla game (which of course would then make him feel obligated to continue updating it, etc. etc.), and most distributions of the game will come with a tileset from other sources or player recommendations.

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.
Same here, except that, weirdly, I play Angband with ASCII. I have no idea why I can handle Angband with ASCII but not DF.
Even tho, that DF is alpha, and lot more features will be added, its [Dwarf mode] already much more complicated than a "simple" roguelike.

I play Angband in ASCII, Stone Soup with tilesets, and would play DF with tilesets if they didn't screw up plaintext.
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Benny

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2008, 06:04:09 pm »

My personal understanding of what the presentation arc would bring wasn't a complete graphics overhaul along the lines of 3d or even isometric,I'd always presumed it was going to end up looking more like an old Final Fntasy or Zelda game with things like:
 
  • Ability to change resolution of game similar to your average PC game (800x600, 1024x768, etc) so as to allow more things to be displayed on screen at once - Kinda goes with everyones mention of losing the current 80x25 viewable area
  • Every object has its own tile - A bucket looks like a bucket, and nothing else looks like a bucket :o Madness! I personally wouldn't anticipate this to go as far as any sort of animation, other than levers moving position and such likes
  • Adoption of .PNG's with alpha blending - Using .png files to reduce the size of things that need to be loaded as well as allowing a basic layering system  (A chair on top of some grass would show both the chair and the grass rather than just the chair, I also saw mention of smoke and miasma too, I'd never thought of that but that would be quite good)
  • A more uniformal menu system - Presumably something a bit more mouse orientated, for some reason I always picture a kind of Command & Conquer esque side menu that you popped up just by pressing tab or something. The minimap could be displayed at the top of this menu and turned into the 3d visualiser at the press of a button as well for example (A quickly bodged attempt that for some reason when I saved it lost all its anti aliased text :s)
Though tbh, I'd happily settle for a complete tileset support and the ability to see more than the standard DF allows you on screen :) Alpha blended .png's would be pretty swish too, there was mention of ghosts in the dev files if I remember rightly, they'd benefit nicely from transparency :D
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macdonellba

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2008, 06:51:37 pm »

A more uniformal menu system - Presumably something a bit more mouse orientated, for some reason I always picture a kind of Command & Conquer esque side menu that you popped up just by pressing tab or something.
Uniform menu controls - yes. Mouse-oriented? No thank you. Allowing players to click on things would certainly be nice, but more screen real-estate for less information is less than tempting, as is losing the ability to quickly navigate menus with the keyboard. I'm prefer both methods of user input to be supported, instead of exiling the keyboard completely to the realm of hotkeys.

I have two problems with graphical tilesets, based on visual cues, and the lack of a consistent look-and-feel. For example, when I'm looking at extended-ASCII using herrbdog's tileset, I'm seeing representative glyphs for an object, which doesn't communicate any visual qualities. However, when I switch to 2D graphics as they stand now, I'm presented with visuals portraying qualities things which may not be true for the object, such as the facing or equipment of dwarves and animals, which doesn't sit well with my gameplay experience. As well, many screenshots I see lack visual harmony because they have no consistent look-and-feel, and to me look less than appealing, for much the same reason I was simply unable to play the 'Vulture's Eye' graphics frontend for nethack.

My personal wish? A uniform, global standard for escaping from screens. We could even use the escape key instead of the current F9/space confusion which messes with my muscle memory, and have ESC only bring up the main menu once all other menus have been closed. It's a small thing, but it would correct one of my greatest annoyances with the menu systems. In this vein, assigning the same key to build objects in workshops as to erect them more often would also be appreciated, since generally workshops of one type can only produce one 'coffin', one 'container' object, etc. I know these two are hardly groundbreaking suggestions, but could at least streamline the keyboard shortcuts in a not-too-distant future.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 06:55:33 pm by macdonellba »
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Toady One

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Re: Question about the upcoming Presentation Arc
« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2008, 08:43:00 pm »

When people talk about right-click context menus for every tile and to get at creature interfaces etc., I'm wondering how you guys are picturing that working with pause/unpause and larger tiles (and so possibly fewer displayed depending on resolution).  If they are zipping around, you wouldn't really be able to use the right button effectively, since you'd miss all the time, as far as I can tell (having it pick the closest wouldn't work since people want info for all tiles and sometimes there are a lot of critters running around), but the whole pause-to-do-anything paradigm is sort of weird as well.  Were you still imagining being paused when you do things?  Did the unpaused view work any differently?  Making everything move smoothly between tiles and/or more slowly is off the table for the purposes of my inquiry here.
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