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Aug. 23rd, 2006 04:31 pm
jl8e: (Default)
I said I'd get cracking on Angband, and I actually meant it. (More or less.)

Currently integrating the squelch patch. This is complicated some by the fact that there are other patches in there too, which is annoying.
jl8e: (Default)
Since somebody asked by email, I should probably make an Angband status report here as well:

I haven't done much yet. There are a lot of reasons for this, mostly bad ones. That entry where I said I was going to be purging Lua in the coming week? I didn't. Stuff came up, I was distracted by a shiny object, or something.

However, I intend to get cracking in the near future. We're going to be putting the next Shadowfist expansion (Shurikens & Six-Guns) to bed soon, and, while it's hardly been consuming all my time, it wins "I should do some work" arguments with Angband. (So do a bunch of other things.)

And the persons who got me re-hooked on Nethack must also accept some blame. You know who you are, and one of you is reading this. Apologize to the nice Angband people.

The new queue:

Add squelch.
Test and document squelch. Its behavior may change somewhat from the patch in this process.
Merge in some bugfixes and the Windows console port.
Purge Lua
Test vigorously
Release 3.0.7
jl8e: (Default)
My plan for this week is to excise all the Lua support.

Squelch will get added due to popular demand. Ugh.

Once that's done and tested, it's probably going to become 3.0.7.

Of course, there's other stuff to do, such as squash bugs. There seems to be a bug in saving window positions. Fortunately, it's not system-specific, as I've seen reports for both Mac and Windows. Still, my old-schoolness is going to make that one more annoying to track down, as I'm a one-window, 80x24 kind of guy.
jl8e: (Default)
If somebody doesn't understand how to play your game, it's your fault.

If somebody can't extract basic principles from the rules, it's really your fault.

As long as they can read, and are trying to understand, they are absolved of any blame.

Period.

You can make all sorts of excuses, but that's all they are - excuses. Some are good excuses ("this game is pretty complex", "space/financial/time constraints limit the size of the rulebook"), some are really bad ones. ("This game contains radical ideas that are beyond the comprehension of the unwashed masses.") They don't absolve you of the responsibility.

The bottom line is that it is your job to make them understand.

And yes, it's bloody hard. It's probably impossible.

But you have to try as best you can.

And if your efforts leave a significant fraction of the audience scratching their heads and getting it wrong, then your product is defective. You can do a lot to mitigate the problems after the fact, but it is less than ideal.

Just don't insult people for not understanding. Don't tell people that the game you're selling is not designed for them. If it's not for them, don't sell it to them. Don't say they don't understand because there's something wrong with them.

(And yes, I freely admit that the rules of Shadowfist are not as clear as they should be. I have excuses, but it's still my fault. I can duck any blame on Angband's documentation for now, but only for now.)
jl8e: (Default)
Yes, there is some Angband stuff going on. I just made my first official source code change - removing the double-rate spellcasting feature of the AI.

Of course, I can't commit it to the CVS because Xcode is having trouble authenticating.

Joy.
jl8e: (Default)
Angband is a roguelike game.

Roguelike games are games that are, well, like Rogue. (Useful definition, no?)

Rogue was a fairly simple dungeon-crawl game, back in the fairly early days of computer games. You went into a dungeon, killed monsters, picked up treasure, and kept going down until you found the fabled Amulet of Yendor.

Then you started going up again. If you got out, you won.

Most likely, you died horribly. And death was final. No restoring from your last save - it was deleted.

The dungeon was randomly generated. So were the items. (In one game, a yellow potion might be of healing. In the next, poison.)

The graphics were done with ASCII characters. You were a little @ symbol. The monsters were letters.

A lot of games were built on or inspired by Rogue. You can even see the influence of it and its descendants in some commercial games, most notably Diablo and Diablo 2. Nethack is probably the best known of the modern non-commercial roguelikes.

In this case, Rogue inspired Moria, which begat Angband. It's very very loosely based on Tolkien's works, but really it's a purely tactical dungeon crawl. There's no plot, just a goal. (Go down 100 levels of dungeon. Kill Morgoth. Win.)

And it still uses ASCII graphics. (OK, there are also other options for graphics, but I'm an ASCII man myself.)

It's a lot of fun.

Part 3 (RPG theory and the Forge) will take longer, as it's more of a pointer and a rant than it is an explanation.
jl8e: (Default)
In the really short term, I'm not going to be doing a lot. I've got a bunch of stuff on my plate at the moment, which should clear off in the near future.

Then I need to get up to speed again. It's been a while since I've seriously hacked Angband.

Heck, it's been a shorter while since I've done anything in C. That won't be a problem. C is a lot like falling off a bicycle - once you know how to do it, you don't forget. You have too many scars to remind you.

Then there's CVS, Xcode, debugging on the Mac...

Anyway, more infodump:

My last good game, I was taking notes on stuff that seemed to need attention. This is in no particular order, could be wrong, and is certainly incoherent in places. I'm putting it here out of a perceived need to fill space in my LJ. Also to have a copy handy that isn't on a virtual post-it.

Read more... )
jl8e: (Default)
Someday, I'm going to stop tpyoing it 'Angbnad'.

That's it. That's the grand plan.

In the meantime, here's a brief summary of what I'm planning.

Since I'm still fiddling with the interface and features of LJ, I'll try putting it after a cut:

Read more... )

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