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Off Topic => General Interest => Game Discussion General => Topic started by: lordpalandus on September 09, 2017, 12:45:53 AM

Title: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on September 09, 2017, 12:45:53 AM
Hello all!

As I've alluded to in my Outpost-Like game thread, I've been working on a text-based adventure (of sorts) that I intend to market commercially, probably on GOG and Steam (if possible), when I've completed it. The game is called, Cataclysm of Chaos, and supports three distinct playstyles (though the player is definitely allowed to experiment and create their own style of play if they so desire) which are pure spellcaster, pure melee, and pure assassin.

You will need the Quest Engine to play it, the download for the Quest Engine is found here = http://textadventures.co.uk/quest/desktop
You can now play the game in a browser; go to this link for V8, Hotfix 1 = http://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/rvnjlvi4heq6u7-namkaxa/the-cataclysm-of-chaos

NOTE: I won't be bothering to add the zip file anymore as an attachment to this post. The last three versions got no downloads, so I don't see any point of continuing to keep them attached. I'll be adding the changelog to the post now, instead of Mediafire. As pointed out by Hooman, there is a download link on the game page that can be used for downloading the game.

------

Changes in V8, Hotfix 2:
1. I've decided upon reorganizing monsters to have more consistency, and less quantity over quality, based on the section. Section 1 (Spiders, Scorpions, and Rats); Section 2 (Humanoids, Insectoids, and Snakes); Section 3 (Dragons, Fungi, and Reptiles); Section 4 (Mindless Undead, Constructs, and Controllers of Undead). This will make some monsters more commonly found and make sections more immersive. I hope.
2. Completed Section 2s monsters.
3. Reorganized new character creation for new players; missed a few things that I had wanted for Hotfix 1.
4. Decided upon the creatures for Section 3 and 4. Now, to do the monster descriptions for each one.
5. I've worked out the remaining issues with my Monster Description system. Monsters now also have an idle description and idle noise. They also have a pained noise when they take damage and a death noise when they die. Should greatly improve immersion and should prove to be the last thing I need to make the monster description system really come alive!
6. Implemented the new changes to the Toughs and Quicks, of Section 1 and I do have to say these additions really do help with the immersion. Now to apply these things to all the creatures.
7. I found in my personal testing that sometimes during combat it would be difficult to determine where one round ended and another began. So, I've implemented a basic "round end" system, right before the game asks to attack or cast a spell at a target again.
8. I've been having a lot of issues with my monster descriptions for Spellcasters and Primals, over the past few days, and have been thinking on how to solve the issues that I encountered. I believe I now have an excellent solution that should solve all my issues that I had, after mulling over it for about 4-5 days, and will start to now implement this into the game proper.

------

Plans ahead:

1. Always Do:
- Continue to improve upon the UI and add additional quality of life changes and balance changes to the game.
- Bugfixes
- Player feedback on certain problematic systems.

2. Plans for V8:
- Further UI Improvements.
- Complete Journal Entries for Section 3 and 4.

3. Plans for V9 and onwards...
- Create Tier 8 and 9 Spells.
- Finish Monster Descriptions for Section 3 and 4.
- Create the fifth section Abyss.
- Create the sixth section Abyss Fortress.
- Create section 5 and 6 Journal Entries.
- Create section 5 and 6 Artifact Entries.

4. Plans for V10 (and planned to be final beta release IFF I get everything NEEDED implemented)
- Create the final boss in the seventh section.
- Create the game ending
- Create the scoring system
- Create the credits section

------

Any feedback provided for me will be very useful in developing the game further. So give me feedback even if it is negative in tone.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 09, 2017, 12:46:21 AM
FAQ:

1. Once reaching the capital city, how do I move on?
A: Type the command "descend" (without the quotes), and you will descend into the dungeon.

2. What if I wanted to return to the capital city?
A: Once in the dungeon you would need to find a Stairwell going Up, and then type the command "ascend".

3. How do I explore the dungeon?
A: Once a room is clear of hostiles, you can explore a new room by typing "explore". However, if there are any investigateables I suggest investigating them before you leave.

4. The game is too easy!
A: Perhaps the floors you are on has lost all challenge. Find a Stairwell going Down and "descend" to the next floor. Or perhaps hunt for one of the bosses in the game, as they are significantly harder than regular monsters.

5. I have all these soul shards. What do I do with them?
A: There is a vendor in the game called the Celestial. They can be found either in the Capital City, or at Shrines you occasionally find in dungeon rooms. You can "buy", "sell", and "salvage items" at the Celestial, once the room is clear of hostiles.

6. I don't know what to do; none of my entered commands are doing anything?
A: Did you look at the command list found in "display info" (without the quotes) and then in "commands". Think of this list of commands as the keybindings in a modern video game, and if you didn't know what your keys were, how would you play the game, right? So I created a list of commands and hopefully a very descriptive explanation of each command within the command list to help people get started.

7. Why can't I explore the surface?
A: The surface acts as a boring start area, with nothing worth exploring. The starting area is in the ruins of the Old Empire's Capital City, that was destroyed hundreds of years ago, and then picked clean of valuables by looters. Thus it is unlikely there is anything left worth finding, which is why exploring is disabled on the surface.

8. Who is this Celestial?
A: Think of the Celestial as an angelic equivalent of Vulgrim from the Darksiders games. They are here to profit from the calamity, and trades their goods and services for soul shards found within the cataclysm of chaos. You aren't sure if helping the Celestial is a good thing, but they are the only vendor around, and thus your choices are limited in buying and selling. The tutorial will have you meet said Celestial and help to make their motivations clearer of why they are helping you.

Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 09, 2017, 12:46:42 AM
Gameplay Tips:

1. You start the game with 300 SS and can buy something with it of your choice. I recommend purchasing the 2nd level spell, Minor Blessing for 300 SS. It will increase your accuracy, dodge, spell resistance and spell penetration by +5 for 10 rounds, which is very handy for the early game.

2. You can view the commands accepted by the text parser by typing in "display info", and then typing in "commands". Otherwise, any text found within ( ), is input accepted by the text parser in specific situations.

3. Each monster is preceded by a specific word, that indicates the type of monster it is. Tough monsters do little damage, but are high on protection and health. Quick monsters do moderate damage, but are high on accuracy and dodge. Intelligent monsters cast spells, and thus target your spell resistance value and often do high damage and have high spell resistance of their own. Primal Chaos monsters are experience drainers, that drain experience with each hit and can drain your levels if you aren't careful or can insta-kill you by draining your experience below 0 when at level 1, however, drainers provide the highest experience points (other than bosses) and provide you with an elixir that raises an attribute by +3.

4. There is a powerful boss at LV 3 sewers and LV 6 ruins. Killing it grants a lot of loot, a lot of experience points, and a boss-specific artifact of immense power.

5. Don't forget that you can always flee from a fight you don't think you can win! Type "flee from target" (where target is the name of the creature) and if it is the first round of that encounter you can escape without being attacked.

6. Enchanting and enhancing your items have varying benefits based on your choice of play style. Enchantment is universally desired by all playstyles, but enhancement is not. Enhancement increases the base value of protection, which in turn makes performing sneak attacks much harder and increase the costs of combat-casted spells. Enhancement of a weapon increases its base damage, which in turn increases all mundane attacks, but also makes sneak attacks harder to do. Enhancement of items is cheaper (250 SS per kit compared to 500 SS per orb) and enhancing armor provides +2 enhancement levels per enhancement kit, whereas most items will only get +1 enhancement level per kit.

7. If you intend to cast spells a lot, then a staff is a must! The enchantment bonus on a staff will increase HP healed, damage dealt and increase the duration of spells by +1 per enchantment bonus. Think of it as a spellcaster using their staff as a focusing point, to boost their power. 

8. Racial choice is important. Everyone starts at 10 in their racial score (ie dwarfs start at 10 in strength and vitality) and 5 in all other scores. Additionally, you only need 500 training experience to gain an increase in an attribute. Finally, race also determines the attributes and health/mana gained at level up of character levels. Thus, certain playstyles are easier to do as a specific race.

9. Performing actions provides experience points for training attributes. Once you earn sufficient XP (either 500 for racial attributes or 1000 for other attributes), you gain +1 attribute and your training XP is effectively reset. Failing at an action builds training experience faster than successes; ie missing a target builds perception faster than if you hit the target. You can also get training from Training Manuals found as loot, rare Tomes of Attribute, or by purchasing training from the Celestial.

10. There is a form of permadeath in the game. The game will end when you die, however, if your vitality attribute is high enough, you can alternatively get a Second Wind. A second wind will restore your health and mana to 50% of maximum values, but reduce all your attributes by -2 (and thus make successive second winds harder and harder). The deeper you are in the game, the harder it will be to have a second wind as well.

11. Killing primal chaos enemies will make all future primal chaos enemies stronger, based on the number of them you have killed. This will also increase the amount of rare items found on them and the amount of experience gained by killing them.

12. The greatsword is a powerful weapon, but also entails risks. It has the highest damage potential of all weapons in the game, provides double strength bonuses to attacks and has double luck bonuses as well. The risk however is that you cannot use it with a shield, meaning you will take far more damage and get hit far more often. However, enhancement kits provides +2 damage per kit, compared to +1 damage for most other weapons.

13. Shields are extremely useful in this game. They will provide both their base protection and enchantment value to your dodge bonus, armor total, and to help you resist enemy spells. However, shield protection value will increase the costs of combat spells and will make sneaking much harder.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 09, 2017, 01:00:49 PM
... that I intend to market commercially, probably on GOG and Steam (if possible), when I've completed it. ...

Oh please don't do that! The marketplace is already polluted enough!

Anyway, besides that, sounds great! I look forward to seeing what it's like.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 09, 2017, 08:41:06 PM
Yeah, yeah, we'll cross that bridge if we get there.

I've managed to stay on schedule and have refactored the code that needed refactoring. Going to do a bunch of UI clean up now (linebreaks, bolding/italics), test the refactored code a bit to make sure I didn't introduce any new bugs and complete the commands list, and should be able to release the first public build tomorrow.

EDIT: Managed to get the command list done tonight. Also managed to do some of the UI clean up and briefly tested the refactored code and found a variety of bugs that I fixed. If I keep myself from adding new features tomorrow, I should have the first release ready to go.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 10, 2017, 01:00:43 PM
Yeah, yeah, we'll cross that bridge if we get there.

Fair enough. :)

I still look forward to see what this project looks like and how it works. Really glad you got through something like this! Even text adventures are complex enough to provide great experience and I'm excited for you!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 10, 2017, 01:34:48 PM
Yep, I'm pleased that I've gotten things to point that they are. I've gotten a lot more UI clean up done, and fixed some more typos and stuff, so I'm still on track for a release today (today being approximately 1:30PM as I write this in my time zone).

The greatest challenge with the text adventure though, is the concept in the games industry of "show, don't tell." Being that the only real way of showing a player something in a text-adventure is by telling, it has lead to encouraging me to focus on making certain bits of information pop out, and thus empathesize that it is important, while trying to avoid information overload (which is hard as many of the gameplay systems are quite deep and trying to reduce that complexity is very hard, without simplifying the systems themselves). Hopefully for the first release, with a detailed description for each of the ingame commands, found in an ingame help file (thingy) should help to reduce some of that complexity. I try to make the player aware of only the bits of information that they need to in a moment to moment type thing, while if the player desires to, there is also ingame number-trackers, to show your current base accuracy or dodge bonus is and a whole lot of other useful information but not necessarily needed in a moment to moment playing.

Though, with the first release I'll find out if other people find the game fun. I certainly find it fun, but not sure if the same will apply to others. Anyway, just wanted to pop in quickly, and post a quick progress update on the project, before getting back to it!

Edit: Managed to fix up most of the UI that I wanted to address for this update. Not to say the UI is perfect, but should work sufficiently well for the first release at least. I expect that someone may find a typo, or a place that badly needs a line break, or poor grammatical structure, etc... Now, I am going to test the game for an hour or so, to make sure everything is working properly and if I don't run into any issues, I'll post the first release here.

Edit2: Ran the first pass on the game, after compiling it and testing the compiled version to ensure the compiled version works. Runs properly, unsure if it will run properly out of the box for other people as I have the quest game engine installed on my machine. In theory, it should work without it as it can supposedly run in a browser. I'll post a link to the Quest Engine download in case you do need it installed. Found a few typos and UI changes needed, and fixed them. Will now run the second pass on the game, and if I don't find any immediately issues, I'll upload that version as the first release.

Edit3: Ran the second pass on the game, and found critical errors in a certain part of my spell casting system. Will need to repair this section of code to make sure the spells all function correctly. Unsure how long this will take.

Edit4: Fixed the spellcasting code, and fixed a couple other bugs with some of the spells. Running third pass on the game now...

Edit5: Third pass is a success, and working to upload the game now.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 10, 2017, 05:36:05 PM
Alright, after a lot of time and effort, version 1 of Cataclysm of Chaos is released, with the download link in the first post of this thread. I've updated the gameplay tips to give new players some useful information that will help to make decisions. In the future, once I have the tutorial, the tutorial will explain these things to get players up to speed, but as I lack the tutorial atm, use the gameplay tips section here to help yourself out.

I highly suggest you take a look at the commands list found in "display info" -> "commands", as these will help you to play the game as it is meant to be played.

You can provide feedback either in this thread or PM me. As questions get asked / feedback given, I'll update the FAQ with answers. Any kind of feedback is appreciated, even if that happens to be: "I didn't like it / it sucks... and this is why." (telling me it sucks, but not telling my why doesn't help me at all) If you think a place has too many line breaks mention it, or someplace that you think italics, bolding, underlining might work well... or remove them. I can't think of anything else, as I'm a bit scatter brained at the moment from marathoning about 4-5 hours of coding, testing, fixing, and retesting.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Vagabond on September 10, 2017, 08:34:09 PM
lordpalandus,

I wasn't able to get the game to work on a browser, but it worked fine when I downloaded and installed the Quest engine.

I chose to be a human since I liked the idea of spell casting. After entering the city, I did some shopping and purchased a health potion. I also spent some soul shards training luck but couldn't really figure out if the training was effective? Then I was ready to go do some adventuring, but for the life of me could not figure out how to move out of the town into the first dungeon??? Since I couldn't figure out that command, I dropped my robes so I could go streaking across the Imperial City. Afterwards, I couldn't figure out how to pick them back up? When I use the look command I see them on the ground though.

On a different note, MediaFire tries to force me to download spam when I click the link to download your game. After I refuse the spam, it downloads okay, but it is pretty shady trying to tell me my browser is out of date, etc. Media Fire also uses the false download ad banners that make it confusing which link you are supposed to click on. You might want to consider trying to find a more reputable hosting site at some point. Since your game file is so small I imagine there might be some better choices.

Anyways, I'll give it another go at some point when I figure out how to pick up my robes and move to a new location.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 10, 2017, 10:30:39 PM
Hi,

Did you by chance take a look at the commands list found in display info -> commands; I mentioned right after race choice that a full command list can be found there and I also mention it in the game tips reply to this thread? It should mention that to go to the next area to type descend. Or I forgot to mention that. Regardless, I'll add that to the FAQ (how to leave the first area).

Typically to train an attribute you need 1000 xp, so with the starter money you could at best give yourself 300 xp of training. Also mentioned this in the game tips, that i highly recommend everyone reads as I will be updating them from time to time until i have the tutorial in the game.

Good to know on mediafire. ill look around for a different host.

also, how did you drop the robes? Did you unequip them or actually drop them? If they arent in your inventory, then they are dropped. I think you can grab them with the command "take robes", though i had thought i had disabled dropping of items.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Hooman on September 10, 2017, 11:42:00 PM
Quote
Since I couldn't figure out that command, I dropped my robes so I could go streaking across the Imperial City. Afterwards, I couldn't figure out how to pick them back up? When I use the look command I see them on the ground though.

:o

Umm..., Vagabond?

 ::)
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 11, 2017, 01:59:05 AM
Looks like I did not disable item dropping, and didn't enable item taking. Next update will remove item dropping properly. Generally when you don't want an item, you visit the Celestial and salvage it for soul shards. Though, there are times when having different items on hand might be beneficial.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 11, 2017, 11:17:14 AM
I can't figure out what to do. I'm in the celestial whatever and so far no commands do anything other than "You can't do that".
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 11, 2017, 11:19:42 AM
Did you read the command list, in "display info" then "commands"?

You can "buy", "sell" and "salvage items". If you type "buy" (without the quotes), the Celestial will reply with a list of options. If you want to sell, again they will give you a list of options. If you want to salvage, you type in salvage item (replacing item with the item desired to be sold).

Additionally, anywhere the Celestial is, you can also "setup camp" without and risk of doing so.

Hope that helps!

EDIT: Updated FAQ with some common questions/answers found in second post! Updated To Do list for Next Update, found in first post.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 11, 2017, 11:27:17 AM
Well, yes, but I'm just starting the game, what would I have to buy, sell or salvage? Why is it that I can't explore "on the surface", whatever that means? When I enter "look", it just tells me that the celestial is there.

What is the celestial? What is its significance? Why can't I attack it? Why can't I explore the area? Why does look only tell me that the celestial is there? (Cool, I already know that)
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 11, 2017, 11:36:59 AM
The dungeon is meant to be explored, as that is where the calamity is occurring. The surface, currently only serves at the starting area. In older 90s dungeon crawlers, the "surface" could be seen as the town or a safe respite from the monsters. If it is desired, I can put in things worth exploring on the surface, for those that want to explore the surface. Also, the capital city you are in, is in ruins, and has been so for hundreds of years. I'll also look into making the story explanation better for the next update.

You start out with 300 soul shards, which is the currency in the game. If you read the gameplay tips, I suggest buying the 2nd level spell, Minor Blessing, which costs 300 SS. Or you might want to buy healing/mana potions for 50 SS a pop. Or maybe a new weapon, or armor or shield. Or you might want to hold on to it for the time being and save it for something better like a 500 cost enchanting orb, or attribute training.

I intended to build on the significance of the Celestial in the tutorial. However, for the time being, think of the Celestial as an angelic equivalent of Vulgrim from the Darksiders games. You can't attack it because it lacks a physical form; phased; and thus your attacks and spells would pass right through it.

Basically, the starting area is just that, a boring starting area. The sewers and the floors below that are where the interesting action are. Type "descend" to enter the sewers!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 11, 2017, 11:47:18 AM
The dungeon is meant to be explored...
What dungeon?

The surface, currently only serves at the starting area
What surface? I have no bearings as to where I am when I begin the game.

In older 90s dungeon crawlers, the "surface" could be seen as the town or a safe respite from the monsters.
Cool, I didn't do much when it came to playing 90's dungeon crawlers. Assuming that anybody coming in to this has any idea what to do is a fast way to shoot yourself in the foot.

I intended to build on the significance of the Celestial in the tutorial.
Tutorial?

The sewers and the floors below that are where the interesting action are. Type "descend" to enter the sewers!
See those are instructions that make more sense. But there is nothing to indicate that 'descend' is a command that makes any sort of sense.



All of my questions are illustrating a point. There are no indications of what to do. Like at all. Typing in commands at random hoping to get something to work is frustrating to a player (and was to me).

The greatest challenge with the text adventure though, is the concept in the games industry of "show, don't tell." Being that the only real way of showing a player something in a text-adventure is by telling, it has lead to encouraging me to focus on making certain bits of information pop out, and thus empathesize that it is important, while trying to avoid information overload (which is hard as many of the gameplay systems are quite deep and trying to reduce that complexity is very hard, without simplifying the systems themselves).

Fair points, but there's something to be said about providing no information to the player at all. When I type in look or explore on 'the surface', something other than "The celestial whatever" or "You can't do that on the surface!" should come up. Some indication that I can descend would make it immediately more obvious what to do.

E.g., on the surface I type 'look' and I get something like "Celestial whatever. To your immediate left is a hatch with a ladder leading down".

E.g., on the surface I type 'explore' and I get something like "You search around the area and find a hatch with a ladder leading down".



EDIT: Note here that I'm not putting down but offering insight into how other users will experience this. Granted many users may be very familiar with how this is supposed to work... but many others (like me) will be clueless and will need at least a little bit of guidance to get started.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 11, 2017, 12:07:35 PM
Okay, okay, okay.

So before we go on, did you:
1. Look at the Commands List, ingame by typing in display info and then commands.
2. Read the FAQ.
3. Read the Gameplay Tips.

I ask because these are there to help new players get into the game, as the tutorial isn't present. The tutorial would be designed to explain all these things to a player, but as the tutorial isn't made yet, this is the best alternative available to me.

========

Dungeon; sewers; underneath the ruins of the capital city where all the monsters are coming.

Surface; above ground; not in sewers; the starting area.

Well to be fair, text adventures first came out in the early 60s/70s... so I suppose its entirely valid that that explanation wouldn't make sense. I'll think on how to address that.

I've mentioned in a few times in the outpost-like game thread and even in the first post here that I will design a tutorial for the game and its not built yet. I wanted to get a release out to a few friends, family and you guys, to show you what I've accomplished and thus haven't had the time yet to build it.

Well, I oopsed and didn't mention that in the descend command that to leave the first area, the starting area, the capital city, you type descend. Sorry, my bad.

Well, as for that, that is why I put the command list in, in the first place so that a player wouldn't be typing things in at random... assuming they read it. Now, its on me for not indicating that descend gets you into the dungeon proper.

I didn't think of those. Great suggestions though. I'll add them to the list of things to add for the next update.

Thanks for the feedback.

EDIT: To be entirely fair though, I heavily designed and tweaked the actual areas in the dungeons and thoroughly tested them, but didn't think about testing the surface area, as I was so used to just typing descend and going in. And this is one of the reasons why I needed feedback is because the surface area problems aren't things I had considered problematic. Well now I know, and I'll address a lot of that for the next update.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 11, 2017, 04:18:08 PM
I'm sorry if the above post is snarky.

When I did the majority of my testing it was after entering the sewers, and never considered that players would have issues with the first area. Thus for the next release, things will be made clearer and the command list will be updated, specifically for the descend command.

I'd like to thank everyone who has given feedback, and that I appreciate being told where I've been deficient in my game designing.

Before I release the next build, I figured I'd wait until players gave me some feedback on the actual gameplay, after entering the sewers... to try to bundle in both the initial game changes but also any changes mentioned during the bulk of the gameplay.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 11, 2017, 06:56:13 PM
So...

Has anyone played the game once into the sewers proper? Any gameplay feedback on that?

EDIT: Or has people decided to not play it further because of the bad introduction to the game?

EDIT2: Or is everyone busy; it is a weekday of course...?

EDIT3: Or some other reason?
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Vagabond on September 12, 2017, 01:56:42 AM
I'd like to try it again for you now that I know the descend command, but won't have time for a day or two. Hopefully soon.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 12, 2017, 10:44:47 AM
OK.

I'll probably have V2 ready in a day or two anyway, so how about you test that one. V2 will include a few new spells, a number of UI improvements, and all the things currently listed in the changes list in the first post.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 12, 2017, 01:49:34 PM
I'll wait for v2. :)
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 12, 2017, 02:20:10 PM
Alright. Works for me!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 12, 2017, 09:07:23 PM
Alright, managed to get all the features I wanted to have in, in for the V2 Release; I still have a large number of features I'd like to implement, but I feel I've added a sufficient amount of content, bugfixes, and UI improvements for one update.

Now, I'm going to spend some time testing out the variety of new systems and if I don't encounter any errors, typos, or bad UI that I inadvertently introduced, then I'll upload the release tonight. If things are really bad, then the release will have to wait till tomorrow.

I've not had a chance yet to find a new file storage yet... but, as the file is only like 100-200 KBs, I could probably just add it as an attachment to the first post, rather than force people to use mediafire; when I have a slow day with hugely complex features that aren't easy to implement, I'll look into other file storage places.

EDIT1: So far things are going okay with the testing. Found a few typos, missing line breaks, and minor code logic missing, but shouldn't prevent a release tonight. Will fix these before releasing though, don't worry. Going to keep testing!

EDIT2: Most of the new systems are working flawlessly, especially the buff tracker in "display info". Unfortunately I ran into a critical error with my combat casting code, and don't know how long it will take to address it.

EDIT3: Most things are working properly besides combat spell casting code. Also found a logic error with my trap damage code... if I have too much enchantment bonus, instead of dealing damage it heals me. Naturally will have to fix that! Its looking like V2 will have to wait to tomorrow, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 13, 2017, 12:49:15 PM
Google drive.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 13, 2017, 01:09:52 PM
Good suggestion, leeor! Hadn't thought of that. Will need to take a look into that!

-----

Alright, after fixing the major errors, adding a few more UI improvements and adding some new quality of life changes, I will begin testing the game again. If I manage to not find any major issues, I'll upload V2 today.

EDIT: After testing it for a bit, I found one minor error that I fixed. Thus, I have now released V2. You can grab it via mediafire or the attachment to the first post. Haven't had a chance to look at Google Drive yet, which is why I'm still using Mediafire.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Hooman on September 14, 2017, 04:59:30 AM
Quote
I heavily designed and tweaked the actual areas in the dungeons and thoroughly tested them, but didn't think about testing the surface area, as I was so used to just typing descend and going in

Hehe, it's this very kind of testing that makes developers blind to how others experience a game. Once you've done something a few hundred times during development, it becomes second nature. "Of course that's how it works!"

Also, it's totally frustrating when you see other people struggling with what you built, or having a bad experience.

I see based on the number of post edits that you're iterating quite quickly. That's a good sign.


I got the sense earlier, that you could play these Quest games online in a browser? Or maybe I'm just assuming that because of the JavaScript. If so, that might be an easy way for people to try new versions, and get quick feedback. I downloaded your source, but stopped short of downloading the Quest Engine executable. Something about the "for Windows" part (I use Linux, though it probably runs under Wine), and the thought of downloading strange executables onto my computer (which controls so many aspects of my life), for a quick few minutes of testing, kind of stopped me. Bit of a mix of lazy and paranoid there. Is there a way to make it easier for people to test?

Your source is actually quite long.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 14, 2017, 09:26:25 AM
Yes, it is kind of interesting. I've helped to beta test several games and it is very common how you do x thing so many times it becomes second nature and you don't even think about it anymore... which is why this kind of feedback is essential to producing a game most people can get into.

Source? Or do you mean the changelog?

----

I took a look at the website and couldn't figure out either how to play it in the browser, so I created a forum post, on the quest engine website, asking how to do so. I'll give an update on the first post (and here) in this thread when I figure that out.

Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 14, 2017, 10:37:46 AM
No, I think he means the actual source. It wasn't hard to 'decompile' the quest thingy -- it's just a ZIP file with a different file extension which contains the entirety of the source code within it.

(https://snag.gy/MwQjW2.jpg)

(https://snag.gy/cu5X3P.jpg)

I'm not sure how much of this code is your own doing or how much of it is automatically generated boiler plate code but... yeah, there it is.  :-X



EDIT: I found a mistake in the code (entirely by chance):

Code: [Select]
case ("tower") {
  if (ListContains(ScopeVisible(), ShieldTower)) {
msg ("You already own a tower shield.")
  }
  else {
if (player.SoulShards > 399) {
  msg ("<br/>You purchase a tower shield.")
  player.SoulShards = player.SoulShards - 400
  AddToInventory (ShieldTower)
}
else {
  msg ("You don't have enough soul shards. You need 2000 but you currently only have: " + player.SoulShards + ".")
}
  }
}

The tower shield is set to 400 shards, but the message says 2000 shards. :-X :-[ :-X

Note sure if this is hand coded but this is clearly the result of copy/paste. I would recommend using a function to print this message that takes three parameters, cost/available currency/item name.



EDIT 2: Google drive -- just go to drive.google.com, sign in with a google account and viola, you have a google drive. Just drag the file into the google drive window and boom, it uploads.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 14, 2017, 11:51:14 AM
Oh, I didnt know the quest extension was a renamed zip.

Actually when I first implemented the tower shield it did cost 2000 SS. It was after testing ingame that I found it was too high, so changed it to 400 and must have forgotten to change the error response to insufficient SS. Will address that in v3

The above screenshot is boiler plate code; I implemented my own custom money system, for example.

Also, quest doesn't allow for greater than or equals, just greater than or less than. That's why my code is partially designed the way it is.

=====

EDIT: Appears to play the game via a browser requires me to upload the game to the Quest servers and then provide a link to players to use. Dunno, if anyone can play it at that point / if it could be made out to others that it is a beta and not a fully finished game. I'll take a look into uploading V2.

I uploaded it here = http://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/rvnjlvi4heq6u7-namkaxa/the-cataclysm-of-chaos  ; Should allow you to play in a browser. If it doesn't immediately work, it may be because it said on the uploader that a moderator would have to check it out first.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 14, 2017, 07:54:42 PM
Oh, I didnt know the quest extension was a renamed zip.
Hackers like me like to look at files to see how they work. When I opened it in a hex editor the first two bytes equated to 'PK' which is a dead giveaway for a ZIP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zip_(file_format)#File_headers) archive. 28 bytes afterward and you get the filename "game.aslx" which confirms, 100% this is a ZIP archive. Open it in an archive decompressor and you know the rest.

Anyway, totally irrelevant, just found it interesting.



Also, quest doesn't allow for greater than or equals, just greater than or less than. That's why my code is partially designed the way it is.

I assumed as much. The check is correct, the mistake is the mismatched message. :)

I've tried this twice and got destroyed by a rat on the second round of battle... seems a little OP to get flattened that way but I'll give it more time tomorrow.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 14, 2017, 08:29:51 PM
Interesting aside XD

---

I'm looking into having a consistent "you lack SS" message for all purchaseables. I noticed that I have several different kinds of ways of producing the effect. So would like some consistency for all purchaseables. Though, to be honest, the reason the shield code has that problem is because it was one of the earliest bits of code and in general it did its task quite well and thus missed that error as a result.

---

If it was a Primal Chaos Feral Rat, and you had 0 XP, then that is expected logic. All Primal Chaos creatures (as mentioned in the game tips both ingame and in this thread) are experience/level drainers. Every hit they drain experience points. If you are at 0 XP, and get drained to a negative value, then you would lose a level, lose HP/MP as well, and have your XP reset to half of what it would have taken to get the previous level (ie if drained from LV 2 to LV 1, you have 500 XP; if LV3 to LV2, you have 1000 XP; etc). However, if you are at LV 1, and get drained below 0, then the creature will insta-kill you unless you succeed at your Second Wind roll (Vitality + Level + random(1,10) vs (10 + (10 * (Floor Level - 1)) [basically it means that you have to make 10 on floor 1, 20 on floor 2, etc].

You'll know you were killed via XP drain if you get the message = "The creature drained you of your entire lifeforce, and you die instantly."

Primal Chaos creatures are a risk-reward system. They are risky in terms of very good statistics (that increases as you kill more primals) but also because they drain XP. They are good rewards because they offer the best source of XP for character levels, drops an attribute potion that raises 1 attribute by +3, and has higher chances to drop rare items.

Basically, if you are LV 1 with 0 XP, you should avoid them like the plague. Also mentioned in the game tips, if its the first round you can flee from the creature without getting attacked. I'd only go after primals at LV 1 if you have an XP buffer, or if you reasonably think you can one-shot them in the first round. Otherwise avoid them. Again, this just proves that a tutorial is very much necessary, and I think that I'll put some of my plans for V3 aside and focus on building a tutorial instead. I guess I can't expect players to read the ingame gameplay tips, and so the necessity of the tutorial is now, rather than put it off for later. I might be able to get some of my other stuff in for V3, but I do think I need to focus on getting at least the first bit of the tutorial put out for V3.

EDIT:

However, thanks for bringing this to my attention as I noticed two logic errors...
1. XP doesn't get reset to 0 when drained below 0 at LV 1 and you succeed at your Second Wind roll.
2. The way the logic is setup, you'd need 11 to beat 10, rather than being equal to or greater.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Hooman on September 15, 2017, 03:17:03 AM
I didn't even notice it had a different extension. My computer just told me it was a zip file after I downloaded it.

Quote
Note sure if this is hand coded but this is clearly the result of copy/paste. I would recommend using a function to print this message that takes three parameters, cost/available currency/item name.

Agreed, a generic function would be a good idea here.

Quote
Also, quest doesn't allow for greater than or equals, just greater than or less than. That's why my code is partially designed the way it is.

Hah! Yikes. I was just about to say something about that. How about not less than?
Code: [Select]
if !(a < b) {}

Or, just move the error message first, and logic into the else.
Code: [Select]
if (player.SoulShards < item.price) {
  msg ("You don't have enough soul shards. You need " + item.price + " but you currently only have: " + player.SoulShards + ".")
} else {
  msg ("<br/>You purchase a " + item.name + ".")
  player.SoulShards = player.SoulShards - item.price
  AddToInventory (item)
}


If the Primal Chaos creatures are so powerful, why not limit them so the player can't encounter them at level 1. Maybe wait until they go deeper into the dungeon. Plus, you don't want to reward the player too much too quickly if they manage to kill one early on by luck.


Edit:
The online play link looks convenient. Currently I'm stuck at a "Loading..." screen, though I think that has something to do with me being on a bad wifi connection in a far off country. I'll try again later.

Also curious how you're programming this. Are you typing much, or are you using some other kind of interface to generate the code? The website seemed to suggest there was an interface with clicking around and selecting things from menus. I'm wondering what the process is like.

Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: leeor_net on September 15, 2017, 03:21:54 AM
You'll know you were killed via XP drain if you get the message = "The creature drained you of your entire lifeforce, and you die instantly."

That's exactly what happened both times... and both times I was attacked as soon as I entered the dungeon (e.g., immediately after the descend command).


Hah! Yikes. I was just about to say something about that. How about not less than?
Code: [Select]
if !(a < b) {}

You are evil.


If the Primal Chaos creatures are so powerful, why not limit them so the player can't encounter them at level 1. Maybe wait until they go deeper into the dungeon. Plus, you don't want to reward the player too much too quickly if they manage to kill one early on by luck.

Maybe they shouldn't be encountered the second you you look at the dungeon entrance. 0.0

"You have entered the dungeon... and you're dead."
Me: blinks
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 15, 2017, 10:40:25 AM
Technically the enemy retaliation code only activates when you cast a combat spell or attack them with a melee weapon/shield. So you might enter a room with them, but they aren't hostile until you do something aggressive. So if you use the "flee from target" command, after entering the room (and not attacking them) you can flee to a brand new room, with something less dangerous in it. I designed the enemy retaliation code like this so that many actions are considered "free actions" and other actions are considered "time-consuming". Attacking and casting combat spells are "time-consuming". Non-combat spells typically take about a minute or two to cast, and thus why you can't cast them in combat (though I doubt I have that anywhere in the game yet) and other actions like looking at your spellbook, drinking a potion, or analyzing the target are "free actions".

That's why I have the command "flee from target" in the game. Its there to get out of situations that you cannot win and if you try, you will die. Primals are supposed to be dangerous no matter what level you encounter and should incite a sense of fear when encountering one.

However, you two do raise a good point. I'll look into making Primals only spawn on Floor 2 or deeper, so that a new player doesn't get massacred the moment they enter the game. That's not fun.

=====

I can do the "not" Boolean, and I have used it in a few places where it makes the conditional statement both easier to read and simpler to code. When self-learning C++, I couldn't see a value in having a ! conditional statement, but now with coding my own game... its very useful... situationally.
 
I fixed the cost / insufficient funds error already for V3... several hours before your post XD. Its in the changelog on the first post of the thread.

The online play link now works. Apparently, the server went down yesterday and is now up and running again (I tried it and managed to get past the loading screen and have posted the link on the first post of the thread)

EDIT: Made it so that Primal Chaos foes cannot be encountered on Floor 1 anymore; only Floor 2+ for V3.

EDIT2: Heres a screenshot of what the programming looks like to me...
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Vagabond on September 15, 2017, 08:28:06 PM
I found some time to try out your game lordpalandus. Nice Job! I'm really impressed with where you are going with this game and could see it being something that I would be interested in playing if it matures enough. I'm going to list some things I noticed below in gameplay. Read it all knowing that to get your game this far is impressive and I'm just looking to help you keep improving it.

Right now, I think you suffer from forcing the user to be very verbose in their commands. In combat I had to type 'cast arcane zap on primal chaos wasp' 3 times to kill it. I can already tell this will get old. An easy start way to reducing this verbosity might be adding a repeat command so my character will just redo the last action. I also feel like purchasing items in the store becomes very tedious. I really like the atmosphere of the game and don't like seeing it hidden behind verbose commands that might frustrate the player.

In this genre of game it is perfectly fine to make the game illogically hard. Look at NetHack, Angband, and Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM), all pivotal games for the genre. They all feature permanent death by deleting save files if the character dies and randomly generating situations that may be impossible for the character to survive. NetHack doesn't even explain what items in game do, so you have to experiment and keeps notes on your own to figure it out. People actually pride themselves in the punishment they take in NetHack and how they have played it for over a year or whatever and never beaten it. Of course these games are free and I think you want to sell yours. So the flipside is if I buy your game and get smoked a bunch on level 1 of the dungeon and can't figure out how to play properly, I'm probably apt to leave you negative reviews. Anyways, what I'm saying is the crowd that play these games may not mind or may even prefer it being difficult or complex to play.



Some specific corrections I noticed below

I was playing v2 on the web browser and noticed some things that could use correcting.

Quote
(cast "spell" at "target) = Casts a combat spell at an enemy target.

Missing a quote on end of target (intro command list)

Quote
It is the year 1023, two centuries after the collapse of the Old Empire. Wierd, warped and horrific to behold creatures have been spotted leaving the Capital City of the Old Empire, and have ravaged the nearby countryside. Day by day, the creatures get bolder and more aggressive, which has led to the sovereign of the current monarchy to deploy the army and protect the citizenry. The army has sent scouts to the Old Empire's Capital City and has discovered that the creatures are leaving via a stairwell leading to the sewer system. The army tried collapsing the stairwell, but the next day the stairwell was back as if nothing had happened. Thus, they sovereign of the land put out a call to adventurers to enter the sewer system, stop whatever is causing the creatures to come out and those that succeed will be granted a generous reward, knighthood, and a title to a large chunk of land! Thus, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to the Old Empire's Capital City, the promise of a generous reward on their mind, compelling them to enter. Unfortunately, none have returned and although the army is able to hold off the current creatures coming out, if something isn't done soon, they will be overcome.

I really like your intro text. It is a bit of a wall though. Perhaps consider trying to cut it into a couple of smaller paragraphs will make it easier to read through.

Quote
> buy
What would you like to buy from me today? (consumables), (training), (weapons), (armors), (shields), or (spells).

> consumables
Would you like to purchase (healing) potions, (mana) potions, enchanting (orbs), or enhancement (kits).

> mana
How many mana potions would you like to purchase; please enter a number. Price per is 50.

> 2

It takes a lot of drilling down in order to purchase items in the store. Maybe you should consider separating the store inventories into tables and separate stores. Maybe it would look like:

> visit item store

Enter the letter and quantity of item you would like to purchase. (A 3 would purchase 3 healing potions)

A) Healing Potion 200ss
B) Mana Potion    200ss
C) ...

> B 2

You purchased 2 Mana Potions.


Consider adding some data when inspecting a weapon or armor. I tried inspecting my staff to see if it required 2 hands, but no info was given in the inspection. So I purchased a round shield and learned the hard way I couldn't hold both.

Quote
> salvage round shield
Error running script: Error compiling expression '(player.TempEnchantShardValue * 0)': ArithmeticElement: Operation 'Multiply' is not defined for types 'Object' and 'Int32'

Something appears wrong with the salvage command.

Quote
You encounter a Primal Chaos Wasp!
Their current health is = 18.


> cast arcane zap at primal chaos wasp
You cast arcane zap at the Primal Chaos Wasp, and you penetrate their spell resistance. You blast them for 6 damage and reduce their health to 12.

Maybe you should use a different pronoun than their for a single bad guy. At least it seems strange to my US English background.

Quote
> cast zap at primal chaos wasp

The Primal Chaos Wasp's spell fails to bypass your spell resistance.

It appears that if I type the name of the spell wrong, it doesn't actually cast but wastes my turn. If I get killed because I typed zap instead of arcane zap, I would feel that is a little unfair.



Melvin the human sorcerer (wearing his robe, he is more modest than his cousin) managed to kill the chaos wasp of death and was rewarded with a luck elixir. But I cannot find the elixir in my inventory? Perhaps it is assumed Melvin immediately and greedily gulped it down? I know I would have. Maybe adding a message saying it was immediately gulped would be useful. I tried checking my luck stat in game, but couldn't figure out how using the HELP command.

Unfortunately, I didn't create an account with the website so I'm leaving my browser open for now. If it shuts down than Melvin will be expunged from the memory of the Celestial City.

Keep up the good work!

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 15, 2017, 09:31:53 PM
Thanks for the indepth feedback Vagabond!

-The attack target/cast spell at target commands actually only requires a small part of the target creature's name to perform the action. I think I mentioned this in the ingame tips section and possibly in the command list as well; have to check. Basically for the primal chaos wasp, you can type things like:

1. cast arcane zap at wasp
2. cast arcane zap at primal
3. cast arcane zap at chaos
All three are viable entries.

Also for some creatures, you can shorten their name too. For example, encountering a giant crocodile, you can type "cast arcane zap at croc" and the game will be happy with that.

-I'm fairly sure I implemented the faster to do buy/sell commands in V2. Should be mentioned in the command list. Basically with them if you know you want, like training, you can type "buy training". I also further improved upon this command already for the V3 one, where you can now buy consumables by typing in their name; ie you want to buy healing potions, so type "buy healing potion". Most of the improvements to the alternative buy command will be in V3 to make purchasing less of a chore.

-Well that's why I intend to implement a tutorial to help smooth the initial ride into the game, and once prepared with how things work, leave the player to it. My current attempt in V2, with the game commands list and the ingame game tips is a start, but clearly a need for a tutorial is needed. Problem is, I haven't quite figured out how to properly create the tutorial.

-Good catch on the typo! Will be fixed in V3.

-I'll look into making the "storytime" better for V3.

-The essence of what you have suggested for purchasing, has already been implemented in V3. Sometimes its a bad thing I iterate as quickly as I do >.>

-I'll provide some basic info for when you do "look at item". Thanks for the suggestion!

-Whelp, I deleted the wrong variable as I thought that variable was deprecated (as I had used a different system to calculate salvaging previously when enchanting increased in cost as you did more enchanting.) Will fix it for V3.   

-Maybe I'll change it to: "It's health is currently = XXX". And you are right, their doesn't quite sound right.

-Interesting bug you found with the cast spell at target code. If the name of the spell doesn't line up with a Boolean condition, then nothing should happen; at least that's how I thought I had setup the code. I'll take a look into it. Good eye!

-Hmmm... at the start of the game, it does mention that the command "display info" has a lot of useful information and that is how you'd normally check your attributes, equipment, etc... However, you do make a good point, that when in trouble the go to command should be "HELP". So... I'll see about implementing a help system to provide quick help on demand, for V3. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

-As for the elixirs, or tomes, or manuals, you will use all of these kinds of things immediately. I'll take a look into making the message that appears when you get one to be more instructive.

Thanks for the vote of confidence!

EDIT:

Fixed most of the issues above, even if they are a simple, temporary fix, for V3.

One other thing that you mentioned that I neglected to add... is a way to name your character. I'll add in for V3 a field for the player's name.

======

EDIT2:

Well, I've gotten 40 changes done to V3, and I think I should get it out ASAP, rather than add more changes. I'll perform a variety of testing to make sure things are working, and if I notice no major errors I'll release it tonight. Otherwise, will be a tomorrow release!

EDIT3:

Found a few minor issues, but haven't tested the majority of my new changes, and as I'm more tired than I thought, tomorrow I'll looking into releasing V3.

EDIT4:

There is a critical error in Shield Spikes that is frustrating me to high hell. The game will properly execute the code to apply armor spikes to armor, but when I use the exact same code copied into shields, it fails to execute and doesn't even post a bug report of why it didn't work. I'm tempted to just advise players to avoid shield spikes in V3...

EDIT5:

... I deleted the variable that applied the shield spikes and replaced it with the exact same variable, verbatim, and it now works. WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?
... I even checked it in code view, and it was the exact same variable in the code both before and after... and it now suddenly decides to work. Huh?
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 16, 2017, 12:31:24 PM
Whelp! I finally managed to test everything I felt needed testing. There are a few areas where a bit of UI work could be done, but I figured I'd do that for V4 and get the most up-to-date game out to you guys/gals to test out.

V3 is available via Mediafire, attachment to the first post, or can be played in a web browser. All of this information is in the first post.

V3 has a lot of new content, bugfixes, UI improvements, and quality of life changes.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 16, 2017, 02:26:38 PM
I'm going to do a hotfix for V3.

I forgot to reset the player shards to 300. Currently its at 30,000.

Game is properly hotfixed now.

EDIT:

Found a lot of typos and UI issues well testing V3 again after releasing the hotfix.

I'm planning on releasing another hotfix with this typos/stuff fixed before I work on V4 proper.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 16, 2017, 07:52:21 PM
Alright, hotfix 2 is up and all the links are updated with it. Included a changelog of the fixes for the hotfix.

Will now turn my attention to working on V4.

EDIT:
I think I'll need to do another hotfix. While doing some extensive testing, I ran into a few weird errors that should be addressed immediately, rather than wait for V4. These are:

1. If your bash damage is too low, you can do negative values and heal the target. Not sure why this is happening. I say this because, the way the code is setup up, if you do 0 or less damage, the game should produce the message: You hit the target but failed to penetrate their armor. Maybe some rare edge case is allowing it to bypass this... or I forgot to code the logic right.

2. The buff message that appears when a spell deactivates usually shows up once. For some strange reason, it keeps spamming the message for Analysis spell. The weirder thing is that I don't know the spell and didn't cast it. And the weirdest thing of all, is that for the first 30 minutes of playing this message didn't appear and then out of the blue decided to keep spamming every round. Buying and casting the spell temporarily fixed it, but will have to take a look at why its doing this.

3. I triggered a trap at least 3 times, and now whenever I activate the trap, no message at all gets posted. And no damage is dealt either. It just jumps straight into the looting phase. Will need to figure out why that is.

Also a few other lesser errors were discovered that will be put into this new hotfix.

----

Managed to defeat both bosses, and get boss loot successful from Chaos Orbs dropped. So that is good. I also found a bunch of other errors.

So yah, I'll try to get out a third hotfix tomorrow addressing all the errors I encountered.

Also, will include some balance changes. My dwarven warrior crushed everything in it's path, often one-shotting creatures, being nearly invulnerable for the 2 hours or so of playing the game this time. In particular, primals died way too easily and I didn't break a sweat at all from fighting either boss. The only thing that properly did its job was a Boulder Trap in Section 2 the ruins. THAT thing hurt. Had one that did 180 HP damage... though as I had 450 HP at that point, it hurt but certainly wasn't lethal by any means.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Hooman on September 17, 2017, 03:21:50 AM
Ok, I just gave this a try in the web browser. Interesting. I like the descriptions you give. Very vivid language.

I also felt commands were a bit too long and wordy. I want to be able to just type "flee", not "flee from target".

After creating a new character, it asks me if I'm "new". I thought that was a bit silly sounding. Maybe just tell them they can type help for a list of commands. New players will do this if they need to. Experienced players will just get right into gameplay without answering an extra prompt.

Bonus if you can condense the help into a single screen of text, though that varies for each player, and needs to be complete.

I descended down to level 2, and I encountered maybe 5 primals in a row. I choose to flee, which is where I found the command so wordy. If the primals are so dangerous, and high reward, maybe they should to be a little less common. In most games, experience eating creatures tend to be very rare, or restricted to special areas, like undead graveyards.

I got into a fight with a "Shrieker Bat" after that. In the first round it took down 2/3 of my hitpoints with one spell. I tried to attack again, but the game didn't recognize the creature name. I may have typed the name differently once. I tried "look" saw how it was spelt, and tried to attack again. Seems I'd misread the prompt though. I was back at the prompt to name a new character. I was then named "attack shrieker". I got a big HP boost from choosing my race again. After choosing my race, I again was stuck in the same battle on level 2, had trouble attacking, and ending up choosing my name and race again, for another large HP boost!


Quote
Melvin the human sorcerer (wearing his robe, he is more modest than his cousin)
lol


Edit: Looks like a string formatting issue when searching the spider's web:
Quote
You skillfully dodge out of the way, and the moment it lands on the ground, you smash it with your " + player.EquippedWeapon + "; killing it!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 17, 2017, 10:14:26 AM
I'll look into refactoring the "flee from object" command. Not sure how complex that will be. In the code, #object# allows you to use a generic variable for interacting with objects in a scene. And if you don't have #object# in the actual command, then you can't use that variable. Thus, if you have a lot of monsters, you would have to duplicate code every time for each monster. By using #object# it reduces code redundancy by a lot. I can understand that "flee" would be a simpler solution for the player, but may be several hours of refactoring for me. Plus, by the time the player gains their first character level, they should have acquired sufficient progression to take on their first Primal Chaos on floor 2. Thus, I've found in my own playtesting that I rarely flee, which is why I don't find the command all that wordy. However I will take a look into how much trouble it will be to refactor it.

It may be a bit silly sounding, but as you guys have pointed out in your feedback, players don't go looking for help most of the time and thus things must be forced into their face so that they don't miss it. For example, in the first release I had the command list in the game, and mentioned how players could get to it, but it seemed no one here found it. It was only after forcing the command list into view, by adding the "new player" prompt, that anyone was able to get into the game period. Granted, the first release did fail on many fronts, particularly guidance for the initial area, which I do apologize for. However, a few of the feedback I've received implies that they never read any of the gameplay tips I put in the game. I'd prefer that a player will go looking for help when they need it, but what seems like a simple and straight forward tactic of telling a player to type "display info" and then "commands" wasn't enough to get the command list to the player. So unfortunately, this prompt is a necessary evil. :(

I don't know what people wanted in the help screen. I can always change it based on feedback.

In the monster spawn code, there are 5 options: Quick, Tough, Spellcaster, Drainer, and Boss. If you aren't on the boss floor or the boss is dead, then it instead spawns a Drainer. So, drainers have a 40% chance of spawning on most floors, and 20% chance of spawning on a boss floor when the boss is alive. Primals cast spells, and thus they only drain XP if and only if they penetrate your spell resistance. So if you have high spell resistance or you kill the primal in one hit, then you can defeat a primal with ease.

That is an extremely weird edge case scenario. I've never encountered it. I'm not sure how you could have encountered it. It seems like the codebase is doing weird things lately, for unexplainable reasons. The way I have it setup in the code, the room that most of the action takes place in is entirely separate from the room that a player is in when they do character generation. And as I don't have anything in the entire codebase that allows you to get back to the character generation room, that I know of, debug control or otherwise, I'm not sure how you had this happen to you. As the character generation script is built directly into the room and thus isn't a free-floating script, I haven't the foggiest idea how this could have happened. Plus, in Quest, objects do not normally transfer to another room unless the programmer builds in this functionality. I'll post on the Quest forums to see if anyone has an idea of how this might happen.

Yes, noticed that one for the spider web. The print message was supposed to be set to "expression" but forgot to do so. Easy fix. Will be in the 3rd hotfix.

Thanks for the feedback!

EDIT: I posted a thread on their forum, you can take a look at it and give your opinions on their responses. Also added two weird cases of my own that I encountered. Link to that post = http://textadventures.co.uk/forum/quest/topic/tyd_mwgm4es8qelorf3pxa/i-have-some-very-wierd-things-going-on-in-my-codebase-unexplainable-things-wtf

EDIT2: The hotfix will have to wait until I get a response to the above thread. Until I know why my codebase is inexplicably failing, in improbable ways, that defies programming logic, I should probably wait on working on the code. Its possible that after enough complex syntax and logic, that the Quest Engine simply fails and then starts to produce unlikely logic that shouldn't be happening. But perhaps the people on the forum will know what is going on.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 17, 2017, 04:25:47 PM
Well, I've managed to solve a few of the logic errors I ran into in my own playthrough. Still have no idea what causes Hooman's error though, and no one on the other forum knows, so I've completed hotfix 3 and updated the first post. Fixes some logic errors, improves specific parts of the UI, and modifies gameplay balance to add more challenge for a warrior-esque playthrough, but should have a low-marginal impact on other playstyles.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Hooman on September 17, 2017, 07:44:27 PM
Quote
In the code, #object# allows you to use a generic variable for interacting with objects in a scene. And if you don't have #object# in the actual command, then you can't use that variable.

Do you really need this object? The monster name is used in the flee message, but I don't think that's particularly important. Plus, even if you type an abbreviated monster name, the full monster name is displayed in the flee message, so that string is available elsewhere in memory, even if the player doesn't type it.

Quote
Thus, if you have a lot of monsters, you would have to duplicate code every time for each monster. By using #object# it reduces code redundancy by a lot.

I've never encountered more than one monster at a time. Is that possible?


As for the character creation bug, I started a new player, immediately descended, then in the first room where I encountered a Giant Fire Ant I typed "look" as my first command. I ended up back in character creation. After creating that character, as soon as the game starts, before descending, I typed "look", and again ended up back in character creation. As long as I keep typing Look, I keep getting more HP and MP.  :)

Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 17, 2017, 09:00:34 PM
The string is attached to the monster, which is an object. The #object# targets any monster in the room. As there are different objects for different monsters and bosses, you'd need to manually code in that you flee from monster a, monster b, monster c, monster d, and every single boss. So I don't necessarily NEED #object# but it greatly reduces code redundancy.

Only if I code the logic wrong XD

I managed to partially reproduce your bug. Typing look in the character creation room will cause you to go through character creation again... which is logical, as the character generation code is built into the room description and the command look normally displays the room description. However, I couldn't replicate the error when you get...

Wait a second... When you started the game, did you hit "descend" immediately after creating your character, or did you hit "begin" and then "descend"?

...

You hit descend immediately. I just tried hitting descend in the character generation room, and you can indeed descend. And any time you type "look" in the character generation room, you will regenerate your character.

Well, at least I now know what causes this bug. I'll have it fixed for the next release.

Please, until then, type begin after creating your character, to get moved to the game proper. You'll know you did it right when it says you are in "Old Empire's Capital City".

Well, I'm happy that's cleared up!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: Hooman on September 17, 2017, 10:41:24 PM
Bah! You mean you're going to fix the hack I discovered to get super powerful right at the beginning of the game? I should never have reported it.  ;)


Post the code for why flee needs an object!  :D
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 18, 2017, 11:12:30 AM
Hahaha... sads. I never thought that line of reasoning would be used against me... lol... However, unlike most developers who patch out the only effective way to progress and leave players with horrible grind (I'm looking at you Destiny 1, Borderlands 2, Diablo 3, etc), you will find more loot the deeper down you go, so there are still a variety of effective ways to attain progression quickly. For example:

PRO TIP: Get the spell Terrify, cast it on foes to clear them from the room, and then investigate the room without fighting/possibly dying to the monster to investigate the room! And unless you get a trap, those investigatables generally have a lot of valuable loot.

====

The code includes the monster retaliation script which is fairly large. However, there is four instances where the #object# is used in the script:
1. You manage to sneak away without alerting the #object# of your presence.
2. You attempt to flee without getting hit by the #object#.
3. You flee from the #object# and enter a new room.
4. #object# HP = currentHP * 0 + maximumHP.

So, I have four monsters, and 4 bosses currently. That would mean that in every situation of #object# usage, I'd have to explicitly type the monster/boss. So instead of having 4 lines of code that covers all 8 "objects". I'd instead need 32 lines of code, to cover all objects + any time I add new monsters or bosses, I'd have to remember to add those lines to the flee from object command. So it could be done, but would require a lot of time and effort to maintain and would make the code really ugly to work with, as I'd have to sift through the duplicated code sections and get to the areas I need to modify; namely the monster retaliation script.

With the way it is currently designed, any time I add a monster or boss, I only need to update the monster retaliation script. Plus, if I had to do it with each individually named object, I'd have to use CopyPaste to post the exact same message, just for a different critter.

That's why I'm hesistant to change it. Its elegant and efficient. However, what we could look into is changing the format of the command to something shorter. Unfortunately, "Flee from Object" sounds the best.

=====

An alternative solution would be that if you flee from a drainer or boss, then the next monster encountered is a Tough, Quick, or Spellcaster. As you were using flee from object constantly to avoid drainers and kept getting them, this could potentially resolve your issue in a different manner. If you didn't have to use the command as often, would the command still feel wordy?

EDIT: I've implemented a possible solution into the code. Anytime you flee from a drainer or boss, you will get a Tough, Quick or Spellcaster. If you flee from a boss, you can't get a drainer right after, only one of the three. If you flee from a drainer on a boss level, you can't get a boss right after, only one of the three. That should cut down on the unfairness in the monster generation code.

I'll have to test it out to make sure I implemented the code properly though.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 20, 2017, 09:24:34 PM
Well, Release v4 is coming along nicely. I had wanted to implement a bunch more things, but would like to get a few of the new systems out for players to try out and give feedback on.

V4 will include:
1) Section 3, and Section 4; this means new room generation scripts, 3 new investigatables for each section, 20 new monsters for each section, a boss for each section and boss loot for each section.

2) The new storytime system. Will be broken up into 3 categories; backstory, journals, and artifacts. Backstory is what it is currently in V3. Journals are found on adventurer corpses, and provide a bit of extra fluff and lore for the player to immerse themselves in. Artifacts has information on the artifacts themselves once you've defeated the boss. Hopefully this gives players that like to read lore and immerse themselves in a world to greatly help out in that regard. I'll be adding in V4 journals for the Sewer Section only, and artifacts for Sewer Section only, but more to follow later. Also, I'll give a bit more backstory entries to read for players interested in reading it.

3) 7th tier spells, particularly Ultra Heal, Ultra Aid, Power Weapon II, and Force Shield II, to name a few of the new spells.

4) Implement a UI option for renaming your equipped items. So, for example, you could rename your equipped longsword into a warhammer; its stats would remain the same, but it might help the player who is trying to roleplay a particular character to help to immerse themselves better.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 21, 2017, 02:05:23 PM
Well, fuck.

While adding the 7th tier of spells to my buy command, the buy command broke. I managed to add the new spells to tiers 1 to 6 without issue. But after adding spells to 7th tier, my buy command now refuses to compile or even load in the UI. I've deleted the entire 7th tier, and the issue remains. I've posted a help request in the other forums. If they can't solve the issue, then the next release will be delayed for anywhere from a few weeks to months.

The purpose of the buy command is to allow players to control the RNG. A problem in RNG heavy games is that sometimes the game will favor you and other times it will give you the finger. The buy command is there to mitigate that RNG so that if the looting of items keeps giving you the finger, then you can purchase the things you need from the store. But if you have no store, then the player has really no way to mitigate that RNG. So if I don't have the buy command in place, then a major and extremely crucial part of the game design will not be present. And as this would help my game stand out from other roguelikes (as most roguelikes lack a reliable way to mitigate the RNG), then its just a rehash of older games.

So, I don't know what I'm going to do if the buy command is permanently borked.

Sigh...

EDIT: Updated my first post of the thread with the current source of V4. If I can figure out a way to get around this situation, I'll gladly keep developing the game and the source will simply serve as a backup copy. If not, then likely I'll just start a brand new project from scratch as the buying system is a critical core functionality of the game, and the game will not play properly without it. It is also, if I would market it, be my competitive advantage over other roguelikes and without it, why would someone play my game over so many other generic roguelikes out on the market already. I'm not trying to downplay the value of the other features that I have, but the entire game design focuses around the ability to mitigate the RNG and without a way to mitigate the RNG, then it will not play properly and will not feel fair.

Unfortunately...

EDIT2: It appears the problem is localized in my spell purchasing code. This means I won't have to rebuild my entire buy command, but will likely have to rebuild my spell purchasing code. So instead of a repair job of 2-4 weeks, it might take me 2-4 days to repair it.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos (working title)
Post by: lordpalandus on September 23, 2017, 11:53:27 AM
Well, after working on a few different ways to rebuild the spell buying code, I've devised a solution that works elegantly. It will also make adding new spells significantly easier than the old system and will allow you to keep purchasing spells if you are inclined to do so.

Now I just need to re-add all the old spells to the new system. Just wanted to give a quick update on this, and once I've finished implementing it, and tested it to make sure it doesn't bork again, I should be able to get back on track.

EDIT:

Implemented and tested the new spell purchasing system and it works. Works so well, that I plan on using it to refactor the rest of my buy command code at a later date.

Alright, whew! Okay, now that the spell code is in, I'll finish up Section 4 (investigatables and boss loot), finish the last few journal entries for the sewers, and then likely release V4. Its likely that I'll do bugfixes for V4 when it is released, rather than do extensive testing beforehand, as it will take me a while to get down to section 3/4 in a playthrough, and simply intersperse the bugfixes with story/lore updates thrown in as well. I'm doing it this way for V4 as I already missed my release date for V4 and don't want people to have to wait too long for V4 now that I've addressed the buy command issues.

EDIT 2:

Finished Boss Loot for Section 4.

Once I'm done Investigatables for Section 4 and the last few Journal Entries for Sewer Section, I'll release V4. Barring any cataclysmic failures, I should have it released today (Sept 24)

EDIT 3:

Nearly ready for the release. Journal entries are in for sewers, and have one more investigatable for Section 4 to do. I'll likely again release bugfixes like I did for V3 release, rather than do the testing right away. I feel people have been waiting long enough for this release and want to get it out to players hands as quickly as possible.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: lordpalandus on September 24, 2017, 02:44:04 PM
Released V4 and all links are updated. If necessary I will post bugfix updates for this one like I did for V3.

Release V5 will be focused primarily on adding a massive amount of lore/story to the game, a huge effort to refactor the codebase as some portions are getting somewhat unwieldly to maintain, and continue to hunt for ways to make the UI much better. 

Hope you enjoy, and am looking forward to any feedback anyone has, positive or negative of V4. Cheers!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: lordpalandus on September 24, 2017, 09:57:19 PM
Found a logic error in one of the Section 4 boss loots, that affects the spellcasting system. I have fixed it and will release hotfix 1.

Also, I implemented a new quality of life system; you can now recast the same spell over and over again, to your hearts content... until you run out of mana or die that is XD.

EDIT:

I'll be releasing another hotfix shortly. I've determined a method of refactoring my attack and casting code, using function calls, while including the repeat last action code as well, and will make things a lot easier... particularly as I found a few errors in my newly added repeat action code in hotfix 1.

EDIT2:

Forgot to mention that Hotfix 2 got released yesterday.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: leeor_net on September 26, 2017, 05:01:20 PM
Will definitely check this out tomorrow. Have been super tired lately while adjusting to working full time again after being unemployed for six months but I'm starting to feel better again so, def tomorrow. :)
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: lordpalandus on September 26, 2017, 08:07:08 PM
Alrighty!

I'm continuing to putter along with V5 Release, which is primarily a code refactoring and an addition of a massive amount of additional, but optional, story and lore.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: dave_erald on September 27, 2017, 11:38:32 PM
If I find the time I am definitely going to check this out. Congrats thus for Lord'o
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: Hooman on September 28, 2017, 08:58:04 AM
Good to see you're still moving along on this.

Quote
An alternative solution would be that if you flee from a drainer or boss, then the next monster encountered is a Tough, Quick, or Spellcaster. As you were using flee from object constantly to avoid drainers and kept getting them, this could potentially resolve your issue in a different manner. If you didn't have to use the command as often, would the command still feel wordy?

I really like your creativity on this problem. I wouldn't have even thought to try something like that.

I've looking forward to trying out the new additions shortly.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: lordpalandus on September 28, 2017, 09:34:58 AM
Cool! I'm still puttering away at refactoring the code for V5 release. Trying to only focus on areas that I know I will be added to in the future, and thus avoid getting stuck in the developer's trap of wanting to keep refining ones code. Existing code does work well, and performs its function elegantly... its just that adding new stuff to them is a chore. Thus, the point of the refactor is to keep the elegance of the code, but make it easier to add stuff to it; to aid workflow and the like.

Well, I also figured out a way how to now shorten flee from target, to just flee; it will be in V5.

EDIT: Turned out my flee code isn't working properly and still gives a drainer if fled from a drainer. I'll add this to the list of systems to refactor.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: lordpalandus on September 29, 2017, 09:21:42 PM
Uploaded Hotfix 3 for V4. While testing out my refactored flee code, to ensure that it was working, I discovered a major syntax error that prevented the purchasing of LV7 spells and found major errors in the turn script (called every turn) that controls the majority of buffs in the game that prevented the buffs from activating at all.

So...

It includes many of the refactored code and new items that I had intended for V5, but felt that due to the nature of the errors a hotfix was necessary... as I'm only about half-way through making my V5 release, I figured getting a fixed game out pronto was higher priority.

So, the changelog in the zip file (mediafire/attachment to first post) includes the changelog of bugs fixed and new features / refactored code meant for V5.

Anyway, hotfix 3 is out, and I'm going to get back to working on V5 again, and hopefully no other major errors are found in the meantime.

EDIT:

Also, flee code now works properly, and will give you either a Tough, Quick or Spellcaster when you flee a drainer or boss.

EDIT2:

I'm going to shelve monster and player descriptions for next release. I'm running into huge issues keeping code redundancy down, and its just delaying V5 release, with the extended lore. So, will plan for descriptions to be in V6 release instead.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: Hooman on October 03, 2017, 01:20:37 AM
Hey, I took a quick look through your most recent update. I saw a few opportunities for improvement. Early on when I started programming, I often had large nested if/else and switch/case blocks. Often blocks were copied/pasted, and values updated. I'm seeing the same sort of pattern in your code. It's an easy way to start out. Simple, works, and you get something you can see quickly. Over time, with more experience, I moved to a different approach, driven by little inconveniences that added up over time.

One inconvenience was the repetition of values. You might check the players money against the price of an item in an if statement, and then later subtract the price from the player's money in another statement. The price of the item is duplicated in the code. If you ever change it, you have to change it in both places. If you forget, or make a typo, you end up with a bug. It's a simple update yes, but over time it gets very tedious. Worse, if you have sell code, the sell price might be different, and in a completely different section of the code, making it easy to forget about, and harder to find to update at the same time. It's best to have the values defined in one place. You'll sometime hear the DRY principle: Don't Repeat Yourself (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_repeat_yourself).

Another inconvenience is the duplication of copy/pasted bugs, that require fixing in multiple places. This is also relevant for a design change. Perhaps a new feature requires you to update code that was copy/pasted multiple times, and now needs to be fixed for every occurrence. Let's say you wanted to add an item or skill to the game, that allows players to charm shop keepers, and have them reduce their prices by some amount. To implement that, you'd need to update all price checking and purchase code. A major pain if it has been duplicated 50 times. This is another application of the DRY principle, but to the code itself, rather than the data values.

Yet another inconvenience is having to update code in multiple places when you add a new item or feature. Perhaps you add a new weapon, with updates to purchase code, sell code, and attack code. All in different places. It would be nice if adding a new item required changes to only one place in your source.

There's also the slight inconvenience of code bulk. If you have a ton of copy/pasted code, it's quite a bit to scroll through. It slows you down while navigating the code, and adds to the mental load of working on it. It's hard to quantify this effect, but I feel there's just something nice about having all your functions fit within one screen of code.

I can show you how to drastically cut down on code bulk, while making it easier to make changes, avoid bugs, and add new items and features. And the best part is, you're probably already applying most of the principles to do it.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: Hooman on October 03, 2017, 03:54:13 AM
Oh, and a bit of feedback. For the spellbook, typing "1st", "2nd", "3rd", "4th", etc. is kind of annoying. It'd be much easier to just type "1", "2", "3", "4", etc.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V4
Post by: lordpalandus on October 03, 2017, 10:43:12 AM
Yes that is a lot why I'm doing the refactor for V5, to reduce code redundancy and try to replace the massive numbers of nested ifs with function calls. However, I'm also trying to avoid spending all my time refactoring, which is a trap that some developers fall into... certain sections of the code base I likely won't touch again, so I figured I'd avoid refactoring them. One of them is the prices of items (exception being the recently changed spikes); though I will have to change the sell code for armors/shields when they have spikes added to provide the value of the item with spikes.

The issue with most of these is the problem of "how do I avoid it?" JavaScript / Quest lacks many of the features that C++ has to handle these concerns. Take variable declaration; in C++ you can declare local variables in a function, member variables of a class, global variables, and variables local to int main(). In quest, you can only declare local variables in a function call OR member variables; you cannot declare variables into the "main function" and you cannot declare global variables. You also cannot declare constants. And in C++, constants are great for declaring a variable once, setting its value, and then copying it to multiple places and then when you need to change it, just change it once in the constant and its applied everywhere. Can't do that here.

So the only alternatives left are local variables in a function call or member variables of a class. The majority of my variables are member variables of a class... usually a dummy class that does nothing by itself, but is used to store all your variables you need. Its annoying, and it clutters up the class, but its also the only way to do it other than local variables in a function. A lot of the other things that you take for granted in C++ are not found here in Quest. You are very limited in the kinds of function calls you can perform and the return value portion of a function call is EXTREMELY finicky.

Thus I've been forced to figure out workarounds to many of these problems... code replication is unfortunately one of the symptoms of that. I've managed to greatly reduce it in this refactor, but there is obviously tons more left to do. Such is life. Now to address what you specifically said.

Prices of items either have to be typed in or stored in a member variable. And debugging a class when it has over 100 member variables is a real chore. Also, the interface gets really cluttered when you have too many objects. Also, the quest engines chugs if you have too many member variables and classes. So I try to keep this down by declaring the value as a numerical constant (as compared to a variable constant, as you can't do those). In some cases I will use temporary variables, but I try to, again, use them sparingly. If quest / javascript allowed me to do variable declaration outside of classes and functions I would do it, as that would make my life immeasurably better, but I can't.

Again, trying to reduce code replication with function calls is great, but I don't want to spend all my time fixing code that I do not forsee myself adding to in the future. The code I have refactored is code I will be working with quite a bit in the future. But things like buy/sell code or player update scripts, I won't likely touch again, and thus refactoring them would make the codebase look nicer but not really improve my workflow at all.

That is true if I intended to add a new weapon. I do however intend to add new spells, which is why I completely overhauled the spellcasting system. With the old system, I had to place information in about 12 different places. Now, I only need to put it in 4 places. So I definitely agree making it less replicating for adding stuff is important!

Well, I personally don't have any issues reading my code. So having it take up three to four screens of code has no impact on the readability. If there was more than one person working on the code, then I'd strive to have code blocks more concise and have brevity. But as that isn't the case, I code in a way that is most readable to me and has all the needed logic present.

Most of the refactoring is actually completed for V5. Almost all of the major systems have been refactored now, that I intend to add to or manipulate for Sections 5, 6, and 7. Now I'm working on the lore side of things.

Also, thanks for the feedback on spellbook. I found it a bit wordy myself, but didn't get around to changing it.

EDIT: I'm getting bogged down with writers block for a couple days now in doing lore, so I think I'm going to have to shelve it for the time being. I'd like to do recurring characters for the lore, particularly adventurer journals, but can't quite figure out how to do so. So, I'm going to release V5, and start working on additional gameplay features and do the lore whenever I can overcome writers block.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: lordpalandus on October 03, 2017, 01:44:23 PM
V5 of CoC is uploaded now.

Since I ran into some horrible writers block for V5, I will be looking into ways to get around that, to hopefully get some good lore in for V6 release. I shelved it because its been a few days since I've gotten anything done on the game, and figured I can always do the lore later as it is technically optional, but does help to immerse the player better; not necessarily crucial for a beta release, but very important for a late beta or close to final release.

Enjoy!

Also, I have found that any feedback on the game has been very crucial, to help me make it better so if anyone wants to post some more feedback, please do so!

EDIT: Noticed I missed adding rename item command, so I'll focus on a hotfix 1 for V5, with any typos, minor UI improvements and bugs I encounter, included in it!
EDIT2: Playtesting my game a fair bit and have noticed several areas for improvement that will be included in the hotfix 1 for V5.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: Hooman on October 04, 2017, 10:52:59 AM
Quote
However, I'm also trying to avoid spending all my time refactoring, which is a trap that some developers fall into...

Touche  :-[  :P


You're right, JavaScript certainly works a lot different from C++. It doesn't always have the same features, though with that said, there are often parallels to many of the patterns. Some require quite a bit of creativity, or newly introduced JS features.

Quote
Take variable declaration; in C++ you can declare local variables in a function, member variables of a class, global variables, and variables local to int main(). In quest, you can only declare local variables in a function call OR member variables; you cannot declare variables into the "main function" and you cannot declare global variables.

I'm a little uncertain about this "main" function you speak of. Is "main" a real function, or just all the code at global scope? JavaScript doesn't usually have a function named "main", though if it did, I would assume it would work the same as any other function, as would its local variables. I suspect "main" is just a way of referring to code at global scope. In that case, any local variables would be global variables, and your comment starts to make a bit more sense. Is there any Quest documentation on this?

One thing I noticed is Quest seems to segregate the JavaScript code into separate XML tags in the file you provided. I'm wondering if it might also do some kind of isolation between the script components. That could explain a lack of global variables, or at least access to them.

Quote
You also cannot declare constants. And in C++, constants are great for declaring a variable once, setting its value, and then copying it to multiple places and then when you need to change it, just change it once in the constant and its applied everywhere. Can't do that here.

Const seems to be a feature that JavaScript was lacking for a long time. The ECMA2015 standard includes const (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Statements/const). Since this is fairly new, it might not be available in the Quest environment, or perhaps it is but documentation is old and says otherwise. Is there a section of the Quest documentation that addresses consts? If the game is running in a browser, it might depend on browser support. In particular, IE11 supports const, but not older versions of IE. The version table at the bottom of the link lists version requirements for other browsers.

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A lot of the other things that you take for granted in C++ are not found here in Quest. You are very limited in the kinds of function calls you can perform and the return value portion of a function call is EXTREMELY finicky.

Is this personal experience, or documented restrictions? I'm curious what the restrictions are. I know C++ has had a lot of restrictions on return values. They have been slowly eased over the years as compilers have gotten smarter, and are able to efficiently handle more cases. I've generally assumed that JavaScript has a simpler model with fewer complications, and so fewer restrictions. Though again, JavaScript in the context of Quest might be a little bit different.


Seems like you've managed to work around quite a few issues.


Quote
Prices of items either have to be typed in or stored in a member variable. And debugging a class when it has over 100 member variables is a real chore. Also, the interface gets really cluttered when you have too many objects. Also, the quest engines chugs if you have too many member variables and classes. So I try to keep this down by declaring the value as a numerical constant (as compared to a variable constant, as you can't do those). In some cases I will use temporary variables, but I try to, again, use them sparingly. If quest / javascript allowed me to do variable declaration outside of classes and functions I would do it, as that would make my life immeasurably better, but I can't.

Yikes, that does sound messy putting that many variables on an object. Have you used arrays at all? I think arrays of objects could simplify some code. That would reduce the number of variables on each object, and perhaps simplify naming. Where would you put variables if they weren't part of a class or local to a function? I tend to avoid temporary variables too. Less clutter if you can use an expression directly, though if it's an expensive calculation, it may make sense to cache it in a temporary. That's pretty rare though. If you are using temporaries somewhere, it might be a good place to extract code into a function.

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Again, trying to reduce code replication with function calls is great, but I don't want to spend all my time fixing code that I do not forsee myself adding to in the future. The code I have refactored is code I will be working with quite a bit in the future. But things like buy/sell code or player update scripts, I won't likely touch again, and thus refactoring them would make the codebase look nicer but not really improve my workflow at all.

That's a very practical consideration.

Quote
That is true if I intended to add a new weapon. I do however intend to add new spells, which is why I completely overhauled the spellcasting system. With the old system, I had to place information in about 12 different places. Now, I only need to put it in 4 places. So I definitely agree making it less replicating for adding stuff is important!

Wow! That would be so hard to keep track of.


Lore is fun. That can certainly add a lot to a game.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: lordpalandus on October 04, 2017, 05:07:11 PM
Well, I just know that some of the worst gaming blunders or getting stuck in development hell is generally a result of constant refactoring or redesigning when something doesn't need to be redesigned. Not pointing fingers at anyone here in particular, rather when I think of that I think of a guy named Josh Parnell, "trying" to make a game called "Limit Theory". He seems to be a very talented individual, but there were numerous instances, before he burned out, of him getting caught in the constant refactoring of the code. So, I learned from his mistakes by just refactoring code I know that I will be added to in the future and know that the refactor will greatly aid my workflow. Like in the example of adding spells with the 12 step process, it would take me about 2 hours of coding to add 6 new spells. With the new system of about 4 step process, it took me all of 10 minutes to add 2 new spells. So, that is a great example of where refactoring greatly aided my workflow. But, as there are other places where things could be refactored, but won't aid my workflow because I don't intend to add anything to it, there wouldn't be much point in refactoring, other than to make the code prettier. So that's my personal view on things. I definitely agree that learning to do things better is a good idea, and I will utilize a lot of that for future projects, but for things that aren't needed to be refactored, I'll leave them alone!

===

Well, in C++, when you learn to initially code in the console window, it has you code within int main(), which is implied to be the main function. So when you do a function call, it returns a value to another function call, but eventually control is given back to int main() and the program ends when int main () reaches a return statement, and returns control back to the OS. At least that's how my old C++ textbook explains it.

Well no, actually in console coding I found you can actually declare things outside of int main () which would make them a global variable, usable by any function or code block within the entire program.

I've actually not taken a look at the raw code in the renamed zip file, so can't comment on that.

===

Well, being that Quest only recently got an update (August 2017), after it went with about 1-2 years without any updates, I doubt it includes the const feature from the 2015 update to JavaScript. I've certainly not seen it anywhere mentioned in the documentation or when using the program itself.

===

Both. The documentation is VERY brief on the usage of function calls (they only explain how to use string-based function calls), and I only learned how to use them by trial and error, as they don't work exactly as a C++ function call does. I'll give a basic example I ran into:

Buy a spell that cost 100 soul shards. You start with 300 soul shards. Set to return a value of type integer. Formal parameter and argument is an integer. Formal parameter takes your current soul shards, parameter being called CurrentShards:

CurrentShards = CurrentShards - 100
Return (CurrentShards)

So if you do it like this, the function call BORKS, and returns no value, and instead sets your current shards outside of the function call to 0, and spews an error about the function call not returning a value. However, if you do it like this:

Return (CurrentShards - 100)

Then, it will properly subtract 100 from 300, and returns a value of 200 and then assigns 200 to your actual current soul shards outside of the function call; also won't spew an error about returning a value.

In C++, either way of doing things would properly return a value of 200. But here, it will only work properly if you do the subtraction inside the actual return variable. So as a result, most of the time I don't bother with the formal parameters and just take the actual value that stores the soul shards and has it subtracted in the calculation and gets applied to the value storing the soul shards outside of the program and also don't bother with return values. Its very strange.

===

The program doesn't allow for arrays as far as I can tell. The closest thing to an array here are Lists or Dictionaries. Lists can store a list of strings or objects (which is something you can technically do in C++) but cannot store variables or values unless they are a string or an object. Dictionaries I think work something like a mini-database and requires you to use Keywords to access values in a Dictionary. Unfortunately both Lists and Dictionaries have terrible documentation, and even asking for help from other developers on the Quest Forums, I've still not managed to get Lists to work properly, and haven't attempted to use a Dictionary. If I could figure out how to use them, it would make doing Lore entries significantly easier and listing off purchaseable spells, but my current methods of doing both are sufficient for my needs; just that Lists could likely make it a lot easier... if I could figure out how to use them.

There is a consistent theme with the documentation; it isn't well documented, and most of my workarounds have been devised by trial and error and getting help from the Quest Forums... I've tried to use the documentation but its not very helpful. So learning how to do things in Quest has been slow for me.

Well, the documentation is useful if the type of text adventure you want to do is something like Zork. But if it is more complicated than Zork, which my game is incredibly more complex, then its terrible for getting assistance from.

===

Lore is fun! However I want some consistency, and some recurring characters, otherwise the player asks the question, "Why should I care about all of this?". So need to figure out some ways of both overcoming writers block but also devising interesting mini-storylines that are worthwhile to read and help to immerse players more into the game!

Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: Hooman on October 05, 2017, 05:12:08 AM
Since Quest uses JavaScript, and JavaScript has things like arrays, const, and globals built in, maybe just try using them and see. That might be why the Quest documentation is minimal. Maybe they expect you to just go read JavaScript documentation.

Code: [Select]
// Array of ints as a variable
var arrayOfInt = [ 5, 10, 15, 20 ];

// Array of objects as a const
const arrayOfObjets = [
  { name: 'Sword', cost: 500, damage: 10 },
  { name: 'Two Handed Sword', cost: 1000, damage: 20 }
];



Quote
So if you do it like this, the function call BORKS, and returns no value, and instead sets your current shards outside of the function call to 0, and spews an error about the function call not returning a value.

That error might be telling. JavaScript is case sensitive, and "return" should be all lowercase. Plus there is no need for parenthesis around return values. Maybe there is a syntax error in the return statement which is causing the error, and so it's not recognizing that line as a return statement, thus giving an error about the function not having a return statement.

If a function does not have a return statement, you'll probably get some default null or 0 value if you try to assign the result of the function to a variable.



To tackle a deeper concept, I'm not sure if you really want to return an updated amount of money. The purchase code has two side effects in the successful case, but only one return value. The side effects are: removing the cost of the item from the player's money, and giving the player the purchased item. It seems a bit weird to divorce the two operations, and require the caller to perform one of them. It might be better to wrap the code in a method with no return value, but which handles both side effects internally. If you pass in some reference to the player, and the item they want to buy, the method should be able to both remove money from the player, and give the item to the player. It's also the right place for any error checking like seeing if they have enough money, or have room in their inventory to hold the item.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: lordpalandus on October 05, 2017, 10:27:46 AM

At this point, most of my coding needs are met with the UI, so I see no point in bothering with messing with JavaScript. It'll just be time away from developing, like pointless refactoring.

===

Okay, I'll reiterate. One way worked and one way didn't and the difference between the two code snippets is a minor change. Here is the original code (This way borked):
{
  ShardCost = 100
  CurrentShards = CurrentShards - ShardCost
  Spellbook.KnowArcaneZap = true
  return (CurrentShards)
}

(This way worked):

{
  ShardCost = 100
  Spellbook.KnowArcaneZap = true
  return (CurrentShards - ShardCost)
}

It is a minor change, in the syntax. One way does nothing, spews an error, and nulls my Soul Shards. The other properly subtracts 100, and returns 200 to my soul shards and doesn't spew an error. The only change I made to the function call was moving the subtraction into the return value, and that made it work. Any other way of doing the function call borked. Explain why.

===

Honestly, I just use function calls to make the code easier to read at this point or reduce code redundancy. I'll likely tackle a something with a deeper concept if I run into a more complicated problem in the project OR in a different project.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: Hooman on October 06, 2017, 02:11:14 AM
Can you include the calling code and function signature too. And is this copy/pasted, or retyped code? I ask because these errors are often the result of very hard to see typos.

I'm noticing there is no "var" before any variables, so they seem to be declared elsewhere, possibly as function arguments.

The problem is most perplexing. I feel there is something missing here.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: lordpalandus on October 06, 2017, 11:02:36 AM
In Quest there is a button in the interface called "Code View". I clicked on it and copied verbatim all the code in the function call itself.

ShardCost is a local variable, and yet it is odd that it lacks the variable type before it; ie = int ShardCost; as a variable declaration within the function body.

...

SpellPurchase(player.SoulShards)
msg ("You purchase the spell and your current soul shards are = " + SpellPurchase(player.SoulShards) + ".")

...

The calling function is SpellPurchase. The code I showed before is all the code within the function call.

Then the msg afterwards tells the player what their current soul shards are. The SpellPurchase(player.SoulShards) is the value returned by the function call.

///

The calling function has no issues and nor does the msg afterwards, if the code in the function call is of the version that worked, it will properly display in the message that your current soul shards are now 200. Otherwise, it sets current soul shards to 0, and spews an error.

There is no other code present to show you. I'm not holding anything back. Unless there is code hiding elsewhere in the codebase, outside of the function call or the calling function, then all the code presented is all the code.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that it was part of an If-Else statement.

If (Spellbook.KnowArcaneZap = false) then:
{
  ShardCost = 100
  Spellbook.KnowArcaneZap = true
  return (CurrentShards - ShardCost)
}

With no else. Thus if you knew the spell, nothing would happen.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: Hooman on October 06, 2017, 01:55:49 PM
Interesting. You seem to be calling the function SpellPurchase twice. What would happen if you eliminated the first call, so only the second call embedded in the msg call was used?

Looking at your if statement, it looks to be doing an assignment of false to Spellbook.KnowArcaneZap, rather than a comparison. In JavaScript you need a double == sign for comparison. Though the "then:" part is not proper JavaScript syntax. Something weird is going on here. Is this a non-JavaScript code display? In VB syntax, a single equal sign would perform comparison, so that if code could make sense using the syntax of a language other than JavaScript.



Syntax oddities noted above aside, have you considered a function that works like:
Code: [Select]
SpellPurchase(player, spell)
msg ("You purchase the spell and your current soul shards are = " + player.SoulShards + ".")

Here the player object is passed to the function, allowing the function to update both the spell book (assuming the spellbook belonged to the player object, though I suspect this might not be true in your code), and the player's money.

There is no second call in the msg statement. It simply outputs player.SoulShards, which should have been updated by the previous call.



As for int ShardCost;, that would be valid C++ syntax yes, but not valid JavaScript syntax. JavaScript would use var ShardCost; to declare a variable. JavaScript doesn't use static types, so there's no way to declare a type when you define the variable.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: lordpalandus on October 06, 2017, 05:31:20 PM
Nothing would happen if I eliminated the first one. In the UI, the function call itself looks quite different than the one in the msg. It looks the same in code view, but if I omit the first one, then no function call occurs.

The "then" may or may not be present I can't remember. I deleted the function call when I found out it didn't do as expected and moved on. All I know for sure was that it was a if-else statement with only the if code block filled with code.

Spells are coupled with the Spellbook. Technically they do not exist, they are just string placeholders, with a specially designed series of functions that actually are the spells. So when you type cast arcane zap, the spell arcane zap is just a series of string variables and then in a different spot, the string is used in a switch statement to determine the correct numerical code to be used. Its a very complex and difficult beast, but it works.

Spellbook is a separate object, that is added to the player's inventory at game start.

Yeah, I dunno. I'll have to think on why one way worked and the other didn't some other time. Going out for supper with a friend, so can't type much at the moment.

EDIT: After a bit of work, I determined how to do my Bad Traits system for my game, and implemented them for the first 5 investigatables (corpses excluded, so that you can always search those corpses for lore!)
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V5
Post by: lordpalandus on October 13, 2017, 07:21:28 PM
Well, I'm nearly done with V6 release. Due to real life issues, trying to work on a feature I want to implement in CoC but in a different "driver" text adventure, and very complex to code features, this release has taken a lot more time than expected.

Still left to do is:

1) Ambience system; won't be using a timer as I've found in my testing that timers will screw with the UI and user inputs. So it'll be implemented as a turn script instead. What I mean by screwing with, is that if a timer occurs any text will appear, and not scroll the screen down, forcing the user to do it, whereas other text will scroll the screen. Secondly, if the player is typing in a command during the time when a timer activates its script, it will not accept user input until they scroll the screen, which is understandably frustrating.

EDIT: Apparently there is a way to get it to scroll to the bottom, when a timer occurs, so perhaps I can keep it as a Timer after all.

2) An insect hive interactable... so that the player can acquire the phobia to insects via a trap, and not just via death.

Will likely release V6 tomorrow (today is 13th)

I'll save the other features of V6 (on my list of things to do for V6) for V7 instead, as there are some significant changes made in V6, such as Boss Abilities, Time System, Positive/Negative Traits and of course, quite a few logic errors introduced by the V5 refactoring of the codebase.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: lordpalandus on October 14, 2017, 01:15:10 PM
Updated to V6 Release. Lots of new features and bug fixes. Again, sorry for the long-development time for this release (relatively compared to previous release schedules) and hopefully the next release will take less time!

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: lordpalandus on October 16, 2017, 12:14:30 AM
Updated the game to Hotfix 1, V6 Release.

Fixes a few errors, and now the recast spell system fully works properly. Also redid the commands for look at spellbook and look at satchel as they somehow conflict with my custom look at monster or look commands; renamed to read spellbook or search satchel.

Also implemented specially tailored boss battle rooms for each boss, to make the fight a big more thematic and climatic.

Now I'll work on V7 proper, and hope no other major errors occur in the meantime.

Again, always like feedback; enjoy!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: Hooman on October 16, 2017, 05:32:18 AM
This doesn't look right. Saw this after ascending back to the city. I had fought one fight, and then looted the room. After which, I typed "ascend".
Quote
You find a stairwell leading down, and thus can enter the sewers from here.
You enter a diamond-shaped room. It's brick walls are stained brown, by years of fecal matter. It's ceiling is shored up by wooden beams, barely keeping the sagging ceiling from collapsing entirely. It's wet floors slope towards a center point in the room, where a sewer grate empties the sewer waters from the room. There is a massive wasp hive here, that appears dead, as you don't see any wasps coming out of it. There is a large iron-bound chest here.

You discover a shrine!
It's health is currently = -13.


> setup camp
You cannot setup camp while under attack.

> attack
What type of attack will you perform:

(strike) [Highly accurate, but low damage attack]
(overpower) [Highly damaging, but low accuracy attack]
(bash) [Bashes target quickly with your shield; low damage but high accuracy]
(slam) [Slams target with your shield; high damage but low accuracy]
(backstab) [Sneak attack a target, if conditions are met; else, turns into attack.]
(cancel) [To abort your action for whatever personal reason you have.]

Error running script: Error compiling expression '(player.TotalAccuracy + getrandomint(1,10) + player.TempAccuracyModifier) > (object.Dodge + getrandomint(1,10))': ArithmeticElement: Operation 'Add' is not defined for types 'Object' and 'Int32'


Would you like to attack Spellbook again, with the same type of attack? (yes) or (no)

The bee hive loot could probably use some minor rewording. The grammar seemed a bit off. The description was also not so convincing or immersive. Not sure "bored" applies to a bee. Also not sure why the bee had such an easy time stinging, only to be suddenly and easily killed when it decided to stop.


Also thinking the character creation needs some slight simplification. The "are you new yes/no" prompt, and "begin" seem a bit overly verbose. I'm thinking the surface prompt should just include a note about typing "help" for a list of commands. It's fine if the prompt is repeated indefinitely the whole game. It needs to prompt the player to input a command anyway.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: lordpalandus on October 16, 2017, 11:01:25 AM
I'll have to try to reproduce it to fix it, but I have a fairly good idea what is going on. I'll try doing precisely what you did to produce it.

It appears that instead of spawning a monster, it puts you in battle with your Spellbook. After a battle, the code that checks for a visible enemy defaults to Spellbook, which is intentional as it allows you to cast noncombat spells after combat and prevents other combat-related functionality from occurring when you aren't in combat. Somehow, the game has gotten confused and considers your Spellbook an enemy, which is why you can't kill it... as it technically doesn't have a health meter.

It probably has something to do with my attempts at trying to turn off spell recasting in my refactor of V5, so I'll check the spell code for the issue.

EDIT: Couldn't reproduce it, and didn't find anything in my spellcasting system. However, did find a few logic errors in my melee combat system, related to objects that could have caused your issue, that I fixed, so hopefully that will solve that issue.

EDIT2: The message "You find a stairwell leading down, and thus can enter the sewers from here." Only appears when the ExplorationScript is triggered on a floor that is 0 or less OR 13 or more; its the default message for a switch statement. So, that implies that the "room" was generated on floor 0, in the Capital City, which it shouldn't.

EDIT3: It appears to be an error in the Ascend code, as it performs the Exploration Script at all times after ascending a floor, and as you'd be on floor 0, it would produce the default message and then as it skipped room generation, it would have used the room description from the previous room, and see the spellbook as an enemy. Will now be fully fixed!
---

Wasp Hive; wasps keep stinging. Yeah, it was a bit rushed, so I'll look over it some more. I'll reword the trap encounter, as you are right it doesn't really work at all.

EDIT: Rewrote a lot of the text, and reread it, and it mostly sounds fine to me. Love to hear your opinion on the reworded encounter!

---

"begin" needs to be verbose, as that is a command and doesn't work if not verbatim.

I agree that it is a bit verbose, but as I did try that route before and it didn't pan out, it is a necessary evil. I'll look into restructuring the character creation screen, so that its quicker to generate a new character for those that have done it before and slower for those who haven't.

EDIT: Modified character creation to be very fast for returning players. Just type in your race, and then your name, and the game will automatically put you into the game proper. If you need to make a more informed decision or want to go through the old system, just type "new" for new player. Should address the majority of the issues you brought up Hooman. Hopefully!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: Hooman on October 16, 2017, 07:07:30 PM
Very clever how you rewrote character creation. Since the character class is a small finite set of options, you can easily add an extra option for help.

I like choosing a race before deciding on a name. Maybe I want to choose a name based on the race I select, which makes more sense to do when you already know what races you can select.


The timed random events are a bit annoying. It kind of interrupts play at random intervals. It's also way way too frequent. Good for testing, but bad for gameplay. It's impossible to read a long wall of text without random events adding to it. The text itself is generally fun and playful. The only one I didn't like was the ball of dung that randomly rolls in and out. Why? How odd. The other ones add nicely to the mood of the game. I would suggest decreasing the frequency, by at least a factor of 10, and see how that works out. I'm still wondering if it might be better to slip such text in between commands, rather than at timed intervals. Especially if the text is just for mood, and doesn't actually cause any events you can interact with.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: lordpalandus on October 16, 2017, 07:25:30 PM
Thank you.

Yes, the timed ambience does need improvements to it. The idea behind it is that in many games, with sound, you often have little bits of ambient sound effects, or visual effects to add to the immersion. As I currently lack a sound designer and not sure that adding sound to a text-adventure would be a good idea in the first place, I settled for a timer-based ambience related event.

I agree that they do interrupt play at random intervals, but thus far haven't figured out a better way to do it. Maybe the moment after you kill a monster. Or maybe after you finish investigating something. Its something I do want; ambience that is, rather than annoying text popups.

With the ambience I wanted to go with a few that were purely visual ambience, purely auditory and some that are a bit of both. I'll admit that I was kind of grasping for ideas on the sixth ambience event for the sewers, the ball of shit, but wanted to have a sixth, and thus, that hopefully explains that. Also, there is a beetle of some kind that makes a home out of a ball of manure, and figured it'd fit right in with a sewer and the usual stuff found in a sewer.

Well, as the frequency is one per 30 seconds, a factor of ten would imply 5 minutes. That seems a bit long to me, personally. Though if I were to be able to eschew with the timer altogether, and go with specific intervals where a random ambience would occur, that would be more ideal imo.

Well, technically, three of the events for each section DO cause an interaction with the player. There is an ambience event where a tarantula and a scorpion battles it out. Most of the time, it will be harmless. However, if you have Arachnophobia, then you get a unique interaction (as they are both arachnids) depending on if you are in combat or not; if you are in combat, they freak you out and you drop your guard and the enemy gets a free hit on you. Though, I'm thinking myself that that might not be a great mechanic in of itself... especially with interactions with when the player has Haste active and should get another attack in before the monster can retaliate.

Thoughts?

EDIT:

Uploaded hotfix 3. Makes the ambience system trigger in two circumstances; room generation and monster death. This means it won't be on a timer anymore and if you get a phobia event, then the monster gets a free attack, at the start of the encounter, rather than break other functionality. Hope this solves some of the annoyances with the ambience system!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: Hooman on October 17, 2017, 11:16:00 AM
The idea behind it is that in many games, with sound, you often have little bits of ambient sound effects, or visual effects to add to the immersion. As I currently lack a sound designer and not sure that adding sound to a text-adventure would be a good idea in the first place, I settled for a timer-based ambience related event.

Very interesting explanation. Indeed, it could be odd to have sound in a text-adventure. Though now you've got me wondering if it could work.

I agree that they do interrupt play at random intervals, but thus far haven't figured out a better way to do it. Maybe the moment after you kill a monster. Or maybe after you finish investigating something. Its something I do want; ambience that is, rather than annoying text popups.

Yes, I would expect text to be randomly inserted between existing actions and events, without displaying at odd times through a timer.

Well, as the frequency is one per 30 seconds, a factor of ten would imply 5 minutes.

That sounds about right to me.

Though if I were to be able to eschew with the timer altogether, and go with specific intervals where a random ambience would occur, that would be more ideal imo.

Yes, I think it might work better if the events appeared at specific hook points.

Well, technically, three of the events for each section DO cause an interaction with the player. There is an ambience event where a tarantula and a scorpion battles it out. Most of the time, it will be harmless. However, if you have Arachnophobia, then you get a unique interaction (as they are both arachnids) depending on if you are in combat or not; if you are in combat, they freak you out and you drop your guard and the enemy gets a free hit on you. Though, I'm thinking myself that that might not be a great mechanic in of itself... especially with interactions with when the player has Haste active and should get another attack in before the monster can retaliate.

It seems your game mechanics are more involved than I expected. Though I have to wonder, is arachnophobia something that is acquired through play? It seems odd that a player might develop a weakness from playing, rather than grow stronger. If acquired, is there a way to get rid of it? Or does the player start with phobias that must be overcome?

Uploaded hotfix 3. Makes the ambience system trigger in two circumstances; room generation and monster death. This means it won't be on a timer anymore and if you get a phobia event, then the monster gets a free attack, at the start of the encounter, rather than break other functionality. Hope this solves some of the annoyances with the ambience system!

I will be looking forward to trying out the update.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V6
Post by: lordpalandus on October 17, 2017, 11:53:36 AM
Well, my text adventure is a GUI-less turn-based RPG, so conceivably sounds could be introduced to it. There is code in Quest to allow inputting pictures and sound into the game.

Phobias are acquired in one of two ways; 1) trigger a trap at least 3 times [ie Spider Web trap] or 2) die to a creature and second wind. You can get rid of phobias by drinking the expensive and highly useful Elixir of Ambrosia [costs 1000 SS per, and fully heals all HP and MP, and will clear any phobias you have].

I do intend to have an ingame Manual that will explain the mechanics of the game, as things are very involved under the hood. I'm sure there are mechanics I've implemented that players don't know of. For example, if you use a shield, with spikes, your damage output will quickly outpace your melee weapon. However, if you miss with your shield bash, or even hit, you lose your dodge, protection and spell resistance bonuses from your shield for that round. I'll look into implementing the manual once I've fully figured out all the mechanics.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 23, 2017, 05:20:36 PM
Released V7 of CoC. Links updated.

I'm finding my motivation levels are receding with this project. Part of it is that the systems I'm dealing with introduce a lot of annoying writers block. The other part of it, is the perception of lack of interest in the project.

I do notice that on the Quest Forum webpage that the numbers of online plays and downloads goes up, but I rarely get any actual feedback. Does that mean that people are enjoying it and don't have anything to report. Or that they hit a specific issue, and don't bother reporting it. Or that their impression of the project isn't sufficient to warrant a comment. I don't know. However, what I do know is that, without feedback, I don't know if the changes or additions I'm putting in are things players like or if the balance is fully right. For me, I find that my changes are making the game both more engaging and challenging, and more immersive, but it would be nice to be told if I'm doing something wrong or doing something right and I don't know how to encourage those who are playing it to give feedback.

Without feedback, its hard to keep myself motivated, particularly when I feel like abandoning it and returning to UE4. Its just really hard some times, and I do want to complete the project; I've come this far, so why not. Its just that keeping oneself motivated for long periods without feedback of any kind, is challenging. Anywho, enough of a rant for today.

Hope you enjoy V7!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Vagabond on October 23, 2017, 07:47:03 PM
lordpalandus,

I wouldn't be too worried about the lack of feedback. It is a lot of work to provide feedback and most people will not. If your game continues to get downloaded, then you are probably doing something right. You can't tell how long they spend playing it can you?

On that note, I've been meaning to try it out again. I should be able to make time either this week or on the weekend to give it another spin. I'll create a Quest account too so I can save my progress and let you know how it goes.

I hope you to continue working on CoC to completion. Even if the project doesn't take off in large numbers of downloads, there will be a sense of achievement by finishing a game, which you have wanted to do for a long time. 

It is common to feel defeated in the middle of the project. So much left to finish and it gets harder to keep adding to the project because your code needs constantly cleaned. Perhaps you could take a hard look at remaining uncompleted tasks and try to drop as many of them as possible while still being able to call the game completed. Try to keep feature creep down by not adding new features, etc. Feature creep can really kill a game by making the production drive out too long.

Anyways, I'd say try to hang in there and complete it! I'm enjoying seeing the progress you have made this far.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 23, 2017, 09:49:08 PM
I suppose that is true. Also true that good feedback takes effort, and I even fail at times to provide good feedback myself when testing other people's work.

I haven't seen anything that tells me how long people have played it; just shows total number of online plays and downloads.

Okay, thanks!

That is true enough as well.

Yes, I have found that feature creep has been the bane of my existence lately, and there are a few things that are sort of trying to creep in... may not be necessary features, but yah. I think I'll take your advice and for the time being drop them.

Thanks, I appreciate it!

EDIT: Modified the main page. The features listed are crucial and will be implemented into the game proper, hopefully in each of the listed release windows. I am working on a large feature creep list of features that I could implement if I was motivated to do so, but aren't crucial to the game. All of my gameplay systems do work properly and are functional/practical. They may not be super immersive, or provide the information in a less than eye-pleasing way, but they work and do their job sufficiently well. I'd like to spruce up the combat and spruce up the ambience system, but these will take a significant amount of development time to do, and I am just feeling right now like getting the crucial stuff done, and have a complete game while my motivation to create it lasts.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on October 24, 2017, 06:14:38 AM
I'm quite interested in this project. I especially like the regular updates you've given on the progress.

Vagabond is right in that it can be difficult to give good feedback.

It's also quite likely that feedback won't come according to your release schedule, but according to the lives of the people giving the feedback. Not hearing anything back may have far more to do with the other people than with your project.

As you've noted, the numbers are going up, so that is a very good sign. If the feedback isn't coming with it, then perhaps that can be the next challenge. Is there a way to build feedback into the game? Is there something players can do in game that would result in feedback to you? Or maybe an option or a link to feedback, and perhaps encouragement by stating you're actively looking for feedback, and read everything.

Maybe you would find the idea of adding "analytics" into the game interesting. There can be ways of adding to a code base to send usage statistics to your server, which you can use to infer how people are finding your game. Things like how long they play. Do they quit after one fight, or play the game through to the end. Is there one particular scenario that causes a large portion of people to quit? Do people struggle with the interface and get lots of error messages? In some cases, there is software that can actually record the mouse and keyboard input, and play it back as if watching a video of the person using an app. All ways of learning a lot about users and their interactions with an app, without burdening them with providing specific feedback.


Also, for the record, I kind of thought your game was basically feature complete. I figured you were just adding optional extras at this point. I sort of had it in my mind that V7 would be the last release.

Maybe your lack of motivation to continue is that the game really is finished? Or it could just be that last 10% stretch, that takes 50% of development time. :P
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 24, 2017, 11:00:41 AM
I'm happy someone other than Vagabond, Zenaire and myself are interested in it :)

Yes Vagabond is right about that. Its even harder if a player is used to being attacked by the developer... which is a common occurrence with indie titles unfortunately. Like, the last three titles I tried giving constructive criticism for on Steam, I got attacked by the developer for posting my observations.

I hadn't thought about that.

I might be able to do something of the sort, without being too intrusive on immersion. I'll look into it.

Even I could figure out how to build analytics into it, that would be a massive amount of feature creep. I'm trying to reduce the amount of the feature creep XD.

Uhh, no, its not feature complete. There is 25-30% of the game left to do. Still left to do:
1. Tier 8 and Tier 9 spells.
2. Section 5 (Abyss), Section 6 (Abyssal Fortress), and Section 7 (Final Boss). Each section (excluding Section 7) has three floors, 20 enemies, entire room generation scripts, three interactables, 6 ambience events, 1-2 new phobias/1-2 new enemy types, 5 new journal entries, 4 new artifact entries, 3 new boss artifacts, and of course the boss themselves.
3. Section 2,3,4 Artifact Entries
4. Section 3,4 Journal Entries
5. Monster Descriptions
6. Game Ending, Game Credits, and Scoring System

So, yeah, there is still a number of critical features necessary to produce the correct immersive experience. Lore is semi-optional, which is why I keep delaying it, but the other stuff is critical to the game design. I do want the lore in the game as I find I like games more with lots of interesting side-stories, hidden lore, and backgrounds on various things, particularly how the artifacts themselves came to reside in this place.

No, I'd say my lack of motivation is because creating a new section, is like a 25 step process (creating a spell tier is about a 12 step process), and is extremely error prone, and I hate hunting for logic errors. Like yesterday, when I was trying to figure out why the game was spewing TONS of line breaks for no apparent reason... ugghhhh... so I'm going to try today to figure out why its spewing linebreaks everywhere for Hotfix 1.

EDIT: Released Hotfix 1. Solved some of the UI issues. I don't know what is causing the triple linebreak issue in certain places. If I remove the only linebreak in that area of the code, it causes all the code to bunch up, but if I leave the linebreak there, then sometimes it triple linebreaks and sometimes only single linebreaks. VERY frustrating. I don't know what is going on and honestly, I've spent about 3-4 hours in total trying to figure it out and its an overall minor thing (I think) so I'll try and figure it out later, but I've spent way too much time on it right now and I don't know what to do to solve it.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on October 24, 2017, 12:38:31 PM
Quote
Its even harder if a player is used to being attacked by the developer... which is a common occurrence with indie titles unfortunately. Like, the last three titles I tried giving constructive criticism for on Steam, I got attacked by the developer for posting my observations.

Ugh, yes. I can definitely understand that. I suppose that stems from developers feeling like they're being attacked when they receive criticism. It's quite natural to get defensive or attack back. It's very tempting to believe the code you wrote is amazing, and can be very hard to hear that it's not. I've certainly felt that in the past.

Quote
Even I could figure out how to build analytics into it, that would be a massive amount of feature creep. I'm trying to reduce the amount of the feature creep XD.

Good point. Though I would suggest experimenting with an existing analytics library if possible. I'm not too sure what's out there, or if it would be appropriate to use on the hosting provided by the Quest Engine people. I believe some are simple to setup and use, basically creating an account on their website, generating a key, and referencing their script from your site with the key they gave you. Though I really lack details on the specifics, and what kind of data would be collected.

Sounds like you have a pretty good road map for what is left to do. I suppose if you wanted something feature complete early, you could design the game end screens first, then deepen how far into the game you must go to trigger them.

Quote
No, I'd say my lack of motivation is because creating a new section, is like a 25 step process (creating a spell tier is about a 12 step process), and is extremely error prone, and I hate hunting for logic errors.

Hmm, sounds like there is some underlying problem here that can be attacked. Perhaps it's worth putting some thought into why so many steps are required, and if there is a way to reduce that. That does sound like an awful lot of steps, and I can see what that would be daunting.

Ideally, it would be awesome if you could add new monsters or levels to the dungeon in one small self contained data section, and have the game automatically pick up the new data and extend to include it. Though you'd need the right support code to manage such a feat. That's not easy when starting out. It takes a while to move from logic driven code to data driven code. I'm kind of thinking pair programming session here. :)
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on October 24, 2017, 02:03:05 PM
Ok, I've created an account and started playing around with the online editor.

I noticed extra blank lines in my tests. They were caused by the line breaks around conditional text. For example:
Code: [Select]
{once:Once upon a time}

Always displayed text goes here

This is fine the first time in the room, and displays as expected. But the second time you look at the room, there will be a couple blank lines before the always displayed text. Instead, you can try this:
Code: [Select]
{once:Once upon a time

}Always displayed text goes here

If it's your first time, you'll see the conditional line, a blank line, and then the usual text. If it's your second time, it will start right at the usual text, without any blank lines preceding it.

Looks a bit ugly, I know, but it allows you to control those blank lines.


Edit: Also just noticed the page for the online version of your game includes a download link. Looks like you don't need external hosting for your game. It's on the right side: "Plays 55", "downloads 28"

Edit2: Instead of bolding command text, you can set it as command text. This allows the player to either type or click the command. Very handy. =)
Code: [Select]
Would you like some {command:help}?
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 24, 2017, 02:22:53 PM
I actually don't use that way of putting text on the screen.

Text is either a message, that posts under certain conditions, or is stored in a temporary variable.

ie player.TempText = "black fox jumped over the fence"

print expression = "The "+player.TempText+"."

So that to the player it would show up as = The black fox jumped over the fence.

Most of my linebreaks occur because I manually put them in. Either as a blank print message, or as </br>. I do notice that occasionally the program inserts it's own line breaks in, but I don't know what controls those line breaks. Its possible that my code is interacting with it in some odd way, that produces some of my double and triple linebreak issues.

EDIT: Didn't know of the clickable interface command; will need to look into that. Though most of the bolded text is actually the string used in a switch statement to determine the case to be used.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Vagabond on October 26, 2017, 10:27:05 PM
lordpalandus,

I took some time to play CoC V7 today. Well done Sir!

If anyone else is interested in the game, here is a sample of the great text involved:

Quote
You enter a hexagonal-shaped room. It's brick walls are stained brown, by years of fecal matter. It's ceiling has partially caved in, yet no light from above filters in. It's floors are covered in the dessicated, webbed remains of many critters. A large spider (web), with a sizeable spider in it, is attached to several walls. The (corpse) of an adventurer that met a grisly demise, is slumped against a wall. You discover a Stairwell leading down, allowing you to (descend) to the next floor here.

A pack of regular sized sewer rats, leaves the room, squeaking in terror!

You encounter a quick, Giant Mantis! It looks like a oversized preying mantis. It is covered in smooth, olive green carapace. One of it's right back legs are missing.

This is the text generated for the first room of the dungeon (sewers) I explored. Unfortunately, I was killed by said giant Mantis. (My character, Dave the Wizard died of bloodloss after the mantis crunched him in one of its mandibles. Fortunately, Dave saved his honor by mortally wounding the Mantis by zapping it with electricity before the crunch. Too bad Dave thought a pair of Robes was sufficient protection to fight giant, predatory insects. So ends another adventurer's life.)



I noticed some grammar/spelling issues and a couple of minor logic issues in my short play. Nothing blocking the enjoyment of the game so far.

While reviewing the journal entries, I noticed a typo in the first line below. Should read Thus, the sovereign lord...

I wanted to keep reviewing the storyline, so I first typed in Empire of the fallen. Then I tried typing old king, but the game wouldn't let me review the topic. It would be nice at this point, if I could continue reviewing the other subtopics if that makes since.

Quote
Thus, they sovereign of the land put out a call to adventurers to enter the sewer system, stop whatever is causing the creatures to come out and those that succeed will be granted a generous reward, knighthood, and a title to a large chunk of land! Thus, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to the Old Empire's Capital City, the promise of a generous reward on their mind, compelling them to enter. Unfortunately, none have returned and although the army is able to hold off the current creatures coming out, if something isn't done soon, they will be overcome.


Would you like to know more about a specific topic? Topics currently available are = (empire of the fallen), (old king), and (rebels); any other input cancels.

The Empire of the Fallen, was given such namesake, as many of it's nobles dabbled in demonic magic, or made pacts with demonkind, and thus they willingly traded their souls for greater power. The Fallen, were quite dangerous in their own right, but also commanded a variety of powerful demons to do their bidding, such as the lowly imp to serve as their messengers or the more powerful balors to serve as their personal champions.

You are consistently using it's incorrectly. Below should read "Its ceiling has...", "Its floors are covered", and "its right back legs". It's should only be used when representing compound it is, not when using its as a possessive pronoun. Your use of it's / its seems to be incorrect in a lot of the writing.

Quote
You enter a hexagonal-shaped room. It's brick walls are stained brown, by years of fecal matter. It's ceiling has partially caved in, yet no light from above filters in. It's floors are covered in the dessicated, webbed remains of many critters. A large spider (web), with a sizeable spider in it, is attached to several walls. The (corpse) of an adventurer that met a grisly demise, is slumped against a wall. You discover a Stairwell leading down, allowing you to (descend) to the next floor here.

A pack of regular sized sewer rats, leaves the room, squeaking in terror!

You encounter a quick, Giant Mantis! It looks like a oversized preying mantis. It is covered in smooth, olive green carapace. One of it's right back legs are missing.

When I died, the game listed that I was dead twice. I assume this is a simple script mistake and should just be listed one time?

Quote
The Giant Mantis is heavily wounded.
You suffer 5 bleeding damage and have 4 rounds remaining.

You took too much damage and succumbed to your wounds. You are dead!

You took too much damage and succumbed to your wounds. You are dead!

Okay, so I'll try to play it again in the near future and hopefully have a bit more luck. Rumor is that Dave had an older brother who journeyed with him to the celestial city. He will have to venture forth as well when all his money is spent in the tavern.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 27, 2017, 12:32:43 AM
Thanks!

I oopsed with it's as I mistakenly assumed that it was the possessive. I'll have it fixed for hotfix 2 of V7.

I'll check through the lore for grammar and spelling too. Thanks for pointing those out.

I'll find out why you couldn't read "old king"

That double death issue is a problem with my round mechanics system and how ending the game works. I'm looking into a solution for it for hotfix 2.

I'm also planning to reduce early game difficulty as, even I am finding it hard to keep heroes alive. Or give more potions. Or create a curing potion to remove lesser debuffs.

Overall, thanks for playing and for the great feedback!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on October 27, 2017, 12:45:42 PM
Ahh yes, English is somewhat inconsistent with the rules concerning possessives and "its"/"it's".

I was just reading through the quoted text and found myself thinking a "handsome reward" might be better than a "generous reward". I mean, after all, the sovereign is asking a big task here. He wants an adventurer to go forth to near certain death into the unknowns of a dungeon that nobody has returned from, alone, and which his entire army is unwilling to deal with. Further, the creatures coming from this place are expected to eventually overrun his entire army which is currently keeping it in check. Doesn't sound like anyone is being "generous" here. There's a big task at hand, and that sovereign expects results. Plus, he's not paying all the ineffective fools that die in their misguided attempts and fail to accomplish anything. If anything, he might even be cheap.


Though yes, as Vagabond seems to be pointing out, the language is often quite entertaining, and does a very good job of setting the mood. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the artistry in some of the descriptions.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 27, 2017, 02:23:54 PM
But how is a reward, the male equivalent of pretty :P However, I'll change the word to something else regardless!

Well one of the things I'd like to do, time permitting, is to spruce up the combat a bit more. It does a serviceable job, and is very practical, providing all the necessary information the player needs to make decisions, but it isn't very immersive. However, with the load of other features on my list to do, I have it on my feature creep list. If I get through my mountain of complex work that I already have before end of November, then I'll look into doing it, but as it is, it may have to wait until after game completion.

Well I am happy that people are enjoying the effort I went into making text descriptive and immersive!

EDIT: Managed to hopefully solve the double round issue that Vagabond pointed out, so that is good.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on October 27, 2017, 02:39:55 PM
A "dapper" reward? :P

Came across this while looking up synonyms for "handsome":
Quote
Word Origin & History
handsome c.1400, handsom "easy to handle, ready at hand," from hand (n.) + -some. Sense extended to "fair size, considerable" (1577), then "having fine form, good-looking" (1590). Meaning "generous" (in handsome reward, etc.) first recorded 1690.

I didn't know about that history. That first meaning actually makes sense.


Oh, and I edited a post a couple days ago, right when you were posting. In case you missed it:
Instead of bolding command text, you can set it as command text. This allows the player to either type or click the command. Very handy. =)
Code: [Select]
Would you like some {command:help}?
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Vagabond on October 27, 2017, 04:20:56 PM
lordpalandus,

Let me know when the version with your hotfix is posted on the UK textadventure site and I'll give it another try. Figured I might as well wait until then as opposed to playing the current version.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 27, 2017, 06:09:15 PM
Sure thing Vagabond. I'm hoping to have it out tonight (Oct 27th). Just going to fix up the typos and try to address the haste spell linebreaks and coding. The other annoying issues that the code was suffering from has been addressed.

----

How about a "lavish" reward? That sounds like a good word to me.

Interesting history on the word handsome. I wonder then why it eventually got applied to men who look pretty/beautiful. Unless the definition of "easy to handle, ready at hand" is applied to pretty men?

I didn't miss that. I mentioned it in an edit on my post, that was a reply to your post. XD It is good to know though.

----

EDIT:

1. Got distracted by a Wolfenstein 2 Colossus playthrough; not sure I'll play it, as its more of the same of The New Order, but I do like watching someone else play it.
2. Old King entry should now work.
3. Changed generous reward to lavish reward.
4. Removed rebels entry as apparently I've not done it yet.
5. Turns out I did the wrong possessive for each section. There is 24 entries, at least, for each section. As most players haven't even gotten to Section 3 yet, I'll just do Section 1 and 2s "it's"
6. A few of the journal entries and lore entries don't sound quite right to me, but I can figure out what is wrong. Take a read, and give suggestions on them if you like.
7. Haste will break the flow of recast/reattack, but will allow you to perform whatever kind of combat action you like without fear of retaliation until you stop getting extra turns. I'll look into addressing it so that it doesn't break the flow of recast/reattack, for a future patch. For now, I'll only bother with the linebreaks to avoid text jumbling up.
8. Will get the linebreaks and it's done and should still make it for tonight release.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on October 27, 2017, 11:35:02 PM
Uploaded Hotfix 2. Fixes UI issues, typos, and logic errors. All in the changelog, attached the first post.

EDIT: Appears the {command:help} doesn't work in my attack again or cast spell again systems, which is where I'd want to use them. Breaks the logic, which is unfortunate.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Vagabond on November 01, 2017, 08:54:18 PM
lordpalandus,

I spent some time playing CoC again. I logged into textadvetures.co.uk in order to use the save function. Unfortunately, something seems to have gone wrong and I was unable to restore my game, so I didn't make it as far as I would have liked.

Played as a Human again. Figured out the spellcasting system in depth and it felt natural.

At one point I was trying to purchase training sessions at a shrine. I tried to buy more than I had money for and got the following message.

Quote
A bout of training provides 100 XP for 100 soul shards.
How many bouts of training do you want to have; please enter a number?

"You don't have enough soul shards. You only have " + player.SoulShards + " soul shards. You need " + (Satchel.TempValue * 100) + " soul shards!
"

Do you want to continue training? (yes) or (no)

I noticed my character was picking up the level 7 spells on the first level of the sewers. Is this intentional? Typically I see the value of items increase as you go lower into the dungeon. Although there isn't anything necessarily wrong with getting the better stuff early. I was using major rejuvenation in the first level of the sewers which basically ensured I couldn't run out of magic points.

Are the compass and objects tab needed for future use in the game? If not, I would recommend considering replacing them with a tab that shows current buffs on the player and their turns until expiring. That would keep me from having to dig through the menu system just to see how long until I need to recast haste or rejuvenation or what not.

Interstingly enough I noticed every room that I entered had an initial bad guy and some sort of 'risky' thing to attempt to manipulate. You could consider coding it so that sometimes you enter a room that actually has nothing interesting in it, or sometimes doesn't have a monster but has something interesting, or maybe ocassionaly a bland vanilla room. I don't necessarily think what you are doing is wrong, it would just add some more variety and belivieability (maybe?) to the game. I'm assuming there would be some pretty boring sections in a sewer with nothing in them. Again, this is sort of feature creep and the game works currently, so not sure you want to go that route?

Keep up the good work.

On another major release I'll try to find some time to give you some more testing. I'll also download the entire engine so that I can save it and give you some feedback on later gameplay!

Have you thought about how you want to distribute the game? Are you going to need to bundle the quest engine in an installer with your actual game script? If so, have you picked out an installer? I'm guessing if you didn't charge for it you could just leave it posted on the textadventures website for people to download and play.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 01, 2017, 09:49:08 PM
Quote
I noticed my character was picking up the level 7 spells on the first level of the sewers.

I also noticed this and thought it was a bit odd. You can get overpowered quite quickly by random chance. I was thinking perhaps the max level of the spell could be set to the current level of the sewer.

Quote
Are the compass and objects tab needed for future use in the game? If not, I would recommend considering replacing them with a tab that shows current buffs on the player and their turns until expiring. That would keep me from having to dig through the menu system just to see how long until I need to recast haste or rejuvenation or what not.

That would be awesome. I noticed in the Quest design interface, there is a way to disable the compass. I have no idea how you'd add a new tab though. Would definitely be nice to easily see some of those stats.

Quote
Interstingly enough I noticed every room that I entered had an initial bad guy and some sort of 'risky' thing to attempt to manipulate. You could consider coding it so that sometimes you enter a room that actually has nothing interesting in it, or sometimes doesn't have a monster but has something interesting, or maybe ocassionaly a bland vanilla room.

Yes, I also thought the loot was a bit too common. Your point about rooms without monsters also makes sense.


Vagabond, you just nailed a bunch of stuff I was becoming blind to.


Edit: Funny thought concerning room loot. Random rewards can make something more addicting. If you want people to play your game more, don't reward them every time!  :P
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 02, 2017, 10:49:28 AM
@Vagabond:

Thanks for the feedback!

Looks like that message was sent to print msg rather than print expression. I don't know why the game engine sometimes resets those to regular print messages. I know its resetting them as I have deliberately set then to expression and then double checked they are set to expression, and somehow get set back to print message. So, if you had say 596 SS and it cost 600 SS for the training, the message that should have posted would have been:

"You don't have enough soul shards. You only have 596 soul shards. You need 600 soul shards!" // I won't be fixing it though, as I've modified the training system in general, so that you can spend invididual shards instead of in 100 SS batches.

---

I have considered trying to modify the spellbook dropping code to limit more powerful spells to later sections. Just haven't gotten around to it, with other more priority things on development.

---

I have wanted to remove the compass/objects tab I just don't know how. I've also wanted to replace them with something more useful too!

---

I could make it so that there is a chance to have an empty room, with no monster in it.

You are just getting lucky with room investigatables. There is a chance to get no wall curios and no floor curios and a rarer chance to have neither. There is a 1:4 chance to get no wall or floor curio, and a 1:16 chance (I think if I'm doing probability right) for neither. I've encountered neither on a few occasions, but more often one is missing and the other has something.

---

As for distribution, I figured I would have a final release that would be publically available, such as on TextAdventure.UK (or w/e its called), and available for free. It would be feature complete, with a start, middle, and ending to it, so it would be a complete game. Then, I'd look to try to get on Steam Greenlight with it, and if it was Greenlit, I'd put it up on Early Access.

Why? Well, I figured that if people were interested, I would add additional content to the game, to make the Steam version different from the freely available version. Things like more monsters, more investigatables, more lore, more immersive elements, a bunch of features on my feature creep list, and special rooms (unique rooms with unique encounters in them).

The reasons I'm not going to put an unfinished game on Early Access, but rather have a complete game that I'll add to is because:
1. I have no degree in Computer Science; most successful developers on EA do.
2. I have no game industry experience; most successful developers on EA do.
3. This is my first game; most first games don't sell or most first games aren't very good.
4. I have very little programming / program development experience; most successful developers on EA do.
5. A lot of crummy games on EA / Greenlight have soured relations between users and developers, and I don't want to get lumped into that group, that often puts up unfinished crap, takes peoples money and runs.

So, I want to provide a good impression that tells users that I'm out to make a quality game that I can stand by and be proud of and that I'm not trying to swindle them of their hard earned cash. So, if they had a complete game to try for free, then they'd know that I'm not like the other bad apples on EA. In theory. I'd want to do it on EA, so that if there was sufficient monetary interest, then I could gauge how much extra content to produce, before moving on to UE4 again.

My plan is that if I earn $5,000 in net profit from it on EA, then I'll add in all of my content that I'd like to add, but that I don't think I can get in beforehand before late November release date. As the reasons above (#1-5) I think that getting $5,000 is a reasonable goal to push towards considering my lacking in several areas. If I make less than $5,000, then I'll release some of the content I would like to, then move on. If I make nothing at all (to less than $100), within say the first week of it, then I'd remove the game from EA and move on to UE4. So, basically, for those that don't want to pay, they will have a complete game to play and I'll have learned valuable experience from it. If there is interest then the steam/paid version will have extra features that the free one doesn't. And if there is no interest, whatsoever, then I'll just move on to better things. I think there might be some interest in it, but its hard to say if people would want to pay for a text-adventure type of game or not.

I'm trying for a November release because trying to sell anything in December is hard as nails... hell trying to sell in November is hard enough. If I don't make it for a November release, then I'd have to wait until at least March, to try selling it, as people won't likely have the free money floating around to pay for games.

===
@Hooman:

Where in the quest design interface does it talk about removing parts of the interface, such as the compass? Knowing where to look for the information would help me a lot!

With looting, I had intended to modify it so you find rarer loot less, just haven't gotten around to it.

Well, with random rewards I try not to. There are different loot lists, based on risk level. Interactables can give no loot, small loot, moderate loot with a trap, and extreme loot. Getting the trap can be quite nasty, and thus I want there to be lots of loot if you get lucky and get no trap, but if you do get a trap, you'll feel it. 
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 02, 2017, 01:04:44 PM
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Where in the quest design interface does it talk about removing parts of the interface, such as the compass? Knowing where to look for the information would help me a lot!

Using the web interface, navigating the tree on the left: "Objects -> Game"
Then the "Interface" tab on the right, check "Turn off compass"


Sounds like you're starting to worry about things that are still many steps ahead. I'm reminded of advice I've read about marketing and sales. You want to always remember who you're developing for, and making sure you produce a game they would enjoy (which actually falls under marketing).  Think of that step more like market research, done up front. This is in contrast to the common post-finishing practice of "polishing a turd", which is what many people assume marketing is. The advice I've read is that you very much need to worry about marketing, in terms of making sure you're producing something that people want and is of value for people who are willing and able to pay, and not worry so much about pricing and advertising, which can be done later towards the end.



Oh, and the most addictive point for random rewards, is supposedly at about 50%. Hence, try to give a reward about half the time. Maybe 50% no reward, 25% one reward, 25% two rewards? Or, this may be easier and closer to how you do it: If each reward is rolled independently, about 30% chance of each reward. That means there is a 70% chance of not getting each reward, so 0.7*0.7 = 0.489 = 49% chance of not getting either reward. Hence 49% no reward, 51% 1-2 rewards. To further break that down, there is 0.3*0.3 = 0.09 = 9% chance of getting two rewards. Hence at 30% chance for each of 2 possible rewards, you can expect 49% chance of no reward, 42% chance of 1 reward, 9% chance of 2 rewards. That sounds like an appropriate distribution to me.


These sorts of problems lend well to a discussion of statistics and probability distributions. As a small example, consider the different distributions between 1 die roll, and the sum of 2 dice rolls. With 1 die, the distribution is uniform, evenly weighted among all outcomes. With the sum of 2 or more dice, the distribution tends towards central values. Assuming 6 sided dice:
2 = 1 + 1  (1/6 * 1/6 = 1/36 = 2.8%)
3 = 2 + 1, or 1 + 2  (2/36 = 5.6%)
4 = 1 + 3, 2 + 2, 3 + 1  (3/36 = 8.3%)
5 = 1 + 4, 2 + 3, 3 + 2, 4 + 1  (4/36 = 11.1%)
6 = 1 + 5, 2 + 4, 3 + 3, 4 + 2, 5 + 1  (5/36 = 13.9%)
7 = 1 + 6, 2 + 5, 3 + 4, 4 + 3, 5 + 2, 6 + 1  (6/36 = 16.7%)
8 = 2 + 6, 3 + 5, 4 + 4, 5 + 3, 6 + 2  (5/36 = 13.9%)
9 = 3 + 6, 4 + 5, 5 + 4, 6 + 3  (4/36 = 11.1%)
10 = 4 + 6, 5 + 5, 6 + 4  (3/36 = 8.3%)
11 = 5 + 6, 6 + 5  (2/36 = 5.6%)
12 = 6 + 6  (1/36 = 2.8%)

Clearly the density of outcomes is not equal. This is very different than rolling a mythical fair 11-sided die with numbers from 2-12. Such a fair die would produce each outcome with about and equal 1/11 = 9.09% probability.

Taking this example one step further, consider the example where the sum of the two dice is the amount of damage done in an attack to a monster that has X HP. What is the chance to 1-hit kill the monster? That is, the probability that the sum of two die is >= X. For X = 5, the answer would be 30/36 = 83.3%. This problems represents a cumulative distribution function, or sum over the probability density function.


Perhaps a bit much for now now, but learning a little introductory statistics can help you craft the probabilities of outcomes that you want.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 02, 2017, 02:04:50 PM
Thanks for that. It appears I can put in custom ones, with javascript, so have to take a look into that later.

Well, for reference, I would pay to buy something like CoC. The question is how much. In its current, unfinished state I could realistically see myself spending $5 on it. If it was finished dunno. Ask too high a price, and people will likely feel swindled. Ask too low a price, and people will wonder why you are selling it so low, and wonder if its because it has horrible bugs or isn't complete or its a scam.

The issue is I'm not doing pure randomness; I'm going for a controlled, and consistent progression, which cannot be achieved with pure randomness; great example of that is Diablo 3. If the rolls favor you, you progress in the game, if they don't you are stuck. I HATE THAT. So, the reward distribution logic goes as follows:

1. I want rewards to be consistent.
2. I want additional gameplay challenge, that takes advantage of the consistent reward theme. The more resources and power the player has, the bigger and nastier the threats you can throw at them, without killing them.
3. Constant progression and the constant feeling that progression is in the hands of the player can be more rewarding that the occasional drip of loot in loot hunt games.

Therefore, with the way I'm designing the game, a statistical model for reward distribution isn't going to work. Its too random and I want a system of consistent progress which cannot be achieved in a pure random system; many games have tried and they all fail. You either get lucky, and have progress or you aren't lucky and you hit the wall of frustration.

However, with that said, I do feel that my "rare" items are a bit too "common" and thus their rarity doesn't feel all that rare. You do get SS when you don't find a rare item, so its not like the player is getting nothing when a rare roll occurs.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 02, 2017, 02:38:08 PM
I want to challenge your thinking a bit here with the following claim:
The result of random processes over a long period of time are often very predictable.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 02, 2017, 04:25:23 PM
Counter Points:

We often call things random because we do not understand the complexities involved and have no way to prove that it isn't random. By default, humans will call something random if they cannot prove that they can replicate an activity and produce the same results. Take dice rolling for example. We consider it random, but I'd say that if we could control all the variables in a dice roll (force applied to dice, angle of throw, height of throw, air resistance, surface friction, etc) then we could actually get the dice to roll the same number on consistent basis. However, as we don't have control over all the variables, we state that rolling a dice is random; each time we throw the dice, it lands on a different surface, we throw it at different angles, we throw at different forces, air resistance is not a constant thing, etc. The same goes for many things humans feel are random, like the weather, or wind direction, or genetics. I'd wager that all of these things are not random and are in fact heavily controlled by a large number of complex calculations that we as humans lack the understanding of or the ability to measure/test to prove that they aren't random.

Therefore, I'd argue that the only reason that they can predict things is because by having a larger sample size of "random" events they can eliminate some of the randomness by plotting graphs and creating models to show a more controlled distribution of results. However, with that said, randomness and fun are two different things.

People have fun when they feel like they are in control of the situation within a game. When progression can be attained by putting enough hard work into the game. When progression is gated by pure randomness, that is not fun. I've played a lot of games that give or take progression based on a random roll of the die, taking away player agency. My game is not designed like most other games that love to do pure random distribution; it is one of my design philosophies for CoC.

I will look into reducing some of the item progression explosion, but as I want a specific progression rate so that players feel challenged, but don't feel like they have to farm/grind for hours before moving to the next area, is what I'm trying to achieve.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 04, 2017, 02:53:35 PM
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... randomness and fun are two different things
Determinism and fun are also two different things.  ;)

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People have fun when they feel like they are in control of the situation within a game.
When they're in complete control of a situation, they are bored.

Consider for a moment an RPG with no randomness. All calculations are fixed. All responses to player input are deterministic. You could, over time, learn what every response will be, and so know ahead of time what is best to do. You could play a perfect game. And you could repeat it time and again. Every time through the game, giving the same commands, and getting the exact same results. The game would be the same every time you played through it. Is that fun?

It's also not so far fetched, since players develop certain styles, and don't tend to deviate from them without a reason. If plain attacking until a monster dies has always worked, they will continue playing this way. It's not until the game produces different output that the player needs to consider different inputs.

You mention "pure randomness", but what does that really mean? It sounds like you're describing complete chaos, where the player's actions have basically no impact on the outcome of the game. Yeah, that's not fun. I also don't think that's representative of most games.

I'm advocating for controlled randomness. The player's actions should matter, but they should not completely determine the result of playing. With carefully controlled random events, you should have fairly predictable measures of how fast a player will progress through the game. Each monster might have slightly different characteristics and rewards, but you can still calculate a range for the number of monsters that must be defeated to reach a certain level of progression. How tight or loose that range is will impact how deterministic or random the game feels.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 04, 2017, 03:26:10 PM
I agree complete control of a situation isn't entertaining... which is also only ever achieved with cheat codes; ie Power Overwhelming (invulnerability) in StarCraft 1. However, I said when the player feels they are in control of the situation, not when they know they have complete control. For example, take Dark Souls 1. If you run through a specific area enough times, and know enemy moves and where enemies are, you can feel in control of the situation and can often roflstomp your foes. Doesn't mean you are in complete control, as the AI will on occasion do something different and doesn't mean that the player can make mistakes and turn a controlled situation into an uncontrolled one. However, a player will reasonably feel that they are in control. I make the difference between feeling and knowing, because they are very different. You would have complete control of the situation in Dark Souls, if for example you were invulnerable and thus couldn't be killed.

A lot of games fall under that though; they have fixed encounters, with foes with fixed values, and will react in the same way everytime. A lot of AAA games have eschewed with randomness and have fixed values and thus replaying the game will play pretty much exactly the same. Take as an example, Mario. It is completely fixed encounters and mechanics, and yet people find it fun even to this day. True, its not technically a RPG, but games can be fun when they are deterministic, and always fair. Also, there are RPGs with completely fixed mechanics out there that do just fine. As an example, back in the early 2000s, there was a game called Rune, where you played as a Nordic hero in norse times, that had all the trappings of an RPG, but everything was fixed and could always find items in reliable locations. Or take doom (the old one), everything is deterministic there as well. You don't need to have randomness to have fun.

True. That is an issue of First Order Optimal Strategies, which is a hard thing to prevent in gameplay design. There is always one build or style that will be the best, but it may not be the FOOS. As an example, Dark Souls often forces a player to adapt, however, often times the best build is always going to be a spellcaster. Players might try being melee, or stealthy or ranged, but eventually they realize spellcasters are the best and then the game is flooded with spellcasters.

Its not representative of most RPGs, but it is representative of roguelikes. In the case of most roguelikes, from ADOM, to Darkest Dungeon, to Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, to Rogue Legacy, the game often will introduce pure randomness into the game, making player choices often irrelevant and I can assure you that is not fun. Its painful to have your character wiped out, due to a situation out of your control or lack of knowledge. As an example, in ADOM, if you get to the level with the Banshee in the caverns of chaos, and don't have beeswax in your ears, you insta-die. If you know of the banshee beforehand, such as you've died to her before, but can't find any bee hives to collect beeswax, you are in fact screwed. You could argue that player inputs could have a mitigating effect, but it is often minor compared to the effects of the RNG. Or take Darkest Dungeon, you can have an extremely well prepared and well designed group with proper skills, but the RNG can decide to kill off three of your characters, within the first round of combat, before you have a chance to do anything.

Im doing controlled randomness... so I don't understand why there is a problem. The players actions and choices do matter and proper usage of resources, will help to ensure success but not determine it. Monsters are created with a decent amount of variance to their stats, so just being able to kill a LV 2 primal wasp, doesn't mean you will have a guaranteed success against the next one, but coming properly prepared will improve your odds. I do have carefully controlled events, and thus I am able to assess how quickly a player progresses in the game. Well, I'm trying to get a balance between deterministic and random, so if I'm not achieving that, then that is where I'll make modifications to push it from one extreme back to the middle ground.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 04, 2017, 04:04:32 PM
To be overly pedantic, "knowing" is a feeling. ;)
(Just ask brain scientists)
But yes, I get what you're saying.

I would challenge that Doom is not deterministic. Though I do admit it doesn't feel very random.

Rogue did feel overly random. Very easy to die, with harsh consequences.

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Or take Darkest Dungeon, you can have an extremely well prepared and well designed group with proper skills, but the RNG can decide to kill off three of your characters, within the first round of combat, before you have a chance to do anything.

It sucks when you die before you have a chance to react to something. Though in some cases, there is still player choice to be in an area before they're strong enough to handle what might come at them. They can choose to risk doing an area early, and getting the rewards early, at the chance of dying if they are unlucky. That's a fine choice. But forcing a player through an area where they might simply die due to bad luck is not so fun. At least, it's not so fun when there are large consequences. If they get free do-overs, that lessens the consequences.

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Im doing controlled randomness... so I don't understand why there is a problem.
Interesting. I never said there was a problem.  ;)

I disagreed with your view, as it was stated. But perhaps not as intended? Curiously, your game doesn't seem to match the view you stated, since there is plenty of randomness in it. In particular, the amount of rewards varies quite substantially.

Which is fine.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 04, 2017, 04:49:15 PM
True. Knowing is a feeling. However, knowing is usually based on empirical, testable, facts, whereas feeling you are in control, often is not based on factual information, more on opinions of your current ability/player skill.

Well, one could argue that Doom isn't deterministic as for example, an Imp may decide to attack you with claws or with a fireball when within a specific range, or maybe they wont attack at all and just wander about. However, the majority of gameplay is deterministic, with a linear path, fixed locations for everything, and weapons that function within expected parameters every time with little variance (spread introduced in the shotgun or super shotgun, can give different shot patterns, but usually function the same way at point blank range).

Yep. Hence why my game has the second wind feature; doesn't guarantee you'll survive a killing blow, but if you have high vitality, you probably will survive, but second winds do have their own consequences as well.

Well, the issue with Darkest Dungeon is that once you reach a certain level, characters refuse to do lower level dungeons. So, you are essentially forced to bring them into harder dungeons as you have no other option other than not bringing them to battle. But as you will need several 7th level hero parties to beat the game, you don't really have many options available to you. You have the option of sending lower level characters to a higher level dungeon, but you can't send higher level heroes to a lower level dungeon, to mitigate your risks.

Well the other issue with roguelikes is that its permadeath. Now, in the original Rogue, which was intended to be played to a maximum of 1 hour, that kind of system worked well. But newer roguelikes want you to spend 20+ hours on guys with permadeath and that sucks when you lose them.

Oh. Sorry I must have misread/misinterpreted one of your responses then. Hard to tell sometimes with the internet.

Well, perhaps I should rundown the areas which I feel are controlled randomness, and see where the disconnect is.

1. Attack/Dodge rolls are based on a d10 random roll + modifiers. So if a creature is 10+ your maximum total, you aren't going to hit it/it will always hit you.
2. Loot determination rolls are based on a d100 roll for commons, a d60 roll for drainers and a d20 roll for bosses (approximate rolls + modifiers), to ensure that nastier threats get rewards more often; if you fail the roll you get SS. Traps use drainer rolls and Mega loot use bosses rolls, to determine rare items.
3. Monster stats are given a base level and a base bonus per depth + a d10 roll to add variance. Monster difficulty ramps up quickly, based on depth level, and in particular for Primals, how many Primals get killed.
4. A lot of games do do loot explosions (ie Diablo 3)... the issue is that most of that loot is useless, so it gives the illusion of a loot explosion. In my game, the loot is almost always useful for your build of character.
5. Amount of rewards varies based on risk. If you got very little loot from interactables and had a nasty effect if you got a trap, I doubt most players would bother interacting with the investigables. Monsters give fairly consistent amounts of loot and Primals get a bit more, and Bosses are loot pinatas.

I could however reduce the amounts of loot by changing the loot tables (ie changing from Boss table to Commons table) or reducing the number of loot rolls or making rare items in general more rare by modifying the d100, d60, d20 to something less generous.

However, gameplay challenge wise, you get rewards like you do for a few reasons:
1. Monsters will quickly ramp up in difficulty as you delve deeper.
2. Traps will get nastier quite quickly the deeper you delve.
3. Bosses are a serious threat.
4. You have a time limit.
5. I want the player to progress at a rate that allows them to survive encounters, but that they should force them to use up their resources and plan out how to kill the monster. Some strategies will likely always work, no matter the critter and others may take a bit more thought to work out.

I could reduce the rate of progression, so that a player has to grind more to be able to progress, but dunno if encouraging more grinding is a good idea.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Finally managed to address all of the problems in the new Monster Descriptions system, that will greatly improve gameplay immersion when fighting monsters. Hoping to have all of the new monster descriptions into the game by tomorrow.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 06, 2017, 01:09:36 AM
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1. Attack/Dodge rolls are based on a d10 random roll + modifiers. So if a creature is 10+ your maximum total, you aren't going to hit it/it will always hit you.

In games like D&D, if you roll the maximum value, you always hit, regardless of values and modifiers. Similarly, a minimum roll is always a miss. Makes sense, since you probably don't want situations where a monster can never hit or miss you. It's not so great when monsters are unable to harm you, even if you're letting them. Similarly, if a monster lands a hit, they should probably do at least 1 damage, rather than having armour absorb all of it.

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4. You have a time limit.
... what?

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I could reduce the rate of progression, so that a player has to grind more to be able to progress, but dunno if encouraging more grinding is a good idea.
I have generally enjoyed games that have a bit of grind. Makes levelling up more of an accomplishment.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 06, 2017, 01:40:03 AM
I dunno about critical hits and misses. Also, don't know how to apply them in the game at the moment either. Bit of feature creep.

Yes... didn't you read the backstory of the game? In particular, this section:

"Thus, they sovereign of the land put out a call to adventurers to enter the sewer system, stop whatever is causing the creatures to come out and those that succeed will be granted a lavish reward, knighthood, and a title to a large chunk of land! Thus, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to the Old Empire's Capital City, the promise of a lavish reward on their mind, compelling them to enter. Unfortunately, none have returned and although the army is able to hold off the current creatures coming out, if something isn't done soon, they will be overcome."

You start with 1,000 turns. Killing bosses and primals will add more turns. If you run out of turns it is gameover.

Well there is a sense of grind here; gaining character levels does require killing a fair number of creatures to do, and as levelling is the single greatest source of more HP and MP, as well as race specific attributes, they are worthwhile to work towards. I don't want too much grind though, as if you spend too much time grinding, you'll run out of turns. Its a balancing act.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 06, 2017, 03:13:50 AM
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You start with 1,000 turns. Killing bosses and primals will add more turns. If you run out of turns it is gameover.

Huh. Well that's completely unexpected.

I'm not a fan of that rule. I can see that really killing the joy of a game. You work hard to advance your character, and then suddenly lose because you've wasted too much time? Even if you saved, you can't go back, not really. The counter is still there. And you can't even see it. The player will have just wasted a large chunk of time only to be suddenly and unexpectedly killed, or potentially find the game unwinnable. That sounds very Rogue-like. It's also a fairly arbitrary restriction on how people are able to play the game. Some people might want to play through quickly, taking on challenges with a weaker character, while others might want a slower safer grind with a stronger character. You're taking that decision away from the player. It seems even more restrictive than games that don't allow a high level player to re-enter a low level area. I've always hated that. Here, once you've hit the limit, you can't re-enter any area, it's game over. The turn limit seems kind of like feature creep, and without adding anything of significance to the game. At least that's my overly biased opinion on the matter.

Granted, I've been a fan of games like Runescape, which has an insane amount of grind, and also allows for very free open access to the game world. You get out what you put into it. You're never forced to do anything, you're just given the option to go do things. And if you do, you unlock rewards, such as access to a new area, often with long term benefits.

Sounds like that's the complete opposite of what you're going for.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 06, 2017, 10:05:15 AM
A time consequence for a player's actions or inactions, helps to make a players actions feel meaningful, discourages wasting time, and helps to motivate the player to complete specific tasks in a reasonable amount of time, while discouraging some actions as well. Having a time consequence, is a sign of good game design. Take any of the Elder Scrolls games (I've only played Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, so cant comment on others) have no consequence for your time. The NPCs could tell you that great events are moving quickly and there are escalating dangers, but in reality, these dangers or great events only move forward as the player completes quests. Thus, once told this information, a player could decide to run around and lollygag for hours and feel that their choices lacked consequences.

I am however against games having a time limit, and not telling you what it is or giving you sufficient time to do detours / level grinding. A game that does time limits quite well, is in fact Outpost 2. For most missions, you have plenty of time to complete the tasks required of you, and some extra time to spend on building up your colony for the next missions, such as letting your population grow or researching some optional technologies. However, if you take too much time, the Blight will come and destroy your base.

There are a lot of good games out there that employ a time consequence for your actions, and my two favorite ones are Fallout 2 and Exile 3: Ruined World (Avernum 3 didn't quite accomplish it in the same way). In Fallout 2, if you took too long, your tribe died, but you has like 120 days to accomplish your task; that is a lot of time. So much time that I actually was able to visit all the major locations and many of the side locations, with like 5-10 days remaining. Now if I had spend tons of time in the wilderness hunting for encounters, I might have run out of time. Exile 3 has events move forward around the player as the days pass, so if you commit to inaction in stopping a monster plague in an area, towns will become abandoned, capital cities will get heavily attacked, travelling shopkeepers will die... but if you destroy the monster plague quickly, none of these things come to pass... thus making your actions feel meaningful.

Now for my game, you start with 1000 turns, and as implied by the story, if you lollygag too much, you will lose the game, to give players that sense of time consequence and make their actions feel more meaningful. In my current setup, I am fairly generous with the amount of extra turns a player gets by killing primals and bosses. Killing a primal adds +100 turns and bosses adds +400 turns. Think of the primals as being connected to the final boss... much like how Bloodthirsters in Warhammer 40k, are avatars of Khorne, created from their essence and returned to Khorne when killed. The bosses, made pacts with the final boss, which explains their connection to them. The final boss is trying to escape and by killing their connected minions, you are hurting them indirectly and delaying their plans. So, if a player avoids lollygagging, they will have tons of time to complete the game in. It will discourage players from always fleeing from Primals and will also encourage players to kill bosses. It will make players choices feel much more meaningful.

The actual number of turns remaining is visible to the player. You see where your current HP and MP are? Scroll down to the bottom.

Well, my opinion on the matter is that some games get the time limit done right and others not so much. My time limit is variable, based on player actions or inactions. There are elements of risk involved with any action a player can do. I find that a good RPG is one where you have multiple options available to you, but none of them are necessarily the best choice to make; rather you have a variety of incomparables and you have to weigh your actions and choices carefully. Giving a time consequence, increases a players agency; they feel like all of their choices matter, all of their choices have a certain level of risk, and every action has a certain level of reward.

As for Runescape... MMORPGs and single player RPGs operate on completely different principles; what works for one, won't work for others. It is expected to have huge grind in MMOs, but for single player games, huge grind generally just kills peoples motivation. Hence, why there are so many mods for Elder Scroll games, to reduce the grind, as they make the grind artificially long, simply because they can, not because it adds value to the game. Grind can be very effective; too much and the game feels like a chore, and too little and the game feels like a cakewalk.

Hope this explains things!
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 06, 2017, 03:42:55 PM
That's a pretty good explanation.

Kind of got me thinking my own relationship with time might be one of my character flaws.


Will also add that the time component of the challenge is typically important in RTS games, such as Outpost 2. Also got me thinking that's one balance point of Outpost 2 they did a good job with in the campaign.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 06, 2017, 05:26:36 PM
Well it also has a lot to do with how the grind adds or removes value from the game. I've never played Runescape, but I heard, that there is extremely great value if a player maxes out a skill, and that it takes a long time to max out a skill. Thus, the player does feel a great accomplishment for maxxing out a skill. However, in a game like Morrowind, where gaining another skill point is just like a 1% incremental increase in power and reaching 100 skill, doesn't really provide anything special, having an extremely long grind actually takes away from the experience of playing the game and makes levelling a skill more a chore.

So, I'd say that the level of rewards given to a player for grinding for the highest possible rank or best gear, needs to be quite high, to justify the amount of time needed to accomplish that goal. If the rewards aren't that great or they are just the same as getting a lower rank, the grind feels unduly long and harsh.

However, most MMORPGs do not have that kind of reward payout for grinding, like I've heard for Runescape. Grinding from level 1-60 in Vanilla WoW, is quite pointless as the real game starts at LV 60, and anything before that, its almost a waste of time. Each level gained is a minor boost in power with a small incremental boost to something else, typically with a talent choice. Other games do the grind even worse, like D&D online where you have to acquire 5 ranks, to gain a level, artificially extending the grind to no particular value.

-----------

EDIT: It appears that my Treasure Hunter trait was being always applied, and thus was why the player was finding so many rare items. Because, the usual roll for finding rares is as follows:

Drainers = Rand(21 to 70) + Luck + Floor Level + Primals Killed + Treasure Hunter > 99; so if you haven't killed any drainers and were on floor level 1, you'd need a perfect roll + 28 Luck, to get a rare item, but as the trait was always active, it meant you only needed a perfect roll and 13 Luck.

So by fixing that logic error, players should in theory find fewer rares as it is intended.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: Hooman on November 07, 2017, 10:45:57 PM
And how does one get the Treasure Hunter trait?
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V7
Post by: lordpalandus on November 08, 2017, 01:09:44 AM
Currently, you can only buy it for 5,000 SS from the Celestial, under Traits.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on November 08, 2017, 11:17:05 PM
Updated to V8.

I didn't get all the features I wanted in for this release, in particular lore for Section 3/4 and Section 2/3/4 monster descriptions. I'll be adding a hotfix shortly, to get them added, as well as any errors people encounter. But, as the last release was on Oct 27th, I really wanted to get what I've accomplished into your guys/gals hands to take a look at.

You'll likely notice quite a few things have changed for the better! Enjoy!

EDIT: Updated to Hotfix 1. Fixed a variety of things, and have a few monsters to encounter in Section 2. Monster Descriptions is still being problematic, so Section 3 and 4 has temporary monsters for now. I intend to address it fully in V9, so that all sections will have appropriate monsters. Its just that I didn't want it to delay the Hotfix 1 any further, which is why I released Hotfix 1 now.

EDIT2: I'm not satisfied with temporary monsters in Sections 3 and 4, so I'll work on Hotfix 2.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on November 14, 2017, 05:27:46 PM
I'm currently working on polishing up V8. I found out recently, that although Steam Greenlight and Early Access are still online, getting into either them is now impossible, as of June 2017. So, as my long-term strategic plan depended on them for creating the game as I had desired it to be, I've had to heavily modify my longterm strategic plan. Steam Direct, which is the "new" and overall "worse" system compared to Greenlight, isn't a viable option for me, and would require me to pay upfront several thousand dollars (you have to pay $100 per game, and need to provide them with significant legal and tax documentation that gets very pricy, very fast), for a game that honestly doubt will be a big cash cow; I stand by my product, and feel it is high quality and has decent content but as I've mentioned before I have a lot of variables working against me, so I doubt I could recoup that financial expense upfront.

So, I'm going to go the GOG route. GOG doesn't have financial requirements needed up front; they are only interested in if the game is high quality and well polished (www.gog.com/indie). They are ok with having a partially built game sent to them, for them to decide if its a kind of game they'd want to try selling. So, instead of working on V9, I'm working on polishing up V8, and including all of the monster descriptions and lore entries for Sections 2, 3, and 4, as well as do some significant testing to make sure all things work, such as my positive traits and of course boss loot. So, for the time being I'm putting V9s features on hold while I work on polishing up V8 for giving an excellent impression of the quality and polish that I have in mind for the final product, for GOG to take a look at.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: Vagabond on November 14, 2017, 05:34:39 PM
Good luck with GOG. Let me know how the submission to them goes.

When you are done polishing let me know and I'll work some time in to do some testing for you.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: Hooman on November 14, 2017, 11:08:49 PM
Yeah, it would be nice to have more info and discussion on publishing. I've never really considered using these services before, so I have no idea how they work.

Also, I don't know how it'd work with the Quest Engine, but if you had your game written in plain JavaScript, I have ideas how you could self publish.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on November 15, 2017, 01:19:59 AM
Well as for GOG, they are pro non-DRM. I'm also pro non-DRM, so that works with my ethics. The reality of DRM is that 95% of the time it only hurts legitimate, paying customers, and doesn't actually prevent piracy. The 5% of the time that it does prevent piracy, also makes playing the game a living hell for the paying customers. So having no DRM for my games is ideal.

As per their submission page, they seem to only care for high quality and well polished titles, without a microtransaction model, which also works for me, as I hate microtransactions and loot boxes. They don't seem to care what game engine you've built a game in, even if it is RPG Maker. As for Quest, it does mention that a developer could host their own server, and thus allow browser play. GOG might offer that service, with GOG Galaxy, or if not, then my user base would likely be restricted to Windows users who can download the desktop version of the engine. That could likely be discussed with GOG. They have to first accept it though, and as I do want them to accept it, I'm focusing on polishing V8, as it does have a significant amount of good content in it.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: Vagabond on November 15, 2017, 08:44:53 PM
lordpalandus,

Quote
Well as for GOG, they are pro non-DRM. I'm also pro non-DRM, so that works with my ethics. The reality of DRM is that 95% of the time it only hurts legitimate, paying customers, and doesn't actually prevent piracy. The 5% of the time that it does prevent piracy, also makes playing the game a living hell for the paying customers. So having no DRM for my games is ideal.

If you make it to publishing and start selling decently, it would be a crappy feeling watching people distribute cracked versions of your published game everywhere. I wonder if your view on DRM would soften some realizing all those people circumventing the purchase of your game are preventing you from putting food on the table / paying the rent. I'm not a fan of DRM, but I understand why publishers choose to use it.

Quote
That could likely be discussed with GOG. They have to first accept it though, and as I do want them to accept it, I'm focusing on polishing V8, as it does have a significant amount of good content in it.

This is sort of what I was trying to get at earlier when asking about installers. Unless GOG deals with a fair number of games that use the Quest engine, it will make your game less palitable. They will have to expend time and money deciding how to distribute, which will make your pitch less enticing to them.

It shouldn't be difficult to distribute Quest via an installer that packages it with your actual game. I know Steam will help automate this process for commonly used prerequisites. For example, Steam keeps a copy of the XNA redistributable library for developers to bundle with their games when needed. I don't know that Quest fits this bill though. Steam will also let you install other prerequsites not hosted by them as needed.

If you feel that the Quest engine is an appropriate way to run your game after a legitimate sale, then that is great. If not, then as Hooman said you or the distributor will need to figure an alternative out, which may be prohibitive to the publisher taking a small project like this on board if you don't do the legwork yourself.

I think for PC games, targeting Windows is pretty important. If you don't make it to Macintosh or Linux, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Keep in mind that you couldn't really hunt down bugs on these platforms and certify that your game works on them without havig the operating systems on hand. Unless you are selling enough Linux copies to make it worthwile, perhaps not offering it on Linux is better?

Just some things to consider. I'm not saying that you don't have a decent plan already.

I have some experience publishing with itch.io if you want to go that route, let me know and I'll send some advice if you want it.

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on November 16, 2017, 12:11:28 PM
Well the reality of life is that the only truly effective DRM that wouldn't harm a paying customer is the use of Trojan Viruses. However as those are illegal, there is no real way to deter piracy. Its just how purely electronic sales works. Some industries have a greater amount of piracy; I think porn / 3DX has a piracy of about 80%+ of all the users using it; no one likes paying for porn, especially as there are so many scam sites out there that will take your CC number and run. Sometimes a pirate will become a paying customer; as an example, I pirated Space Pirates and Zombies (heh ah the irony) when it first released back in 2011. I liked it so much, that I went out and bought it and became one of the community's staunchest supporters... at least until SPAZ 2 came out in Early Access and destroyed the community.

I think people pirate for a variety of reasons:
1Q. Cost; in some countries, like Russia, $30 USD is the equivalent of $300 in their currency (I believe I recall a figure stating that an average office worker made about $1000 USD a month whereas someone in US would be making about $3000 (18.75 / hour) a month. Most things in Russia are much less expensive; ie makeup that costs 10 USD over here, is only 1-2 USD there. However video games are generally not reduced in price unless they have a physical copy. So if they want to play your game, they'd have to pirate it as its too costly to do so.
1A. A workaround for this is to have a "money jar" that foreigners could digitally put some money into. They may not be able to pay the converted cost of the actual game, but some would likely feel better if they could pay the developer something.

2Q. Demo; they don't trust the vendor of a product, particularly in industries where scamming customers of their CC number is commonplace or where false advertising is rampant... like in AAA games. So they pirate to see how the game runs and if its something they'd like, before purchasing it. Listening to reviews is often not useful, as it has been proven time and again, that sites like IGN and Kotaku, get paid a lot of money to say positive things about a game. And as the culture of demos and shareware has disappeared from the BBC days, people will frequently pirate to demo the product.
2Q. I believe in offering demos of my products (assuming this one sells; if it doesn't, it will make future games harder to do) that are representative of the final product. I figure that for CoC, I could have a demo on the selling page of GOG, that allows you to play Section 1 and 2, but nothing else (its a simple matter of disabling things in my ascend / descend code and thus would be an easy change) to determine if they'd want to buy the game proper. Those that have beta tested it, will obviously already have likely played past that but that is ok.

3Q. DRM; they'll pirate because there is DRM present and are pirated to make a stand against DRM. That is after all, one of the reasons why GOG became so popular, as it offered all of its game DRM free.
3A. I like no DRM myself, so I don't feel that it would be ethical to put it on customers when I don't like it put on the games I like.

---

I've not seen any games on GOG that use the Quest engine; I'll likely be the first. If I'm successful, then others that have considered trying to sell games in Quest, might try to do so. Well according to their www.gog.com/indie page, they do say that they will do a large advertisement campaign for each game that they accept into their catalogue. So in theory at least, they'd likely look into the feasibility of running a server to support the quest engine.

I don't know how to create an installer though.

I am targeting the windows crowd; I'm not sure how many people will play on Macs / Linux when the majority of large games target windows / consoles only. I think that in the indie crowd people target Linux / Mac, but I'm not sure how many people actually do use these OS to play games. I'd like to support other OSs, but as an indie with very little money or know-how at the moment, that may be difficult.

What is itch.io?

Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: Hooman on November 16, 2017, 10:58:09 PM
Quote
If you make it to publishing and start selling decently, it would be a crappy feeling watching people distribute cracked versions of your published game everywhere.

I don't think most of those people would ever have spent the money anyway. Customers are the ones with both the ability and the willingness to pay. If they're some broke kid who's pirating the game because they don't have the money to pay for it, or perhaps no means to pay for it (i.e. credit card for online purchases), then there's no way they will buy. If they're some adult with only a passing interest in the game, they might still have no willingness to pay for it. Maybe they'll pirate to try it out and see what it's like, but if they're not willing to pay, they won't buy it.

I doubt piracy has much of an effect on the true buyers.

Quote
Demo; they don't trust the vendor of a product, particularly in industries where scamming customers of their CC number is commonplace or where false advertising is rampant... like in AAA games.
Uhh, what? That makes no sense. AAA games vendors are the ones who least need to scam, and the ones who would be hurt most by trying it. I think you're just harbouring a grudge against big name game companies.



For CoC, it can run in a browser. You don't need to worry about cross platform development. It's more of a hosting concern.

Btw, GitHub pages can probably run your game for free, assuming you're fine with people being able to see the source code. If you want to lock it down a bit, you can get Virtual Machine hosting for $5/month from a provider such as Digital Ocean.

If you're doing something compiled in the future, and you keep it cross platform from the start, it maybe adds ~10% to development costs. If you try to tack in on at the end, that's a big pain, similar to a whole new project, probably adding ~90% to costs. This depends quite heavily on the language and tools though. Languages like C++ tend to expose you to platform differences more than other languages. Still, a lot of C++ code is cross platform.

I'd also like to point out that Continuous Integration tools, such as TravisCI, can automatically compile and test your code on both Mac and Linux servers each time you do a push to GitHub. That can alert you to platform differences as they happen, allowing you to fix code as you're still working on it. Not relevant to your current project, but tools to consider for future projects.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on November 17, 2017, 12:04:13 AM
Depends. I read a report from 2016 on PC Gamer (http://www.pcgamer.com/pc-piracy-survey-results-35-percent-of-pc-gamers-pirate/) that said that they got about 50,000 people to give information regarding piracy. The most interesting things I took from this report are that a large number of piracy occurs to demo a product, and in poorer nation states, the two largest reasons are because the game is too expensive or they can't afford it. Lots of interesting statistics on the subject at that link if you are interested.

So, again, my two points, on demoing a product and the money jar idea may be effective solutions to the problems with piracy. Maybe.

Piracy only has an effect on true buyers if the one who developed the game has aggressive DRM policies in place to try to dissuade piracy. Doesn't generally work, but it does do a lot of harm to actual buyers.

===

You haven't been paying much attention to the AAA industry in the past 5 years then I take it? There has been a variety of scams such as false advertising (Aliens: Colonial Marines), bait and switch (No Mans Sky), vertical slicing (Watch Dogs 1), and pre-rendered content being passed off as real gameplay (Pre-Release Trailers for Witcher 3). AAA vendors benefit the most from scamming, as they often get away with it and it doesn't affect their bottom line significantly. The abysmal quality of a few big titles recently, with scams in them or outright lies about there not going to be microtransactions and then a week after launch... bam microtransactions. I don't harbor a grudge against all big name companies... just the ones that have lied, cheated, or scammed people repeatedly and haven't had an ounce of remorse and are willing to keep doing it. Companies like EA, Activision, Gearbox, and occasionally Ubisoft (though to be fair, I haven't bought or pirated a Ubisoft product, not since Far Cry 3). Some large companies, like Paradox Interactive, Take Two Interactive, or Call of Duty developers (yes I know they are owned by Activision, but they overall don't have nasty Activision stuff in their games) I have no problem with.

===

True Enough. Will have to see what GOG says on the matter, assuming they accept my game at all.
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: Vagabond on November 17, 2017, 01:05:37 AM
itch.io is a game distributor that caters to Indie Games. https://itch.io/. They offer kind of interesting features, like offering your game for free but bringing up a donation suggestion when someone downloads it. They also offer the ability to set a base price plus letting the buyer add more to the price if they feel like supporting you extra. They take less money than a normal distributer (30% is standard cut for an online game distributor, Itch recommends you give them %15, but they allow you to give them more or less % per sale based on your own preference).

Their weak side is they have zero barrier to entry for new games and do not check games that people submit, you have to really break out or just get washed away in the sea of new releases garbage. Plus they are a smaller market than GOG or Steam.



If you ever decide to use your own installer, I would recommend taking a look at InnoSetup. http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php. It is free and offers a nice range of features. If you want to go beyond the built in basic functionality, you can expand its capability by writing scripts in Pascal, which isn't too difficult, but annoying since it is another language to learn. The other competitor for a free windows installer is nullsoft, which I thought looked a little harder to learn than InnoSetup but have no experience with. https://sourceforge.net/projects/nsis/.

However, I like what Hooman brought up about using a browser. This would allow people to play the game on whatever OS they wanted through the browser and hopefully avoid issues with different OS since the browser should be pretty standardized in how it displays content between OSs.

Hmm, I should probably stop offering advice to you though. I'm afraid that my advice may not be the best course / that I am qualified enough to offer it.

Below are some articles by an indie game developer on DRM/Piracy. I think they are well written and worth the read if you are interested in the subject. Don't want to derail your game thread too much, so don't feel like you have to comment about them. I agree a fair amount with his posts.

* http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2010/02/awful-anti-pirate-system-that-will.html
* http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2010/04/yet-even-more-about-evil-drm-from-hell.html
* http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2009/09/some-kind-words-about-drm-for-once.html

-Brett
Title: Re: Cataclysm of Chaos V8
Post by: lordpalandus on November 19, 2017, 12:47:02 AM
Interesting, never heard of it till now. You mentioned you have some experience with it, so a few questions:
1. If you offered the game for free on itch.io, but had it listed for a specific price elsewhere, what incentive would buyers have in paying the full price, when they could just take the free version?

2. Offering a base price and allowing a user to donate more, is a novel idea for game distribution. I wonder how often on average users will pay over the base price. The question I have is, if after you have bought the game at a specific price, can the user go back and donate more to the developer?

3. You mention itch recommends giving at least 15%. What will itch do, if you pay them more than 15%?

Sounds a lot like Steam Greenlight in the later years; a sea of garbage releases. Regardless, thanks for bring itch.io to my attention!

===

Thanks for mentioning the installers. Very useful information.

That is very true, but would need to have a way to host a server to do that. I doubt textadventure.uk would allow me to put a paid product on their servers for people to pay on. Then again I've not asked either. Maybe I should.

Advice is always useful to know, so that I know of the options available to me and allows me to figure out which options to focus on and do more research on. So keep advising away.

Ah good old Jeff Vogel, of Spiderweb Software; his blog posts are always an interesting read. He is one of the first true Indies... before indies were popularized by Steam and GoG, having released his first indie game back in 1997 (Exile 1: Escape from the Pit) I believe. I was introduced to his stuff on an old shovelware CD-ROM that had Exile 3: Ruined World as shareware. Also I beta tested his Avadon 3 on the ipad last October (2016, not 2017)... I wonder if I'll be able to beta test his new Avernum 3...