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Combat systems.. why?

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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Pagrin » Wed May 11, 2016 1:56 am

ElliotM wrote:On the topic of a making a hacking simulator for your RPG player, I think that is a pretty cool use of Adrift. What rules and mechanics does your RPG use for hacking? If you are willing to share a mockup, I'd be interested in collaborating/sharing ideas here on the forum on how to make it work in Adrift.


Sure the system I use is an adaptation of a very old rpg based on Star Trek by a company called Fasa. I like their basic mechanics and found they are easy to apply to any setting, so I developed my system by adding additional skills and elements as needed.
In a nut shell the system works like this. Your character has attributes which represent your physical aspects, like Brawn, Beauty, Dexterity, etc. You also have your skills which are learnt abilities, such as computer use, pick locks, and language etc.
Your Attributes don't change (Unless your body changes for some reason, like adding cyberwear). They are based out of 100, with 50 being human average.
Your skills are also out of 100 but they start at 0 and increase as your character learns things (IE this is how experience is applied to characters). The higher your skill the harder it is for it to increase. 10 would be considered having the basics of a skill. 50 would be thought of as very competent, and 75 or over would make you an expert in a skill.
To use a skill, the skill and the attribute is applied to are added together and halved to get an average, then you roll a d100 and try and get under that score.
EG to shoot a gun, the character takes their marksmanship of 20 adds it to their Dexterity of 50, halves it for the average of 35, then rolls a D100. They get a 19 and therefore hit their target.
In this way someone without any skill in a given task can still make an attempt. EG someone who has never held a gun before would just half their dexterity and try and roll under that.
In the case of hacking, its a Hacking skill combined with the Knowledge attribute they are rolling against. But the dice roll is kinda dull, as a GM I then have to add a layer or story telling over that roll to explain what has been achieved.
The player who will be playing the hacker, tends to keep his laptop with him at all times a bit like a security blanket, armed with PDFs of the system we where gaming with. So I thought for my game, what better than to have him use the keyboard to actually "hack".
Hacking tends to break him away from the other players anyway, so by making that aspect covered in an Adrift game, he can work away at a hack while I continue to GM the other players.
I just have to be able to recreate as much as possible of the setting within Adrift games. I already have one set up for him to use when he just surfs the net looking for information. I'm part way through doing one for hacking into a major corporation (Which I will trim down and alter for the smaller companies.). Then I'll do another version for attempting to hack robots.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby ElliotM » Wed May 11, 2016 6:50 am

I replied in the other topic because it was Adrift specific, but I would interested in seeing your current projects.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Lumin » Wed May 11, 2016 2:44 pm

David Whyld wrote:There's obviously a demand for a decent combat system in text adventures - hence all the questions about them over the years - so it's kind of surprising that no one has ever actually gone ahead and designed a decent one.

I suppose a lot of the problem is that the people asking aren't really familiar with the system they're asking about a combat system in, so they don't know how to do it themselves, and the people who do know also know how much work would be involved so they're reluctant to do it themselves. They also know how combat systems are generally viewed in text adventures and that’s not usually very favourably.


Something I've noticed on the Quest boards especially is that a lot of the times people seeking to implement a combat system are coming from a completely different gaming background. They're not even really attempting to make IF; what they want is an RPG. Picking a name, gender, classes and skills, and of course a combat system are all things they see as a bare minimum requirement for a game, while on the other hand thoughts of things like scenery objects, room layout and guess the verb never cross their minds. Playing already existing IF games to see where the strength of the format lies is something they aren't interested in either. So they're left figuring out the hard way that combat isn't really the most intuitive thing to include in an IF game--or maybe it's the scope of the thing, with everyone always trying to make a massive RPG, since Quest does have an extensive user-made combat library I rarely see anyone make use of--and give up partway through before even a workable demo sees the light of day.

Though while we're on this subject, Deeper is one of the better Quest games I've played, made by the guy who wrote the aforementioned combat library.

Image

Image

The author has a totally unfair advantage however, in that he understands how programming works.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby ElliotM » Wed May 11, 2016 3:38 pm

Scope probably does play a part, but something most of them probably don't realize is that an RPG maker has an edge over IF authoring tools in that it directly supports (and makes simple) ordinary RPG tasks that you have to do by hand in an IF authoring tool. I'm not surprised the Quest combat library is largely unused because being able to use it requires system knowledge and background a beginner or an IF outsider would not likely have. I could make stat properties in Adrift and use those to calculate combat results in tasks and I could even make it an importable module to turn it into a library but someone wanting to use it would have to understand how I set it up, how the math works, where to even find the math, how to make sure their characters and objects have the properties I use so their content will even work with my combat system. That takes effort, but if it doesn't do exactly what someone wants as a beginner, that is a lot of work that is hard to justify because they lack the knowledge of how to make changes to it. Sure it could work and be well-coded, but using the right tool for the job counts for something, which is why I think they give up after awhile because they've learned through experience what IF authoring tools generally lack that an RPG maker supports by default out of the box.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Kennedy » Fri May 13, 2016 2:20 pm

Are there any RPG creation tools that support parser based games with graphics that give the ability of most interactive fiction engines?
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby SamuelC » Sat May 14, 2016 8:38 pm

Po. Prune wrote:Please don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with trying to implement a combat system into a game, but I'm just curious as to why many of our newcomers are so dead set on having a combat system?
I think 3 - 4 of the newly registered have asked question about regarding combat systems.
I'm just afraid that they will be disappointed when it turns out that V.5 isn't exactly a RP game creator... or is it?

Another question. Does a combat system belong in a text adventure? What's your take on this?


Best guess people are looking to make a text based RPG game and honestly there's very little option out there for simple to use makers.

I mean there's RAGS but a lot of people aren't fans of it because it has a subscription model (as in you have to pay a subscription to use it and there's no pay once get all updates model)

In terms of text adventure style you could say it's like making a sort of Dungeons and Dragons text game really rather than a more puzzle orientated one.

Lumin wrote:Combat is a big part of MUDs, but notably they don't have you typing >kill goblin over and over again. Just once to initiate, and then attacks are rapidly traded until one of you flees or dies. They mix the text up for more interesting descriptions of attacks based on damage dealt or weapon type, but you were usually too busy trying to get a special move in or use an ability or item while the fight was going on to read them.


I think in theory with a bit of Task programming you could do something like this to repeat the tasks.
E.G. If you set a variable as enemy HP, had tasks that set this depending on the enemy and then had system tasks with restrictions to loop if Enemy HP or Player HP >0 then you could in theory have the tasks repeat with only needing to put in 1 attack command. That would mean no using magic or being able to flee unless your programmed in a the task that if the Player HP drops below a certain level to not run the task again unless told to. Also to add variety you could also have the attack skill set attack damage and have the attack damage (within certain ranges) cause a random flavour text to come about by I dunno say attack range 1-10 and some-one rolls an 8 have it randomise a variable for Strong attack and flavour text with that.

Lazzah wrote:One reason they are using ADRIFT to create an RPG is that it is free. RPG Maker costs $70 to buy - enough said? :whistle:

And RPG maker (which I have thanks to a Humble Bundle) has a graphical user interface which means unless people are happy to sit there making sprite art for hours then you can't do anything more elaborate with it.

I mean at one point I had a brief dabble with making an RPG in TWINE but oh man does that cause major slowdown in a game as you add complexity to it.

The whole Graphics vs non graphics thing means a lot of what are considered very entry level game making things are off limits if people just want to use text.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Jjbee62 » Sun May 15, 2016 12:58 am

SamuelC wrote:I think in theory with a bit of Task programming you could do something like this to repeat the tasks.
E.G. If you set a variable as enemy HP, had tasks that set this depending on the enemy and then had system tasks with restrictions to loop if Enemy HP or Player HP >0 then you could in theory have the tasks repeat with only needing to put in 1 attack command. That would mean no using magic or being able to flee unless your programmed in a the task that if the Player HP drops below a certain level to not run the task again unless told to. Also to add variety you could also have the attack skill set attack damage and have the attack damage (within certain ranges) cause a random flavour text to come about by I dunno say attack range 1-10 and some-one rolls an 8 have it randomise a variable for Strong attack and flavour text with that.


If you used a combat event you could have it run the attack/response task every few seconds until death, while the player could still type in other commands, such as casting spells, drinking potions, or running away. Of course if the player stopped physical combat for something else, they would have to start it again.

Something like:

Kill goblin with sword
<attack/counterattack every 5 seconds until player issues command>
Cast magic missile at goblin
<Goblin continues it's attack every 5 seconds, player's attack stops until the original kill command is reentered>
Run away
<if successful, Goblin attack stops and player is moved in a random direction>
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby ElliotM » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:41 am

I've been reading a book on MUDs and I have to wonder how much of the MUD experience is reproducible in Interactive Fiction and I think the largest is that IF for the most part is not real-time. Also, the issue of duplicate objects/~infinite cloning is not a common feature of most IF platforms.

If you stop entering commands in IF, the game is essentially paused, whereas in a MUD the game keeps going. Early (all?) MUDs from what I understand also had action limits that refreshed at certain intervals called ticks, ranging from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. I think other stat effects were also tied to ticks, as my book mentions that poison reduced stats every tick for example. Adrift does have events which can do things based on how many seconds have elapsed since the start of an event but I believe events won't restart themselves if they reach the end of their sub-events until after the player has entered another command. In any case, a complete library rewrite of all the tasks would be required and even then I don't think it would be perfect.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Campbell » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:15 am

Interesting. The next version of ADRIFT due out very shortly has had events split into two types - Turn based and Time based. The latter is now purely based upon seconds and is completely detached from user input.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Jjbee62 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:31 pm

I was into MUDs back in the early to mid 90's. I remember the ticks, waiting for a zone to repopulate so you could run through, kill everything and find out if the loot you were after was going to drop this time. There were some companion programs we used to load and switch macros for the different characters. That way you could cast spells, switch armor, attack, run away, whatever, with just a few keystrokes. Without the macros, you had a tough time keeping up.

The biggest thing, for most of us was the group play. There were 5 or 6 of us who would all play together, chatting, teaching each other new tricks or new zones. A certain local university learned to hate having dial-up guest access to their network. I wonder how many students failed classes because they couldn't log on while we were playing.

You could probably replicate a MUD game with ADRIFT, by using events, lots of events, but the group play aspect would still be missing.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby DazaKiwi » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:01 pm

ElliotM wrote:I've been reading a book on MUDs and I have to wonder how much of the MUD experience is reproducible in Interactive Fiction and I think the largest is that IF for the most part is not real-time. Also, the issue of duplicate objects/~infinite cloning is not a common feature of most IF platforms.


What is the name of the book you are reading?
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby ElliotM » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:41 pm

Thanks Campbell, separate event types is a great idea. I am highly tempted to prototype a 'real-time' library to see how much of the MUD experience can be created, so I'll have to take a look into that.

Jjbee62, lots of good points. Any pseudo-MUD experience created in Adrift would absolutely depend on support from well-written events, though as you pointed out the group experience would be absent. Playing in a group is definitely one of the main draws of playing MUDs. An excellent point about macros as well. Did you know that the Adrift Runner also supports macros? I think you can keybind them to function keys, but I believe in MUDs you could trigger them with a user chosen alias, right?

Daza, I have two books that I bought used because I was curious about MUDs. Some of my high school friends played the Two Towers MUD but I never got into it. I picked up Playing MUDS of the Internet by Shaw and Secrets of the MUD Wizards. I liked the first one better than the second. While the first doesn't go into the programming, I didn't find the second book's coverage of the programming all that useful at this point, though that is only my first impression and I haven't read through that part all that much yet.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby DazaKiwi » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:25 am

ElliotM wrote:Daza, I have two books that I bought used because I was curious about MUDs. Some of my high school friends played the Two Towers MUD but I never got into it. I picked up Playing MUDS of the Internet by Shaw and Secrets of the MUD Wizards. I liked the first one better than the second. While the first doesn't go into the programming, I didn't find the second book's coverage of the programming all that useful at this point, though that is only my first impression and I haven't read through that part all that much yet.


Thanks for the info on the books, i would be interesting in having a read, but unfortunately they aren't sold in electronic form like epub probably because they are old books and niche.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby Jjbee62 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:00 am

ElliotM wrote:Jjbee62, lots of good points. Any pseudo-MUD experience created in Adrift would absolutely depend on support from well-written events, though as you pointed out the group experience would be absent. Playing in a group is definitely one of the main draws of playing MUDs. An excellent point about macros as well. Did you know that the Adrift Runner also supports macros? I think you can keybind them to function keys, but I believe in MUDs you could trigger them with a user chosen alias, right?


I did know that about Runner, although I haven't bothered with them so far.

The client we used was called zMud. I just checked and it's still available and still for sale. My mind is officially boggled. Without reading through the manual, I believe we could name the scripts, which were loaded to the F keys (with Shift, Alt and Ctrl that gave you 48 spots). I think some of the MUDs had a built in macro function, which would let you save and name a script, although I can't recall how they were accessed. The zMud client auto mapped while you were exploring, which made macro creation much easier.
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Re: Combat systems.. why?

Postby ElliotM » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:38 am

How does auto mapping work? I used MUSHclient, which is free, and it has this feature, too, but I don't get how it works because I think of mappers like Trizbort when I hear about mapping. I'm guessing though, from having tried it out, that what you do is turn it on and while you go somewhere it keeps track of the directions you used till you get to your destination, at which point you turn it off and convert that string of directions into a script or macro?
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