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Simulations and RPGs as IF

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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby David Whyld » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:14 pm

ralphmerridew wrote:Good luck, though I personally prefer "small, densely implemented" to "large, sparsely implemented".


I think there's certainly room for both. One thing I've always liked about really big games is the way you can lose yourself in them for hours at a time; small, densely implemented games don't tend to offer that kind of freedom. Saying that, I'm not a fan of games that have hundreds of empty locations with nothing to do in them. If a location is in your game, it should be there for a reason and not just to add an extra location to the game's total.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby Kennedy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:27 am

Rather than actually having thousands of rooms you may want to simulate a vast over world map using arrays. Like perhaps you could create a map using a 100 by 100 array and then store the info for the map at various coordinates in some kind of external data file? Does Adrift support arrays of more than 1 dimension?
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby ralphmerridew » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:24 am

I think ADRIFT only supports arrays of one dimension, but you can fake a multidimensional array as Array[100*x + y]. (You'd still run into trouble with 100x100 because of ADRIFT's limitations on total array size.)

Using one room to simulate a large number of rooms is a common enough technique; see Andrew Plotkin's "Hunter, In Darkness", or the Quest game "The Maze". It's clumsier to do so under ADRIFT because of ADRIFT's limitations on looping (last I checked, you can't loop over all objects, so you have to manually go through all the objects), but should still be doable.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby Lumin » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:24 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, but given how terrible I generally am with the Developer I think I'm better off not trying anything too fancy. :lol:

I'm taking shortcuts here and there to keep the sheer number of rooms down, though. Abstracting out major roads and wilderness locations so that one 'room' might represent several miles, and doing similar things to certain areas in larger cities (so no you can no longer go barging into every NPC's house and rifling through their things, sorry...) and the smaller villages are hub locations instead of being fully implemented on the map.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby ralphmerridew » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:14 am

I think that limiting the number of rooms in that manner is a good idea in general. I prefer one well-developed room to five-ten virtually empty rooms.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby Tyson » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:52 am

The problem I find with RPGs is that they are practically unfinishable.

You start with modest hopes: you just want to construct a text RPG. Simple enough, right? You create a minimal battle system and add features of the player that can shift dynamically.

Then you think, "I should add a store where the player can buy food." And so you do. But to do this, you have to create a money system. And so you do. But then you think, "What good is a money system if I can only spend it on food?" And so you decide to add more stores. Then you realize that it wouldn't make sense to have a bunch of stores hanging around, so you add a town. And so you do. But a town isn't a town without NPCs and quests, and so you add some of those. But then you realize that, in addition to quests, you need a main storyline. So you decide to implement a main storyline in addition to the quest system. But then...

Do you see where this is going?

We cannot resist adding more and more. This prevents us from ever finishing the game.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby David Whyld » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:52 am

That's pretty much what stops me from ever writing my epic RPG. There are so many things I want to include in it that I'd never be able to finish it, even if I lived to be 100 and quit my job to work on it full time, and I couldn't bear to cut any features out, however trivial they might seem, because it just wouldn't be the game I wanted it to be if I cut any of them. Ideally, a project like this would be best tackled by a group of people, each working on a separate aspect of the game, and then one person putting it all together and making it work, but as the amount of successful collaborative efforts is roughly on par with the amount of successful RPGs, I'm not hopeful it'll ever happen.

And, damnit, just typing this has got me thinking how great it would be to actually go ahead and start writing my epic RPG. It's certainly a temptation to simply throw all my other works in progress out of the window and go full steam ahead with this, but I know from past experience that it'll never go anywhere.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby DazaKiwi » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:53 am

David Whyld wrote:That's pretty much what stops me from ever writing my epic RPG. There are so many things I want to include in it that I'd never be able to finish it, even if I lived to be 100 and quit my job to work on it full time, and I couldn't bear to cut any features out, however trivial they might seem, because it just wouldn't be the game I wanted it to be if I cut any of them. Ideally, a project like this would be best tackled by a group of people, each working on a separate aspect of the game, and then one person putting it all together and making it work, but as the amount of successful collaborative efforts is roughly on par with the amount of successful RPGs, I'm not hopeful it'll ever happen.

And, damnit, just typing this has got me thinking how great it would be to actually go ahead and start writing my epic RPG. It's certainly a temptation to simply throw all my other works in progress out of the window and go full steam ahead with this, but I know from past experience that it'll never go anywhere.


I agree ideally having a group of people working on the project would be the way to go. But then you can sometimes have problems of "creative differences". But another angle could be, what if a group of people work on modules that have core systems for such an RPG? if its a lot of work initially at least having a module means it can be modified for other projects and saves a lot of time in the long run? No need to reinvent the wheel. Same with a decent combat system, money-prefab shops, crafting, stealth, randomness for placing objects in some locations to speed up room setups etc.

Check out this article http://www.squidi.net/three/entry.php?id=169 some good ideas, but might be hard to do? of we could put some of our brightest and best minds as to making an attempt to some of these ideas and trying out different ways and bouncing ideas off one another would new ground be forged?

Maybe a small scale community rpg project with say a village of 10 locations and it could be a proof of concept for some of the rpg features we have always wanted to see in an IF game or at least done in a better way. These features can be as mentioned made into standalone modules for larger projects for the community to use.

At least start with throwing around some ideas of how one would go about creating these components for an Rpg. That article might be a good starting point for discussion.

Anyway my 2 cents.
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Re: Simulations and RPGs as IF

Postby ElliotM » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:30 am

Squidi.net also has a lot of stuff on procedural generation (random content combination essentially but with rules). What I was last working on with Adrift before summer break ended was a system based on Environment Trees: http://www.squidi.net/three/entry.php?id=4

My biggest hurdle was, like Ralphmerridew said, iterating over objects.

For large projects I would recommend getting a mind mapping type software. Labyrinth is one free candidate which was made to help develop Alternate Reality Games (ARGs). http://www.habitualindolence.net/labyrinth/

Another workflow option I considered involved Trizbort (http://trizbort.genstein.net/) and writing out mock transcripts, an idea I got from here: http://raddial.com/if/theory/make_if_fast.html
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