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Old 05-14-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
gruevy
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Single User Dungeon

I've always wanted to make what would ultimately amount to an interactive novel. Describing it as a single user dungeon gets the point across, since that would be the interface and gaming experience, but rather than focusing on combat and balance, etc, like muds do, it would focus primarily on story, quests, triggers, dialogue, etc. Combat would not be limited to secondary importance, of course; I just mean that world building wouldn't stop at room description. I would like to have your actions matter in interactions with any mob in the game, as well as having lots of puzzles, etc. Think of it as part zork/MUD, part neverwinter nights, part elder scrolls.

Does anyone think this would be fun? Would anyone play it if it existed? Would it gather much attention from the typical RPG crowd?

Ideally, you would play it in a browser, as well. What should it be programmed in? Would it be better to use dikumud or whatever, and have it as a downloadable file? Questions. Lots of questions. Any thoughts/answers?
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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Re: Single User Dungeon

I created a SUD for my calculator back in 1998. All my friends who played it said it was fun. It becomes no different than any of the old single-player console RPGs really.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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Re: Single User Dungeon

Well, it would be quite a bit different in scope. I'm willing to bet that you didn't have a reputation in the game on your calculator that affected what people would ask you for help, etc I'm thinking more of neverwinter nights and oblivion than nethack, basically. I think i found that program of yours on google btw

The reason i've wanted to do this is that basically, I want to show what could be done if someone put all his/her time into scripting, dialogue, story, etc instead of graphics. I like my eyecandy as much as the next guy, but when you strip away the shiny, you realize how very little game is actually there.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:32 PM   #4
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Re: Single User Dungeon

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I think i found that program of yours on google btw
And I can guarantee 100% that you didn't since I never put it online nor did I release it to anyone else. The only copy resided on my machine.

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The reason i've wanted to do this is that basically, I want to show what could be done if someone put all his/her time into scripting, dialogue, story, etc instead of graphics. I like my eyecandy as much as the next guy, but when you strip away the shiny, you realize how very little game is actually there.
It's been done. There's very little in regard to single-player games that hasn't been done. Hell, there's very little in multi-player games that hasn't been done. Most of what is lacking in terms of design achievement in gaming probably won't be done since the people doing the designing aren't equipped to do it and the audience for it isn't there.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:39 PM   #5
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Re: Single User Dungeon

You could try something like TADS (Text Adventure Development System). It is freeware, and may be sort of what you are looking for in a system.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:44 PM   #6
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Re: Single User Dungeon

found someone elses that ran on a ti-83 then.

Take a look at nethack. Every interaction between every object has been thought of. It's a masterpiece of design, really. I want a game that does that. What happens when you cast fireball in a forest? What happens to your inventory if you fall into water? All of this could be scripted by someone clever who had plenty of time, but try shooting something in a graphical game that wasn't programmed in to be damaged. That's what I'm talking about. I want a text rpg that has the basic design principle of elder scrolls games (big story, lots of side quests and exploration) that keeps track of everything meaningful you do, and changes the game based around it. Playing with each class changes the game tremendously. Would a mage and a thief solve a problem the same way? What happens when you add dialogue choices to quest givers? You get a huge, awesome freaking game, is what.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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Re: Single User Dungeon

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You could try something like TADS (Text Adventure Development System). It is freeware, and may be sort of what you are looking for in a system.
I'll look into that. Does it allow for, say, dikumud style combat, though?
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:00 AM   #8
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Re: Single User Dungeon

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I'll look into that. Does it allow for, say, dikumud style combat, though?
From your initial post I thought you were headed toward Interactive Fiction. I doubt TADS has DIKU-style combat.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:19 AM   #9
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Re: Single User Dungeon

Ya. I guess I was unclear. I want somethign that looks and plays like a mud, but has tons of dialogue, quests, triggers, plotlines, etc. MUD, minus other people, plus an actual massive rpg.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:27 AM   #10
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Re: Single User Dungeon

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Ya. I guess I was unclear. I want somethign that looks and plays like a mud, but has tons of dialogue, quests, triggers, plotlines, etc. MUD, minus other people, plus an actual massive rpg.
My engine does what you want, except it comes with graphics and sound.

I haven't tested the single-player feature out for awhile but it should be easy enough to fix if it's broken. In single player mode, it basically starts the MUD server on the client, and has it automagically shut down when the player has left.

You could also make a multiplayer world that people play in with their friends only. Someone runs the server software at an agreed time and everyone logs in to the server.

If you try it, be aware that the current version has a crashing bug in Win32 when you close inventory or the map. I have a fix that I can send privately, but I won't upload a new version for a few weeks.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: Single User Dungeon

TADS is one answer, but the latest 'Interactive Fiction' tool is Inform 7

Welcome

which allows you to program using English sentences.

a step by step guide on how to create a game is here

Gallery

Inform 7 already comes with loads of addon that handle random weather conditions, weight, mass, Conversation tree's, mob movement etc.. all open source and easily retro engineered to make your own creations

Example plugins

Download - Extensions

As an example, a text based RPG system has already been delveloped, and as I have already done as a playaround, can be heavily modified as a RPG based engine of real complexity.The example RPG is here. It combines a puzle based text adventure with combat, levelling, spells, and a rather nifty 'randomly generated' maze which changes with every game. Basically, modifcation of this will allow a different game every time. An the great thing, the source code is so easy to write.. example

The box is a thing, the box can be opened, the box is closed. In the box is a small key.

The one line of text will generate a box container whcih can be opened or closed, and will create the key item and put it in the box.

The Reliques of Tolti-Aph - Source Text
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:04 AM   #12
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Re: Single User Dungeon

Are you thinking like the old Infocom games with scrolling combat?
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:17 AM   #13
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Re: Single User Dungeon

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Originally Posted by gruevy View Post
The reason i've wanted to do this is that basically, I want to show what could be done if someone put all his/her time into scripting, dialogue, story, etc instead of graphics. I like my eyecandy as much as the next guy, but when you strip away the shiny, you realize how very little game is actually there.
See Dwarf Fortress

Seriously though, this sounds neat. I'd be interested in playing one, certainly. Perhaps SUDs could be used to clean the MUD off (forgive me).
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #14
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Re: Single User Dungeon

I poked around on the webstie for that inform-fiction program, and it really seems interesting. You may be on to something with it. I'll have to look into it further to see if it's as robust as I need, but it may very well be. I would have to be able to program combat into something fairly extensive, and also able to trigger the hell out of things, but that just may be the ticket. As a side note, is there anyone who programs who thinks this might be fun?

One reason that I'm looking at using a mud base for this is that I already know that it can handle the combat, the item variations, the prompt configuration. It also seems like adding what I need to a mud codebase would be easier than taking an interactive fiction program and adding a big fat combat and spell system.

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Old 05-17-2009, 07:57 PM   #15
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Re: Single User Dungeon

I definitely agree with your assessment. You can find several mudlibs that already have combat coded in and such, and for me, coding is a lot harder than writing, plots, and character development.

I'd love to help but already have too many projects on my plate. If nothing else, you could simply start writing until you get your team together. I did that for one game!
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:05 AM   #16
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Re: Single User Dungeon

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Originally Posted by gruevy View Post
I poked around on the webstie for that inform-fiction program, and it really seems interesting. You may be on to something with it. I'll have to look into it further to see if it's as robust as I need, but it may very well be. I would have to be able to program combat into something fairly extensive, and also able to trigger the hell out of things, but that just may be the ticket. As a side note, is there anyone who programs who thinks this might be fun?

One reason that I'm looking at using a mud base for this is that I already know that it can handle the combat, the item variations, the prompt configuration. It also seems like adding what I need to a mud codebase would be easier than taking an interactive fiction program and adding a big fat combat and spell system.
It can do whatever your mind can envision.. almost literally.. when I was playing with it I wanted to create a puzzle where you wanted to disable a computer and take manual control. I coded a puzzle where you went through the ship enabling all kinds of time managed operations.. such as ordering the computer to make food, diliberatly throwing water on a bed to make it send cleaning droids and so on.. finally when you got the CPU to hit 100% you could open a panel and rip out the chips as the CPU didnt have the processing power to enable the energy field... I am not a programmer and was able to code this puzzle quite easily.

I also configured the example RPG to have more stats, extra levels, more spells, a much more powerful health system (if you were badly wounded you bled slowely to death until you bandaged the wounds)armour types on body parts etc with minimal reference to the manual.

As far as I am concerned, It would be possible to import every table and rule from a table top roleplaying game, use the dice mechanic in the example inform RPG, tie it all together using the inform code and the program would use it.. all you need then is the environment stuff.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:51 PM   #17
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Re: Single User Dungeon

This is probably not what you're looking for, as it seems you're tending more toward interactive fiction, but I have an interesting possibility.

An amusing feature of Alter Aeon [Alter Aeon MUD - An Online RPG] is the 'ignore all' facility. Ignore in AA is bi-directional and extremely powerful; setting ignore all makes all mortals and low level gods disappear. You don't see them on channels, on where, or in the same room as you. With a few exceptions (such as permanent PK and cases where there would be clobbering/resource conflicts), this effectively renders the game single-user.

It's really quite entertaining to play the game this way. Equipment still shows up on auction and you can bid on it; items rotate in and out of shops, and sometimes you run into evidence that other people have been nearby. But rarely do you see direct evidence that another person is there or that a player is responsible as opposed to just the regular workings of the game.

I've also seen pairs and small groups that ignore all then 'ignore allow' each other, so that the game becomes multiplayer with just their friends.


Alter Aeon MUD - An Online RPG
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:36 PM   #18
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Re: Single User Dungeon

I'll look into that mud, but it's not really what I'm looking for. Primarily, I want to create it. Secondarily, there are a number of limitations with a mud, such as quests not having a permanent affect on the game world. I want it to look, feel, and play like a mud, but be a legitimate RPG.

Also, looking into that creation utility, how exactly did you import things? What did the database look like? It doesn't look to me like you can have a database to store large amounts of data using that program. Also, can you make it have tics to regain spells, etc, or how did you manage that aspect?
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