Discussion:
Best way to implement autopickup
(too old to reply)
Gibbering Poster
2004-08-23 16:35:05 UTC
Permalink
Should autopickup be turn-free?

Picture the scenario:

######
.@$D.#
######

If the player above moves 1 square toward the dragon, should:

a) Autopickup fire off, causing the player to pickup the gold, and give the
dragon a free turn of hits on the player PLUS the round of hits it would get
since the player was moving next to the dragon first?

b) Should Autopickup be ignored because it would give the dragon an extra
round of hits?

c) Should Autopickup perform the pickup at no time cost?


It seems that 'c' would be the more sensible option. Imagine that you had
pickup for rings only, and there was a ring in the '$' square buried beneath
a bunch of stuff, and the player didn't know it was there. In the first
scenario, that would cause the player to take extra damage because he didn't
know the ring was there. In the 2nd, the player might very well miss the
ring, because autopickup didn't go off... In the 3rd, the player gets the
ring, and doesn't get a 'strange' extra round of dragon hits executed
against him...

Thoughts?
John Bashaw
2004-08-23 17:08:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Should autopickup be turn-free?
######
######
a) Autopickup fire off, causing the player to pickup the gold, and give the
dragon a free turn of hits on the player PLUS the round of hits it would get
since the player was moving next to the dragon first?
b) Should Autopickup be ignored because it would give the dragon an extra
round of hits?
c) Should Autopickup perform the pickup at no time cost?
It seems that 'c' would be the more sensible option. Imagine that you had
pickup for rings only, and there was a ring in the '$' square buried beneath
a bunch of stuff, and the player didn't know it was there. In the first
scenario, that would cause the player to take extra damage because he didn't
know the ring was there. In the 2nd, the player might very well miss the
ring, because autopickup didn't go off... In the 3rd, the player gets the
ring, and doesn't get a 'strange' extra round of dragon hits executed
against him...
Thoughts?
Basically you need to decide the answer to the first question (Should
autopickup be turn-free?) before the other questions have any meaning.
In roguelikes I've played, autopickup tends to be turn-free, while using
the "get" command tends to cost a turn (no matter how many items you
pickup). On the realism side, autopickup is just a convenience, and
probably should cost a turn per move (same as issuing a "get" or
"pickup" command), it's up to the player to remember to disable
autopickup in situations like your example, or face the consequences.
Most roguelikes with autopickup also have a "move without pickup"
command, for just such times.

If that dragon is likely to breathe something nasty, and possibly
destroy the ring (and other things) buried in the pile, the player may
well want to take the hit for the chance to save the ring. I personally
tend to phase door or teleport away in such situations, just to avoid
the extra hits and/or item destruction.
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-08-23 17:44:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Bashaw
In roguelikes I've played, autopickup tends to be turn-free, while
using the "get" command tends to cost a turn (no matter how many
items you pickup). On the realism side, autopickup is just a
convenience, and probably should cost a turn per move (same as
issuing a "get" or "pickup" command), it's up to the player to
remember to disable autopickup in situations like your example, or
face the consequences.
In NetHack, autopickup is turn-free, and get costs a turn, so autopickup
is more than a convenience: it's a turn-saver.
Post by John Bashaw
Most roguelikes with autopickup also have a
"move without pickup" command, for just such times.
NetHack has turn-free autopickup, but there *still* is a move without
pickup command, which I often use. Not to save a turn, of course, but to
avoid getting over a burden limit, which may also be of import.
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

"So computers are tools of the Devil? thought Newt. He had no problem
believing it. Computers had to be the tools of *somebody*, and all he
knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him."
- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in "Good Omens".
Ray Dillinger
2004-08-23 20:51:47 UTC
Permalink
How about a compromise?

Autopickup (and pickup) is a zero-turn action if the player
has a hand free, and costs a turn if the player has things
wielded in both hands or is carrying a two-handed weapon.

Bear
Arthur J. O'Dwyer
2004-08-24 05:01:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by John Bashaw
In roguelikes I've played, autopickup tends to be turn-free, while
using the "get" command tends to cost a turn (no matter how many
items you pickup). On the realism side, autopickup is just a
convenience, and probably should cost a turn per move (same as
issuing a "get" or "pickup" command), it's up to the player to
remember to disable autopickup in situations like your example, or
face the consequences.
In NetHack, autopickup is turn-free, and get costs a turn, so autopickup
is more than a convenience: it's a turn-saver.
Contrariwise, for me autopickup is more often an aggravation. For
example,

... You see here an Item of Special Usefulness.
***@. The dwarf hits! Wizard is about to die...
..h

Now, had I decided last turn to set autopickup to collect Items
of Special Usefulness, I would now have aforementioned Item in my
inventory and ready to use. However, if I just "play it straight"
and don't exploit turnless autopickup, I have to choose between
abandoning the item, and spending a turn picking it up and getting
killed immediately afterward.

Now, I /could/ exploit autopickup to the full, re-adjusting my
autopickup settings each turn so that I wasted no turns picking
up items; but that is (A) very boring; and (B) very much like
cheating, in my book. So the presence of autopickup is just an
aggravation.

(It is also aggravating that in Nethack, IIRC, (d)ropping five items
in series takes longer than (D)ropping the same five items in parallel.
I think the d/D distinction is more a user-interface feature than a
game-world feature, or at least it ought to be.)

I would suggest that picking up and/or dropping items shouldn't
take any time at all. Nor should re-arranging the character's
inventory. Because in general, we have these common cases:

(1) No monster is in sight, and the character isn't in danger.
So it really doesn't matter whether the action takes a turn
or not---the difference is negligible.
(2) The character /is/ in danger. In this case, the character
would presumably not dawdle picking things up; he'd just leap
across the ten feet separating him from that sword and grab it!
Assuming he was physically capable of leaping, that is.
(3) The character is damaged or incapacitated. In that case,
maybe he would have trouble picking up items... but the game
usually has already accounted for that effect by giving the player
fewer turns, so making him take one extra turn to pick up an
item again won't have a significant effect.

The "no time penalty for inventory management" approach rules out
some Nethackisms: the fumbled weapon that drops to the ground, forcing
the player to pause and pick it up, for example. But I can't say
I'd miss that. ;)

I think a good autopickup method would be to prompt the player
before automatically picking up items in his autopickup list; he
can use the regular "pick-up" command to get items that aren't on
his list. This is basically the Angband interface, except that
you wouldn't get prompted to pick up things that weren't on your
list.

-Arthur
Martin Read
2004-08-24 10:46:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Now, I /could/ exploit autopickup to the full, re-adjusting my
autopickup settings each turn so that I wasted no turns picking
up items; but that is (A) very boring; and (B) very much like
cheating, in my book. So the presence of autopickup is just an
aggravation.
I have my autopickup settings set, roughly speaking, to the set of items
that can save my life in one turn: amulets, rings, wands, potions, and
scrolls. These items are *always* worth collecting, with a few minor
exceptions, and aren't terribly heavy.

m.
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
Jeff Lait
2004-08-24 15:43:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by John Bashaw
In roguelikes I've played, autopickup tends to be turn-free, while
using the "get" command tends to cost a turn (no matter how many
items you pickup). On the realism side, autopickup is just a
convenience, and probably should cost a turn per move (same as
issuing a "get" or "pickup" command), it's up to the player to
remember to disable autopickup in situations like your example, or
face the consequences.
In NetHack, autopickup is turn-free, and get costs a turn, so autopickup
is more than a convenience: it's a turn-saver.
Contrariwise, for me autopickup is more often an aggravation. For
example,
... You see here an Item of Special Usefulness.
..h
I have played Nethack for a long time, and been fully spoiled, but
never knew autopickup was free. I always assumed it cost a turn, so
avoided having it on like a plague.

Thank you all for this very interesting discussion - I am encountering
the same question with POWDER. Especially with the limitted keys of
the GBA, the desire to have an auto pickup is high.

One thing I had determined is that quiverred items be auto-pickuped
turn free, but I had not planned on having normal items be turn free.
The problem is, as you note, that it is an interesting choice whether
you pick up the wand or don't. If pickup is free, you remove
interesting choices from the game.
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Now, had I decided last turn to set autopickup to collect Items
of Special Usefulness, I would now have aforementioned Item in my
inventory and ready to use. However, if I just "play it straight"
and don't exploit turnless autopickup, I have to choose between
abandoning the item, and spending a turn picking it up and getting
killed immediately afterward.
I like that sort of dilemma. Thus, I am disappointed that auto pickup
provides an exploit in Nethack.
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
I would suggest that picking up and/or dropping items shouldn't
take any time at all. Nor should re-arranging the character's
Very true. I'm guilty of requiring sorting the characters backpack
costing a turn - I should likely axe that.
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
The "no time penalty for inventory management" approach rules out
some Nethackisms: the fumbled weapon that drops to the ground, forcing
the player to pause and pick it up, for example. But I can't say
I'd miss that. ;)
Not quite. I would say that wielding/unwielding items should have a
time penalty associated with them, so while youcould pickup the item
for free, you couldn't put it in your hand.
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
I think a good autopickup method would be to prompt the player
before automatically picking up items in his autopickup list; he
can use the regular "pick-up" command to get items that aren't on
his list. This is basically the Angband interface, except that
you wouldn't get prompted to pick up things that weren't on your
list.
Of course, I hate prompts with a passion :>
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Daniel Tallentire
2004-08-24 16:37:41 UTC
Permalink
Jeff Lait wrote:

<-snip some positives and negatives of autopickup->
Post by Jeff Lait
Thank you all for this very interesting discussion - I am encountering
the same question with POWDER. Especially with the limitted keys of
the GBA, the desire to have an auto pickup is high.
One thing I had determined is that quiverred items be auto-pickuped
turn free, but I had not planned on having normal items be turn free.
The problem is, as you note, that it is an interesting choice whether
you pick up the wand or don't. If pickup is free, you remove
interesting choices from the game.
If you are saying that quiverred items are free to be auto-pickuped,
you could also reasonably suggest other small items could be picked
for free too. A character could easily stoop and pop a ring or wand
into his pocket, or put a scroll inside his coat, and then transfer
this to his backpack (transparently) at the next available moment
without too much bother.

In my opinion, autopickup should only be free for items light and small
enough, as you could easily hook a finger around a necklace chain,
or even pick it up with your sword.

I think this will be how I implement it in my game (when I get around
to coding it some more!)


Dan Tallentire
Jeff Lait
2004-08-26 04:46:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Tallentire
<-snip some positives and negatives of autopickup->
Post by Jeff Lait
Thank you all for this very interesting discussion - I am encountering
the same question with POWDER. Especially with the limitted keys of
the GBA, the desire to have an auto pickup is high.
One thing I had determined is that quiverred items be auto-pickuped
turn free, but I had not planned on having normal items be turn free.
The problem is, as you note, that it is an interesting choice whether
you pick up the wand or don't. If pickup is free, you remove
interesting choices from the game.
If you are saying that quiverred items are free to be auto-pickuped,
you could also reasonably suggest other small items could be picked
for free too.
Why? I do not plan on making quiverred items free auto pickup because
they are small. I plan on doing it because:
1) It is highly likely that is the intention of the player. If the
player explicitly flags an item as quiverred, it is safe to assume
they are using it as ammo. Thus, will want to always pick it up. If
there is only one logical choice for the player, it is better to make
it for them. This is why we have a single command to put on armour,
rather than requiring each buckle to be explicitly fastened.
2) I want to encourage the use of ranged weapons. The best way to do
this (better than giving them more damage, etc) is to make them
straight forward to use.
3) I do not want the user to have to turn on/off auto pickup. Thus, I
want it on all the time. This means that having it cost a turn to
pick up ammo could result in the death of the player, so is a really
bad idea.
Post by Daniel Tallentire
A character could easily stoop and pop a ring or wand
into his pocket, or put a scroll inside his coat, and then transfer
this to his backpack (transparently) at the next available moment
without too much bother.
This is an argument from realism. A decision like this has to be made
on gameplay, *not* realism.
Post by Daniel Tallentire
In my opinion, autopickup should only be free for items light and small
enough, as you could easily hook a finger around a necklace chain,
or even pick it up with your sword.
In my opinion, this worst of both worlds. You have a case where
*some* items will have a cost to pickup, and *some* items will be
free.

Games are about interesting choices. Choices are only interesting if
one can understand the consequences. (Otherwise, one might as well
just choose randomly every time) Having some items cost for pickup,
and other items not cost, makes it a lot more difficult to understand
what will happen when one hits the pickup key.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Ray Dillinger
2004-08-26 16:18:38 UTC
Permalink
For me it all comes down to the character's hands.

I consider things to be in different categories if
they are:

1) Carried. (stuff in your bags, backpack, etc)
2) Worn. (rings, armor, clothes, etc that you're wearing)
3) Sheathed/quivered (carried ready for instant draw and use)
4) Wielded. (in your hot little hands right this instant).

Transferring anything to or from category 1 or 2 requires one
turn (exception: putting on/taking off body armor requires
three turns) and both hands free (you can't be wielding
anything except the item you're transferring to your
luggage/body). Transferring anything between category 3 and
4 is turn-free (but you have few and very specific sheath
and quiver slots). Picking something up off the ground
requires you to have a hand free. The thing you pick up will
automatically be wielded, which cuts down the number of free
hands you have. A guy whose hands are occupied doesn't pick
anything up.

So what it comes down to is that I give the character "free"
(in turns) pickup; but not more than one or two items (the
second at the cost of sheathing his sword) before he has to
spend time putting them away. The exception is that if he
picks up ammo/weapon suitable for quivering or sheathing, it
takes no time to put them in the quiver/sheath. I don't have
autopickup yet; it's always a command - but I'm getting ready
to implement "autoquiver", which means that when the character
picks up ammo of a type compatible with his weapon, he
automatically uses a turn-free action to put it into the
quiver. But he still has to have a hand free to pick it up.

Some things we don't normally think of being quivered or
sheathed can be; it's entirely reasonable, for example, for
a wizard who must use books to cast spells to carry them
in a way he can get at them instantly, or have his staff
on a sling over his back where he can grab it, or a wand
quiver that keeps his six favorite wands at ready. But
you have a limited number (currently 3) quivers/sheaths
you can wear, and you have to make choices about which
ones you need.

Bear
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-06 17:17:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ray Dillinger
The thing you pick up will
automatically be wielded, which cuts down the number of free
hands you have
I hope you don't have "sticky curses" in your game.

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
Ray Dillinger
2004-09-06 22:06:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by R. Dan Henry
Post by Ray Dillinger
The thing you pick up will
automatically be wielded, which cuts down the number of free
hands you have
I hope you don't have "sticky curses" in your game.
"Sticky" is only a very small part of the universe
of curses. Fewer than one cursed item in a hundred
is sticky. And even the "sticky curse" won't take
effect unless you actually use/fire a weapon to hit
something in combat, or invoke an item, or whatever.

But I thought that there should be a far richer
variety of curses.

Once you figure out something is cursed, and what
the curse is, throwing it away is (usually) no
problem. But by that time, typically, the damage
is done. And there are some items that are cursed
(for example, they may aggravate monsters), but
they're useful anyway, so you just grit your teeth
and live with the curse.


Bear
Daniel Tallentire
2004-08-30 12:24:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
Games are about interesting choices. Choices are only interesting if
one can understand the consequences. (Otherwise, one might as well
just choose randomly every time) Having some items cost for pickup,
and other items not cost, makes it a lot more difficult to understand
what will happen when one hits the pickup key.
I see what you mean, and realise that my argument was poorly formed...
it was just some thoughts that were running around my head. It is
unlikely that autopickup will acutally be necessary in my game, as items
will not be common... I want to instil a sense of care for items in
players... take care of your sword... clean it occasionally.

Dirty armour and weapons makes you look less professional... my game is
based around scavenging for the few items that people want you to find,
and they have to think you are going to do the job before they employ you!

I also want players to think more carefully about what they pick up, not
just pick up any tiny knife because it may be magical (although picking
it up to sell is good)


Dan Tallentire
Arthur J. O'Dwyer
2004-08-31 22:31:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Tallentire
Post by Jeff Lait
Games are about interesting choices. Choices are only interesting if
one can understand the consequences. (Otherwise, one might as well
just choose randomly every time) Having some items cost for pickup,
and other items not cost, makes it a lot more difficult to understand
what will happen when one hits the pickup key.
I see what you mean, and realise that my argument was poorly formed...
it was just some thoughts that were running around my head. It is unlikely
that autopickup will acutally be necessary in my game, as items
will not be common...
[...]
Post by Daniel Tallentire
I also want players to think more carefully about what they pick up, not
just pick up any tiny knife because it may be magical (although picking
it up to sell is good)
Wouldn't this goal be much better served by implementing limits on
the player's carrying capacity? I don't see what "tiny knives aren't
worth hoarding" has to do with autopickup at all!

-Arthur
Daniel Tallentire
2004-09-01 08:01:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
<...> It is
unlikely that autopickup will acutally be necessary in my game, as items
will not be common...
[...]
I also want players to think more carefully about what they pick up, not
just pick up any tiny knife because it may be magical (although
picking it up to sell is good)
Wouldn't this goal be much better served by implementing limits on
the player's carrying capacity? I don't see what "tiny knives aren't
worth hoarding" has to do with autopickup at all!
-Arthur
There will be limits on the carrying capacity of characters, but I don't
want players to feel that they aren't picking up all that stuff because
their character isn't strong enough to carry it... I want them to feel
like there is no point wasting time picking up something which is not
worth much, when they will probably find something better to find.

If autopickup is on, players can hardly be thinking carefully about what
they are picking up... I agree if you implement money lying about on the
floor, or ammunition, then autopickup is a good thing.

I'm sorta leaning towards a searching bodies point of view rather than
when NPC dies, having all its items spill out all over the floor.


And as said at the start of the post, items will likely be too rare to
warrant autopickup... although I suppose who am I to tell people how to
play the game I make!


Dan Tallentire
Glen Wheeler
2004-09-01 08:18:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Tallentire
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
<...> It is
unlikely that autopickup will acutally be necessary in my game, as items
will not be common...
[...]
I also want players to think more carefully about what they pick up, not
just pick up any tiny knife because it may be magical (although
picking it up to sell is good)
Wouldn't this goal be much better served by implementing limits on
the player's carrying capacity? I don't see what "tiny knives aren't
worth hoarding" has to do with autopickup at all!
-Arthur
There will be limits on the carrying capacity of characters, but I don't
want players to feel that they aren't picking up all that stuff because
their character isn't strong enough to carry it... I want them to feel
like there is no point wasting time picking up something which is not
worth much, when they will probably find something better to find.
Why even implement an item which is worthless? Or are you saying this
item is only worthless at a particular character level or power? How does
your player assess this?
Post by Daniel Tallentire
If autopickup is on, players can hardly be thinking carefully about what
they are picking up... I agree if you implement money lying about on the
floor, or ammunition, then autopickup is a good thing.
I'm sorta leaning towards a searching bodies point of view rather than
when NPC dies, having all its items spill out all over the floor.
That's what my roguelike does. It's cleaner. When you kill somebody, all
their stuff stacks `under' their corpse and a little white plus indicates
that there exists more than one item in that square.
Post by Daniel Tallentire
And as said at the start of the post, items will likely be too rare to
warrant autopickup... although I suppose who am I to tell people how to
play the game I make!
<troll>
Autopickup is eeeeeevil ;)
</troll>
--
Glen
L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
Daniel Tallentire
2004-09-01 17:17:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glen Wheeler
Post by Daniel Tallentire
There will be limits on the carrying capacity of characters, but I don't
want players to feel that they aren't picking up all that stuff because
their character isn't strong enough to carry it... I want them to feel
like there is no point wasting time picking up something which is not
worth much, when they will probably find something better to find.
Why even implement an item which is worthless? Or are you saying this
item is only worthless at a particular character level or power?
I do not think I will implement any item with no "value", but items will
have such different values depending on what the character is doing... I
am thinking of implementing some small subquests like the shopkeeper
asking you to find him 10 small knives so his wife can throw dinner
parties... but I'm not too sure about that!

But yes, it will mostly depend on character "level" (I use quotes
because I have no idea how I am going to do a progression system for
experience), especially if you have a job as a professional scavenger...
ie scavenging for someone else, ie, "I brought you the Orb of Awesome
power, oh Master... and 2 little tiny knives and an apple core."
Post by Glen Wheeler
How does your player assess this?
Actual experience (experience playing the game, not character
experience) I think. The character will also have fairly reasonable item
examination skill, giving its idea of values, based upon its
intelligence, wisdom, race and occupation.
Post by Glen Wheeler
Post by Daniel Tallentire
If autopickup is on, players can hardly be thinking carefully about what
they are picking up... I agree if you implement money lying about on the
floor, or ammunition, then autopickup is a good thing.
I'm sorta leaning towards a searching bodies point of view rather than
when NPC dies, having all its items spill out all over the floor.
That's what my roguelike does. It's cleaner. When you kill somebody, all
their stuff stacks `under' their corpse and a little white plus indicates
that there exists more than one item in that square.
Yeah, thats neat. In my roguelike there will be a small chance a
character might miss an item on first inspection (ie a key around the
next of a body), but I don't want to make this too much of an issue...
just a nice player inventory - external inventory transfer system.


Dan Tallentire
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-01 09:44:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Tallentire
If autopickup is on, players can hardly be thinking carefully about what
they are picking up... I agree if you implement money lying about on the
floor, or ammunition, then autopickup is a good thing.
This isn't really to do with 'pickup mode' but with items. For the
magpies out there, maybe you could have two inventories. One is the
normal inventory, and one is the 'junk to be sold' inventory. The
latter has its contents automatically replaced based on value, i.e. if
you pick up a chain helm (20 gp) and decide you don't need it, it is
added to the junk menu if there is room. An empty bottle, a rat
skeleton or a dagger (4 gp) might be automatically thrown out to make
room for it. Pick up something you want, and there may be less room for
junk, so the least valuable item will be thrown out of the junk.

Result - you always have just as much valuable junk as you can carry,
but you don;t have to sort it, and it isn't mixed with the stuff you are
interested in. Some complexity would be added if non-ID'd items
'Zangband' style 'item feelings' were taken into account, but I'm sure
this could be handled.

- Gerry Quinn
Daniel Tallentire
2004-09-01 17:48:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Daniel Tallentire
If autopickup is on, players can hardly be thinking carefully about what
they are picking up... I agree if you implement money lying about on the
floor, or ammunition, then autopickup is a good thing.
This isn't really to do with 'pickup mode' but with items. For the
magpies out there, maybe you could have two inventories. One is the
normal inventory, and one is the 'junk to be sold' inventory. The
latter has its contents automatically replaced based on value, i.e. if
you pick up a chain helm (20 gp) and decide you don't need it, it is
added to the junk menu if there is room. An empty bottle, a rat
skeleton or a dagger (4 gp) might be automatically thrown out to make
room for it. Pick up something you want, and there may be less room for
junk, so the least valuable item will be thrown out of the junk.
Result - you always have just as much valuable junk as you can carry,
but you don;t have to sort it, and it isn't mixed with the stuff you are
interested in. Some complexity would be added if non-ID'd items
'Zangband' style 'item feelings' were taken into account, but I'm sure
this could be handled.
I really like this idea, and since I am already going to have a fairly
comprehensive approximate item evaluation system, it would fit in quite
easily. Two pickup commands would be necessary, but I prefer smaller
keyboard interfaces anyway, so I doubt I will need a lot of commands.

It will fit too, if I'm making a scavenging type game, it will probably
become habit forming to pick anything up, if items are rare.

Thanks for this idea :) if I'll put your name in somewhere :)


Dan Tallentire
The Sheep
2004-09-02 09:36:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Tallentire
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Daniel Tallentire
If autopickup is on, players can hardly be thinking carefully about what
they are picking up... I agree if you implement money lying about on the
floor, or ammunition, then autopickup is a good thing.
This isn't really to do with 'pickup mode' but with items. For the
magpies out there, maybe you could have two inventories. One is the
normal inventory, and one is the 'junk to be sold' inventory. The
latter has its contents automatically replaced based on value, i.e. if
you pick up a chain helm (20 gp) and decide you don't need it, it is
added to the junk menu if there is room. An empty bottle, a rat
skeleton or a dagger (4 gp) might be automatically thrown out to make
room for it. Pick up something you want, and there may be less room for
junk, so the least valuable item will be thrown out of the junk.
Result - you always have just as much valuable junk as you can carry,
but you don;t have to sort it, and it isn't mixed with the stuff you are
interested in. Some complexity would be added if non-ID'd items
'Zangband' style 'item feelings' were taken into account, but I'm sure
this could be handled.
I really like this idea, and since I am already going to have a fairly
comprehensive approximate item evaluation system, it would fit in quite
easily. Two pickup commands would be necessary, but I prefer smaller
keyboard interfaces anyway, so I doubt I will need a lot of commands.
It will fit too, if I'm making a scavenging type game, it will probably
become habit forming to pick anything up, if items are rare.
Thanks for this idea :) if I'll put your name in somewhere :)
I like this idea too, it fits to my idea of separate `equipment' and
`treasure' inventories. You can for example make the character drop
his treasure bag when in danger and burdened. Or when panicking.

This way you won't lose the `important items'.

And another good thing -- the items you use often are not mixed with
the items you never intend to use, so your `use which item' lists are
much shorter, and you can more easily assign letters to the items.
--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski
Whatever you're looking for, you always find it
in the last place you check. Coincidence?
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-03 10:04:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Tallentire
I really like this idea, and since I am already going to have a fairly
comprehensive approximate item evaluation system, it would fit in quite
easily. Two pickup commands would be necessary, but I prefer smaller
keyboard interfaces anyway, so I doubt I will need a lot of commands.
Or use something like:

You pick up a scale mail. Do you want to:
a) Keep it
b) Drop it
c) Treat it as random treasure

If you select c it might just be dropped, or it might be kept on if
there is room.
Post by Daniel Tallentire
It will fit too, if I'm making a scavenging type game, it will probably
become habit forming to pick anything up, if items are rare.
Thanks for this idea :) if I'll put your name in somewhere :)
Ideas are free! (Not that I mind if you credit me.)

- Gerry Quinn
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-08-24 17:00:32 UTC
Permalink
"Arthur J. O'Dwyer" wrote...
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
In NetHack, autopickup is turn-free, and get costs a turn, so
autopickup is more than a convenience: it's a turn-saver.
However, if I just "play it straight"
and don't exploit turnless autopickup, I have to choose between
abandoning the item, and spending a turn picking it up and getting
killed immediately afterward.
I like that sort of dilemma. Thus, I am disappointed that auto pickup
provides an exploit in Nethack.
I don't think it's an exploit. You could also argue that autopickupping
items is standard, and that the interface provides you with a way to
turn it off.
Not quite. I would say that wielding/unwielding items should have a
time penalty associated with them, so while youcould pickup the item
for free, you couldn't put it in your hand.
Indeed. But there still would be a way to exploit this: dropping things
on altars. If you're standing there, and you've got, say, a potion of
healing (unidentified), and you're low on hit points, you might be very
interested in knowing whether or not that potion is cursed, uncursed or
blessed. Being able to drop it and pick it back up without that costing
a turn would be a slight advantage as opposed to the current situation.
Of course, I hate prompts with a passion :>
So do I. The less of them, the better. Hence, please keep autopickup.
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

"So computers are tools of the Devil? thought Newt. He had no problem
believing it. Computers had to be the tools of *somebody*, and all he
knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him."
- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in "Good Omens".
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-06 17:17:06 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 01:01:17 -0400 (EDT), "Arthur J. O'Dwyer"
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
The "no time penalty for inventory management" approach rules out
some Nethackisms: the fumbled weapon that drops to the ground, forcing
the player to pause and pick it up, for example. But I can't say
I'd miss that. ;)
Have a fumbled weapon drop to the ground a space away from the player
and you've got the feature back.
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Water Wars: Climate change forced the third and fourth world
wars to be fought over water rights. Perhaps these wars
are ongoing in the time of your game; perhaps they are
part of the history.
Doesn't require a climate change; we're headed that way now unless we
get negative population growth in the near future (go bird flu!)

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
Ramela
2004-09-06 14:48:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Bashaw
Post by Gibbering Poster
Thoughts?
Basically you need to decide the answer to the first question (Should
autopickup be turn-free?) before the other questions have any meaning.
In roguelikes I've played, autopickup tends to be turn-free, while using
the "get" command tends to cost a turn (no matter how many items you
pickup). On the realism side, autopickup is just a convenience, and
probably should cost a turn per move (same as issuing a "get" or
"pickup" command), it's up to the player to remember to disable
autopickup in situations like your example, or face the consequences.
Most roguelikes with autopickup also have a "move without pickup"
command, for just such times.
IMO at least auto pick-up should cost no time due to being
more user-friendly that way, but if not why not make
auto pick-up possible only if no monsters are visible and
allow "forced auto pick-up" when nasties are visible?
--
--

Anssi Ramela

***@myy.helia.fi
Auric__
2004-08-23 17:25:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Should autopickup be turn-free?
######
######
a) Autopickup fire off, causing the player to pickup the gold, and give the
dragon a free turn of hits on the player PLUS the round of hits it would get
since the player was moving next to the dragon first?
b) Should Autopickup be ignored because it would give the dragon an extra
round of hits?
c) Should Autopickup perform the pickup at no time cost?
It seems that 'c' would be the more sensible option. Imagine that you had
pickup for rings only, and there was a ring in the '$' square buried beneath
a bunch of stuff, and the player didn't know it was there. In the first
scenario, that would cause the player to take extra damage because he didn't
know the ring was there. In the 2nd, the player might very well miss the
ring, because autopickup didn't go off... In the 3rd, the player gets the
ring, and doesn't get a 'strange' extra round of dragon hits executed
against him...
Thoughts?
You could let the player choose what gets autopicked-up, and then do a)
Post by Gibbering Poster
E
There is a DRAGON here!
On the ground is:
- a ring
- a broken sword
- a scorched shield
- half-melted armor
- gold
You picked up:
- a ring
and left the rest for later.
The DRAGON hit you for 50 HP while you were picking up treasure!
--
auric underscore underscore at hotmail dot com
*****
You can do a lot of things with 20 food processors and 50 babies.
Davis Chord
2004-08-23 22:58:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Should autopickup be turn-free?
######
######
a) Autopickup fire off, causing the player to pickup the gold, and give the
dragon a free turn of hits on the player PLUS the round of hits it would get
since the player was moving next to the dragon first?
b) Should Autopickup be ignored because it would give the dragon an extra
round of hits?
c) Should Autopickup perform the pickup at no time cost?
How about d) Autopickup doesn't do any action, and instead prompts the
player that there is something there (only if in such a situation). Of
course, that kind of defeats the purpose of autopickup, but personally I
prefer being prompted beforehand anyways.

If I was forced into autopickup (which many roguelikes have done), keep it
turn-free. Being forced a turn penalty for something that they couldn't
control (like not seeing the item beneath others) and dieing for it is not
going to make them very pleased with your game. I speak from experience. :P
Post by Gibbering Poster
It seems that 'c' would be the more sensible option. Imagine that you had
pickup for rings only, and there was a ring in the '$' square buried beneath
a bunch of stuff, and the player didn't know it was there. In the first
scenario, that would cause the player to take extra damage because he didn't
know the ring was there. In the 2nd, the player might very well miss the
ring, because autopickup didn't go off... In the 3rd, the player gets the
ring, and doesn't get a 'strange' extra round of dragon hits executed
against him...
Thoughts?
Glen Wheeler
2004-08-24 02:43:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Should autopickup be turn-free?
######
######
[..]
As much as I despise any auto-pickup, I see your point.
Keeping pickup as costing one or more turns, what about a UI change?
An auto-pickup toggle key? That could be convenient. If the player
does not know already that picking items up uses a turn then that's
really their own fault.
--
Glen
L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-08-24 07:23:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glen Wheeler
As much as I despise any auto-pickup, I see your point.
Keeping pickup as costing one or more turns, what about a UI change?
An auto-pickup toggle key? That could be convenient. If the player
does not know already that picking items up uses a turn then that's
really their own fault.
Of course, if autopickup isn't turn-free, one should also consider
wheter picking up multiple items should take multiple turns or not. If
picking up 0 items costs 0 turns, and picking up 1 item costs 1 turn,
it's not too far stretched to assume that picking up 2 items would cost
2 turns, 3 items 3 turns, etc...

Why should picking up 1 item cost an entire turn, while picking up a
stack of 50 items, varying in size, weight, and general encumbrance not
weigh, say, at least 10 turns (taking into consideration that every next
item is easier to pick up)?
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

"So computers are tools of the Devil? thought Newt. He had no problem
believing it. Computers had to be the tools of *somebody*, and all he
knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him."
- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in "Good Omens".
Glen Wheeler
2004-08-25 00:43:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by Glen Wheeler
As much as I despise any auto-pickup, I see your point.
Keeping pickup as costing one or more turns, what about a UI change?
An auto-pickup toggle key? That could be convenient. If the player
does not know already that picking items up uses a turn then that's
really their own fault.
Of course, if autopickup isn't turn-free, one should also consider
wheter picking up multiple items should take multiple turns or not. If
picking up 0 items costs 0 turns, and picking up 1 item costs 1 turn,
it's not too far stretched to assume that picking up 2 items would cost
2 turns, 3 items 3 turns, etc...
Agreed.
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Why should picking up 1 item cost an entire turn, while picking up a
stack of 50 items, varying in size, weight, and general encumbrance not
weigh, say, at least 10 turns (taking into consideration that every next
item is easier to pick up)?
Well, I'm not sure of the exact details (when considering weights etc)
but picking up 10 items should take 10 times as long as picking up one item.
The whole point here is that the interesting dichotomy:

1. Flee and keep my life
2. Roll the RNG and perhaps score some loot

is preserved. The more loot to pick up, the more turns it takes and the
more interesting the situation becomes.

These kinds of decisions are IMO what makes roguelikes interesting and
unique.
--
Glen
L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
crichmon
2004-08-31 01:25:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by Glen Wheeler
As much as I despise any auto-pickup, I see your point.
Keeping pickup as costing one or more turns, what about
a UI change? An auto-pickup toggle key? That could be
convenient. If the player does not know already that
picking items up uses a turn then that's really their
own fault.
Of course, if autopickup isn't turn-free, one should also
consider wheter picking up multiple items should take
multiple turns or not. If picking up 0 items costs 0
turns, and picking up 1 item costs 1 turn, it's not too
far stretched to assume that picking up 2 items would
cost 2 turns, 3 items 3 turns, etc...
Why should picking up 1 item cost an entire turn, while
picking up a stack of 50 items, varying in size, weight,
and general encumbrance not weigh, say, at least 10 turns
(taking into consideration that every next item is easier
to pick up)?
Read the thread, my newsreader ditches older messages, so I'm just generally
responding to everything I read in the thread in this message... :)

If auto-pickup always costs at least one turn no matter what item (or how
many/much of that item) is picked up, then not only is it useless and
annoying, it's dangerous. One worst-case scenario: the player is next to a
tile with a bunch of stuff which is next to a tile with a monster. If the
player moves to the tile with the stuff, the monster is going to get a free
hit. If autopickup is on (and perhaps badly configured), the player will
pick up one-or-more items, which will cost one-or-more turns, which will
allow the monster (or monsters? yikes) one-or-more additional hits. One
keypress has put he player in a seriously fatal position.

Of course this situation could be avoided by disabling autopickup. But then
why implement it at all?

I think the responses from players who like autopickup suggests that it is a
worthy feature. I would be one of these players. However, the ability to
pickup limitless amounts of items with all variations of weight (when not
considering encumberance rules) seems a little unrealistic. Someone may
say that games are not about realism, they're about gameplay. I would say
that good, nay, great games are about an intelligent balance between realism
and gameplay.

My suggestion is that picking up items should be an extension of the
encumberance rules, with weight/mass and amount limitations imposed. An
autopickup should be a toggable, configurable feature that will _only_
pickup items if it _doesn't_ cost a turn.

Example 1: if a player wants to autopickup rings and happens to walk onto a
tile with a pile of say 20+ rings (nice bones file :), autopickup may only
actually pickup an arbitrary max amount of say 5 rings. The game message to
the player maybe something like:
"there are many items here."
"you see many rings here."
"you pick up 5 of the rings."
"pearl ring taken. iron ring taken. wooden ring taken. opal ring taken.
golden ring taken."
"there are more items here, but you cannot take any more until your next
turn."

Example 2: if the player walks onto a tile with a rather heavy suit of plate
mail armor, since it is beyond the arbitrary 'light' or 'medium' weight
restriction, autopickup won't pick it up. The game message to the player
maybe something like:
"there is a suit of plate mail armor here."
"there are more items here, but you cannot take any more until your next
turn."

Anything beyond the arbitrary amount/weight restriction is too much to be
picked up automatically for zero with the player's move. It would be an
action that requires it's own turn. Not only could this add additional
strategy considerations on the player's part, but it would enhance the
standard pick-up action as well: at least in NetHack, if something is too
heavy, not only can it not be picked up in one turn, it can't be picked up
at all. Shouldn't there be a similar (and somewhat more realistic)
restriction for amounts of items?

Anyways, that's all just my 2 cents. Do with it what you will. :)


laterz,
crichmon
Glen Wheeler
2004-08-31 01:46:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by crichmon
Read the thread, my newsreader ditches older messages, so I'm just generally
responding to everything I read in the thread in this message... :)
If auto-pickup always costs at least one turn no matter what item (or how
many/much of that item) is picked up, then not only is it useless and
annoying, it's dangerous. One worst-case scenario: the player is next to a
tile with a bunch of stuff which is next to a tile with a monster. If the
player moves to the tile with the stuff, the monster is going to get a free
hit. If autopickup is on (and perhaps badly configured), the player will
pick up one-or-more items, which will cost one-or-more turns, which will
allow the monster (or monsters? yikes) one-or-more additional hits. One
keypress has put he player in a seriously fatal position.
Of course this situation could be avoided by disabling autopickup. But then
why implement it at all?
I think the responses from players who like autopickup suggests that it is a
worthy feature. I would be one of these players. However, the ability to
pickup limitless amounts of items with all variations of weight (when not
considering encumberance rules) seems a little unrealistic. Someone may
say that games are not about realism, they're about gameplay. I would say
that good, nay, great games are about an intelligent balance between realism
and gameplay.
Auto-pickup should be a shortcut, a convenince for the player.
If auto-pickup is free, then so should be manual pickup.
This eliminates an interesting choice the player has to make. This is
bad.
Post by crichmon
My suggestion is that picking up items should be an extension of the
encumberance rules, with weight/mass and amount limitations imposed. An
autopickup should be a toggable, configurable feature that will _only_
pickup items if it _doesn't_ cost a turn.
That's a good idea, but I would argue that picking up items should always
cost at least one turn to make things more interesting.
Post by crichmon
[..]
Cool idea, wouldn't mind playing that ;).
--
Glen
L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-08-31 08:07:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glen Wheeler
Auto-pickup should be a shortcut, a convenince for the player.
If auto-pickup is free, then so should be manual pickup.
Agreed on both counts.
Post by Glen Wheeler
This eliminates an interesting choice the player has to make.
This is bad.
Disagreed on both counts. I think it's not an interesting choice at all.
I think having to manually pick up things is cumbersome, and just leads
to more unnecessary keypresses. If you've ever experienced (beginning
signs of) RSI, you know what I'm talking about.
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

"So computers are tools of the Devil? thought Newt. He had no problem
believing it. Computers had to be the tools of *somebody*, and all he
knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him."
- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in "Good Omens".
crichmon
2004-09-02 16:19:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glen Wheeler
Post by crichmon
...
Auto-pickup should be a shortcut, a convenince
for the player. If auto-pickup is free, then
so should be manual pickup.
But I wouldn't call auto-pickup a 'free' action. My approach was that
walking to neighboring square costs one turn, and walking to a square and
automatically (perchance reactively or instinctively) picking up something
within reason is also one turn.

Let me ask you this: how many times have you seen something near you on the
floor and you've walked over and picked it up in one move? "I want to move
here to pickup something." That's what my view of auto-pickup should be.
So why does walking over to a spot, then deciding to pickup something cost
more (two turns)? Because it's two independant actions. The player might
have two distinct thoughts: "I want to move here." "Now I want to pickup
something."

This is reminding me of an older thread about diagonal vs. orthogonal
movement... the difference being that a move horizontally or vertically
would be 1.000 unit of space while a diagonal movement would be ~1.414 units
of space. One suggested approach to this situation was that while yes, the
distances maybe different, but all eight possibilities of movement are one
turn. It's a simple way to modularize actions. I would say that movement
with auto-pickup is in this same category.
Post by Glen Wheeler
This eliminates an interesting choice the player
has to make. This is bad.
Not necessarilly. If there are weight/amount restrictions placed on the
pickup action, and even tighter restrictions placed on the autopickup
action, there is essentially two different actions here. The system may not
allow the player to move and pickup a heavy item or large amounts of items
in one turn, which still allows for the interesting choice you mention to
happen. But if the player can (within the restrictions) pickup a small
amount of light items, say one ring (or better yet a specific ring), if the
player has his/her autopickup configured to 'instinctively' or 'reactively'
pickup rings, then the game would allow another interesting choice for the
player to make: how should he/she configure their autopickup?
Post by Glen Wheeler
Post by crichmon
My suggestion is that picking up items should be
an extension of the encumberance rules, with
weight/mass and amount limitations imposed. An
autopickup should be a toggable, configurable
feature that will _only_ pickup items if it
_doesn't_ cost {an additional} turn.
That's a good idea, but I would argue that picking
up items should always cost at least one turn to
make things more interesting.
Post by crichmon
[..]
Cool idea, wouldn't mind playing that ;).
Heh, thanks. :)


crichmon
Jeff Lait
2004-09-03 01:15:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by crichmon
Post by Glen Wheeler
...
Auto-pickup should be a shortcut, a convenince
for the player. If auto-pickup is free, then
so should be manual pickup.
But I wouldn't call auto-pickup a 'free' action. My approach was that
walking to neighboring square costs one turn, and walking to a square and
automatically (perchance reactively or instinctively) picking up something
within reason is also one turn.
Let me ask you this: how many times have you seen something near you on the
floor and you've walked over and picked it up in one move?
I can't think of any time in my life where my actions have been
partitioned into discrete moves.
Post by crichmon
"I want to move
here to pickup something." That's what my view of auto-pickup should be.
So why does walking over to a spot, then deciding to pickup something cost
more (two turns)? Because it's two independant actions. The player might
have two distinct thoughts: "I want to move here." "Now I want to pickup
something."
But, apparently, the sequence of actions:
I want to reconfigure my auto pickup
I want to move over here.
I want to reset my auto pickup

Is considered one action? This is the source of "autopickup is evil"
- you are demanding excessive micromanagement to fully optimize your
playing. If you have hunger or corruption, reducing the number of
turns spent picking up has serious gameplay differences,
notwithstanding having a monster next to the item!

Some group of your players will optimize their play, thus spending
lots of time tweaking the autopickup. Other players won't bother with
such micromanagement, and then get annoyed that they are punished for
it.
Post by crichmon
Post by Glen Wheeler
This eliminates an interesting choice the player
has to make. This is bad.
Not necessarilly. If there are weight/amount restrictions placed on the
pickup action, and even tighter restrictions placed on the autopickup
action, there is essentially two different actions here. The system may not
allow the player to move and pickup a heavy item or large amounts of items
in one turn, which still allows for the interesting choice you mention to
happen.
Huh? The interesting choice almost always involves *light* objects.
Ie, I see a potion of cure critical wounds whilst being chased by a
big nasty.
Post by crichmon
But if the player can (within the restrictions) pickup a small
amount of light items, say one ring (or better yet a specific ring), if the
player has his/her autopickup configured to 'instinctively' or 'reactively'
pickup rings, then the game would allow another interesting choice for the
player to make: how should he/she configure their autopickup?
That isn't an interesting choice. There is only one optimal answer:
reconfigure one's autopickup to grab the potion of healing. Of
course, this has to be done *before* one moves over the !, which may
require you to do a look command before stepping on anything to see
whether it has anything useful.

I really don't like requiring such levels of micromanagement for
optimal gameplay.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-03 10:09:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
Huh? The interesting choice almost always involves *light* objects.
Ie, I see a potion of cure critical wounds whilst being chased by a
big nasty.
When you think about it, maybe you should be able to drink it on the run
too...

Allowing some free inventory actions while running would make a change
to roguelike combat mechanics. While it would in itself make things
easier for the player, it could be balanced and maybe would give
interesting results. I kind of like the notion - there would be more
chance to use stuff in a crisis.

- Gerry Quinn
The Sheep
2004-09-03 12:39:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Jeff Lait
Huh? The interesting choice almost always involves *light* objects.
Ie, I see a potion of cure critical wounds whilst being chased by a
big nasty.
When you think about it, maybe you should be able to drink it on the run
too...
Allowing some free inventory actions while running would make a change
to roguelike combat mechanics. While it would in itself make things
easier for the player, it could be balanced and maybe would give
interesting results. I kind of like the notion - there would be more
chance to use stuff in a crisis.
Yeah, I've been thinking about it too -- to make separate
`right hand', `left hand', `legs' and `focus' resources, and
to make any actions that doesn't use the same resources simultaneus.

But I think it quite confusing for the player (sometimes he gets
a free action, and sometimes not).
--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski
Whatever you're looking for, you always find it
in the last place you check. Coincidence?
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-06 15:20:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Sheep
Post by Gerry Quinn
Allowing some free inventory actions while running would make a change
to roguelike combat mechanics. While it would in itself make things
easier for the player, it could be balanced and maybe would give
interesting results. I kind of like the notion - there would be more
chance to use stuff in a crisis.
Yeah, I've been thinking about it too -- to make separate
`right hand', `left hand', `legs' and `focus' resources, and
to make any actions that doesn't use the same resources simultaneus.
But I think it quite confusing for the player (sometimes he gets
a free action, and sometimes not).
You could have an icon on the screen that says when a 'hand action' will
be free (for example it could go on after you have taken five steps in a
row). That would be pretty simple. If you do a hand action when the
icon says 'not free' it costs a turn, otherwise it costs no time. After
any hand action (whether it took time or not) a counter is reset and the
free hand action won't be available until you have moved five steps with
no hand action.

- Gerry Quinn
The Sheep
2004-09-07 07:40:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by The Sheep
Yeah, I've been thinking about it too -- to make separate
`right hand', `left hand', `legs' and `focus' resources, and
to make any actions that doesn't use the same resources simultaneus.
But I think it quite confusing for the player (sometimes he gets
a free action, and sometimes not).
You could have an icon on the screen that says when a 'hand action' will
be free (for example it could go on after you have taken five steps in a
row). That would be pretty simple. If you do a hand action when the
icon says 'not free' it costs a turn, otherwise it costs no time. After
any hand action (whether it took time or not) a counter is reset and the
free hand action won't be available until you have moved five steps with
no hand action.
But it gets overly complicated, to my taste. I'm afraid it would become
very tiring for the player. And it seems an `artifical' rule -- you know,
you have to think a while to `get it', it's not obvious.
And the profit isn't that big (well, the computer-controlled monsters will
have an advantage, since it's no problem for the computer to exploit
the free actions).
--
Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski
Whatever you're looking for, you always find it
in the last place you check. Coincidence?
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-07 10:31:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Sheep
Post by Gerry Quinn
You could have an icon on the screen that says when a 'hand action' will
be free (for example it could go on after you have taken five steps in a
row). That would be pretty simple. If you do a hand action when the
icon says 'not free' it costs a turn, otherwise it costs no time. After
any hand action (whether it took time or not) a counter is reset and the
free hand action won't be available until you have moved five steps with
no hand action.
But it gets overly complicated, to my taste. I'm afraid it would become
very tiring for the player. And it seems an `artifical' rule -- you know,
you have to think a while to `get it', it's not obvious.
And the profit isn't that big (well, the computer-controlled monsters will
have an advantage, since it's no problem for the computer to exploit
the free actions).
Well, that is a matter of taste. I personally think it is pretty simple
(if it takes five steps, incidentally, you could show a hand with one
extra finger showing for every step!)

The logic is that you drank the potion or whatever while running those
five steps.

I don't think monster exploitation is a problem. In most roguelikes
monsters don't even have inventories. And since it is only relevant
whether drinking costs a turn in combat situations, the player can
ignore it most of the time.

- Gerry Quinn
Arthur J. O'Dwyer
2004-09-07 17:00:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry Quinn
You could have an icon on the screen that says when a 'hand action' will
be free (for example it could go on after you have taken five steps in a
row). That would be pretty simple. If you do a hand action when the
icon says 'not free' it costs a turn, otherwise it costs no time. After
any hand action (whether it took time or not) a counter is reset and the
free hand action won't be available until you have moved five steps with
no hand action.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Many realtime RPGs have "spell
timeouts" built into the magic system, so that casting a spell five
times in a row costs a lot of mana while casting the same spell five
times with a minute to rest between each casting costs a lot less.
Gerry's idea is kind of like the same thing for "normal" actions.

I know a lot of in-dev games are using a movement system where, say,
you get 0.8 movement points each turn, and to walk one square costs
1.0 points, or something like that. An interesting idea would be
to implement more than one such point counter, and base them on
the character's stats...

Movement counter: capped at 1000
Each atomic turn, add (Str+Con+Dex) points.
Each unit of movement, subtract 100 points.
Spell counter: capped at 8000
Each atomic turn, add (Int) points.
Each spell cast, subtract (10+SpellCounter/2) points.
Attack counter: capped at 8000
Each atomic turn, add (Dex+Con) points.
Each attack, subtract (20+WeaponUtility) points.
...
and so on. You'd have to figure out a nice way of displaying the
counters, of course, but I think the "color-coded progress bars"
idiom would work pretty well.

Of course, this doesn't have much to do with autopickup anymore. ;)

my $.02,
-Arthur
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-09-03 08:41:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by crichmon
But I wouldn't call auto-pickup a 'free' action. My approach was that
walking to neighboring square costs one turn, and walking to a square
and automatically (perchance reactively or instinctively) picking up
something within reason is also one turn.
Have you had a look at the Olympic marathon?

Runners never stop to pick up a drink or some food.
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

If you'll a willing ear incline,
what's mine is yours
and what is yours is mine. - Shakespeare, measure for measure.
Glen Wheeler
2004-09-03 08:50:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by crichmon
But I wouldn't call auto-pickup a 'free' action. My approach was that
walking to neighboring square costs one turn, and walking to a square
and automatically (perchance reactively or instinctively) picking up
something within reason is also one turn.
Have you had a look at the Olympic marathon?
Runners never stop to pick up a drink or some food.
Have you ever played Chess?

Argument from realism...

Perhaps refuting the argument made from gameplay would be a better idea.
If I was going to get caught up in the realism debate I'd say that the
runner is *given* the drink. They don't pick it up from the ground wearing
medieval mail and carrying 300 pounds of treasure in their pockets. Wait,
olympic marathon runners don't have pockets! Who said the @ was an olympian
anyway?

Anyway, does the quoted text above contradict your point? It reads like
agreeance to me...
--
Glen
L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-09-03 09:59:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glen Wheeler
If I was going to get caught up in the realism debate I'd say
that the runner is *given* the drink. They don't pick it up from the
ground wearing medieval mail and carrying 300 pounds of treasure in
their pockets.
They usually pick it up from a table, and I cannot say that I noticed
them slowing down to do so.
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

If you'll a willing ear incline,
what's mine is yours
and what is yours is mine. - Shakespeare, measure for measure.
Juho Julkunen
2004-09-03 13:11:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by Glen Wheeler
If I was going to get caught up in the realism debate I'd say
that the runner is *given* the drink. They don't pick it up from the
ground wearing medieval mail and carrying 300 pounds of treasure in
their pockets.
They usually pick it up from a table, and I cannot say that I noticed
them slowing down to do so.
Quite. If the water bottles were placed in a crack in a pavement it
might be tad trickier.

Anyway, in my opinion all pickup modes should have similar costs.

JTJ
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-06 17:17:00 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 3 Sep 2004 11:59:59 +0200, "Boudewijn Waijers"
Post by Boudewijn Waijers
Post by Glen Wheeler
If I was going to get caught up in the realism debate I'd say
that the runner is *given* the drink. They don't pick it up from the
ground wearing medieval mail and carrying 300 pounds of treasure in
their pockets.
They usually pick it up from a table, and I cannot say that I noticed
them slowing down to do so.
They do have to pick it up. One runner didn't get his water because he
tried to grab it from someone's hand, but they aren't allowed to give
the runner the bottle.

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-06 07:48:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by crichmon
But I wouldn't call auto-pickup a 'free' action. My approach was that
walking to neighboring square costs one turn, and walking to a square and
automatically (perchance reactively or instinctively) picking up something
within reason is also one turn.
Having items scatter rather than stack when there is room is one way
to keep a safe autopickup and still keep things "interesting" as far
as choosing whether or not to gather things when danger is nigh.

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-06 17:17:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glen Wheeler
Auto-pickup should be a shortcut, a convenince for the player.
If auto-pickup is free, then so should be manual pickup.
This eliminates an interesting choice the player has to make. This is
bad.
It's not that interesting a choice. Really. Unless I'm standing on
Ringil, I'm not going to pick up an item when there is a dangerous
monster to deal with. If you make a game where it is really an
interesting decision whether or not to pick up an item in non-rare
cases, that's great. Then an autopickup won't be appropriate. But if
picking things up is routine enough for autopickup to make sense, it
shouldn't be made useless by being non-free. For the same reason, it
should not autopickup an item if it would increase your state of
encumbrance (e.g. take you from normal to "burdened" or "burdened" to
"straining").

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
Jeff Lait
2004-09-07 04:44:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by R. Dan Henry
Post by Glen Wheeler
Auto-pickup should be a shortcut, a convenince for the player.
If auto-pickup is free, then so should be manual pickup.
This eliminates an interesting choice the player has to make. This is
bad.
It's not that interesting a choice. Really. Unless I'm standing on
Ringil, I'm not going to pick up an item when there is a dangerous
monster to deal with.
If it weren't an interesting choice, it would be easy to automate :>

Instead, it is quite an interesting choice. You have to consider:
A) The immediate worth of the item
B) The danger of the nearby monsters
C) The long term worth of the item
D) Whether you will be back here any time soon.

Now, if pickup were free, B & D go away. The only concerns are
whether you actually want to pick up the item or not.
Post by R. Dan Henry
If you make a game where it is really an
interesting decision whether or not to pick up an item in non-rare
cases, that's great. Then an autopickup won't be appropriate. But if
picking things up is routine enough for autopickup to make sense, it
shouldn't be made useless by being non-free.
I don't understand this reasoning. People don't use pickup because it
is free. (I used autopickup in Nethack even though I falsely thought
it cost a turn) They use it to avoid exessive keypresses. As you
say, the cases where one doesn't want to pickup are the exception.
So, let the *user* state the exception: have a move without pickup, or
a toggle pickup key.

In POWDER, it usually isn't an interesting choice. You usually want
to pick stuff up (thus my interest in autopickup). Of course, in
these non-interestng choices, it also does not matter if it costs a
turn or not. (Sure, it is always better to have free pickup, but it
is not essential) However, if pickup were free, a lot of gameplay
would change.

Just the other day I was fighting a bunch of trolls, and managed to
kill oneof them. I ran forward onto the square with the corpse. Now,
I wanted to pickup the trolls gear so his friends wouldn't get it (and
he wouldn't get it on ressing either). At this point, the other
trolls are bashing me. Free pickup makes this a no-brainer. As it
stands, I need to consider carefully the trade off between depriving
the trolls of that annoying wand of create monster and being hit once
again.
Post by R. Dan Henry
For the same reason, it
should not autopickup an item if it would increase your state of
encumbrance (e.g. take you from normal to "burdened" or "burdened" to
"straining").
I disagree with this as well. Normal pickup usually continues just
fine past the burdened stage. I've YASDed from picking up a heavy
corpse whilst in combat. (Yes, with normal pickup) Tools for
automation should be just that - tools. They should not grant extra
powers to those willing to configure them.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Martin Read
2004-09-07 07:30:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
I disagree with this as well. Normal pickup usually continues just
fine past the burdened stage. I've YASDed from picking up a heavy
corpse whilst in combat. (Yes, with normal pickup) Tools for
automation should be just that - tools. They should not grant extra
powers to those willing to configure them.
Nethack uses the same safe-burden-level (pickup_burden) parameter for
both automatic and manual pickup. If you have pickup_burden set to
"unencumbered", then the game will always ask you if you really want to
pick up an item that will take you into a burden category higher than
unencumbered.

(so, if you're unencumbered and the pickup will make you Burdened or
worse, it will ask; if you're Burdened and the pickup will make you
Stressed, it will ask; if you're Stressed and the pickup will make you
Strained, it will ask; if you're Strained and the pickup will make you
Overtaxed, it will ask; and whether the pickup is manual or automatic
does not affect whether it will ask.)
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-07 22:21:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
I disagree with this as well. Normal pickup usually continues just
fine past the burdened stage. I've YASDed from picking up a heavy
corpse whilst in combat. (Yes, with normal pickup)
And it doesn't give you a warning/prompt? Then it's a broken pickup.
It is modeling an adventurer who doesn't even know how to list
properly or he'd know when he was about to heft something too heavy
(or else he's lifting so fast it doesn't justify taking a turn to do
it).
Post by Jeff Lait
Tools for
automation should be just that - tools. They should not grant extra
powers to those willing to configure them.
Right. Which is why if you have autopickup, you need to have pickup in
general work in ways that make sense with autopickup, rather than
making exception for autopickup.

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
Jeff Lait
2004-09-08 04:01:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by R. Dan Henry
Post by Jeff Lait
I disagree with this as well. Normal pickup usually continues just
fine past the burdened stage. I've YASDed from picking up a heavy
corpse whilst in combat. (Yes, with normal pickup)
And it doesn't give you a warning/prompt? Then it's a broken pickup.
It is modeling an adventurer who doesn't even know how to list
properly or he'd know when he was about to heft something too heavy
(or else he's lifting so fast it doesn't justify taking a turn to do
it).
Apparently, Nethack has such warnings nowadays. I don't know if they
are new, or just that I never configured them. Likely new as Nethack
seems to keep sliding down the slippery slope of automation.

I personally think such prompts are idiotic. The user clearly asked
to pick up the item. If they are picking up items in middle of a
battle where going from normal->burdened YASDs them, then they are a
stupid user. (I, for example, am a stupid user) The game's job is
not to protect the user from themselves. Might as well just write a
borg and get it over with then.

Next thing you know they'll have "Do you really want to step in the
water?" prompts.

Prompts are very bad things. They break up game play. But that is a
seperate flame war.
Post by R. Dan Henry
Post by Jeff Lait
Tools for
automation should be just that - tools. They should not grant extra
powers to those willing to configure them.
Right. Which is why if you have autopickup, you need to have pickup in
general work in ways that make sense with autopickup, rather than
making exception for autopickup.
Well, I guess we agree with this point. The question then becomes
"what makes sense for autopickup". I'm torn on this issue as one
button I have always mapped in POWDER is the pickup button, and it
would be cool if I could figure out how to make it an exception rather
than a rule.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Martin Read
2004-09-08 09:01:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
Post by R. Dan Henry
And it doesn't give you a warning/prompt? Then it's a broken pickup.
It is modeling an adventurer who doesn't even know how to list
properly or he'd know when he was about to heft something too heavy
(or else he's lifting so fast it doesn't justify taking a turn to do
it).
Apparently, Nethack has such warnings nowadays. I don't know if they
are new, or just that I never configured them. Likely new as Nethack
seems to keep sliding down the slippery slope of automation.
Nethack has had pickup prompts for going to Stressed or beyond for quite
some time (this 3.2.2 source tree - that's two minor versions and five or
more years back - I'm looking certainly applies such a warning when
you're attempting to pick up multiple objects). Going to Burdened is
unlikely to kill you quickly, though you'll miss an action now and then,
but once you're Stressed, your capabilities are materially reduced;
Stressed characters cannot kick, cannot jump, and cannot climb stairs.

Remember, though, that Nethack never tells you what an item weighs or
what your inventory weighs.
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-08 08:11:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by R. Dan Henry
Post by Jeff Lait
Tools for
automation should be just that - tools. They should not grant extra
powers to those willing to configure them.
Right. Which is why if you have autopickup, you need to have pickup in
general work in ways that make sense with autopickup, rather than
making exception for autopickup.
You don't NEED to. It's clear that some people WANT to, but for others
the priorities may be different.

The problem appears to be that pickup that takes time is 'natural'
though inessential, in non-automatic mode. But in auto-pickup mode, it
leads to problems that have been adequately discussed. Accordingly, we
must choose whether to break symmetry between pickup and auto-pickup, or
to choose a 'pickup' mode that may seem unnatural.

It's a design choice, and it remains a choice, however bitter the rants
from some quarters.

I look at it in terms of 'game mode'. Best example is XCOM Apocalypse,
with its real-time and turn-based modes. They are always going to
balance differently, whatever you choose to do.

Auto-pickup mode may balance differently, and that's okay with me.

- Gerry Quinn
Jakub Dębski
2004-08-24 07:41:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Thoughts?
1. Autopickup shouldn't be turn free.
2. If player sees an enemy monster, then message should appear - "Do you
really want to autopickup <itemname> now?"
3. If player doesn't see an enemy, autopickup should work as always.

regards,
Jakub
--
"We're just toys in the hands of Xom"
www.xenocide.w.pl - SF roguelike in development
www.graveyard.uni.cc - visit Roguelike Graveyard
www.alamak0ta.republika.pl - my other projects
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-08-24 17:04:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jakub Dębski
Post by Gibbering Poster
Thoughts?
1. Autopickup shouldn't be turn free.
2. If player sees an enemy monster, then message should appear - "Do
you really want to autopickup <itemname> now?"
3. If player doesn't see an enemy, autopickup should work as always.
Perhaps a option could regulate this?

OPTIONS=autopickup:on/off/safe
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

"So computers are tools of the Devil? thought Newt. He had no problem
believing it. Computers had to be the tools of *somebody*, and all he
knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him."
- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in "Good Omens".
Jan Drahokoupil
2004-08-24 08:20:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Should autopickup be turn-free?
######
######
a) Autopickup fire off, causing the player to pickup the gold, and give the
dragon a free turn of hits on the player PLUS the round of hits it would get
since the player was moving next to the dragon first?
b) Should Autopickup be ignored because it would give the dragon an extra
round of hits?
c) Should Autopickup perform the pickup at no time cost?
It seems that 'c' would be the more sensible option. Imagine that you had
pickup for rings only, and there was a ring in the '$' square buried beneath
a bunch of stuff, and the player didn't know it was there. In the first
scenario, that would cause the player to take extra damage because he didn't
know the ring was there. In the 2nd, the player might very well miss the
ring, because autopickup didn't go off... In the 3rd, the player gets the
ring, and doesn't get a 'strange' extra round of dragon hits executed
against him...
Thoughts?
The point of my solution lies in speed system, where relative 1.0 is
equal to one standart turn. I scaled up speeds for all actions first
for realistic but then switched to better gameplay for example:

cost of:

player's move (depends on player's actual speed) for now: 1.0
player's picking up one item (depends on weight of picked item) for
now: 10.0
dragons's move (depends on his actual speed) for now: 0.5

gives in result (relative speed) -> converted to energy -> converted
to turns:

player's move: 0.1 relative speed -> 10 relative energy -> 0.5 turn
picking up item: 1.0 relative speed -> 1.0 relative energy -> 0.05
turn
dragon's move: 0.05 relative speed -> 20 relative energy -> 1.0 turn

so you can move and pickup 9 items (0.5+9*0.05=0.95) before dragon
moves after picking one next item it'll reach 1.00 and then dragon
will get the chance to do his move.

regards,
Jan
Khashishi
2004-08-25 22:10:05 UTC
Permalink
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game? For the most part, the only things
you would want to autopickup are light things which are mostly useful,
like wands or potions; or items which may not be useful but serve as a
sort of score, like gold.

The best solution is to get rid of autopickup altogether. This adds to
gameplay because now you may have to make risk assessments: is it
really worth the risk to pick up that ruby when you are running from
the fifteen-headed hydra? If your game uses scorelike gold, then you
might consider having autopickup only work for gold.

If you want to keep autopickup, one solution is to remove the time
cost for picking up items. Then there is no difference between moving
then picking up and autopickup.
Hansjoerg Malthaner
2004-08-26 07:49:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game? For the most part, the only things
you would want to autopickup are light things which are mostly useful,
like wands or potions; or items which may not be useful but serve as a
sort of score, like gold.
Usually one of the first things I do is to turn autopickup off (if I
play a game that has it on by default).

c.u.
Hajo
Martin Read
2004-08-26 08:45:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game? For the most part, the only things
you would want to autopickup are light things which are mostly useful,
like wands or potions; or items which may not be useful but serve as a
sort of score, like gold.
It's a legacy from rogue. In rogue, moving onto an item picked it up
unless you told the game not to, and you had to do so each time you
moved onto an item you didn't want to pick up. Likewise, in the early
days, hack.
Post by Khashishi
The best solution is to get rid of autopickup altogether. This adds to
gameplay because now you may have to make risk assessments: is it
really worth the risk to pick up that ruby when you are running from
the fifteen-headed hydra?
I have yet to see a roguelike game where precious gems (as opposed to
functional gems such as ADOM's crystals of knowledge or Diablo II's
socketable gems) were worth picking up except when you had a convenient
shop to sell them in, or a unicorn handy to throw them at.
Post by Khashishi
If your game uses scorelike gold, then you
might consider having autopickup only work for gold.
If you want to keep autopickup, one solution is to remove the time
cost for picking up items. Then there is no difference between moving
then picking up and autopickup.
I'm unconvinced by the general case of "controlled pickup is free".
Although... having picking up the *top* item from the current floor be
free might work. So, if there's a huge mound of bodies here, picking up
anything of use is likely to be difficult or impossible, but you can
scoop up the potion at your feet with a quick duck-and-grab.
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
David Damerell
2004-08-26 10:39:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game?
It saves a certain amount of extra effort for the player.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
SZDev - Slash
2004-08-27 13:03:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Damerell
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game?
It saves a certain amount of extra effort for the player.
And adds the much bigger extra effort of having to drop something you don't
like... I always turn autopickup off when I play... As for my game,
autopickup will be an option and will not be turn-free, as it's just a
convenience for players customed to it located in the UI, and not a in-game
mechanic device.
Post by David Damerell
--
--
SZDev - Slash
Slashing, the Outcast Dragon of the -={UDIC}=-
Weblog: http://www.livejournal.com/users/szdev
Website: http://szdev.cjb.net
Martin Read
2004-08-27 13:38:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by SZDev - Slash
Post by David Damerell
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game?
It saves a certain amount of extra effort for the player.
And adds the much bigger extra effort of having to drop something you don't
like...
The only time I find nethack's autopickup making me pick up something I
didn't want to pick up are when I've forgotten to remove gold from
pickup_types after reaching 9 points of divine protection and buying out
all the interesting items from the shops. After all, even amulets of
strangulation can be polypiled, and potions of acid can be used to cure
stoning or damage monsters or polypiled into some other kind of potion.
Post by SZDev - Slash
I always turn autopickup off when I play... As for my game,
autopickup will be an option and will not be turn-free, as it's just a
convenience for players customed to it located in the UI, and not a in-game
mechanic device.
If it's not turn-free, it's useless, because I have to keep remembering
to turn it off any time there are monsters nearby. In Nethack, I only
have to turn off autopickup when I'm in a shop. Shops are much rarer
than monsters in any roguelike *I've* ever played...
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
SZDev - Slash
2004-08-27 15:21:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martin Read
Post by SZDev - Slash
Post by David Damerell
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game?
It saves a certain amount of extra effort for the player.
And adds the much bigger extra effort of having to drop something you don't
like...
The only time I find nethack's autopickup making me pick up something I
didn't want to pick up are when I've forgotten to remove gold from
pickup_types after reaching 9 points of divine protection and buying out
all the interesting items from the shops. After all, even amulets of
strangulation can be polypiled, and potions of acid can be used to cure
stoning or damage monsters or polypiled into some other kind of potion.
Yes, but you (seem to be) an experienced Nethack player; I don't nethack too
much, and when autopickup is on I have to walk dodging all the items because
I don't want to be burdened in the long term or carry lots of gibberish I
don't know what use have. Plus in my roguelike you won't be much of a
dungeon-hacker, and thus all items will have certain relevance.
Post by Martin Read
Post by SZDev - Slash
I always turn autopickup off when I play... As for my game,
autopickup will be an option and will not be turn-free, as it's just a
convenience for players customed to it located in the UI, and not a in-game
mechanic device.
If it's not turn-free, it's useless, because I have to keep remembering
to turn it off any time there are monsters nearby. In Nethack, I only
have to turn off autopickup when I'm in a shop. Shops are much rarer
than monsters in any roguelike *I've* ever played...
My game has a strong Action-Effect approach to the game, that's why I don't
like autopickup because common actions must have a cost, the player must be
able to choose what he wants to do through the UI. I personally don't find a
keypress to be much of a burden, given all the inconveniences autopickup may
have.
Post by Martin Read
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
--
SZDev - Slash
Slashing, the Outcast Dragon of the -={UDIC}=-
Weblog: http://www.livejournal.com/users/szdev
Website: http://szdev.cjb.net
Martin Read
2004-08-31 09:25:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by SZDev - Slash
Post by Martin Read
The only time I find nethack's autopickup making me pick up something I
didn't want to pick up are when I've forgotten to remove gold from
pickup_types after reaching 9 points of divine protection and buying out
all the interesting items from the shops. After all, even amulets of
strangulation can be polypiled, and potions of acid can be used to cure
stoning or damage monsters or polypiled into some other kind of potion.
Yes, but you (seem to be) an experienced Nethack player; I don't nethack too
much, and when autopickup is on I have to walk dodging all the items because
I don't want to be burdened in the long term or carry lots of gibberish I
don't know what use have. Plus in my roguelike you won't be much of a
dungeon-hacker, and thus all items will have certain relevance.
All items in Nethack are useful to someone sometime, except scrolls of
mail, even if it's only as a source of raw material for polypiling or
food when you're polyselfed, and you can configure Nethack not to
autopickup things that would make you burdened. This latter fact is, I
believe, documented in the Guidebook that comes with the game.

(You *have* found the pickup_types option, right?)
Post by SZDev - Slash
Post by Martin Read
If it's not turn-free, it's useless, because I have to keep remembering
to turn it off any time there are monsters nearby. In Nethack, I only
have to turn off autopickup when I'm in a shop. Shops are much rarer
than monsters in any roguelike *I've* ever played...
My game has a strong Action-Effect approach to the game, that's why I don't
like autopickup because common actions must have a cost, the player must be
able to choose what he wants to do through the UI. I personally don't find a
keypress to be much of a burden, given all the inconveniences autopickup may
have.
Fair enough.
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
David Damerell
2004-08-27 13:57:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by SZDev - Slash
Post by David Damerell
Post by Khashishi
I'm not sure why autopickup exists at all. Is there any reason to
implement autopickup in your game?
It saves a certain amount of extra effort for the player.
And adds the much bigger extra effort of having to drop something you don't
like... I always turn autopickup off when I play...
Manifestly, though, _some_ players prefer autopickup.
Post by SZDev - Slash
As for my game, autopickup will be an option
Yes, that's good.
Post by SZDev - Slash
and will not be turn-free,
That renders it largely useless.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Boudewijn Waijers
2004-08-27 15:14:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by SZDev - Slash
Post by David Damerell
It saves a certain amount of extra effort for the player.
And adds the much bigger extra effort of having to drop something you
don't like... I always turn autopickup off when I play...
Well, in NetHack, you can fine-tune autopickup, so that it becomes
really easy to use. For example, I have it on by default for amulets,
potions, scrolls, wands, rings, gold, spellbooks, tools, stones, food,
and armour.

I have exceptions to always pickup "*Quiver*" (I mark my arrows),
"*blessed*" (pick up known blessed weapons), "The *" and "the *"
(everything named), "*athame", "*knife", "*throwing star", "*shuriken",
"*scalpel", "*ya", "*arrow", "*bolt", "*spear", "*dart" and "*dagger"
(light weapons and ammo).

Also, I have exception to never pickup "*armour", "*armor" and "*mail",
"*corpse", "*crystal ball" and "*orb", "*rock", "*loadstone", "*gray
stone", "*grey stone", "*box*", "*chest*" (all too heavy).

With this system, where exceptions are possible, autopickup is no
burden, but actually a very useful RSI-avoider. It saves you many, many
keystrokes.
--
Boudewijn Waijers (bwaijers at home.nl).

"So computers are tools of the Devil? thought Newt. He had no problem
believing it. Computers had to be the tools of *somebody*, and all he
knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him."
- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in "Good Omens".
Brent Ross
2004-09-03 04:08:07 UTC
Permalink
In article <Z0pWc.10407$***@newssvr27.news.prodigy.com>,
Gibbering Poster <***@a.com> wrote:
// Should autopickup be turn-free?

Only if pickup is turn-free. Otherwise a player shortcut ends up being
a benefit for those who use it over those who don't. Meta-player
details shouldn't modify the game at the character level.

Brent Ross
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-06 17:17:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
// Should autopickup be turn-free?
Yes. Otherwise, it is a useless deathtrap.
Post by Brent Ross
Only if pickup is turn-free.
Right. So pickup should be turn-free (or else the game should be
designed without autopickup and designed to make decisions to pick up
items meaningful on a regular basis, so lack of automation doesn't
feel like a UI failure). I really don't see much reason not to do
this. Even if you then use an item, unless you have an Omega-style
inventory, you're letting items be used from the somewhat less
convenient backpack location without delays, so use from the floor
isn't any less "realistic".

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
Brent Ross
2004-09-06 21:06:05 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@4ax.com>,
R. Dan Henry <***@inreach.com> wrote:
// On Fri, 3 Sep 2004 04:08:07 +0000 (UTC), ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
// (Brent Ross) wrote:
//
// >In article <Z0pWc.10407$***@newssvr27.news.prodigy.com>,
// >Gibbering Poster <***@a.com> wrote:
// >// Should autopickup be turn-free?
//
// Yes. Otherwise, it is a useless deathtrap.

Only for the incautious, but many things in roguelikes are potential
deathtraps for the unwary (many roguelikes get to a point where only
the player can kill the PC) this isn't a reason to avoid timeed
auto-pickup (autopickup should be capable of being toggled, and/or
step commands available... every RL I've played with autopickup has
had some way to do this).

Many people want a level of automation and protection from the game which
is dangerously close to complete automation... if the player is overly
coddled the game's more like having a borg play it. There has to be
some point where you have to say: No, the player has to deal with this.
For some designs, pickup needs to take time... there are potentially
solutions to make autopickup safer (autopickup-disable systems) but
they can be difficult for some games to implement and/or annoying.

// >Only if pickup is turn-free.
//
// Right. So pickup should be turn-free (or else the game should be
// designed without autopickup and designed to make decisions to pick up
// items meaningful on a regular basis, so lack of automation doesn't
// feel like a UI failure). I really don't see much reason not to do
// this.

Because you want it to take time in your game (this is good enough
in my books)? Because drop takes time (ie symmetry is always good)?
Because it's important in your game that the player can't get or drop
items around the map instantaneously (ie game balance is also a good
reason)? So there are good reasons for having pickup take time, but it is
(of course) possible to design a game where that's not the case.

In the end autopickup should act exactly as an automated pickup (it's
surprising how many people assume that such a simple truth isn't the
case)... if the game wants pickup to take time, autopickup should take
the same amount.

// Even if you then use an item, unless you have an Omega-style
// inventory, you're letting items be used from the somewhat less
// convenient backpack location without delays,

In every roguelike I've played, when you use something from the backpack
(ie a potion, wand, scroll)... and there's a monster beside you, you
expect to get whacked. Why? Because it does take time (a full turn's
worth). Who's to say that the entire time (turns are often fairly long)
is in using the item, and it's not divided between extracting the item
and using the item in some (drastically simplified to one turn) sum?

Brent Ross
R. Dan Henry
2004-09-07 05:42:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
//
// >// Should autopickup be turn-free?
//
// Yes. Otherwise, it is a useless deathtrap.
Only for the incautious, but many things in roguelikes are potential
deathtraps for the unwary (many roguelikes get to a point where only
the player can kill the PC) this isn't a reason to avoid timeed
auto-pickup (autopickup should be capable of being toggled, and/or
step commands available... every RL I've played with autopickup has
had some way to do this).
Which makes picking things up/not picking them up tedious again, which
defeats the point of autopickup in the first place. Same if autopickup
can leave you burdened.
Post by Brent Ross
// >Only if pickup is turn-free.
//
// Right. So pickup should be turn-free (or else the game should be
// designed without autopickup and designed to make decisions to pick up
// items meaningful on a regular basis, so lack of automation doesn't
// feel like a UI failure). I really don't see much reason not to do
// this.
Because you want it to take time in your game (this is good enough
in my books)? Because drop takes time (ie symmetry is always good)?
Because it's important in your game that the player can't get or drop
items around the map instantaneously (ie game balance is also a good
reason)? So there are good reasons for having pickup take time, but it is
(of course) possible to design a game where that's not the case.
Actually, you haven't offered any reasons, just motives based on
subjective preferences with no reason backing them. I certainly did
not say pickup should never take time, I said that if it does the
decision to pickup should be interesting on a regular basis, which IMO
is not the case in most RLs, rather it is normally a no-brainer which
one gets wrong only by missing some message or symbol on the screen.
Post by Brent Ross
In the end autopickup should act exactly as an automated pickup (it's
surprising how many people assume that such a simple truth isn't the
case)... if the game wants pickup to take time, autopickup should take
the same amount.
I wrote that they need to be the same.
Post by Brent Ross
// Even if you then use an item, unless you have an Omega-style
// inventory, you're letting items be used from the somewhat less
// convenient backpack location without delays,
In every roguelike I've played, when you use something from the backpack
(ie a potion, wand, scroll)... and there's a monster beside you, you
expect to get whacked. Why? Because it does take time (a full turn's
worth). Who's to say that the entire time (turns are often fairly long)
is in using the item, and it's not divided between extracting the item
and using the item in some (drastically simplified to one turn) sum?
That doesn't address my point at all. You are still allowing someone
to use an item shoved into his backpack (1 turn action) faster than an
item simply laying on the floor (1 turn to pickup + 1 turn to use),
which at least kills all "realism" arguments for taking a turn to pick
up an item. If you allow item use off the floor (as Angband does),
you've already largely eliminated situations where you might want to
pick up an item when facing immediate danger.

Richard Daniel Henry
***@inreach.com
Brent Ross
2004-09-07 13:47:40 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@4ax.com>,
R. Dan Henry <***@inreach.com> wrote:
// >In article <***@4ax.com>,
// >R. Dan Henry <***@inreach.com> wrote:
// >// On Fri, 3 Sep 2004 04:08:07 +0000 (UTC), ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
// >// (Brent Ross) wrote:
// >//
// >// >In article <Z0pWc.10407$***@newssvr27.news.prodigy.com>,
// >// >Gibbering Poster <***@a.com> wrote:
// >// >// Should autopickup be turn-free?
// >//
// >// Yes. Otherwise, it is a useless deathtrap.
// >
// >Only for the incautious, but many things in roguelikes are potential
// >deathtraps for the unwary (many roguelikes get to a point where only
// >the player can kill the PC) this isn't a reason to avoid timeed
// >auto-pickup (autopickup should be capable of being toggled, and/or
// >step commands available... every RL I've played with autopickup has
// >had some way to do this).
//
// Which makes picking things up/not picking them up tedious again, which
// defeats the point of autopickup in the first place. Same if autopickup
// can leave you burdened.

But if it's important to the game that pickup take time, then it's
important that autopickup have some method(s) of temporary disable.
I've never fallen for this deathtrap myself, and do use step commands
to avoid it... it's not so tedious as the number of cases which apply
tend to be pretty small (especially in Angband variants where eventually
you want autodestroy because of all the items and can thus can turn off
autopickup entirely). Most of the time, you're luring monsters into
previously explored and floor cleared areas (the most advisable course of
action and the most sane play), rather than crossing a room with items
to fight them... so it's rare to have to do it at all (making it hardly
tedious, especially with a step command).

(P.S Not to get too netcoppy, but it really isn't nice to argue through
a follow-up post... at the very least it's awkward and might not be
followed by the originator. This part of the thread should probably
have been a sibling, not a child of my original post).

// >// >Only if pickup is turn-free.
// >//
// >// Right. So pickup should be turn-free (or else the game should be
// >// designed without autopickup and designed to make decisions to pick up
// >// items meaningful on a regular basis, so lack of automation doesn't
// >// feel like a UI failure). I really don't see much reason not to do
// >// this.
// >
// >Because you want it to take time in your game (this is good enough
// >in my books)? Because drop takes time (ie symmetry is always good)?
// >Because it's important in your game that the player can't get or drop
// >items around the map instantaneously (ie game balance is also a good
// >reason)? So there are good reasons for having pickup take time, but it is
// >(of course) possible to design a game where that's not the case.
//
// Actually, you haven't offered any reasons, just motives based on
// subjective preferences with no reason backing them.

Because it depends on the details of the game in question. The reasons
are there: for example, if you need drop to take time (so that the
player can't dispose of an item instantly), then by symmetry, pickup
should also take time. If that's the case, then autopickup should take
the same amount of time. Sorry, if it's too abstract for you, but the
truth is that it entirely depends on the game in question (and there's
very little limit on the scope there): some games will need pickup to
take time, simply because not doing so would make other features of the
game pointless.

// >In the end autopickup should act exactly as an automated pickup (it's
// >surprising how many people assume that such a simple truth isn't the
// >case)... if the game wants pickup to take time, autopickup should take
// >the same amount.
//
// I wrote that they need to be the same.

Odd that you should be so argumentative when that was my sole point.
But then again, I'm not following the reast of this thread (at all),
since I assumed it was going to get flamy. I only dropped my point.
I suspect you're assuming that I'm part of some faction over there which I
don't even know about. My opinion is simple: you can define these issues
however you want and argue that it makes sense... just don't go making
automation features that break the rules of the game (that's bad).

// >// Even if you then use an item, unless you have an Omega-style
// >// inventory, you're letting items be used from the somewhat less
// >// convenient backpack location without delays,
// >
// >In every roguelike I've played, when you use something from the backpack
// >(ie a potion, wand, scroll)... and there's a monster beside you, you
// >expect to get whacked. Why? Because it does take time (a full turn's
// >worth). Who's to say that the entire time (turns are often fairly long)
// >is in using the item, and it's not divided between extracting the item
// >and using the item in some (drastically simplified to one turn) sum?
//
// That doesn't address my point at all.

Your point seemed to be that people were getting things out of their
backpack for free... that's not (positively) true unless the entire
action takes no time. You can't say "that's not realistic", because a
lot of this abstraction (within reason) can be explained with perfectly
reasonable explainations... just maybe not the ones you (personally)
might expect. Learning the rules of a RL universe is part of the game.

// You are still allowing someone
// to use an item shoved into his backpack (1 turn action) faster than an
// item simply laying on the floor (1 turn to pickup + 1 turn to use),
// which at least kills all "realism" arguments for taking a turn to pick
// up an item. If you allow item use off the floor (as Angband does),
// you've already largely eliminated situations where you might want to
// pick up an item when facing immediate danger.

Not in all RLs (as in Angband) or in all situtations (as most allow at
least eating from the floor without additional cost). This is mostly due
to difficulty of implementation (a lot weren't designed to do it well,
it was an oversight, it's scheduled for later). I've considered doing
it for Crawl, but there are a number of problems first (including
the implementation of better access to floor stacks) which just aren't
high priority.

Still, it is reasonable to assume that floor access is more expensive
if you want to... afterall, potions, scrolls, and wands might be assumed
to be conveniently strung around the body on well organized bandoliers.
Access from the floor requires at least bending down, if not sorting
through the stuff on the floor. If a person wants to use that explanation
for why accessing items on the floor is more expensive (and especially
if it's apparent that quick access to the floor is going to break a
few game features as well), then I'm willing to believe it's valid for
their game, as it's their choice as to the level of abstraction they
put on such things (and extra time to reach down and access the floor,
simplified to 1 turn, is a fair abstraction, albeit a crude one).

Brent Ross
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-07 10:24:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
In the end autopickup should act exactly as an automated pickup (it's
surprising how many people assume that such a simple truth isn't the
case)... if the game wants pickup to take time, autopickup should take
the same amount.
That rule is as arbitrary as any other rule about symmetry. One way of
looking at it is that games with and without auto-pickup are slightly
different games, and need not have exactly the same rules.

Meta-gaming can be largely avoided (if desired) by making a change from
one mode to the other cost a couple of turns.

- Gerry Quinn
Brent Ross
2004-09-07 14:13:00 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
// In article <chijft$soo$***@rumours.uwaterloo.ca>,
// ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca says...
//
// > In the end autopickup should act exactly as an automated pickup (it's
// > surprising how many people assume that such a simple truth isn't the
// > case)... if the game wants pickup to take time, autopickup should take
// > the same amount.
//
// That rule is as arbitrary as any other rule about symmetry. One way of
// looking at it is that games with and without auto-pickup are slightly
// different games, and need not have exactly the same rules.

The "auto" stands for "automatic"... that classifies it as a meta-game
feature (automations make the player's life easier), not an in-game
feature (those which make the character's life easier). If you're doing
the later it would be a form of "fast pickup" (the character picks up
things faster than usual), not a form of auto-pickup (the character
automatically issues item pickup commands). As such, a game without
auto-pickup is only a different game in that it's a less convenient game
for people to play... the game rules should be the same for any form of
game play automation, that's a hard and solid design rule.

// Meta-gaming can be largely avoided (if desired) by making a change from
// one mode to the other cost a couple of turns.

That's stretching things a bit... unless the character has some sort of
item hoover that they need to manually crank up (and down), it doesn't
make a lot of in-game sense to take a few turns to power-up an autopickup
mode (even if it does make game balance sense in a particular game).
Furthermore, if the player can enter item-hoover mode (where they
suddenly pick up items lightning fast), you'd need some explaination for
why items can be accessed as quickly as carefully picked up items later
on (since there's no reason at that point to assume they're nearly as
well organized).

Basically, it's starting to sound like this is only going to work in a
system which tracks the organization of items the backpack. Thus the
question becomes whether you really want to remove abstraction there
and complicate the game in that way when you adding more interesting
management complication in another aspect of the game. This has nothing
to do with auto-pickup, however, but is simply a shift in the level of
abstraction of the game.

So, in short, your suggestion about making the mode change cost time up
front is silly. If anything, the cost should be applied later (either
when fast pickup items are used, or after the PC has taken some time
to sort their pack). This, of course, assumes that you don't have the
item-hoover with an auto-sort attachment as a feature (real or assumed)
in your game (for those pedants out there).

Brent Ross
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-07 20:50:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
//
// > In the end autopickup should act exactly as an automated pickup (it's
// > surprising how many people assume that such a simple truth isn't the
// > case)... if the game wants pickup to take time, autopickup should take
// > the same amount.
//
// That rule is as arbitrary as any other rule about symmetry. One way of
// looking at it is that games with and without auto-pickup are slightly
// different games, and need not have exactly the same rules.
The "auto" stands for "automatic"... that classifies it as a meta-game
feature (automations make the player's life easier), not an in-game
feature (those which make the character's life easier). If you're doing
the later it would be a form of "fast pickup" (the character picks up
things faster than usual), not a form of auto-pickup (the character
automatically issues item pickup commands). As such, a game without
auto-pickup is only a different game in that it's a less convenient game
for people to play... the game rules should be the same for any form of
game play automation, that's a hard and solid design rule.
You're making a lot of arbitrary rules for me to obey - and guess what,
I haven't the slightest interest in doing so.
Post by Brent Ross
// Meta-gaming can be largely avoided (if desired) by making a change from
// one mode to the other cost a couple of turns.
That's stretching things a bit... unless the character has some sort of
item hoover that they need to manually crank up (and down), it doesn't
make a lot of in-game sense to take a few turns to power-up an autopickup
mode (even if it does make game balance sense in a particular game).
And that is just an argument from realism...
Post by Brent Ross
Furthermore, if the player can enter item-hoover mode (where they
suddenly pick up items lightning fast), you'd need some explaination for
why items can be accessed as quickly as carefully picked up items later
on (since there's no reason at that point to assume they're nearly as
well organized).
The explanation is: that's the way this game works.
Post by Brent Ross
Basically, it's starting to sound like this is only going to work in a
system which tracks the organization of items the backpack. Thus the
question becomes whether you really want to remove abstraction there
and complicate the game in that way when you adding more interesting
management complication in another aspect of the game. This has nothing
to do with auto-pickup, however, but is simply a shift in the level of
abstraction of the game.
So, in short, your suggestion about making the mode change cost time up
front is silly. If anything, the cost should be applied later (either
when fast pickup items are used, or after the PC has taken some time
to sort their pack). This, of course, assumes that you don't have the
item-hoover with an auto-sort attachment as a feature (real or assumed)
in your game (for those pedants out there).
I'm sorry, I seem to have missed your explanation of why gameplay is
harmed by my proposed rules regarding auto-pickup. Seriously, you are
making a lot of arguments, but there seems to be no strong reason why
any of them should necessarily be considered relevant by the designer of
a roguelike. They all seem pretty optional choices to me.

- Gerry Quinn
Brent Ross
2004-09-08 01:24:07 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
[automation features snipped]
// You're making a lot of arbitrary rules for me to obey - and guess what,
// I haven't the slightest interest in doing so.

I'm actually not making up any rules for you to obey. I'm just telling
you that "auto" signifies meta-game in the RL nomenclature... the early
examples are all Angband: autoscum, autoroll, autopickup... and they
all mean that the process is automated for the ease of the player and
have nothing to do with the in-game. If you choose to call something
with an in-game difference an "auto" feature you're just going to cause
confusion. You can do that if you like to screw with people's minds, but
it's easier just to come up with a better name that suggests an in-game
character feature, like "fast pickup"... it simply avoids any confusion.
Not a rule, just a suggestion (it doesn't stop you from implementing
what you're talking about, it only suggests that calling it "autopickup"
is inappropriate... which it is, unless you're PC is a robotic automaton
of some sort).

// > // Meta-gaming can be largely avoided (if desired) by making a change from
// > // one mode to the other cost a couple of turns.
// >
// > That's stretching things a bit... unless the character has some sort of
// > item hoover that they need to manually crank up (and down), it doesn't
// > make a lot of in-game sense to take a few turns to power-up an autopickup
// > mode (even if it does make game balance sense in a particular game).
//
// And that is just an argument from realism...

Realism is somewhat important. You're suggestion just doesn't have any
explanation, and that's going to cause problems. Characters dying from
the turns taken to autopickup can at least be understood by the
player... the player is simply not going to understand why it takes
the character a couple of turns just to switch between these two
modes. It's simply ludicrous to assume that a character has to sit
around paralysed for 30 seconds before they start picking up items...
you're simply asking for silly realistic arguements to be made by the
players just to remember and make logical such an unusual system.

// > Furthermore, if the player can enter item-hoover mode (where they
// > suddenly pick up items lightning fast), you'd need some explaination for
// > why items can be accessed as quickly as carefully picked up items later
// > on (since there's no reason at that point to assume they're nearly as
// > well organized).
//
// The explanation is: that's the way this game works.

I certainly can see that, in the world of robotic hooving automatons
which need to spend time reprogramming themselves to pickup (or not
pickup) items underfoot (underwheel? undertread?). Abstraction is
fine and dandy, and I'm all for it (more than most in fact)... but if
it doesn't make any realistic sense in the game world, then you're just
confusing the player, and I can only put that up to being a bad design.
You are, of course, free to design your game as badly as you choose
(unless that breaks local laws or ceases to be a right in your area).
You'll have to either put up with people suggesting fixes for it (again
and again and again)... or watch as other people fix it with patches.

// > Basically, it's starting to sound like this is only going to work in a
// > system which tracks the organization of items the backpack. Thus the
// > question becomes whether you really want to remove abstraction there
// > and complicate the game in that way when you adding more interesting
// > management complication in another aspect of the game. This has nothing
// > to do with auto-pickup, however, but is simply a shift in the level of
// > abstraction of the game.
// >
// > So, in short, your suggestion about making the mode change cost time up
// > front is silly. If anything, the cost should be applied later (either
// > when fast pickup items are used, or after the PC has taken some time
// > to sort their pack). This, of course, assumes that you don't have the
// > item-hoover with an auto-sort attachment as a feature (real or assumed)
// > in your game (for those pedants out there).
//
// I'm sorry, I seem to have missed your explanation of why gameplay is
// harmed by my proposed rules regarding auto-pickup.

It doesn't make any sense, and this confuses the player. They're not
going to realise it immediately, and are likely to forget it later. Thus,
there is a chance of them getting instadeathed switching modes because
they don't expect that to take time (especially if called autopickup).
Add this to that fact that there are better systems and options which are
less confusing and it's simple a substandard solution that I would toss
out at the first pass. Sure it might work with the rest of the game,
but it's so highly inferior that it's shoddy design.

Calling it after a name with already established expectations and
then completely avoiding them shows a further disregard for community
standards... especially when there has to be 101 better in-game names
for this in-game feature you want, rather than using a name that's
quite frankly out of place at the character's level if not downright
anacronistic. This I would consider ill-thoughtout design.

// Seriously, you are
// making a lot of arguments, but there seems to be no strong reason why
// any of them should necessarily be considered relevant by the designer of
// a roguelike. They all seem pretty optional choices to me.

Illogical solutions should always be tossed out of a design unless your
design is based on an illogic universe (ie the anti-nethack, a game that's
95% exception code that behaves in non-sequitur and bizarre fashion as
a stylistic choice). That's a perfectly fine choice, but it's hardly
a standard one, and although I acknowledge the pedant need to bludgeon
everything with exceptions (and that those exceptions will always exist)
I prefer to discuss things without having to mention every exception
that only occurs a remote amount of the time.

Brent Ross
Michael Blackney
2004-09-08 06:44:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
Calling it after a name with already established expectations and
then completely avoiding them shows a further disregard for community
standards... especially when there has to be 101 better in-game names
for this in-game feature you want, rather than using a name that's
quite frankly out of place at the character's level if not downright
anacronistic. This I would consider ill-thoughtout design.
While I won't touch on my opinion of semantics arguments, how about this:

Freepickup with optional AutoYes, AutoNo, AutoPrompt or AutoFilter?
--
michaelblackney at hotmail dot com
http://aburatan.sourceforge.net/
Latest version 0.95 2-5-4
Brent Ross
2004-09-08 18:01:48 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@posting.google.com>,
Michael Blackney <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
// ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Brent Ross) communicated:
// >
// > Calling it after a name with already established expectations and
// > then completely avoiding them shows a further disregard for community
// > standards... especially when there has to be 101 better in-game names
// > for this in-game feature you want, rather than using a name that's
// > quite frankly out of place at the character's level if not downright
// > anacronistic. This I would consider ill-thoughtout design.
//
// While I won't touch on my opinion of semantics arguments, how about this:

In this case it mattered, since the suggestion in question was causing
an effect on the character. Using a name associated with metafunctions
which is furthermore anachronistic in most games is just being sloppy.
If something involves the character it should at least be named in a
way that the denizens might reference it to suggest that. Similarly,
the metagame features should be clearly labeled with standard names that
player's are familiar with.

Like it or not, established nomenclature is an important part of design.
Not using it makes one look ignorant of the field or pretentious (even if
it's not the case... eg most CCGs can't use "tap" because it's trademarked,
and I always get a chuckle out of how pretentious that makes some game's
rules sound). At the very least it just confuses the target audience.

// Freepickup with optional AutoYes, AutoNo, AutoPrompt or AutoFilter?

Why bother with using the name "Freepickup" over "Autopickup" here...
you seem to be fully doing a metagame thing here. With "prompt", "filter",
and especially with "auto" all over it I can only assume that this feature
if fully for the benefit of providing automation for ease of the player
with no differences to the character over not using it.

Assuming that you want this to be a character level thing, the first
thing you need to do is get rid of the "Auto" prefix... it's redundant,
junky, and serves no purpose anyways (what does "AutoFilter" say that
isn't said already by "Filter"?... I can only assume that it means it's
got Extra New & Improved Metalevel Goodness (tm)). It only promotes the
image that the command is for metagame automation (ie AutoYes suggests
that it exactly duplicates the effect of typing 'y' to prompts with no
differences to the game itself).

Then, what does "Freepickup" mean? If there is a mode where pickup
is free, why is it an option and not the standard? Surely there
has to be a cost somewhere if it's a beneficial and significant mode
for the character, so why not a name that suggests what that cost is.
For example, if the cost is that the items are picked up for little or
no time, but aren't as easily accessed from the backpack (thus tracking
the level of messiness of items in the inventory) why not call it
something like "Hasty Pickup" or "Sloppy Pickup"? Pickup carries all
the connotation needed to suggest what's going to happen, and "Hasty"
or "Sloppy" provides a clue as to what the net effect will be (objects
will be retrieved quickly, but not as well).

Note that this doesn't necessarily rule out "Autopickup" as a separate
option that has no effect other than automation of whatever type of
pickup the character is using. In fact it's actually Correct (tm)
to do it that way, regardless of the details of any special character
pickup mode. Consider this: You implement a system with character costs
for "freepickup"... so you have it that the player can put the character
into a mode where the character picks up everything they step on, but
it has some in-game cost. Okay, now, I can create an independant Borg
program, who's sole feature is to take the output of the game and issue
the pickup command as need be, and otherwise it simply passes keyboard
input straight through it (easy for us programmers... other players will
download when someone releases their Borg). Thus, I can play the game
with the character automatically picking items up, but without having to
do the keystrokes... and I haven't effected the base game at all as I'm
completely within the rules of the game in question, I've only created
a client that does autotriggering to save me from CTS. This, alone,
should be enough to show that mixing automation features with in-game
effects is plain silly design.

Brent Ross
Arthur J. O'Dwyer
2004-09-08 20:33:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
//
// Freepickup with optional AutoYes, AutoNo, AutoPrompt or AutoFilter?
Why bother with using the name "Freepickup" over "Autopickup" here...
I think your entire reply would have been mollified if you had inserted
the missing space between the words "Free" and "pickup" above. :)

Michael's idea seems like a logical one to me; except that I don't
see any options other than "yes, no, prompt, filter." So AIUI he should
have written: "with a toggle between the four options AutoYes,..." rather
than "with optional AutoYes,...", which makes it sound like there's an
unspecified default behavior that /isn't/ one of those four.

I think having free pickup and drop (and all other inventory management
also free) is a Very Good Idea. Because in every game where you don't
have free inventory management, you end up with ugly hacks whose sole
purpose is to get around that limitation---Angband's "use from floor"
has been mentioned already, and there's a YANI post in r.g.r.nethack
every few months about how using such-and-such class of items from
such-and-such location ought to take less time.

I agree with Gerry that it's a design decision, and good games can be
made both ways. /I/ just happen to like the free-pickup design better.

I'm not sure at all, but I have a hunch that free pickup works better
in games with low item-generation rates. Anyone want to try to come up
with possible correlations there?

-Arthur
Michael Blackney
2004-09-09 02:56:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Post by Brent Ross
Why bother with using the name "Freepickup" over "Autopickup" here...
I think your entire reply would have been mollified if you had inserted
the missing space between the words "Free" and "pickup" above. :)
Michael's idea seems like a logical one to me; except that I don't
see any options other than "yes, no, prompt, filter." So AIUI he should
have written: "with a toggle between the four options AutoYes,..." rather
than "with optional AutoYes,...", which makes it sound like there's an
unspecified default behavior that /isn't/ one of those four.
Note to self: must communicate better. You're right, I meant
something like: "Free pickup with a toggle between the four options
AutoYes, AutoNo, Prompt and Filter." (AutoPrompt and AutoFilter can
come later, when we decide what those words mean...)
--
michaelblackney at hotmail dot com
http://aburatan.sourceforge.net/
Latest version 0.95 2-5-4
Brent Ross
2004-09-09 04:54:48 UTC
Permalink
In article <Pine.LNX.4.60-***@unix47.andrew.cmu.edu>,
Arthur J. O'Dwyer <***@nospam.andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
//
// I think having free pickup and drop (and all other inventory management
// also free) is a Very Good Idea.

It certainly can work, but it can also fail to work. Depends on what
features you have. If you have effects that are based around "catching"
the player with certain items in their inventory then they can become
completely pointless if the player can instantly drop their inventory.
Similarly, you might have a complicated inventory system designed to
impose limits on what the character has ready... if the player can
instantly pickup and use stuff from the ground then that entire system
becomes pointless.

An important part of refactoring is in finding useless factors and
ripping them out... it should be an important part during the design or a
roguelike as well. For example, Angband (and to a lesser extent Moria)
chooses to implement food and lighting as part of it's design...however,
they're far from significant (plenty available in the stores, spells and
items available to supliment and replace said items... no significant
costs or tradoffs involved). If you were going refactor to Angband,
one of the first things to consider would be either ripping food and
light out, or developing those systems into something the player might
actually care and think about. As far as zero time pickup goes, it's
going to break some games that rely on that cost, but you can certain
design a game where there are different costs to make up for that.

// Because in every game where you don't
// have free inventory management, you end up with ugly hacks whose sole
// purpose is to get around that limitation---Angband's "use from floor"
// has been mentioned already,

Angband has many questionable design decisions... implementing "use
from floor" can be considered a out right mistake for the incongruity
it introduces to the system. In some games, items on the floor just
simply aren't at hand... for good design reasons (see above). It's
not a big stretch on reality to simply consider the floor as more
unconvenient than the inventory (and thus requiring extra time to
access is a design thing, not a limitation at all). As such, providing
hacks to remove these limitations would be a mistake... you shouldn't
mix and match design philosophies like that.

Brent Ross
Michael Blackney
2004-09-08 23:11:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
//
In this case it mattered, since the suggestion in question was causing
an effect on the character.
<snip>

I know. I don't like semantics arguments at all - my point is that
although I don't like them, I walked in on one. And now I've touched
on my opinion :(
Post by Brent Ross
// Freepickup with optional AutoYes, AutoNo, AutoPrompt or AutoFilter?
Why bother with using the name "Freepickup" over "Autopickup" here...
you seem to be fully doing a metagame thing here. With "prompt", "filter",
and especially with "auto" all over it I can only assume that this feature
if fully for the benefit of providing automation for ease of the player
with no differences to the character over not using it.
<big snip>
Post by Brent Ross
Then, what does "Freepickup" mean? If there is a mode where pickup
is free, why is it an option and not the standard?
It's not an option. The basic idea:

Pickup is free -> Freepickup (so a system, not an option)

Then come the options:
AutoYes -> always pickup when entering a new tile
AutoNo -> never pickup when entering a new tile
AutoPrompt -> Super metagamingTM prompt (i.e. a prompt)
AutoFilter -> Super metagamingTM filter (i.e. a filter)

Now that we've renamed the functionality, how will the game play
differently (besides not giving false impressions to gamers who expect
autopickup to be meta gaming, yada yada)?

The plan is to take the argument out of the bounds of semantics and
into a situation where we say either, "I like this pickup system," or,
"I hate it." The argument that gaming mechanics should be based
around the termiology we use to describe it is rubbish.
--
michaelblackney at hotmail dot com
http://aburatan.sourceforge.net/
Latest version 0.95 2-5-4
Brent Ross
2004-09-09 04:29:15 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@posting.google.com>,
Michael Blackney <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
// ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Brent Ross) communicated:
//
// > // Freepickup with optional AutoYes, AutoNo, AutoPrompt or AutoFilter?
[another snip]
// <big snip>
// > Then, what does "Freepickup" mean? If there is a mode where pickup
// > is free, why is it an option and not the standard?
//
// It's not an option.

You sure made it sound like one... especially when you drop it as an
example to my reply to a system that descibed a "free pickup" mode which
requires the character to spend turns to toggle on and off. Without
telling me anything about it, I can only assume you ment the same.

// The basic idea:
// Pickup is free -> Freepickup (so a system, not an option)

Then don't bother calling it Freepickup. Why create a junky compound
word when the original "pickup" will do just fine since there's no other
type of pickup to conflict with. Simply mention that pickup takes no
time in the game (it's less that what they'd expect so it's certainly
not a dangerous thing at least).

// Then come the options:
// AutoYes -> always pickup when entering a new tile
// AutoNo -> never pickup when entering a new tile
// AutoPrompt -> Super metagamingTM prompt (i.e. a prompt)
// AutoFilter -> Super metagamingTM filter (i.e. a filter)

Again: There's still no need for labeling these all "Auto"... there are no
non-Auto options here, and these appear to be a set of proper automation
modes (off, always, prompt, filter). Given that you're talking pure
automation here (no character effects present), it sounds like what you
should probably do is have an option called Autopickup and have Yes,
No, Prompt, and Filter as parameters to set the mode (they seem to be
completely independant... I can't see anything useful about setting any
two of these at the same time (in fact it can be confusing)).

// Now that we've renamed the functionality, how will the game play
// differently (besides not giving false impressions to gamers who expect
// autopickup to be meta gaming, yada yada)?

It seems like you're not changing anything at all, only creating some
clunky new labels you don't need.

// The plan is to take the argument out of the bounds of semantics and
// into a situation where we say either, "I like this pickup system," or,
// "I hate it." The argument that gaming mechanics should be based
// around the termiology we use to describe it is rubbish.

Exactly, I've never said anything about mechanics being limited by
technology (I even created the idea of a Hoover Robot Roguelike to make
some bizarre things sensible). However, terminology should be based on
previously standardized terminology... thus, game mechanics that match
old features should lean towards using the old name (especially in the
meta-level... in-game you, of course, shift things towards the world
def to avoid anachronism)... and systems that are sufficently differnent
should get new names rather than using the old (and causing confusion).
And so, (as my point has been) it's the other way around: terminology
is based on game mechanics (if it's a duck, call it a duck... if it's
not, call it something else).

Brent Ross
Mike Blackney
2004-09-09 08:40:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
// AutoYes -> always pickup when entering a new tile
// AutoNo -> never pickup when entering a new tile
// AutoPrompt -> Super metagamingTM prompt (i.e. a prompt)
// AutoFilter -> Super metagamingTM filter (i.e. a filter)
Again: There's still no need for labeling these all "Auto"... there
are no non-Auto options here, and these appear to be a set of proper
automation modes (off, always, prompt, filter). Given that you're
talking pure automation here (no character effects present), it
sounds like what you should probably do is have an option called
Autopickup and have Yes,
No, Prompt, and Filter as parameters to set the mode (they seem to be
completely independant... I can't see anything useful about setting
any two of these at the same time (in fact it can be confusing)).
You clearly miss my comical reference to your post as a diplomatic,
please-calm-down manouvre. Explicit: please calm down.
Post by Brent Ross
// Now that we've renamed the functionality, how will the game play
// differently (besides not giving false impressions to gamers who
// expect autopickup to be meta gaming, yada yada)?
It seems like you're not changing anything at all, only creating some
clunky new labels you don't need.
Better to create new terminology than to use a lousy game mechanic
because it already has a name.
Post by Brent Ross
// The plan is to take the argument out of the bounds of semantics and
// into a situation where we say either, "I like this pickup system,"
// or, "I hate it." The argument that gaming mechanics should be
// based around the termiology we use to describe it is rubbish.
Exactly, I've never said anything about mechanics being limited by
technology (I even created the idea of a Hoover Robot Roguelike to
make some bizarre things sensible). However, terminology should be
based on previously standardized terminology... thus, game mechanics
that match
old features should lean towards using the old name (especially in the
meta-level... in-game you, of course, shift things towards the world
def to avoid anachronism)... and systems that are sufficently
differnent should get new names rather than using the old (and
causing confusion). And so, (as my point has been) it's the other way
around: terminology
is based on game mechanics (if it's a duck, call it a duck... if it's
not, call it something else).
Hence my post with the suggestion to name it something else...?
--
michaelblackney at hotmail dot com
http://aburatan.sourceforge.net/
Latest version 0.95 2-5-4
Brent Ross
2004-09-10 06:44:50 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.alphalink.com.au>,
Mike Blackney <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
// "Brent Ross" <***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> communicated:
// >
// > Michael Blackney <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
// > // Then come the options:
// > // AutoYes -> always pickup when entering a new tile
// > // AutoNo -> never pickup when entering a new tile
// > // AutoPrompt -> Super metagamingTM prompt (i.e. a prompt)
// > // AutoFilter -> Super metagamingTM filter (i.e. a filter)
// >
// > Again: There's still no need for labeling these all "Auto"... there
// > are no non-Auto options here, and these appear to be a set of proper
// > automation modes (off, always, prompt, filter). Given that you're
// > talking pure automation here (no character effects present), it
// > sounds like what you should probably do is have an option called
// > Autopickup and have Yes,
// > No, Prompt, and Filter as parameters to set the mode (they seem to be
// > completely independant... I can't see anything useful about setting
// > any two of these at the same time (in fact it can be confusing)).
//
// You clearly miss my comical reference to your post as a diplomatic,
// please-calm-down manouvre. Explicit: please calm down.

Calm down? I'm not aggravated at all, I'm quite jovial in fact.
You actually came back and described what you were talking about and
removed the confusion caused by responding to a post with certain contexts
you meant to not apply to your own. So I offered a bit of advice on
some clunky names on a system which was just fine. I'm not disagreeing
with anything here at all if you actually read it... I'm just pointing
out that you can get rid of the Auto because it's serving no purpose...
that and the fact that you might consider not having these as options
but as option values (because they're indenpendant modes of an autopickup
system, not really options that can be meaningfully used together).

// > // Now that we've renamed the functionality, how will the game play
// > // differently (besides not giving false impressions to gamers who
// > // expect autopickup to be meta gaming, yada yada)?
// >
// > It seems like you're not changing anything at all, only creating some
// > clunky new labels you don't need.
//
// Better to create new terminology than to use a lousy game mechanic
// because it already has a name.

I just said that you're using new terminology on what's really a set of
quite old autopickup features... so if you think it's a lousy mechanic
then I'd like to point out that it's pretty odd that you're apparently
using it. My comment simply says: you're implementing the same old
autopickup features, so why not use the old terms. You're creating
redundant and confusing terminology for the same old mechanics... that's
pointless as the name autopickup fits and works perfectly here.

// > // The plan is to take the argument out of the bounds of semantics and
// > // into a situation where we say either, "I like this pickup system,"
// > // or, "I hate it." The argument that gaming mechanics should be
// > // based around the termiology we use to describe it is rubbish.
// >
// > Exactly, I've never said anything about mechanics being limited by
// > technology (I even created the idea of a Hoover Robot Roguelike to
// > make some bizarre things sensible). However, terminology should be
// > based on previously standardized terminology... thus, game mechanics
// > that match
// > old features should lean towards using the old name (especially in the
// > meta-level... in-game you, of course, shift things towards the world
// > def to avoid anachronism)... and systems that are sufficently
// > differnent should get new names rather than using the old (and
// > causing confusion). And so, (as my point has been) it's the other way
// > around: terminology
// > is based on game mechanics (if it's a duck, call it a duck... if it's
// > not, call it something else).
//
// Hence my post with the suggestion to name it something else...?

But your autopickup system is a duck... a suggestion to name it something
else is what originally lead me to get confused with your initial brief
post as to what the implementation was (I assumed it involved character
level turn costs (over regular pickup) like the post I responded to... a
version of autopickup which was decidedly not a duck). The only thing
that you've mentioned as being something different is in not having
pickup cost an action... which is just fine if it fits the rest of the
game, but it's also something that has absolutely nothing to do with
the autopickup system (beyond the fact that automated pickups should
take the same amount of time as regular pickups).

Brent Ross
Mike Blackney
2004-09-10 09:32:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
But your autopickup system is a duck... a suggestion to name it
something else is what originally lead me to get confused with your
initial brief post as to what the implementation was (I assumed it
involved character level turn costs (over regular pickup) like the
post I responded to... a version of autopickup which was decidedly
not a duck).
I get you - I can see why you'd think I was developing Gerry's idea.

BTW what's a duck? Is it bad?
Post by Brent Ross
The only thing that you've mentioned as being something different is
in not having pickup cost an action... which is just fine if it fits
the rest of the game, but it's also something that has absolutely
nothing to do with the autopickup system (beyond the fact that
automated pickups should take the same amount of time as regular
pickups).
What do you mean by 'the autopickup system'? I think it's pretty clear
that we're having two completely different conversations here.
--
michaelblackney at hotmail dot com
http://aburatan.sourceforge.net/
Latest version 0.95 2-5-4
Brent Ross
2004-09-11 01:22:00 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.alphalink.com.au>,
Mike Blackney <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
// "Brent Ross" <***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> communicated:
// >
// > But your autopickup system is a duck... a suggestion to name it
// > something else is what originally lead me to get confused with your
// > initial brief post as to what the implementation was (I assumed it
// > involved character level turn costs (over regular pickup) like the
// > post I responded to... a version of autopickup which was decidedly
// > not a duck).
//
// I get you - I can see why you'd think I was developing Gerry's idea.
//
// BTW what's a duck? Is it bad?

A reference back to my comment of calling a duck a duck. In this case,
it appears that your autopickup is pretty straightforward autopickup.
I think it's pretty good.

// > The only thing that you've mentioned as being something different is
// > in not having pickup cost an action... which is just fine if it fits
// > the rest of the game, but it's also something that has absolutely
// > nothing to do with the autopickup system (beyond the fact that
// > automated pickups should take the same amount of time as regular
// > pickups).
//
// What do you mean by 'the autopickup system'? I think it's pretty clear
// that we're having two completely different conversations here.

The system that automates the pickup of items without user intervention
(it sits on top of the pickup system, which does the actual pickup).
Basically, my original point was that autopickup should be a tool for the
player that doesn't effect anything at the character level (the orginal
question posed was "should autopickup be free?", and my answer "only if
pickup is free")... I've never had any real position for or against free
pickup... that's a separate thing, and there's good reasons for both
(so use whichever fits), only that autopickup should use the same game
rules as regular pickup (which is what player's will expect given past
behaviour of such systems).

If someone decides to make autopickup have a separate in-game cost
for the character, then it becomes something else... something that's
better off being renamed to fit the gameworld, give clues to the cost,
and avoid confusion with the previous established autopickup behaviour
(but there's still that issue that it doesn't make a lot of sense to
have two different pickups that are dependant on autopickup mode... I
should be able to pickup an item under either set of rules regardless
(which gets back to building a simple frontend to do proper autopickup
off of whichever mode you prefer, thus getting around the limitation
but not breaking any rules inside the game itself)).

Brent Ross
Arthur J. O'Dwyer
2004-09-11 07:30:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
// What do you mean by 'the autopickup system'? I think it's pretty clear
// that we're having two completely different conversations here.
The system that automates the pickup of items without user intervention
(it sits on top of the pickup system, which does the actual pickup).
Basically, my original point was that autopickup should be a tool for the
player that doesn't affect anything at the character level (the original
question posed was "should autopickup be free?", and my answer "only if
pickup is free")...
My personal opinion aligns with yours here.
Post by Brent Ross
I've never had any real position for or against free
pickup... that's a separate thing, and there's good reasons for both
(so use whichever fits),
And here.
Post by Brent Ross
only that autopickup should use the same game
rules as regular pickup (which is what players will expect given past
behaviour of such systems).
But here you're wrong, AFAIK. In at least two major roguelikes
(Nethack and Angband), autopickup and "regular" pickup have different
in-game behaviors. Namely, autopickup is turn-free and instant while
regular pickup takes time. Any player migrating from one of the major
roguelikes would probably be /surprised/ (albeit pleasantly) by a
game in which autopickup behaved the same as regular pickup.
What roguelike games have an autopickup that behaves the same as regular
pickup? Does anyone use the autopickup feature in those games?
Post by Brent Ross
If someone decides to make autopickup have a separate in-game cost
for the character, then it becomes something else... something that's
better off being renamed to fit the gameworld, give clues to the cost,
and avoid confusion with the previous established autopickup behaviour
(but there's still that issue that it doesn't make a lot of sense to
have two different pickups that are dependant on autopickup mode... I
should be able to pickup an item under either set of rules regardless
(which gets back to building a simple frontend to do proper autopickup
off of whichever mode you prefer, thus getting around the limitation
but not breaking any rules inside the game itself)).
And here you're just being dogmatic. I remember old 2D platform
shooters in which you could only save the game between levels. That's
a completely artificial and nonsensical constraint... but it works,
and the games are fun because of it. Replacing the metagame feature
"save the game" by the metagame feature "switch pickup modes", and
the ingame description "between levels" by the ingame description
"out of immediate danger of monster attack", and we have Gerry's
idea. I think it could work, definitely.
OTOH, I don't deny it's kind of complicated, and it would be
simpler all around to stick to a "one pickup mode" model. But then
I'm the guy who doesn't like the board game Puerto Rico because it's
too complicated. ;-)

-Arthur,
San Juan is better
Brent Ross
2004-09-12 00:42:03 UTC
Permalink
In article <Pine.LNX.4.60-***@unix45.andrew.cmu.edu>,
Arthur J. O'Dwyer <***@nospam.andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
// > only that autopickup should use the same game
// > rules as regular pickup (which is what players will expect given past
// > behaviour of such systems).
//
// But here you're wrong, AFAIK. In at least two major roguelikes
// (Nethack and Angband), autopickup and "regular" pickup have different
// in-game behaviors. Namely, autopickup is turn-free and instant while
// regular pickup takes time. Any player migrating from one of the major
// roguelikes would probably be /surprised/ (albeit pleasantly) by a
// game in which autopickup behaved the same as regular pickup.

Can't say anything about nethack (I haven't played it in quite a few
years... and at that time I was playing v2.3e (although I should note
that this was after winning with a Dwarven Valk in the first version with
races)), but I know for a fact that Angband is consistant.

Angband, in fact, doesn't have a pickup command at all! (Ask different
people and some will tell you it's 'g' and others will say, "no that
doesn't do anything... it's dot/comma"... they're both wrong). The truth
of Angband is that pickup is only available in conjunction with a movement
command (including staying still/waiting as a "move")... and so what it
does have is two sets of commands for movement, one of which follows the
autopickup setting (move or (more explicitly) ;move or ,/. for wait)
and the other which temporarily toggles it (-move or g for wait).

So depending on your pickup settings in the options one of these sets
will be "autopickup" and the other will be "stepping" (which I seem to
recall nethack having, it's a move without side-effects like pickup).
Simply put, autopickup and pickup are exactly the same in Angband, and
are always free (however, you have to make a move to trigger it... even
if that move is just waiting... and that always costs a turn). You can
however, cost yourself turns if not careful (but with -move, you can
avoid the cost even with pickup off).

// What roguelike games have an autopickup that behaves the same as regular
// pickup? Does anyone use the autopickup feature in those games?

Crawl has both taking a turn (and it is used)... however there are other
problems with the pickup/drop system that still need to be resolved.

// > If someone decides to make autopickup have a separate in-game cost
// > for the character, then it becomes something else... something that's
// > better off being renamed to fit the gameworld, give clues to the cost,
// > and avoid confusion with the previous established autopickup behaviour
// > (but there's still that issue that it doesn't make a lot of sense to
// > have two different pickups that are dependant on autopickup mode... I
// > should be able to pickup an item under either set of rules regardless
// > (which gets back to building a simple frontend to do proper autopickup
// > off of whichever mode you prefer, thus getting around the limitation
// > but not breaking any rules inside the game itself)).
//
// And here you're just being dogmatic. I remember old 2D platform
// shooters in which you could only save the game between levels. That's
// a completely artificial and nonsensical constraint... but it works,
// and the games are fun because of it.

Hardly artificial or nonsensical, if you could save at any point you'd
be able to use savescum ogging to blow through the game. That's a very
real game balance concern. Shooter games are, in essence, a test of
reaction, skill, and patterns... it's reasonable for the game design to
choose that an entire level be done in one contiuous sitting to be valid.
As you've said it helps to make the games more fun... and that's result
of good design here. Reaching save points tends to make a bit of common
sense too... afterall, one can't really stop in the middle of a dangerous
area for long. You need to get to a more secure area first.

// Replacing the metagame feature
// "save the game" by the metagame feature "switch pickup modes", and
// the ingame description "between levels" by the ingame description
// "out of immediate danger of monster attack", and we have Gerry's
// idea. I think it could work, definitely.

Except that we're talking of an autopickup system which is using this
delay as a cost to cover the fact that pickup is now free. It's not a
real cost (I just turn the thing on at the start and never turn it off
(that's dangerous)). Turning autopickup on/off in combat is just not
something that should be an issue (from common sense)... and in the case
where one of the pickup modes is free, it isn't any issue at all (from a
game balance sense). As Whitewolf is so fond of saying in their RPGs:
"A flaw that is not a flaw is worth no points". His idea just isn't a
good way of limiting what he wants... it's a pointless and ignorable cost.

// -Arthur,
// San Juan is better

San Juan is different (I'm not so sure about better yet)... Puerto Rico
is good, but could be better.

Brent Ross
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-12 10:07:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
Angband, in fact, doesn't have a pickup command at all! (Ask different
people and some will tell you it's 'g' and others will say, "no that
doesn't do anything... it's dot/comma"... they're both wrong). The truth
of Angband is that pickup is only available in conjunction with a movement
command (including staying still/waiting as a "move")... and so what it
does have is two sets of commands for movement, one of which follows the
autopickup setting (move or (more explicitly) ;move or ,/. for wait)
and the other which temporarily toggles it (-move or g for wait).
So depending on your pickup settings in the options one of these sets
will be "autopickup" and the other will be "stepping" (which I seem to
recall nethack having, it's a move without side-effects like pickup).
Simply put, autopickup and pickup are exactly the same in Angband, and
are always free (however, you have to make a move to trigger it... even
if that move is just waiting... and that always costs a turn). You can
however, cost yourself turns if not careful (but with -move, you can
avoid the cost even with pickup off).
I hope my "over-complicated" ideas will not deter folks used to the
limpid simplicity of Angband ;-)
Post by Brent Ross
// Replacing the metagame feature
// "save the game" by the metagame feature "switch pickup modes", and
// the ingame description "between levels" by the ingame description
// "out of immediate danger of monster attack", and we have Gerry's
// idea. I think it could work, definitely.
Except that we're talking of an autopickup system which is using this
delay as a cost to cover the fact that pickup is now free. It's not a
real cost (I just turn the thing on at the start and never turn it off
(that's dangerous)). Turning autopickup on/off in combat is just not
something that should be an issue (from common sense)... and in the case
where one of the pickup modes is free, it isn't any issue at all (from a
"A flaw that is not a flaw is worth no points". His idea just isn't a
good way of limiting what he wants... it's a pointless and ignorable cost.
You're missing the point. Meta-gaming would be where you stand at the
door of a room full of dangerous monsters, and plan a route to get to a
couple of items in X moves, then switch on auto-pickup because X+2 moves
would allow monsters to hit you, even though you normally prefer
'manual' pickup.

- Gerry Quinn
Brent Ross
2004-09-13 02:53:59 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
//
// You're missing the point. Meta-gaming would be where you stand at the
// door of a room full of dangerous monsters, and plan a route to get to a
// couple of items in X moves, then switch on auto-pickup because X+2 moves
// would allow monsters to hit you, even though you normally prefer
// 'manual' pickup.

Nope, I don't appear to be missing your point. You want to have this
system where the player can select a free pickup mode in a tactical
fashion... and I'm fine with that as a choice. It's just that your
choice of a cost makes completely no sense, as does knotting it directly
to autopickup. The end result says to the player: "Play in autopickup
mode all the time (because it's clearly Correct (tm) to turn it on
once and never touch it again), and if you cannot do that you're too
stupid for this game". My experience with Crawl (and player comments)
has told me that the player's will simply adapt to having autopickup
continually on (it's surprising how many Crawl players did just that,
simply because they didn't know that ^A toggles autopickup).

What you're doing is punishing players who play in a less simple
fashion... and that's plain backwards. Typically, you want to give boons
to players who plan and develop and take the harder road... and up the
risks and penalties to those that play fast and loose on Easy Street.
That's reasonable game balance design, and you're doing it backwards
for no good reason other than you want to do it that way.

Having a fast pickup mode is a reasonable design choice. However,
your design is flawed, because there shouldn't be any reason that any
pickup (automatic or explicit) shouldn't be able to take advantage
of this. So autopickup (as a player tool) should be independant of the
character's fast pickup... you clearly have this concept of making pickup
a tactical issue, so why would you want to firmly lock it together with
a player convenience tool? Simply separate the two and allow for all
four combinations. Let the player play with the playing style they're
comfortable with (autopickup or not), while still having the full range
of tactical options (fast pickup or regular). At the very least you're
limiting your design in a way that you don't have to.

Which brings us to what is a reasonable cost. A few turns on the mode
switch just isn't really a cost... it would be a cost for something
that is likely desirable during combat (ie a massive sword with bad
side-effects (so you don't want it in hand all the time) but tremendous
damage (so you do want to use it in combat) might be balanced by taking
extra turns to wield... or similarly, a very powerful spell might take a
long time to cast). However, we're talking pickup mode here... and that's
just something that's so easy to set outside of combat and just ignore.
Given what I've seen with players adapting to having autopickup always
on, I'd expect that that's pretty much what I'd expect to happen in your
system... your cost is a non-cost, your benefit is pure cherry.

You want a real cost that will actually have meaning and justify why one
pickup mode is cheaper than the other... and it has to be quite a real
cost too, because time is quite a valuable commodity (speed is one of
the trickiest things to balance in a RL... a little bit can easily be
worth everything).

Some ideas:

- having these items less accessible in the backpack... the entire
backpack might become less accessible as the messiness builds over time.
This is pretty weak as a factor however... but it does combine with your
delay idea, since a few turns in a quiet corner can sort the back out
(if not implemented explicitly, you'd only need to drop your inventory
and then pick it back up in regular mode).

- not allowing items above a certain size/weight to be quickly scooped
on the run... perhaps with other limitations like number of items before
the character needs to put stuff away (taking a turn) and empty their
hands for more (most characters only have two hands).

- limitations on actions the player can take while in this mode since
if the player is running around stooped over trying to quickly scoop
items, then it's reasonable to expect that they're less ready for combat,
blocking with a shield, using equipment from their backpack, or casting
spells (esp. those requiring somatic components or materials/focii in
the backpack).

- kleptomaniac mode... the character runs around picking up any item
within sight for a period of time with no control from the player
(this is extreme... but it could be a decent curse/mutation thingy).

Simply put, limitations involving items and whatever is the reason for
the bonus. At that point, the catch would be in making sure that the
tradeoff is well balanced so that it's reasonable to choose one mode
over the other (otherwise, you should simply go with one of the modes and
toss the other... if it's never going to be a factor, just toss it out).

Brent Ross
Brent Ross
2004-09-13 02:58:32 UTC
Permalink
In article <ci3247$k8d$***@rumours.uwaterloo.ca>,
Brent Ross <***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote:
//
// What you're doing is punishing players who play in a less simple
// fashion...

Ouch... bad braino there. Clearly, I meant more simple (or perhaps less
complicated).

Brent Ross
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-13 10:51:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
//
// You're missing the point. Meta-gaming would be where you stand at the
// door of a room full of dangerous monsters, and plan a route to get to a
// couple of items in X moves, then switch on auto-pickup because X+2 moves
// would allow monsters to hit you, even though you normally prefer
// 'manual' pickup.
Nope, I don't appear to be missing your point. You want to have this
system where the player can select a free pickup mode in a tactical
fashion... and I'm fine with that as a choice. It's just that your
choice of a cost makes completely no sense, as does knotting it directly
to autopickup. The end result says to the player: "Play in autopickup
mode all the time (because it's clearly Correct (tm) to turn it on
once and never touch it again), and if you cannot do that you're too
stupid for this game". My experience with Crawl (and player comments)
has told me that the player's will simply adapt to having autopickup
continually on (it's surprising how many Crawl players did just that,
simply because they didn't know that ^A toggles autopickup).
No, I'm not telling them it's correct to have it turned on all the time.
They will be aware that it makes the game very slightly easier at the
cost of a possibly inconvenient interface. Unless they are foolish,
they will choose the interface they prefer, be it auto or manual. (I
usually hate auto-pickup in roguelikes, except at the very beginning.)
Post by Brent Ross
What you're doing is punishing players who play in a less simple
fashion... and that's plain backwards. Typically, you want to give boons
to players who plan and develop and take the harder road... and up the
risks and penalties to those that play fast and loose on Easy Street.
That's reasonable game balance design, and you're doing it backwards
for no good reason other than you want to do it that way.
That's the best reason in the world! But seriously, while I don't see
any reason to give bonuses to players on the basis of doing things in a
difficult way, it is irrelevant to my motivation. My motivation is
simply that, whether a player prefers manual or auto-pickup, the game
should be designed to be as enjoyable as possible in their chosen mode.
I also wish to discourage meta-gaming in the form of swapping modes to
gain an advantage. That is all. You have mentioned some things that
matter to you, and that is fine, but they matter not a whit to me!
Post by Brent Ross
Having a fast pickup mode is a reasonable design choice. However,
your design is flawed, because there shouldn't be any reason that any
pickup (automatic or explicit) shouldn't be able to take advantage
of this. So autopickup (as a player tool) should be independant of the
character's fast pickup... you clearly have this concept of making pickup
a tactical issue, so why would you want to firmly lock it together with
The word 'shouldn't' appears to have dropped accidentally from a
discussion on ethics into a discussion of game design!
Post by Brent Ross
long time to cast). However, we're talking pickup mode here... and that's
just something that's so easy to set outside of combat and just ignore.
Given what I've seen with players adapting to having autopickup always
on, I'd expect that that's pretty much what I'd expect to happen in your
system... your cost is a non-cost, your benefit is pure cherry.
If players are foolish enough to play in a way they do not enjoy in
order to occasionally obtain some tiny tactical benefits, all I can say
is that if I were to write a roguelike, I would not be writing in the
main for such players. Yes, tactical maximisation is part of the genre,
but I am not interested in taking it to extremes.
[--]

Some quite nice ideas, but really they don't go in the direction I want.
Post by Brent Ross
Simply put, limitations involving items and whatever is the reason for
the bonus. At that point, the catch would be in making sure that the
tradeoff is well balanced so that it's reasonable to choose one mode
over the other (otherwise, you should simply go with one of the modes and
toss the other... if it's never going to be a factor, just toss it out).
I suppose it depends - do you think it's reasonable to play games the
way you like, even if this does not give you maximum tactical advantage?
I do, and I play games that way, but I'm aware that others may differ.

- Gerry Quinn
Brent Ross
2004-09-13 17:36:42 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
// In article <ci3247$k8d$***@rumours.uwaterloo.ca>,
// ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca says...
// > In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
// > Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
//
// No, I'm not telling them it's correct to have it turned on all the time.

You are. Roguelikes are inherently munchkin, and you're putting out
a big sign saying: "LOOKY HERE BOYS! FREE TURNS!". Munchkins cannot
be ignored (see below).

// They will be aware that it makes the game very slightly easier at the
// cost of a possibly inconvenient interface.

Most people would say "more convenient interface". You're essentially
giving them candy with something they typically want anyways.

// Unless they are foolish, they will choose the interface they prefer,
// be it auto or manual.

Except that you've tied that to an in-game mechanic, thus deciding to make
playing the interface they don't prefer a tactical option. So you're not
really giving them preferences, but just screwing around with the player.

// > What you're doing is punishing players who play in a less simple
// > fashion... and that's plain backwards. Typically, you want to give boons
// > to players who plan and develop and take the harder road... and up the
// > risks and penalties to those that play fast and loose on Easy Street.
// > That's reasonable game balance design, and you're doing it backwards
// > for no good reason other than you want to do it that way.
//
// That's the best reason in the world!

Hardly. There are many things you might want to do that will get you
killed or thrown in prison. That's a bit extreme, but even at the most
trivial level the point remains: wanting to do something in a certain
way is a neccessary condition, however it's not a sufficient reason.
You need another reason to say why what you're doing is appropriate... and
you've never actually presented one (which is guaranteed to sound overly
pretentious to the players... you need at least a plausable in-game excuse
to give out to the players, because they're going to keep knocking at
your door over something like this).

// But seriously, while I don't see
// any reason to give bonuses to players on the basis of doing things in a
// difficult way, it is irrelevant to my motivation.

It's not so much a matter of giving out a bonus, as it is rewarding the
player for hard work. It's not a matter of doing things the difficult
way (which might just be plain bad playing style or a conduct challenge
to simply make the game harder), it's in rewarding the characters that
take the harder road (an accepted and more involved path of character
development). If a player spends the time and effort to round out their
character they should be rewarded for such... and likewise, a player who
doesn't do this and advances rapidly in a single fashioned way should
have obvious flaws in their character. This is the basic nature of
game balance for developing characters (reward work, punish sloth).
To go against it is to guarantee imbalance (the Munchkins will jump
on the sloth du jour, and the rest of the game will be pointless).

You might want to ignore those Munchkins, and say "this game is not
for them so it does't need to be balanced against that", but in the
end all types of players will be playing... and the non-Munchkins will
certainly enjoy a fair playing field. Note that I've typically played
on multiuser systems so they're always an important consideration to
me... so I never accept arguements that use "free to do whatever you
want on your own machine, since it doesn't implact others" as a premise
(and certainly, the claims of anyone who's playing only on their own
machine should always be taken with a grain of salt). This means that I
always assume that shared resources like the scorefile and bones files
are always freely and properly shared, which speaks otherwise to the
belief that playing style can't impact others... Munchkins can easily
warp these and that will impact other players. A fair playing field
is the bane of Munchkins (who love to rules lawyer every hole and twink
every detail), and a boon to all other styles.

// My motivation is
// simply that, whether a player prefers manual or auto-pickup, the game
// should be designed to be as enjoyable as possible in their chosen mode.

So why not have manual and auto-pickup be the same? Why break the
symmetry by giving them different costs? That interferes with player
preferences on interface very directly.

// I also wish to discourage meta-gaming in the form of swapping modes to
// gain an advantage. That is all. You have mentioned some things that
// matter to you, and that is fine, but they matter not a whit to me!

I understand what you want here... but your design isn't solid enough to
get it. You want to discourage swapping modes, but your limiter simply
isn't a limit for most players. They'll completely ignore it, so you
might as well not have the choice at all.

// > Having a fast pickup mode is a reasonable design choice. However,
// > your design is flawed, because there shouldn't be any reason that any
// > pickup (automatic or explicit) shouldn't be able to take advantage
// > of this. So autopickup (as a player tool) should be independant of the
// > character's fast pickup... you clearly have this concept of making pickup
// > a tactical issue, so why would you want to firmly lock it together with
//
// The word 'shouldn't' appears to have dropped accidentally from a
// discussion on ethics into a discussion of game design!

Ah, semantics. If you prefer: There is absolutely no valid reason for
why a player cannot take advantage of different pickup modes regardless
of autopickup setting. Simply "wanting to" is insufficient.

Your own example shows this... if there are two items in a room and I want
to grab them on the run, I am able to do so. However, if I only want
to grab one of them, but have to pass by the other (to get the shortest
route) then why should I suddenly be forced to take an extra turn at
the moment of pickup (it's the most efficient way under your system)?
Personally, the presence of a second item in a room seldom causes me
to pause at the moment I'm picking up the item I want... yet in your
system it's the correct thing to do! Clearly, the method of picking
up an item is determined on a case by case basis and at the moment
of pickup in reality. You're stretching the simulation away from
reality in an unecessary (at the very least an easy enough to avoid)
and unintuitive way. That's simply confusing, pointless, and bad design.

// > Some ideas:
//
// [--]
//
// Some quite nice ideas, but really they don't go in the direction I want.

And neither does your choice, that's the problem. You've got an idea, but
you're not implementing it in a way that's truly meaningful. It might as
well not be a feature at all, and that's just a waste. You can do better.

// > Simply put, limitations involving items and whatever is the reason for
// > the bonus. At that point, the catch would be in making sure that the
// > tradeoff is well balanced so that it's reasonable to choose one mode
// > over the other (otherwise, you should simply go with one of the modes and
// > toss the other... if it's never going to be a factor, just toss it out).
//
// I suppose it depends - do you think it's reasonable to play games the
// way you like, even if this does not give you maximum tactical advantage?
// I do, and I play games that way, but I'm aware that others may differ.

Oh, I roleplay quite a bit when I play (as opposed to rollplay)... more
so than most (I often play in unusual styles that are suboptimal to
explore what I call the "game-space"). But twinkiness of particular
players isn't really what's at issue here (especially in my case,
since if I was thinking that way I wouldn't have any problem with this
at all... it's Munchkin candy, and Munchkins are often very protective
of their pet rule holes).

What we're talking about is a balanced, fair system with choices that are
meaningful. It's one thing to pretend that my character is a Haberdasher,
but not have any game support for it (other than making some small and
often meaningless choices)... it's quite another to present the player
with an actual game feature, and have it carry pretty much exactly the
same weight (but with less meaning!). You're essentially robbing me of my
playing experience by not giving me a meaningful feature that I can use
to really enhance my roleplay (You cur!)... or a reasonable roleplaying
explanation for what does happen (the roleplaying entertainment factor
of playing characters who meditate to switch pickup modes is very
shortlived). Using "I want to do it like this" as a reason just marks
it as another arbitrary limitation on the rollplayers (and roleplayers
be damned!). So give us real limitations and trade-offs to our features
so that Real Roleplayers and Loonies (both thrive on real adversity)
can feel as at home in the game as the Munchkins.

Brent Ross
Jeff Lait
2004-09-14 02:48:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Brent Ross
Having a fast pickup mode is a reasonable design choice. However,
your design is flawed, because there shouldn't be any reason that any
pickup (automatic or explicit) shouldn't be able to take advantage
of this. So autopickup (as a player tool) should be independant of the
character's fast pickup... you clearly have this concept of making pickup
a tactical issue, so why would you want to firmly lock it together with
The word 'shouldn't' appears to have dropped accidentally from a
discussion on ethics into a discussion of game design!
The presence of "shouldn't" doesn't seem so unreasonable to me. Sure,
game design is a rather weak moral situation. No one's life hangs in
the balance. Nonetheless, we still have a duty.
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Brent Ross
long time to cast). However, we're talking pickup mode here... and that's
just something that's so easy to set outside of combat and just ignore.
Given what I've seen with players adapting to having autopickup always
on, I'd expect that that's pretty much what I'd expect to happen in your
system... your cost is a non-cost, your benefit is pure cherry.
If players are foolish enough to play in a way they do not enjoy in
order to occasionally obtain some tiny tactical benefits, all I can say
is that if I were to write a roguelike, I would not be writing in the
main for such players. Yes, tactical maximisation is part of the genre,
but I am not interested in taking it to extremes.
I would claim that the developer is morally *responsible* for those
who take it to extremes. Sure, it is the player's fault in the end.
I'm not suggesting there should be any legal or likewise
reprecussions. I'm just saying the developer can't just wash their
hands of the issue.

If you make a mechanic in an otherwise fun game that drives players to
pointless extremes of tactical maximization, you are guilty of making
players waste their game time in pointless extremes of tactical
maximization. If you do this with aforethought, you cannot even claim
the defence of negligence.

This is why I would argue that munchkinism should not be rewarded in
single player games. Munckinism harms the munchkin - they have as
much fun in a game that doesn't require tedious optimization. I'd
rather people cheat single player games than use munchkin tactics to
achieve the same end. Cheating at least is fast and lets them get on
with life.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Ray Dillinger
2004-09-14 06:13:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
This is why I would argue that munchkinism should not be rewarded in
single player games. Munckinism harms the munchkin - they have as
much fun in a game that doesn't require tedious optimization. I'd
rather people cheat single player games than use munchkin tactics to
achieve the same end. Cheating at least is fast and lets them get on
with life.
My problem with munchkin tactics is that if they work, they are usually
boring to play, and game balance adjustments that take them into account
instead of "nerfing" them often make the boring tactic a necessity of
winning the game. Angband does this at the mid-level when characters
are required to hang around collecting every damn resistance in order
to go below level N without dying. Instead of forcing players to do
something boring, they should have just reduced the resistance-taking
attacks and made resistances of all types a whole lot more rare.
Then resistances would be a cool bonus thing that made some character
different from all the other characters, instead of a basic survival
necessity that people have to engage in munchkin tactics (scumming
the same few levels over and over) to get.

Bear

Gerry Quinn
2004-09-09 08:24:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brent Ross
In this case it mattered, since the suggestion in question was causing
an effect on the character. Using a name associated with metafunctions
which is furthermore anachronistic in most games is just being sloppy.
If something involves the character it should at least be named in a
way that the denizens might reference it to suggest that. Similarly,
the metagame features should be clearly labeled with standard names that
player's are familiar with.
[and on, and on...]

I hereby apologise in advance to any player of any game of mine whose
tiny mind will be hopelessly confused if I use the term 'auto-pickup' to
denote a mode in which pickup happens without specific player
intervention.

I must simultaneously point out that he will have to deal with it, for I
do not intend to change...

- Gerry Quinn
Jeff Lait
2004-09-10 01:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Brent Ross
In this case it mattered, since the suggestion in question was causing
an effect on the character. Using a name associated with metafunctions
which is furthermore anachronistic in most games is just being sloppy.
If something involves the character it should at least be named in a
way that the denizens might reference it to suggest that. Similarly,
the metagame features should be clearly labeled with standard names that
player's are familiar with.
[and on, and on...]
I hereby apologise in advance to any player of any game of mine whose
tiny mind will be hopelessly confused if I use the term 'auto-pickup' to
denote a mode in which pickup happens without specific player
intervention.
I think we'd be more interested in seeing you apologize to any player
who decides to set his players mode to "autopickup" and then gets
killed by a Dragon because changing the "autopickup" setting causes
time to be spent.

The problem isn't with autopickup meaning that pickup happens without
player intervention. We're all happy with that. The problem is with
*setting* autopickup taking time. That is a bizzare an unexpected
occurance for something which looks very much like a toggleable meta
game option. Especially as it *is* a toggleable metagame option in
most other roguelikes.
Post by Gerry Quinn
I must simultaneously point out that he will have to deal with it, for I
do not intend to change...
I'm not sure how happy said player would be with that response.
--
Jeff Lait
(POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
Gerry Quinn
2004-09-11 10:06:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Lait
Post by Gerry Quinn
Post by Brent Ross
In this case it mattered, since the suggestion in question was causing
an effect on the character. Using a name associated with metafunctions
which is furthermore anachronistic in most games is just being sloppy.
If something involves the character it should at least be named in a
way that the denizens might reference it to suggest that. Similarly,
the metagame features should be clearly labeled with standard names that
player's are familiar with.
[and on, and on...]
I hereby apologise in advance to any player of any game of mine whose
tiny mind will be hopelessly confused if I use the term 'auto-pickup' to
denote a mode in which pickup happens without specific player
intervention.
I think we'd be more interested in seeing you apologize to any player
who decides to set his players mode to "autopickup" and then gets
killed by a Dragon because changing the "autopickup" setting causes
time to be spent.
The problem isn't with autopickup meaning that pickup happens without
player intervention. We're all happy with that. The problem is with
*setting* autopickup taking time. That is a bizzare an unexpected
occurance for something which looks very much like a toggleable meta
game option. Especially as it *is* a toggleable metagame option in
most other roguelikes.
Well, it was just an idea to discourage meta-gaming. Obviously the
player would be able to cancel interface changes if he suddenly realised
they take time he doesn't have to spare. A bit like games where you
can't save during combat.
Post by Jeff Lait
Post by Gerry Quinn
I must simultaneously point out that he will have to deal with it, for I
do not intend to change...
I'm not sure how happy said player would be with that response.
Depends how good the important stuff is, I guess!

- Gerry Quinn
Brent Ross
2004-09-10 07:15:21 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
// In article <chnhec$3f1$***@rumours.uwaterloo.ca>,
// ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca says...
// > In this case it mattered, since the suggestion in question was causing
// > an effect on the character. Using a name associated with metafunctions
// > which is furthermore anachronistic in most games is just being sloppy.
// > If something involves the character it should at least be named in a
// > way that the denizens might reference it to suggest that. Similarly,
// > the metagame features should be clearly labeled with standard names that
// > player's are familiar with.
// [and on, and on...]
//
// I hereby apologise in advance to any player of any game of mine whose
// tiny mind will be hopelessly confused if I use the term 'auto-pickup' to
// denote a mode in which pickup happens without specific player
// intervention.

If you really mean to use the term 'auto-pickup' "to denote a mode
in which pickup happens without specific player intervention", then I
have no problem with what you're doing. However, you were suggesting
character level changes (costing turns for switching modes which resulted
in a different pickup than the regular one). That's not a system of
"pickup" without player intervention... that's a system of "something
else" without player intervention.

Costing turns here isn't even good game balance sense. That's a cost
that you apply to situations to limit what the player can do tacitically
in combat, and switching pickup modes is something that's likely to
be done well away from that, anyways. It's a non-cost, especially if
you're planning to use it to offset a switch to a system where pickup is
free or easier (people will simply stay in that mode for most of the game
making it really a non-option). And it's this sudden limitation against
tactical use which makes the least common sense... personally, I can't
see why a character should suffer a lot of paralysing angst in a room with
a dragon just because he doesn't want to (or wants to) automatically scoop
items off the floor right now. It's garbage design for most game worlds.
If you want to put a limit on a special pickup mode then there are far
better ways to give it costs that will both apply as real game factors
and make sense. You can do a million times better than this (unless
you're doing an unusual game world where this applies better... ie if
the character actually has to strap on/off an item vacuum).

// I must simultaneously point out that he will have to deal with it, for I
// do not intend to change...

That would be your problem then.

Brent Ross
Erik Piper
2004-09-07 16:46:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gibbering Poster
Should autopickup be turn-free?
######
######
a) Autopickup fire off, causing the player to pickup the gold, and give the
dragon a free turn of hits on the player PLUS the round of hits it would get
since the player was moving next to the dragon first?
b) Should Autopickup be ignored because it would give the dragon an extra
round of hits?
c) Should Autopickup perform the pickup at no time cost?
It seems that 'c' would be the more sensible option. Imagine that you had
pickup for rings only, and there was a ring in the '$' square buried beneath
a bunch of stuff, and the player didn't know it was there. In the first
scenario, that would cause the player to take extra damage because he didn't
know the ring was there. In the 2nd, the player might very well miss the
ring, because autopickup didn't go off... In the 3rd, the player gets the
ring, and doesn't get a 'strange' extra round of dragon hits executed
against him...
Thoughts?
One player's thoughts:

a) definitely, IMO. Maybe it's just because I'm used to it, but I hope it's
because I agree with the opinion that people with one interface customization
shouldn't have an advantage over people with another interface customization.
b) would of course also meet this requirement, but it fails to meet the
standard of "it should be easy for the player to remember what simple
reaction will come from what simple reaction." That is: sometimes doing
autopickup and sometimes not is annoying and confusing. Especially in this
scenario:

######
@$.D.#
######

Say the rl in question has a speed system. Unlike the above scenario above,
the player has no chance of simply forming the mental model "one space
distance, I won't autopickup": the pickup MIGHT be performable before the
dragon acts (so autopickup occurs), and might not (so it doesn't). Worse yet,
once again the player with autopickup gets free information on the safety of
the pickup compared to the player without.

Of course, most roguelikes (*cough* except Crawl *cough*) are not non-stop
edge-of-the-seat all the time, and thus the free hit monsters gain during
autopickup is usually not a problem anyway. Sometimes it is, though, and
that's why you make sure to have an easy to use command for toggling
autopickup. (For some reason, I've always found ADOM's CTRL-a to be very
memorable and usable, but tastes vary... which is why you make sure to allow
remapping. :0) )

Erik
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