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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#77
F4wk35 wrote:Also...are those names deliberately set by you in this case? Or is there a pool of names for NPC's? Or are those randomly generated after some parameters? :ghost:
I wrote up two lists of names - one male list, and one female list. They make up a pool of names for the AI players. I could do randomly-generated names, but I've found those are far easier to forget. :) It's important to remember who you're up against.
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#78
Day 15
Hello! Welcome to my report for Day 15! Yesterday's progress was scattered throughout many different areas, but I still got plenty done. You ready? Let's dig into it. :)


While I worked a little on... well, basically everything during my coding hours yesterday... most of the progress was on turns and turn progression. While the core features are technically "hooked up", there are still a lot of features that aren't hooked up, and it's not at all ready for showing. :P I'm working on that, though. :)

I found various bugs in the lookup feature (looking up an opponent to view their stats, which you get to do once per turn), first turn options, second turn options, end-turn output to players, requests, and more. I fixed those as I got to them. I'm trying to fix the biggest bugs while I can so they aren't still there when I start moving forward again.

Option staggering
I ususally try to talk about at least one thing in particular each devlog, and this time, it's option staggering - something I hooked up yesterday. "Option staggering", as I call it, is a pretty simple concept. I'll start by showing why it's necessary with an example.

Let's say that Taiya has figured out you really like working on your job - enough that as long as you have the option to go to work, you will, without question, go to work. That saps all the fun out of the game, doesn't it? There's no more decision-making involved. You already know exactly what you want to do. The element of choice is gone, and with it, there's no more fun gameplay, and the game becomes a grind. Of course, Taiya could deny you the option entirely, to try to keep you from using it over and over... but then you would inevitably become frustrated when you couldn't choose that option. Alternatively, you would simply try other things to further your career besides going to work. The game ceases to be fun at this point because all you ever think about is one sole aspect. That's where Option Staggering comes in.

Option Staggering is a system in which Taiya sorts all your options by type (money, friendliness, combat, etc) and then, after you choose an option in one turn, doesn't give you any of that option's type in the next turn. This forces you to make new decisions (Okay, no job-related stuff this turn - should I work on my ship or go talk to people?). It also helps keep you from rushing to the finish line, ruining everyone else's game. Finally, as an added benefit, it helps you flesh your your character (and thus your story) more. It's a real all-around win! :geek:

~~~

Names
I'm strongly considering letting people come up with new ship names/planet names/system names/ore names/etc., to better flesh out the potential universe. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this might be a good/bad idea? Looking for input here! If people think it's a good idea, I'll put up a list of stuff I could use more names for tomorrow. :)

Game progress: approximately 59% Complete (+0% total; +6% from bugfixes)
Spoiler:      SHOW
Prototyping: Complete
Star system info: Complete
Save file and loading: Complete
Game initialization: Complete
Getting character info: Complete
Renaming ships: Complete
Explaining first turn option: Complete
Explaining second turn option: Complete
Entering starting stats: Complete
Making requests: Complete
Joining new game: Complete
Option staggering: Complete
Turn timers: Complete (fixed bugs)
Introduction: Complete (fixed a bug)
"lookup" feature: Complete (fixed a bug)
First turn option: Complete (fixed a bug)
Second turn option: Complete (fixed bugs)
Basic AI: Mostly done
Finishing the turn: Mostly done
Storytext, minimal: Mostly done
End-turn output to players: Mostly done (fixed a bug)
Responding to requests: Mostly done (fixed a bug; still bugged)
End-turn output to main channel: Halfway
Player elimination (losing early): Halfway
Winning the game: Halfway
Resolving turn repetition: Halfway
Alpha testing: Started
Joining game in progress: Started
Adaptive AI: Started
Storytext, optimal: Started
RPG Threading: Started
Beta testing: Not started
Restarting the game: Not started
Quitting the game: Not started
Abandoning the game: Not started
Midpoint class change: Not started
Switching nicks: Not started
High scores: Not started
Long-term analysis: Not started
End-turn output scrambling: Not started
Rebalance for human players: Not started
Writing progress:
storytext: 297 lines (+15)
file length: 1274 lines (+21)
percentage of file that is storytext: 23%
percentage of minimum complete: 85% (+4%)
percentage of optimum complete: 8% (+1%)
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#79
Day 16
Well, this is the first day that I've posted, I think, where absolutely nobody said anything after I made a post. :P I can't help but wonder if it possibly had something to do with me requesting input. :ghost: Regardless of the reason, it does beg the question: Why am I even doing this?

I mean, really, why spend three weeks creating a game that almost nobody's excited about? I'm sure many devs face this question at one point or another. Sure, I'm only developing a small IRC game, I know. It's absolutely nowhere near the scale of what Josh is doing... but really: If everyone only plays it once or twice before they get bored, then I've utterly failed to produce a good game... and that's a real possibility, if I can't find some way to make the gameplay fun.

I guess I'm doing it partly for myself. I want to do this. I've wanted to do this for a long time. I'm basically rebuilding a "game" I built over a decade ago, called Story Creator. You would input a number of people, their stats and such, and hit "Go". It would calculate a week or two of these people living with each other, and output it to console, where you could read it at your leisure. Quite often, it was hilarious. This is the third iteration of the idea, and the first where I've actually turned it into a game where you could actually win or lose. I'd always wanted to rebuild it, but never really had the motivation... and these devlogs help keep me motivated. That's why I make the devlogs, and why I'm making the game... though I would still dearly love if people enjoyed it. I'd like that most of all, really, but I'm still having fun making the game.



Alpha testing
Yesterday was mostly alpha testing - real, legit alpha testing. I fixed a great number of little bugs here and there, and the game is actually running rather smoothly now. In additon, I've identified a few areas I need to fix. One thing in particular is that it would be very useful to have some way to identify who's winning - some knowledge that all players are privy to. I think this is going to equate to a couple of messages output in the main channel about who's winning. "Bob is in the lead, with XXXX points. Alice is close behind." This would put some extra pressure on the winning players, I think, and also give the losing players an edge. That's important to have in a game - you want everyone to be at roughly the same spot so there's always competition. Dragging it out like a Monopoly game is not a good idea, in my opinion.

Next up, I'm going to write out some generic win/loss messages and teach Taiya how to actually "end" the game. Also useful will be the ability to abandon and quit. Those things come next. After that, I'll finish the storytext - and at that point, the game will officially be in Beta. When Beta hits, I'll be able to take Beta players, and try to improve the game in a way that makes it as fun as possible, based on input from the beta players... while I'm adding more features as well, of course. :)

I'll take offers for beta volunteers at this point, if anyone's interested. :) I'd not like to have too many people in the channel at once, so it'll be a closed thing instead of an open beta. I'd give out passes to the people that need them.

That's all for today! :wave: Tomorrow I should have more.

Game progress: approximately 58% Complete (-1% total, +6% from bugfixes)
Spoiler:      SHOW
Prototyping: Complete
Star system info: Complete
Save file and loading: Complete
Game initialization: Complete
Renaming ships: Complete
Explaining first turn option: Complete
Explaining second turn option: Complete
Entering starting stats: Complete
Joining new game: Complete
Turn timers: Complete
"lookup" feature: Complete
RPG Threading: Complete
Getting character info: Complete (fixed bugs)
Making requests: Complete (fixed bugs)
Introduction: Complete (fixed typos)
First turn option: Complete (fixed typos, fixed bugs)
Second turn option: Complete (fixed MANY bugs)
Money calculation: Complete (tweaked)
Option staggering: Complete (bugged, fixed bugs)
Basic AI: Mostly done
Finishing the turn: Mostly done
Storytext, minimal: Mostly done
Scoring: Mostly done
End-of-turn calculations: Mostly done (bugged)
End-turn output to players: Mostly done (fixed bugs)
Responding to requests: Mostly done (still bugged)
End-turn output to main channel: Mostly done (fixed bugs) (still missing saying which turn it is)
Player elimination (losing early): Halfway
Winning the game: Halfway
Alpha testing: Halfway
Endgame "win" messages: Halfway
Joining game in progress: Started
Adaptive AI: Started
Storytext, optimal: Started
Beta testing: Not started
Restarting the game: Not started
Quitting the game: Not started
Abandoning the game: Not started
Midpoint class change: Not started
Switching nicks: Not started
High scores: Not started
Long-term analysis: Not started
End-turn output scrambling: Not started
Rebalance for human players: Not started
Special game events: Not started
Endgame "loss" messages: Not Started
Making Taiya detect who is actually in #LTRPG: Not started
Showing the top-scoring player(s) in main chat per turn: not started
(Game progress has actually "decreased" because I thought of more things that are necessary, and stuck them at the bottom of the list. More things at 0% completion means lower amount completed. In actually, I really made progress, but because of the way this is set up, you can't tell.)

Writing progress:
storytext: 297 lines
file length: 1282 lines (+8)
percentage of file that is storytext: 23%
percentage of minimum complete: 85%
percentage of optimum complete: 8%
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#80
Day 17
Heh, so, this is the second day nobody's posted in the thread. Has me getting a bit worried. :lol:

Most of yesterday was spent making the game more complete for Beta, and as a result, I got a huge chunk of things completed. I'm up to 69% completion for the full game, and up to 91% completion for the minimum Beta requirement. That means, with another day like yesterday, Beta could start tomorrow... although I don't actually have anyone that wants to beta-test yet. :P For that reason I may end up simply replacing the "real" Taiya with debug Taiya and letting people test it out on the main server instead of Freenode.

Something interesting of note: I did get someone (Lycurgus) to test out the game with me yesterday, and he confirmed that it seemed like it had "a text version of programmer graphics", which sounds about right to me. We also discovered multiple bugs... most of which I've fixed. It brought us a huge leap closer to actually putting out the beta.


Events
So, as I usually try to find something to talk about, today I'm going to talk about "events". Events are planned as a feature for late-stage beta, after I get most of the text stuff in and feel the game is mostly balanced. Events are supposed to enrich player experience mostly through story additions and extra choices. To keep them from being too repetitive, I would probably also want to make a generator of some sort.

There would be three types of events:

-- Random events
Random events would occur at different times throughout the game. It could be something like discovering a derelict vessel, settling a dispute, or random sci-fi-ish scenarios. They'll require you to make a choice - and your choice might have an immediate effect on your stats, skills, relationships, or assets.

-- System-wide events
System-wide events would occur for all players simultaneously. They would be massive game-changers that would require you to adapt to changes in the environment, and occur in early-to-mid game. A few examples would be a massive battle in the system, an ore shortage, or rising prices for things. While not all would necessarily require you to make choices, they would all be guaranteed to have a lasting impact on the game.

-- Campaign events
Campaign events would occur either separately for each player, or with two or more players in tandem with each other. They would basically be a more overarching story, partly dependent on your player's profession, and require you to make a few choices throughout the game - choices that could potentially hurt you in the end. Optionally, of course, you could always opt out of it, but you would lose the potential to benefit from it by doing that as well.



The point of events is twofold. The primary reason for including them is to make sure games always feel "fresh", so you never feel like you're just playing the same thing in repetition. A secondary reason is to add atmosphere and help engross players in the story - as well as making the game even more storylike to begin with. While the adding of events is still pretty far down the line, I figured it would be a good idea to mention it here, so people could mull it over and add their thoughts on the matter. :)


Game progress toward Beta: 91% complete
Total game progress: approximately 69% Complete (+10% total)
Spoiler:      SHOW
Note: "(b)" represents the bare minimum that needs to be complete for beta

Prototyping: Complete (b)
Star system info: Complete (b)
Save file and loading: Complete (b)
Game initialization: Complete (b)
Renaming ships: Complete
Explaining first turn option: Complete (b)
Entering starting stats: Complete (b)
Joining new game: Complete (b)
Turn timers: Complete (b)
"lookup" feature: Complete (b)
RPG Threading: Complete (b)
Getting character info: Complete (b)
Making requests: Complete (b)
Introduction: Complete
First turn option: Complete (b)
Money calculation: Complete
Option staggering: Complete (b)
Scoring: Complete (b)
End-turn output to players: Complete (b)
Player elimination (losing early): Complete (b)
Endgame "win" messages: Complete
Wrapping up and closing game: Complete (b)
Player "loss" messages: Complete
Finishing the turn: Complete (b)
Explaining second turn option: Complete (b)
End-of-turn calculations: Complete (b)
Responding to requests: Complete (b)
Winning the game: Complete (b)
Second turn option: Mostly done (still bugged) (b)
End-turn output to main channel (including scoring and scrambling): Mostly done (b)
Basic AI: Mostly done (b)
Storytext, minimal: Mostly done (b)
Alpha testing: Halfway (b)
Joining game in progress (and keeping eliminated players from making new characters): Started
Adaptive AI: Started
Storytext, optimal: Started
Beta testing: Not started
Quitting the game: Not started
Abandoning the game: Not started (b)
Midpoint class change: Not started
Switching nicks: Not started
High scores: Not started
Long-term analysis: Not started
Rebalance for human players: Not started
Special game events: Not started
Making Taiya detect who is actually in #LTRPG: Not started
Name capitalization: Not started
Writing progress:
storytext: 297 lines
file length: 1286 lines (+4)
percentage of file that is storytext: 23%
percentage of minimum complete: 85%
percentage of optimum complete: 8%
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#83
*Opens mouth, closes it again and puts up a broken record*

--Much excite! Woo, can't wait :D -- Much excite! Woo, can't wait :D -- Muc-Muc-muc *scree, scree, scree, klick---*

Ok, bad joke I admit, sorry :?

What I want to say is, I'm really looking forward to playing this one :) but I can't really repeat myself every time you make an update XD

Also: Alpha Testing D: I totally missed that! You're way too fast D:

How long till open beta :3
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#86
cuisinart8 wrote:I'd be happy to help test, but I by no means will be regular in my timing (and depending on what I'm doing at the time, might not even be up for it every time I'm in IRC.)
This throws a good question actually.

OK guys - don't laugh. I never used IRC so I may massively misunderstand somthing :oops:

I guess this needs to be played as several players are more or less online at the same time. This I take from the Devlog Day 14 that says a turn is 5 min. So it means that a game must take place at a timeslot where people are available.
Now I am available (assuming my son sleeps quickly) at best in the window 9-11pm. Swiss time. That means 2-4pm in Houston, which I assume even in the US is sort of full in the middle of the working day. This is not a problem in Syndey - people are not at work. But sleeping or shaving.

In short: is it indended to be playable across time zones, or at best can you make a game together with other guys from your own continent?
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#87
Best played with people in your own timezone, CSE. However, I'm also giving the game AI, and most people in IRC are from your timezone as well. (Really! The majority of IRC-goers are European.) It would be easy to play either way. The main point of Beta is to try to re-balance it for human players, and fix anything that isn't considered fun, as well as potentially adding more things to make it more enjoyable.

Edit: Yesterday I was busy at home most of the time, and as a result, didn't get much coding in. Today I've been very busy too, BUT I'm going to make an update post very soon anyway. :)
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Re: Taiya's IRC-based RPG

#89
Day 18 and 19
The past couple of days were filled with very little RPG programming. After all, it's only a side project of mine. :P As a result, I haven't really gotten anything done, but I"m hoping that will change today. Here's a breakdown of my past two days:

(hours:minutes) (Does not count time away from the computer, time spent playing games (if any) or time spent with gf)
7:03: Limit Theory (forums, LTFC, PMs, etc)
5:34: Jobhunting
3:23: LT IRC (Not technically "work", but I'm including it anyway because it's LT-relevant)
2:03: Brainstorming (coming up with solutions for problems)
1:41: Research (Typically wikipedia or study-type sites - lately things related to community management and space)
1:24: Email
0:57: Programming (IRCRPG)
0:44: REKT (Writing up stuff to post)
0:35: Unspecified "work" (Could be anything, typically writing in notepad or rearranging files. More likely notepad)

I've been busy. :P I'm hoping I'll get more done today on IRCRPG.
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