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MrSandman666

text based RPGs again....

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I''m sory. Used the wrong username in the last post. So here it is again: Ok, I''m in the following situation: For my programming class I have to finish a project withiin half a year. It has to run on WinNT. We''re completely free handed about the subject. As I''m a bad artist I thought about a text based "thing" (program, game, whatever) I''m a real RPG freak, so that would be a good idea. But that leaves me with some problems. GUI. Impossible. A player would like to view character stats and inventory during the game. As I can''t display the scene description and stats at the same time I would have to switch between the output modes (scene, stats, inventory...). Any ideas about text based RPGs and a User Interface? Or any alternatives to RPGs?

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You can actually delete your own messages if you want ( I''ve already deleted the last one for you though ).

Just click on "edit message", and check the box "delete message" at the top, which will remove the message.


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

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Why can''t you display the scene description and statistics at the same time? It would seem that having a split display should be relatively easy. Of course the ease of implementing a split screen display depends on the programming language your using. That leads me to a second question; what language are you using to program this project in? I''m sorry to bring up more questions than answers, but they are important.

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I think you really want to have a look at Roguelike games ...
especially my favorite : ADOM
(plus, you''ll be happy, the guy is german )

youpla :-P

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Thanx for your replies!

Just to answer silicon''s question: I''m using C++.

And what do you mean by "splitscreen"??? In dos??? Or do you want to talk me into MFC? I wasn''t planning to use that as I find it very confusing with all the classes and include structures and class scopes and stuff.

And I didn''t plan to use a text parser either.
I mean, why should I? It''s a challenging idea though. Probably it would even be fun to do that, but which advantage would it have?
I originally planned to use a flexible, situation dependant multi-choice system (i.e. press 1 to go through the door, 2 to look at the painting, 3 to talk to the old man and so on...).
Of course this isn''t as ''free choice like'' but there''s a limited number of actions anyway.

BTW: i''m really impressed by adom! Great game!

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quote:
robably it would even be fun to do that, but which advantage
would it have?
I originally planned to use a flexible, situation dependant multi-choice system (i.e. press 1 to go through the door, 2 to
look at the painting, 3 to talk to the old man and so on...).


Well for one it''s faster to type what you want to do than read 10 options.

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I think he means you will have a list of options that you can do in a room - not a lot, just enough to cover what you probably be doing with a mouse anyways.

Art works should still be drawn up in order to help you visialize each location you are going to in your adventure. As for choosing text because you can''t do art, I can''t agree with that solution. What you might consider is coming up with creatures looking like what you can make. Not only will this make things unique to you, it will also keep things from looking thrown together. I really have no room to comment on your decision because the first experiment I want to do with SEB is a small text based RPG that will be slowly moved to 3D. I can''t draw 2d art, but I can model fairly well. Later down the road I might buy one of those model painting programs as I have problems texturing with what I have.

The cost for simple 3D:

* Modeller - $40 for AC3D - not strong on texturing, but adequate, the modelling functions are good and I picked how to use it in a month. I still prefer to at least start the model in AC3D and then migrate to another for finishing.
* Paint program - just use MS Paint that comes with windows. To migrate between image formats, download a free image converter - there are tons of them out there.
You can use a free graphics engine to do your models in or just use NEHE and the NEHE forum to learn OpenGL - you can quickly pick up OpenGL and there are new tutorials at NEHE that show how to do model loading. Also, you can use text to display options for each object taken from your text game prototype.

So for a few hours of your time (40-80 depending on how much you want to learn) and $40 you can do a simple 3D game. Of course that 40-80 hours time is just getting ready to program in OpenGL.

The choice is yours.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I had to do the same project my first semseter at DigiPen Institute of Technology. We were limited to using ASCII only. You can get around those problems using buffers. Make a copy of the current game screen. Now blit the screen you want to show over the current screen. When you''re done blit the saved copy back over and your back where you started. We used this technique for our game. I made a whole save/load GUI with mouse support that listed the files in the directory and had "buttons" for save, load, and exit. It worked really well. Get yourself a good ASCII editor also.

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Whirlwind : you really should have a try (not just look) at any roguelike game.
Sometimes, it''s better to do for pure text, rather than crappy, "I can''t draw but I try hard" graphics ...
Not trying to be annoying. But it''s better to go for something you know you can achieve (OK, now let''s start a flame war about what is easier : good grpahics or good texts ...)

MrSandman : I don''t know if ADOM is exactly what you had in mind, but if you think that DIablo is really a rip off of those roguelike games, you understand that there is no shame in sticking to text. Flavor texts in ADOM add a great deal of atmosphere. The different stat screens are very well done, etc.
as for splitscreens, of course you can do them in DOS !
you''d just have to make your own windows system in DOS... it''s not that hard. you can do similar stuff on curses for unix system, though using telnet usually destroy all the nice effects you can come up with.
Maybe you should go on the web and get some source code on MUDs so you can get an idea of what it is. Then do that, but with an ADOM interface !

*that* would be original.

youpla :-P

ps : what year are you in ? What are you learning in your other classes ... this greatly influence what you can choose to study in your project, and how you''ll be judged. If you are learning C++ this year, doing all your project in C++ would be a GoodThing(tm) for instance.

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Yeah, the adom game is really fun!!!
I really like it!
But I''m planning to do a cyberpunk rpg and I think that this technic used in the adom game doesn''t really suit the cyberpunk style. What do you think?

And I''m going to go text based not only because I''m a bad artist but also because I think I can create a tighter atmosphere by actually writing the story and not drawing it. And it''s faster. And looks better in the end. At least in my case.

And, ahw, could you point me to some kind of tutorial for the dos splitscreen? I have no idea how to do that.
Anyway, does anyone of you guys know some good dos tutorials?

And still, any creative input on the design, UI, setting, well basically anything is appreciated.

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I don''t know of any tutorial. But I know that most people who code for DOS seem to assume they can only print text with printf. Well, you can, but you can also use the conio.H library. So go ahead, read your documentation, and realise that you can use your text output just like you would be using a graphic output. That is, put a character with a defined color wherever you want. That way you can do some serious sh!t. Mail me if you wanna see what you can do. Of course I am assuming a DOS game.
the trick after that is that you can apply what you learn from graphic programming to a text interface...

but I guess now we are more into coding than design, really

youpla :-P

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I USE CONIO.H!!! Do you ever find yourself trying to pronounce the names of the header files as a regular word? Glad to see I''m not the only person who switched to dos because they wanted to do something real quick. I am currently in the middle of a text based rpg. right now, I have a letters-as-tiles sort of rpg that lets you run around the room. I''m using basic File IO to read all the room data from a text file. This includes layout, collision detection, and Letter colors. It is really cool. Basically, each room has it''s own text file. This aslo makes it real easy to edit. But, it will make it real easy to cheat, too.
If anyone wants to see what I have so far, I can send you the source code and the text files for the only two rooms.
One of the reason I chose reading the data from a text file was so that I could edit the maps with out having to recompile.

shut up
CAN I GET A WOO WOO!

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I''ve always done direct poking to the screen in dos {I have no clue if using CONIO.H is remotely like what I did since I was using GW-BASIC. &HB800 baby!} The main reason is it got around the annoying fact that the 25th line couldn''t be used without everything scrolling up. But this is only useful if you are developing an actual IBM-PC DOS program, simply because this technique works differently on other platforms {if at all.}

So, {here comes another question} are you actually limited to ASCII {the first 128 characters with the foreground and background having just one color each} or can you use all of the ANSI set {all 256 characters including the line-draw ones as well as 16 colors for background and foreground?}

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programming wise, you are putting and 8bit value. The real problem is the driver you have got. In DOS, I get the nice greylevel characters, and the ones to do tables. But with Windoze ... they are gone !
I know there are tricks to go around that (I remember some very nice DOS font modifier ! ) but I haven''t digged that in ages...
Sonicsilicon : if you use direct writing there shouldn''t be any scrolling. Plus there are functions to prevent that in conio.h, plus there is a much more interesting 80x50 mode ...
You can use 256 characters (but I dunno how you can be sure what you''ll actually see), with 16 foreground colors and either 16 background colors, or 8+ 8 flickering ... again, if you want to see some C+asm code of what you could do, mail me.

*summon MadKeith the Mover of threads* (this really belongs in general programming ...)

youpla :-P

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I also have some C code that uses conio.h to goto certain x,y coordinates on the screen and printout a certain character in a certain color. I don''t have bgcolor yet though, I just haven''t put it in. If you want to see it, just email me.
Yes you can use the full 256 characters, the toughest thing about that though is figuring out which is which. If you have some kind of list or something, some easy way to do it, send it to me please. I would really appreciate it.
I need to work on a map editor for my roguelike. That would be cool.

shut up
CAN I GET A WOO WOO!

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D''oh! *whack*
Thanks for the info guys, but I was directing my question to Sandman. I guess I really should start directing my questions more carefully. So, again, SANDMAN, are you limited to ASCII {under the nature of the assignment} or are you allowed to use the full extent of ANSI?

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Ok, to answer your questions:

>>are you limited to ASCII {under the nature of the assignment
>>or are you allowed to use the full extent of ANSI?
The only limit I have is that I have to use C++. I could even use OpenGL if I wanted to. I can use anything as long it is done in C++.
Oh, and I have to use MS Visual C++. I don''t have to use the Visual part, but that''s the compiler we got. I know it can do windows console apps but no pure dos apps.
And the prog has to run on Windows NT.

>>what year are you in ?
11th

>>What are you learning in your other classes
AP Physics, AP Calculus, English (Literatur & Spirituality), Health (don''t ask) and Latin IV

The rest of the Computer class is just starting off with C++ but I have benn using it for over a year now, so I have experience with it and I somehow know what I''m doing.

And what do you mean by mud? Multi User Dungeon??? You mean I should do a dos multiplayer game?

I had a lok at conio.h (MSVC version) and didn''t find anything that helped me putting characters in any place you want to in different color. Is was mainly only the typical printf and putch things.
What I would need is a function to print characters at any x/y position on the screen in different colors.
And conio.h doesn''t have that, as far as I know.

But let''s take it back to design here. What do you think should I be aware of/pay attention to when designing a cyberpunk text-based rpg?
Suggestions on the design? (programming tips are still welcome)

Oh, and capn_midnight: I''ll contact you about the code.

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aaaah, MSVC conio.h is desperately poor, and I must admit I didn't dig out deeper to figure out an alternative. Of course, there must be one... I'll check that out.

youpla :-P

(this thread is really getting embarassing ... it should be somewhere else, MadKeithV *wink* *wink*)

=========================EDIT==========================

"sometimes, I am so good, I scare myself"

I jsut checked the msdn ... just to make sure... and it's all there ! d'oh ! So, as they say, RTFM

Go there !

And do a bit of work, now, 'cause it can be done

Edited by - ahw on October 6, 2000 5:00:03 PM

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WHAT THE HELL???
I browsed the damned MSDN for over TWO HOURS! And I didn''t find ANYTHING!
What the f*** is wrong with this picture???
Well, thanx a lot!
I think that should help. Man, I hate MSDN. It''s too hard to find what you want in there.
Ok, now FINALLY we can take the discussion back to its origin:

Designing a text based cyberpunk RPG.
Any suggestions? Ideas? Comments? Whatever?

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MrSAndman ... did you *click* on the link I gave just above ... linking DIRECTLY to what you are looking for ? It took me 5 minute to find it in the MSDN, and I had never bothered doing so ...

check it out !

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*bump* Off to general programming you go, my dear thread


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

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Yeah, I think it''s a good idea to seperate this thread into programming and design.
I''ll just open a new thread for DESIGN in the Game Design Forum.
Thanx for moving it.

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