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azb
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icon King Azb's Arena Development Thread (+3)  
This hold is more oriented towards people who are better at their fighting skills than their puzzle-solving skills. I am developing this hold at a few levels at a time to ensure quality in every level and also reduce burnout from having "writer's block" when making too many levels at a time.

Many levels have the same layout in general, but have different arrangements of the monsters. Due to AI behavior of the arrangements, the rooms all have unique solutions despite how they look.

CHANGELOG:

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[Last edited by azb at 12-10-2017 02:21 PM : Added Round 6]
03-26-2017 at 08:17 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (+2)  
Only just started playing this. This is an alright idea for a hold; we've seen monster arenas like this before but it's good to have variations on escaping from being surrounded since it's a common occurrence in horde rooms. A few comments:

* There's a typo in your announcer's first line: "It looks he's going in" should be "It looks like he's going in".

* These rooms could use some checkpoints, particularly in the middle and around the outer four corners, where you're generally safe but might still need to try a few different move sequences out to kill the remaining monsters more efficiently.

* Instead of a scripting timer that just goes off unceremoniously 60 turns after the player drops the trapdoor, you might consider using some other more visible mechanism, like a rattlesnake/adder on hot tiles, a lit fuse, or a briar path, all of which could be activated by a red door. This would let the player know at a glance how much time they have left.

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[Last edited by Chaco at 03-29-2017 09:52 PM]
03-29-2017 at 09:51 PM
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azb
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (0)  
* Typo: Fixed all announcements. Thanks for noticing the speech mistake!

* Checkpoints: Added.

* Scripting: This was the one point I chose not to change, because it will be a consistent theme in the arena. An obvious mechanism, though more evident to the player than scripts, is slightly detractive to the aesthetics of the arena (IE: a portion of the wall will have to be carved out for a bomb and orb/tar mother/roach queen etc.) and is less flexible to an exact number of turns than scripting (if the architect wanted to give the player 1000 moves or more, a traditional mechanism couldn't fit into a single room for that.)

Also, in addition the fixes, the second level has been uploaded.

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03-30-2017 at 09:51 PM
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azb
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I wasn't sure if the community wanted more content to test before they started commenting, so I added the last three levels in Round One.

Round Two will not be posted until Round One is confirmed to have no unintended solutions because it has scripted enemies (Generators) and I want to make sure that the player cannot exploit anything about them to "cheapen" the fights.

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04-13-2017 at 10:54 PM
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (0)  
I've posted a demo pack you can look though in case I did something unintended.

There haven't really been that many hack and slash holds in the past few years, so this is some interesting variety. Checking in the editor though it appears you have enough levels to make for a good 540 puzzle rooms. That may be a bit excessive for this kind of hold. If you have solid ideas for each of the 55 remaining levels don't let me get in your way, but otherwise it might be better to go for something more moderately sized.

Here are some comments on the levels and rooms themselves.

1.1 To the Pain This was a nice introduction to the general concept. I like how the level really demonstrates the difference between normal belining and direct only belining monsters in combat situations. It did get a bit repetitive feeling after a while though. It might be interesting to mix things up a bit by putting flexible belining monsters like constructs in a few of these rooms as well. The difficulty varied a bit, but more roaches vs. gel babies definitely made things more difficult. The central room definitely felt a bit like I had to brute force search for the one magic sequence of moves that would allow me to survive. But on the whole this was a good introduction.

1.2 Don't get Shot This was probably my favorite level. The twist on the time limit was interesting. I like that each room had two distinct parts to it offering two very different challenges. These rooms definitely felt more puzzle oriented even though they were combat rooms, but in a good way. I'm not sure if the water skipper nests are doing what they are supposed to in 2N and 2N1E. I just killed them up front, almost as if they weren't there. I also relied heavily on F3 for puzzle view in the evil eye rooms. It might be nice to put in a vision token in those rooms so that F3 isn't necessary.

1.3 The Hunt This was an interesting variation on the first level, but again, the rooms started to feel a bit similar to each other after a while. It would be nice to have a bit more variety. Maybe constructs (for the different movement style) or rock golems (for the additional obstacles they provide) would spice things up a bit.

1.4 Monster Trouble I really love the monster generators. They make these rooms a lot of fun. It would be nice if there were a way to have the rooms set up so that you didn't step on a conquer token almost immediately as this will make all the high scores trivial. Instead could you make it a skipper nest that needs to be killed since you have that set up in some later rooms?

1.5 Sibling Rivalry I like the idea here a lot. It's neat having a "neather" like character again. I also appreciate that the scripting was always pretty obvious and clearly telegraphed. I did not need the speed potion in 1N1E and suspect the room is a bit too easy with it there. I think 1N1W also may be possible without the speed potion but the 15 minutes I spent attempting it definitely convinced me that it's probably best to leave the potion in that one.

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05-23-2017 at 04:10 AM
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superluminal
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This is a neat hold! I'm a sucker for tournament-style combat, so this was a lot of fun, even if I didn't like every room.

1.1: Most of the rooms felt really similar. I agree with Insoluble that constraining the puzzles to just roaches and gel babies might be a bit limiting -- even if they end up in secret/bonus rooms, including other monsters like constructs, goblins, or head-only gentryii would mix things up a bit and maybe make things funner. Who knows?

1W and 1N felt like "magic sequence" rooms that rely too heavily on movement order. Again, a slightly bigger mix of enemies might alleviate this kind of frustration.

1.2: Super cool idea! ...at first. But then I found the right place to stand and the right sword orientation, and just held down the battle key until the doors open. I can't think of any really good way to make this bit of the rooms more interesting beyond the first ten moves, it's just something to consider.

2N and 2N 1E are both really easy. I don't understand the point of the waterskippers -- it's not like killing them is difficult, and the evil eyes' sight is blocked off anyway.

1.3: This level was a bit too dark. While the constraint was fun, I never got disqualified (except in 1N -- very nice room), so it could be a few turns tighter. Just like 1.1, the emphasis on only roaches and gel babies may have held back this level's potential. Including some constructs, goblins, or gentryii may provide more interesting rooms.

1.4: Fun horde rooms! I really like your use of the InFlamesRock style. Not much else to say.

1.5: Ah, everybody's favorite, the 'Neather 'Seather! While not as difficult as Twenty Fifth Level proper, this was still pretty well done.

In 1E, there's an extraneous wall at (20,22) that doesn't match the rest of the room. I used it in my solution as a way of keeping the wraithwings behind me. I don't know if that's the necessary to beat the room (in which case there could be another wall at (26,16) for symmetry), just wanted to point it out.

Overall: I like how this hold is turning out! Playing it was a lot of fun, and I'd like to see more. I don't know if I want to see dozens and dozens of levels -- and I don't know if you want to make dozens and dozens of levels -- but that's up to you. Good luck!

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05-23-2017 at 05:44 AM
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azb
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (0)  
I have added vision tokens in Round 1.2 and replaced the conquer tokens in Round 1.4 with water skipper nests, per suggestions.

In addition, there is now the freshly batched Round 2! Prove your might against foes such as rock golems or gigantic roach swarms!

Be warned, though, that aside from the Generators, there is a new scripted hazard: "floodwaters" in Round 2.2. I'm pretty sure I made the explanation clear enough to make them intuitive, but let me know if you notice a problem with the scripting.

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[Last edited by azb at 05-27-2017 12:47 PM : Edited post formatting]
05-27-2017 at 12:47 PM
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (+1)  
Please add tunnels for quick way to the entrance to arena rather than walking around.

Round 1.1 :
Easy Round, but I skipped some of rooms because of it's difficulty.

Round 1.2 :
Here my comment for Round 1.2
quote:
superluminal wrote:
1.2: Super cool idea! ...at first. But then I found the right place to stand and the right sword orientation, and just held down the battle key until the doors open. I can't think of any really good way to make this bit of the rooms more interesting beyond the first ten moves, it's just something to consider.


And because i'm interested on Round 1.5 title, I skipped this round anyway.

Round 1.3 :
Wubbas! Yeah, I finally conquer a level in this hold!

Round 1.4 :

A : "Look, generators!"
A : "Uh, I took +1000 turns to solve it. How to solve this less than 1000 turns?"
A : "The Generator spawns roaches less than 10 turns!"
B : "Why generator spawns roaches less than 10 turns? Look at the description about it. Here you can see it."
A : "Generators do not start until the round is begun. When they start, they spawn a monster of the specified type every 10 turns. If their spawn is blocked, they will generate the monster after the obstruction is removed."
A : "So how to manipulate this weakness?"
B : "After 50 turns they can't spawn due of the obstruction, you kill it, so the script stopped and they don't spawn the roaches!"
A : "Thank you for help."


Umm, I just wrote what I think.

Round 1.5 :

Wow, the 'Neather 'Seather! I enjoyed all of these rooms in this level. And of course, I conquered this level.

Overall of First Round : Very fun, I like this round! :thumbsup

About Round 2, I don't have time to test it (maybe tomorrow) because here already night. And sorry for my bad english.

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[Last edited by Resert On at 05-27-2017 04:00 PM]
05-27-2017 at 03:55 PM
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azb
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Glad to see that you enjoy the hold as well! :D

However, unless you can propose a way to bypass the limitation mentioned that Generators will not spawn unless unblocked, I don't know any way to change this limitation - it's a consequence of how the engine handles the scripting, because if a "Generate entity" location is blocked, the character running the command will stop until they can spawn the entity.

It's perfectly intentional that players can exploit Generators this way, as harder levels will sometimes depend on this quirk.

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05-27-2017 at 05:22 PM
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superluminal
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You can get around the limitation by placing a Generate Entity line beneath an If line. If the game can generate something there, it will. But if it can't, it will skip the If block and move on.

Here's the updated generator code:
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When it's time to generate a monster, the generator will check to see if the space in front of it is open. If it is, put a monster there. If not, rotate clockwise and try again.

Replacing your generator code with this will make those horde rooms a great deal harder, since they can't be exploited.

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05-27-2017 at 06:53 PM
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azb
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Thank you for the code. It has been implemented for all current and future Generator types.

However, Evil Eye Generators are direction specific and I omitted the "face direction clockwise" command for those generators. Those are the only exception, though.

And no exact spoilers will be provided either, but in future levels I have already been implementing all of your ideas for a bigger palette of monsters. The theme of this arena, in addition to fighting, is gradual introduction to new monsters, original and scripted alike, and an increase of the monster variety.

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[Last edited by azb at 05-27-2017 07:35 PM : Added revealer about future levels]
05-27-2017 at 07:29 PM
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (0)  
Sheesh... I just find the new generator code has bug :?. Look at this image
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Also Round 2.1 Burly Brawl: 1N, I can clear it without pressing any orb.

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[Last edited by Resert On at 06-25-2017 01:31 PM]
06-25-2017 at 01:30 PM
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azb
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Yeah, I noticed the Generator bug earlier but wasn't sure of a way to alter the code to prevent it spawning on walls. I'll just have to edit the levels themselves to make all the adjacent tiles nearby the Generators tiles that enemies can move on.

In addition, I just noticed that 1N of Round 2.1 had an unintended solution as you pointed out, so I will update that room as well.

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[Last edited by azb at 06-25-2017 01:58 PM]
06-25-2017 at 01:57 PM
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quote:
azb wrote:
Yeah, I noticed the Generator bug earlier but wasn't sure of a way to alter the code to prevent it spawning on walls. I'll just have to edit the levels themselves to make all the adjacent tiles nearby the Generators tiles that enemies can move on.

You can use this code :
If...
  Wait for item Wall


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06-25-2017 at 02:20 PM
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Xindaris
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I don't know exactly how your code works, but if the character's base is something like a roach you can do something like:

If
Wait for Open Move (direction)
Generate Entity (whatever) on (tile in that direction)

This will cover every possible thing that monsters can't walk on, but it will make it not spawn onto diagonally-placed orthosquares and force arrows pointed toward it, so you'd have to put in exceptions if you wanted it to ignore those specific things. And those exceptions you'd need to be careful with, i.e., you could wind up spawning on a wall if there's also an orthosquare there for some reason.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 06-25-2017 02:27 PM]
06-25-2017 at 02:26 PM
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azb
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Because, as you mentioned, I would have to script exceptions on a case-by-case basis if something occurred that would break the regular rules of the Generator, I decided to opt for editing the level geometry to accommodate for the current Generators.

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06-25-2017 at 02:29 PM
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quote:
azb wrote:
Because, as you mentioned, I would have to script exceptions on a case-by-case basis if something occurred that would break the regular rules of the Generator, I decided to opt for editing the level geometry to accommodate for the current Generators.

What is the regular rules?

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06-26-2017 at 10:06 AM
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azb
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The regular rules refer to them spawning directly south of them unless blocked by a weapon, in which case they will rotate clockwise and try again.

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07-01-2017 at 12:16 AM
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I playing the hold. I found something odd. Guess that was movement sequence problem.

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[Last edited by Resert On at 07-20-2017 12:02 AM]
07-20-2017 at 12:01 AM
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azb
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Yes, it is a movement order problem. On the lefthand side, the eye generators were placed first in each pair but on the righthand side, the eye generators were placed last in each pair. I will deem it as a natural consequence because of two reasons:

1. Movement order is hard coded and not scripted, and once the generators start generating the order gets hectic quick.

2. The situation you attached will only be replicable if you go out of your way to exploit things, and revising the code will never fix the exploitation of natural (non-scripted) consequences such as movement order.

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07-20-2017 at 11:55 PM
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azb
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Would people prefer if I attach Round 3 now and have them give feedback for the new levels?

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07-20-2017 at 11:57 PM
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quote:
azb wrote:
Would people prefer if I attach Round 3 now and have them give feedback for the new levels?


Sure, you might as well update this when you complete new rounds. I'll try to test it out this weekend.

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07-21-2017 at 03:22 AM
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quote:
azb wrote:
Yes, it is a movement order problem. On the lefthand side, the eye generators were placed first in each pair but on the righthand side, the eye generators were placed last in each pair. I will deem it as a natural consequence because of two reasons:

1. Movement order is hard coded and not scripted, and once the generators start generating the order gets hectic quick.

2. The situation you attached will only be replicable if you go out of your way to exploit things, and revising the code will never fix the exploitation of natural (non-scripted) consequences such as movement order.


My first guess is use 'is tile open' command (or something like that) to fix placing the evil eye.
The second is using proccessing order by using Character > Options > Proccessing Order
The third is re-place the generators from evil eyes generator to another generator (i found a fact that a item monster that placed in editor is move first (if the proccessing sequence is same)).

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[Last edited by Resert On at 07-21-2017 11:04 AM]
07-21-2017 at 11:00 AM
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Okay, I finished Round 3 and updated the hold to include it. Be warned, though undo works fine in the new "poison fields" (similar to the Quicksand element in Chance for Paradise), but checkpoints do not. Is there a way to work around this, or not?

Luckily, the level featuring this element has few monsters (although a few rooms feature Generators) and thus checkpoints shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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07-21-2017 at 01:24 PM
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quote:
azb wrote:
Okay, I finished Round 3 and updated the hold to include it. Be warned, though undo works fine in the new "poison fields" (similar to the Quicksand element in Chance for Paradise), but checkpoints do not. Is there a way to work around this, or not?

They (the architect(s)) even didn't place any checkpoint on sand (alternate floor)

Also, I guess you place something to count the move remaining in every arena so players can make plans easily.

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[Last edited by Resert On at 07-22-2017 03:43 PM]
07-22-2017 at 03:43 PM
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azb
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Regarding your second sentence, if you meant that as a suggestion (IE: during timed rounds, have a script announce the moves remaining), then I'll work on implementing it.

EDIT: As I said earlier, mechanical means are limited (not flexible to support large amounts of moves).

Though scripted means would be another option, it would flood the speech history of the room with "Turns Left: (number here)." Is there a more elegant scripted solution? I also considered flashing messages and "time bars" with NPC rows, but "time bars" would have the same space limitation as natural mechanisms, and flashing messages would get in the way of player view of the arena.

Currently, the scripted timer counts up and you can see "TimeCount" var with Ctrl + F7, but right now I am changing it so it counts down (you still need to use Ctrl + F7 to view it, though.)

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[Last edited by azb at 07-22-2017 05:22 PM]
07-22-2017 at 05:13 PM
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quote:
azb wrote:
but "time bars" would have the same space limitation as natural mechanisms, and flashing messages would get in the way of player view of the arena.

Actually, are you already make all rounds?

quote:
azb wrote:
Currently, the scripted timer counts up and you can see "TimeCount" var with Ctrl + F7, but right now I am changing it so it counts down (you still need to use Ctrl + F7 to view it, though.)

???

How you manipulate that "TotalRoomMove" count? Isn't that implemented in the DROD system?

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08-03-2017 at 06:51 AM
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azb
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Question A: No, I haven't made all the rounds... just making levels as people test and comment on them. I do have ideas, however, and generally I find scripting to be best because of its flexibility. In addition, it is not unexpected if the player reads the level start texts.

Question B: Yes, there is a TotalMovesCount variable starting in DROD RPG and existing in TSS, but is meant for tracking only (modifying it directly will cause error beeps) and will keep track of total steps in the entire room (which is undesired, as I want it to only start the timer when the arena is entered.)

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08-10-2017 at 11:36 PM
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quote:
azb wrote:
Question B: Yes, there is a TotalMovesCount variable starting in DROD RPG and existing in TSS, but is meant for tracking only (modifying it directly will cause error beeps) and will keep track of total steps in the entire room (which is undesired, as I want it to only start the timer when the arena is entered.)

I don't see any variables contain TotalMovesCount in TSS but I saw one in RPG.

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08-11-2017 at 05:50 AM
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (0)  
I just looked it up, and you're right that there isn't any TotalMovesCount default variable for TSS. I just assumed it backported from RPG. :blush

However, I designed the custom TurnCount variable explicitly only to work after the trapdoor is dropped, which a TotalMovesCount would not do (it would count the moves made getting from the edge of the room to the trapdoor against the player.)

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