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superluminal
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icon A question about DROD dimensions (0)  
(I meant to PM/email this to Erik... but got a 404 error. So now it's public. But I don't mind others chiming in.)

I was thinking of designing my own DROD-like game, but before I started planning the basics, I had questions about the graphics.

Classic room size is 38x32 tiles, and 16x16 in RPG. Why are these even? Since the player takes up one tile, wouldn't an odd room size lead to nicer symmetry? Also, what made you choose those numbers specifically?

Related: I know DROD tiles were originally 14x14 pixels. JtRH upgraded them to 22x22, and in RPG they were 44x44. Again, all these dimensions are even. Was there a compelling reason you chose these numbers, or was it just stylistic preference? (Or graphical limitations for the time?)

Here's what I'm considering for my game:
• The game board is 25x25 tiles. This should let me design both static and dynamic puzzles.
• Each tile is 36x36 pixels. This should be spacious enough for reasonably fancy models and animations. It'll be too large for an 800x600 screen resolution, which might be a game-breaker if lots of people still use that setting(?).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

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spacelike
01-28-2018 at 05:10 AM
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mauvebutterfly
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icon Re: A question about DROD dimensions (0)  
Initial thought: a square board will leave a lot of wasted space since computers tend to use rectangular resolutions. If you have a lot of UI stuff or track a lot of information outside of the main board that might work, but the screen will look empty if that space isn't used. I suspect that this was the reason for a rectangular room dimension.

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106th Skywatcher
01-28-2018 at 06:22 AM
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superluminal
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icon Re: A question about DROD dimensions (0)  
I measured (literally, ruler to screen) DROD RPG rooms. They're square, but the statblock margins keep things looking full. But since this game is derivative of DROD, where almost all the information is on the main board, I'm not sure what I could put there. A dialogue screen, maybe? I've heard some people dislike the way DROD handles speech. I don't have a problem with it, but maybe I'm just used to it. I'll have to draw some designs and experiment with what looks best.

You make a good point. 29x25 or 31x25 rooms might work better.

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spacelike
01-28-2018 at 07:23 AM
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mauvebutterfly
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icon Re: A question about DROD dimensions (0)  
I suppose another option is items. Not sure if that's the kind of thing you'd like to build puzzles around, but picking up one-use items would give a use for that space. Something like the keys from RPG, or the jokers from the blind races.

Some scripted elements also need to store data, so it would allow for weapons like the net to be implemented much more elegantly if you didn't need to reserve a corner of the room to make the net work. Also from the custom element contest the fire traps and the pick-up-able darts would benefit from this space. I also did an implementation of the briar seeds that gave you a limited number of uses, and picking up extra bags of seeds gave extra uses.

If you're designing your own game you have a little more freedom to do things that wouldn't be easily done in the main DROD editor, so having a number of elements that require storing data could be one thing that sets your game apart from DROD. This is assuming that you even want to use these kinds of items in the first place, of course.

Another option would be some kind of a score counter, if you wanted to give points for killing monsters or hitting objectives, similar to the current cooperate to the death contest.

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106th Skywatcher
01-28-2018 at 12:10 PM
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Tuttle
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icon Re: A question about DROD dimensions (0)  
quote:
superluminal wrote:
Classic room size is 38x32 tiles, and 16x16 in RPG. Why are these even? Since the player takes up one tile, wouldn't an odd room size lead to nicer symmetry? Also, what made you choose those numbers specifically?
Odd and even room sizes both have their drawbacks -- whichever you pick, at some point you'll come up with a design that's off by one. I don't think player position matters that much; it's actually not all that often that the player starts exactly at the centre of a wall/room.
quote:
Related: I know DROD tiles were originally 14x14 pixels. JtRH upgraded them to 22x22, and in RPG they were 44x44. Again, all these dimensions are even. Was there a compelling reason you chose these numbers, or was it just stylistic preference? (Or graphical limitations for the time?)
Uninformed speculation, but I suspect the main constraints were common screen resolutions of 640x480 (Webfoot DROD) and 1024x768 (KDD2/JtRH). For Webfoot, there could have been other tile/room sizes that were tried. For the 2.0 engine, the room size was already in place and 22 is the biggest even-sized tile that fits and still leaves some room for the heading. For RPG, pixel-doubling would have allowed reuse of all the old art assets with minor tweaking rather than full re-drawing.

I don't think I've ever come across a pixel-art game with odd-dimensioned sprites, but I don't know if there's actually a technical reason for that or if it's just habit.
quote:
It'll be too large for an 800x600 screen resolution, which might be a game-breaker if lots of people still use that setting(?).
Netbooks were generally 1024x600. Modern cheap laptops are often 1366x768, as are plain old "HD" televisions. Either of those is probably your baseline if you want the widest accessibility.
01-30-2018 at 05:31 AM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: A question about DROD dimensions (+3)  
I had to think back on this.

There was no good reason. I just picked some numbers.

No, I must have been a bit attracted to evenness by an engineering sensibility. It just seemed weird to have odd numbers of things in data storage. You have to understand that back a few decades, the design of software was more numerically constrained by hardware and O/S, such that one picked up almost superstitious habits.

Hmm, but then why did I go with 14 x 14 tiles instead of 16 x 16? Memory copies on power of two boundaries might have been helpful.

Chessboards had even col/row counts, so maybe I was influenced by that. But then... Why didn't I make a square board, e.g. 32 x 32 columns/rows. Ah, because I couldn't stand wasting screen space that could be used for puzzle.

I don't know, buddy. One thing I do know though. Don't worry about what I was thinking--worry about what *you* are thinking. Make your own cool game that is better than DROD in some or many ways. Make it your way.

-Erik

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01-30-2018 at 06:41 AM
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superluminal
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icon Re: A question about DROD dimensions (0)  
Thanks, Mr. H!

I asked because I thought you had specific, calculated reasons. Might as well learn from the very best! Thanks! :)

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spacelike
01-31-2018 at 01:38 AM
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