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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Bongthro Begins (KDD-esque Tribute to GatEB)
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Author Name:azb
Submitted By:azb
Hold Name:Bongthro Begins
Theme:KDD-esque Tribute to GatEB
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:33
Number of Rooms:292
Number of Monsters:7380
Version:DROD: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder (4.0)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:1 (+1 / -0)
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File: Bongthro Begins 10.hold (146 KB)
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License: Other
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icon Bongthro Begins  
Thanks to Nuntar and Kaelyn for testing and providing feedback. If you enjoyed this hold, try the final installment of the series today!
12-21-2019 at 09:03 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (+2)  
Backtracking issue: In the last room of Chilly Cavern, a cutscene plays when the room is clear. However, if you're on the edge of the room, you can leave on that turn and the cutscene won't play. There doesn't seem to be an alternate way to trigger it upon returning, and the corresponding NPC didn't show up at the town hall afterwards.

Edit: Same issue is present in Serpentine Sandpit.

[Last edited by Dragon Fogel at 12-21-2019 10:15 PM]
12-21-2019 at 09:58 PM
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Camwoodstock
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
Not gonna lie--did a quadruple take at that name. :P

Actually liking this hold a ton so far!

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Mastered all of GatEB, KDD 2.0, JtRH, and TCB! | Saw The Second Sky! (lots of secrets left!)

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12-22-2019 at 05:05 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
After playing a bit further, I suspect the above scripting issue may also happen with non-cutscene triggers if the player happpens to be at the room edge when clearing the room.

I ran into a similar one just now:

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12-22-2019 at 05:36 AM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
If I had to sum up this hold in one GIF--and I don't have to, I just want to--I'd naturally go to Futurama:

Click here to view the secret text


Fortunately, I also have words. And the truth is, this isn't a bad hold, by and large, and I might even have liked it (with certain caveats)...except for the dialogue.

That's not because the dialogue is bad. (Though, don't fool yourself, it's not great.) It's because the dialogue makes clear that this is somehow supposed to be an introduction to DROD elements. And viewed in that light, it is kind of a bad hold.

Having a room with an element and saying a few words about what it does is not the same as actually introducing the element. There are no showcases of what an element can do, just "Here's the element" followed by "Here's a bunch of rooms that have it!", with no consideration given to their difficulty, or how well they showcase the element. At its most extreme, this is just silly: the first room with a decoy potion is solvable without the potion. The 1E room in the level that introduces mirrors tells you that mirrors can form stepping stones for monsters, but can be solved without any monster stepping on a stepping stone. But far more often it's merely aggravating, especially when there are hordes.

And about those hordes: that's the other thing that makes this such a bad hold as an introduction to DROD. If I were a newbie and I encountered some--many--of these rooms as part of my first hold, my thought would be, "OK, so DROD is all about mashing keys until everything's dead, hundreds of moves later". There were rooms that I found either difficult or irritating, and I'm not a newbie to the game. There was also difficult navigation; it's not always clear how far back you have to go at certain points, and there's one level that I literally accessed by accident, when I bumped into a pit. (Why? Literally, just, why?)

So as a hold for new players, I think this falls seriously short. As a hold for veterans...well, like I said, it's not bad, in a lot of places. The main criticism I have from this perspective is that it's not anything new. Almost every room I walked into, I thought, "Oh, one of these": long snake that starts in a dead end and is wrapped around monsters. Bomb mazes. Tarstuff surrounded by 1x1 walls so that babies form all around them every thirty turns. And so, so many hordes.

Also, one very small point that I found so mind-boggling that I felt like it summed up a great deal about the hold: Blank Dungeon: Bottom Level: 1S. (Hopefully that link works; images currently aren't working.) This room has four 3x3 blocks of gel, on 3x3 bridges surrounded by 1-square trapdoors, so that the gel never grows. That's fine. The mind-boggling part is that in the center of each block there's a checkpoint. In the middle of uncuttable gel. In a place the player can never, ever reach. And that, to me, spoke volumes about how much thought went into the hold.

Overall, well, you could certainly play worse. Just don't play it expecting a good newbie hold.
12-26-2019 at 05:25 AM
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Dischorran
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
These blank dungeon holds do seem to ride the line between tribute and cargo cult architecture. Still, they serve adequately as a means of increasing one's player score.

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12-26-2019 at 06:16 AM
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azb
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
Okay, I will fix the cutscenes. I am very sorry for not catching these things earlier. The angle I am going for with this hold is not that it is necessarily for newbies to start with - it is more easy when compared to the other holds in the series.

Do you think adding green doors and force arrows at the beginning of Chilly Cavern 1N would invalidate high scores?

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[Last edited by azb at 12-27-2019 06:57 PM]
12-27-2019 at 06:45 PM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
quote:
azb wrote:
The angle I am going for with this hold is not that it is necessarily for newbies to start with - it is more easy when compared to the other holds in the series.


If it's not for newbies, then why does every level explain the element it's introducing as if we've never seen it before?

quote:
Do you think adding green doors and force arrows at the beginning of Chilly Cavern 1N would invalidate high scores?


I think it absolutely will. It's the scripting that needs to be changed, not the room.
12-28-2019 at 01:13 AM
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azb
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
A. It is not meant for newbies in the sense that it is not supposed to be easy all the way through - levels 1 to 7 (Budkinville) are very straightforward/newbie friendly compared to the rest of the hold, levels 8 to 14 are more intermediate, levels 15 to 28 require sophisticated techniques a la The Blank Dungeon, and levels 29 to 30 are hardcore a la The Oceanic Oligarchy.

B. I wanted to do that, except the "Wait for event room conquered" bakes in a turn wait by default. I suppose I could try "Wait for door open at (yellow door) instead."

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[Last edited by azb at 12-28-2019 03:00 AM]
12-28-2019 at 02:56 AM
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Nuntar
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Wait while entity Monster at (whole room) will get you the turn the room is cleared with no delay. However, it doesn't work in rooms with non-required monsters such as wubbas or Slayers.

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12-28-2019 at 03:00 AM
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azb
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
Okay, thank you for the fix! :D

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12-28-2019 at 03:01 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
Actually, that's probably going to break demos that skipped the scenes.

What I would suggest is using "Wait for clean room" combined with checking if the appropriate variable is at 0. The "room conquered" check can only return true if the room isn't clear when you enter, but "Wait for clean room" returns true either way. Then the variable gets changed after the check, so the scene won't run again.

This should also be done for rooms with dialogue triggers, as the same issue can happen there. It's just that since cutscenes add extra turns, optimizers will aim to skip them, but skipping dialogue won't save any turns.
12-28-2019 at 03:37 AM
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azb
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
Okay, I got all the scripts with "Wait for Event Room Conquered" NPCs fixed.

With regards to the seemingly arcane trapdoor entrance in Dagunda, I thought the fact that:

* It is the only trapdoor in the level

* It has its own alcove/niche

* It has a scroll telling you "Private property. Keep out!" and a checkpoint as entrances usually have

Would clue the player in that they need to go there.

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the Blank Dungeon series, please publicly test The Final Reckoning today!
12-28-2019 at 10:44 AM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
quote:
azb wrote:
With regards to the seemingly arcane trapdoor entrance in Dagunda, I thought the fact that...would clue the player in that they need to go there.

Yup, and I stepped on it. And then stepped off it. And nothing happened, and I wandered off to look for other things.
12-28-2019 at 09:12 PM
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azb
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File: Bongthro Begins 11.hold (146.1 KB)
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icon Re: Bongthro Begins (0)  
Okay, I was also thinking the part about the pit might be intuitive from a visual standpoint (the player would need to open a trapdoor and then climb down), but I can see now that it just muddies things up. I will fix that too.

EDIT: Fixed.

I know that the consequence would be that demos exploiting the error would be rendered invalid, but like one poster's wisdom on bugs in the game source code (with italics for an addition not in the original quote):

quote:
Pinnacle wrote:
To be honest, I think fixing something that's very obviously a bug should take precedence over not breaking rooms (demos in this case).


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If you enjoyed the other holds in
the Blank Dungeon series, please publicly test The Final Reckoning today!

[Last edited by azb at 12-29-2019 01:54 PM]
12-29-2019 at 01:15 AM
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