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Xindaris
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icon Adventures of Hopthro (0)  
I am not quite finished with this hold, but I don't want it sitting on my computer forever with nobody else getting a chance to play it, so here it is.

This hold introduces a new "player character", named Hopthro, with some unique movement properties. The idea to script this up was inspired by an obscure java(?) Sonic game called Sonic Hopping, and more specifically by Raocow playing through said game. I saw the movement the player has in that game, and wondered what it'd feel like if DROD had that kind of movement, and then I scripted it and...here we are.

The first level is a text introduction to Hopthro's mechanics. Basically, he wields a dagger, and jumps 2 tiles when he moves, unless he's moving backwards (the opposite of the direction he's moving in). There's a fair bit of nuance to that, which I'll leave you to discover in the hold itself. From my own experience while building and testing this hold, the movement feels very awkward and strange at first, but once you start to get used to it, it can be really fun!

There are 3 "real" levels: The first is intended as a gentle gameplay introduction to various properties of Hopthro's quirky movement, the second has some more serious puzzles, and the third both introduces Hopthro's unique interactions with traps (firetraps, floor spikes, and hot tiles) while also being split between a bunch of tough puzzles and big horde rooms. However, the final level is not quite complete; I want to add a few more rooms and have been having trouble coming up with good ideas for a while.

Also, the hold is voiced! I did all the voices. Hopthro's voice and manner of speech is very unique, quite on purpose.

And...why does Hopthro look just like Beethro? Because I can't art.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 05-16-2022 08:24 PM]
04-06-2022 at 05:15 PM
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Kalin
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (0)  
I don't understand the rules for tokens. In Decrepit:4N1E, jumping from (18,20) to (20,20) activates a token, even though neither tile contains one.
04-06-2022 at 09:50 PM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (0)  
Hopthro activates things (like potions, horns, tokens, pressure plates) that he jumps over on the way across. What happens on your way into the room is supposed to illustrate this, since you must go across 2 tar/mud tokens and very clearly activate both. I could add some text clarifying this somewhere if it's hard to tell that's what's happening, though.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 04-07-2022 03:06 AM]
04-07-2022 at 02:58 AM
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Kalin
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Xindaris wrote: What happens on your way into the room is supposed to illustrate this, since you must go across 2 tar/mud tokens and very clearly activate both.
No, it wasn't clear, because two tokens activating looks identical to zero tokens activating. And the player stabs twice when jumping, while the decoy only stabs once.
04-07-2022 at 03:59 AM
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Xindaris
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It definitely doesn't sound identical to no activations, and it definitely seems more natural to me to assume that at least one token gets activated if I jump over one and land on another. And...I don't know why a decoy would ever stab twice? Or, more precisely, I have no idea how that could be arranged via any scripting. For that matter, Hopthro doesn't stab twice, he stabs the same way a normal Beethro with a dagger would; he just lands farther away afterward.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 04-07-2022 05:02 AM]
04-07-2022 at 04:56 AM
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Kalin
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I don't pay much attention to sounds, but testing a bit more I can hear more sounds from two tokens than from zero, but one token has more sounds than two (from the stabbing).

And if Hopthro faces a line of two roaches, he can stab them both in a single jump. And I can see that's a continuation of "Hopthro interacts with whatever he's jumping over." But that's a design decision that should be explained more clearly.
04-07-2022 at 11:59 AM
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hyperme
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (+2)  
Relying on sound to communicate information, especially something as subtle as the token sound seems like a bad idea. Not great for accessibilty either.

You probably want to show the token interaction with something like Arrow Rotates, since those physically change when used.

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04-07-2022 at 05:25 PM
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Kalin
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Even better would be to show potions first. "Two invis potions disappeared and I'm still visible." is very clear about what happened.

BTW, what happens if you pick up two mimic potions on the same turn?
04-07-2022 at 06:37 PM
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Xindaris
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I really don't consider this "relying on a sound cue", it's just that there's a sound effect in addition to it seeming to me like it should be obvious that you activated at least one token, since literally every player role always activates tokens and there's no way I can think of right now to turn that off via scripting either. Plus, while you can get to the token room without encountering it, there is an "earlier" room including a mimic potion where it's easy to stumble across "jumping over a thing still activates it". I'll add a scroll in the intro level specifically about activating things if it's really that difficult to figure it out on your own, but I really didn't think it would be with a tiny bit of experimentation, even for someone who doesn't get it at first.

Anyway, DROD won't let you take two mimic/decoy potions in the same turn, so jumping across two such potions activates the first and lands on the second; waiting on that tile will then activate that one too. I don't put two potions like that next to each other anywhere in this hold though.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 04-08-2022 01:33 AM]
04-08-2022 at 01:29 AM
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Xindaris
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I'd like to apologize for some of my prior behavior in this thread. I think I got saltier than is really necessary about a fairly reasonable complaint, mostly because I was just hoping to get more feedback than a single negative point about a tiny piece of conveyance. As usual, what seems obvious to me may not be to everyone else, and there's no use biting someone's head off when it's probably my own fault if the tutorial isn't good enough.

Anyway, I didn't consider adding one more tutorial scroll substantial enough for a full "update" and was holding off until I could add more, but now I have succeeded at adding more, so..

Update:
-Scroll in Decrepit Manor 4N1E explicitly pointing out the "double-press" behavior of the hop. I think this is the best place for this scroll because it's the first room in the hold, and the only room in the level, where said behavior is important.
-New puzzle added to the last level.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 05-07-2022 10:22 PM]
05-07-2022 at 10:20 PM
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File: AoH Decrepit Manor The Entrance Victory.demo (1.9 KB)
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (+1)  
Very intereting concept, I like this quite a bit! It's 5 AM and my brain isn't quite up to this insanity so I haven't gotten very far, I'll hold off on commenting in any amount of detail until I (hopefully) make some more progress.

However, I have to ask: is it intentional that you can basically just... choose to ignore the rules? Can anything be done about that if not? My DROD scripting is extremely rusty so I have no idea if that'd be doable.

I'll elaborate: since the character doesn't "hop" when moving backwards, all you really have to do is press Q or W a few times and that lets you move "as normal" in any direction you choose. Demo attached to explain what I mean -- obviously, a solution that doesn't involve sword-swinging does exist in this room, but doing this is much easier (if somewhat turn-expensive).

Edit: wow, didn't realise how old this thread was when I replied. Thought this whole thing is new. My bad!

[Last edited by ooa113y at 05-08-2022 01:32 AM]
05-08-2022 at 01:03 AM
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Xindaris
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Hey, it's good, I posted in this thread today halfway begging for more feedback after all! I've generally found the DROD forums are laxer than a lot of others I've seen about double posting and necroposting, as long as there's a good reason and nobody's a jerk about it at least. If the hold's new to you then posting a first impression, puzzle comments, demos and so on are actually really helpful.

Anyway, the ability to move back just one step is very intentional and also very much something the puzzles are designed around. It's necessary so you can realign your "parity" in the horizontal or vertical directions, and I think it would sometimes be impossible to actually leave rooms without it.

But the key thing to keep in mind is that "ignoring the rules", as you put it, takes time. You spend up a lot of turns slowly turning and backstepping when you could be hopping, and there are all kinds of situations where that leads to getting killed or otherwise failing the room. Stepping back is also disadvantageous in that it won't let you get over gaps or move 2 tiles at a time, which are both very important advantages the hold's puzzles are designed to require you to use.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 05-08-2022 05:22 AM]
05-08-2022 at 05:18 AM
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Scattercatt
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First time giving feedback... so I'm not the best critic. Since feedback seems to be in a shortage, I decided I'd give it a try.

I played through the first and second levels. Voice acting is always awesome!

Decript Manor

1N1W: Cool demonstration of how annoying platforms can be with this character. I'm glad you made it easy so that I wouldn't have to deal with it a bunch.

1N1E: Awesome trapdoor puzzle. This was one of my favorite parts about this character. The ability to hide subtle positions and movements makes it tricky but still fun to find the solutions.

2N1W: Eh, this brings me to my first problem with this character. Fighting hoards feels pretty bad in my opinion. After getting used to the dagger in TSS, which has so much more freedom, this feels really weird. Just feels really fiddly with the backstepping and other small details. This room demonstrates that gripe pretty well.

2N1E: Simple fun little puzzle. Liked it.

3N1W: At first I didn't really like the concept of mimics with this character, but I warmed up to it. It's not too bad once you get an idea of how to move around without disjointing you and the mimic. I think this room teaches it really well since you need the mimic to be next to you to cut the tar. Mimics with this are still not my favorite thing, but I'd say still have fun potential as an element.

3N1E: Nothing tricky here. I guess it serves to teach about rock golem type movement combat.

4N1E: Loved this room! Concept was easy to grasp. I have the same compliment for this room as I did for the trapdoor room; it's easy to hide the solution in a fun tricky way. One of my favorite rooms.

Royal Catacombs

1N: Pretty simple

1W: Super awesome room! Really got the aha moment with this one. No fiddly trial-and-error movement, just a click moment in understanding a mechanic of the character. Probably my favorite room.

1E: Interesting serpent room. A little fiddly but not bad overall.

1S2W: Again, love these trapdoor rooms.

1S1W: A bit fiddly, but I'm not usually a huge fan of aumtlich, so I'm biased.

1S: Very simple.

1S1E: Not a fan of this room. This is just combat, but with water skippers. Where you can accidentally fall in the water. Easily. Didn't enjoy this one.

2S3W: Didn't like this one at first, but once I found the solution I liked it a lot. Having to time the wubbas just right actually felt pretty good. I like this room!

2S2W: Eh, a slightly better use of combat. Definitely my favorite out of the combat rooms. I liked that it implemented the mechanics of a character in a way that wasn't super overbearing.

2S1W: When I first played this, I of course had a bunch of roaches afterwards to deal with, which lead to me running around in circles killing 1 roach at a time. While writing this, I looked at the room and though "Oh I was probably supposed to time turn 30 so I can kill all the queens before anything spawns." But then I saw the briar contraption, making it guaranteed that roaches would spawn in good numbers. Why do this? This room would have been much better without it in my opinion. It would have felt more like: What Hopthro mechanics can you use to your advantage to kill all the roach queens quick enough? I might be missing something fundamental with the combat? If I am, I sure didn't find it.

2S: Fun rock golem room. I think the main reason I liked this room was that you provided the player with a lot of obstacles to re-orient themselves for a backstep without them having to turn their sword all the way around.

Final thoughts
I think this mechanic has potential to be really fun, but I also think it's very easy to make it sort of unenjoyable. Combat is definitely the weak point with this in my opinion. The more puzzly rooms felt great, and it makes me excited to play the third level when I can. I'll be sure to write some feedback on that when I do.

Backstepping was hard to get used to, but enjoyable in the end. It gives use to using Q and E to turn with a dagger as well as bumping into walls. (Not saying there are not uses for those in other places, maybe there are, but I just like it here). Definitely potential there.

I hope my first attempt at feedback was helpful! I had a pretty good time with the first two levels.





[Last edited by Scattercatt at 05-09-2022 06:25 AM]
05-09-2022 at 06:20 AM
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Xindaris
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Hey, thanks for taking a look and giving some comments. I've written kind of a rambling reply here...

First of all, Decrepit Manor is intended to serve a few purposes, namely:
-Gentle puzzles to help the player get used to the strange controls
-Demonstrations for players/potential architects of things Hopthro can do that Beethro can't (the gel room is one of these, showing that Hopthro can survive being "surrounded" by gel because of his quick movement)
-Demonstrations for potential architects of what can/should/shouldn't be done (e.g. the platform room is me saying in big bold letters "please don't do platform puzzles with hopthro!")

Because of that, I'm okay if some of the rooms are overly easy or even if a room is slightly painful, but not too much (like the platform room). With respect to that, it was my initial impression that Hopthro is really really bad for horde rooms, and 2N1W was partially a demonstration of that. It's barely even a horde room at all, but I still had to do a lot of tweaking to make it relatively easy.

I've come around on horde rooms for Hopthro since then, but they need to be very carefully controlled. He's no good at wide-open, surrounded-by-roaches kind of hordes like Beethro can handle, so the architecture needs to be fundamentally different for a horde room to be challenging yet fun.

That brings me to the second level, Royal Catacombs. I want to point out that, from my perspective as an architect, there aren't actually any horde rooms in this level. The two rooms you're seeing as irritating horde rooms, 1S1E and 2S1W, are honestly supposed to be impossible to play like horde rooms. The goal is to instead keep tight control over the situation so you minimize the spawns as much as possible. My 'intended solution, not optimized' demo for 2S1W is less than 100 moves, and 1S1E is a bit longer, but all I'm doing after turn 90 or so is waiting around. But I suspect maybe I could communicate that better if they just come out looking like horde rooms anyway? Some suggestions might be appreciated.

(To be more specific, what's needed in 2S1W is to line up the queens so they're mostly against a single wall when they spawn, and then mop them up before they can spawn a second time. In 1S1E you don't need to kill a lot of skippers to win, your goal is really to get past them and open the doors so the briar can clean everything up after. I guess I would characterize both rooms as being about using Hopthro's fast movement effectively, as far as which of the character's mechanics are important in them.)

The third/final level does have horde rooms though, because I felt like I finally understood the character well enough to see how to build horde rooms that work with him. And that level is supposed to be the 'gloves-off, challenging' part of the hold, so I was okay with making things tougher/tighter throughout it.


I say all this with a concept in my own head of what "horde room" means. My own thought is that it means you need to spend several cycles dealing with spawned or otherwise large-numbered enemies, tactically moving around to take them out and achieve your goals, as opposed to a "puzzle room" where you can generally be expected to have full control over the situation and just need to put the pieces together the right way. The mere existence of spawning-type monsters, or large numbers, isn't enough for me to feel like it qualifies. But it's not really a binary dichotomy either, kind of a sliding scale.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 05-09-2022 06:33 PM]
05-09-2022 at 06:21 PM
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Kaelyn
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (+1)  
I played all the levels up to Volcanic Vault, plus a few rooms there.

In general, moving around with Hopthro is already pretty tedious, and having so many little obstacles littered about in DM and RC makes it more annoying. The more wide-open spaces in VV are a lot more pleasant to traverse in comparison.

Decrepit Manor
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Royal Catacombs
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The voice acting is terrible, but I assume that's intentional.

Overall, this is an interesting idea with a lot of interesting uses! I love seeing something so clever and out-there in Architecture. I'll keep banging my head against the puzzles in VV and I hope you'll keep working on this until it's ready for the Holds board!
05-10-2022 at 05:17 AM
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (+1)  
Well I've solved the rooms I've seen except Third level 3N 2E which, I guess is really not finished unless I can magically jump over red doors.
Upd. well, played 3N 2E as well while I'm at it, in editor that is. It's doable right now (excluding the red-door-blocking-entrance-to-it thing). Although you can just trivially kill all seep from a safe non-floor-spike spot. In case you're curious.

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[Last edited by mxvladi at 05-10-2022 09:07 PM]
05-10-2022 at 02:49 PM
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Xindaris
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Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm going to have a look into respacing things in the second level a bit so the player-accessible narrow passageways aren't such a pain to traverse, and maybe make a couple of other things easier to do (like killing the roach in the construct room once you've already done what I consider the "real puzzle"). For now, though--

Update:
-Added checkpoints to every room (I think?), because I always forget to do that.
-Detrivialized a couple of mimic rooms of VV via appropriately placed force arrows, whoops.

And here are some scattered specific replies...
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Edit/Update:
Right after posting this, I got to work on tweaking the player-accessible part of the "tunnel" in the second level, and I think I've accomplished what I wanted with that now. I had to compromise between making it more convenient to traverse and keeping the winding aesthetic I want for it, but I think it's at least a lot less annoying. I'm happy with this since it's not really an area the player has to traverse anyway, it's just supposed to be an easy shortcut back toward the entrance from the western part of the level.
This also includes a tweak to 2S2W which makes finishing the room a lot less fiddly/parity-based, since just getting the constructs in place and lifting the plate is supposed to be the main focus there.
I also rewrote the scroll in the Inthro that's supposed to introduce the player to bouncing to hopefully be more clear about that particular behavior.

I guess one other thing I can mention is that I'd be okay with it if someone wants to do architecture with Hopthro right now. Like: If you want to build more trapdoor puzzles with him or show me how a platform puzzle with him can really work. Barring the discovery of some horrific bug with his behavior, I'm pretty sure he's 'feature complete', and you just need to copy-paste the "Hophandler" and "hophandlerhelper" entities that are in the top-left of every room of this hold. (The latter had to be added to properly update his position at the end of the turn and avoid bugs when Hopthro is pushed, but the code change that added it makes everything break if you don't include it now.)

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 05-16-2022 08:36 PM]
05-16-2022 at 08:01 PM
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (+1)  
I keep running into issues with the scripting. Sometimes, if you're adjacent to a monster and you move away from it (say, it's S of you and you move SE) it'll kill you. Other times it won't. I've attached a demo of it happening.

Aside from that, I'm having fun! No room-specific comments right now.
10-24-2022 at 06:11 AM
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Xindaris
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I can't see anything unexpected happening in that demo. Have you noticed the movement rule where Hopthro only moves one tile if he's going in the exact opposite of the direction he was just facing? That means, in the case of at least this particular demo, he moves north just one tile, and that isn't out of reach of the tar babies.

I can definitely verify that the "second tile of movement" happens before any monsters can move, but only if it actually applies (that is, if Hopthro is moving in a direction that has him go 2 tiles in the first place).

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 10-24-2022 09:22 PM]
10-24-2022 at 09:20 PM
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icon Re: Adventures of Hopthro (+1)  
Ah, I see I made a typo. It should have been:

Someone Else wrote:
I keep running into issues with the scripting my thinking. Sometimes, if you're adjacent to a monster and you move away from it (say, it's S of you and you move SE) it'll kill you I can't figure out what will happen. Other times it won't. I've attached a demo of it happening revealed I'm a big dummy.

Aside from that, I'm having fun! No room-specific comments right now.
10-25-2022 at 03:59 AM
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